V’Living’s Guide For A Wholesome Bed
The saying often goes that those who make their beds well have earned a heavenly slumber.
The need for utmost comfort and tranquility in modern homes is often realized through integration of functional and plush items and the bed is no exception. A guide like this one brings to light key components of a bed and how making the right choices when it comes to bedding can greatly improve your quality of sleep.
The Elements Of Bedding:
Mattress: Placed directly above the bed frame, a good mattress is akin to establishing the base for any comfortable bedding. Mattresses come in a variety of materials such as foam, polyfoam, gel infused, latex and innerspring. However it is the firmness of a mattress which can determine the quality of sleep. While a firm mattress may not be the top pick for a restless sleeper, it provides excellent support against back and neck pain. On the other hand, semi foam or soft mattresses may be the best fit for restless sleepers while also providing joint relief to those suffering from old age.
Mattress Protector or Mattress Pad: A quality mattress is usually priced high and should be treated as a long term investment. Therefore it must be safeguarded from dirt, spills, wear and tear with a mattress protector or mattress pad. This additional layer keeps the bed warmer and also helps keep the bed sheets in place. Mattress Protectors are usually made with cotton or wool and most also have a liquid resistant finish and are removable so can be washed whenever required.
Flat sheet OR Bottom Sheet: When it comes to bed sheets, it is recommended to maintain 2 separate layers; namely bottom and top/flat sheet. A bottom sheet is meant to add another protective layer between the mattress cover and the top sheet. The bottom sheet comes in either a fitted finish which features elastic edges to grip the mattress, or it can feature flat edges which require to be tucked under the mattress manually.
In tropical regions – the flat/top sheet functions as cover/protector to the fitted sheet and also as a bedcover. It thus could be colorful & printed to add to the decor. It is the layer on which one may lay down or lounge directly, hence making it most supsestiple to spills and spoilage. Therefore the top sheet is changed or replaced most often and is made of comfortable yet durable materials like pima cotton.
In colder regions the flat sheet is a layer below the Duvet or quilt where it is in muted/soothing solid colors with a cuff area which folds over the duvet.
Duvet or Comforter: The terms duvet or comforter are often used interchangeably and rightly so because they serve the same function. The notable feature which may set them apart is a cover. A comforter is complete on its own, not needing an additional layer of protection, compared to a duvet which usually requires a cover. A comforter is polyfilled whereas a duvet shell is often made with tightly woven high thread count and is traditionally filled with goose down or feathers to provide utmost warmth. A duvet is ideal to cover up for colder months and is used in combination with another blanket, and placed directly after the top/flat sheet on the bed.
Quilt: A quilt refers to the style of sewing used to bind various layers together, in order to form a thicker and warmer layer. These individual layers include sheets of fabric with a batting of cotton between them. Instead of a blanket or duvet, a quilt is used through light winters or air conditioned rooms. It’s a multipurpose product which can work as a bedspread or as an additional layer over a duvet for extra warmth.
Blanket: Rather than being stuffed or sewn together with layers, a blanket usually features a single layer, woven together using wool, silk or polyester. Due to their high density weave or brushed finish the blankets are ideal for the cold months of the year and may also be used in combination with duvets and comforters for the up to most warmth.
Bed Skirt: A bed skirt or dust ruffle is added to the edge of the mattress, by tucking directly on top of the bed frame in order to hide the exposed bed frame. It is not only decorative but also functional, keeping dust from settling through the nooks and crannies of the bedding folds. A decorative bed skirt may be matched to other elements in the bedroom such as the curtains, wall colors or even the bedding itself.
Bed Runner: Just like the bed skirt, a runner is both functional and ornamental. A vibrant or colorful bed runner can help bring various elements of the bedding together, and works beautifully against plain solid color bed linens. Bed runners are usually a corporate fixture in hotels, placed strategically near the edge of the footboard of the bed to keep any dirt from guests’ shoes to land directly on the bedding but recently it is becoming very popular as a decorative element at homes too.
Pillows and cushions: Pillows come in a variety of sizes, such as king, standard, euro, decorative and neck rolls. King size pillows are used for king size beds but standard is used for both Queen and twin size beds. Euros which are big square pillows usually form the back most layer or function as a headboard, This can be followed by 2 king size pillows or 2 standard pillows This is followed by decorative square pillows and oblong neck roll cushion which are added as the top most decorative layer. Just like mattresses, pillows also come in a variety of materials and firmness. Materials range from foam, polyfill, gell and cotton.
While opting in and out of the various bedding elements may be a personal preference, each of these components ensures comfort and an understated luxury of a good sleep, night after night. Which is why it is worthwhile to explore a guide like this one before investing in any aspect of your bed.