The first step in choosing good quality bedding is to select a material with which you feel comfortable. Pure cotton is the ideal choice because it’s much more breathable than synthetics, which can cause an unpleasant amount of sweating – especially during the warmer months. Egyptian cotton is the softest, strongest and most absorbent of them all. However, it is expensive so if you would like to enjoy the benefits of cotton on a budget, I recommend a blend with as high a proportion of cotton as you can afford.
You should also pay attention to the weave of the cotton, as this can make a huge difference to the texture, durability and absorbency of your bed linen. Some of the most popular cotton weaves for bed linen include:
- Flannel – soft and cosy; good for winter
- Oxford – soft and heavy; good for winter
- Percale – lightweight, smooth and crisp; good all-rounder
- Sateen – silky and lustrous; can get uncomfortable during warm weather
The final step in choosing luxury, high quality bed linen is to look at the thread count. Contrary to popular belief, this should not be the deciding factor in itself, but still, it can be a good indicator of the softness and durability of the fabric. A thread count of 150 – 200 is a good standard, anything above this is exceptional.
Good quality bed linen calls for luxurious duvets. Ideally, you want two: one thick one (I.e. one with a high tog rating) for winter, and a thinner, lower-tog one for summer. You should also think about the filling: natural fillings, such as goose down, tend to have better thermal properties than synthetic; however, they can sometimes trigger allergies, so if you’re worried about this opt for an anti-allergy duvet made from synthetic fibres instead.
It’s worth taking a bit of time to find a pillow that provides the correct balance of comfort and support. Try a few out in-store if possible – in this case, your gut feeling is the best indicator of suitability. You should also choose the pillow based on your favourite sleeping position: if you tend to sleep on your side, go for a deep filled one; if you prefer sleeping on your back or especially your front, choose a pillow with a lower profile.
I hope you now have a good idea of how to choose good quality bedding. The key thing to remember is that while it’s worth shopping around for the best deal, you should never compromise on quality, as this in turn will compromise the quality of your sleep.