BEDDING BUYING GUIDE

You spend a third of your lifetime in bed so make your resting hours count by ensuring that you make the best choices in selecting your bedding. At Arnotts, we’ve brought together some of the finest bedding brands in the world to provide a vast variety of bases, filled goods, linens and decorative covers for you to choose from.

Linens

It is important to understand that not all bedding is made equally. Differing materials, thread counts, finishes, and weaves are just some of the elements to consider when picking your bed coverings.

You may choose from our coordinated bedding sets or select from our high-quality individual sheets, duvet covers, and pillowcases, to create your own unique look.

Materials influence the look and feel of the bedding, as well as how you care for it, and how well it lasts. These are some of the main materials used in bedding:

  • Polyester
    This is a synthetic material, which is highly durable, and less susceptible to wear and tear from daily use, and repeated washing than natural fabrics. Polyester is easy to care for, wrinkle-resistant, and dries quickly; however the fabric tends to pill, and does not become softer with time.
  • Cotton
    Considered to be the best textile for bedding, cotton fabric is highly influenced by thread count. Cotton bedding tends to keep one warm in the winter and cool in the summer; it does not pill; and cotton bedding gets softer and more comfortable with time. However, cotton bedding may shrink or tear with time, and is susceptible to wrinkling. Egyptian Cotton is the highest available quality, and is distinguished by the long fibres, which produce a soft, luxurious feel.
  • Silk
    Silk bedding can be glamorous and luxurious, if you pay careful attention to your selection. Charmeuse Silk, Tussah Silk, and Habotai Silk are all used to produce sheets, with Charmeuse Silk providing the highest quality. Silk quality is measured by Momme Weight, and the ideal for sheets falls between 16 and 21mm.
  • Linen
    This is a heavier fabric, which gets softer with use, and remains breathable and fresh, easily regulating airflow around the body during sleep. Due to the hollow flax fibres which make up linen, this bedding is able to keep you cool in summer and warm in winter, and quality is measured by fabric weight, rather than thread count.
  • Blended
    Blends of polyester and cotton are commonly found in bedding. Blends are able to withstand repeated washing, whilst retaining their quality. They do not need ironing, and are soft and comfortable, if the composition is not more than 10% polyester.

Our first instinct is often to believe that the higher the thread count, the better the fabric, but is that necessarily true?

Thread count refers to the number of threads per square inch of fabric. This is based on the number of vertical and horizontal threads, as well as extra threads called “picks”, which are woven in between the horizontal threads. These picks often up the thread count, without improving the quality. Good quality sheets can have a thread count ranging from 200 to 800. Our choices are endless, as we stock everything between budget-friendly 200 thread counts, all the way up to luxury, hotel-quality 1000 thread counts. Although high thread counts can feel softer, this should not be the only consideration when purchasing new bedding.

  • Plain
    Plain bedding is simple, restful, and easy on the eye. It can also be mixed and matched easily, and dressed up or down depending on our preferences, and choices in accessories. You should aim to choose your main colour based on your preferences, and then add lighter and darker shades of the same colour, to keep the bed from looking dull or uninteresting.
  • Printed / patterned
    Printed bedding can add interest and a focal point to a room, and allow you to easily personalise your bed according to your unique tastes. Patterned bedding allows you to feature accent colours on the bed, and match these to the colours featured throughout the rest of the bedroom. Floral styles are particularly popular for incorporating colours from around the room.
  • Jacquard
    Complex patterns are woven into the fabric, enhancing the texture of the fabric, and producing a sheen. This type of weave is often used to create a formal style on coverlets, decorative pillows, and comforters.
  • Dobby
    Single colours textures and designs, including stripes and spots, are woven into the fabric. Dobby weave is used to add a decorative element to duvets, pillowcases, and coverlets.
  • Percale
    This is a plain weave, in which warp and weft (vertical and horizontal threads) and woven between each other one at a time. This checkerboard style weave produces a very strong fabric, and tightly woven threads create a crisp and fine matte finish.
  • Sateen
    In this style of weaving, warp and weft threads are interwoven with filling threads, resulting in a smooth, lustrous look and feel. The sheets with the highest thread counts are usually constructed with a sateen weave.

