Bedding

Overview

A bedroom should be a sanctuary, a getaway from your hectic day your own oasis, where you can relax with a good book, watch television, or recoup from a bad cold. Kids turn bedrooms into their domains. And adults show off their sense of style by accessorizing and picking from a wide range of bedding casual to formal, frilly to minimal. With such a wide assortment of sheets, comforters, pillows and pads, where do you start? The key is comfort, while not excluding style.

The Basics

The Basics

You can pick up a complete bed set that includes a comforter and coordinating sheets, or get a duvet (comforter cover) to enhance your existing bedding. A nice way to lighten up a bedroom is with decorative pillows. When looking for sheets, you’ll find you can choose many fabrications including cotton, polyester, linen and silk and an assortment of blends. When it comes to bedding, you can have it all: functionality, fun and a variety of fabrics, colors and patterns to go along with your twin, full, queen or king beds no matter what your budget or decorating style.


Pick Your Pillow

Pick Your Pillow

Take your pillow for granted, and you’re taking your health for granted. Your pillow is your best friend when it comes to sleeping and it can definitely affect your neck and spine. Think about it - you spend more time with your pillow than just about anything else. You should comparison shop and find the pillow that’s right for you. Start by determining your sleep style.

  • •  Stomach sleeper select a pillow with less fill or a down alternative pillow that is soft and light to keep your neck and spine better aligned to your mattress.
  • •  Back sleeper a medium-firm pillow with average fill will do the trick, it offers both support and comfort and helps your back and neck muscles relax.
  • •  Side sleeper use a firm pillow with extra filling to support your neck and help align it with your spine you’ll need more space between your head and mattress.
  • •  Changing position sleeper it’s best to get a soft pillow that can be fluffed and adjusted as needed. Down Alternative pillows with blown fibers are generally more pliable.

Fills
The material inside pillows that give them loft and padding and can be made of:

Natural materials

  • •  Down is a soft, fluffy naturally insulator that comes from ducks or geese. The quality of down is measured in fill power which is the amount of cubic inches 1 ounce of down occupies. The higher the fill power the better the quality.
  • •  Feathers more durable and stiff than down, feathers maintain their shape while providing natural support for the head and neck.

Synthetic material

  • •  Down-type synthetics specially designed polyester fibers, mimic the softness of down pillows and are made with hypoallergenic (allergy resistant) materials.
  • •  Polyester is light, strong and durable and popular as both a stand-alone fill and as a blend in pillow covers.
  • •  Foam is designed for more support to the neck, back and spine and can either mold to the shape of your body or provide spring-like firmness.
  • •  Memory foam - stays firm when temperatures are cool and soft when temperatures are high. It also adjusts to your body temperature for better sleeping. Memory Foam promotes a healthful sleeping position and allowing your muscles to relax and rejuvenate while you sleep.
  • •  Latex is eco friendly and serves as a great support pillow. Provides natural mold and mildew resistance and has built-in anti microbial properties.

Pillow covering and thread count
When selecting pillow cover, look for one with a high thread count. The higher the thread count the more durable and soft the pillow will be. In addition, it will better keep the fill in and impurities out. Pair a pillow cover with a high-quality pillow protector and you’ll breathe better and your pillow will last longer. Consider buying an extra set of pillowcases each time you purchase sheets. Extra cases will give you the option of changing them out every few days to freshen up the bed.

Seams
A seam sewn with an overlock stitch, or cover stitch, will add durability. Cording and piping will also make the seam more secure. Gusseting is a construction technique that creates side walls to add extra loftability to the pillow.

Shape
Typically, pillows are rectangular. However, many specialty pillows are now on the market. These pillows come in a variety of sizes and shapes and can be ergonomically designed for maximum comfort.

Here are common sizes for rectangular pillows:
   
Standard 20 x 26 inches
Jumbo 20 x 28 inches
Queen 20 x 30 inches
King 20 x 36 inches
European 26 x 26 inches

Specialty pillows
Body and maternity pillows can help people sleep much more comfortably at night. Accent pillows provide style and a touch of individuality to every room whether they’re baseball-shaped pillows in the little slugger’s room or dainty ruffled pillowcases in the princess’ room.

