Bedroom Fashions Guide
A little knowledge.
A little knowledge about bedding basics is a good thing! And these tips will help you choose just what you need – the first time.
Thread count. Be sure to check the thread count when you’re buying bedding…especially for sheets. The thread count is the number of threads per inch of fabric. And the higher the thread count, the smoother and more luxurious the fabric will be. More durable, too.
Materials. You’ll find bedding constructed in natural or synthetic fibers, or in a combination of both. Here are the more popular choices.
Cotton bedding is a favorite because of its durability, softness and absorbency.
- You may notice items made from Egyptian cotton, which is a fine, lustrous, long-stapled variety grown in, you guessed it, Egypt. Pima cotton is very similar, but grown in America.
- Cotton often is blended with another fabric to resist wrinkles.
- Types of cotton include flannel (loosely woven and very soft), muslin (smooth), oxford (heavy and durable, while still soft), percale (closely woven for fine texture), and sateen (extremely smooth, luxurious and durable).
Polyester is often blended with cotton for bedding. This synthetic fiber is light, strong and durable. And it helps to resist wrinkles and shrinking.
Packaging. We sell many sets to make decorating easier and even more affordable. But what exactly is included in each of these sets?
Comforter set includes: 1 comforter, 1 bedruffle, 1 or 2 pillow shams (twin size has only 1).
Bed-in-a-Bag set includes: 1 comforter, 1 bedruffle, 1 or 2 pillow shams (twin size has only 1) and one sheet set.
Sheet set includes: 1 flat sheet, 1 fitted sheet, 1 or 2 pillowcases (1 standard case with twin set, 2 standard with full set, 2 standard/queen cases with queen set, 2 king cases with king set).
The comforts of down.
Don’t “down” play your comfort! Down bedding is a very affordable luxury which has become hugely popular because it’s also very practical. Read on to learn more about the benefits of being “down”.
Definition: Down is the insulating undercoat found on waterfowl that traps warm air next to the bird’s skin - keeping it warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Works the same way on your bed; keeping you warm and toasty on cold winter nights or cool and comfortable in the summertime.
How to maintain. It’s really not as hard as you might think.
- Fluff your comforter and pillows daily to circulate the air flow and maintain the down’s loft.
- If you choose to store your bedding in the warmer months, be sure you choose a bag that “breathes” – not one that will trap moisture and cause mildewing. A cotton laundry bag works beautifully for this purpose.
- Protect your down comforter with a duvet cover to reduce wear and tear on your bedding. What is a duvet cover you ask? Think of it as a giant pillowcase for your comforter. Your down pillows will also need to be covered with pillowcases just like any other pillow, to eliminate the need for frequent cleanings.
- Professionally laundering your down bedding every 3-5 years is typically recommended, though if you’re sure to follow the instructions on the label of your bedding, most can be laundered at home.
- Finally, airing your bedding outside every once in a while does much to add freshness and plump up the fill.
Fill Power. Fill power indicates the potential warmth level of down, so most generally, the higher the fill power, the warmer the down will be. That’s because a higher fill power means more fluff, and more fluff traps more air, and it’s the trapped air that keeps you warm. (Interesting, huh?) A fill power of 500-550 is good; 575-650 is excellent. A fill power of 700 and above is extremely rare.
Compared to Feathers: Down is found under the breast feathers of waterfowl. It is three dimensional and does not contain a quill. Feathers on the other hand, cover the body of the duck or goose and contain a hollow quill shaft. The outer layer of a feather is stronger, more durable and much stiffer than down, but in so being it’s bulkier and heavier than down. Down is incredibly soft and lightweight - eliminating the need to pile on layers of blankets to keep warm. In pillow form, down offers amazing comfort and flexibility. Won’t poke you in the middle of the night either!
|Down comforters are for year-round use, not just winter.|
Allergies: It’s a popular misconception that people with allergies cannot use down bedding. That simply isn’t the case. Most people who are “allergic to down”, are really allergic to the dust and impurities present in the down. These allergens can be effectively removed and most manufactures do a great job of that. Still skeptical? Make sure you buy down products with a high thread count casing which will act to “hold in” the down, and put a stronger barrier between you and any potential allergens.
Ahhh…the perfect pillow.
