Secrets to Creating the Most Comfortable Bed

If you count all the hours we allot to plumping pillows, smoothing sheets, straightening shams, and fussing over how the whole thing looks, we spend as much time on our beds as in them. Yet the results never look as good as pictures in magazines. Enough already. For tips on bed-making, Gardenista editor Michelle turned to Tricia Rose, a bedding expert who owns Rough Linen and has given a lot of thought to the topic. Here are several of her must-know secrets to make a bed inviting enough to make it hard to say goodbye each morning:

Above: Photograph via The Brick House.

Your bedroom is the most private room in the house, and it should be the most personal. Your bed should feel like the ultimate sanctuary and make you happy every time you get into it. “Show-off-y beds are a thing of the past,” Tricia said.

So are fussy pillowsóremember throwing off 14 tiny pillows onto the floor just to get into bed? It’s over. Instead:

Get the right pillows. By all means keep your favorite pillowóthe flat, dingy one you’ve been carting around since childhood because it has just the right squish factor to lull you to sleepóbut also invest in a pair of beautiful fluffy pillows. “Some people do pillows like a stack of pancakes and others like magazines in a rack that faces forward, and either looks good,” said Tricia.

Above: Bed linens made of linen; a Linen Summer Set in Smooth White includes a Summer Sheet ($154) and a Summer Cover ($185) and is available from Rough Linen.

Instead of cotton sheets and pillow cases, put linen on your bed. (After all, this category of textiles is called bed linens for a reason.) “What I love about linen is you can stand at the end of the bed and with both hands go ‘flick,” and it looks beautiful, wrinkles and all,” Tricia said. “It doesn’t have to be perfectly smooth or perfect at all, because linen already is perfect.”

Above: Photograph via Julia’s Vita.

Ditch the fitted sheet and instead tuck in a flat sheet around the mattress. “Fitted sheets are an excrescence,” said Tricia. “Mattresses are all different depths. Fitted sheets never fit properly and they never look good.” Instead, she suggests, use a big flat sheet if necessary, buy one that’s a size larger than your mattress and tuck it tightly around the mattress.

(Fitted sheet or no? Where do you stand on the subject? Tell us in the comments section below.)

Above: A White Goose Down Comforter is from $298 to $498 depending on size and a Down-Alternative Comforter is from $118 to $148 depending on size from Garnet Hill.

You don’t need a top sheet. Instead, stuff a comforter inside a duvet cover (preferably a linen one) and let the cover do the job of a sheet. “The only function of a top sheet, if you have a duvet, is to wrap itself around your legs while you sleep and to become untucked,” said Tricia.

Bonus: by eliminating a top sheet, you will be able to make the bed faster and more easily in the morning.

Buy the right size comforter insert to stuff inside the duvet cover. “The silly thing is there isnít a standard for the sizes of duvet infills, so you can’t just buy ‘queen’ or ‘king’ and be done with it; you have to measure your duvet cover,” said Tricia. “To fill it up, buy an infill that is at least two or three inches larger. You can even buy one that’s six inches larger, and the infill should mush nicely in there.” On Tricia’s bed is a Down Comforter from Warm Things.

Now, are you eager to redo your entire bedroom? If so, look to Gardenista‘s Room Gallery for inspiration.


H D.
Holly D2 years ago

As much as I'd love to try those linen sheets, they're too pricey for me! I have a weakness for nice cotton sheets tho.

Paulinha Russell
Paulinha Russell2 years ago

Thank you

Miki W.
Past Member 2 years ago

"Gardenista is a one-stop sourcebook for cultivated living, a guide to outdoor design and gardening. Helmed by former New York Times columnist Michelle Slatalla, Gardenista features inspiration, garden visits, and advice for all things outdoor living, from patios and peonies, to tables and terraces. Gardens matter, and Gardenista celebrates tomatoes on the fire ......... "

No wonder we have this article here,,,, this is not exactly a " CAUSE ",,, ads, maybe xxx

Miki W.
Past Member 2 years ago

i don't care about this at all
as long as i find my bed when i am tired

flat sheet, fitted sheet,,, like i have no other things to do

Jayasri Amma
Jayasri Amma3 years ago

Thank you!

Beth C.
Beth Crader4 years ago

My top sheet never stays tucked in all night no matter what I do. I do not move in bed once I fall asleep but before that I toss and turn. I would love to see someone make a top sheet that had a fitted end to stay tucked in.

Bea Pujatti
Bea P4 years ago

I know top sheets can come away and tangle during the night, but I do like having one onder the duver or blanket. Especially when one uses a wool blanket in winter... not so comfortable to sleep directly under it without a softer sheet in between! But thanks for sharing, there are some good pointers there.

Pamela C.
Pamela C.4 years ago

I must confess I have never slept on linen sheets, never thought about it since linen clothing can be so scratchy, but I will check it out.

I do have to disagree however with a couple of your points/suggestions. The no fitted sheet ahhhhhhh no way. If it's one thing I hate it's when hotels do this "cheap trick" to save money.

So the guest goes to turn down the bedding, and the whole bottom sheet comes UN-tucked. You end up having to remake the bed before you can get in it. You sure don't want any body parts touching an uncovered mattress, shivers!!!!!

As for losing the top sheet, one of the purposes' of a top sheet is to keep body oils off of the more expensive duvet, comforter, or bed spread. You might save time making your bed, but you will sure loose it, having to wash and dry a large king size comforter rather than just a top sheet.

I know of what I speak,,,at my age I've made a few beds in my time :)

Karen Gee4 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Fi T.
Past Member 4 years ago

Being simple is the best