College Lifestyle and Product Blog for Dorm Room Living | DormSmart: DormSmart Q and A

Showing posts with label DormSmart Q and A. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DormSmart Q and A. Show all posts

July 24, 2017

Answers to the Most Commonly Asked Questions About Twin XL

Because twin XL is a big topic at DormSmart for college bound freshmen, here are short answers to the most commonly asked questions about twin XL:

Will twin sheets fit a twin XL mattress?

No. A twin fitted sheet will NOT properly fit a twin XL bed because a twin XL mattress is actually five inches longer than a twin.

Will full sheets fit a twin XL mattress?

No. A full size fitted sheet is made to fit a 54 x 75 inch mattress; whereas, a twin XL mattress is 39 by 80 inches.

How long is a twin XL mattress?

A twin XL mattress, commonly referred to as a twin extra long mattress or extra long twin mattress, is 80 inches in length. 

How long is a twin XL comforter?

For the best fit, make sure the comforter you purchase for your twin XL bed is 90 inches or longer. Knowing the comforter dimensions (measurements), typically listed on the packaging, is the most important factor when shopping for bedding that will fit a twin XL bed.

Live DormSmart!

May 27, 2017

Top Items College Students Forget to Bring to Campus

What items do college students forget to pack for their dorm room?

Good question, we frequently hear students or parents say they forgot:
  1. Tool Kit
  2. Waterproof Shower Bag or Caddy
  3. Surge Protectors
  4. Laundry Supplies
  5. Trash Can
Feel free to add to this list! And remember, if you forgot to pack an item, can deliver your dorm supplies to your college campus...

Live Dorm Smart!

March 24, 2014

Should I rent or buy a Microfridge for my dorm room?

Just ask yourself:

  1. Does my school rental program have a good reputation?
  2. How old is the Microfridge that I am receiving?
If your school has a solid program and you are comfortable with the age and price of the unit then you may want to rent a microfridge.

However, if you are uncomfortable with a used Microfridge or your school's supplier does not have the best service record  then you may want to buy a Microfridge or comparable unit.

Just remember to consult your school housing policy before spending your hard earned dollars.

April 9, 2012

What is it like to live in a freshman residence hall and dorm room?

Moving away from home and transitioning into college life can be both exciting and intimidating, especially when it comes to moving into a tiny dorm room in a freshman residence hall. All residence halls have their own unique way of life and set of rules so when you are choosing your housing preferences, be sure to get a little background information about where you would be living to make the best choice for you. Just remember to…

Expect Challenges

Living in a residence hall comes with challenges, the worst being noise and space! So learning to deal with noisy neighbors, crowded bathrooms, and sharing a small dorm room with a stranger are all realistic challenges for an incoming freshman. Sometimes you just need to DEAL and other times noise canceling headphones can be your best friend. Seriously!

Be a Team Player

Most residence halls meet to create a list of rules that everyone is expected to follow, so be sure to participate and voice your concerns at these hall meetings.

Get to Know Your RA

RAs exist not only to make sure that you are following the rules but to unite your hall and help ease your transition into dorm life.

Get to Know Your Fellow Hall Mates

Residence halls often provide hall activities so that those who live there can mingle and spend time together. Making the effort to get to know your fellow hall mates can lead to great friendships and a good support system for college.

While the prospect of living on campus in a freshman residence hall with total strangers may seem intimidating right now, at the end of the day, it will prove to be one of your most exciting experiences yet.

Live Dorm Smart!

February 4, 2012

What do I pack for a visit home from college over break?

I don't know what to bring home or
what to leave on campus over break?
To help you pack and make traveling home from college a little easier over break... we've come up with a few tips:

Tip #1 Create a “To Do List”

It is always a busy time on campus before each break. To make life a little easier for yourself, consider creating a quick “To Do List” a week in advance to prepare for your trip home (i.e. prepare your dorm room, packing list, return books, take care of pets…).

Tip #2 Only Pack the Essentials

If traveling home by airplane, only pack the essentials. Most airlines impose hefty fees for additional luggage and overweight baggage.

If carpooling home, remember you have to share the storage space in your vehicle with other students. Depending on the size of the ride and number of passengers, storage space may be limited.

If driving home on your own, remember YOU have to pack and haul everything from your dorm room to your car. Even worse, when you return to campus, YOU have to unpack and haul everything back into your dorm room.

Hint: This may be a great time to invest in a few space saving storage bags to make packing for visits home from college more manageable.

