Help organizing th bed!

bedroomguyMarch 20, 2005

Hello everyone. This is my first post and I must say this site is quite useful, and helpful. I'm 21 and am moving out finally. So I need your help with setting up ym bed.

I have a Full Size bed. I have no idea about which comforters are good, bed sheets, pillow cases, all the different kinds are just overwhelming. I have never really ha da comforter or dont even kow what makes up a "true bed" but I want to change all that. I need some advice on wihch are the best sheets, pillow cases, and everything I need to have on a bed. Also I need to pick up some pillows, blankets, etc... I dont awnt to get some cheap pillows which are gonna give me cramps in the morning. So lets not consider money and please suggest all of the best. And perhaps a list of what i need to buy. Thank you guys so much.

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If you are not allergic to down, nothing feels better imo. The down pillows that have an inner baffle don't compress as much as plain feather pillows. If you don't like those, get high quality foam pillows. For a comforter - again provided down doesn't bother you, get a baffled duvet in a weight appropriate for your climate (here in Florida i use the super light weight, if it gets real cold in your neck of the woods, get a heavier weight one). Then pick out a duvet cover. This is nice because the cover is removeable, that makes it really easy to launder and to change styles if you get bored with your current cover.

For sheets, any cotton sheet set with pillow cases would be fine so long as it fits snugly. I like percale, some people really love flannel sheets, especially in cool climates. If you are good about making your bed and want it to look really fru-fru like a picture from a catalog, then get 2 to 4 extra pillows with decorative shams (these can be cheaper pillows since they are just for looks) and a few small throw pillows if you like, a matching bedskirt (unless you have a non-traditional bed like a platform or waterbed), a blanket that contrasts or compliments your duvet cover or picks up a color in the pattern of the cover or sheets. I personally love the synthetic "Vellux" blankets, they are super soft and very durable. The only downside is that they don't "breathe" very well.

If you want to really simplify, get a "bed in a bag" in a style you like. That generally includes a sheet set, comforter, pillow shams and bedskirt. The only problem with these is that the comforter is usually rather bulky and difficult to launder, and can be sort of itchy. Whatever you do, don't buy a comforter that is too bulky to fit into a standard washing machine or that requires dry cleaning, it's just too much of a pain.

Check out websites like Land's End for high end traditional bedding (and they have some "synthetic" down for people who love the feel of down but are allergic in addition to basic down), places like Bed Bath and Beyond for a wide selection of "bed in a bag" setups, and Target has some nice decent quality bedding in more trendy styles. Visit upscale department stores and look at their bed displays to figure out what style you like, but i wouldn't actually buy there, they are usually designer brands that are way overpriced - you can get a similar look without spending so much. Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2005 at 9:36AM
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Here's my vote:

Get a plastic mattress cover--the zippered kind is good. This will protect your mattress from spills, etc. And prevent stains from sweat and other body fluids. These aren't too expensive. If you can afford to trade up, get one of the higher quality dust-mite covers, which take care of the same thing.

However, it's not comfortable to sleep directly on--too sweaty. SO...

then put on a mattress pad. Get one that's durable (so you can wash it without it shrinking or disintegrating) and cotton. Don't skimp on this one. I have a waterproof one (but wish I'd also used the plastic mattress protector)

I treat the pillows a similar way--a waterproof covering for the pillow, and then a mattress-pad-like casing to provide air circulation.

Then, over these protective things, you add sheets, comforter/blanket, etc.

If your mattress is sitting on a box spring, you might like a dust ruffle, bcs it'll hide the box spring and the frame, plus any stuff you stash under your bed. People w/ dust allergies are often told to eliminate these however.

I agree w/ luxum that you're going to need to go shopping--you need to figure out what you like; that's something none of us can help you with.

I also totally agree with the comments about the bulky comforters, and not getting a dry-clean-only one.

(Pillows are the hardest to get right, I think--I almost never can find one that actually works for me. You might check w/ Bed Bath & Beyond and other places, to see if you could buy one, try it out, and return it if it doesn't work. This is a very individual preference sort of thing.)

    Bookmark   March 21, 2005 at 10:58AM
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that's kind of like asking 'what kind of car should I get'

and me telling you that a 1976 vega station wagon with a 78 camaro v-6 is your best bet ;)

beds- everything starts with the mattress- and then the mattress pad. and again- it's about tailoring it to your sleeping style. firm or soft? back sleeper? stomach sleeper? night time contortionist? snuggler or sprawler? Sweater or shiverer?

:) I know, let me guess- you're not sure, since you sleep through it ;) it's ok- these questions will consume you while you find what works for you.

fortunately, full sized beds are easy to find stuff for, so you can shop anywhere.

me? flannel sheets from october through april, cotton through the warm months.

