After a few months into my middle child's first semester at college, I received a frantic call from her one afternoon. "How do I wash my comforter?"
I was surprised that this call didn't happen sooner. At college your bed becomes a desk, a couch, a dining room table and party central. After a while, of course you will want to wash your comforter but will it come out of the wash the same way that it went in?
Overwhelmingly, no, it does not. At mostly every school, the industrial washers and dryers only have one setting for the water temperature and one setting for the dryer. Hot and hotter. These temperature settings may kill every germ hiding in your laundry but they are certainly not useful for washing delicate bedding such as an expensive, fiber-filled or down comforter.
Unfortunately, my daughter did not know this. In went the dirty comforter, out came the clean and fresh, but melted comforter. The comforter was cooked to a slight tan in certain areas and all stuck together in the middle forming a small mountain range. It would never lay flat and it would never be acceptable to have that on her dorm room bed. The expensive comforter, that she had to have, was rendered unusable, and I was left to think of a solution to this problem.
Cue the duvet. A duvet cover is the perfect solution to the melted comforter. A duvet cover is a much more affordable, and more forgiving option than a comforter. When you wash your sheets, you can just toss in the duvet cover in too. If something spills on your bed, chances are you can whisk away the duvet to the wash without doing much harm to the insert.
You can purchase a solid duvet cover just about anywhere. My personal favorite place to purchase a duvet and an insert is Ikea. They have many solid duvets and they have a variety of inserts depending on your personal preference. Many of their duvets and inserts cost well below $40.00.
Let's face it, college costs enough without spending hundreds of dollars decorating a dorm room. A solid duvet cover, a headboard, a few pillows, bed scarf and bed skirt are all you need to transform any dreary dorm room into the most popular, clean and well decorated room on campus.