Hello Again! Welcome to our blog, The Design Twins. We are Julie and Jodie, twin sisters, decorators, bloggers, and teachers. Jodie and I love learning, and better yet, we love sharing all we learn with you. We are excited to break down an important topic for you today: Buying Bedding.
Lost in the Bedding Aisle
Have you ever stood in the aisle of a store staring at bedding labels and thread counts trying to make sense of it all? Jodie and I sure have. In fact, it happened just recently. We both wanted fresh looks for our beds, and we were debating over what to choose for our new bedding. Honestly, we didn’t have a clue.
These days we may not be standing in the aisle. We may be browsing endlessly online, which is equally confusing and often totally overwhelming. There are so many choices it’s tough to know where to even begin. We figured we were not alone in our confusion, so here are the lessons we learned recently while researching and buying bedding ourselves.
What This Post Will Cover:
- Pros and cons of high thread counts and if they are worth your investment
- The differences between different cottons
- Differences between different weaves
- Pros and cons of various bedding materials and how to choose what’s right for you
- How to choose the best comforter
- Where to find top quality bedding that lasts
- All the details of how we created our two bed makeovers
The next time you are buying bedding you’ll be a savvy shopper ready to buy with confidence.
Buying Bedding from The Company Store®
Jodie and I have owned beautiful sheets and comforters from The Company Store® in our homes for over 20 years. I used my monogrammed sheet and comforter sets on my master bed for 15 years. Bedding is definitely an investment. Choosing the right bedding impacts the beauty of your bedroom and also the quality of your sleep. Buying bedding might be one of the most important purchases you make for your home. That’s why we are delighted to be partnering with The Company Store® for our bedding makeovers this fall. While we receive compensation for this article all opinions are entirely our own.
19 Things You Need to Know Before Buying Bedding
1. Understand Thread Count when Buying Bedding
Let’s start with the fundamentals of buying bedding: understanding thread count. Thread count refers to the number of threads woven into a square inch of fabric. The more threads the tighter the weave and the higher the cost of the sheets.
We have been taught that the higher the thread count the better the sheets. But this isn’t necessarily always true. Basing the value of sheets on thread count alone is a mistake. There are several other factors to be considered, including material and staple length. Staple length refers to the length of the cotton fiber.
2. Higher Thread Counts are Less Breathable
Higher thread count is smoother but it is also less breathable. If you tend to sleep hot you may prefer buying bedding with no higher than the 400 – 500 range.
3. Make Sure You Shop with a Reputable Brand
In addition to understanding what you are buying it’s equally important to understand who you are buying from. Just because a package or online source claims “Egyptian cotton” there are plenty of false claims out there. You really have no way of knowing for certain what you are buying.
That’s why Jodie and I love The Company Store®. We have been buying bedding from them for years. They have been a trusted leader in the industry since opening their doors in 1911. They have a strong tradition of excellence in product and customer service for over 100 years!
4. There is a “Sweet Spot” for Thread Count
The sweet spot for thread count for buying bedding is between 400 – 600. Lower than 400 you are sacrificing durability and comfort. Above 600 you are likely to break the budget. The law of diminishing returns definitely applies to buying bedding. The cost of sheets above 600 is greater than the relative improvement in quality and feel.
5. What is the Difference between Different Weaves
When buying bedding it can sometimes feel like you need to speak another language. Let’s clarify some key terms when it comes to defining different weaves and what each means for you.
Weave is invisible to the naked eye, but it’s really important. It affects a sheet’s softness, appearance, longevity, and price.
- Percale – Most sheets are woven in Percale style. This is a crisscross pattern, each side having the same amount of surface thread. Percale is durable, lightweight and breathable, with a slightly rough feel, and matte finish.
- Sateen – More fibers along the surface creates a smoother, luxurious feel and a lovely shine. However, they are more prone to snagging.
- Twill – This weave has visual diagonal lines across the surface, like we see in denim. Twill sheets are generally strong and durable and drape well.
- Jersey – These are not actually woven, but finely knitted. Jersey sheets have a more casual appearance, a softer feel and lots of stretch and elasticity.
- Patterned – Design is woven into the texture of the sheet. They have a luxurious, vintage look, and are much heavier. Patterned weave sheets are more expensive.
- Dobby – A pattern is woven into the fabric, most commonly simple elements such as dots or stripes.
6. Not all Cottons are Created Equal
Egyptian cotton is the highest quality cotton. Expect to pay more, but it is worth it. The staple length is longer on Egyptian cotton, making it softer and more durable than other cottons. Pima is also a high-quality cotton with a longer staple, making it an excellent choice for lasting durability and smooth feel. Supima® is literally “superior Pima,” created from the longest staple Pima cotton.