DH likes layers of thin blankets, I like one fluffy comforter that I can throw off easily. he likes a soft bed- I can fall asleep on a bag of mulch, or a futon.

Wamsutta is a good brand that's everywhere...and if you shop at outlets, or places like Ross and Marshals, you can 'test' several kinds.

don't be taken in by the thread count- I can't tell the difference between 200 threads per inch, and 400...

Ralph Lauren makes a lot of nice stuff in richer colors, and he remembers that guys want nice-looking sheets too- but maybe not in a floral pattern (though I think paisley patterns look great in a guy's room :)

    Bookmark   March 21, 2005 at 11:07AM
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ok thanks guys. I think I need to go shopping. I am not allergic to down(at least I dont htink so) so thats good. I have a little bit of trouble understanding the difference between a comforter and a blanket! Is it the same thing? And I am not looking to sleep in total luxury. Like I would probably only need one pillow. I have 2 pillows now but they are totaly FLAT already and I have to fold them somtimes top provide support. I also don't want a pillow that when I put my head on it, it's completly soft and my head goes right thru, u know what I mean?

So how much should a nice pillow like what I'm looking for along with some sheets, and comforter and a duvet(thats what you put around the comforter right?) cost me? And where should I buy so I can save some $$$, I really don't care if they are designer brands or not, as lon as i has the same quality... Thanks to everyone for taking their time to help out I appreciate it.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2005 at 2:08PM
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A blanket is basically a single layer of one fabric (sometimes a knit, sometimes a weave, sometimes a fleece).

A quilt is, two outer layers of thinner broadcloth (woven) that have been created by sewing smaller pieces of cloth together, with "batting" (thicker but firmly packed layers of fiber, often cotton, sometimes polyester) sandwiched between, and then stitched in the middl, often in a decorative pattern, so it doesn't shift. Quilts are usually thicker than blankets, but still firm, not poofy.

A comforter is, two thin outer layers (one piece of fabric each side), with FLUFFY filling between (usually stitched several places in the middle to keep the poofy filling from shifting). The filling is classically down or feathers, but nowadays is sometimes a spun polyester (looks vaguely like cotton candy).

For pillows, seriously, start w/ BB&B, because I think you can return it if the firmness/softness is not what you like. (if you really like a firm pillow, seriously consider foam--I much prefer feathers, but haven't had luck recently; I too have to fold me pillow)

You can get all the other stuff I mentioned to protect the mattress there, too, for not a ton of money. JCPenney is another place I go to get medium-range stuff: medium quality, medium price.

JCPenney has a pretty good Web site--that should give you a good baseline for prices, if you figure they're about in the middle. You might spend a little less at Target, more at Macy's, depending on your budget and what you want.

Figure $12 for the plastic encasing, $40 for the waterproof mattress pad, $12 for the pillow cover, $40 to $50 for the full set of sheets (less is easily possible; a tad more if you want the 300 thread count).

The pillow itself will be about $40--you can spend more or less, of course. (one secret to getting a firm pillow is to get an oversize one, perhaps a queen-size one, and stuff it in a smaller pillowcase (like a standard pillowcase).

I like to have a cotton thermal blanket (figure $20 to $30), plus a quilt to layer on (figure $30 to $70, depending; I figure $60, bcs I like the 100% cotton batting).

Go shopping, take notes.

This is what shopping is supposed to be: RESEARCH. What sorts of stuff is available? How much does it cost? It's not really so much about buying as it is about RESEARCH. *then* it's about buying.

You should probably have two sets of sheets--you can get by on one, washing it and putting it straight back on the bed after laundry is done. But it's nice to have the second set in case you can't get to the laundry, or someone gets sick in the middle of the night, or something.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2005 at 11:44AM
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OK, i'll try to clear up some confusion. This is a comforter:

It is basically a bulky bedspread.

A duvet (doo-vay) is a type of comforter that is basically like a giant down pillow you use as a comforter. Here is a pic of one with baffles that keep the down from bunching up:

The duvet cover is like a giant pillowcase that you stuff the duvet into. You can also get covers for a basic comforter that isn't stuffed with down to get the laundry and style change benefits without the down. Sometimes people will call a duvet a "down comforter", so don't get too hung up on the terminology.

A blanket is generally something thinner and is often used under a comforter or duvet in cool weather or instead of them in warm weather. Unless you live in a hot climate or like to sleep cooler than most people, you'll need something heavier than a blanket.

