Bedding buying guide
A new set of bedlinen is the quickest and easiest way to update a tired bedroom scheme, and best of all, it won’t break the bank.
Whatever your boudoir style – whether you’re a fan of crisp hotel whites, painterly botanicals or bold geometrics – you’re bound to find something you love among the vast array of designs on offer. But bear in mind that looks are not the only thing to consider when making your selection – comfort and maintenance should be factored into your decision as well.
What should I consider when buying bedding?
Think of bedlinen as fashion for your bed. It’s a chance to express your personality, and inject a dash of colour and style into your bedroom. The latest trends run the full gamut from simple whites and creams with stitched borders for a chic, tailored look; cosy, quilted designs; fun, over-scaled spots, stripes and geometrics, interspersed with pops of neon brights; earthy natural linens; and soft painterly prints that look like they’ve been applied with an artist’s brush.
The main bedlinen materials include:
- Cotton – Easy to care for, long lasting and feels cool and comfortable against your skin.
- Polycotton – Washes well, dries quickly and needs no ironing.
- Linen – Cool and comfortable against the skin in summer and cosy in winter; gets softer with washing.
- Silk – Incredibly luxurious, and also helps regulate your body temperature at night.
Thread count refers to the number of threads per square inch of fabric. As a general rule of thumb, the higher the thread count, the finer and smoother the fabric. Be aware, however, that the quality of bedlinen is dependent on other factors too, including the type and length of thread used, with Egyptian cotton generally considered the best. It’s better to go for a high quality Egyptian cotton with a lower thread count than sheets with a high thread count from a bargain store – they’ll feel smoother against your skin and will wear better.
Checking for quality
So how can you compare like with like when you’re in-store? While many retailers recommend feeling the material to assess its softness, with a large number of designs specially pre-treated for softness, this can give you a false sense of how it will feel after a few washes. Price is a fairly good indicator of quality – with bedlinen, it’s very much a case of you get what you pay for.
Sheets fall into two main categories; soft ones, such as sateen, which envelop your body and help keep you warm on winter nights, and crisp ones, such as percale, which are lighter and smoother to the touch, and help keep you cool in summer.
Care and maintenance
When making your selection, don’t forget to check the care instructions. Cotton, linen and polycotton mixes are easy to wash and dry, while intricately embroidered or embellished styles might require special care such as hand washing or dry cleaning.
For more inspiration on bedding check out Homely’s Lux bedding & bedroom decor Pinterest board.
Georgia Madden is a senior writer for Houzz Australia. She specialises in home renovations, design and decor trends. She is a freelance interiors journalist and writer and a regular contributor to House & Garden magazine and a number of interiors websites. Confessions Of A Once Fashionable Mum is her debut novel.
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