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College Bedding Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to the most frequently asked questions about college bedding by DormSmart shoppers, including twin XL. Please contact us if you require assistance prior to buying bedding for college.

Is there a difference between twin and twin XL bedding? Yes, 5 inches!

  • Twin bedding is made to fit a standard size twin mattress, 75" long.
  • Twin XL bedding is made to fit an extra long twin mattress, 80" long.

Typically, the width of the mattress remains the same for both sizes, 39". However, we have come across a few campus with 36" wide mattresses.

How long is Twin XL bedding sold by DormSmart?

  • Comforters, Duvet Covers & Inserts = 90 to 98" Extra Long
  • Twin XL Sheets, Bed Skirts, Mattress Covers & Toppers = 80" Extra Long

How does DormSmart identify bedding as twin XL?

Students can feel confident that their bedding for college will fit properly because DormSmart ALWAYS checks actual bedding dimensions before categorizing it as twin or twin XL, meaning labels or packaging do not matter rather size matters! Regardless of how a manufacturer has labeled their bedding, before it hits DormSmart's virtual shelves the dimensions must be checked and the bedding categorized accordingly.

Is there such a thing as Twin/Twin XL bedding? Yes and no.

  • There are some manufacturers who produce one comforter and duvet cover at 90" or longer then sell it as both twin and twin XL, a perfectly acceptable practice because students can use them on either size mattress with no difficulty.
  • There are a handful of manufacturers and retailers who are labeling standard twin bedding (86" and 88" long comforters and duvet covers) as Twin/Twin XL. Some even bundle or box them with twin XL sheets and sell the set as a Twin XL Bedding Package. DormSmart believes bedding should be labeled according to its dimensions so that students can make the decision as to whether or not they want to use a standard size comforter or duvet cover on their twin extra long bed. It is their money.

Do all colleges have twin XL beds? NO!

DormSmart reviews more that 2000 college housing websites annually and the one thing we have learned… there is no consistency between colleges when it comes to bed sizes. Some schools have standard twin beds, many schools have twin extra long beds (commonly referred to as Twin XL or TXL), and a few even have double beds in their dorm rooms. The best approach for students and parents is to contact their school housing office prior to purchasing bedding for their dorm room.

Can I use a standard twin comforter or duvet on a twin extra long bed?

While twin XL is preferable (minimum length of 90"), twin comforters and duvets (86" and up) can work on an 80 inch extra long twin mattress but they will be short. Please note that your mattress topper, fitted sheet, mattress pad, and bed skirt must be manufactured to properly fit a twin extra long mattress.

Here's how to make a twin XL bed with a standard twin comforter... pull the comforter toward the bottom of the bed to accommodate the 5 inch difference then turn down the top so the comforter does not appear short when the bed is made. You can then fill in the top with extra pillows.

Can I use twin sheets on my twin XL bed?

Your "fitted sheet" must be manufactured to fit a twin XL mattress. Beware of retailers who tell you that a deep pocket twin fitted sheet will PROPERLY fit your twin extra long mattress. Also, if you plan to use a jersey twin fitted sheet on your twin XL mattress, be advised that it may lose it shape or shrink after repeated washings and slide off your bed.

Why does DormSmart carry full and queen size comforters?

Some of the newer residence halls being constructed on campuses today are more like an apartment versus the standard dorm room so students are able to use larger beds. In addition, full size and queen size comforters, 90 inches or longer, can be used to accommodate the additional height of a raised twin XL bed in your dorm room. Lastly, if you are planning to move into your own apartment versus remaining in the residence hall beyond your freshman year, it may be a wiser investment to purchase a larger comforter or duvet set that can be used in both spaces. Your bed linens such as a your fitted sheet, mattress topper, and mattress pad must be manufactured to fit your mattress size (i.e. twin or twin XL) but you can definitely get away with a larger comforter or duvet and save money!

Can I use a full size comforter or duvet on a standard twin bed?

Full comforters and duvets are 80” wide by 86 to 89” long, the same length as standard twin bedding. The additional width of a full comforter or duvet can be used to accommodate the height of your RAISED twin bed, providing more fabric on the sides. It definitely increases your selection of twin bedding for college. Repeating patterns and solid colors work best.

Can I use a queen size comforter or duvet on a twin XL bed?

Most queen comforters and duvets are 86” wide by 90” or longer,the same length as twin XL bedding. The added width of a queen comforter or duvet can be used to accommodate the height of your RAISED twin XL bed, providing more fabric on the sides. It definitely increases your selection of twin XL bedding for college. Repeating patterns and solid colors work best

What are the common terms used by colleges for twin XL bedding?

Extended Twin Bedding, Twin Extra Long Bedding, TXL Bedding, XLT Bedding, Twin Extended Bedding, Extra Long Twin Bedding

Is your bedding made in the USA? Yes and no.

With so many American mills closing these days, it's difficult to offer a wide selection of bedding that is only American made. However, because DormSmart believes in supporting US based businesses, our bedding is either Made in the USA or Imported by a US Based Distributor who creates jobs for Americans. In a nutshell, if you are shopping for American made dorm bedding, you can find it on DormSmart's virtual shelves, even twin XL. The bedding's origin is easily found on each product listing, just like the dimensions. ;)

What's the difference between a Mattress Protector, Mattress Pad, and Mattress Topper?

  • Mattress Protector is a plastic sheath with a zip closure that encases the entire mattress protecting it from spills... can also reduce allergens.
  • Mattress Pad is a layer of protection that fits onto your mattress like a fitted sheet, but has a quilted top for a little extra cushion and to protect the mattress.
  • Mattress Topper provides layer of cushion that lays on top of your mattress. The thickness can vary. Mattress toppers come in a variety of materials such as foam or latex. In most cases, you'll really want one to make your dorm room mattress more comfortable.
To make your dorm room bed, start with a mattress protector then add your mattress pad. Lay your mattress topper over the mattress pad for increased comfort and softness then finish it with your sheets, comforter, and pillows!

What's the difference between bedding made of poly cotton blend versus 100% cotton fabrics?

A poly cotton blend is exactly that... a blend of polyester and cotton. While a poly cotton blend fabric is durable and wrinkle resistant, it generally takes several washings to soften. A 100% cotton fabric is much softer but tends to wrinkle. It's really a matter of personal preference.

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Publisher Information: College Bedding Frequently Asked Questions Including Twin XL is an original work by, L.L.C., first published 03/21/10 and last updated on 12/07/18.