For pillows, they sort of inevitably go flat, i just replace mine regularly. The ones i have now have an inner baffle stuffed with feathers, and that is surrounded by down. Sort of a pillow inside a pillow. It keeps your head from going through the pillow like you describe and supposedly prevents the flattening. Mine are fairly new yet so i can't really say if that's true. You can launder pillows to bring back the fluff, but mine always end up bunched up, so i just buy new ones. I guess i'm lazy. :P

For lower cost bed options, check places like Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, even Walmart, and the clearance area of major department stores.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2005 at 12:00PM
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awesome thanks everyone! Great advice. I decided that what i really need is a duvet "down comforter." But I like to have it a little bit on the heavy side because I like to feel that I am actually under something... Do these come in different weights?

    Bookmark   March 22, 2005 at 10:06PM
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Like you, i also like to feel that I am actually "under something"--I like that gentle pressure. Now that I have kids, I think it feels like mommy's hand.

The only blanket that gives me *that* feeling is a knit cotton thermal blanket--one without too many holes.

but any down comforter will feel like it's resting on you (polyester or any other artificial fill does not).

Down comforters do come in weights--there's a number that indicate how "stuffed" it is. I don't remember what the ranges mean, just that higher numbers mean more feathers (therefore heavier and warmer)

I also find that our down comforter is too hot for most nights. In the summer, i like those cotton thermal blankets. But I'm not buying one from JCPenney again--it's got too much space in the knit, and it has stretched out of shape.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2005 at 9:40AM
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Whatever you do, don't buy cheap sheets- they don't last. I like percale, 225 thread count. I don't bother going higher thread count because like chinacat, I don't feel any difference, but I do for a lower thread count. The tighter weave sheets last for years and still keep looking and feeling good.
If you buy two flat sheets, you can even the wear by swapping them top to bottom every time you make the bed. If ease of making is an issue, get a fitted bottom sheet and a flat sheet for the top sheet.
Owning at least two sets of sheets is good. Similarly, you should have two duvet covers as well. If you pick sheet colours that go with both duvet covers, matching won't become an issue either.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2005 at 10:37AM
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Talley_Sue wrote, "Down comforters do come in weights--there's a number that indicate how "stuffed" it is. I don't remember what the ranges mean, just that higher numbers mean more feathers (therefore heavier and warmer)."

Down is measured by "fill power," which is the amount of volume one ounce of down fills up. The higher the fill power, the better the insulating ability of the down -- in other words, you stay warmer with less weight. The lower-quality down is 500 fill power, and it goes up to 700 or 750. White Hungarian Goose Down has a fill power of 600-650 and is very good. About the only thing better is Platinum White Goose Down which has a fill power of 650-700 (and a correspondingly higher price -- it's rare).

So, the higher number fill power means greater loft, which creates more little air pockets within the down to capture and hold the warm air, so you stay warmer with less physical weight on you. You can stay snuggly warm under a cozy down comforter/duvet without having a heavy weight on top of you. When you are looking at down comforters, the information should tell you what the fill power is, and also how many ounces of down are in the product. You won't need as many ounces of a higher fill power down, but the more ounces there are, the warmer the comforter will be -- but you have to compare, for example, 600 fill power to 600 fill power (an "apples to apples" type of thing).

Sheets that we like a lot are jersey knit -- kind of like tee-shirt fabric. You stay warmer in the winter without getting as overheated as you might get on flannel sheets; and in the summer they're comfortable, too.

Lands' End has really good quality stuff, and their Overstocks page has really good prices on stuff. In addition to clothes, they have sheets, towels, comforters, pillows, etc. Bed, Bath, & Beyond is also a favorite of ours. BB&B has a huge selection of pillows (actually, a great selection of everything), and you can find pillows that are specifically for side-sleepers, back-sleepers, and stomach-sleepers. My husband just got a new pillow at BB&B. It's actually a synthetic down, and it's for side-sleepers. He said it's the best pillow he's ever slept on. It was somewhere in the $35-$45 range. And they had pillows from about $5 on up to over $150...

    Bookmark   March 26, 2005 at 4:51AM
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Here's the look you're aiming for...

Here is a link that might be useful: Yves DeLorme

    Bookmark   March 28, 2005 at 12:26AM
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Well just came back from BB&B and spent likke $300. Here's what I got, please post comments. I got a regular solid comforter. I got a duvet cover for it that matches my sheets (which are dark blue with stripes). I got a down Allergy-free piloow thats extra-firm for $100 (do you think this is too much) I also got Sateen Cotton 300 or soemthing count sheets...
So what do u guys think of my purchase? What exactly are Sateen sheets? They feel great.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2005 at 1:44AM
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