Choosing Your Bedding

Your bedding makes a big difference in the quality of your sleep. Once you have found the right mattress, the right bedding can make all the difference to a good night sleep.

There are a number of things to consider when choosing your bedding. [pilllow hygien] Yes, style is important but you also want bedding and linens that will last, items that are comfortable and you may also want to consider the fillings, in case of allergic reaction.


Sheets are an important buy, never before has there been a greater number of different fabrics, colours and sizes to choose from, meaning that it’s easier than ever to find sheets that fit your taste and match your bedding perfectly.

Did you know?In a survey which included responses from 1,500 randomly selected adults in the U.S. between the ages of 25 and 55, Six out of 10 said they changed their sheets weekly or more often and roughly 3 out of 4 people said they got a more comfortable night’s sleep when their sheets had a fresh scent.People reported sleeping longer hours and feeling better about going to bed when their bed was made, their sheets were fresh, and their bedroom was comfortable.

The following are factors to consider when choosing your sheets –


Sheets come in a variety of different materials, from cotton sateen weaves to synthetic micro fleece fabrics. If you want a set of warm sheets for the winter, a good option is cotton flannel sheets and synthetic microfiber fleece sheets, both of which have a soft, fuzzy finish designed to keep you warm at night. If you want something extra luxurious, take a look at synthetic satin sheets or cotton sateen sheets. Each of these fabrics has a silky, glossy finish that looks and feels wonderful. If you want cotton sheets that are a step up from the norm, you can find high-quality Egyptian cotton sheets, high thread count sheets made from cotton, cotton damask sheets and even eco-friendly organic cotton sheets.


Be sure to buy sheets the right size for your bed, as there is nothing worse than the “creeping sheet”, working its way off the bed in the middle of the night. However, there are a few exceptions to the sizing norm. If you have a pillow-top mattress, you will probably want to buy deep-pocket sheets. Deep-pocket sheets are fitted sheets with extra deep corners designed to fit over extra-thick pillow-top mattresses. If you have a Super king-size mattress, which is larger than a standard king mattress, keep your eye out for Super king-size sheets, since standard king-size sheets might not fit your bed. Remember, some European retailers do not conform to the industry standard size of mattress or bed frame. Know your sizes as this can be a nightmare when trying to buy linen to dress your new bed.

Thread Count

Thread count is the total number threads that run horizontally and vertically in a square inch of fabric. A higher thread count indicates a tighter weave and lends softness and durability to the material. A thread count of at least 200 makes a wonderful, long lasting sheet. Sheets with a thread count of 300-400 are a little nicer yet still affordable. 400-900 thread count sheets may cost a little more, but if it is softness you want, these sheets are wonderful. Thread counts of 1000 or more make very soft and smooth sheets, the height of luxury; however, the finer threads necessary to achieve this high thread count often make these types of sheets less durable.


Weave creates the texture of the fabric and affects the look and feel of the sheets. Sheets are usually made from either percale weave fabrics or sateen weave fabrics. Percale sheets are woven closely in a kind of basket weave and have no gloss, creating smooth-textured sheets. Sateen sheets are woven with more fibers on the fabric surface, creating a luster like that of satin sheets.

Colours and Patterns

There is nothing wrong with white. White is a great colour and is, obviously, the most common sheet colour out there. However, if you’re never considered buying sheets in any other colour or pattern, you should give it some thought. Make your bed the star attraction in your bedroom with great modern designs available.

Sets or Individuals

Buying sheet sets and buying sheets individually both have advantages. One advantage of buying a sheet set is that it saves you looking for the perfect match and can be less expensive than individual items. However, buying sheets, pillowcases and fitted sheets separately often allows you to individualise your bedding.

Duvets and Comforters

Duvet and comforters are forms of blankets or quilts. The differences between a comforter and a duvet lie in the material they are made of and their usage. A comforter is a thick, quilted, fluffy blanket usually included as part of a bed set. Most commonly filled with synthetic fibre filler. A Duvet is a soft flat bag made of a variety of materials, ranging from down or feathers, cotton to silk or wool. Duvet covers can be matched to the interiors of a room, which is why they can make for a good investment in the long run.


Comforters are typically just another part of a bedding set used in a bedroom. The comforter will normally match the other linens, such as the bed sheets and pillow cases. It will often come in bedding sets that have coordinating separates and make decorating easy. In contrast, duvets do not always match with additional bedding. Duvet covers are generally sold separately from duvets and are best for anyone with a design theme in mind since they require coordinating bed linens. Duvet covers add that dash of elegance to your room, and to the overall bedroom decorating scheme.


Duvet fillings are either natural or synthetic. Natural down fillings are soft, light and comfortable. The natural fibres help your skin ‘breathe’ more effectively and have excellent insulating properties, while synthetic duvets are practical and easier to look after.

Synthetic duvets are less expensive and tend to be more practical than natural-filled duvets.

Ideal for allergy sufferers: They’re especially good if you are allergic to feathers or down, or if you are sensitive to dust and need to wash your duvet regularly.

Light weight fabrics: Synthetic duvets are made from polyester or polyester microfibre. Microfibre duvets are lighter than standard polyester duvets and replicate the same properties as down.

Synthetic duvets have the advantage of being machine washable and their lifespan is about 10 years if cared for correctly. This is less than the natural filled but they are the less expensive option. Always read the manufactures care instructions on your comforter, duvet or duvet cover before cleaning.

Tog Rating

The industry standard name used for measuring the warmth of a duvet is referred to as tog rating. Togs are measured in units of thermal resistance. For example a duvet with a 4.5 tog count is lightweight and will make a suitable summer duvet. A duvet with a tog rating between 9 and 10.5 togs is medium weight would be more suitable for spring and autumn. If you want a heavier duvet that is suitable for winter, then you need one with a tog rating of between 12 and 13.5 togs.


Both duvets and comforters are sold according to bed size. For example, you might choose between a double and a king comforter. However, comforters are designed to be larger than beds, so they will hang over the sides. Duvets, on the other hand, fit the bed more snugly. Remember, some European retailers do not conform to the industry standard size of mattress or bed frame, check your sizes before you buy to make sure your duvet or comforter make’s for a good sleeping experience allowing you to have a wonderful night’s sleep, every night!

The Little Extras

Throws and cushions create a luxurious look for any bedroom and come in both soft and bold colours to provide striking focal points in the room. The cushions add colour and texture to your bed, and can give it a plush and inviting feel. Bed throws are perfect as a decorative accent or cosy wrap for the bed. Soft and luxurious, throws are specifically designed to provide exceptional warmth and comfort. They are available in a wide range of fabrics, from natural wool for that cosy feel, to fur and silk for the more adventurous.

So that’s an overview of the main types of sheets, comforters and duvets and little extra’s that can help create the perfect sleeping environment. They are, of course, personal preference, but remember we spend just under half our life in bed, so be sure you’re comfortable!

As Ireland’s sleep experts, Harvey Norman stock a large range of quality bedding to complement your new bed or help with that bedroom makeover that you’ve being dreaming off.Visit a store near you.

In Short: As important as a quality mattress is for supporting your back, your skin is quite sensitive. Don’t spend nights being irritated, get some good bedding

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Posts from the Harvey Norman blog team.

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