Cleaning pillows
Almost all sleeping pillows are machine washable. Wash your pillows on the gentle cycle with a mild detergent. Dry them on a low setting until completely dry (three to four hours), and throw a tennis ball in with it to produce a fluffier pillow. Add a favorite scent to the tennis ball for an extra-fragrant sleeping experience. Check the tag for specific washing and drying instructions.

Determine whether you need a new pillow
If the pillow isn’t going back to its natural shape after you sleep on it, you probably should invest in a new one. Of course, when a pillow gets too stained or dirty, replace it. And if you feel pain in your back, neck, knees or ankles that may be a sign that your pillow is not keeping your neck and spine aligned.

Allergens
If you have allergies, a hypoallergenic pillow is the way to go. It has been specially cleaned to remove impurities. Although many people believe they are allergic to feather and down pillows, they are actually allergic to the dust and dirt within the pillow. See cleaning pillows, above.

Protecting your pillow
As mentioned, you can protect your pillows from dust and dust particles and make them last longer with pillow covers. These covers can provide protection from allergen, stains and water. Choose higher premium thread counts for added softness and comfort. And purchase multiple sets of covers so you’ll always have fresh ones available.

Average lifetime of pillows
With normal use and care a natural fill pillow can last several years. A synthetic pillow, on the other hand, usually needs to be replaced every one to two years. If your pillow does not return to its normal shape, it’s time to replace it.

Mattress Pads and Toppers

Mattress Pads and Toppers

Choosing the right mattress is key to a good night’s rest and a healthier life, but for an even better experience, purchase mattress pads and toppers. They provide plush comfort and protect your mattress while giving you a quality sleep experience.

Memory Foam Mattress Topper
Get personalized comfort from a mattress topper that instantly senses your unique body weight and temperature, provides a custom fit and adapts even when you change position. The unique high density Memory Foam absorbs and distributes your weight and eliminates the uncomfortable pressure points that occur with conventional mattresses. It transforms your ordinary mattress into an incredibly comfortable sleeping surface that helps you sleep more deeply.

Heated Mattress Pads
Plug in these thermostat-adjustable mattress pads that have heating elements running through their fibers. A preheat feature warms cold sheets at bedtime. Dual controls on Queen and King sizes allows two people to independently adjust the heat setting on their respective side of the bed. You can also save money on your heating bill with these personalized warmers. Always follow manufacturer’s recommended use.


Mattress Pad Fit / Skirt options

  • •  Guaranteed to fit these pads will fit securely over all mattress types and are designed with expandable sidewalls for better grip; they’re available in wrap and fitted styles.
  • •  Wrap pad covers the top and side of the mattress with elastic all the way around the bottom, it fits tightly and also secures your sheets.
  • •  Fitted pad works like a fitted sheet with elastic on each of the corners and may be quilted on top of the pad.

  • •  Anchor pad covers only the top of the pad with an elastic band on four corners; and is usually the thinnest and least expensive pad you can find.

Think thread count similar to other bedding, you should consider thread count when purchasing a mattress pad as higher-thread count pads are more durable.

Think fill weight Fill weight correlates to the comfort you will get from the pad. In pads, poly fill is measured by ounces per square yard with ranges of 3 to 18 ounces per square yard. The more fill, the more comfortable and resilient the pad. It’s important that the poly fill is bonded so it does not shift in the pad as well.

Size it up consider the depth of your mattress when choosing a pad. Manufacturer’s mattress types vary in depth. Pillow top and extra deep mattresses have become very popular. However, there are some standard sizes:

  • •  Standard depth 7 to 10 inches
  • •  Deep mattress 10 to 15 inches
  • •  Extra deep 15 to 20 inches
  • •  If you get an extra-deep mattress, get a pad that is made for that mattress.
  • •  Once you know your mattress depth, be sure to choose the pad that fits your size correctly.
  • •  Standard depth 7 to 14 inches
  • •  Deep pad 15 inches
  • •  Extra deep pad 16 to 22 inches

Higher-end mattress pads are offered with pillow tops and more fill for extra comfort. They tend to be more expensive, yet they can provide the most comfort and best mattress protection.

