Bringing comfort and joy to your bed is a wonderful, welcoming way to let your guests feel at home this holiday season. So far we’ve covered the mattress pad, feather bed, sheets, and bed pillows. Let’s finish with the layers that keep us warm and cozy…
Did you know that for every degree a thermostat is lowered, you can save around 3% on your energy bill? A great way to realize a great savings is by paying attention to the next 3 layers.
5. The Blanket: Blankets come in a many different weights and fibers, and should be chosen based on your needs. Cotton blankets usually have a textured weave that allow it to breathe while still providing a light layer of warmth. Bamboo blankets are relatively new, have a silky feel, and provide a medium amount of warmth. Microfiber filled and down filled blankets usually have a grid stitching to keep the fiber from shifting. They’re usually thin and light weight, but you can expect a medium warmth from this blanket. Some blankets are plush, feeling soft and cozy. Others are made of wool, sometimes scratchy, but always bringing warmth.
6. Comforter: “Fill” is the best insulator and keeps you warm by trapping heat. Comforters can be found with fiber fill, down, feathers, or silk. The tighter the fill is compressed, the warmer the comforter. You’ll find that a good comforter is described by it’s weight. The heavier it is, the warmer it is…and the more expensive it is. I’ve found that some down/feather comforters trap in too much heat during the night. So I’ve discovered that a silk filled comforter is a fiber and weight that works best on my bed. When it comes to sizes, it pays to read the label. Just because it’s labeled as a king comforter doesn’t mean that it will fit your king sized bed. In some instances, you’ll need to check with a linen store or an interior designer to locate the correct size for your bed. To get the proper dimensions, measure your bed from top to bottom and then from the mattress top to the bottom of the foundation (referred to as the “drop”). Next measure from side to side, and the desired drop on each side. That will give you the correct dimensions for your comforter.
7. Duvet Cover: These are designed to be decorative covers for your comforter. Before making your purchase, decide how you plan to use it. Will it be used nightly for warmth, or taken off the bed? This will help you in your fabric selection. Some people like to use a light weight upholstery fabric as their duvet cover because it is the perfect fabric to complete their design look. But if you plan to use the duvet on a daily/nightly basis you’ll want to make sure that the insert is fixed and stable inside. So check that your duvet has a way to attach the comforter inside. This should be snaps or ties in each corner and the center of each side.
So far you’ve learned about the first two layers used in creating a super luxurious bed for your guests. Sometimes, when I’m shopping for bedding, I get a little confused with all of the product out there. Which is best? Polyfill or down and feathers? Egyptian cotton or Pima? So I did a little research on the topic to share with you today.
3. Pillow – Sleeping pillows not only support your head while you sleep, they also to allow your neck and spine to stay in proper alignment.
- Let’s begin with sizes: Standard (20″x26″), Queen (20″x30″), King (20″x36″), and Euro (20″x20″) I like to use a standard pillow on a twin bed, and two standards, queens, or kings on double, queen, and king beds. But it’s personal preference. Some people prefer 3 standard pillows on a king size bed.
- It’s really important to select a pillow that is best for the way you sleep. Are you a stomach sleeper? A back sleeper? Or a side sleeper? Read the label on the pillow to make the right choice for you.
- Down pillows- These are filled with the down of ducks or geese, and mold to the shape and thickness you like. Stomach sleepers will like this filling. But beware if you have severe allergies, it could be a problem. Try adding a pillow cover that zips.
- Feather pillows– Back and side sleepers like this type of pillow best because it’s a firmer than down. Typically feather pillows will come as a combination with down. Remember that the higher percentage of feather, the firmer the pillow.
- Memory foam – A hypo-allergenic material, memory foam is meant to mold to the shape of a person’s neck and head to create comfortable contours. Because it is a heat sensitive material, it is easily molded. Once the heat source is removed, the memory kicks in and the pillow is restored to it’s original shape. There are several densities available, which makes this a good pillow for side and back sleepers.
- Latex pillows – Natural latex is poured into a pillow shaped mold with perforations to create this spongy pillow. The perforations allow it to breathe, keeping moisture and heat build up at bay, and giving the sleeper a constant temperature throughout the night. This is another pillow that is perfect for side and back sleepers.
- Fiber fill or Polyfil pillows- This material, at its best, can be as soft and luxurious as down. It’s an ideal solution for someone with allergies, because some polyfil can be antimicrobial and hypo-allergenic. Several sizes and degrees of firmness are available in this type of pillow.
4. Sheets – Let’s clear the air about all those key words on the package
- Thread count – It is simply the number of threads per inch in the weaving process. The higher the thread count, the finer the sheets.
- Combed cotton – This is a cleaning process (combing) to remove impurities in the cotton.
- Percale – A smooth, flat, closely woven and combed fabric that comes in 100 percent cotton or 50/50 cotton/poly blends. Expect thread counts here to range from 180 to 200.
- Pima or Suprima Cotton – A southwestern US grown cotton, with a long fiber staple (Pima) or an extra long fiber staple (Suprima). Because it’s grown in the US, the cost will be a little lower. Expect thread counts to be at least 300 threads per inch.
- Egyptian Cotton – This is cotton grown along the Nile River and is a long fiber staple, and is the same as Pima cotton.
- Sateen weave – Similar to the “satin” weave first used for silk. It’s a weave that’s particularly smooth and silky in feel and has become the most popular weave for sheets today.
- Compare labels and similar items to get the best value. A designer sheet that is 400 thread count pima cotton is identical to a store brand with the same characteristics.
Next we’ll reveal the final 3 layers to take your guest bed to the luxury level. Read now!
The approaching holiday season means that house guests will be arriving soon, and with it the need for comfortable beds. We all know that starting out with the perfect mattress will, hopefully, let everyone have a sound night’s sleep. But have you thought about the next step?
This past summer I was given a catalog from a company called Private Quarters. They are in the business of selling comfort for your bed, and what I learned from the catalog is that there are 7 layers to a bed. Now,I’ve almost always used these layers myself, but it was really interesting to see it placed into a system that you can use for any bed, any time.
1. Mattress cover – This is the foundation of the bed (after the mattress, of course) and the first layer of comfort. Having a good mattress cover will ensure that your mattress is protected…and your investment as well.
- Did you know…that if your mattress is tired or worn adding a sumputous mattress cover will make it feel cushy and comfortable again?
- For allergies: Select a mattress pad made of anti-microbial cotton if you have allergies. These mattress pads typically have higher thread counts that act as a barrier between you, dust mites and other allergens in your mattress.
- Increase comfort: Consider a mattress pad or mattress topper with a bit of “rise” to provide a little more cushy comfort at night. Pillow-top or wool-topped mattress pads add uniform padding to your mattress. Down-filled mattress toppers, which rest on top of your bed like a large, flat pillow, provide supreme softness.
2. Featherbed – Europeans have been using featherbeds for centuries, and they’re great for a restful night’s sleep. They are typically 2-4″ thick and filled with goose feathers and down with a thin layer of microfiber on top. A blend of 50/50 is the most luxurious (and expensive), while a blend of 90(feathers)/10(down) is comfortable and more economical. A feather bed filled with 100% feathers will flatten out quickly and won’t provide much support. The baffled box stitching (large grid stitching) keeps the filling from shifting and migrating. Also, choose at least a 300 thread count for the cover to keep the feathers from poking through.
Learn how you too can create a luxurious bed for your guests (and yourself) – Read Part 2 Here!