Once you are set with your university, your place to stay and your roommates, next thing to look forward to is setting your bedroom/ dorm room. You will either be living on-campus in a dormitory or you may end up living off-campus. Mostly international master students tend to live off-campus and they share apartments. Living off-campus and sharing apartments and sharing rooms is more affordable than on-campus. However, with that there comes the over head of searching perfect affordable place, finding roommates, buying furniture, room essentials/ house essentials and figuring out transport. Unless, of course you are one of the lucky once in Binghamton or so where you get separate furnished rooms at very affordable rents.
I shared an unfurnished room off-campus with other fellow graduate students. And so, I know the struggle of finding that perfect mattress and figuring out what fitted sheet and flat sheets and box frames are meant for. Your bed is the place you end up spending most of your time, not only for sleeping but doing assignments, projects (sometimes eating, gross but not gonna lie) etc. So, your bed and mattress must be comfy, sturdy, should last long and also should be cost friendly. Moreover, it must be light and not bulky so that you are able to shift it easily.
I have found a perfect mattress and bed frame set for me that has lasted for almost three good years. Till now I have shifted two times and for me it was easy as pie. So, I thought to share it with you and help someone from the hassle.
Although, spring mattress looks or sounds more comfortable, my genuine advice is – do not buy a spring mattress.
Reasons being – 1. Spring mattresses are too heavy. It is very hard to lift them and shifting is nightmare with these.
2. For saving the cost you may end up choosing a mattress which after a while starts poking with the springs on your back and you end up having back aches. (My cousin has gone through this. She had to buy another mattress.)
Mattresses come in three sizes – twin, queen and king. And 6 – 8 inch thickness. For one person twin is more than sufficient. 6 inch is comfortable size. Specially when you are sharing a room. Even when you are not, its better with space, you can have open space for other things.
I use this mattress. It is very light, I can carry it easily without any help, plus since, it does not have springs in it, I can fold it and it fits into any car – Perfect for shifting. And most importantly, it is very comfortable for me. I never had any back problems because of it. And even though I am using it for more than two years now, it has not sagged or de-shaped or anything.
Alternatives – Shop similar mattress.
Lessons learnt –
- Never buy a wooden bed frame while you are a student and sharing places. Always buy metal frame. (Bedbugs – we will get to it shortly).
- Do not buy a bulky bed frame, even though it looks nice. Buy the one that is foldable, which dismantles very quickly.
- Buy a light and functional bed frame.
I am using this bed frame and I can not recommend it more.
It has 4 screws and it take 5 minutes to dismantle. Once folded it fits in any damn corner. and so, efficient for shifting. I use only this and no box frame. This allows me to use space under the frame to store my stuff. Also, I am so much paranoid of bugs, I vacuum every week, and this mattress and bed frame makes it very easy for me.
Remember, this is for a temporary purposes. Very likely you will end up with a partner within three years or so and you will not need this anymore. So, instead of going for fancy set-up get a functional stuff. And you can always dress it up and make it look good.
Alternate option – Shop similar bed frame
Sheets & pillows
80% your standard Indian sheets won’t fit, unless you use a double bed sheet for a twin size mattress. Normally, a sheet set comes with a fitted sheet, a flat sheet and a pillow cover. You are supposed to put fitted sheet on your mattress and flat sheet under your comforter/ duvet. Fitted sheets come with an elastic and so are very convenient. I only use a fitted sheet. You can get them on Amazon, Walmart, Target or Bed Bath & Beyond. Pillows are pretty straight forward. I use firm ones with the pillow covers that come with the sheet set. I use Mainstays extra firm pillows.
Bedbugs! No one tells you about these but these are inevitable. No mater how much clean you live, if you are a student and sharing apartment, you will get guests and their friends and you will go in library etc. bedbugs will find their way to you. Mattress is a loved place for bedbugs. Once it is contaminated, you have no option but to throw it. So, get a mattress cover. Its a must ! It is always better to spent $10 more bucks than having to throw the whole mattress. Mattress cover protects the mattress (on which you spent so much money on) from bugs. Cheaper once are available but they get holes in them pretty soon. Invest in good quality mattress cover. The mattress cover that I am using has no holes yet and it has kept my mattress safe from bugs till now.
Comforter or blanket or duvet pick anything that you find comfortable. Don’t get blanket from India. Save luggage space and buy it here. It is very affordable. Comforter or duvet are better and more comfortable in winters. Mainstays comforters at Walmart are very affordable. I use this one from Target.
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I am still using the same mattress and same bed frame and will continue to use the same one until I am living on my own. But, even after I am thinking of keeping this one as a day bed in my new apartment.
Which university you are admitted in to? Do you prefer on-campus living or off-campus?