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Pillows and Your Sleep

Bed pillows to suit you

Do you wonder if you need to replace your bed pillows?  A quick test is to fold the pillow in half and place a book on top.  If the pillows stays folded, then you probably need to replace your pillows.  Almost 1/3 of our lives are spent sleeping so that is the reason for finding the right pillow so that you can get a good night’s rest.

Finding bed pillows that live up to your expectations can be challenging.  Pillows can be filled with fiberfill, down, foam, wool, and a combination of materials.  So you might want to shop around until you can find bed pillows that will lead to a restful sleep for you. 

There are pillows made to ease the stress of allergies while giving the feel of down.  The bonus of relief from allergies and yet the luxury of down are two of the plus factors in the type of pillow.  A poly cluster fill pillow is one in which the polyester clusters are coated with silicone to feel and move like down.  It gives the softness and appeal of down without the cost.  There are also pillows filled with synthetic fiberfill that is usually man-made from polyester.  This type of pillow does not conform to the neck and head as well as natural fill pillows and is not as durable.  However, they are hypo-allergenic and probably the most affordable of bed pillows. 

Some people may prefer to go with the real down pillows for the special benefits only down can give.  Down is the fluffy insulation under the feathers of ducks and geese that keeps them protected from the weather outdoors.  These natural fillings best conform to your neck and head.  Fill power will be listed on the better down pillows: the higher the fill power, the more loft or “fluff” the pillow will have and the more durable it will be.  Sometimes you will note that a down pillow will be marked as allergy-free which means that it has been sanitized to remove impurities that affect allergy sufferers.  Most down pillows do not mash down and many are washable which is a real perk, but down pillows are more expensive than some other types.

Foam will handle stress well also and usually comes with a washable cover, however, the pillow itself cannot be washed so it would be best to use a zippered pillow protector.  There is a wide range in prices for foam pillows, but the cheaper ones seem to hold up as well as the more expensive ones.  The “memory foam” pillows are dense, sponge-like pillows that mold around the head and neck to offer support.  These are best for those who prefer a firm pillow.  The memory foam contour pillows are good for people with neck or spine issues. 

Wool is another alternative to down pillows.  The pillows are filled with wool batting and covered with unbleached cotton.  This type of fill cannot be washed, so it would be wise to use two zippered covers to protect the filling.  To refresh the pillow, it can be put in the dryer on no heat to refresh it.

If you can’t decide between fluffy down and the more firm foam pillows, there is another bed pillow that has a latex core and is surrounded with down clusters.  The fabric used to cover this pillow is a luxe cotton/silk fabric which makes it a dry clean only product and quite expensive.  It should be double covered also because of this, but the care of this type of pillows might make it impractical for many people. 

Again, when you go shopping for pillows, there are many factors to consider.  I will be covering other issues in my next blog so I hope you will stop by.   

 

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Budget Decorating With Bed Linens

 

Bedroom on a Budget

As you decorate your bedroom “retreat”, you might want to keep in mind that it is easier to change smaller items than the larger and more expensive items.  When you choose a comforter or bed sheets, you can select something in a bright color or bold pattern if you so desire.  However, these items may be more expensive to replace should you decide to redecorate later on.  Perhaps you will want to find a more neutral color and add accents through decorator pillows or throws.

When you start your decorating, one suggestion is to remove all clutter from your bedroom.  If you have a lot of trinkets and knick knacks that you really don’t care about, take them out of the room, keeping only the things that mean a lot to you.  Your bedroom should be about relaxation and sleep.  I know that many people have TVs or other electronics in their bedrooms, and I’m not in a position to say they need to be removed.  However, if you want to think of this room as a retreat, you might want to really consider how to make it one.  If removing a TV helps, then by all means do so, but ultimately the choice depends on the mood you want to create and your lifestyle. 

I emphasized that the bed is the focal point of the room.  If you are planning to replace the bed sheets, you might want to wait until there is a white sale so that you can buy the best quality sheets at the price you can afford.  You also might want to stay with neutral colors such as white, beige, or gray, because these colors will go well with most color palettes.  You won’t have to replace them every time you decide to redecorate your room.  You could do the same with drapes and comforters as they are the most expensive items to replace in future redecorating.  You can use less expensive accessories such as decorator pillows, wall hangings, and such to add color and pizzaz to the bedroom.

Next think of the mood you want to set in your bedroom.  Do you want quiet and tranquil?  Then, you might choose paler shades of a color.  If you want something more dramatic, you would probably choose bold contrasting colors.  If you are unsure of just what color you want, take a look in your closet.  Most people choose clothing in the color that they like or feel good in.  This might give you an idea of what colors you really enjoy. 

One tip is to divide the colors into three groups.  The dominant color makes up about 60 percent, the secondary color is 30 percent, and 10 percent of an accent color.  The walls will most likely be the dominant color with the  bedspread or comforter and drapes as the secondary color.  Any art, decorator pillows, throws, or floral arrangements would add the accent color.  Should you decide later on to redecorate, you could change the items in the accent color which would give the bedroom a new look without too much expense.

When choosing accessories, remember that texture adds interest and pleases the eye.  You could choose decorator pillows in the same color with different textures and patterns.  After you have added these final touches to your bedroom, stand back and admire all you have done without having to spend a lot of money!!!!

