Choosing bed linen

Quality bed linen can make the difference between a great night’s sleep and a few hours of shut-eye. When you’re buying a quality bed at a great price (and if you’re one of Gloucester Furniture’s customers you already have), why not indulge in new linen to create the perfect sleep experience?


How often to buy new bedclothes

The Sleep Council says that pillows should be changed every two years and duvets every five. But how long should bed linen last? Buying good quality in the first place and frequent, careful laundering, should mean your sheets, duvet covers and pillowcases last for years.


Linen, cotton or man-made fibres?

If you remember the days of Bri-nylon, you might quake at the thought of man made fibres, but today our choices are much more refined. Adding synthetic fibres helps reduce the need for ironing. Linen is a coarser fabric, with a higher thread count (see below). After a few years linen fibres begin to soften and it actually improves with age and lasts longer than cotton. Cotton varies greatly in fibre thickness but generally Egyptian cotton has finer fibres and therefore a softer feel. Silk or satin sheets are luxurious but require careful laundering and might not be practical for everyday use.


What’s thread count?

For that true hotel bed sensation of cool, crisp sheets, we’re told that we need high thread counts. Egyptian cotton and percale (or Persian) cotton have the highest thread counts – usually 200 or greater. The fabric is made up of very fine threads and woven closely, so that the threads lie against each other. The finer threads are more flexible than coarser linen, so they produce a fabric that drapes over your body as you lie in bed.


How to launder bed linen

In order to keep expensive bed linens in tip-top condition, frequent laundering is recommended. Washday Mondays are a thing of the past but our bedclothes should be washed every week. We’re told that lower temperature washes will get laundry clean and detergents have been developed to wash better at 30C. Some argue that 40C with a biological detergent is more likely to deep clean the fabric and prolong the life of the linens. Tumble drying or using a washing line is a matter of preference and practicality but either way sheets and duvet covers should be thoroughly aired before storing or replacing on the bed.


Mattress protectors

Mattress and pillow protectors keep dirt and spills away from mattresses and pillows, making it less likely that they will need to be cleaned or replaced. They also reduce any dust mite debris, which is a great benefit for those with respiratory ailments, such as asthma.

In an age of disposal items, we should think of high quality bed linens as an investment, which will last for years. Cheap alternatives just don’t measure up when we think of slipping between cool, soft sheets for a cosy night’s sleep.