Extra-Long Dorm Beds

Just got a catalog from the University my son will be attending next year offering extra-long sheets for the extra-long beds in the dorms. The prices seemed high, so I serached on-line and found many sites offering “dorm-bed packages” with extra-long sheets, comforters, etc.

Is this something new? Is it a scam to make people buy sheets from the housing office? Why are dorm beds longer than other beds.

Doubt it – you can get extra-long sheets just about anywhere.

Thing is, ever notice how teenagers tend to be a little, well, gawky? I’m 5’ even, and I often wake up to find my feet are dangling off the edge of a regular twin mattress.

Not many adults would find twin mattresses to be long enough, but just try fitting three queen-size beds in a dorm room. By college, teenagers are pretty much adult-sized, and the twin mattress doesn’t cut it anymore.

Take it from this recently-no-longer-a-college-freshman–the beds are longer, and it’s nice. My feet don’t hang off the edge on them.

Take it from this recently-no-longer-a-college-freshman–the beds are longer, and it’s nice. My feet don’t hang off the edge on them.

Before I moved in the dorms, I got a catalog that seemed to be sponsored by the housing office there. The prices were very high. I just got the sheets at a local linen store. So I would shop around and don’t buy from that catalog just yet.

As for why dorm beds are extra-long, it’s probably because they have to accomodate for tall people, and don’t want to buy seperate size beds for them. It just keeps it much simpler.

I went through this with my daughter and no way did she need an extra long bed. My opinion is that the colleges are getting a good deal on the beds so that the supplier can make their money by selling over-priced bedding.

At one East Coast university that I blighted by my presence for four years, those extra-long dorm beds were there as early as 1970, so it’s not a new thing, at least in some places.

We weren’t offered the option of purchasing sheets, so everyone signed up for one of the competing campus linen services, which provided you with clean sheets and towels every week (they didn’t make the beds, they just dropped off clean sheets and took your bag of dirty ones). Given the eagerness of late-teen types to do their own laundry, that was a good thing.

My school (UC Davis) had the extra long twin bed setup thing and I’d be surprised if Berkeley, UCLA or any of the rest of the UC’s were any different.

The university affiliated catalog part does sound a bit scam-like, and I don’t recall UCD doing this. Finding these type of sheets was no problem at all, though.

FWIW, that’s precisely the reason that was given to us by each of the (US-based) univerities my daughters are attending.

…but the concept of stuffing two longer-than-it-needs-to-be beds into build-them-as-small-as-possible dorm rooms still seems kind of dumb to me.

Uhm…our Wal-Mart sells the sheets. You can buy separate flat and fitted sheets for about the same prices (+/- 25 cents) as the regular twin sheets.


Long dorm beds have been around, as a previous poster mentioned, since 1970, or earlier, even in the backwoods hick Texas town where I went to college.

Even then, extra long sheets were available. And it is more about people that aren’t accustomed to smaller beds. My feet always hang off a regular twin bed.

FWIW, hospital beds take extra-long sheets as well.

I wouldn’t consider the beds at my dorm to be “extra long.” I am about 6"2 and only had a few inches to spare.

Extra long dorm-style mattresses are indeed a standard mattress size. From what I can gather, standard mattress sizes in the United States include:

Twin - 39" x 75"
Twin Long - 39" x 80" (half a King)
Double - 54" x 75"
Queen - 60" x 80"
Olympic Queen - 66" x 80"
Standard King - 76" x 80"
California King - 72" x 84"

I’ve known folks living in dorms without roommates, who tool the two twin long mattresses, pushed them together, and used king sheets.

I’m off to UCSD next year, and they sent me a housing packet with an advertisement for a school-sponsored company that sells towel/linen packets - their main rationale for sponsoring this company is because of the supposed scarcity of the extra long beds.

Cool! I went to UCSD. I was a freshman in 1982 and they supplied the sheets and the laundry service for free. Well, it was included in the price of the housing. The next year they eliminated that service and we had to buy our own sheets. No catalog was available.