Make The Perfect Bed!
One of my favorite parts of going to a hotel is the perfectly made bed. I know that at the end of my day doing whatever it is I’m doing, I’m going to come back and disappear in a big pile of soft pillows, indulgent sheet counts and a mattress that is just right. I’ve never not slept properly in a hotel bed. I always wondered what it was about hotel beds that made them so special and decided to recreate that feeling at home so I could have scrumptious sleep every night. Here’s how I did it.
Start with the best mattress you can afford. Comfort is very subjective so just because someone recommends a certain type of firmness or the salesperson tells you that it’s “better” to sleep on this or that type of mattress means nothing unless your body agrees. Try the mattress in the store. Lie down on it and turn over and see what it feels like. You want to buy a mattress you will look forward to sleeping on, not one you think is the “logical” buy.
Once you have your mattress, it’s time to dress it up! Here is a basic list of linens to make the perfect bed:
Mattress pad with elastic edging: This gives your mattress protection and adds another layer of cushioning underneath you. Fasten your mattress cover to each corner of your mattress with safety pins so that it doesn’t roll around underneath you or bunch up. Even with elastics, it can come loose while you sleep and disturb the best night. If you really want to indulge, get a mattress cover with a feather topper.
Sheets. Again, buy the best sheets you can afford so that when you get into bed, it feels soothing and luxurious not scratchy and irritating. You want a combination of a high thread count and natural material like cotton or linen. You will need:
1 Fitted sheet
1 Flat sheet
These can be in matching or coordinating colors depending on your bedroom’s color scheme. Be sure that all your sheets and pillowcases (and bedskirt if you have it) are ironed.
If you have a bedskirt, you need to place that underneath your mattress first. Be sure it’s centered and pinned down so it doesn’t move around when you position the mattress back into place.
If you don’t have a bedskirt, start by laying the fitted sheet over the mattress. Pull it tight at each corner making sure it doesn’t bunch up on one side more than the other.
Lay the flat sheet over it. Pull the edge of the flat sheet all the way to the top edge of the mattress and check that the overhang is equal on all sides. Be sure that the front side is facing down. If the sheet has a print on it, this will be easy to see, if not, check the seams and keep the seam side facing up. Fold it down about 12 inches and tuck it into your mattress. Tuck the rest of the sheet tightly all around the bed.
Blanket or duvet/comforter. This depends on the temperature of your room. You might prefer a blanket for summer and a duvet/comforter for winter. Or you might want both as daily options.
If you’re using a thin blanket, place it on top of your flat sheet first before folding it down and tuck them both into your mattress. Place your fluffy duvet/comforter on top of that. Be sure it’s centered and hangs equally on all sides. Give it a good pull at the bottom of the bed to straighten out any wrinkles or bunching.
Fill your pillowcases with the pillows you sleep on and place them accordingly. Again, invest in pillows that give you the best firmness for your best night’s sleep.
Next, you want to place your shams, or large decorative pillows on your bed. Shams are not meant for sleeping on. Shams usually match your duvet/cover and have a piped edging or border all around them. There are a few basic sham sizes. The standard and King-sized shams are rectangular in shape and European shams are square.
The main idea behind shams is to add texture and design to the overall look of your bed and are layered right in front of your headboard. So depending on your personal preference, you can start with a larger King size sham; followed by a smaller standard size sham and finally add your accent pillows. If you decide to use the square European sham, place that FIRST in front of your headboard and then layer the the rectangular shams in front of them.
Lastly add your accent or throw pillows. Three is usually a good number.
For a final effect, drape another coverlet or throw across the bottom of your bed in an accent color.
And Voila! A beautifully made bed!
Laundry tip: Keep 2-3 sets of everything in your linen closet. 2-3 sets of sheets; duvets; coverlets etc. So that on laundry day, all you need to do is remove the dirty sheets and replace them with a clean set without having to wait for the dirty set to be washed. If you really want to be organized then always have 3 sets on hand–the third one is for emergencies.
Dana Dinnawi is an Integrative Nutrition health coach specializing in empowering women to improve their health and family life. She received her training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where she studied more than one hundred dietary theories and a variety of practical lifestyle coaching methods. She can be reached through her website and Facebook page.