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A guide to choosing the right bedding

A guide to choosing the right bedding

When it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, many of us think of our mattresses as the star of the show, but the supporting cast (your bedding) is actually just as important.

If you’ve ever slept on scratchy sheets or woken up with a stiff neck from your pillow, you’ll know what we mean - your bedding has a big impact on the quality of your sleep!

So, how do you find the perfect pillows, sheets and quilts? Read our guide below to find out.

Snug as a bug in a...sheet

Material

Cotton, linen, flannelette and bamboo - there’s all kinds of sheets out there. When it comes to picking a material and a thread count, you should think about feel and quality first.

Using bedding that is too coarse or made with harsh materials can irritate the skin and impact existing skin conditions. Generally, materials like cotton, bamboo and linen are lightweight and breathable, while jersey and flannelette are cosier and better suited for those winter nights. Sheets made from material like silk and organic bamboo are also popular choices as they tend to be antibacterial, dust mite resistant and hypoallergenic. Polyester blends are an affordable choice, but they do tend to be less breathable than cotton and can vary quite a bit in terms of quality and durability.

Thread count

You’ll hear thread count mentioned a lot when you’re shopping for sheets. It’s important but it shouldn’t be the only consideration. Generally, higher thread counts are softer and more durable but that’s not always the case. Fabric, weave, finish and manufacturing processes can all impact how your sheets feel and how long they last. Thread counts over 400 tend to feel softer and silkier, but you’ll also find sheets with much lower thread counts that will stand up to years worth of washing and feel much softer. A good rule of thumb when shopping for sheets is to look at options between the 300-1000gsm range.

Weave

Your sheets will have different properties when it comes to appearance, feel and durability based on how they are woven, so you should take note of how they were made.

Sheets made with a plain weave, such as Percale, have an equal number of vertical and horizontal threads woven together, resulting in a crisp feel and long-lasting durability. In contrast, Sateen sheets have a higher number of vertical threads, which makes them incredibly soft. Twill weaves feature a diagonal pattern and are known for their softness and ability to retain their shape, while Jacquard and Damask weaves are characterised by intricate designs and patterns woven into the fabric.

Pillow talk

When it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, your pillow matters almost as much as your mattress. To rest comfortably at night, our spines need to be in a neutral position - if your pillow is pushing your head too far forward, or causing it to sink, you’re likely to find your head, neck or shoulders sore in the morning. Here’s what you should know before you pick a pillow:

Pillow fillings

Pillows come in a variety of fillings, from natural materials like down and feather, to synthetic materials like memory foam and latex.

  • Latex - Latex pillows have a high loft and tend to be denser, which provides support for side and back sleepers. They are also extremely durable and have a similar feeling to foam.

  • Memory foam - Memory foam pillows are designed to conform to the shape of the head and neck to provide sufficient support. Since memory foam tends to trap heat, most memory foam pillows are constructed with a contact cooling property to regulate temperature.

  • Polyfoam - A type of foam used in both mattresses and pillows, polyfoam pillows vary in terms of firmness and are an affordable option for those with a budget.

  • Down - Down pillows are filled with the soft, fluffy feathers found beneath the outer, harder feathers of birds. Down pillows are known for their durability, with duck or goose down being some of the most commonly used.

Firmness and loft

Are you a side sleeper, a back sleeper, or a stomach sleeper? Your sleep position plays a big role in selecting the right pillow. If you sleep on your side, a high, firm pillow will keep your head and neck in line with your spine. Back sleepers should choose a thin, medium-firm pillow to support their neck and head, and stomach sleepers should opt for a flat, soft pillow to avoid straining their neck.

Size

Pillows come in different sizes, from standard to king size. Here’s a few of the common types you’re likely to come across:

  • Standard Pillows
    The standard size for most pillows is 20” x 26”. These pillows provide support for the neck, shoulders, and head, helping to maintain proper spinal alignment and promoting healthy sleeping habits. There are a range of heights and fill types available for standard pillows.

  • Contour Pillows
    Contour pillows are usually made from foam, memory foam, or latex and are designed to cradle the head and support the neck, promoting proper spinal alignment and reducing tension.

  • Body Pillows
    Body pillows measure around 20” x 54” and provide cushioning and support for your entire body while you sleep. They are a great choice for side sleepers.

  • European Pillows
    European pillows are often used for decorative purposes and measure 26” x 26”, or can provide additional support for all sleeping styles.

A blanket statement

Just like your pillows and sheets, blankets and duvets are a matter of personal preference, so you’ll want to keep a few of the same things in mind when you go shopping for a new one.

Material

Blankets and duvets are designed to keep us warm and cosy, but at certain times of the year some materials may keep us feeling a little bit toasty - or leave us shivering. As a general rule, wool and synthetic blends are great for winter, while cotton, silk and bamboo are more suitable for summer.

Weight

Blankets and duvets also come in different weights, from lightweight to heavy. If you live in a warm climate, a lightweight blanket may be all you need, while a heavy blanket is better for colder temperatures.

Size

Blankets and duvets come in a range of sizes, from twin to king. Consider the size of your bed and the amount of coverage you prefer when choosing your blanket. If you like to snuggle under the blanket, a larger size may be more comfortable.

Price Range

The cost of blankets and duvets can differ significantly, ranging from affordable budget options to luxurious high-end choices. Consider your budget when choosing a blanket, and keep in mind that higher-quality blankets tend to last longer.

Bed defenders

The primary purpose of a mattress protector is to safeguard your mattress from spills, stains, allergens, and dust mites while also enhancing the longevity of your mattress. Here are some crucial things to keep in mind while buying a mattress protector:

Material and comfort

Opt for a mattress protector made from high-quality materials that provide both protection and comfort. Look for options like hypoallergenic and breathable fabrics such as cotton, bamboo, or microfibre. These materials not only protect your mattress but also offer a soft and comfortable surface to sleep on.

Waterproofing

If you're concerned about spills, accidents, or liquid damage, choose a mattress protector with waterproof properties. Ensure that it has a reliable waterproof barrier that still maintains breathability. This feature is particularly important for parents with young children or pet owners.

Allergen Protection

If you suffer from allergies or asthma, look for a mattress protector that explicitly mentions its allergen-barrier capabilities. These protectors are designed to keep dust mites, pet dander, and other allergens away, helping you achieve a more restful night's sleep.

Durability and warranty

Investing in a durable mattress protector will ensure it lasts for years. Check for the manufacturer's warranty to understand the level of confidence they have in their product's longevity and quality.

Easy maintenance

Machine-washable mattress protectors are much more convenient to clean and maintain. Ensure the protector you choose is easy to care for and doesn't require any specialised cleaning methods.

Keen for expert advice?

So there you have it, choosing the right bedding is essential for a good night's sleep. It can affect the comfort, style, and overall feel of your bed. From the softness of the fabric to the warmth of the duvet, every aspect of your bedding should be carefully considered. To ensure you pick the right bedding, consider your climate, personal preferences, and the style of your bedroom. With the right bedding, you can create a comfortable and stylish retreat where you can relax and rejuvenate after a long day. So, don't settle for just any bedding - choose the right one and enjoy a great night's sleep!

Need help finding the perfect pillow, blanket or mattress protector? Visit us in store for expert advice, or check out our range of manchester online.

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