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Which Bedding is Best for Hot Summer Nights?

Tuesday, October 26th

Which Bedding is Best for Hot Summer Nights?

As most of the nation heads towards those long-anticipated days of summer, spring cleaning is well underway and we're going through our linen closets to swap out our heavy winter bedding.

Bye, flannel sheets! See you in the fall, down comforters! Heated blankets, farewell!

Are we also remembering those sticky nights when the AC died and there was barely a breeze to stir the air? Or kicking off all of the covers - again - because we just couldn't get comfortable no matter what?

Yes, summer has its joys - but sleeping sweaty isn't one of them. Which types of bedding can help you stay comfortably cool until the temperatures drop once more? Let's take a look!

Tried and True: Linen and Cotton

Natural fibers are the most reliable material for sheets that will keep you from overheating while you sleep. Linen comes from flax, while cotton comes from... well... cotton, of course. Both materials breathe easily - or, in other words, they quickly transfer heat from sleepers back out to the environment. If you choose cotton, consider getting percale: a special weaving technique that feels especially cool and crisp.

Linen gives you all of the benefits of cotton and then some. People say that it is more naturally cooling, absorbent and moisture-wicking. Throw in the added plus of being naturally antimicrobial and you'll see why linen sheets keep you feeling and smelling fresh. Many users say that their linen sheets get softer with each wash while still being more durable than traditional cotton sheets.

Hottest (or Coolest?) Trend: Bamboo

Have you seen ads for bamboo sheets popping up on your social media feed? They're getting the most press lately, especially for consumers who want bedding that's eco-friendly. What makes bamboo more sustainable? The plant grows super-fast and doesn't usually need irrigation, pesticides or fertilizers. Of course, the process of turning the bamboo itself into fibers for sheets and pillowcases can require some chemicals, making it slightly less "green" than you might expect.

Bamboo is comparable to cotton with respect to breathability, durability and softness. The weave you choose will partly determine how "cool" you sleep, with percale giving you the biggest cooling effect, and twill or sateen tending to be a little hotter.

New Kids on the Block: Eucalyptus and Hemp

You might have a harder time finding bedding made from hemp and eucalyptus. In the case of eucalyptus, it might be labeled as lyocell or tencel (which just indicates it's a fiber made from wood pulp derived from trees that are grown and replaced on specialty tree farms: it can apply to eucalyptus, bamboo, and a few other source materials). They're newer on the market but are a promising option among other hot weather-friendly bedding choices.

Eucalyptus and hemp both hold up very well to washing and drying, are good for moisture-wicking, and can be very sustainably-produced. Think of them as Bamboo Part II in that regard!

What About the Rest of the Bed?

So, you've found your new favorite bedsheets and maybe even a lightweight comforter to go with them, but you're still feeling a little too toasty. What's the problem?

You might want to consider the foundation of your sleep: the mattress itself. While you might not be able to replace the entire mattress, the good news is that's probably not necessary. There are many options for cooling mattress pads and toppers that complement your sheets to wick away heat and keep you from being a sweaty mess in the morning. Most of them are gel-based memory foam that also gives you a more comfortable night's rest. You'll definitely want to read customer reviews before making a purchase: some designs are better for side sleepers than for back or front sleepers, and if you know you need a surface that's more firm or plush, you can take advantage of other people's experiences to guide your decision.

The Takeaway

If you're looking for the best way to sleep cool during the warmer months, it might take some trial and error to find your ideal combination. We suggest starting with the lowest-cost items, the sheets themselves, to see if that takes care of the overheating issue. If you try various materials and, like Goldilocks, still haven't found something "just right" , it's worth the investment to see if a mattress topper is the missing piece of the puzzle.

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Bedding Company FAQ

Bedding can refer to a lot of things. Put simply, bedding is anything you might need to sleep in your bed or make it look nice when you're not. This includes pillows, pillow cases, fitted sheets, shams, comforters, duvet covers, quilts, bedskirts, decorative pillows, and more.
Yes! Most commonly you'll find bedding for twin (39" x 75" ), full/double (54" x 75" ), queen (60" x 80" ), or king (78" x 80" ) beds. This refers to the length and width of your bed and it's important to buy bedding that fits snug. Most companies carry the same bedding styles in multiple sizes, so you don't have to worry about not having a big selection for the size you need.
Bedding usually ranges anywhere from $30 to $200 (sometimes more) for a full set. However, if you're just buying a pillowcase or a new fitted sheet, you can expect to pay closer to $20 or $30. So much depends on what bedding product you're looking to buy and what material it is made of.
Since there are so many styles and designs when it comes to bedding, it helps to start out by identifying the size of bed you have. Once you've established this, decide what color of bedding you want and if you prefer it to have a design or just be a solid color. You can filter bedding selections down based on color and then browse the different options until you find bedding you are excited about!
A comforter is usually a thick bedding topper, most often made of cotton blends and synthetics. It is probably the most popular type of bedding topper in the US. It is sewn or quilted to keep the filling in place, but usually in plain, non-ornate patterns. A bedspread is a light-weight single-layer topper that covers the whole bed, sometimes down to the floor. They are good for cooler weather and sometimes come with elaborate finishes like pompom or chenille. Duvet covers are made to fit over a comforter with a zipper or buttons that can easily be removed for cleaning. You can switch out how heavy of a comforter you use on the inside to adjust to different temperatures throughout the year. Lastly, a quilt is an artistically crafted, heavy blanket with a top, inner batting, and bottom layer stitched together with complex patterns. They are popular for coastal, country, or rustic decorating styles.
It would be easier to ask what styles bedding does not come in! You can find bedding in all colors and designs, and with or without graphics. You can buy it all together in one matching set or mix and match patterns by purchasing different pieces of bedding individually. Some bedding themes include farmhouse, bohemian, Disney, sports, nautical, floral, shabby chic, and much more.
Some of the most common materials bedding comes in are cotton, flannel, silk, polyester, bamboo, microfiber, or lyocell. The different fabrics will play a part in the weight and temperature of your bed at night. Depending on if you like it cool or warm while you sleep, you will want to purchase bedding in materials that will help regulate temperature.
There are a variety of factors that play into how often you will need to replace bedding. Most experts believe bedding (at least sheets) should be washed weekly. After a few years of washing them weekly, they will likely thin and fade, which is a good indication that it's time for new ones. If you repaint your room or get new furniture, you might find that you want some new bedding to freshen up your bedroom vibe. Or maybe you spill something that stains your bedding and you can't stand to look at it any longer! As long as you keep your bedding clean, it should hold up for quite a while, but you'll be able to tell when it's time to follow the saying: "Out with the old, and in with the new!"
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