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. I also have chronic migraines that can only be treated with sleep, 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.
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.
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).
Life Comfort blanket
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.
Twin XL heated blanket
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 the same blanket on my bed at home and love the berry color of this one.
Comforter and duvet
I had the same comforter for almost three years on campus and decided to switch things up and buy a duvet cover this year. It makes it easier to do laundry, since all I have to do is toss the duvet cover in with my sheets, instead of trying to figure out how to fit my comforter in the washing machine and wait for it to dry. My duvet cover is twin sized and is slightly shorter than my Twin XL bed, but this doesn’t bother me because I am very short.
Yogibo caterpillar pillow
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.
- Caterpillar pillow onYogibo website
- Caterpillar pillow on Amazon, with Prime shipping.
- Yogibo for Chronic Pain
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.
Beautyrest Extra Firm Pillows
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.
The 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.
Purelux Comfort Cool Pillow
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.
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.
How I stack pillows
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.
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!