We spend a third of our lives asleep. So it makes sense to ensure your bed delivers the level of comfort you need. Here are our seven favorite touches that can help you create your very own dream bed. This way to bed heaven...
1. NO SHARP EDGES Step one to creating the bed of your dreams is to banish all hard edges and sharp corners. Hands up - how many times have you stubbed your toe on a sticky out bed leg or knocked your shin on a cruel corner? We want none of that in our bedroom haven. When it comes to choosing a bed frame we recommend swapping pointy edges for rounded ones and hard wood for fabric covered. Extra points if you can find something lovely in a luxurious fabric. This velvet padded bed frame from Anthropologie gets a goal star for glamour and ticks all our boxes when it comes to barefooted practicality. Also have a look at loaf.com for more upholstered options in a range of styles and fabrics.
We don't want to get all Princess & the Pea about this, but a good quality mattress really is crucial if you want a good night's sleep. Get the largest you can manage in the space it will live in. More space to sprawl out is always a good thing - especially if you share your bed (be it with other humans - or with a labrador or two as we admit we often do). Choose a firmness that gives you both support and comfort. The exact balance of the two is up to you, but do spend time trying out some options before you buy. Test driving in store is a good place to start, but to really know you have the right match, you need to sleep on it. Lots of companies now offer a try before you buy service. They'll deliver the mattress of your choice to you home for a free test period. If it's not working for you then you can swap it for another one or return it with no obligation to buy. Check out this 100 night trail from evemattress.com as an example. As good mattresses are not cheap and should last you 7-10 years, it makes sense to take your time deciding before you take the plunge. The Sleep Council have loads of great advice on what to consider before you buy.
3. LAYER UPDressing your mattress with a protector and finishing off with a topper will not only dial up the comfort, it also makes practical sense. They preserve the life of your mattress and make it easier to keep things fresh. Choose a topper that comes in two layers if you can. The upper layer can be washed every couple of weeks as even the superking sized ones fit in a standard washer dryer (with a bit of gentle persuasion). Your local dry cleaners will help you with the bulkier bit when its time for a spring clean. This all helps to cut down dust and any microscopic nasties that feed on it. Mattress protectors and toppers are great things to get in the sale. There's 25% off at The White Company at the moment so that's a good place to start your search. Don't forget, all these layers add depth to the mattress so you keep everything tucked in and tidy get yourself some extra-deep fitted sheets. The Linen Cupboard do a great selection and also specialise in bedding in more unusual shapes and sizes.
4. BUY IN TO BEAUTIFUL BEDDINGAnother great thing to invest in when the sales are on - fine bedding makes our hearts soar. Choose natural fibres as they are both comfy to the touch and their breathability makes it easier for the body to regulate its temperature through the night. Clean, crisp cotton looks lovely and smart and is easy to maintain (though for real hotel style luxury it demands to be ironed). Don't get caught in the thread count trap. According to bedding experts linencupboard.co.uk (who offer excellent advice as well as products on their website on all things bedding related) - the thread count thing can be a bit of a minefield. "Technically, Thread Count means the number of threads woven together in a square inch. You count both lengthwise (warp) and widthwise (weft) threads. So 200 lengthwise threads woven with 200 widthwise threads produce a Thread Count of 400." "Beware of cheap alternatives which are Two Ply - this is when two fibres are twisted together and what is labelled as 400 thread count is really a 200 thread count. Two Ply are no where near as smooth or as long lasting as our Single Plys." For a truly gorgeous bed though - it has to be linen. We're total converts. If it wasn't for the hefty price tag, all our bedding would be lovely pre-washed linen. It looks as lovely as it feels and gets better with every wash. No need to iron either as when it comes to real linen, crumpled equals cool (tick!). Check out The Linen Works website and prepare to drool. One for the wish-list maybe.
It's easy to overdo it on the cushion front. No one wants to fight their way through a wall of the things before they can get into their bed. However, a few carefully chosen ones are essential to any well dressed bed we think. Arrange however you fancy but for a hotel style comfort, opt for a pair of large square ones behind your pillows (ideal for propping yourself up when you are reading in bed). Then two or three smaller ones in front. Swapping the style and colour is an easy way to change the look of your bed through the seasons or when you feel its time to ring the changes. (We love this oversized knit cushion cover spotted on thegiftsoflife.tumblr.com - don't you just want to give it a big cuddle?)
6. FINISH WITH A THROW Keeping toasty through the winter matters, as too cold and you'll end up having a poor night's sleep. Keep a throw handy at the end of the bed so you can grab it if you need an extra layer. As well as keeping your tootsies warm, it's another easy way to add pattern, texture and cosiness to your sleeping space. These gorgeous knits were featured on the pinterest page of laurathomaslinens.com - we think they are perfect to take the chill off on wintery nights. In the Spring, we'd change them for a dash of colour (Designer's Guild are always great for this). In Summer, swap wool for linen to make sure the foot of your bed is always perfectly dressed all year round.
7. KEEP THINGS WARM UNDERFOOT That's your bed sorted. Just one last thing to keep things cosy - we're talking flooring. The best rooms keep the cosy feel even when you're barefoot. If your bedroom floor is wood or stone, then a wool or sheepskin rug on either side of the bed is just the job. Or take your lead from this lovely room and place a large rug under the whole of the bed. It helps define the bed's space in the room as well as blocking out any drafts and softening the feel underfoot. (Image from thedesignchasers.com)
Happy slumbers. With love from Kiss the Moon xx