From the right mattress to the perfect pillow, interiors editor Nicole Gray reveals how making your bed can make your night
The mattress; soft, hard or just right?
Finding the right mattress is sleep-transforming, which is why the golden rule is to try before you buy. Experts suggest spending up to ten minutes lying on a mattress in your preferred sleep position and also on your side to see if your spine is straight. A mattress that is too hard will push your hip and shoulder out of alignment, making sleeping uncomfortable. The mattress should also dip slightly under your shoulder and hip, again so that your spine stays straight. ‘For the best support and longevity, opt for a pocket-sprung mattress,’ says Emily Wimborne, bedroom furniture buyer at John Lewis. ‘All the coils are separate and work independently of each other, which means they move with your body while providing better pressure-relieving support than open-coil mattresses.’
For tailored advice on choosing the right mattress for your sleep position as well as sleep wellness tips, book a virtual mattress consultation at johnlewis.com
The bedlinen: think fabric that breathes
The wrong sheets against your body can lead to disturbed sleep and a lack of energy come the morning. ‘Linen is a perfect choice for adding comfort while you sleep as it is naturally moisture-repellent, helping to regulate temperature,’ says Jo James. co-founder of Bedfolk. ‘Linen is also naturally massaging due to the microscopic breaks in the structure of the material, which doesn’t change with each wash. The nature of linen is anti-static, too, which allows the body to maintain pH levels, making it perfect for those with sensitive skin or who suffer with allergies.’
For a really restful night, always use a fitted sheet over the mattress – this won’t come loose as you move – then add your layers: a top sheet, duvet cover and soft throw or weighted blanket for the ultimate comfort. For a variety of bedlinen bundles, visit bedfolk.com
The pillows: good support is crucial
For a great night’s sleep, you need a pillow with the correct support. Side sleepers require a firm medium-to-high one to fill the gap between the mattress and their head and keep their spine straight. Back sleepers need a fairly firm medium pillow to support their neck without pushing their head too forward. Stomach sleepers require a softer low pillow – too thick and it will push the head back, straining the neck. As for fillings, try microfibre, which has the softness of down with the firmness of memory foam. For a variety of choices, visit evesleep.co.uk and, remember, buy a new pillow every two years as they flatten over time, causing strain on your neck.
As for the pillowcase, consider ones made of silk as it causes less friction on the skin and hair in comparison to cotton, which can tug. For the pillows on your bed, keep the colours minimal for relaxation but amp up the texture with a variety of materials: think velvet, wool and cotton waffle.
The duvet: know your togs and fillings
When buying a duvet there are two important things to consider, says Emily Atwood, co-founder of sustainable bedding brand Scooms – the filling and the tog rating. ‘A duvet’s tog rating is based on its ability to trap warm air inside, so the higher the rating the warmer the duvet. Having the right tog is important because if you’re too hot or too cold in bed, you won’t sleep well.’
A 10.5 tog duvet (they go up to around 15 tog) is an all-rounder that can be used in any season, or you can buy two that join together (usually 9 tog plus 4.5 tog) and remove one when the weather gets warm.
‘The filling is what makes a duvet feel totally amazing or utterly awful,’ says Emily. ‘Wool duvets are the most breathable, although chunkier than most. They also retain air better. This keeps you warm when you’re cold and removes excess heat when your body starts to warm.’ Try scooms.com for a variety of options.