There are certain things in your home that are like good friends: they always cheer you up. This month we feel the love for a well made bed.
A bed can have many layers, each of varying quality, cost and sophistication. Take your pick from the smorgasbord of tog ratings and thread counts and assemble yours to your own specification.
The foundation of a good night’s sleep so worth investing in. The perceived wisdom is to change it every eight years, but this depends on the quality of the mattress.
A thin, often quilted, cover to keep the mattress unsullied.
An affordable option to changing your mattress. Padded with feathers or made from Memory Foam, it is an extra layer of support.
A necessity as the temperature drops, even when the central heating is on: little makes you sigh with pleasure like getting into a toasty bed.
Flat sheets beat fitted in our book: you can fold them easily before putting into the airing cupboard, and you get to show off hospital corners. Thread count of 300 is ideal; it’s high quality and launders well. Ironing sheets may be considered a waste of time, but slipping into a bed made with freshly laundered cotton sheet is a civilising thing.
There are too many choices of fillings and togs to go into here but a tog of 10.5 suits most, reduced to 4.5 in summer.
Tempting though patterns and designs are, plain colours are more versatile, with white top of the heap.
A better-quality pillow really does mean a better night’s sleep. Try a firmer pillow (mixture of down and feather) topped by a pure duck down pillow (expensive but dreamy) for a blissful combination.
Choose between the annoyingly named ‘housewife’ (simple and plain, fits snugly over pillow) and the Oxford (has a fabric border with a mitred corners). Ideally, they should match the duvet cover.
A pillow protector
(a plain pillow case slipped inside) to prevent staining and ensure longevity of the pillow is a sensible addition.
Bedspread or quilt
An extra layer of warmth and handy for covering up rumpled bedding and toast crumbs.
Adds a touch of interior designer show-offiness and handy on chillier nights.
Can be changed at whim. Also useful for propping yourself up if reading in bed. Pile neatly on to an ottoman at night.
Turn to page 114 of October's The Simple Things for more on the comfort of beds, including how to get that elusive plumped up showroom look.