How to Choose the Right Bedding

Tidying your bedroom.
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How to Choose the Right Bedding

There’s more to a fantastic bedtime experience than your mattress. You also need a comfortable duvet that regulates your temperature, a pillow that supports your sleeping position, and sheets and covers that aren’t fussy.

Like links in a chain, all these elements provide a comfortable night’s sleep, so it pays to research before buying them.

This article reveals how to choose the right bedding, including your duvet, pillows, sheets, and bedding set, for optimal comfort.

Let’s jump in!


Synthetic hollow fibre and animal feathers (also known as “down” premium quality products) are the most common duvet materials.

While some people swear by feather and down duvets, it isn’t cruelty-free and is an allergen, so we recommend sticking to hollow fibre. Hollowfibre packs down and is warm, breathable, and lightweight.

All hollow fibre is the same, so don’t worry about buying an expensive duvet. The most important thing is to buy a summer and a winter duvet rather than an all-season duvet so that you can tune your comfort levels.

When storing your out-of-season duvet, make it easy with a vacuum pack – these compress it down to a fifth of its usual size.


Hollowfibre, memory foam, and down are the most common pillow materials.

Firm pillows are best in memory foam because the denseness of the foam retains its shape and doesn’t have any air that can escape.

Medium and soft pillows are best in hollow fibre because they retain some shape and spring back instantly, providing balanced support.

The airiest option is feather and down, but our reservations remain the same as with duvets (cruelty and the fact it is an allergen).

Sleeping with one firm pillow rather than two soft pillows is best. Side sleepers should always use one firm pillow, while back sleepers should use one medium pillow. If you sleep on your front, use one soft pillow or no pillow.

Bed sheets

Bed sheets should be smooth and fitted, ideally with an elastic strap that hugs the sheet into the mattress so it can’t ripple and move.

The best material for bed sheets is 100% cotton (Egyptian and/or organic) because cotton is breathable, soft, and cleans well.

You can save money with polycotton bed sheets and even more with polyester bed sheets, although polyester can feel cheap and scratchy.

Fitted sheets are the easiest to live with, but some prefer flat sheets because they can double up as an additional layer between the duvet and you.

Bedding sets

Your pillowcases and duvet cover play a critical role in bedtime comfort because you snuggle into them. They should be soft, breathable, and lightweight.

The best material for winter bedding is brushed cotton, while the best for summer bedding is 100% cotton. Microfibre is another option, although it doesn’t let moisture pass through as quickly and can stick to you in the summer.

Silk is a luxury option if you can afford it, although some people dislike the satin feel on their skin, and it can also feel cold to the touch in winter.

Polyester bedding is a cheap option, although quality varies wildly. We recommend polycotton as the minimum to retain a degree of softness.

Mattress toppers

How to Choose the Right Bedding. Star Ultimate Quilted Mattress.
Pictured: Star Ultimate Quilted Mattress Protector form only £19

If you need a mattress topper to soften or firm up your bed, they come in different thicknesses and comfort levels.

Here are some general guidelines:

  • 3 cm (1.2 inches). Ideal if you prefer a firmer mattress.
  • 5 to 7 cm (2 to 3 inches). Provides extra cushioning and is better if the mattress is excessively firm or worn.
  • More than 7 cm (more than 3 inches). Suitable for a larger person to avoid sinking too deeply into the memory foam.

Polycotton and 100% cotton are the best mattress topper materials. You can also get waterproof mattress toppers made from polyethylene, although these can feel scratchy and make a noise that resembles a bin liner.

If you enjoyed this article, read our piece on how to care for your mattress.

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