Summary in Order of Quality (from lowest to highest):
- Upland Cotton: short-fiber, less expensive cotton produced in USA
- Pima: long-fiber, strong, soft, grown on the Sea Islands of South Carolina
- Supima®: the highest quality American-grown cotton, made from the longest Pima cotton. Even stronger and softer than Pima
- Egyptian: long-fiber, strong, soft, highest quality cotton grown in Nile River Valley in Egypt
We love the Simple Tuck Gathered Bed Skirt from The Company Store® Jodie added to complete the look of her new bed.
7. Staple Length Matters when Buying Bedding
According to the Textile Study Center:
“Staple length is one of the most important factors of cotton quality because both ﬁber ﬁneness and fiber tensile strength are associated with staple length. The longer staples are usually finer and stronger than the shorter staples.”
The longer the fiber the stronger and softer the cotton. Also, the longer the staple the higher the quality and price tag.
8. Most Down Allergies are Not From Down Itself
Scientists believe it’s the dust on improperly cleaned down—not down itself—that causes allergies. At The Company Store® all of the down used in their products is cleaned with phosphate-free soap in state-of-the-art equipment, and then thoroughly sterilized.
The Company Store® down is RDS certified (Responsible Down Standard). This was established by the textile exchange to promote social responsibility and traceability within the down industry. Each phase of down sourcing is monitored so you can be confident that the down inside your comforter is the most responsibility sourced in the market!
I was told by my doctor that I was allergic to down. But I have been able to enjoy my down comforter from The Company Store® for years without any problems.
9. Understand Fill Power When Buying Bedding
When you are in the market to buy a comforter it’s important to understand the term “fill power”. Fill power really refers to the quality of the fill itself, and with down, sometimes less is more. It is the volume a single ounce of down takes up: the higher the fill power, the better the insulating quality of the down. Down from mature, larger birds has greater loft, so it insulates better. Therefore less is needed to provide substantial warmth.
At The Company Store® you can choose from four different fill power levels to customize your down comforter for your ideal warmth. I don’t like to be too hot when I sleep, so I chose “Light Comfort” and it’s amazing. I feel cozy but not too hot.
Soft florals combine with luxurious texture of the coverlet to create the perfect ensemble on Julie’s bed.
10. Buying Bedding: Pros of Linen
- Linen sheets can provide a luxurious sleep.
- Their best quality is their breathability.
- Great summer choice.
- Moisture absorbing, so if you sweat at all these are a great choice.
- Linen will keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
- Look is casual and elegant all at once. The subtle texture is unmistakable and timeless.
- Naturally eco-friendly, which is a big win for those of us concerned about our planet.
- Durable and long-lasting.
11. Buying Bedding: Cons of Linen
- Can take multiple washings and, in some cases, years to become as soft as cotton.
- It could take some getting used to if you’ve always slept on smooth cotton.
- If you’re looking for out-of-the-box softness linen is not your best choice.
The linen throw adds a beautiful touch to the bedside bench in Julie’s room. This throw is especially nice in warmer months, but we like the look year-round.
12. Buying Bedding: Pros of Silk
- Most luxurious.
- I’ve heard many times that using a silk pillow case is a great way to save your skin.
- It helps by not causing creasing and wrinkling in your face as you sleep.
- Moisture absorbency helps skin feel soft.
13. Buying Bedding: Cons of Silk
- Very expensive.
- Hard to care for. Most are recommended to be hand washed or dry cleaned.
- Not everyone wants the slippery feel.
14. Buying Bedding: Pros of Microfiber Sheets
Microfiber is a fancy word for polyester (and sometimes nylon) microfiber
- Due to the fibers being extremely tiny they naturally repel stains.
- Easy to care for.
- Holds color very well and resists fading.
- Like silk, microfiber is hypoallergenic.
15. Buying Bedding: Cons of Microfiber Sheets
- Very susceptible to wrinkling.
- Wears down over time. They don’t last as long as other materials.
- Microfiber is created from petroleum waste products. Obviously, this is the opposite of organic.
- Holds static electricity, especially in dry climates.
16. Before Buying Bedding Always Check the Return Policy
Before you invest in your bedding be sure to find out the return/exchange policy in case you don’t love your order. Sometimes we don’t get the color right or we make a mistake with the size. It really pays off to know that the company is willing to stand behind all they sell and is committed to your ultimate happiness.
We always recommend buying bedding from a company that you know and trust. With over a century of excellence it’s easy to see why we feel confident buying at The Company Store®. We love their “REST -EASY” Guarantee. This allows exchanges, refunds or merchandise credit within 90 days. All of The Company Store® products are made to the highest quality standards. Some even come with Lifetime Guarantees.
Jodie’s pillows really make a gorgeous statement.
17. Is “Wrinkle-Free” Even Possible?
Wondering whether or not to choose wrinkle-free sheets? I mean, who loves the idea of a) dealing with wrinkles b) having to iron sheets? Noone. But many brands claim “wrinkle free” and after a few washes tend to wrinkle just like the rest.