Use and care most mattress pads are machine washable. While it doesn’t need to be as washed as frequently as your sheets, it certainly can be washed more often than your comforter. Check the manufacturer’s tag for proper care instructions.

Mattress protectors in addition to a mattress pad, consider a mattress protector that will protect your mattress from dust mites, allergens, pet dander and stains. They can provide protection from allergens and water and also come in full-encasement size to protect your entire mattress.

Fabrics
Mattress pads can be made from many fabrications and fills:

  • •  Cotton fill breathes well, feels firmer and appears slightly flat.
  • •  Down is a soft, fluffy natural insulator that comes from ducks or geese.
  • •  Feathers more durable and stiff than down, feathers maintain their shape over time.
  • •  Cotton/Polyester blends re light, strong, durable-and popular.
  • •  Foam can provide more support.
  • •  Hypoallergenic material can reduce the amount of allergens in pad.
  • •  Memory Foam promotes healthy sleeping and allows your muscles to relax and rejuvenate while you sleep.

Comforters

Comforters

A high-quality comforter will keep you warm in winter and adds to the look of your room. They are available in a variety of patterns or solid colors and when mixed with the proper accessories, can really bring the scheme together in your bedroom. A high-quality comforter will last for years, so you want to make sure it looks good and contributes to a great night’s sleep.

Choose a comforter that will provide the level of warmth that is best suited to your sleep pattern: lightweight if you run warm or heavyweight if you are cold through the night. Consider investing in a duvet (comforter cover) to protect your down-filled or synthetic fill comforter as it will add design and style to your bedroom.

Fill
Comforter fill is measured in ounces per square yard (synthetics), fill power (down, and down and feather blends), and what just looks and feels right to your eye and touch. Fill types include:

Cotton fill breathes well, feels firmer and lays slightly flat.

Down is a soft, fluffy naturally insulator that comes from ducks or geese.

Feathers more durable and stiff than down, feathers maintain a comforter’s shape.

Down-alternative fill synthetics mimics the softness of down pillows and are made with hypoallergenic materials

Polyester is light, strong and durable and popular as both a stand-alone fill and as a blend.

Thread count
This is the number of threads per square inch. This measure is used for all woven fabrics for the home-from sheeting fabrics used on your bed, to mattress pads, duvets, and pillow ticks-this is your guide to one of the indicators of quality. A higher thread counts denotes better quality in most cases.

Comforter care
It is wise to clean your comforter regularly depending on use. Note that some comforters can be brought to a Laundromat and put into a front-load washer. Make sure you read the washing instructions on the comforter before you do so. Use mild detergents and wash your comforter at a low temperature. Excessive heat will break down the comforter. Check manufacture’s label and follow care instructions as recommended.

Allergies
Keep your eyes clear and the congestion down to a minimum with allergy-resistant comforters. Hypoallergenic material is material that has been cleansed of impurities.

Storage
Store comforters in a cool, dry place. That’s one way to avoid mold. Also, make sure the bag is breathable. A regular plastic bag will trap moisture.

Patterns
Comforters and comforter ensembles come in many different styles and many fabric choices. This is the most important style decision you make, as it defines the color, style and mood for your bedroom. It is your personal choice when it comes to color and design. If your comforter is reversible, you can change the look throughout the seasons.

Sizes
There are oversized and shorter models, but these are the average sizes (width x length) based on your bed type:

  • •  Twin 66-68 inches x 86-88 inches
  • •  Full 78-84 inches x 86-90 inches
  • •  Queen 86-90 inches x 90-96 inches
  • •  King 102-110 inches x 90-98 inches

Manufacturer sizes do vary, so if you’re concerned about full coverage, make sure to measure your mattress depth and check the specs on comforter packaging to ensure you get the right fit.

