So you bought a mattress. It probably wasn’t a fun purchase (what adult purchases usually are?), but we can assure you that you did a good thing. And, hopefully, you’re channeling your inner Goldilocks: “It’s not too soft. It’s not too firm. It’s just right.”
Now all you have to do is to throw on some sheets, a few pillows, a comforter and dive into glorious nights of magical slumber. Right? Ehhh… you could. But, what if we told you (anyone else having Matrix flashbacks right about now?) that there’s a fine art to dressing your bed? That’s right, darling Goldilocks, when dressed in the right clothes — even the poorest of mattresses can look (and feel) like a prince or princess even past midnight. Okay, enough with the fairytale references, let’s get down to the business of dressing your bed for sweet, sweet dreams.
Layer 1: A Protective Mattress Cover
Mattress covers may sound like a gimmick but they’re 100% necessary. Why? Because they protect the mattress from getting dirty. Over time, the mattress will collect dust, your sweat, the morning coffee you spilled on it while snuggling in bed on Saturday morning. Sheets just aren’t enough of a protective layer to keep our mattress safe from everyday wear and tear. A mattress cover will keep your mattress clean and will help it last years of use. We recommend a full-coverage mattress cover — they’re the best kind for protecting the mattress from dirt, spills, and bed bugs (shudder).
Layer 2: A Soft Mattress Pad/Topper
If you invested in a great mattress, you may be thinking, “But, my mattress is already comfortable and cloud-like!” If you’re bed is already comfy, you’re in luck, a mattress pad isn’t a necessity. But, if you want to add a little extra fluff or take extra precaution to protect your mattress from the hazards of day-to-day use, a mattress pad is a game changer. We recommend hypoallergenic fabric and breathable material — some materials block the circulation of air and trap your body heat; making for uncomfortably toasty sleep.
Layer 3: Great Sheets
Sheet thread count always seemed like a marketing scam to me. That is, until an amazing relative bought me a set of incredible 800 thread count sheets one Christmas. In a nutshell, my life was forever changed. But, even more important than thread count is the material. When selecting a material, we recommend thinking about your temp preferences and relying on how things feel to your touch. For example, sateen sheets tend to be warm while cotton usually stays on the cooler side. And, according to Vogue, “While cotton is by far the runaway favorite due to its softness and breathability, it can vary in quality. The materials to steer clear of in your search? Poly or synthetic blends (found in jersey or “wrinkle-resistant sheets”) will leave you waking up clammy and hot. For those with sensitivities or allergies, it is important to look into whether any chemical ingredients, bleaches, dyes, or finishes were used in the manufacturing process.”
Bonus tip: For the cold winter nights nothing beats a set of cotton flannel sheets. When you cozy up in your flannel-dressed bed you can save money by turning the thermostat down a few degrees and still feel nice and warm all night long.
Layer 4: An All-Season Duvet or Comforter
Next up, you’ll need a duvet (quick tip: there are two parts to a duvet — the duvet cover and the duvet insert. In most cases, they’re sold separately) or comforter that works for year-round temperatures. Once again, we recommend going with a material that’s breathable and warm, but not unbearably fluffy, (hypoallergenic is also a huge plus). If you’re having a hard time making a decision between a duvet or a comforter, our friends at Overstock.com have outlined the pros and cons like champs. Check them out here.
Layer 5: Sleeping Pillows & Decorative Pillows
There are many types of pillows. Euro shams, shams, throw pillows, sleeping pillows, bolster pillows… just to name a few. I won’t go into the various uses for each of these, but the clear takeaway here is that pillows are important. As you’re just getting started building your comfy kingdom, we suggest that you start with really good sleeping pillows (you know — the pillows you actually sleep on) and a few throw pillows to add a bit of pretty to your space. Whether you like firm, soft, flat, fluffy doesn’t matter. What’s key is investing in pillows that will last the test of time. Feel them in person, read reviews, check out the material, and make sure to purchase pillow covers. Yep, there are covers for pillows too. And yes, they’re just as important for the same reasons. Good pillows aren’t cheap, so protect those babies!
There you have it, friends — the ingredients to a perfect bed. Happy dreaming!