Create a cozy bed




Create the perfect bed by choosing the right pillows and sheets.


SHEET SMARTS

Having trouble navigating the bedding departments at stores? It's no wonder, given the increasingly wide selection of fabrics and thread counts that are available. Keep the following factors in mind when you go shopping.


Fabric content: Look for all-natural fabrics, which allow the body to breathe and, with care, will last a long time, making them worth your investment. Cotton sheeting feels smooth and soft to the touch, and Egyptian and Pima cottons, which have a longer fiber, have a slightly more luxurious feel.


Construction: The way a sheet is woven is another important factor to consider. Cotton percale has a clean, crisp finish, while cotton sateen has a more fluid, satiny texture. Flannel has a soft nap to it that many people like for winter use.


Thread count: Fabric content and construction are as important as thread count-which means the number of threads in a square inch of fabric. A very high thread count may be overconstructed (a high thread count marked "2-ply" may be a sign) and fall apart with wash and wear. Remember this: Find what feels best to you at a price you can afford.

PERFECT PILLOWS

Selecting the proper pillow to help align your head and neck is essential to a good night's sleep.


1. First, choose the right firmness for your preferred sleep position. Side sleepers need firm support, medium is just right for back sleepers, while stomach sleepers require a softer pillow.


2. Synthetic is best for allergy sufferers. Shopping for down? Check the fill power-the volume an ounce of down takes up. Higher fill power equates to better insulation. Also, look for tightly woven cotton covers.


3. Synthetic pillows last one to two years; down can last five to ten. Always use pillow covers to help extend a pillow's life. Wash the covers regularly, and your pillows will need less washing.

More tips for the perfect bed.

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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.