There’s no question that sleep is important, and advice on how to get a good night’s sleep is abundant. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, wear amber-tinted glasses before bed, no electronics in the bedroom, keep the room dark, and on and on. But once you crawl between the sheets, it’s all about the bed.
To create a bed that promotes a good night’s sleep, begin with bedding made of breathable, organic, and natural materials. This starts with your mattress—one-size-fits-all doesn’t apply. The good news is you don’t have to compromise your comfort to meet the comfort needs of your sleeping partner. Instead, opt for a customizable mattress with each side optimized to meet the specific needs of each sleeper.
You can achieve this with a natural latex mattress with adjustable layers of organic latex inside an organic cotton-and-wool quilted cover. Wool helps regulate body temperature by wicking away moisture, keeping you cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. It has the added benefit of meeting federal flame-retardant standards without the use of chemical flame retardants.
Your mattress and pillow work together to provide proper body alignment; so choosing the right pillow is important. Unfortunately, pillows have a tendency to compress. You may find a pillow that feels perfect but within a few months it’s simply too flat. An adjustable pillow can solve that problem.
Adjustable pillows feature a zippered cover that allows you to add or remove fill to get the optimal loft to support your head and neck. If your pillow compresses too much, you can add more fill rather than buy a new pillow. Choose from a variety of natural fill materials, such as wool, shredded latex, or kapok fiber, to get the level of firmness or softness that works for you.
Your mattress and pillow provide the foundation for a healthy sleep environment. It’s advisable to use a mattress pad to protect your mattress and a pillow protector to protect your pillow. Mattress and pillow protectors are available in a variety of breathable, natural-fiber materials that contribute to a comfortable sleep and add longevity to your mattress and pillow.
When it comes time to select your bed linens, choose natural-fiber materials. The most comfortable sheets to sleep in are made of 100 percent natural fiber, such as cotton, linen, and silk, as well as manufactured cellulose fiber, such as bamboo viscose. They breathe, wick moisture, and are soothing to the touch. These fibers make the healthiest options for sheets when they are free of chemical finishes.
Despite popular belief, there is no intrinsic value to a higher thread count. What’s important when buying sheets is the feel of the fabric, which depends on the integrity of the yarn and the quality of the weave, not thread count. Cotton can be woven in a variety of weaves to create a distinct feel. Choose the weave to get the feel you prefer.
–A crisp, smooth sheet that feels cool against the skin—ideal for warm sleepers and summer weather.
• Sateen –A buttery-soft sheet with subtle luster and a warmer feel than percale.
• Jersey –A soft, stretchy knit sheet that feels like your favorite t-shirt.
• Flannel –Brushed to create a fuzzy surface on both sides of the fabric, making it the coziest and warmest sheet.
For the finishing touches, invest in a high-quality duvet/comforter. With proper care, it will last for years. Although down and feathers are a common comforter fill, you may want to consider a wool- or silk-filled comforter. These materials wick moisture away from your body to give you a more comfortable sleep.
A duvet cover, pillow shams, and throw pillows add the finishing touch to your bed and reflect your personality. A duvet cover can be switched out to easily change the look of your bed seasonally or when you simply want a different look, creating an inviting, welcoming feel as you get ready to crawl in bed.
Sue Brown is co-owner of Satara Home & Baby.
Photographs provided by Satara Home & Baby.
View additional photographs at homeelementsandconcepts.com .
Satara Home & Baby
6333 University Avenue
Middleton, WI 53562