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Budget Decorating With Bed Linens

Bedroom Oasis

Many of you may be of my era; the one in which beds were perfectly made under a chenille bedspread with pillows covered completely with the bedspread.  I am so glad to see the variety of bed linens as well as the ways in which they are used to decorate or even refresh a bedroom.  When decorating our homes, we usually finish the rooms that are most public.  However, the bedroom should be the first to receive attention when decorating.  It is your retreat when you need time alone as well as being the room in which you can relax and refresh yourself with a good night’s sleep.

Choose a theme for your bedroom and stick to it.  If you are on a strict budget, perhaps you want to choose neutral bedding and then use decorator pillows and other items for accents.  These you can change easily for different looks.  When purchasing items to go in that room, keep your theme in mind and be consistent.  If it doesn’t fit with the theme, forget it.  You don’t have to spend a lot of money to redecorate your bedroom.  If you want to give your bed a new look, try a duvet.  It is simply a cover for a comforter.  In that way, you can still use the comforter you have, but it will have a different look.  And as I mentioned above, pillows are always a good way to accent your decor. 

Make the bed the focal point of the room.  After all, it’s the most important piece of furniture.  You can use wall accents and different items to accent.  Perhaps you want to purchase a sheet in a harmonizing color and drape it from the ceiling in a swag, or use cup hooks and curtain rods to make a canopy.  Many of the beds featured in magazines have the sheets folded down and tucked in on the sides with lots and lots of bed pillows stacked at the headboard.  A bedskirt adds a finishing touch to the overall effect.  I always think that this look is crisp, clean and an invitation to sink down and relax. 

Don’t forget the fun of using fabric paint if you wish to add your own design to your bedsheets.  You can stencil along the top of the sheets as well as along the edge of the pillowcases for a custom look.  You will usually want to use cotton sheets for this, and you will want to be sure to follow the directions that come with the paint for a lasting finish.  It doesn’t have to be an elaborate design because usually less is more.  A simple design will add a classic and expensive touch. 

You can change up the spirit of a room by simply adding or taking away a few accessories which is a lot easier than painting the walls.  Sometimes it gives the room a lift to go with the seasons.  In the winter, you might want to have a cozy, warm bedroom which can be done by adding warm-toned bed linens to your bed.  In the summer, perhaps you would want to use lighter, cool colors to give an airy feel to the room.

Whether you are starting fresh or redecorating, you can use your imagination and please yourself.  Again, it is probably wise to choose a theme, such as traditional, modern, and such, so that you can have a point of reference in choosing colors, accents, and bedding.  If you can’t spend a lot of money, you will find that there are many ways to budget what you do spend and still have a bedroom that is your own special oasis.  Have fun!   

 

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Silk and Satin Bed Sheets

Up to this point, most of my blogs have been about cotton bed sheets including the pros and cons of high thread counts as well as types of cotton.  However, if you are want something more sumptuous and luxurious, you will probably want to seek out satin or silk bed sheets.  Silk is a natural fiber spun by silkworms; satin is woven from a natural fiber (silk) or a synthetic (polyester).  This type of bed sheets has become more reasonably priced than ever before, however, reasonably priced to some might mean “out of price range” to others. 

Sleeping between silk or satin sheets is a sensual experience as the bedding just seems to flow around your body.  You

Satin Bed Sheets

Luxurious Satin Sheets

might say that satin or silk bed sheets show an opulence you don’t often feel from any other type of fabric.  Often we think of castles and bridal suites when this subject comes to mind.  The luxury satin sheets are more affordable than pure silk sheets but will still add style and class to your bedroom decor.  There are so many colors to add to the overall ambience of your bedroom.  Another plus is that you can often find bedskirts, throws, or pillows in the satin fabric to add wonderful accents to your decorating style.

The shopper no longer has to go to special shops to find these bed sheets as most can be found locally.  Online shopping has opened a different way of finding many different styles and colors in the price range the shopper is looking for.  Whereas satin or silk sheets were something that only the “rich and famous” could afford, now they are available to everyone because of the cost effective way of producing them. 

The silk satin sheets are made of 100% silk which makes it soft and durable.  Silk satin is also known as silk charmeuse and has a very lustrous sheen to it.  The silk is blended with the satin to give an almost liquid feel to the fabric; just imagine having it flow around you.  The fabric is spun from very fine threads so the thread count is nearly impossible to determine.  Therefore, the measurement is made in momme with higher units of momme denoting heavier fabrics.  A momme measurement of 19 seems to be good for sleeping in warmer weather or to prevent discomfort when sleeping in heated rooms.

For those with allergies, silk is naturally hypoallergenic, inhospitable to dust mites, and resistant to mold and mildew which might make it a good choice for you.  However, the fact that it needs to be dry cleaned which might use chemicals might also be a negative factor.  Another thing that might be a drawback to the silk satin sheets is the fact that care needs to be taken to avoid snags from anything that comes into contact with the fabric such as buttons, zippers, or such.

One factor that may influence your purchase of satin or silk sheets is the cleaning process.  Some need to be dry cleaned, some need to be hand washed and cannot tolerate heat such as from a dryer.  These conditions need to be considered as you shop for sheets.  Be sure to read the care label and be prepared to follow the directions there.  The cost and care need to be weighed against the luxury of silk or satin on your bed.

 

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