Getting a good night's sleep is so important to our well-being, but for many of us it can be frustratingly elusive. There are so many factors that affect how well we sleep, from the noise and light levels, to the temperature of the room, what we've eaten that day or how much exercise we've had. It doesn't take much to knock things out of balance, so you wake up feeling just as tired as when you went to bed.
Something that is often overlooked in this equation is the quality of your bed linen. How comfy your sheets and pillowcases are can have a huge impact on how restful your sleep is. So what should you be looking out for, to ensure you get the best possible night's rest?
How warm or cold you are in bed plays a big part in your comfort levels. Synthetic materials can trap heat, causing you to overheat at night, especially when the weather is warm. If you're too hot, you're much more likely to become restless.
Instead, choose bedding made from a natural, breathable material, such as good quality cotton, as this will be much better at regulating your body temperature.
Check the thread count too, as while sheets with a high count are considered more desirable (and are often more expensive), the higher the count, the thicker and denser the material. So if the thread count is too high, you might find it's too hot for you in summer. A thread count of around 300 will usually give you the best balance of quality and breathability all year round.
Good quality cotton sheets wick moisture away from your body, helping to cool you down so you don't feel so sweaty, or end up with the sheets sticking to your body.
The softer and smoother your bedding, the more comfortable it will be. Cheap sheets can feel scratchy against the skin, while luxury bedding sets should feel buttery soft and silky to the touch. For the very smoothest and soft bedding, look out for good quality long-staple cotton sheets with a sateen weave. Cotton sateen bedding is woven with one yarn under and several yarns over, which gives it a super soft and silky texture that feels almost like satin.
Another consideration is how your sheets have been manufactured, as if the process involved harsh chemicals, you could be breathing in the residues as you sleep. Even choosing organic cotton bedding doesn't guarantee it's been made in a way that is totally toxin free. Instead, look for bedding that is OEKO-TEX® certified, as this guarantees no harmful chemicals have been used in its manufacture. So you and your family can breathe easy while you sleep.