Bedding Essentials: What You Need

The right bedding can transform your bedroom. Plush materials, comfortable batting and a color palette that speaks to you makes your bedroom a space for comfort and peace. Before you give your bedroom a makeover, learn about the bedding essentials that you need to elevate your space.

Common Bedding Materials

The right material can make your bed inviting and comfortable. Bedding is crafted of a variety of materials, and finding the right one for you depends, in part, on your preference. Cotton is a popular choice for bedding because of its practicality and durability. Cotton bedding is soft and breathable, which maximizes your comfort. At the same time, it's durable and easy to clean in the washing machine. Some cotton bedding pieces are blended with polyester, a synthetic fiber, to enhance their durability and minimize wrinkles and shrinking.

Consider your comfort level when selecting bedding materials. If you're seeking warmth when you sleep, try a flannel set of sheets. Flannel is soft and traps body heat for added warmth. On the other hand, silk sheets are cool and smooth, perfect for people who are prone to overheating when they sleep. Plus, silk sheets add a layer of luxury to your bedding. Linen bedding adds a lightweight, airy quality to the bedroom. Plus, it's durable, breathable and absorbent. Thanks to these materials and more, there's bedding constructed to suit your needs.

Tip: If you desire cotton bedding, look for pure Egyptian cotton, which is the most luxurious and softest style available.

Thread Count Basics

Thread count allows you to easily determine the sheet's softness. Simply put, thread count is the number of threads horizontally and vertically per square inch of fabric. The higher the thread count, the softer the sheets. Generally, bedding with a 200-thread-count or higher will be soft and comfortable. You'll discover bedding with thread counts ranging from 200 to 800, while some can even exceed 1,000. The right thread count for you depends on your personal preference, so check out different thread counts to determine your desired level of softness.

Bedding Sets

Now that you understand bedding materials and thread counts, it's time to shop for bedding. Bedding sets are a simple way to purchase everything you need to outfit your bed in comfort. These all-inclusive sets give you a variety of pieces to transform your bedding. Typically, a bedding set includes some or all of the following pieces:

  • Comforter, duvet cover, quilt or coverlet
  • Fitted sheet
  • Flat sheet
  • Pillowcases
  • Pillow shams
  • Bed skirts
  • Decorative pillows

Purchasing your bedding in a set has its advantages and disadvantages. Its greatest advantage, of course, is convenience. You can give your bedroom a makeover in one simple purchase. Even more, you can ensure that every piece coordinates when you purchase a set. If, however, you prefer a more eclectic look for your bedding or enjoy the hunt of finding different pieces, buying individual bedding items might be your preference.

Bedding Basics

If you opt against purchasing a bedding set, you must ensure you have everything you need to dress your bed. Start with the basics: a mattress pad. The mattress pad provides a layer of comfort and protection for your mattress. You can find styles that boast a plush down fill or cooling microfiber technology. Next, select a sheet set that serves as the underlayer of your bed. This set will include a fitted sheet that covers the mattress pad and a flat sheet that sits on top of the flat sheet. Coordinating pillowcases typically come with a sheet set. Twin sheet sets include one pillowcase, while full, queen, king and California king include two. Finally, you can outfit your bed with a blanket for an added layer of warmth.

Next, you need to invest in the top layer of your bedding. This layer adds a decorative touch to your bed. Choose from these options:

  • Comforter: A comforter is thick and filled with down, polyester or another material. It typically features a dyed, non-embroidered pattern.
  • Quilt: A quilt features three layers: a woven top and back and a middle layer of batting. Quilts combine different pieces of fabric in unique and often one-of-a-kind designs.
  • Duvet cover: A duvet cover can give new life to an old comforter. Your existing comforter or a duvet insert can be placed inside the duvet cover, which usually zips closed.
  • Coverlet: A coverlet is a lightweight, non-woven blanket that can top a thicker comforter or be used alone.

Other decorative pieces to your bedding can add a finishing touch to your bed. Pillow shams add volume and intrigue to the bed, often coordinating with the bedspread, duvet cover, quilt or coverlet. A bed skirt adds a decorative touch to the bottom of the bed, hiding the bed frame. Selecting these items gives your bedding a polished look.

Create an inviting and relaxing bedroom with these must-have bedding essentials. Whether you invest in a convenient bed in a bag or carefully select each piece of bedding, you'll enjoy the comfort and coordination that a new bedding set brings to your space.

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