From the comfiest mattresses to the colours that guarantee your best sleep ever, here’s all you need to know about slumbering in style.
Keep it natural
Experts suggest that immersing yourself in nature can feel as good as getting a pay rise. Bring natural elements into the bedroom with plants, botanical motifs and tonal colours. For similar bedding try hm.com; zarahome.com has a great selection of throws.
Super-size your bed
These standout four-posters will give your room some hotel-suite chic
Colours that calm
Struggling to drift off? It might not be that work deadline that’s keeping you up but the colours in your bedroom, according to sleep.org. Warm tones such as reds or bright yellows are believed to have an energising effect, possibly even increasing a person’s heart rate in response. Cooler colours such as blue, forest green and pale yellow encourage better sleep as they lower blood pressure and heart rate, helping the body to relax.
However, if you love strong colours and patterns in the bedroom, consider using them behind your bed or on the headboard, so that you don’t see them when you are lying down. Philippa Prinsloo, head of design at John Lewis Home, suggests, ‘Opt for neutral tones on the walls and floors then layer richer colours through bedroom furniture and accessories.’
From oversized to bespoke upholstered numbers, headboards are a great way to bring luxury fabrics and colour into your bedroom without breaking the bank. If you opt for upholstered, keep the look modern (as opposed to chintzy) with graphic patterns or eye-catching colours such as emerald or mustard. This bespoke board has a built-in storage system for clutter control. For velvet fabric in a wide range of colours, try romo.com.
The perfect mattress
Before you buy, check out these dos and don’ts
Consider the firmness you want. When lying on your side in bed, you are aiming for a straight spine: the mattress should have enough give for it to dip slightly under hip and shoulder so that your spine stays straight. One that is too hard will push your hip and shoulder out of alignment.
Invest in the largest mattress you can afford, especially if you are a light sleeper sharing a bed. If you don’t have a lot of space, however, the rule of thumb is when lying on your back you should be able to have both hands behind your head without touching the other person.
Try before you buy. If you’re going to a shop to buy a mattress, experts recommend that you spend up to ten minutes testing it out beforehand. Lie in your favourite sleeping position then move around to see if it’s right for you.
Look for a pocket-sprung mattress. Pocket springs are individual coils that work independently from each other to better respond to pressure from your body. They don’t move as a whole unit, which reduces the transfer of movement to other areas of the mattress. This is an ideal option if you’re sharing a bed.
Don’t forget a mattress topper. This goes over your mattress before your sheets and provides an additional layer of cushioning to support the body.
Finally, remember to turn or rotate your mattress regularly. Do this roughly every four weeks to prevent dips forming and your weight altering the shape of part of the mattress.
Cushions: The true marriage test?
YOU’s Interiors Editor Nicole Gray and her writer husband Thom Atkinson discuss whether cushions on a bed create a beautiful display… or if they are just another thing to take off at night.
‘Yes, you can never have too many’
A bed without cushions on it makes me feel sad and lost looking at it. For me, there is nothing quite like a decorative cushion on a bed. I see them as shots of serotonin for the soul: the more the merrier. They are soft bundles of joy and ways to express your pizzazz.
Yes, they may take a few extra seconds to arrange each morning, but that’s a small price to pay for the gift of transforming the bedroom into a luxe haven to greet you at the end of the day.
At a push, I will hear an argument for having two singular decorative cushions on a bed (I am a fan of symmetry), but it can border on looking over-styled, like an interiors showroom.
Four cushions and we can chat: if they’re of varying sizes and textures, this can work well as a display. It makes the bed look alluring, and you still have enough room to nap and read. Everybody wins.
Six cushions or more? Now you’re talking my language! This adds peak plushness to a room: more texture, more depth – in essence, more joy!
‘No, they’re not decorations’
First off, let’s get something straight: I love cushions. In fact, the more I find on my bed, the more I’m going to use, somehow, some way. One, two, three, four; I’m going to deploy each and every one. Flip it, spoon it, scissor it – I will find a home for it. Silk cases, faux fur covers, all are welcome in one’s quest to become a pillow king or queen. Otherwise, what’s the point of having them all?
It’s with this mantra in mind that I disagree with my wife’s love of cushions for purely decorative purposes. That isn’t to say you shouldn’t invest in beautiful bedwear, create a bespoke palette and take pride in your boudoir, but the very notion that these plush wonders would be denied their one true purpose – of providing comfort – purely to please the eye is completely lost on me.
Even if you’ve managed to pare down the task of taking the bonus cushions on and off the bed to a crisp minute (plus time for artful rearrangement, obviously) in the evening and once again in the morning, that’s still more than 12 hours a year spent lifting the unused.
And anyway, who is going to be gazing at them while you’re not at home? We don’t put unnecessary cushions on the sofa, taking them on and off every time we sit down. So why bother in the bedroom? Our time is precious – let’s not waste it on a work of art that no one else will ever see.
Plump it up
Whichever cushion camp you’re in, here are our plush picks