I think I'm almost prepared just a few more things to clarify!
I was going to bring a sleeping bag but I've been reading that a lot of hostels don't allow you to use your own? That suits me fine because I find carrying a sleeping bag while not heavy, is certainly inconvenient.
I know that most hostels rent out sheets but I'd imagine that a hostel Europe in January wouldn't be very warm?
Do hostels rent out basic blankets? If so what would be the average cost?
All advice much apprecitated
I travelled around central/eastern europe during summer, and even then, they supplied plenty of enough blankets/quilts etc. I stayed in a hostel in Dublin in November a few years ago and they provided bedding. Personally, I think making you pay extra for bedding is a rip-off. You should be ok, although it obviously depends on the country. But if you book through something like HostelWorld, or of course the Travellerspoint hostel booking service, they should give you details of what they do/don't provide.
Some hostels make you rent sheets, but I had a sheet which I had sewn up in the fashion of a sleeping bag. It takes up hardly any space, is pretty warm as you can't move around much in it, and it also saves you money everytime they charge you for sheets. No place I have stayed anywhere in the world has not given blankets in the price, but sheets are another story, because often in parts of Europe particularly Scandinavia, they didn't give sheets in the price. I also has a thin blanket which I had sewn up in the way of a sleeping bag which took no space and I only required that once but that was when I was camping. Just having the sheet didn't cause any problems, but like you have read lots of places wont let you use sleeping bags.
I wouldnt take a sleeping bag unless you are expecting to camp somewhere. I took a silk sleeping bag liner which proved useful on a number of occasions. Silk liners are light and compact so they arent a hassle to carry around.
The hostels often give sheets, included in the cost of the bed. Sometimes even towels. However, u do sometimes have to rent them.
There have been blankets or duvets in all the hostels i have been in, in Europe, already on the beds. The main problem is, that there have not been enough of them, in Winter, to keep me warm. But in winter, there are usually a lot of empty beds, in the hostels, so u can take the blankets, off the other beds. One time all the beds were full, so i asked the staff, for more blankets, which they willingly gave.
Great thats reassuring to know, I think I might try to fashion a lightweight sleeping pouch out of an old sheet.