Types of Bedding

There are many different ways to dress your bed, and each suits a different set of needs. With a wide range of sheets, coordinated bedding sets, pillowcases, and more, we’ve got you – and your bed – covered.

Fitted sheets are an essential, not only for protecting your mattress from wear and tear, but also for providing a comfortable night’s sleep. You can choose your fitted sheet on the basis of thread count, or based on whether you prefer a lighter or heavier sheet for the specific season.

Ensure that the sheet fits your mattress by assessing the dimensions you require. Also remember that fitted sheets can potentially shrink slightly after the first wash. If you are planning to use a mattress topper, you should factor this in when measuring for your fitted sheets, as toppers can add extra height to the mattress.

Size Guide Width (cm) Length (cm)
Single 90 200
Double 140 190
King 160 200
Super King 200 200

Similar to fitted sheets, flat sheets affect the look and feel of your bed, and can be chosen with a range of factors in mind. The main purpose of a flat sheet is to provide a barrier between you and your blankets or duvet, and you should choose the weave, thread count, fabric, and size that suits you.

Size Guide Width (cm) Length (cm)
Single 180 260
Double 220 260
King 265 275
Super King 280 290
  • Quilts
    A combination of different layers of fabric, stitched together and filled with cotton or fibre. These are the heaviest of the three options, and are often used to stay warm in winter. The stitching can be done in different ways, to create varying styles and patterns.
  • Blankets
    Also used to stay warm, blankets are composed of a single layer of woollen material, usually thicker than a sheet, but thinner than a quilt.
  • Duvets
    Duvets are filled with feathers, wool, or fibre, and generally requires a cover. The cover can easily be removed and laundered, and is ideal if you plan on changing your bedroom décor often, or varying your style with the seasons.
  • Comforters
    These differ from quilts in terms of fabric, patterns, and stuffing. Comforters are usually filled with materials including down, wool, silk, or polyester batting. These are easy to wash, and the cover is not a separate entity to the filling, as is the case with duvets.
  • Coverlet
    A coverlet is a decorative fabric, which covers the bed. It usually does not touch the floor, or cover the pillows. This lightweight covering can be either quilted or woven, and even the simplest design can add something special to the bed.
    Size Guide Width (cm) Length (cm)
    Single 135 200
    Double 200 200
    King 225 220
    Super King 260 230

Filling

Down is a layer of soft feathers found on ducks, and is one of the best insulators against the cold. Duck feathers are light and soft, and offer a luxurious feeling.

This is a synthetic, man-made material, consisting of hollow strands which trap air, and create warmth. Hollowfibre duvets are anti-allergenic, and can easily be machine-washed, making them a practical choice.

Microfibre is a synthetic material, which offers down-like softness. This material is durable and anti-allergenic, and most of these pillows can be machine-washed.

Tog Value

This refers to the warmth offered by the duvet – the higher the tog value, the warmer the duvet. The ‘tog’ is a unit of heat retained by the duvet, and this value varies according to not only how thick the duvet is, but what material has been used as a filling, as natural materials tend to serve as more effective insulators.

A tog value of 3 is the lightest, and makes for the perfect summer duvet, as well as the ideal choice for those who get hot easily when they sleep. A medium tog value is around 9, and these are generally considered to be spring or autumn duvets, however depending on climate and central heating, they can be used all year round. The highest tog value is 15, with most agreeing that 13.5 is the ideal value for a cosy, winter duvet.

We stock a variety of tog values, to keep you happy all year round, and to suit your personal preference.

Pillows

A comfortable pillow is of paramount importance, in positively impacting the way you sleep. Choose from a range of different fillings, and levels of support, to suit your unique needs.