Bed-in-a-Bag
A great way to pick up a comforter, shams (pillow covers), matching sheet set, and bed skirt combo is to purchase a bed-in-a-bag. It is a fully coordinated and ready-made to add character to your bedroom. In many cases, this offers the best value

Duvets Covers

A duvet cover is a large bag-like cover made for a comforter. It is most popularly used to cover down comforters, down alternative covers or to refresh an old comforter or blanket. It closes at one end and provides protection and can also lend a decorative touch to the room by giving you an easy and quick change to your personal style.

Decide on a duvet cover
There are many to choose from and they come in these fabrics:

  • •  Cotton breathes well, feels firmer and appears slightly flat.
  • •  Silk luxurious and smooth.
  • •  Velvet warm and smooth.
  • •  Flannel warm and comfortable.
  • •  Blends polyester/cotton, etc., warm but not as breathable.

Caring for duvet covers
The great thing about duvets is that many are machine washable. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s label for care instructions. Clean regularly depending on use.

Sizes
Match a duvet with a comforter (see sizes in the comforter section.)

 


sheets

Sheets

The right set of sheets can make for sweet dreams. There are as many different kinds of sheets as there are different kinds of sleepers. Sheets are available in many fabrications, finishes and textures: 100% cotton, blends, linen, satin, silk some are wrinkle-free, some warm flannel. Purchase several sets to mix up colors and patterns. A good rule of thumb is 3 complete sets for every bed in your home, one for the bed, one in the laundry and one in the linen closet.

Thread count
As with most pieces of bedding, thread count is important with sheets maybe even more so. They’re one of the measurements of the quality of the sheeting fabric and provide the soothing feel you need to sleep, or simply relax. Once more, thread count is the number of threads per square inch of fabric. Look for thread counts of 200 or higher.

Fabric
There are many natural and synthetic blends in bed sheets. Some are more luxurious, such as silk. Some are more functional: flannel comes to mind. Cotton is probably the most popular sheeting fabric with many wonderful specialty cottons that are known for their added softness, silkiness, and durability-like Supima™ cotton which is only grown in the US. There are other specialty cottons like Egyptian GIZA which is also quite fine. Note that basic cottons from the US and Egypt (not to be confused with Egyptian GIZA) are the world’s staple fibers because of their consistent quality.

Weave
The weave of a sheet affects the way it looks and its long-term effectiveness. Basic weaves are woven from an equal number of vertical and horizontal yarns. Sateen is a weave that is extremely soft, but not necessarily durable. A pinpoint weave is more durable, but not as soft. Intricate weaves like jacquards and damask have a textured feel. They can be softer or slightly coarse. They are also more expensive. Although thread count and fabric content are important trust your own ‘touch and feel’ you are the final judge of your own comfort!

Finishes
Most sheets are treated with chemicals to keep them from shrinking, wrinkling or being stretched out of shape. Some sheets are pure-finish no chemicals have been used on these sheets.

Dye
Patterns and colors are added to sheets after they have been woven. Your sheets may be a little stiff at first, but wash them a few times and they’ll be fine.

Sizes
Fitted sheets ensure a proper fit for your mattress. Although sizes vary by manufacturer to manufacturer, these dimensions work on average:

You’ll want to check the depth of your mattress too. A deeper mattress may require fitted sheets with larger pockets.

Care
Most sheets are machine washable. If they’re 100% cotton, take them out the dryer soon after the sheets are completely dry or they’ll become wrinkled. You could iron them or get cotton-blend or wrinkle-free sheets. As always, check manufacturer’s labels for care instructions.

Colors
Sheet colors don’t have to match your bedspread or other bedding exactly, but they should complement these pieces. Mix up the color scheme and you’ll be able to revitalize your room on a weekly basis.

Fragrance
Use a scented liquid fabric softener or spray fabric rejuvenators on your sheets for an amazing sensory experience. Be sure to check for allergies before adding any fragrance.