College Dorm Sleep Essentials

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So, you’re off to college! Whether it’s for your first semester or you’ve been through it before, you’re probably aware that sleeping in a dorm can be a big adjustment. You’ll likely have roommates, sometimes as many as three, and you might not have the comforts of home so readily available to you. 

However, with a little bit of preparation and knowledge, you can turn your dorm room sleep environment into something that you’re thrilled to return to every night. Here are five of our favorite dorm room sleep essentials to help you on your way towards better sleep (and maybe even better grades).

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5 Best Sleep Accessories for College

Watch our Review

Since filming our roundup, the Brooklyn Bedding Brushed Microfiber sheets have been discontinued. We’ve replaced them with a similar option— the Brooklinen Luxe Core sheets.


Lucid Gel Memory Foam Topper

Best Mattress Topper for College

If you’re approaching your freshman year of college, first of all, congratulations! Second, buckle up for a less-than-ideal sleeping situation. Dorm room beds aren’t known for their comfort or support, which is why you should consider purchasing a nice new mattress topper.

The Lucid Memory Foam Mattress Topper adds 3 inches of cushion to a mattress, improving even the lumpiest of sleeping surfaces. It also has a ventilation construction, which adds some much needed airflow on those hot nights with subpar college air conditioning. 

Make sure you know the size of your dorm mattress before purchasing a corresponding mattress topper. You’ll most likely need a Twin XL.

Hatch Restore

Hatch Restore

Best Sleep Tech for College

Few things are more challenging than waking up for an 8:30 class on a Monday morning, especially when the first thing you have to hear is that horrible iPhone alarm sound. Thankfully, the Hatch Restore offers a way to wake up peacefully. By gradually lighting up your room with a sunrise-esque illumination and lulling you awake with sweet soundscapes, this device takes a lot of the pain out of getting ready for class. 

We’re not saying you’ll be excited to wake up for that 8:30 core curriculum course, but the Hatch Restore will at least help you start your day in a better mood.


Coop Sleep Goods Original Pillow

Best Pillow for College

Of course, a pillow might be your most essential purchase before the semester, as your college will almost certainly not provide one for you. There are plenty of great choices out there, but we really like the Coop Sleep Goods Original Pillow.

The Coop pillow is filled with a memory foam and microfiber blend that has a medium-firm feel, providing plenty of support and comfort for that big brain of yours. Plus, some of this filling can be removed or added depending on your ideal pillow loft—stomach sleepers will do well with a thinner pillow, while side sleepers will likely prefer something a little thicker to fill that gap between their shoulder and head.

Last but not least, the Coop pillow has a removable, machine-washable cover, so you don’t even need to bring your own pillowcase if you don’t want to!


Brooklinen Luxe Core Sheets 

Best Sheets for College

Next to a pillow, sheets might be the most essential bedding item that you bring to college. A good set can turn an average sleep experience into a luxurious comfort bath. If you’re in the market, the Brooklinen Luxe Core sheet set is a fantastic option for the modern college goer. 

These sheets feature a silky-smooth sateen cotton weave, with a 480-thread count. They’re also OEKO-TEX certified, meaning these sheets are free of harmful chemicals and dyes. Plus, you can choose from 11 different colors, so you can easily match your sheets to the aesthetic of your dorm room! 

Side note: Please, reader, for goodness’ sake, wash your sheets consistently.

How to Sleep in a Dorm

If you’ve never shared your bedroom with a roommate, you might be a bit nervous about adjusting to dorm room living. Not to mention, you have to deal with odd hours, notoriously uncomfortable mattresses, and maybe even lack of climate control. All of these factors can make getting a good night’s rest difficult in a dorm room, but don’t panic! With this helpful guide, better sleep on campus can be just a quick read away. 

Talk to Your Roommate

There is a good chance that you and your roommate(s) will have different sleep habits. It’s nobody’s fault, but it can put some strain on your relationship if you begin to affect each other’s sleep. Communicating honestly is your best course of action here. Maybe they like to watch movies until 2 AM on their laptop and you like to get to sleep by 11 PM. Don’t ask them to stop entirely, but it’s very reasonable to ask them to wear headphones and lower the brightness of their screen.

You’ll need to be open to compromise in many of these situations, but meeting halfway can help both of you stay well-rested and on good terms. 

Create a Consistent Sleep Schedule

Going out with friends or pulling late-night study sessions are a staple of college living, so creating a consistent sleep schedule might seem like a challenge. The goal isn’t to get to sleep by 9 PM every night, but to try your best to make sure you get at least eight hours of shuteye. A good way of doing this is to set personal boundaries. 

There’s no reason you can’t hang out with friends the night before a 10 AM class, but try to bow out of the fun with enough time to get the sleep you need in order to wake up feeling rested and prepared.

You’re going to slip up from time to time—don’t be too hard on yourself! Just remember, the more consistent you are in getting eight hours of sleep the better you’ll feel. 

Use Mattress Accessories

Odds are, your dorm-room mattress won’t live up to whatever you slept on as a teenager. It will likely lack support and comfort, and might even be smaller than you’re used to. However, better sleep can be achievable with a few of the wonderful sleep accessories that we’ve mentioned.

A mattress topper like the Lucid can add a much needed comfort layer to even the stiffest of surfaces. Quality sheets (like the Brooklyn Bedding set we described above) can help you stay cool with breathable fibers that regulate temperature. And a good pillow, like the Coop Sleep Goods, is like a top-of-the-line mattress for your head. 

Short of using your own mattress, you’re probably going to have to deal with the subpar one that’s given to you, but you can level it up with even just one of our recommended accessories.