Tip #3 Pack Seasonal Items – Save Dorm Space

If you do have the space in your vehicle, take advantage of it and pack seasonal items you no longer need to create additional space in your dorm room. There will also be less to pack when you return home (move out of your dorm room) for summer break.

Tip #4 Mom

Whether preparing to travel home from college via airplane, carpool, or driving yourself… keep in mind that mom probably has purchased everything you’ll need in anticipation of your visit. If you are unsure about what to pack for a visit home from college, mom is just a phone call or text message away.

As always, live dorm smart!

February 3, 2012

My Residence Hall Community Bathroom Gets So Disgusting Between Scheduled Cleanings… What Can I Do To Clean It Up?

Many colleges such as the University of Michigan provide housing custodians to clean and disinfect residence hall common areas daily such as kitchens, lounges, and community bathrooms. If this is the case with your college, it may be a staffing issue that your resident advisor needs to address with housing officials.

My Community Bathroom Gets So Dirty...
It's Gross!
If your residence hall community bathroom is not cleaned daily, ask your RA to speak with your college housing officials about increasing the frequency of cleanings. If budget becomes an issue invite housing officials to your next residence hall meeting… be prepared to take a proactive stance, show housing officials how cleaning the community bathrooms more frequently benefits the college. For example, the overall cost may not increase because the bathroom does not take as long to clean or overall maintenance and remodeling costs may decrease because more frequent cleaning extends the life of the facility.

If more frequent cleaning is not an option for your community bathroom, ask your RA to schedule a mandatory meeting to brainstorm possible solutions with students living in your residence hall.

For example, consider:
  • Posting creative signs that encourage students to keep the community showers clean (i.e., While it’s important to wash your mane, don’t let it clog the shower drain or Remove your stray hairs from the shower or we will all be waiting on maintenance for hours…).
  • Creating a reward system or contests to inspire residents to help maintain the property. With the proper approach, you may be able to convince retailers, restaurants, even concert promoters to donate prizes in exchange for the free publicity… make it count!  
Just remember the meeting should be positive not negative so no whining, complaining, or finger pointing allowed… ONLY SOLUTIONS for keeping your community bathroom clean.

Live Dorm Smart!

November 11, 2011

My job needs me to work over my next school break but my RA tells me our dorm is closed. What can I do? I need a place to stay... Get the Dorm 411!

Don’t stress! With the proper planning, you are sure to find a safe place to stay near your college campus and keep your job. Here are a few suggestions:

Campus Housing Programs
Check with your campus housing officials to see if they have an alternate housing option available to you (i.e., a residence hall that remains open for students who cannot go home over break or a host family program…).

Friends | House Sitting
Stay with a friend who lives off campus. Even if they are going home, your friend may want someone to house sit for them while they are away, especially if they have pets.

If you are good friends with a co-worker, see if they need a roomie over break.

Sorority | Fraternity House
If you are a member of a sorority or fraternity, see if you can stay at the house.

Campus Organizations
Check for campus organizations (i.e., churches, alumni mentor programs…) that may have rooms in their facility or host families with an extra room in their home where you can stay. For example, Tulane University has the Town Mom Program that consists of area alumni who are there to assist students.

Extended Family of Friends
Check to see if any of your friends have extended family near the campus who can host you.

Just remember when you find a place to stay to be a good roomie. Help your host with the added expenses, cooking, and cleaning. Be respectful of their house rules.

Live Dorm Smart!

July 11, 2011

Hottest Selling Colors for Dorm Decor This School Year Are... Get the Dorm 411!

What are the hottest colors in Dorm Decor this season?

Aside from the trend of decorating a dorm room in those ever popular college colors... the hottest selling colors selected by college bound students, future dorm dwellers, shopping at this school year are:
  • Black
  • White
  • Pink
  • Navy
  • Purple
Live Dorm Smart!

July 7, 2011

Top Selling College Trunks by Size this Dorm Season...

Can you tell me the most popular size college trunk purchased for dorm rooms by college bound students this year?

Thus far, our top 3 most popular college trunks by size this dorm season have been our:

#1 Extra Large (XL)
#1 Large Trunk
#2 Extra Extra Large (XXL)
#3 Medium Trunks

All manufactured by Rhino!

Updated 4/6/2014

May 14, 2011

Twin XL Bedding...

Is there an easier way to explain Twin XL Bedding before I begin shopping?

