With so many sets of dorm bedding available, how do you choose? We set out to do a dorm bedding review by evaluating six primary criteria.
Testing was pretty straightforward. We purchased bedding from the manufacturer, tested, washed and dried for five cycles and tested again.
Dorm Bedding Softness
The first test, and the most important in our opinion was the softness test. While it is a subjective test, the softness of the bedding was pretty easy to rank.
The Target and DormCo sheets were easily the softest after washing and the preference between the two comes down to the material. Target’s sheets are silkier and DormCo’s have a more cotton-like feel. They both were very similar in softness and quietest when crumpling.
The Pinzon sheets were third. These were the heaviest and had a medium softness.
Last place goes to Residence Hall Linens. These were by far the roughest feeling and loudest sheets.
Dorm Bedding Durability
Next, we looked at the expected durability of the sheets by washing and drying each one per the manufacturer’s directions five times to provide a reasonable estimate as to how sheets would hold up to washing over a full school year. That may be an ambitious number for some students but should be a good overall number of wash and dry cycles.
The sheets were weighed when first taken out of the package and again after the fifth drying. While this test may not accurately project the life expectancy of dorm bedding, it should provide a general idea of the quality of the fabric used. Most notably, the Pinzon and Residence Hall Linens lost the most weight at approximately 5% each versus the Target (only 0.56%) and DormCo (2.12%) bedding. Looking at the results, we would estimate Target and DormCo bedding to be the longest lasting based on normal washing and drying without getting too thin or tearing.
Dorm Bedding Shrinkage
Shrinkage was pretty similar with the exception of the Pinzon sheets. These sheets started at 37″ X 83″. After five washings and dryings they significantly reduced down to 34.25″ X 79.5″. These were the narrowest sheets tested. While your actual results may vary, this should be a good guide as to how much shrinkage you may expect and to make sure they will fit your mattress on campus.
The other sheets final size after washing and drying:
- Target: 38.5″ X 80.75″
- DormCo: 39.5″ X 80″
- Residence Hall Linens: 38″ X 78.625″
Dorm Bedding Color
Color on all of the sheets with the exception of Pinzon held pretty well with little to no change. The Pinzon sheets lightened some but not to the affect the attractiveness of the sheet. While we did not test every color each manufacturer offers, the ones we tested were all attractive and uniform after washing and drying multiple times.
Dorm Bedding Quality
Quality of the construction of the dorm bedding varied quiet a bit between the manufacturers. DormCo was very well made by having good stitching, elastic on the corners and the only one out of the four to have boxed seams, which will give the best fit. The other three had elastic around the entire bottom of the sheet. The Pinzon sheets had the thickest elastic, followed by Target and last was Residence Hall Linens. The Pinzon sheets had loose threads when first taken out of the package while Residence Hall Linens had the weakest and loosest stitching out of the four.
Dorm Bedding Value
Our opinion after testing these four sheets is that you will be hard pressed to go wrong with either the Target or DormCo products. They were the best quality and most importantly very comfortable. The Pinzon sheets were very thick and would appear to hold up for many years of use. Last, while the RHL sheets did not score well, you do get the benefit of a guarantee over the entire time living on campus.
- Made By
- Color Fade
- Residence Hall Linens
- Pinzon by Amazon