Q: I just got back from Europe on a summer exchange. My room had two twin beds, but the beds had no blankets — just a bottom sheet and a comforter thing with a cover, and matching pillow cases. My mom always yells at me to make my bed, and this way it's so easy — and perfect for my dorm room when I go to college next year. (The pillows were one bigger square one and a regular one.) Is this a thing in the United States? Do they just wash the cover of the comforter or the whole thing?
A: What an opportunity to see Europe. I'm glad you had a great time. Traveling is so rewarding to me, especially when I need a little inspiration.
To your question, yes, just a duvet and bottom sheet is a thing. In fact, it's getting more popular. As you discovered, it truly is a simple way to make your bed in the morning. Just pull up the duvet and smooth it out. Done!
The square pillows are called "Euro" pillows. You can find decorative covers for these, usually called shams, and the idea is to remove that for sleeping. A simpler idea is to buy Euro-size pillow cases in your favorite color or to match your duvet. They're easier to wash, anyway, and softer for sleeping.
Every week, do wash your pillow cases, bottom sheet, and duvet cover. Consider keeping an extra set to change up your look and make cleaning day easier. All you have to store is the sheets, and maybe duvet inserts in a couple of different thicknesses.
The only problem is, changing the cover on the duvet is a little awkward at first. A twin size isn't too hard on your own, and any size is even easier with this trick! Simply lay out the duvet cover inside out, and place the insert on top of it. Reach inside the opening, grab a far corner of both the insert and the cover with one hand, and the other far corner with the other hand, Then, hold on and shake it out.