However, we have found some amazing sheets at The Company Store®, 450-Thread Count Wrinkle-Free Solid Cotton Sateen Bedding that seem to defy the odds. 96 heart-felt reviews with people raving over these sheets and giving an average 4.6/5.0 rating, claim that wash after wash these sheets are the best AND indeed wrinkle-free. Just sayin’!
18. How to Create the Perfect Foundation
- First, it’s time to make sure you have an amazing bed. Be sure to purchase your optimal mattress in order to ensure your best night sleep.
- Next, you should purchase a mattress protector. Mattress protectors do a lot more than protect your mattress these days. For your optimal sleep choose a mattress protector/topper. The Company Store has no less than 22 of the highest quality choices that will help you sleep like a baby. In addition to the many benefits you are also prolonging the life of your mattress.
19: How to Build the Bed of Your Dreams
The Company Store® is having a Fall Fashion Bedding Sale so you can save 20% on the sheets and duvet covers we chose and so much more.
Shop Our Sheets
We feel like queens sleeping on our new bedding. And everyone deserves to feel this good when they get into their beds.
Legends® Flori 400-Thread Count Cotton Sateen Bedding
Rialto 400-Thread Count Cotton Sateen Bedding
Shop Our Comforters
Next it’s time to choose your coverlet, quilt, or down bedding with duvet. We each chose matching duvet covers over our new down comforters. The Company Store® has dozens of options, a variety of quality materials to choose from. Then customize your comforter with the perfect fill level that suits you and your sleep preferences.
Legends® Royal Baffled Hungarian White Goose Down Comforter – Light Comfort
Legends® Luxury Geneva PrimaLoft® Deluxe Comforter – Medium Comfort
Buying Bedding: Mix and Match for a Customized Look
Jodie and I think that the most beautiful beds will have a mix of elements. It’s a little boring to have everything from the same collection. When buying bedding we recommend mixing and matching for your own unique look. Don’t be afraid to pull items from different collections to create a truly one-of-a-kind look.
When Buying Bedding Here Are Our Suggestions:
Play with Textures
Julie added a white textured coverlet at the foot of the bed and coordinated with matching shams.
Westminster Matelassé Coverlet
Jodie also added a white textured coverlet for texture. It’s hard to choose between the two. They are both beautiful.
Legends® Paloma Cotton Velvet Quilt / Sham
Mix and Match Patterns and Solids
Option #1: If you are using mainly pattern add some solids.
Julie chose a set of regular pillow cases in solid blue to add to the patterned bedding.
Legends® Luxury 500-Thread Count Solid Cotton Sateen Bedding
Option #2: If your bedding is mainly solid add a pattern or two.
Jodie chose some jaw-dropping patterned pillows.
Embroidered Pillow Covers – Neutral Damask
Embroidered Pillow Covers – Neutral Paisley
Embroidered Pillow Covers – Neutral Foulard
Embroidered Pillow Covers – Neutral Floral
The joke at our house is, “One can never have too many pillows.” Well, I should clarify. My husband says it as a joke. When I say it I’m pretty serious 🙂 Pillows are everything, as you and I know. Maybe the husbands don’t get it, but that’s okay.
Option #3: Add shams in a coordinating color, pattern or neutral.
Julie chose shams in a solid white with a gorgeous raised floral medallion pattern to give texture and add interest.
Westminster Matelassé Shams
Jodie’s shams are white plush velvet quilt patterned with textural stitching
Legends® Paloma Cotton Velvet Quilt / Sham
Option #4: Include throw pillows in coordinating or contrasting colors.
Julie chose throw pillows in two coordinating colors with interesting border detail.
Cotton Linen Throw Pillow Covers
Finishing Details Make All the Difference
Option #5: Finish the look with a well-designed wrap-around bed skirt that makes making a bed easy. This bed skirt tucks easily under a mattress so you never have to lift your bed. It doesn’t slip or slide and looks beautiful.
Simple Tuck Gathered Bed Skirt
Option #6: Add a throw in a coordinating color or neutral.
Julie chose a white linen fringed throw.
Jodie chose this throw in natural.
Organic Cotton Blanket / Throw
We Love Our Beds
There is literally nothing that makes us feel more pampered and spoiled than an amazing bed. Friends, do you realize we spend almost half our lives in our beds? Quality bedding is the gift we can give ourselves that actually gives back to us. When we sleep well we think better, we accomplish more in less time, and we are happier. And the perfect bedding just keeps on giving, night after night.
We all work so hard. Let’s face it, we are exhausted. Jodie and I think that anything we can do to promote a healthy good night’s sleep is worth the time and investment. Now that you are armed with all the knowledge you need to make your bedding dreams come true it’s time to make it happen. Click on the shopping links above and get ready to sleep like a queen.
Julie & Jodie
The Design Twins