When I was shopping in preparation for freshman move-in, one of the main things I focused on was my bed. I have Chiari Malformation, which causes severe back and neck pain (read more about that here), as well as chronic migraines that can only be treated with sleep (read more about that here), so I spend more time resting in bed than the average college student. Because of this, it was extremely important that my bed be as comfortable as possible, and be a place where I could easily recharge, as well as manage my pain. I think my bed is just as comfortable at college as it is at home, if not more. Here is everything I have for my bed, starting from the foundation. I live in a single room, meaning I am the only one in my bedroom- read more about housing in college here.
While I didn’t have to buy this, I thought it might be helpful to show off my mattress with nothing on it. While it is possible to request a full size mattress through disability housing, I have the standard college sized mattress, which is a Twin XL. After sleeping on it at college orientation with nothing (and lots of back spasms), I got an idea of what I would want to look for in padding.
The Wamsutta Cool and Fresh Fiberbed is the only mattress topper I have ever needed for my dorm bed. It is very soft, but still provides fantastic support. It also fits nicely in the college washing machines. I never had to add any other mattress supports, as this provides everything I needed. It is a soft pillow top cover that fits my mattress exactly. It can be found at Bed, Bath and Beyond and Amazon.
I bought a fitted sheet for my bed as well as several different pillowcases from the Room Essentials brand at Target. They are easy to care for and remind me of t-shirt material. One of my favorite features is that the fitted sheet contains side pockets, which work as a great holding place for my glasses at night. I bought two fitted sheets and seven pillowcases (more on why I bought so many later in the post). Sheets can be purchased here, and pillowcases can be purchased here, but are only available in-store in some regions.
I bought this blanket from Costco about two years ago and loved how soft it was- in fact, I fell asleep during move-in while using it. One downside though was that it MUST be washed before first use, or else it sheds everywhere! I was covered in gray fuzzballs, but the problem went away right after I washed the blanket. It can be found on Amazon here.
My college allows students to have heated blankets, but not heated mattress pads. I received a heated blanket as a Christmas present in high school, and it has been one of my favorite gifts ever. I got a Twin XL sized blanket for college, and I use it often- I like to turn it on a few minutes before I go to bed so that my bed warms up. I cannot find a link for the one I have, but it was purchased for less than $50 at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.
This blanket is great for layering with other blankets, or simply on its own. I have a very similar blanket on bed at home, so I knew I would want one in college as well. It hangs off my bed a bit, but I think that is because of how my bed is pushed against the wall. Get it at Target.
I have both Room Essentials and Xhilaration comforters layered on my bed. They are fairly lightweight, and I can also rearrange my blankets so that I am sleeping on top of one (the comforter pictured is from Xhilaration). I found very little difference between the Twin and Twin XL sizes between these brands, as the comforter on top was labeled a Twin size and it generously covers my bed. They come in a variety of designs- here is my Room Essentials comforter, and here is my exact Xhilaration comforter.
This pillow is what keeps me from rolling face first into the wall every morning, a problem that I often faced when I lived in a dorm with concrete walls. It also provides great support for my back when I sleep on my side. Get it from the Yogibo website or on Amazon, with Prime shipping.
I needed a pillow that was cheap in comparison to my other pillows that I could use for layering, so picked up one of these at Target. I don’t use this as my main pillow, so it didn’t really matter how much support it had. Get it at Target here.
Why do I have five of these pillows? Well, with all of my different spasms, I have found that these pillows, in combination with firmer ones, provide optimal support and help me rest when I have terrible pain. They do not put additional strain on my neck, and I can sleep in any position that I want. Why do I have an odd number of these pillows when they come in packages of two? I don’t know. I originally purchased these from Costco, but they appear to no longer be available. Get them from Amazon with Prime shipping here.
I talk about Yogibo products more here, but this Sleepybo is a very firm pillow that reminds me of my beloved Yogibo at home. This pillow works amazing when I have pain behind my eyes or for elevating my legs. It is also one of the main pillows I use at night. It is currently out of stock on the Yogibo website, but can be found here.
Another great Costco purchase, this is the firmest pillow I have, and the cooling sensation is absolutely amazing when my migraines make it feel like my hair weighs a hundred pounds. It also has a curved end, so I can insert in a neck pillow if I need one, which works awesome for when I have neck spasms. I found it on Amazon here.
Since I use so many blankets, I like to keep a lightweight one at the top for when I am sensitive to temperature, or suddenly develop a migraine and find that it’s too much energy to be underneath the covers. As mentioned in my Yogibo review, this is my brother’s favorite blanket and Yogibo product, because it is both warm and lightweight, and the material is very smooth. Get it on the Yogibo website here.
When I stack my pillows to go to sleep, I usually do it in this order:
- Cooling pillow on the bottom
- Beautyrest pillow
- Beautyrest pillow
- Beautyrest pillow between pillow stack and wall
- Extra firm pillow on side facing wall
- Beautyrest pillow on side facing wall
- Extra Beautyrest pillow for rearranging or against the wall
So, my first morning in my dorm room, I rolled out of bed…and then fell three feet to the floor because I forgot how high the bed was. My parents bought me one of these toddler safety bedrails from Wal-Mart and set it up for me, so I wouldn’t do something like that again. Weirdly enough, I’ve gotten lots of compliments from friends who would visit my apartment and talk about how they were constantly falling out of bed. It also helps to reinforce my stack of pillows. Get it from Walmart here.
I am lucky to be able to sleep for hours at a time, and have so many things to help me sleep as well. A lot of these items will be on sale in the coming weeks for back-to-school, so keep an eye out and set price drop alerts!