How To... Make Your Bed Better
There's no need to wait until you get a new mattress set to make your bed super cozy and comfy. Assuming you already have a decent mattress and box spring, here's how you can boost your overall bed's cushion and comfort level!
Step 1: Layer it on
Don't just throw on a single foam pad over your mattress -- even a pillow-top mattress -- and expect that your bed is as good as it's going to get. For a luxurious and super-comfortable bed, you need to layer on the extras and add a few other goodies to create the perfect combination for you.
Step 2: Happy memory
Check out a memory foam mattress pad. They come in various sizes, but we suggest going for one that's 1-1/2" to 2" thick. You get the benefit of the cushioning, plus still have room for some other types of padding.
Step 3: More padding
Egg-crate mattress pads look a little strange, but they can be amazingly comfortable. Get one big enough to cover the top of your bed -- head to toe. Put it near the top of the layers of extras, with only a thinner topper between it and your fitted sheet.
Step 4: Going down
If you like down, aren't allergic to feather products, and can afford the luxury, down bedding can be an exquisite addition to your bed. Three of the most popular uses for down-filled beddding: pillows, mattress toppers and comforters.
Step 5: About alternatives
If you like the feel of down but can't afford the real thing, we suggest trying a synthetic substitute ("down alternative") rather than going with feathers -- especially for pillows and mattress pads -- unless you want to get extra thick covers for any feather bedding. Apart from not offering the same properties as down, it's no fun to be poked by the little quills from the feathers you're lying on.
Step 6: Comforter comfort
When choosing a comforter, you want to get one that is appropriate for the seasons and your climate -- and is also of a weight that is most soothing to you. When choosing a comforter/duvet, you will want to evaluate loft, fill power, weight and -- of course -- the various types of filler. (You can find out more about what you should know when buying down here.)
Step 7: Get great sheets
Any fabric that touches your skin should be super-soft and comfortable, so that means fitted sheets, top sheets, pillow cases and duvet covers. Egyptian cotton sheets -- particularly those made in Italy -- are considered by many to be the gold standard. In second place is Pima cotton. A sateen (that's not satin) and percale finishes on the sheets tends to make them very soft on skin, and combing adds to softness.
Step 8: Thread counts count
Often, a linen's softness is said to be determined by thread count. This is true -- to a degree, and also very much depends on your personal preference. Having 800 to 1200 threads per square inch of your sheets means a very dense and likely stiff sheet, and also that each of those threads are very thin. We recommend quality sheets with a thread count of 400 to 600 per inch. For durablity, seek out 2-ply and/or "long staple" threads used in the sheet fabric.
Step 9: Thick enough?
Buy fitted sheets made for super-deep mattresses to accommodate all the extra bed toppers -- about 18 inches deep. If needed, get sheet grippers to keep your fitted sheet in place.
Step 10: Warm it up
Add an electric blanket to your bed -- or, if you like the combination of a cozy comforter and slipping into a pre-warmed bed, look into electric warming mattress pad, which is placed on top of the mattress. Since sometimes the wires and cords can be a little uncomfortable to lie on, you might want to position a warming pad on top of any thick bed toppers, but below something like a quilted mattress pad that sits just below your fitted bedsheet.
Step 11: Get help for your problems
Does your pillow seem to get too hot at night? Look at ventilated pillows. Is your pillow not supportive enough? Try a contoured foam pillow. Leg, hip or back problems? There are also all kinds of theraputic pillows that are easily available leg spacer/positioner pillows, leg wedge pillows, lumbar roll pillows and the multi-purpose body pillow.