how do i choose bedding?
Having the perfect bed for you is the foundation to getting a great night’s sleep, but soft and cosy bedding comes hand in hand. We asked Jo James from Bedfolk to answer some of our burning questions about how to find the right bedding for you.
What is the benefit of high-quality bedding?
You spend a third of your life in bed (more if you’re lucky!), so your bedding is a really important purchase. If you want a durable set of bedding that will last you many years, get softer with every wash, and improve your sleep experience, it’s worth investing in 100% natural materials and quality craftsmanship.
does thread count matter?
You’ve probably been told that high thread counts equal better cotton sheets. In reality, it matters, but nowhere near as much as you’re led to believe. If you are using poor quality materials and manufacturing, then a higher thread count doesn’t mean much.
In fact, if you see thread counts in the mid to high hundreds (or more), it’s likely to have been artificially inflated. Manufacturers can claim higher counts by twisting threads together in a plait like construction to boost thread counts. This is called double/triple-ply and creates a dense, heavy sheet.
Only the finest calibre threads can be woven without twisting – this is called single-ply and creates a far softer, more durable sheet. You really can feel the difference when you sleep under a light, breathable and single-ply sheet, which will typically have a thread count of around the 300 mark.
What should I look for in bedding?
There are three things that really matter when looking for super soft, durable sheets.
- Materials – Look for long-staple single-ply 100% cotton, or 100% belgian/french flax.
- Makers – Weaving and finishing luxury sheets is a true craft. The master weavers of the world are based in Northern Portugal, so look for a ‘Made in Portugal’ label.
- Absence of harmful chemicals/synthetics – You’d be surprised how many sheets use bleaches and dyes which are not only harmful to the planet, they are harmful to you, too. Look for OEKO-TEX certification, which means your bedding has been made without the use of harmful chemicals at any stage of the manufacturing process.
How do I know which sheets are best?
If you’re in the market for cotton bedding, the most important factor is the weave. This has a huge impact on how you’re bedding looks and feels. High-quality cotton bedding in either a percale weave (crisp, cool and breathable – ideal for the hot sleepers) or a sateen weave (silky smooth and warmer to the touch – perfect for colder sleepers).
If linen bedding is more your thing, it’s all about the quality of the flax (look for Belgian or French), the weight per square metre (we did in-depth testing and found 175gsm to be the sweet spot for year-round use) and how the fabric is finished (we pre-wash our linen so it arrives super soft).
Get linen sheets wrong and they can feel stiff and rough. Get linen sheets right and there’s nothing quite like them – it’s like someone whipped up the clouds and spun them into bedding. That’s why it took us 2 years to develop ours.
What is the benefit of natural bedding?
It’s all about breathability – synthetic sheets can be stifling and rough, leading to nights spent tossing and turning. 100% natural material, like linen and cotton, breathe better – making your entire bed feel like the cool side of the pillow.
What are your top three care tips?
- Avoid fabric softeners on your 100% cotton/100% linen bedding (and towels), it can have the opposite effect, coating and weakening the natural fibres.
- Wool dryer balls are game-changers – an environmentally friendly alternative to dryer sheets and fabric softener – they soften and fluff bedding in the dryer, and last for 1000+ drying cycles. We make ours from natural wool, without the use of chemicals or bleaches – if you like the smell of fabric softener, just add a few drops of essential oil to the wool balls.
- If you want to avoid ironing, don’t overload your sheets in the tumbler (they need space) remove whilst still slightly damp, and smooth out with your hands then put them on the bed.