If you live in an area where the climate changes from season to season, you most likely have winter clothes and summer clothes. Isn't it logical that you'd also change the bedding when warm sunny evenings turn to chilly nights?
From wool mattress pads and cushy feather beds to soft flannel sheets, down comforters, and fluffy, wool blankets, there are lots of products to choose from, but only you can decide on the right combination. Read on to find just the right products that you can use to create a cocoon for a wonderful, cozy winter's rest.
The Cozy Comfort of Down
Down is the light fluffy coating that protects birds from exposure to the outside elements. Because down can retain just the right degree of warmth for most bodies, it's considered one of the most perfect products for comfortable bedding.
The prices of down bedding products can vary drastically based on the qualities of the product. In the least-expensive products, down and feathers; the finest, most expensive products are made from 100 percent pure white goose down. Down products are rated by "fill power," a term used to describe the quality of down. The higher the fill power, the larger and stronger the clusters of down.
Down blankets and comforters are sewn with baffles to keep the down filling evenly distributed. Baffle box construction means that the product has internal three-dimensional fabric wall boxes, which allow for maximum thickness and comfort while maintaining even distribution within the boxes. Comforters and blankets with straight-through quilt stitching will have cold spots where there is no down.
Down comforters and blankets are sold in the same sizes as other blankets and bedding, and they are available in many colors, although white is the most common. People with allergies to animals might not be able to use down products, but the finest companies wash and rinse their down and feathers up to eight times, removing the dust, dirt, and allergens that cause allergic reactions. Tightly woven fabric covers are leak-proof, so down and feathers won't leak out.
Classic Wool Blankets
Wool is the fiber created by the hair of sheep or other domesticated animals. The hair is shorn from the sheep, spun into threads, and woven into a variety of grades, weights, and qualities of the fabric. Because wool has natural lanolin, it is both fire- and water-resistant. A resulting unique quality of wool is that it retains its warmth even when wet.
Moths love to chew away at good wool blankets, so when not in use, the blanket should be stored in a cedar-lined chest or closet. Additionally, wool blankets must be dry-cleaned to retain their size and feel.
A silk-filled and -covered comforter has one half the weight of a comparably sized down comforter. Silk fibers are breathable, lightweight, supple, and constantly equalize temperatures. A comforter of silk conforms to the body and is not as puffy as down. All silk products are naturally hypoallergenic.
A silk comforter needs to be dry-cleaned, so it is recommended that you use a duvet cover to protect the comforter and prolong its life.
Space-age Polar Fleece
Polar fleece is a human-made fiber of polyester. By trapping air in the hollow core fibers, polar fleece provides optimum warmth and softness. A polar fleece blanket is lightweight and can fold up into a small space when not in use. It washes up beautifully and does not pill.
Toasty-Warm Electric Blankets
Electric blankets and mattress pads are a great solution if you want instant heat. If you turn the blanket on about five minutes before hopping into bed, the bed will be warm and toasty when you get in. Most electric blankets are machine-washable, are available in all the standard sizes, and come with a variety of heat controls. For double, queen, and king beds, there are usually two controls so that each sleeper can adjust their side. Some new controls have timers and go off and on as desired.
Soft Flannel Sheets
Most flannel sheets are made from cotton and are warm, soft, and lightweight. They're perfect for a winter bed and you'll feel like you've climbed into a pair of old pajamas. You can pop cotton flannel sheets in the washer and dryer, but the fabric tends to pill after several washes. Some people may not like the feeling of the small, soft balls in the bed.
What you put over your mattress can go a long way in helping to keep you warm in the winter. Traditional mattress pad are filled with down, wool, foam, cotton, or polyester. They soften the mattress, give a smoother feel for lying on, and protect the outer layer of fabric on the mattress. Some mattress pads have corner elastic to hold it on the mattress, while others are constructed to fit over the top and sides of the mattress.
Costlier mattress pads are designed for warmth and comfort. Some even have copper coils to radiate and hold in natural heat. Wool fleece mattress pads offer the warmth of wool and the softness of a down pad. Because wool compacts, the loft of a wool fleece pad will become matted over the years.
Regular thin mattress pads should be washed regularly and rotated periodically to even the wear on the pad. Dry cleaning is required for a wool mattress pad, as with any fine wool blanket or apparel.