THE CONCEPT OF LUXURY BEDDING
The subjective concept of luxury and expensive bedding can mean wildly different things to different people. However, when it comes to bedding, there are only a few fabrics that make the cut. Each have their advantages and drawbacks that make them appealing for individuals, but which materials take the crown in categories of comfort, breathability and sustainability?
This breakdown of the range of luxury fabrics available can help you find your ideal luxury bedding fabric, and answer if fancy bed sheets are actually worth the money.
LUXURY Bedding KEY QUESTIONS AND INFORMATION
- The Importance of Sleep
- Benefits of Luxury Bedding
- Luxury Bedding Materials
- Is Luxury Bedding Worth the Cost?
- How to Choose Luxury Bedding
THE IMPORTANCE OF SLEEP
The ideal amount of sleep is 8 hours per night. This is the amount needed to optimize brain functions and maintain physical health. Consistently not getting enough sleep can lead to issues with concentration, memory and productivity.
Physically, being sleep deprived can also decreases the metabolism while increasing appetite and the number of calories consumed, therefore leading to weight gain, obesity and diabetes. Poor sleep is also a risk factor for the development of heart disease, stroke and depression.
Conversely, consistently getting a good amount of sleep can protect against all of these afflictions while also improving the immune system, helping with healing and repair of the body and improving mood and reaction times. A great night of sleep can lead to waking up feeling rested, energized and ready to start the day.
The average individual achieves a less than ideal 6.8 hours of sleep per night while a large percentage of the population report issues with the ability to sleep or the quality of their sleep. There are many reasons why an individual may be having difficulties sleeping but one potential reason could be the quality of the bed and bedding.
High end bedding could be the solution to helping individuals catch up on their much-needed sleep and see improvements in their mental and physical health.
BENEFITS OF LUXURY BEDDING
Instead of spending hours in bed tossing and turning, trying to find a comfortable position, the cool and comfortable features of luxury bed fabrics can assist with drifting off in peace.
The fabrics typically used for luxury bedding such as Tencel™, silk and Egyptian cotton are significantly softer to the touch and will wrap the body in comfort throughout the night, leading to a better quality of sleep.
Luxury bedding fabrics cultivate a micro-climate that keeps the body cool when falling asleep when drifting off and throughout the night. They provide temperature regulation so that in hot, humid or cold weather, a consistent, comfortable temperature is maintained under the sheets.
This micro-climate is created by allowing air to circulate the body between the skin and the sheets. Synthetic materials on the other hand tend to trap air to the body, leading to disagreeable temperatures and uncomfortable, sticky sweating.
The typically higher prices that accompany a luxury bedding set may cause doubt as to whether luxury bedding is necessary. Aside from the immediate feeling of comfort and quality, luxury bedding will last a lot longer and will feel fresher for longer.
Synthetic materials and cheaper blends may suffice for a year but will soon need to be replaced, frequently costing more money without ever achieving optimal comfort or a luxury feel. As luxury bedding sets will need to be replaced a lot less frequently, they may actually be cheaper in the long run.
For 8 hours a day (ideally), the skin of the face and body is pressed against our bed sheets. Synthetic fabrics and low-quality blends used for bed sheets are more likely to feel rough and abrasive. This can cause irritation, redness and rashes to the skin and over time, will lead to the development of earlier or more noticeable wrinkles.
Additionally, cheaper fabrics are usually created with toxins and harmful chemicals. The dyes used for colour are typically toxic while bed sheets that are labelled non-iron or wrinkle-free contain formaldehyde. This chemical can irritate skin, cause respiratory problems and is a listed carcinogen.
Luxury bedding tends to use fewer and harmless chemicals and dyes. By opting for better made, safer bedding products, not only will the skin benefit, general physical health will too. Luxury bedding is also softer, causing less friction with the skin and leading to a healthier glow.
The bed is supposed to be an area of rest and relaxation. It is important for general well being to have a place that allows you to be completely comfortable while escaping the worries of work and stress.
Opting for luxury bedding and higher quality bed sheets helps you create an environment where you put yourself first and prioritise your comfort. When investing in yourself by investing in luxury bedding, you are psychologically giving yourself permission to switch off when you slip between the sheets.
