How to buy bedding
A bedding buying guide
Knowing how to buy bedding that will look stylish in your bedroom and provide the warmth and comfort you want takes a bit of planning and forethought. There are several factors to consider when looking for the best bedding to buy, such as size, climate, materials, weaves and sets vs. separates.
>> Consider the size
In general, you'll know how to buy bedding that will be the right size, since you'll be matching the size to the mattress you have. Common bedding sizes are twin, full, queen and king (regular and Cal-king).
You can also find baby bedding designed to fit most standard crib mattresses. Separate bedding and blankets are also available for specialty items like bassinets and playpens. These can come in handy if you have a child who will spend time sleeping in these.
>> Consider the weather
Another factor to consider when determining how to buy bedding is how thick your bedding cover needs to be. In very cold temperatures, for instance, you might want thicker top bedding. Duvets, for instance, are often filled with goose down or other feathers that allow them to hold in warmth without causing overheating. Comforters are available in a wide range of thicknesses.
Specific types of bed sheets and sheets combined with other bedding can also add to the overall warmth factor in your bedding ensemble. For instance, flannel-weave sheets are warmer than percale-weave or silk sheets. You can also layer blankets and sheets to get the desired warmth, which will give you more options when choosing aesthetically pleasing bedding.
>> How often will you wash your bedding?
You might not have considered that your laundry habits would help you determine how to buy bedding, but the amount of wear in the wash your items will go through plays a big role in the thread count and materials you should choose. In general, the more an item is washed, the more durable it will need to be. Overall, it's a good idea to wash sheets and other bedding you come into contact with on a bi-weekly basis, although it's also a matter of personal preference. You might wash more or less often than that, depending on your sleeping habits, the amount you sweat and other factors.
Good-quality sheets that stand up to the rigors of regular washing usually have a higher thread count. A thread count of 400 is usually sufficient for everyday use, although counts of up to 1000 will extend the life of your sheets.
If you prefer to wash multiple sets of sheets at once, you should have a few sets of sheets in your linen closet. You might also consider buying extra pillowcases for each set, since hair oils make this item the one to wash most often.
>> Consider softness
While thread count is important, the materials and weave of your sheets can have more influence on the softness than the thread count. The comparison table below describes some of the softer materials used in various types of bed sheets.
|Material || |
|Combed cotton ||Cotton that has gone through a process to remove shorter fibers and any impurities in the material, which creates a smooth, soft fabric. |
|Pima cotton ||A variety of cotton grown in Pima, Arizona, Australia and Peru. Pima cotton bed sheets have a silky, soft feeling. |
|Supima® ||100% U.S.-grown pima-cotton sheets. |
|Egyptian cotton ||One of the highest quality cottons available for bedding, this strong, extra-long staple cotton is known for its luxurious softness and luster. Usually grown in the warm, dry climate of northern Africa. |
|Italian linen ||A lustrous, luxurious fabric made only in Italy from the long-staple cotton that's grown exclusively in Egypt. Truly a luxury item. |
The weave of bed sheets also contributes to their softness. The chart below explains some common weaves used in various types of bed sheets.
|Flannel ||A medium weight cotton material fabric made with a napped finish on one or both sides. Its raised surface gives flannel a fluffy look and cozy feel for bed sheets in cooler climates. |
|Percale ||Lightweight and closely woven, percale bed sheets have a smooth finish and crisp feel, although some people report that it feels rougher than other weaves. |
|Sateen ||A weaving technique that results in fabric with more yarn surface on the face than other basic bed linen weaves. The result is a very soft bed sheet with a smooth, lustrous finish that resembles satin. |
|Microfiber ||A tightly-woven fabric made of man-made fibers spun into a very fine yarn, giving sheets an extremely soft finish and wrinkle resistance. Because of its denseness, this microfiber-woven sheet can be somewhat water resistant and allergen proof, depending on the tightness of the weave. |
>> Consider a bedding set
As you consider how to buy bedding, one option is to buy a bedding set, also known as a bed-in-a-bag. The main benefits of a bedding set is that all items will be coordinated, giving a unified look to your bed. Many sets also come with extras, such as pillow shams, dust ruffles, even curtains and rugs, so you might not have to figure out how to buy bedding that perfectly matches the rest of your room decor. In addition, buying your bedding items together saves time.
In many cases, buying bedding sets is often less expensive than getting the same components separately, assuming that they were available at all. You can find bedding sets in virtually any size, including kids' bedding, as well as in a wide range of colors and patterns.
Now you have a good idea of how to buy bedding that will be not only attractive but comfortable. With the information in this this buying guide, you can find the best bedding to buy in terms of its durability, softness and style coordination.