Bedding

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What's in a Bedding Set?

Your typical bedding set will consist of a flat or fitted sheet, (sometimes) a bedspread, a top sheet, blanket, quilt, or duvet (with or without a duvet cover depending on the set), sometimes a bed skirt, and several pillow shams. Seems like a lot, but there's a purpose for everything in the set.

  • Bed skirts are decorative and sit between your mattress and box spring. Depending on their length they can also conceal the space beneath your bed frame.
  • If the set comes with a bedspread, they're designed to protect your bedding from dust. Popular practice is to remove them at night and enjoy a dustless sleep.
  • Occasionally the quilt will be replaced with a comforter. These are often included in sets with a bed skirt, as they're stylistically compatible. Generally, a comforter and bed skirt will not be included if there's a bedspread.
  • Duvets are flat bags that are usually filled. They are used like a blanket and tend to preserve warmth. The top side may feel more like a plastic material, but typically the underside is soft.
  • Duvets may also come with a cover, that attaches via a button or tie.
  • Pillow shams are used to keep your pillows feeling soft and clean.

How should you layer bedding and make your bed?

Great, so there's a purpose for everything, but how does it all go together? Luckily, you have this handy guide (organized from the order in which the items are placed):

Bed skirt

Fitted sheet

Top sheet

Duvet/blanket/quilt

Comforter

Pillows with shams

Bedspread

 

Of course during the summer time, this may be a far too warm a configuration. If this is the case, then remove bedding as necessary so that you can be comfortable! It's often not a bad idea to have a winter and summer set. Winter set made with warmer materials, and summer made with moisture wicking and lighter materials.

What is bedding made out of?

Bedding can be made from several different materials. Naturally, different materials are less or more expensive so be sure to shop in your budget, but don't sacrifice your comfort either.

The most common materials for bedding are:

Each of these materials have a different feel to them. Plain weave is going to feel the most unassuming, usually never too soft or too scratchy.

Satin sheets are similar to silk sheets and are great for summer time as they tend to allow heat to escape.

Flannel cotton sheets are far more rough, but very warm. They are best suited for late fall and winter weather.

Cotton/polyester blend sheets tend to also be labeled as "microfiber."" They resist pilling, but tend to be a little less breathable. This is no problem during the colder months.

Silk sheets are often associated with class and affluence. They're smooth and soft, with a decent weight to them. These are a great year round option.

Linen sheets tend to be soft and cool like silk or satin sheets, but can feel more grainy. They're not always going to be comfortable for those with sensitive skin, but they tend to be very comfortable and shouldn't be looked over if silk or satin are out of the budget.

Why does thread count matter?

We can't forget thread count. There's always been a decent hullabaloo about thread counts in sheets. Let's catch you up to speed:

The general thread count range to look for is between 400 and 1000. Any sheets between 400 and 600 are considered single ply. These are going to be your thinner sheets best for late spring and summer time. Double ply sheets are usually a thread count of over 600-1000. These are twice as thick as their single ply counterparts and hold heat better. Keep this in mind while choosing which fabric you desire, as a cool fabric may feel warmer than you'd think if the thread count is high.