Biggest Mistake in Creating a Luxe Bed
Posted On: 10/24/2012
What images spring to your mind when you see the words, luxe bed? Do you envision a hotel bed, with its luxurious layers of white on white? Or do you see a bed with 28 pillows piled atop a gorgeously coordinated bedding ensemble that, when added up, costs more than the GDP of a small island country? 
Regardless of how you would describe your ideal luxe bed, you can avoid making a common mistake by heeding this simple advice – thoughtfully consider where you place your priority when creating a luxe bed.
Many people focus their attention (and their spending) on what’s known in the bedding industry as the “top of the bed” – the pretty stuff that you first see when you enter the room. And who could argue, since the bed really is in the starring role – that of focal point – in every bedroom? Certainly, the bed must be pleasing to the eye. But what a tragedy if the top of the bed gets the highest priority, while the components that really determine the sleeper(s) comfort go begging!
So, here are the essential elements of a luxe bed:
·       Pillows, both sleeping and decorative, that contribute to the sleepers’ comfort
·       Sheeting that is soft and luxurious against the sleepers’ skin
·       Down or down alternative components (pillows, duvet/comforter, mattress topper)
·       Pleasing top of the bed (coverlet, shams, throw, etc.)
We recommend starting with pillows. Check our previous post, which speaks to this critical selection. Savvy hospitality professionals offer an option of pillow densities to give guests a choice; when in doubt, a medium density pillow serves the needs of the greatest number of sleepers. Chamber pillows with an inner “pillow” of feathers surrounded by an outer pillow of down offers the optimum combination of luxurious support and comfort.
Sheeting is the next highest priority. See our previous post about thread count to avoid being led astray by a package with an enormously large thread count number. First, choose sheets according to what is most comfortable for the sleeper vs. the person who will be laundering the sheets. Natural fibers – particularly cotton, particularly 100% Egyptian cotton – bring the greatest comfort. 
The way the sheets are finished contributes to their softness, durability, and color, so in this case, “you get what you pay for” is more than an adage. Finally, feel – whether silky soft like sateen or crisp and cool like percale – is a personal preference. Currently, sateen seems to be the prevailing choice, although percale is often preferred in warmer, more humid climates. In short, buy the highest-quality sheets you can afford. Over time, they make the most luxurious bed and offer the greatest value, thanks to their craftsmanship and durability.
It’s hard to imagine a luxe bed without any down components. The light and airy quality of down feeds into the very essence of luxury and contributes to that intangible but irresistible “ahhhh…” quality of an invitingly luxe bed. Where the down actually makes its appearance – under the sleeper in a mattress topper or pillow; over the sleeper in a duvet or comforter – is less important than the fact that it be somewhere on that bed. 
Holding some down alternative elements in reserve for those whose allergies prevent them from enjoying the real thing is a given today. Fortunately, down alternative has been perfected in recent years, making a luxe bed possible even for the sneeze-prone.
At last, it’s time to consider how to dress the top of the bed in a luxe fashion! Generally, top of the bed includes some combination of:
·       a coverlet of some kind – for example, a duvet cover with a down insert; a quilt; a coverlet; or comforter;
·       coordinating shams;
·       decorative pillows;
·       a throw or bed scarf across the foot of the bed.   
In determining which of these elements to include on your luxe bed, consider first the sleeper’s comfort and choose items made of natural fibers.   Nothing is more disappointing than to crawl into a fabulous feeling bed, only to awake in the wee hours in a sweat, thanks to a coverlet with synthetic content that traps the sleeper’s body heat. 
Then, consider the practical considerations of what can be laundered with relative ease when necessary. The top of the bed can be a hazardous place, so in addition to being comfortable to sleep under and practical to launder, these elements must also be durable in order to make them a good value. Fortunately, today there are oh-so-many wonderful options available that your difficulty will be not in finding pieces that meet your criteria, but in narrowing down the many choices that do.
There you have it! Follow these simple guidelines – start with the pillow; choose the highest quality sheets within your budget; add down; choose inviting top of the bed elements in natural fibers – and your result will be a luxe bed sure to get rave reviews.
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