A good night’s sleep becomes even better when you are tucked into a smartly dressed bed. Your head sinks into a soft pillow, the silk sheets wrap around your body, and the blanket feels softer than your favorite cashmere sweater. How do you make sure your luxury bedding is the best it can be? Learn the basics before choosing everything from sheets to down pillows to duvets. Then take a look around you. New colors for spring include soothing spa hues (pale pink, periwinkle, and green tea), as well as bright poppy hues. If colors aren’t your style, rest assured that white is more attractive and less utilitarian than ever. So go ahead and invest in luxury bedding, the material of your dreams. You will sleep wonderfully.

Thread counts in luxury sheets

In general, the higher the thread count (the number of threads woven in one square inch), the thinner the cotton sheet will be, but that is not always true. More than 200 are considered good quality for luxury bedding. Go above 250 and you will notice the difference. But finishing processes, including bleaching, printing, and dyeing, also affect smoothness, especially with very dark colors (look for yarn-dyed sheeting, which are softer). High quality Egyptian and Pima cottons have longer fibers than standard cotton and can be woven into stronger, silkier yarns. Therefore, a 200 thread count Egyptian cotton sheet may feel softer than a standard 220 thread count cotton sheet. If you choose standard cotton, look for “combed cotton,” which is softer.

Sheet primer


COTTON A soft natural fiber that breathes and dyes well; wrinkles (may need ironing); Widely used fabrics include percale (crisp, smooth cotton sheets), satin (shiny with a silky feel), and Jacquard (with woven designs; more expensive than percale or satin)

POLYESTER does not fade but does not breathe; Slightly rough feeling; can you take a pill

JERSEY Like a cotton jersey, knitted, not woven cotton; gentle; does not wrinkle but can lose shape; ideal for spring and autumn

FLANNEL Soft cotton with a plush surface; the warmest sheets available; choose preshrunk and brushed or plush on both sides

LINEN Strong, resistant and resistant to stains; expensive but lasts for generations; stiff when new, softens with use; wrinkles (ironing is a must); for the best quality buy Irish, Italian or Belgian bedding

SILK A lustrous, soft fabric that drapes wonderfully; Expensive luxury bedding leaves; often requires dry cleaning.

Care and handling: sheets

o Wash new blades before use to remove manufacturing finishes or odors.

o Use warm water with a cold rinse to wash luxury sheets (hot water breaks down fibers); Dry on permanent press setting.

o Unless sheets are very dirty, use half the recommended amount of detergent. Wash colored sheets with a liquid detergent (powders don’t always dissolve completely, so they can leave a residue that dulls colors).

o Never use chlorine bleach on luxury sheets, which can weaken the fibers.

o Wash sheets separately from terry towels to prevent lint migration.

o Remove the sheets from the dryer while they are still slightly damp to avoid wrinkles. Fold or spread them on the bed to air dry if necessary.

o If you iron luxury sheets, use a hot iron on damp sheets; iron lace or embroidered on the reverse side.

Double take: quilts

Instead of the classic patchwork, the newer quilts are made from single fabric pieces in a solid color or integral pattern, and are often reversible. Modified patterns add instant impact to your bed, while solid colors highlight the elaborate designs created by the seams of the luxury bedding trend.

Sure, a soft bed sink with a luxurious mile-high duvet is cozy, but what if you want a slightly more elegant look? The quilts are right around the corner, but forget about the caterpillars. Instead, look for solid color fitted liners on textured fabrics. The ultimate bedding look is streamlined, modern, and flat, easy to achieve with a slim duvet or custom made quilt or quilt. And throw the piles of decorative pillows; limit small pillows to what you need for comfort. To soften the look, tuck in cozy textured plush blankets or blankets, or add a subtle pattern, such as tone-on-tone flowers, to bed or dresser pillows. Bonus: you’ll avoid the hassle of removing layers of covers from the bed or trying to find a place to store them before crawling under the covers each night.

Goose down is softer and generally more expensive than duck down as it provides more insulation. The most expensive goose down comes from Siberia, Hungary or Poland; China goose down is less expensive.

Basic bedding: what’s underneath

Choose a pillow for firmness. Down is softer; feathers are firmer. Generally, tummy sleepers prefer soft down-filled pillows. Side sleepers choose firm pillows with a high ratio of feathers to down, and those who sleep on their backs sleep best at a 50-50 mix. Ticks must be tightly woven (at least 230 threads) to contain feathers. Other Options: Cotton, Primaloft, and Polyurethane foam come in many densities and are good for anyone with allergies.

A mattress cover keeps the mattress clean and dry. Cotton is an obvious choice, but fleece provides extra padding, goose down filling is ultra-soft for luxurious bedding, and foam offers back support.

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