The 5 best twin XL sheets for your college dorm in 2021

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  • For college students, the dorm room will be their home-away-from-home, and great sheets are a must.
  • Most twin XL dorm beds are 80 inches long, which is five inches longer than a standard twin.
  • Beyond buying the right size, look for sheets that are budget-friendly, durable, and comfortable.

No matter how late you stay up in college, eventually, you’re going to want to catch up on some much-needed shut-eye. With a set of cozy, comfortable, and colorful sheets, you can create a restful sleeping setup that’s also reflective of your style and personality.

Though the decorating of your dorm room might not be as crucial as choosing a major or registering for classes, that small space will be your home for at least a year, if not more, so you want to create a welcoming atmosphere.

This may also be the first time you get to pick out bedding for yourself, rather than living with what your parents chose or what was handed down from someone else’s bed. It’s a great opportunity to define and execute your own personal style, and learn what kind of bedding materials, patterns, and colors you like.

Make sure to read your dorm information and note the measurements of the bed. Almost all dorm rooms have an 80-inch extra-long twin mattress – 5 inches longer than a standard twin. Extra-long and standard twin mattresses are both 39 inches wide.

Here are the best twin XL sheets in 2021

The best twin XL sheets overall

two coral color pillows on top of target threshold sheets the best twin xl sheets overall 2021

Also our top pick for the best budget sheets, the Threshold Performance sheets are silky smooth, with deep pockets that fit well on a twin XL bed and durable construction to last many washes. 

Pros: Great fit, OEKO-Tex certified, good thread count

Cons: May show body oils more easily, smells bad out of the package 

Target’s Threshold sheets are smooth, soft, and silky, made from materials that usually match the specs of sheets four times the price. You might be disappointed to find they’re not actually wrinkle-resistant, as advertised, but they’re great otherwise — both comfortable and durable. 

One of their most notable features is the deep fitted sheet. There’s extra stretch built into the corners of the sheet, helping it cling to any twin XL mattress and reduce fabric bunching. There’s also a top and bottom label to further speed up the process of making your bed. 

Compared to other sheets we’ve tested, the Threshold set traps body oils readily and can develop a greasy feel if you don’t wash it often. This drawback provides a lesson in a good bedkeeping habit you should keep for life: wash your sheets every one to two weeks. 

Luckily, after many washes, you shouldn’t have any pilling or durability issues. Just make sure to wash them before your first use, since they smell bad initially. 

The best flannel twin XL sheets

red pinzon flannel sheets the best flannel twin xl sheets 2021

Pinzon’s thick flannel sheets will keep you warm and cozy on a cold winter night or in a chilly dorm room without making you overheat. 

Pros: Plush and heavyweight, breathable

Cons: Produces a lot of dryer lint, limited color selection, pillowcases run small 

Our favorite flannel sheets are the velvety soft and thick Pinzon sheets. From the first use, they’re soft and immensely cozy, giving you the feeling that you’re snuggling in a mountainside cabin, even if your reality is a rickety bunk bed in a tiny triple dorm room.

Once your winter quarter or semester starts, it’s a good idea to switch over to these heavy and comforting flannel sheets. They’re very warm, but never itchy, uncomfortable, unbreathable, or stifling. I personally felt like I slept better and deeper because of how warm and comfortable they were. The Pinzon sheets are exactly the kind of bedding you want when you’re away from home and acclimating to a new environment.

The pillowcases can be a tight fit if you use high-loft pillows, so we’d recommend getting smaller pillows if you want to buy these flannel sheets. 

Like the Threshold sheets above, you’ll want to wash them before first use since they have a slight chemical smell. And, be prepared for a lot of dryer lint. The amount of lint will eventually go down over time after more washes. 

The best jersey twin XL sheets

amazonbasics sheets

If you love the comfy feel of your favorite t-shirt, then soft jersey sheets like the ones from AmazonBasics are for you. 

Pros: Cozy, soft fabric, good color selection

Cons: Might be a little thin, may not fit deep mattresses 

Jersey-knit sheets are sometimes called t-shirt sheets, as they are made from the same type of soft, slightly stretchy, just-a-little-bit-fuzzy fabric as your favorite garments.

AmazonBasics’ Heather Jersey Sheet Set is made of modestly woven jersey knit and 100% cotton, which, for all that dorm life may put them through, should serve you or your beloved offspring perfectly well for the duration of college.

The sheets are also a good option due to their ability to keep from pilling. Many reviewers say they’ve had the sheets for more than a year and seen little or no wear in the fabric at all, which is pretty good for jersey sheets at any price.

The best colorful twin XL sheets

twin bed with blue nestl microfiber sheets the best color options for twin xl sheets 2021

Available in more than 40 eye-catching colors, the Nestl sheets are the best way to showcase your style and add some life to your dorm room. 

Pros: Large range of colors and sizes, soft brushed feel

Cons: Not suitable for those sensitive to synthetic fabrics 

Quality and comfort are important, but it’s not too much to ask for some sheets that also look great. From mellow yellows and creams to vibrant jewel tones, Nestl offers colors for all kinds of dorm room aesthetics. 

The microfiber sheets are double brushed for extra softness, and they’re cozy yet breathable. Plus, they’ll retain their color and durability after many washes. 

The other great aspect of the Nestl sheets is they come in many sizes, so if you loved them during college, you can continue buying them even once you’ve upgraded bed sizes. For the twin XL size, there’s also an extra deep option. The regular twin XL should fit mattresses up to 16 inches deep. 

The best premium twin XL sheets

person laying under brooklinen luxe sateen sheets the best premium twin xl sheets 2021

The Brooklinen Luxe Core Sheets are buttery-soft, luxurious, and fairly priced, even though they’re the most expensive of our picks for twin XL sheets.

Pros: Super soft, lots of color and pattern options

Cons: Shorter mattress depth, pricey

If you want to have luxurious sheets during your time in college, look no further than Brooklinen’s Luxe Core Sheets. One of the best sheets we’ve ever tried, they’re buttery soft right out of the package and only get softer over time. 

The sheets are an ongoing favorite at the team because they’re made from high-quality materials but cost a fraction of luxury brands. Even though they’re likely a splurge for college students, they’re worth the investment because of the thoughtful design and long-lasting construction. There are labels for the long and short sides of the fitted sheet, and it’s made from long-staple cotton, which is softer and stronger than cheap, short-staple cotton. 

We also love that its colors and patterns are sophisticated yet fun, unlike some twin XL sheet sets that look cheap and childish. 

See more bedding guides for your dorm room

patterned bed in a loft best twin xl sheets 2021
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