  • Side Sleeper
    A firm pillow is best if you sleep on your side, as your head and neck stay in a higher position, and a firm pillow ensures that the head remains correctly aligned with the spine.
  • Back Sleeper
    A medium support pillow conforms to the natural curve of your neck and back, and gently supports you head to maintain comfort all night.
  • Stomach Sleeper
    A soft pillow is best for this sleeping configuration, as it allows your neck to rest in a lower position, avoiding strain.
  • Feather & Down
    Feather and down pillows offer soft and gentle support, and conform easily to the nature shape of the body. Down pillows are the most luxurious of all, and are a true investment.
  • Hollowfibre
    This is a synthetic material which offers excellent support, and is a good choice for side sleepers. These pillows are hypo-allergenic, and offer superb value for money.
  • Microfibre
    Microfibre is a synthetic material, which offers down-like softness. This material is durable and anti-allergenic, and cam generally be machine-washed.
  • Memory foam
    These pillows are filled with a unique synthetic material which provides high levels of support to the neck and spine, and which holds it shape longer than other fillings.
  • Housewife pillowcase
    The standard pillowcase, these are found in most homes, and are highly functional. This type of pillowcase snugly covers the entire pillow, holding it firmly in place. Standard dimensions are 50cm x 70cm.
  • Oxford pillowcase
    More elegant and luxurious, these pillowcases have a stitched border or frill around the edge, to add a decorative element. The standard dimensions are the same as the housewife pillowcase, with an additional 5cm for the border.

Mattress Toppers & Protectors

Mattress toppers and protectors offer additional comfort, and defence from allergens, while also protecting your mattress or pillow from wear and tear.

Breathable, waterproof mattress and pillow covers offer protection from soiling, while the anti-allergy range is ideal for sufferers of asthma or breathing problems. All-night coolness and freshness is offered by the 100% cotton range.

If you notice that your mattress is not offering the perfect night’s sleep, you may choose to add a topper, rather than replace your mattress completely. There are several different types of mattress toppers, each offering its own advantages.

  • Feathers & Down
    Ideal for people who get cold during the night, down mattress toppers are soft and luxurious, and help to insulate against the cold.
  • Wool
    These mattress toppers are soft, and unlikely to bring on allergies. They are extremely durable, and are a real investment that will last for years.
  • Hollowfibre
    This synthetic material has excellent ventilation qualities, and can be used all year round. It is also anti-allergenic, and provides protection against dust mites and bacteria.
  • Microfibre
    Microfibre is a synthetic material, which offers down-like softness. This material is durable and anti-allergenic, and most of these pillows can be machine-washed.
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Bed Linen Care

How often you choose to wash your sheets is based on personal preference; however it is suggested that weekly laundering is ideal, and very hot water should be avoided, as it may shrink fibres. You should use a small amount of mild detergent, and avoid using bleach, as this could break down the fibres.

Sheets may be tumble dried, according to their specific care labels, however they should be removed before completely dry, to avoid wrinkles. When possible, sheets should be dried outside in the sun.

Bedding should be stored in a cool, dry place, on a surface lined with acid-free tissue paper. It is suggested that you should always have three sets of bedding: one for the bed, one for the laundry, and one for the closet, and that these sets should be rotated frequently, so that they wear evenly. If possible, try to avoid exposing your bedding to direct sunlight for extended periods of time. You can do this by closing blinds or curtains, or covering your bed with a throw.

Pillows should be washed twice a year, and pillowcases once a month. Printed and coloured pillowcases should be washed inside out, to avoid damage and fading. Most down and synthetic pillows are machine-washable, and a low heat setting on a dryer can be used to re-fluff pillows, and they should be plumped daily when making the bed, to avoid them becoming flat.

Down duvets and comforters do not need very frequent laundering, as this can cause damage. Professional cleaning is recommended, however a front loader and a mild detergent can also be used.

