Sweet Dreams Are Made of This: How to Choose Bed Linens To Ensure Your Soundest Sleep

Wooden borded room with grey double divan bed and white duvet cover and pillows

The bedroom is one of the most personal rooms in the home, the place where our days begin and end.

It should be a relaxing retreat that reflects your personality and style. And while you can indulge in the calming and restorative effect of essential oils to fall asleep faster and easier, you can’t get a good rest if you are not comfortable in your bed. The easiest way to combine comfort and aesthetics is to use a simple décor trick – choose the right bedding linens. 

Different Types of Bedding 

There is a variety of bedding options to choose from and to find the perfect one that will provide the utmost comfort when you go to bed. Quality sleep is important for your health and wellbeing, so it stands to reason that you should feel motivated to turn your bed into a cosy and stylish getaway from everyday stress. 

It all starts with knowing what type of bedding fits your needs, so it can help you improve your sleep and prevent you from having to buy replacements as often. Whether you are looking for spacious king size bedding or snug queen-size sheets, you can find a collection of bedding linens that come in a variety of sets. Although styles can slightly vary, here are some of the main different types of bed linens and accessories you can find.

Sheets

Flat Sheets or Top Sheets

A flat sheet is a sheet that separates you from your blanket or duvet. It goes on top of the fitted sheet and under the blanket. In the UK, the duvet cover is often used as the main cover, however, top sheets are slowly making their way into the bedroom.

Fitted Sheets or Bottom Sheets

A fitted sheet is a bed sheet with an elastic edge that fits snuggly over the mattress and protects it from body oils, spills and sweat. It includes four pockets for all the corners of the mattress. When buying your fitted sheet, it’s important to choose the right size, so you can stretch it over the mattress with ease. 

King size extra comfortable white duvet

Duvets

A duvet is a bed cover, typically solid white. It’s soft and stuffed with microfibre, which is the perfect option for those with allergies. 

Duvet Covers 

The duvet cover has an opening where the duvet is inserted and closed with buttons or a zipper. It encases and protects the duvet, but can be used for decorative purposes as well. Duvet covers are available in a wide selection of colours and styles. 

Valances

A valance is a decorative piece of fabric placed between the mattress and box springs. It extends to the floor and its main function is to hide the box spring or storage space, but also it can add a touch of colours, softness and décor to the bedroom if chosen carefully.

Bed Spreads

Grey bed spread

A bedspread is a light, thin sheet that covers the entire bed and touches the floor. It is mainly used for decorative purposes, but also it can be very useful if you like to protect your bedding from elements like dust or odours.

Throws

A throw is used to add extra warmth at the foot of the bed or wrapped around your shoulders. It’s a great way to add a touch of colour and a relaxing vibe to your bed.

Pillows

The two main types of pillows are sleeping pillows and decorative pillows, also known as cushions. Both styles are available in different colours and styles. Sleeping pillows are the ones you sleep on at night while decorative pillows are often used to accentuate parts of the bedroom and increase the comfort level. 

Pillowcases

A pillowcase is used to cover a sleeping pillow and it’s recommended that you change your pillowcase at least once or twice per week to prevent skin irritation.

Materials

Cotton white and blue bed linen

There are many different material options to consider, however, it all comes down to your personal preferences. To help you narrow down your options, here are some of the best materials available.

Cotton

Cotton is the most common material used to make bed sheets. It’s breathable, stain-resistant and softens up with time and washes while maintaining its durability. But not all cotton is created equal. Considering that cotton comes in boles, it has to be stretched to create the fibres used to weave threads and sheets. The result is called a staple length. It refers to the length of the fibres used to weave the cotton into a sheet.

There are three basic lengths, including short, long and extra-long staples. The longer the staple, the higher the quality of the cotton. The following are the two most common examples of cotton staples in the bedding world.

Egyptian Cotton

Egyptian cotton is the highest quality cotton you can find. It’s typically made with an extra-long staple, the longest cotton fibre available. Egyptian cotton has a smooth finish, incredible durability and is pilling resistant.

Polyester

Polyester mauve bed linen

Polyester is generally not used by itself for sheets as they may feel scratchy or stiff. But a polyester blend, like a blend of cotton and polyester, is soft and smooth. Microfibre is a type of polyester material that is tightly woven to create greater strength and a softer feel. Also, microfibre tends to be stain-resistant and is very durable.

Satin

Satin sheets are made from synthetic fibres, and they can spice up the bedroom with some romance. 

Weaves

Woven comforter

Materials play a big role in the feel of your bedding, but how the material is woven can change how soft, sturdy or thick it is. Consider the type of weave to choose the right bedding for your needs and preferences.

Percale 

Percale is also referred to as a plain weave and is commonly used for higher quality cotton that is combed and woven tightly, giving it a softer feel and smoother finish. Thanks to the lightness of this type of weave, it’s a great solution for those who need a cool sleeping environment.

Jersey Knit

Jersey knit fabric is soft, stretchy and warm, which is one of the main reasons why it’s more popular for winter. It’s generally made of low-maintenance cotton or a cotton-polyester blend. It is very easy to clean and gets softer every time you wash it.

Thread Count

This refers to the number of threads, both horizontal and vertical, in one square inch of material. While many people assume that a higher thread count is better, that’s not always the case. However, it’s always a good idea to assure that there is a high enough thread count to create a proper weave, so it will offer durability without compromising on the softness. 

When considering thread count, you may want to stay at 200 or higher, to ensure the weave is tight enough to provide high-quality bedding. For most sheets, a thread count between 200 and 1000 is good. The highest thread count that offers the best softness is 1200.

Cleaning

White folded duvet

No matter what type of bed sheets you choose, always make sure to follow the care label for any specific laundry instructions. Harsh detergents and chemicals are some of the biggest enemies of most bedding materials. Also, try to avoid drying your bed linens on high heat and if you want to remove wrinkles or make your sheets feel crisp, you can choose low ironing heat as most materials can handle it well.

Final Thoughts

Your bedding can be a simple element to the whole design or a focal point that draws the eye. Depending on your style and personal preferences, you can choose a different colour, texture and pattern. Feel free to mix colours and prints or coordinate various solids to create a layered look and change your bedroom’s appearance as the mood strikes.

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