We use it nightly, but what are some of the factors to be aware of when considering bed linen?
Buying bed linen can be a delightfully simple process. Before you go shopping, though, check the size of your bed: is it a single, a double, a queen or a king? Also note the colour of your floor, walls and curtains, so you know what’s going to look good in the room. And remember, the quality of your bedding determines the quality of your sleep!
The catch-phrase of the bed linen world is “thread count”, or how many threads go to make up a centimetre of fabric. However, while this is important to factors such as durability, it’s only one part of the equation. The thread size is also a consideration. With thicker thread, you can have fewer threads per centimetre and still have a tight weave.
Above all, though, you need to be comfortable with how the sheets feel against your skin. Avis Nelson of HouseHold Linens outlines two rules for linen: stick with natural fibres and buy sheets that feel good.
“When you’re looking through the sheets in a store, open the packet and handle them. If they feel right, go with your instinct,” she says.
Feather pillows and duvets are marked with a pair of numbers indicating a percentage of down and feathers. The first number shows the amount of down, the second number shows the proportion of feathers. A better quality product has a higher percentage of down.
A feather pillow will support the head in an optimal position and, due to the feathers’ light weight, will decrease the pressure on the skin and help maintain blood circulation.
A down-filled duvet or quilt provides the most comfort for sleep due to its light weight and the fact it takes on the shape of the body.
1. Pure Design Bedlinen, exclusive to The Store 2. Thread Design 3. Thread Design 4. Bedingfields 5. Sheridan 6. Kate Fitzpatrick Home 7. Arbuckles 8. Spotlight.
And choosing natural fibres is not just an issue of comfort or looks; it’s a question of health. Natural fibres breathe, and research shows that a well-aired bed is warmer, dryer and healthier to sleep in. This means you should choose 100% cotton sheets, and a wool, feather or cotton duvet and pillows. If you’re a fan of satin sheets, choose sateen – it’s cotton with a sheen.
Avis recommends buying good quality base bits – sheets, duvet and pillows – as they will last longer. Other items, such as your duvet cover, valance, decorative pillows and throws can be changed out to keep up with the season’s colours, which often mirror the catwalk trends. Keep an eye out for fresh greens, yellows and blues this summer.
Once you’ve chosen it, extend the life of your bed linen by taking proper care of it. Cotton sheets should be washed in cold water and line-dried for longevity. Change the bed regularly and don’t overdo the detergent. If you must use the dryer, dry the sheets to 80%, and then fold them and finish drying them on an airing rack.
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