It snowed in Denver this week and I don’t know about you, but it made me want to snuggle up in my cozy bed with a big cup of chai and not come out…burr! If your bed isn’t quite there, consider swapping a few things out, keeping the below suggestions in mind. I’ve worked with and specified a variety of bedding over the years as an interior designer. While there are splurges and extras you can add on, this is a list of the bedding essentials for a cozy and luxurious feeling night’s sleep.
The sheet set is the most important part of your bedding. It’s what you most come into contact with as you sleep. You lay your head on the pillowcase and your body is sandwiched between the fitted and flat sheet. When selecting a sheet set, the three main things you want to consider are the thread count, the fiber, and the weave type.
- Thread Count: I would not go lower than 400 thread count because even target has reasonable options starting there. Anything lower feels uncomfortable, like an old itchy holiday sweater. The higher the thread count, the better, but even that reaches its own plateau at some point (700ish). That’s when you also need to consider the fiber and the weave.
- Fiber: One way a high thread count set of sheets can fall short of that luxury feeling is with their fiber content. Longer fibers like Pima, Organic Cotton, Egyptian Cotton, & Bamboo provide a softer feel. These fibers also regulate temperature better than synthetic fibers which can often trap heat.
- Weave: There are so many weaves and they each have their own benefits and shortcomings. I won’t go into all of them but here is a more in-depth list of weave options if you’re interested. Two good ones to know are Percale and Sateen. Sateen is an all-around classic. It’s tight weave creates a soft texture that also keeps you warm, making it ideal for mid to cold climates. The looser weave of percale makes it a breezy option great for warmer climates and hot sleepers.
- Duvet & Duvet Insert: For the duvet, keep in mind the same tips from the sheet set. For the insert, your options are typically down or down alternative. Down is the more expensive and luxurious option. It’s soft and regulates heat well. Down inserts come with varying fill amounts so don’t assume they’re all the same. Regardless of the fill, look for an insert that has corner straps for your duvet to attach to and keep your insert from jumbling up inside. Vice versa, look for corner ties in your duvet covers. When I bought my first insert fresh out of college, I chose the biggest fluffiest one I saw and was dripping in sweat that night. I had to go back out to get a less dense one and alternated them in winter and summer.
- Comforter: These are usually found in those bed-in-a-bag sets. A comforter is like a duvet and duvet insert that are sewn together. Duvets are more convenient because the cover and insert come apart allowing you to wash the cover easier plus you can swap out the inserts for different warmth levels (like I did with my first set) or change the covers for a change in style. Comforters more often are not down filled.
- Quilt/ Coverlet: These are often laid at the foot of the bed to provide an additional layer of warmth by pulling them up over the duvet/comforter. Alternatively, they can be used in leu of the duvet/comforter in warmer climates since they are lighter weight. When used at the foot of the bed, they provide a great opportunity to infuse some color/pattern into the bed ensemble.
- Bed Pillows: These are the pillows you sleep with come bedtime. They come in 3 main sizes, standard, king, and euro. The combination you select is determined by bed size and preference. Here are the combos I recommend…
- Twin: One standard size pillow
- Twin XL: Two standard size pillows
- Full Bed: 4 standard size pillows
- Queen Bed: 4 standard pillows or two standard pillows with two euro pillows behind
- King: 4 king size pillows or two king pillows with three euro pillows behind
Once you’ve decided the combination you’d like, it’s time to consider the filling. Like duvet inserts, your options are down and down alternatives. Down is more expensive, but there are lots of great down alternatives that feel just as luxurious. As a rule, I like to use down alternative pillows for guest rooms and kids rooms because of allergies. I think you can still use a down duvet with a duvet cover (unless there is someone with an extreme allergy) but pillows are what you lay your head directly on so it’s safer to just get a down alternative for guests.
- Decorative Pillows: Remember with decorative pillows less is more. There can in fact be too much of a good thing. Try to keep them to 1-2. These are great for adding color and style and can easily be switched out.
Hope this helps you on your quest to create your own cozy and luxurious bed. Stay tuned for style tips on how to make your bed and our favorite places to buy bedding essentials.