A major pillar of sleep hygiene is the quality of the thing you sleep in. The average person spends a third of their life sleeping, so your bed is worth investing in! Here are a few tips to make your bed a less shiddy place to be.
The first important consideration is the material of your sheets. Many bedsheets are made from cotton, which is durable, low-maintenance, and comfortable. Be sure to look for the less shiddy option, 100% organic cotton, which uses much less water in its production. Cotton is the material of the thread, whereas the way the cotton is woven dictates the fabric. A few common fabrics used in bedding include:
- Percale sheets have that light, crisp, hotel sheet feeling. If you're a hot sleeper, they are great for keeping you cool. They are a great everyday sheet, but they do tend to wrinkle and may not be the most durable option.
- Sateen sheets give that luxurious silky-smooth effect, but they tend to lock in heat: great news if you run cold in the night, not so much if you're an over-heater.
- Egyptian or Pima cotton are the most luxurious species of cotton, only accounting for 10% of cotton produced worldwide (the other 90% being the Upland variety). Don't be fooled — rather than the origin, the Egyptian denotation refers to something called an “extra-long staple”, which is a feature of the cotton plant that makes its product extra smooth and luxe. This type of cotton is silky and resistant to pilling, but the benefits come with a hefty price tag.
- Flannel sheets are a great winter option if you struggle to stay warm, as the threads have been shaven to give that classic fuzzy feeling and be ultra-insulating.
Linen sheets are another popular option. While cotton is made from the fluffy part of the plant, linen is made from the stalk, which yields a more durable and stronger material. Linen sheets can feel scratchy to begin with, but give them a couple washes and they'll soften right up. While cotton tends to feel threadbare over time, linen improves with time. Linen holds up well in the wash and is incredibly breathable, so it's worth the investment if you're looking for a long-term option.
When you think about bedding, one of the first terms that comes to mind is thread count — but what does this really mean? Thread count is the number of horizontal and vertical threads on one square inch of fabric — in other words, how tightly woven the fabric is. In terms of cotton, a higher thread count means a more luxurious material. Thread counts can range from 100 to upwards of 1800, but try to aim for something between 200-800 for an everyday cotton sheet. Linen, on the other hand, feels much more comfortable with a thread count between 80 and 140. Bottom line: the material and the quality of the fabric are overall more important measures than the thread count. Don't get hung up on it.
We spend so much time in bed, it's worth investing in. Less shiddy sleep hygiene impacts every other aspect of our lives, and it starts with the place you sleep!
Remember to be less shiddy to others, our planet, and yourself.