Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bedding 101

Yesterday, I talked about room temperature and having a good bed, but today I want to share my thoughts on bedding.

Pillows are a really personal choice. What works for one may not work for someone else. I can't sleep on foam to save my life. I grew up on an over sized feather pillow that I kept for years - and had regularly dry cleaned and then new ticking put on. I had a back-up pillow, but it just wasn't as comfortable! Those days that it was away every year or so were murder! I switched to a more ergonomic pillow about 18 months ago. It took a few nights to adjust - as does any new pillow style, but I do seem to sleep a bit better with these as my body is properly aligned as I sleep. This is less stress on the entire body and makes for a more restful sleep as I am not tossing and turning as much.

I am using a Homedics Micropedic Pillow that is promoted by Tony Little (the same guy who put out the Gazelle!). You can find info on the pillows at;

I use 100% cotton jersey knit sheets all year round. I was introduced to the jersey knit sheets 10 years ago and have never looked back! They are SO amazingly comfortable! It really is like sleeping in your favourite T-shirt! They are cool in summer and warm in winter. A word of advice: don't waste your money on the really cheap jersey knit sheets that are on the market at some discount places as most are really poor quality. I have occasionally bought a lesser quality but usually regretted it, as they are generally thin and not cut straight. They also aren't always pre-shrunk. Buying a queen size set for a double bed can sometimes work with a lesser quality but not always. Better to spend on the good ones to start! A good quality set of double should run around $35-45.00 Cdn. For queen, add $10-15.00.

Now that fall is officially here, I have also switched to my cool weather bedding. No more stacks of blankets for me either. Ten years ago I bought a down duvet. I couldn't believe how light it was but yet so warm and cozy! To keep things light and comfy, I also use a cotton duvet cover. What a difference it made in my sleep. I had heard both good and bad stories about buying duvets, so I did my research to learn what worked best. I learned three important factors;

1) Where did the down/feathers come from and what time of year were they harvested? If the fowl came from warmer climates, or were harvested in the warmer months of the year, they do not grow as thick of a layer of feathers and down to keep them warm. Therefore the loft of the duvets fill will not be as good. The less loft the less warm the duvet will be. Due to our cold weather, the down/feathers from northern Canada is truly the best quality in the world.

2) Has the fill been treated to prevent dust mites or other anti-microbial/bacterial content? The best treatment that I found was "ALLERNON-21®" which is a “HYPO-ALLERGENIC” DOWN CLEANING PROCESS which was developed by Westex International. Basically, this process leaves the down/feathers permanently free of the majority of allergens. You can read about this process and other interesting info, on the companies web site at;

3) How is the duvet constructed? Is the fill stuffed loosely between two pieces of fabric with a few lines sewn in to try and keep the contents from bunching or leaving hollow spots that leave you cold? Or is the fill neatly confined to box like areas for even distribution? By far the best type of construction is known as "Baffle Box Design" (Same as True Baffle Box Design) - True Baffle Box design refers to internal three-dimensional fabric wall boxes that allow maximum thickness and comfort while maintaining even distribution within the boxes. This construction will minimize migration of fill so the down doesn’t shift or clump in one section of the item. Used in comforter and feather bed designs. -
You can tell what the construction is by carefully feeling along the seems to see if there are "boxes" of fabric within the duvet.

In late April or early May, I switch out the duvet for a down filled blanket. This is also done in "baffle box construction" only smaller squares and a fraction of the fill. It is the perfect weight and warmth for the spring and summer months.

So that's it - bedding 101! I hope you find what works best for you and
that you get a good nights sleep every night! You owe it to yourself!
Pleasant dreams!!

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