6 Things to Think About When Buying a New Bed Set

Mattress, Frame, Sheets, and Duvets—There's a Lot to Consider

comfortable bed

The Spruce / Erica Lang

Getting a doctor's recommended eight hours of sleep a night is easier said than done—we all know that. Work, kids, events, stress, a good book—all those things can get in the way. But one thing that shouldn't disrupt your ability to sleep is your bed itself. Your bed should be a haven of comfort and warmth. And that means different things for different people.

Perhaps you prefer a firm mattress and a heavy down comforter, or maybe you need a softer mattress and could sleep with just a top sheet and a quilt. And depending on your height, you might be fine in a full bed or need a queen in order to properly stretch out. And don't even get us started on sheets and pillows! Actually, do ... because we love this stuff! Bedding matters to us.

If you're setting up a bedroom from scratch or ready for a decor makeover, we can help you get started. From the mattress to the linens, these are six things to think about when you're buying a new bed set.

  • 01 of 06

    Your Budget

    person placing a pillow on a made bed

    The Spruce / Lucianna McIntosh

    There's no question that we as humans spend a lot of time in bed. For that reason, creating a bed set that makes you feel like you're in heaven is worth the investment.

    If you are on a budget, there are plenty of ways to save some money while building your bed from the ground up. First, pick a standard metal bed frame from somewhere like Amazon.com and, if you can, just accent it with a headboard (we love Wayfair and Overstock for deals) rather than a full bed frame that can be more pricey.

    As far as mattresses, online-only brands are on the whole more affordable than (and often just as comfortable as) traditional department store brands such as Sealy, Serta, or Tempurpedic.

    We recommend shopping at discount stores like Home Goods to find amazing deals on pillows, mattress pads, and more bedding essentials you might not necessarily see.

  • 02 of 06

    Your Mattress

    measuring a mattress

    The Spruce / Erica Lang 

    In every way, your mattress choice is a highly personal decision (and you might have to make it with another person). Along with selecting a size that you'll be comfortable with, you'll have to choose between, firm and soft, memory foam, springs and hybrid designs.

    Taller people will probably be most comfortable on a queen size mattress or larger, since full and twin sizes are a few inches shorter traditionally. As far as the makings of the mattress yourself, you may need to test a few out before you make a decision. The mattress will likely be the most expensive purchase you make as you start to build your bed set, and it is absolutely the most important one.

  • 03 of 06

    Headboard or No Headboard?

    bed with a headboard

    The Spruce / Candace Madonna

    The structure and the commanding presence of a bed frame adds an air of sophistication, completion, and maturity to a bedroom. It also has the power to drive the energy and look of the entire room. A tufted velvet headboard telegraphs elegant serenity while a rattan frame gives off an airy, beachy, bohemian vibe. So what's your style?

  • 04 of 06

    Sheet Style

    person putting sheets on a bed

    The Spruce / Lucianna McIntosh

    Sheets are another highly personal choice when building a bed set. Some like a cool percale in clean crisp white, while some prefer a soft cozy flannel in a colorful pattern.

    These days thread count doesn't matter quite as much as it used to, you can get super high-quality sheets at a more affordable price (without that thread count price hike) from brands like Crane and Canopy, Parachute Home, and Brooklinen.

    Since your sheets are what touch your skin each night, you want them to be just right. Make sure they're the correct size for your mattress, and for your mattress depth. Sometimes thick pillow-top mattresses can be too tall for standard sheets.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Blanket or Comforter?

    duvet cover filled with a down comforter

    The Spruce / Erica Lang

    Do you need to be free and cool while you sleep, or warm, cozy, and a little weighted down? There are a few things to consider when topping your bed—not the least of which being whether or not you're allergic to down, and need an alternative fill for your comforter.

    We prefer a comforter and duvet cover to a light coverlet, but it really depends on the season and your body temperature at night.

    Up-and-coming companies like Buffy are making comforters cool, offering a direct-to-consumer model that allows higher quality at a lower price point.

    For more affordable comforters, both down and down-alternative, check out Home Goods, Target, Macy's sales, and even other DTC brands like Brooklinen and Parachute make their own down goods as well.

  • 06 of 06

    The Color Scheme

    all-white bedding color scheme

    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

    Perhaps the easiest way to make your bed set look sophisticated and cohesive is to pick a color scheme you love and stick to it. Does that mean you have to have all-white or all-blue bedding? Of course not (though we do love the look of an all-white bed).

    A family of colors that all play well together—like white, beige and red, for example, or black and white with punches of color—can be mixed and matched especially with different patterns and textures to create a unique and fully grown-up bedroom set.