Bedding 101: Everything You Need to Make a Perfect Bed
You spend one-third of your life snoozing, so why not create a bedroom oasis beginning with its centerpiece? A well-made bed sets the tone for the entire space, inviting a welcoming, comfortable ambiance that's a pleasure to wake up to in the morning.
A good night's rest goes far beyond figuring out the right mattress. It's also about selecting high-quality bedding linens that complement your sleep and relaxation style. Here's everything you need to know to make the perfect bed.
Lay Your Mattress Foundation
No one wants to wake up feeling drowsy, which is why buying the right mattress is the key to healthy sleep. Your mattress regulates your temperature and supports your spine, ensuring you rise and shine feeling refreshed. The right mattress for you depends on your sleep needs.
Side sleepers and those who sleep cold should consider a memory foam mattress. Its contouring properties cradle your spine and retain body heat.
A hybrid design (combining memory foam, latex or gel) has cooling technologies ideal for hot sleepers. It also provides lumbar support if you sleep on your back.
Couples and people who toss and turn will sing the praises of a responsive pillow-top mattress because it's designed to absorb motion for a night of uninterrupted sleep.
Bonus Layer: Mattress Pad or Topper
A mattress pad adds softness while a topper can firm up an older mattress until you're ready to invest in replacing it. For extra protection, slip on a mattress protector first to save it from accidental spills.
Choose Your Sheets
Thread count is only one of the many factors to consider when choosing your next bedding layer. Craft your dreamiest sleep experience with one of these four common types of bedsheets.
Cotton is a durable, low-maintenance option that simplifies laundry day—these sheets are easy to care for and get softer with every wash. Choose from luxurious Egyptian or Pima cotton for a lighter feel, or flannel or jersey if you prefer things on the cozy side.
Eco-conscious sleepers will appreciate that this sustainable alternative to cotton requires less water and little to no pesticides.. Bamboo sheets get bonus points for their silky softness that gets better with time.
Have you noticed that you get some of the most amazing rest you've ever had while racking up hotel rewards points on vacation? Chances are you were snoozing away on percale sheets, an all-season option known for their crisp coolness and smooth feel.
Linen bedsheets are airy and hypoallergenic—a year-round solution for a variety of circumstances, including hot sleepers and sensitive skin. Ensure yours retain their lived-in loveliness by washing them in cold water using mild detergent and line drying. Once you've found the perfect pair of sheets, pull your fitted bedsheet over the mattress. Next, spread the flat sheet over the bed, smoothing it out and tucking it under the mattress.
Tuck Yourself In with Covers
Comforters vs. duvets—what are the differences and which one should you choose? That depends on several things: your bedroom's aesthetic (e.g., rustic, glam, modern), the season and your budget. Here are the differences between the three.
A comforter is thick, usually quilted and filled with down or down-alternative fibers. (You can also insert it into a duvet cover.) Do you suffer from allergies or have a limited budget? Or maybe you prefer not to use products from animals. Think about your answers when deciding between a down and a down-alternative comforter.
- Down: The soft, fluffy feathers on ducks and geese are known as down, touted for their plush insulation and breathability. Down holds up to multiple washes, as well.
- Down alternative: This is usually cotton or polyester, which makes it less expensive while still providing warmth and fluffiness. It's also less likely to bother your allergies.
A duvet insert is usually fluffier than a comforter yet still lightweight and requires a separate cover for protection. Duvets are an ideal choice you prefer swapping out inserts based on the season.
If you enjoy switching up your bedding often, changing your duvet cover is a quick and easy way to play around with different moods. To make the switch a breeze, just turn your duvet cover inside out, place your insert on top, line up the corners and stuff your insert into the duvet.
A quilt is a thin, multilayered bed topper—great if you sleep hot or prefer as few layers as possible. It's made with an inner batting encased in wool or cotton to keep you warm without adding more weight.
Finish with Pillows
Styling a catalog-ready bed like an interior designer means layering four types of pillows.
Say goodnight to neck pain when you find sleeping pillows that ensure proper spinal alignment with the right cushioning. To avoid waking up stiff, treat finding your perfect pillow like you would a mattress. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- A pillow that's too high or stiff leads to morning aches and pains because it keeps the neck flexed at an angle.
- Feather pillows naturally conform to your neck shape, but they tend to collapse over time.
- For those who dream on their belly, you'll find that a softer, less-full pillow helps you keep a neutral spine.
- A full, firm pillow takes the weight off the shoulders while resting on your side.
- Back sleepers should look for a medium-thick pillow to support both the neck and head.
Euro Sham Set
The largest pillows of the three, a euro sham is a square pillow used for ornamental purposes. Rest a set of Euro shams against your back headboard for added depth and choose a decorative fabric to inject some personality.
Next, add a layer of sham pillowcases to transform regular sleeping pillows into bed accessories. Your shams will often match your quilt or duvet set. The standard number is two for queen beds and three for kings.
Accent & Throw Pillows
Finishing off with a smaller accent pillow can add a dose of contrast to your linens. Start with two throw pillows and continue to layer for an extra plush bed. Try mixing it up with textured ones for extra flair.
Get ready to enjoy the lazy mornings and afternoon naps ahead now that you've discovered the secrets to getting the coziest bed.