Hygienic and Hypoallergenic
Some luxury fabrics like silk and Tencel™ have the added benefit of being anti-microbial and anti-fungal. The fabrics resist the growth of bacteria and fungi on the surface of the sheets, leading to a healthier sleeping environment. Bacteria and moisture cling to the surfaces of synthetic sheets leading to the development of mould and unpleasant smells.
Luxury bedding fabrics are often hypoallergenic. Common allergen triggers that can linger in synthetic and lower quality bedding are blocked by luxury fabrics. These triggers include fungi, dust mites, pet dander and mould.
LUXURY BEDDING MATERIALS
While luxury bedding is a subjective term, certain fabrics have been widely accepted to be better in quality, comfort and breathability. These fabrics typically take longer to make or are more expensive to make which is why, along with their higher levels of quality, they tend to be priced higher.
Some luxury fabrics have held their luxurious title for thousands of years while others are new inventions, available as a result of modern technology and evolving values:
Silk has a silky, smooth and soft texture that creates a luxurious feel for bedding. It is hypoallergenic, anti-microbial and anti-fungal meaning sheets will stay fresher for longer and need fewer washes. Silk is also very breathable and can regulate body temperate throughout the night.
Silk is incredibly expensive and can be extremely difficult to care for. Investing in silk bed sheets is a gamble as they can easily by stained, discoloured or damaged. The manufacture of silk is also considered unethical by many people who condemn the frequent boiling of silk worms.
The cotton of the Nile amazingly gets softer with every wash. It is a great fabric for bedding as it has great breathability and maximises air circulation, providing a cool, dry sleeping environment throughout the year.
Egyptian cotton labelling is unreliable, and it is difficult to know the exact source of the cotton in bedding products. The cotton industry is also swamped with bad practice, child labour and forced labour. Cotton production is very demanding on the environment and use of pesticides is catastrophic to local environments.
Tencel™ is one of the latest additions to the luxury bedding range. It maintains exceptional comfort and quality without sacrificing sustainability. Tencel™ is made in a closed loop method of production which minimises waste products as well as its impact on the environment.
IS LUXURY BEDDING WORTH THE COST?
Achieving 8 hours of sleep per night means spending a third of life in bed. When investing in the third of life that is spent asleep, the other 16 hours a day or two thirds of life are worth being awake for.
Investing in luxury bedding means investing in yourself, every single night. The higher quality sleep that could be obtained leads to endless health benefits including a healthier state of mind and a more positive outlook.
HOW TO CHOOSE LUXURY BEDDING
When shopping for luxury bedding, be careful of clever marketing ploys and sneaky labelling. It is best to inspect the information on the labels to discover what materials are being used and where the product was made.
Some ‘luxury’ materials are made in the same factories as standard materials and simply marketed as luxury. Others contain luxury materials but are mixed with a high percentage of lower quality or synthetic materials.
Finally, don’t be fooled by the widespread marketing ploy of thread counts. The thread count gives a fabric different textures but doesn’t have a significant effect on the quality of the fabric.
IS LUXURY BEDDING ETHICAL?
While some ideas of luxury bedding focus purely on comfort, more people are wanting to make ethical buying choices and they are willing to pay the difference. For many, a luxury brand should be making the effort to take an active part in every stage of their supply chain, maximise sustainability and minimise environmental impact.
It is important for the brand and the customer to know exactly where the product has come from and where it was made. When people are investing in a set of luxury bed sheets, they will sleep better knowing that other people aren’t being exploited along the way.
Unfortunately, most naturally grown fabric materials such as cotton and silk have been tied to unsavoury practices of child labour and forced labour. It can be difficult for consumers and brands to determine exactly where their natural fabrics have originated.
Natural fibres are also typically grown in traditional methods that are harmful to the environment. Silk involves the killing of millions of silk worms a year while cotton is responsible for mass use of harmful pesticides. Processes for both silk and cotton are water intensive.
A relatively new and ethical alternative to silk and cotton is Tencel™. It is created in a sustainable closed loop system which minimises waste products. The fabric is proudly environmentally friendly and can match other high quality bedding sets including softness and breathability.