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10 best single bedding sets for students that are affordable, soft and durable

Get a decent night's sleep after long days in the library with these high quality finds

Emily Goddard
Thursday 27 August 2020 17:15
Our round-up includes options with bold stylish patterns and others that are more muted for those who prefer an understated palette
Our round-up includes options with bold stylish patterns and others that are more muted for those who prefer an understated palette

It will come as little surprise to learn that university students are not getting enough shut-eye. In fact, some 60 per cent report poor quality sleep. But that is not all down to burning the candle at both ends and pulling too many all-nighters. Most simply experience difficulties falling or staying in the land of nod.

This is a big problem, says Lee Chambers, an environmental psychologist and wellbeing consultant, because sleeping well is fundamental to our health, mood, attention and cognitive performance. “As a student, it is likely we are starting to fall into our adult biorhythm, and as our learning is significantly impacted by our sleep, it is a vital time to try to optimise it,” he explains.

Starting university opens up a new chapter of exciting, positive change, and it could be the first time you have had control over your sleep environment and routine. Besides perhaps a soft rug and inspiring prints for the wall of your room, your bedding will need the most consideration if you are to catch enough Zs.

Chambers suggests keeping your environment dark, cool and mellow as bedtime nears and offers some advice on bedding: “Look to invest in higher quality products, as you use them for eight hours every day, and it can have an impact on your sleep quality and quantity.”

We agree, and we set out to find the single bedding sets for students that are soft, affordable and good quality. Design is important, so our round-up includes options with bold stylish patterns and others that are more muted for those who prefer an understated palette. We also gave the bedding a spin in the washing machine to check out just how easy they are to care for.

Naturally, we also got between the sheets to see how our selections felt on our skin and if they supported our slumber. This was the most important factor because, as Chambers says: “If you want to be hitting those higher grades, have the energy for your hobbies and be a happier friend to be around, take your sleep seriously and your sleep will give you so much in return.”

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.

M&S comfortably cool checked bedding set

Sinking into bed with this silky soft set is nothing less than dreamy. Feeling the fabric, we were convinced we were dealing with a pure cotton, high thread count product, so it was a shock to learn that it is made from a mix of cotton and sustainably sourced Tencel lyocell, which is what gives it its breathable quality on those balmy summer nights. The watercolour pattern is calming and airy, and we like that there is the option of checked or striped prints because it is reversible. It also washed well and looked good on the bed without needing to be ironed.

Argos Home monochrome spots bedding set

The fun monochrome design featured on this bedding set will look great in any room and with almost all colour schemes. It feels soft and our tester slept fantastically wrapped in it, plus it washed well. The print is timeless and at just £12, we were very happy with this one.

Hema white checked duvet cover and pillow set

This bedding set scores highly in the design stakes. We love the understated Scandi monochrome check and the fact that it is 100 per cent cotton makes it even better. It feels soft and came out of a 60C wash cycle looking as good as new. It is already reasonably priced but Hema offers 10 per cent student discount in-store and for online orders using the click and collect service to make this bedding even more excellent value for money.

Portfolio Skye reversible check duvet cover set

It is almost impossible to believe this bedding set is less than £10 because the quality tells an altogether different story. It feels thick and well-made and we loved the highlands-inspired ochre design. This one also gives you options, with a reversible design that has a contemporary check pattern on one side and a more traditional tartan on the other.

Wilko marble print duvet set

It looks like the marble trend is here to stay and now you can sleep in it too with this grey bedding set. We found this soft to touch and liked that we had the choice of a darker or lighter design thanks to it being reversible. It washed well and you can get away without ironing it if you give it a low-temperature spin in the tumble dryer.

Silentnight hotel luxury silver bedding set

Being a student does not have to mean missing out on life’s luxuries, especially when it comes to bedding with this plush set. The silky smooth, 200 thread count cotton and sateen stripe design mean even a dorm in halls can feel like a sophisticated hotel room. We love the timeless elegance of this set and found it made for an extremely comfortable night’s sleep. It is also available in other colours, including champagne, blush and white, to match your scheme.

La Redoute Interieurs Afaw Berber print duvet cover

We adore the Moroccan-inspired monochrome print on this duvet cover and are certain it would be a great fit for almost any room. The corners feature natural-coloured tassels, adding a nice touch to the North African design and a button-up hem meant our duvet stayed in place without moving about inside night after night. A big plus is that it is 100 per cent cotton so can be washed at up to 60C and it needed no ironing so could be put straight on the bed from the washing line. Just remember to also pick up pillowcases because they are sold separately to the duvet cover.

Matalan two-pack geometric duvet covers

You have truly hit adulthood when you understand the value of having two bedding sets – one on and one in the wash. This duo of duvet covers and pillowcases means you can acquire it all with minimal effort and shopping around. The stylish geometric designs, one in grey and the other in ochre, are beautiful and even these are reversible, meaning you are essentially picking up four different styles of easy-care polycotton bedding for less than £20.

Urban Outfitters Raine duvet cover set

Even if your student accommodation is on the top floor of a city-centre high rise, you can bring the outdoors in with this plant print bedding set. The green illustrated design brightened up our tester’s room brilliantly and the quality of this pure cotton set is sure to guarantee a restful night’s sleep.

Asda geometric duvet set

This excellent-value-for-money bedding set injects a hint of Scandi design into a room, with its geometric pattern. We love that it can be flipped to reveal either a grey or vibrant yellow colourway depending on your mood. We found it dried quickly on a clotheshorse after washing, which would be ideal if your student accommodation means no access to a washing line or tumble dryer, although it can be tumble-dried.

The verdict: Single bedding sets for students

The M&S comfortably cool checked bedding set had to be our top pick for its quality and softness, and we would highly recommend the Hema white checked duvet cover and pillow set if you will sleep with nothing other than pure cotton. The bargain price, beautiful designs and quality feel also mean the Matalan two-pack geometric duvet covers more than deserves a mention among our top picks.

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