How important is a really good pillow? It can mean the difference between a sound, restful slumber, and a nightmare of sleep spent tossing and turning. Literally, the wrong pillow can be a serious pain in the neck - and back.
But how do you know if you’re sleeping on the wrong pillow? Any of the following signs indicates it’s time for a new one:
- A pillow that is no longer comfortable, or just doesn’t feel the same as it did when you bought it, should be retired.
- A lumpy, misshapen, or stained pillow has also seen better days (and nights).
- Fill coming out of your pillow through holes or worn seams? Rest assured, it’s time for a new one.
Fills & Construction – so you know the difference.
- Down – Extremely soft, fluffy and comfortable, down is grown under the breast feathers of waterfowl such as geese and ducks. When considering down as a pillow fill, you’ll need to consider fill power to ensure your pillow has enough fluff. (The higher the fill power, the more fluff.)
- Feathers – Though feathers are more durable than down and also provide better support, feathers are also flatter than down and are nowhere near as soft and warm. Feathers also have a tendency to poke through your pillow, which can account for a rather rude awakening.
Synthetic Fills :
- Down-Type Synthetics – Though not the real deal, these imitators are soft and fluffy and come without the allergens and cost of real down.
- Foam – Designed to provide proper support to the neck, back and spine, foam is gaining popularity as a fill. Since it is synthetic, foam is a good choice for people with allergies.
- Polyester - Light, strong and durable, polyester is popular as both a stand-alone fill, and a blend in pillow covers. Its attributes are: inexpensive, wrinkle-resistant, hypoallergenic and washable.
Construction - what to look for when choosing a pillow:
- Fill – The type and amount determine how soft, or firm, your pillow will be.
- Covering – Your pillow should be covered with material (also known as ticking) that is soft and absorbent. Naturally filled pillows should be covered with a quality fabric that breathes to resist mildewing. Cotton is an excellent cover choice. If you’re looking for a really soft cover, choose a better quality one of a higher thread count. These covers will do a better job of keeping the fill inside the pillow, and are essential when covering a down pillow to keep allergens from getting out.
- Seams – Choose a pillow with tightly bound edges, cording or piping trim. This will ensure a longer pillow life, while gusseted sides increase loft and support.
- Shape – Rectangular is the most typical shape of a sleeping pillow, but quite a few specialty pillows have been making their way into the market lately. Most of these are ergonomically designed for those with special needs.
Your favorite sleep position determines the type of pillow you need.
There are 3 basic sleep positions and a 4th reserved for those tossers and turners of the world, and believe it or not, a specific pillow type recommended for each.
- Stomach – Not recommended because it can cause serious neck problems. However, if you have to sleep in this position, you can minimize the strain on your neck by choosing a flat pillow (one with less fill) that is soft and light.
- Back – A medium firm, average fill pillow is perfect for this sleep position. The medium fill offers your back the correct support while lending some softness at your head.
- Side – You’ll need a firm, extra fill pillow for this sleep position, one that will support your neck to correctly align with your spine.
- Frequently Change Positions – If you’re a tosser and a turner, it’s best to go with a soft pillow that can be fluffed and adjusted to achieve comfort in various positions. Natural fill pillows are your best bet here, because they are the most flexible.
Choosing the right pillow size.
Though commonly thought that the size of your sleeping pillow should coordinate with the size of your bedding, i.e. twin bed – standard size pillow, king bed – king size pillow, you certainly can think outside the box on this one. If you prefer to sleep on a king size pillow, but sleep in a twin size bed, just keep your bedding coordinates in mind when choosing pillowcases, shams, etc. Or, feel free to keep your sleeping pillow out of sight or hidden behind other pillows on your bed.
Pamper your pillow and your pillow will pamper you.
Extend the life of your pillow by putting a pillow protector on it as well as a pillowcase. This helps keep dust mites out and allergens in, which surely makes for a more restful night’s sleep.
Wash your pillow frequently following the directions on the label for proper cleaning instructions. Always make sure that your pillow is completely dry before replacing the pillowcase to prevent molding and mildewing. A damp pillow can also become misshapen and therefore lose some of its intended benefit.
Finally, fluff your pillow by hand, or in the dryer, to help keep loft in the fiberfill.