Great question! I'll try to simplify it for you:
  • Standard Twin Comforters are under 90 inches long... so be careful to check the actual bedding dimensions when shopping for Twin XL Bedding EVEN IF the retailer advertises it as twin XL.
  • Extra Long Twin Comforters are 90 inches or longer, manufactured specifically to fit an 80" long twin XL bed.

Obviously, true twin XL comforters (90" or longer) will be the best fit for your extra long dorm bed BUT a twin bedding set can work on your twin XL bed IF you replace the twin fitted sheet WITH a twin XL fitted sheet (39" wide x 80" long). In other words, you must have a twin XL fitted sheet - NO EXCEPTIONS!

It is also important to note that your mattress cover, mattress topper, and bed skirt must also be true twin XL to fit properly.

Hope this helps! Live Dorm Smart!

We are doing our best to help students with anything and everything dorm so if you have a question just leave it in the comments section below or email your question to!

April 23, 2011

When Buying a Dorm Fridge: What's the difference between a Separate True Zero Degree Freezer and a Separate True Freezer Compartment? Get the Dorm 411!

A dorm fridge with a "separate true zero degree freezer" such as the Absocold or Microfridge 2.9 cu. ft. models operates just like mom's refrigerator freezer at home... it keeps your food frozen.

A dorm fridge with a "separate true freezer compartment" such as the Haier Compact 2 Door Refrigerator / Freezer 3.3 cu. ft. model is NOT a true zero degree freezer. Here's a quote directly from the Haier Use and Care Manual that best describes the intended use of their separate true freezer compartment:
"...This compartment is designed for making ice cubes and for short-term food storage (a few days at most)..."
So if you are a dorm dweller who needs to freeze your food longer than a few days, our recommendation is to buy an Energy Star Qualified dorm fridge with a separate true zero degree freezer to ensure your food stays frozen and safe to eat while saving energy for the planet and utility costs for your school (helps keep tuition cost down).

Live Dorm Smart!

April 12, 2011

Dorm Safe Appliances... what are they?

1 or 2 Cup Coffeemakers With Auto Shut Off 

What are dorm safe appliances?

In our opinion... Dorm Safe Appliances are:
  • Small in scale (dorm size)
  • Manufactured to operate on a standard 110/120v plug
  • UL Listed or ETL Listed (tested to nationally accepted safety standards)
  • Auto shut off (whenever available)
  • Free of open coils or hot plates
So... dorm safe appliances should not have an open flame or open coil... meaning no hot plates, coffee pots with warming plates, electric skillets, toasters, toaster ovens... Most colleges and universities consider these appliances a fire hazard, unsafe for your dorm room. As for irons and coffee makers... stick with quality auto shutoff appliances. A 1 or 2 cup coffeemaker that auto shuts off when brew cycle completes. A 3-way auto shut off iron that shuts off in the upright, down, or side positions ... in case you forget to turn it off or knock it over.

To prevent circuit overloads, consider purchasing a surge protector with overload protection (contains an internal 15 Amp Circuit Breaker to prevent students from overloading the circuit in their college or university dorm room). And most importantly... check with your college or university housing office rules and regulations before investing in appliances.

We are doing our best to help students with anything and everything dorm so if you have a question just leave it in the comments section below or check out our DormSmart Knowledge Base!

Live Dorm Smart!

How long is a true twin xl comforter?

How long is a twin XL bed (twin extra long bed)?

A twin XL bed is 80 inches long, so the rule of thumb is to look for a twin xl comforter that is 90 inches or more in length. Some comforters that are 90 inches in length are marked as twin, so the best approach when shopping for a comforter to fit your twin XL bed is to read the fine print in the product detail.

What if I can't find a twin XL comforter I really like?

For some, it can be challenging to find a true twin XL comforter for your extra long dorm bed. If you cannot find a twin XL comforter you really like, you can make a standard twin comforter, 86 to 88 inches long work on your twin extra long bed. If you plan to raise your dorm bed, you can even opt for a full/queen size comforter (just make sure the pattern works). You can also order a custom twin XL comforter set in your favorite colors or school colors from, it measures a generous 98 inches in length... ample enough to cover your twin XL dorm bed ... a matching twin XL bed skirt, twin XL sheets and pillow sham is included in the package. In addition, we have optional matching curtains and decorative pillows too!

We are doing our best to help students with anything and everything dorm so if you have a question just leave it in the comments section below or email your question to!

Live Dorm Smart!