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Bed Linens - Choosing the Right Ones for Your Comfort

I don't know about you, but I sometimes have a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep. Sometimes my thoughts keep me awake. Sometimes I'll wake up in the night with night sweats. If you're not yet having night sweats, your time is coming, I'm afraid. Sometimes I wake up because of body aches or a nightmare.

Regardless of the reasons for sleepless nights, there are some things you can do to improve your ability to sleep better. And I'm not talking about taking sleeping pills. I'm talking about the bedding on your bed. Choosing the correct linens for your bed can be perplexing. So let's look at some tips in that regard.

  • Make sure you have a mattress pad or soft cover over your mattress.
  • A mattress pad will protect the mattress from body stains or general stains.
  • A mattress pad can be easily removed and washed or replaced for very little money.
  • A mattress pad will add an element of extra padding to soften the feel of the mattress.
  • Add an egg crate foam mattress under the mattress pad. This will bring even more softness to the feel of the mattress and helps when you have aches and pains.
  • Buy the best quality sheets you can afford. This is a matter of personal preference.
  • Sheets should be considered according to three aspects: thread count, weave and fiber content.
  • Thread count (the number of threads in 1 sq inch of fabric) generally ranges from 180 to 500 threads per inch.
  • The higher the score (500) - the higher the softness - the stronger the sheet.
  • There are different kinds of weaves.
  • Percale is a balanced weave (vertical and horizontal threads cross each other one at a time).
  • Percale sheets are very strong but not always that comfortable.
  • Sateen weave (one horizontal thread is woven over several vertical threads) creates more sheen, as the threads reflect more light and look more shiny.
  • Sateen sheets are more comfortable but are less durable than percale sheets.
  • Jersey sheets is like a stretchy knit (sort of like t-shirts).
  • Flannel sheets are similar to percale except the surface is brushed to create a softer, warmer feeling.
  • The longer the cotton fibers, the smoother the surface. Long cotton fibers include Egyptian, supima and pima.
  • Combing is a technique that makes sheets feel softer by removing the short fibers from the sheet.
  • For warmth, add a blanket or comforter. Which one you'll choose will depend on the climate where you live and personal preference.
  • Some blankets can be individually controlled for the amount heat they produce, but my experience is that they don't hold up very well.
  • Never use an electric blanket on a waterbed.
  • Always read the manufacturer's directions before using any electrical blanket.

Bed linens come in a wide variety of colors and patterns. You can also buy linens for your bed in packages that include two pillowcases, a top sheet and a bottom fitted sheet. Make sure you are buying the correct sized bedding for your bed: twin, full, queen, king or California king.

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Barbara Jennings is author of 11 decorating books: Decor Secrets Revealed, Rearrange It, Home Staging for Profit, Staging Luxurious Homes, Home Staging for Yourself, Arrange Your Stuff, Advanced Redesign, Pro Art Consulting, Where There's a Wall - There's a Way, The Art of Hanging Art, Great Parties! Great Homes!

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