Your guide to shopping
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- Published: 25 January 2016 25 January 2016
Choosing the right bedding is quintessential to offering your Airbnb & co guests a comfortable and restful sleep. Just like the comforter, bedding plays a crucial role. A comfortable sleep is actually dependent on how the textile feels and its ability to absorb perspiration. So, how do you choose the right duvet cover and fitted sheet? If you’re a sucker for a nice pattern or the perfect color, it becomes increasingly difficult to pay attention to the material, the thread count or even the proper dimensions. Once you’re ready to update the bedding for your rental, make sure to keep the details of the following shopping guide in mind…
1. Choosing the Right Material
The most common materials you’ll find on the bedding market are cotton, synthetic or linen based fabrics. Though they’re all comfortable, they have their differences.
Cotton is the most commonly used natural vegetable fiber for bedding. Suited to all seasons, it’s remarkable for its softness, lightness and comfort. Such a sturdy fabric is also easy to clean and quick to dry. There are many different types, such as pure cotton, percale cotton, satin and jersey.
Clean and natural, this 100% cotton fabric offers softness year-round. It’s perfect for the cold winter months when it can retain the body’s temperature and keep it warm, as well as the warmer summer months with its ability to absorb humidity. It’s a breathable fabric, which is what makes it so comfortable and versatile.
Percale isn’t a material, but a weaving method. This method uses extremely thin threads, selecting the longest ones and very tightly weaving them together. Percale is thus of very high quality with a sense of silkiness that feels incredibly smooth to the touch, making it very comfortable. Super durable, this fabric keeps well and requires very little ironing.
Sateen cotton is made from the highest quality cotton threads. These very thin threads are tightly woven using a special weaving process, giving it a glossy feel that makes it look fit for royalty. It can be one-sided (glossy on one side, matte on the other), striped (alternating between strips of glossy and matte) or damask (matte patterns on a glossy background). Sateen cotton is silky, incredibly supple and very soft on the skin. Light in the summer and warm in the winter, it’s a very comfortable fabric. Similar to percale, it requires very little ironing.
Jersey comes from a knit weaving process that makes it very supple and stretchy. It’s a fabric that’s very easily adapted to different mattress thicknesses, making it work well on futons and reclining sofas. It’s super easy to care for and doesn’t require ironing.
Polycotton is a mixture of synthetic polyester fibers and natural cotton fibers (often in equal proportions). The advantages of purchasing polycotton are that it is both inexpensive (much cheaper than cotton) and easy to care for. It dries quickly, doesn’t shrink, wrinkle, wash out or fade. This type of bedding is also durable, light and soft to the touch. However, it isn’t quite as comfortable as pure cotton and not as breathable, increasing perspiration during sleep.
A natural fabric, linen is full of thermoregulatory properties making your bedding light in the summer and warm in the winter. Linen is absorbent, quickly expelling humidity, and also happens to be hypoallergenic. Incredibly durable, linen softens the more it’s washed, making it more comfortable with time. Compared to the other textiles that can be washed in temperatures of 60 to 95°, linen can be washed in up to 40° max. It requires very little water and soap to clean, making it an ecological choice.
2. Choosing the Right Density
75 threads, 90 threads, 100 threads, 200 threads… these are the number of threads woven horizontally (the “weft”) and vertically (the “warp”) into one square inch of fabric. The higher the thread count, the more tightly woven the fabric, making it more durable and soft. Tightly woven threads start from 180 threads per square inch (90 warf and 90 weft). This guarantees that the fabric is high quality and long lasting. However, you also have to think about the material when considering thread count. For example, for good quality pure cotton fabric, go for a thread count of 180; for percale and sateen, choose a fabric with a thread count of 200.
3. Choosing the Right Dimensions
Bedding sizes are made with consideration of the dimensions of the mattress for which it is to be used. Bed sizes vary around the world, with countries having their own standards and terminology. Here are the duvet cover and fitted sheet sizes for North America... (sizes for other countries)
For the Duvet Cover
Adapt the duvet cover to the mattress dimensions so that it falls on either side of the bed, keeping the heat in and providing optimal comfort.
For a Twin Bed
Width 38 in: cover 59 in x 79 in or 80 in x 106 in
For a Double Bed
Width 54 in: cover 80 in x 80 in or 100 in x 106 in
For a Queen Bed
Width 60 in: cover 90 in x 88 in or 106 in x 106 in
For a King Bed
Width 76 in: cover 90 in x 102 in or 112 in x 106 in
For the Fitted Sheet
Choose a model made for the width and length or your mattress, but also for its thickness and ability to tuck under the mattress (add 2 to 3 inches for a proper fitting).
If you host guests often, go for bedding with a high thread count that will endure numerous washes, and get softer with time. You should favor 100% cotton bedding for its thermoregulatory properties. Percale, which has a good balance between quality and affordability, will provide your guests with optimum comfort. Finally, if it’s within your budget, go for an organic or fair-trade cotton. They’re made without the chemical products that can often be harmful to the environment and those who inhabit it.