Have you ever wondered if there was a rhyme or reason to all those layers on the bed?
In this “Ask the Experts” feature, Bedroom Expressions is answering all your bedding questions. Follow the guide at the end of this article to create your own perfect bed. Head over to The Linen Shoppé for all of your bedding needs.
Q. How often should I replace linens?
A. “Think of your bed as needing two sets of outfits,” says Bedding Consultant Mesh Gelman. “The basic part of bedding — sheets and pillows — is the underclothes. What you see on the top of the bed —comforters or duvets, quilts, spreads, pillowcases, shams and bedskirts — is the fashion bedding.”
Seasonal updates. Fashion bedding replacement is primarily driven by seasonality, the need for warmer winter bedding and cooler summer bedding. “Adding a blanket or removing a quilt is a perfect opportunity to change the whole look of your bed,” says Barbara Chandler, store design visual merchandise manager for Furniture Row. Many people choose a richer, more luxurious look for fall and winter and a fresher, cleaner look for spring and summer — “but it’s totally a matter of personal preference.”
Comfort and economy. You spend more time in your bedroom than any other room in the house, so it makes sense to vary the look more often than any other room. Fashion bedding is the easiest and most affordable way to do this. “Changing bedding feels like a wonderful indulgence, and it can be done pretty inexpensively,” Chandler says. “A reversible comforter or duvet can work wonders.” Adds Gelman: “Fashion bedding is a mood changer, and it adds new interest to the room. Going to bed in a relaxed setting does wonders for your state of mind.”
Sheets. Two complete sheet sets are a minimum for each bed. Replace sheet sets one at a time by retiring the oldest one twice a year. Or, says Thomas Shearer, general manager of the Denver Mattress Retail Division, invest in quality sheets that will maintain their color and structure for years. “It’s not thread count that matters; it’s construction — a wellconstructed cotton or bamboo sheet will last as long as a good pair of pants.” If you use polyester-blend sheets, “don’t wash them in high heat or with towels; that only encourages pilling.”
Pillows. “Pillows will increase in weight by almost 50 percent in the course of a year,” Shearer says, “because you lose a pint of fluid every night, which seeps into your linens and mattress, creating an environmental envelope for dust mites.” Shearer advises that even washable pillows should be replaced once a year.
Perfect Bedding Guide:
1. Pillow Protector- Washable, zippered cover that protects pillows from stains, and goes inside the pillowcase.
2. Pillow Sham- A ruffled or otherwise embellished cover for decorative pillows that rest atop sleeping pillows.
3. Euro Pillow Sham- Oversize decorative pillow cover, often with understatedly elegant, squared-off edges.
4. Pillow Case- The cop cover for sleeping pillows.
5. Bedskirt/Dust Ruffle- Decorative element that hides bed’s legs and underside.
6. Mattress Pad- Cotton, wool or fleece-wool cover that protects the mattress and helps keep bottom sheets in place.
7. Fitted Sheet- Bottom sheet held in place with elasticized edges.
8. Top Sheet- Flat sheet that goes on wrong-side-up so the pattern shows when it’s folded down over the blanket.
9. Blanket- Wool, cotton and acrylic in a variety of weights for different times/temperature conditions throughout the year.
10. Duvets/Comforters- Available in all-season down or down-alternative fillings for warmth and cushy comfort. Use a cover to keep them fresh.
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