The choice of bedding affects how well you sleep, and the quality of your sleep has a significant impact on your health. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, adequate sleep improves learning, decision making, problem solving, and many other mental functions. Sleep deprivation increases your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, and weakens your immune system.
What Makes Bedding Good
As far as the quality of your sleep is concerned, it doesn’t matter whether your bedding is endorsed by celebrities, designed by a famous couture house, or follows fashion trends. What matters is the type of fabric used, how well it fits your bed, and how you maintain it. You don’t need to spend a fortune to get a good night’s sleep, but you do need to look carefully at labels.
Although microfiber and polyester/cotton blends make cheap, durable, wrinkle-free sheets, because these artificial fabrics aren’t as breathable as cotton, they can retain heat, especially in warm weather. Cotton is a perennial favorite for its crisp, cool feel, but it is prone to wrinkling. As permanent press or wrinkle-resistant sheets are often treated with formaldehyde, choose 100% organic cotton sheets if you have chemical sensitivities and take them out of the dryer promptly to avoid wrinkles.
The most common textures for sheets are percale, satin, knit, and flannel. Percale, the traditional crisp matte fabric, is the most durable. Satin sheets are shiny, smooth, and soft, and don’t wrinkle as easily as percale, but they are less durable. Knit and flannel sheets feel like sleeping on a soft t-shirt; they are comfortable, warm, and wrinkle-resistant but not as durable as percale.
Although thread count is one measure of quality, it can be misleading. The term refers to the number of threads per inch, and generally, the more threads, the softer and more durable the sheet. However, some companies will inflate thread counts by using lower quality twisted yarns. Save money with well-made, combed cotton 200-count sheets; or invest in 300- to 400-count cotton percale for maximum durability.
Sheets are either flat or fitted and sized to fit standard beds. While you can be somewhat flexible on the size of flat sheets, fitted sheets that are too tight won’t fit over your mattress, but if they are too loose, they will bunch up or wrinkle. Use extra-deep fitted sheets with a mattress topper or thick mattress, and avoid them for thinner mattresses.
Duvet covers protect your comforter. Although you may enjoy decorative patterns if your duvet doubles as a bedspread, for fabrics, a machine-washable cotton or cotton-polyester blend is the most practical choice. You can make your own affordable duvet cover by sewing two flat sheets together on three sides.
Andrea Harris is an avid writer and hobby carpenter. She enjoys finding innovative ways to improve her health and lifestyle and enjoys blogging about it online. Her articles mainly appear on health and lifestyle blogs.
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