Blankets and quilts can usually be machine-washed, using cool or warm water (not hot), and using a mild detergent. You should allow sufficient time for drying. Quilts may need to be dried flat, to avoid damaging the details

Mattress

All of our mattresses are crafted from luxuriously soft and supportive materials, to offer you the very best night’s sleep, whatever your personal preferences may be.

Choosing the correct mattress is fundamental to creating the perfect environment for sleep, and helping to improve your daily life and health. Choice of mattress should be determined by your own preferences, budget, the level of support you require, and your sleeping position, amongst other things.

As a rule you should think about changing your mattress at least every eight years, however this does not always apply. The ideal mattress allows you to sleep in such a way that you feel no pressure, and awake free of pain.

It is suggested that couples make use of a king-sized bed, in order to provide optimal space and therefore comfort for both partners. However, this will depend on the size of your bedroom, as those with smaller rooms may opt for a double bed, in order to optimize on space. Many single sleepers opt for a single bed, however a double bed looks attractive in a larger room, and also offers more space for comfortable sleeping, which is ideal for both adults and teens. More people are also beginning to opt for double beds for children, in order to allow for growth. When choosing your ideal mattress size, you should ensure that your entire body fits comfortable on the mattress, and it is recommended that the mattress be 30cm longer than the body of the tallest sleeper. If two people will be sleeping in the bed, lay down on the mattress, with your arms behind your head. Both partners should be able to assume with position without bumping into each other.

Mattress Size Guide Width (ft / cm) Length (ft / cm)
Single 3ft / 91.5cm 6ft 3 / 190cm
Double 4ft 6 / 137cm 6ft 3 / 190cm
King 5ft / 153cm 6ft 6 / 200cm
Super King 6ft / 183cm 6ft 6 / 200cm
  • Innerspring mattresses
    Mattresses with springs are categorised according to the thickness of the metal coils, with 12 being the thickest and firmest, and 18 being the thinnest. Inter-connected coils are the most durable, but individually pocketed coils reduce the ripple effect if you sleep next to a partner. These mattresses usually have a fibre or foam outer layer, which is covered in quilted ticking. It is often best to choose a firm mattress of this kind.
  • Memory foam mattresses
    These mattresses are more firm, and do not have much spring. The layer of foam can range from 2 to 6 inches thick, and 5 pounds per cubic inch of density is considered to be the best quality.
  • Hybrid mattresses
    A combination of latex, foam, coils, and / or other materials, these mattresses are designed to capitalize on the benefits of each different material. These mattresses tend to be able to provide excellent bounce, comfort, and support at the same time.
  • Side sleeper
    You will need pressure relief, which means that an innerspring mattress is often preferable to a foam or latex mattress.
  • Stomach sleeper
    A firm top surface provides the best support for this sleeping position, with a dense innerspring, air-filled, or latex mattress being ideal.
  • Back sleeper
    A comfortable mattress which is supportive but also allows your spine to stay correctly aligned. A wide variety of mattress types may be suitable, depending on your preferences.
  • Body weight
    Sleepers with a lower body weight will feel the top layers of the mattress more than lower layers, due to the fact that they exert less pressure on the mattress. Light people tend to prefer a softer mattress, whereas heavier sleepers require some extra support in order to remain comfortable, so a firmer mattress is recommended.
  • Platform
    This type of base offers a durable, firm feel, and is made as a match to the mattress.
  • Spring
    The spring base acts as a shock absorber, and provides essential support to the mattress, resulting in a luxurious sleeping experience.

Your mattress should be turned at least 4 times a year, in order to maintain even wearing. If you mattress does not need turning, you may be able to rotate it. You bed should be stripped regularly to air the mattress. Ideally, remove your bedclothes for a few minutes every morning to allow moisture to evaporate. You should never allow your mattress to get wet, nor use any kind of dry-cleaning fluid on it. A very mild detergent can be used to remove stains, and both the mattress and base should be vacuumed occasionally in order to prevent build-up of dust. A good mattress cover should be used to protect your mattress from wear and tear, as well as stains.