When choosing bed sheet sets for a college dorm room bed, I feel that it is critical to also purchase, at the bare minimum, a fitted mattress pad. You must assume several things when it comes to the dorm room mattress that your child will be sleeping on. Schools have different policies and procedures when it comes to cleaning or sanitizing the old dorm mattress. If your student is lucky, they may get a new mattress but you must assume that this is the exception and not the rule. More often than not, your student will be sleeping on a marginal used mattress that may or may not have been properly cleaned and sanitized.
When you consider that a used college dorm room mattress can be the happy home to a billion or so bacteria per square inch, covering this mattress up to protect your student is a good idea. Dust mites are also a common denizen found in used mattresses and thrive on the millions of dead skin cells that we shed during the average day. In addition to a mattress pad, using a mattress cover will provide your student with more protection than a mattress pad alone. Different from a mattress pad, a mattress cover encloses the entire mattress, providing a fabric barrier between your child and those pesky dust mites and bacteria that have taken residence in the mattress.
When buying a mattress pad and mattress cover for a college dorm room bed, be sure to select fabrics that are easily washed and machine dryable.
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College Dorm Room Bedding Is Very Important
Settling in at a college dorm room can be both exciting and stressful, and move in day on most college campuses can be filled surprises. Most college dorm rooms provide very little space and almost no privacy. Another part of college dorm life that often comes as a surprise is the size of the bed. Most college dorm room beds are twin size in width but with a twist that catches many students, and their parents, off guard. Many college dorm room beds are twin tall, often referred to as twin extra long.
Size may not be the only surprise to be found in a college dorm room bed. There is no way to know the history of the mattress. The mattress could new or used, clean or not so clean. Whenever we check into a hotel, we take it on faith that the bed and the bedding are clean. Some recent exposes by the news media have shown some not very pleasant problems with beds, even at some well-known hotels. Even though the bedding of the average hotel bed is changed quite frequently, that practice alone does not mean the bed is clean. What lies under the crisp clean sheets and pillow mints might resemble a high school science project.
This brings us back to college dorm room beds. If your school furnishes your dorm room with a bed frame and mattress there are some basic assumptions you can make. There is a good chance that the mattress has been in use for at least one school year. Through second hand shops and many charities, there is a brisk business in used mattresses. Many states have standards in place mandating that used mattresses must be chemically treated before being resold. The same standards that apply to the retail community do not always apply to institutions such as colleges and universities.
Many dorm room mattresses are covered in a vinyl material. This allows the mattress to be wet cleaned and sanitized. Over time the covering may show signs of cracking which precludes wet cleaning and sanitizing. Assuming that the mattress on your dorm room bed is used, there are still some steps you can take to get the most from your dorm room mattress.
Dorm Room Mattress Pads and Mattress Covers
Using a mattress pad or mattress cover on your dorm room bed is a good idea even if the mattress is new. Different from a mattress pad, a mattress cover is used to completely enclose the mattress. A quality mattress cover should be easy to put on and remove. When selecting a mattress cover, pick one that is washable and machine dryable. Fabrics made from bamboo fiber have a natural, long lasting antimicrobial quality.
Mattress manufacturers and retailers recommend the use of a mattress pad. There are several styles of mattress pads including, flat, quilted and fitted. You can find inexpensive mattress pads which are held in place with elastic bands at the corners. This type of mattress pad only covers the top of the mattress and has a tendency to shift and slide, especially when the elastic begins to wear. A fitted mattress pad is always the best choice.
Remember that the best choice is the combination of a mattress cover and a mattress pad. Choose a mattress pad that is fully fitted so the pad fits securely around the top and sides of the mattress. A dorm room mattress, especially one that has been in service for awhile may be less than comfortable. A quilted fitted mattress pad can add a layer of comfort and a quality mattress cover will add a layer of protection.