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Seasonal Bedding

Finding the right bed linen and bedding for Summer and Winter

Sleeping in a comfortable bed is one of the simple luxuries in life. But as the seasons change throughout the year, so must your bedding. Below we've set out some things to think about when it comes to bed linen for summer and winter, including some of our tips on which material bed linen will work best for different seasons, and further down the page, a run down of which type of duvet to buy.

So, which is the best bed linen for winter?

In winter time you need something that you can snuggle up in and be nice and warm quickly. Although it might seem cold at first, pure cotton actually warms up quickly and, since it is a natural material, will help keep the body at the right temperature. However, for many, the instantly, cosy feel of flannel bed linen is the best choice for the winter months.

Flannelette Bed Linen for winter

And what about bed linen for the summer?

During the hotter months, it's important to have a lightweight duvet (see below), but also bed linen made from natural fibres. Cotton is by far the best for this. It's soft on the skin, and being natural, it is very absorbent, so perfect for hotter nights. But as you have probably seen plenty of choice in pure cotton bed linen, in all different styles and thread counts. But if we had to pick out one type of material perfect for summer bedding, it would be seersucker. This should be made from 100% cotton (always check) for the best results. But what makes this material different is the unusual weave, which gives it a textured surface, enabling it to sit lightly on the skin, rather than stick against it as flatter material might.

Seersucker bed linen for summer

Which weight (tog) Duvet for summer and winter?

Thereís nothing worse than waking up at an ungodly hour in the middle of January with frozen toes because your duvet is too thin. Or maybe there is: being unable to get to sleep on a hot summer evening because your too-thick duvet is making you sweat. Duvet thickness depends on the elements, and itís the tog rating which will help you choose the correct one for the correct season. The tog rating is based on the capacity the duvet has to keep warm air inside it. Itís actually quite scientific, and all about thermal properties. The higher the tog rating is, the warmer your toes will be.

You probably know that duvets come in different materials. Some are synthetic, man-made fibres, and others are naturally filled, usually with goose or duck down. The natural duvets tend to have a higher level of warmth than their synthetic counterparts, so need to be filled a lot less. Natural duvets are also categorised according to their fill power. This means how much filling is in the duvet and how much space it takes up. If the fill power of a duvet is higher, itís a better quality duvet.

The lightest tog (3.0 Ė 4.5) should be used for very hot summers. Medium tog (7.0 Ė 10.5) can be used during the spring and autumn months. And the highest tog (12.0 Ė 13.5) should be used during the bitter winters. If you donít want to buy different duvets for different seasons, you can simply double up. Put two lower-tog duvets in the same sheet for a warmer nightsí sleep.

The problem with duvets is that they tend to take up a lot of storage space, particularly the natural heavier tog duvets. And sometimes thereís a good six months that you wonít be using them. This can be a problem if you live in a smaller house, or have very little storage space. One great idea is to get some vacuum storage bags, which are absolutely perfect for getting rid of duvets. Once youíve put the duvet inside the bag, you seal it up so itís totally airtight. Thereís a special hole where you attach your Hoover, which sucks out all of the air, making the duvet sometimes less than a third of its original size.

What about sheets?

If youíre a person who uses sheets rather than duvets, youíll still need to consider thicknesses as the seasons change. As the temperatures rise in the summer time, rather than tossing and turning, try out some 800 thread count sheets. Getting some of these will ensure you sleep right through the sticky evenings until the sun rises, because they are both lightweight and breathable.

800 thread count sheets are called this because of the material used. The microfibre is closely woven, with 800 threads in each square inch of material. Not only does this mean the sheets are incredibly soft and comfortable, but the material is perfect for summer. The fibres in the material are incredibly strong, but also incredibly fine, meaning the sheet is both lightweight and hard-wearing, and most importantly breathable. They also tend to have a silken, lustrous feel to them, so they look expensive, although often they are quite affordable. You can purchase 800 thread count sheets individually, or as a set, which usually includes a flat sheet, a fitted sheet, and pillowcases.

Sheets are fine for summer, but what do you do in winter if youíre not a fan of duvets? As the nights draw in and the temperatures drop below zero, try getting yourself some soft flannel sheets. Although they are relatively thin and lightweight, they are made from thick cotton, meaning they are warm and cosy, and just like putting on a set of flannel pyjamas. The only drawback is that they tend to lose their softness over time if you wash them a lot.

You can also double up on your sheets. Another new idea for bedding is to use mattress pads. Rather than something that goes over your body, a mattress pad goes over the mattress, making your bed even softer and more comfortable, but most importantly, warmer. Traditional styles of mattress pads have elastic corners which hook over the mattress, and come in a variety of materials. These include cotton, foam, polyester, down or wool and they are specifically designed to be comfortable and warm. Mattress pads need to be washed and fluffed regularly to keep them fresh and warm. Wool ones will need dry cleaning, otherwise it becomes matted. They also need to be rotated on a regular basis so they donít wear in the same place.

Feather Beds

A new concept in bedding is the feather bed. As the name suggests, it is a bed made from feathers. They are also available in man-made fabrics such as polyester, or combinations of down and feathers. The feather bed is quite thick (about 4 inches) and very soft, so if youíre used to a hard mattress, you might feel like youíre being hugged by the bed. But this amount of cushioning means youíll be warm all night long. If youíre married or cohabiting, changes in weather might affect you and your partnerís sleeping patterns. Some couples just canít be in agreement as to which sheet or duvet thickness is best. If this is the case, try getting two different duvets, one for each person. Another idea is to purchase a compatibility duvet. They are rare, but if you get one, itís the perfect solution, as there are two halves to the duvet, each at a different tog rating. A purely superficial aspect to the changes in season is the colours youíll have on your bed. During the spring and summer months, itís nice to go with lighter shades, such as pastels or whites. In autumn and winter, a darker, heavier sheet looks best and also makes the room look cosier.

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