Decorating a dorm room isn't the easiest task in the world. With limited space and humdrum furniture that can't be removed, there's not much you can really work with. Of the many things on your back-to-school shopping list, buying twin XL bedding to fit the mattresses in your new temporary home should be your top priority.
The "XL" in question doesn't mean "extra large" but is, rather, a reference to the longer length: A twin XL bed is typically five inches longer than your average twin bed, which measures at 75 inches long. No one knows exactly when this dorm-specific bed size became a thing, but it might have something to do with the burgeoning popularity of college sports. Elongated mattresses are used to accommodate student athletes' tall physiques, and since these institutions tend to buy in bulk, the size became the campus standard in order to fit everyone's needs.
There is a lot of product out there — some would say too much. At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team, but if you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.