On average, we spend about one third of our lives sleeping, and surely we all wish to wake up in the morning having made the most of our much needed rest time. A bed and its bedding must be comfortable, before considering if it's beautiful! Of course I always wish it to look good, and work with the rest of the rooms décor, BUT the importance of a comfortable sleep, cannot be underestimated as it affects so much of the rest of our life.
Some seem to suffer the cold more than others, while many, like me, seem to heat up at night. Some like their bedding silky soft, others want it strong or textured like with linen, many buy by price. However, to make sure you enjoy quality time in bed, (and YES I'm talking about sleeping!!) besides the mattress, it is important you choose bed linen, pillows and covers that are right for you. We often get distracted by the look of our bedding, getting attracted to that amazing print or the latest textural trend that we see in quality photo shoot. So as the choices are so varied, I thought I'd gather some useful information to help you know a little more about bedding, so you too can wake up on the right side of the bed.
BED LINENS - To simplify, cotton is one of the best materials to choose as it helps you to stay cool on warm nights but still keeps the warmth when cold. EGYPTIAN COTTON, which did not originate in Egypt but grows so well there due to the climate and amount of water from the Nile, is preferred because it is smoother while hard wearing, being made of longer fibres, differently from regular cotton which has more 'splices'. It is tempting to choose COTTON BLENDS with polyester as these do wrinkle less, but these can also be stifling, and not as pleasant on the skin. FLANNEL can pill, but that furry feel is what helps keep the bed warmer for those that like it warm, making it a popular winter choice. LINEN is a natural material, and precious because of its beautiful looks and high breathability, however as we all know it also creases easily so, although I personally LOVE IT for its texture, it can give your bed an untidy look as soon as you lay on it. BAMBOO sheets are a great alternative to cotton, also being natural fibre they are hard wearing and breathable, being great for kids or people like me with Asthma. To explain in a very simplistic way, the strong natural fibres found in bamboo, are crushed and boiled to soften them; this makes them easy to weave and able to create amazing high quality bedding, which holds colour and strength wash after wash. Cheap quality bed-linens are usually rough and quite weak as their thread is thin [low thread count]. In theory the higher the thread-count, the denser the threading, the better the quality. However as this can be played with, ask for advice to your trusted salesperson.
PILLOWS - The range of materials used for pillows are many and the benefits vary from one to the other. BAMBOO is hypoallergenic and breathable, making it perfect for people prone to allergies. MEMORY-FOAM offers excellent support, keeping your neck and spine at the right angle, and is perfect for side sleepers as it supports the head even though gently. DOWN and FEATHER look and feel luxurious and plump and are mouldable, for any sleeping position. A good quality pillow will last quite a long time, and covering them with protective removable slip covers will keep them healthy and in good nick for longer, as you should simply wash the cover, preventing the pillow becoming stained from body sweat. As we come in different shape and sizes, so do our pillows, catering for all of our different sleeping needs. For a good restful sleep, the head must be supported so that the neck is at the right angle with the spine, assisting with your posture as well as making breathing easy durning the night. Whether you sleep on your side, belly up or down, the shape and thickness of the pillow must be the right one for you. So once again, the precious advice of a savvy salesperson will be very useful, and most quality bedding stores will have test pillows for you to try and find the perfect one for your needs.
COVERS - Thick or thin, the covers on your bed are there to keep you warm, being easy to add or discard during the night depending upon the seasons. Duvets (or Doona's as we commonly call them in Australia) can be lightweight as needed and very warm, if filled with down (this is very soft feathers), or cooler if filled with cotton, for example. A good duvet cover can be easily removed for to wash and will be selected based upon its colour and texture to match the looks of your room - as these come with matching pillowcases that you may sleep on, still ensure you choose quality before looks. Changing these is a simply and effective way to change the looks, mood and style of your bedroom décor. Throws, Coverlets, Quilts and Blankets are also the perfect way to style your bed, adding layers and texture into the room, and beyond their looks these are very useful to quickly add that extra layer when needed, or just to cover you in the cooler early morning hours, when it's not quite cold enough to sleep under a duvet. Once again, each different type of material will suit different needs; so just be aware of what your needs are and don't be afraid of asking for advice.
PRICE Vs QUALITY - Like most of you, I too have bought one of those Special Offer pillows at $5 each and have regretted it after just 10 minutes of lying down with it. Probably the shortest and most disappointing bed experience I've ever had (LOL). Never again!!. Those artificial fillings seem to have a life of their own and will not help with your breathing or the sleep. Since then I choose to spend all the money that's necessary on my pillows because a good night sleep is priceless to me: it's the time when my body recharges as well as my mind. Once again, spending a few more dollars towards the right bedding will give you the quality you need and deserve, while saving you money in the long run. If you think your sleep is worth investing on BUY BETTER and DO NOT KEEP USING bedding items that don't work for you. Search and enquire to find out about the right material, shape and solution that personally suits each member of your family. Ask for the advice of an expert salesperson in the bedding store, as they are trained to help you purchase the right items for your needs, like I did when I was asked to share my knowledge on bedding, LIVE on TV: I ducked into my nearest Harvey Norman store. The options were all there for me to select from, allowing me to come out with the perfect fit for my needs. The reality is that there are so many options out there, in both type and quality, as well as durability and price, but it's not that hard to find the products that best suit you and your family's needs.
Along side the beautiful Natasha Belling and Jessica Rowe, I shared some bedding insights on Studio10 last week, and although we only shared a short time in bed together, we still managed to highlight all the important bits between laughs! To check it out, possibly the funniest segment I've ever done LIVE in 7 years of TV, check out this link below!
James Treble is an ambassador for Planet Ark and firmly believes in sensible purchasing, recycling and creative re-purposing. James Treble has decades of accumulated experience in the Building Industry, Real Estate and Interior Design. His knowledge and experience in adding value to homes, through clever design & styling, is now published for all to learn and benefit from. Interior Design For Profit is now available online.