Your bed is the most important piece of furniture in your entire house. Seriously. If you get the bed right, the rest of your life will somehow slot into place around it. A good night’s sleep is all you need to wake up in the morning and feel good.
The perfect bed supports your back, head and neck, giving you the best posture overnight to ensure that you are limber and well rested in the morning – no tossing and turning trying to find a comfortable position. The perfect bed is also the right temperature, with layers of covers to keep you warm, but not too warm, the right sheets to help your body breathe, and a range of different bedding options for each season. The perfect bed is clean and inviting, tempting you in to curl up under the sheets.
So how can you achieve the perfect bed?
It comes down to 5 essentials: the mattress, the pillows, the sheets, the blankets and the cleanliness. Crack all of these aspects and you will have the bed of your dreams.
How to Choose a Mattress
Choosing a mattress is a job that should not be rushed and you should always set aside a good chunk of time to make sure that you can try each mattress properly. You might feel a bit silly lying on a mattress in the shop, but you should try out every mattress for at least 15 minutes before making a decision on it. There are lots of types of mattress to choose from including, soft or firm mattresses, memory foam or sprung mattresses and combinations and compromises between all of these options.
While you are lying on the mattress, make yourself comfortable in your normal sleeping position. This is important because a bed that is comfortable when you lie on your back but not on your side or vice versa won’t be suitable for your natural movements overnight. The comfort of any mattress is vital for keeping your back happy, so don’t choose a mattress until you are fully satisfied that you will be comfortable however you sleep.
If you sleep with a partner, choosing a mattress that suits you both can be quite a challenge. You should both visit the showroom together and find a mattress you can agree on. Don’t be tempted to make a solo decision on this one!
Once you have chosen your mattress, you need to choose an appropriate pillow or set of pillows. Some people prefer to switch between pillows depending on how they want to sleep, so having a couple can be beneficial if this is what you like to do. You might also like to choose decorative pillows to prop you up when you read at night.
Your pillow is important because it offers extra support to your head and neck. The wrong pillow may push you into a less comfortable position and exacerbate any underlying issues such as headaches, neck pain and sneezing. However, the right pillow will ensure you get the perfect night’s sleep and wake up refreshed.
The position you sleep in will affect how big you want your pillow to be. Back and stomach sleepers usually prefer flatter pillows to keep their necks aligned, but side sleepers should aim to get the depth to be similar to the distance between the ear and outer shoulder. Like mattresses, pillows come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and materials so it is worth experimenting while you are in the mattress shop with different types.
The Perfect Sheets
Once you have the best mattress and pillow combination, the next essential is the sheets you choose. Though the color is obviously an important factor for the aesthetic of your bedroom, you must also consider the fabric that the sheets are made from.
High thread count Egyptian cotton is always a good choice as this material is breathable and soft. It is also long-lasting and easy to stick in the washing machine as you need. Try looking at California King bed sheets for a great range of colors and designs to fit with your bedroom look.
Silk is another fabric that is popular for bedding. We all have silky nighties and robes but sleeping on silk sheets is a different ball game. Silk is better at keeping moisture in your skin, so there are claims that you will avoid wrinkles if you sleep on a silk pillow. However true this is, your skin will certainly feel much better with silk, especially if it is often irritable overnight.
A greener alternative is a sheet made using bamboo. This natural fiber is just as soft and breathable as cotton and is hypoallergenic as well as antibacterial. This is ideal if you have sensitive skin and would like a sheet that will keep you cool in summer and warm in winter.
Whichever type of sheet you go for, you should make sure that you are comfortable, your skin is happy and the sheets are clean. An important rule to remember is that the most expensive sheets aren’t necessarily the best sheets for you and you should try a few types before settling on your favorite.
The Blankets, Duvets and Quilts
What you choose to sleep under depends on a few things: the climate you live in, the temperature of your bedroom and the season. If you live in a varied climate you might want to have a couple of different options and swap and change according to the season.
A cool bedroom is best for a good night’s sleep as it allows your core temperature to drop making you feel tired. However, this doesn’t mean that you should be cold and shivering! Instead of having the heating on, you should pile up layers of bedding to make sure that your body is warm and comfortable.
If you and your partner prefer to sleep at different temperatures, then layering up your covers is a really good idea. Often, women are colder than men as they have a higher core body temperature making them more sensitive to heat changes. For this reason, women are more likely to want more layers or thicker covers overnight, where men might be more prone to throw off the covers in their sleep. A good compromise is to use a single blanket on your side of the bed if you are the colder partner, giving you a little extra heat without affecting your partner’s temperature.
Keep it Clean
How often you wash your sheets is down to personal preference but you are well advised to wash every one to two weeks. Of course, if you get particularly hot at night, if you or your partner is sick or if you tend to sleep naked, you might want to wash your sheets more often.
You should also make sure that you change your pillows when they are old, don’t spring back or appear yellow. For a cheap polyester pillow, this will usually be around 6 months but for a memory foam pillow, your pillow could last for anywhere between 18-36 months. Changing your pillows is particularly important if you have allergies or any back problems.
Keeping your bed clean, making sure that you have the best possible mattress and pillow combination for your posture, choosing soft and breathable sheets and layering up blankets, quilts and duvets are the essentials you need to get the best night’s sleep. They all might sound simple, but what a difference each one of them makes.