Bedding Buying Guide

Bedding Buying Guide

The importance of proper sleep is now widely-acknowledged among medical experts, who recommended that we each get around eight hours of it every night. Since those hours amount to a third of a person’s life, it seems a good idea to spend them in comfort – if not in luxury.

The benefits of sleep (along with the problems caused by a lack of it) extend beyond the time we spend in bed, and into our waking lives. If we don’t have enough quality sleep, then we soon know about it. We might have trouble concentrating; our tempers may become shorter and we might even feel depressed. All of this amounts to a bad experience. We’ve all, at some point, had to sleep in an uncomfortable bed and felt terrible for it the following day.

Our choice of bedding hugely influences the quality of our sleep and is therefore an important and at the same time, bewildering one. Here at Home Space Direct, we pride ourselves on our bedding. We stock a variety of different sheets, quilts and pillows.

Not all are created equally – the differences between them can be subtle. In this guide, we’ll take a look at some of the various options on offer and explain the terms used to describe them.

Sheets

Sheets serve an important purpose – they protect the mattress and ensure its longevity. Sheets are made from a variety of different fabrics, each with its own merits. Let’s take a look at some of them now.

Percale

Percale sheets are very smooth and flat. They are closely woven, with a thread count of more than 180 threads per square inch. These sheets are available in 100% cotton, or in a blend of polyester and cotton known as polycotton.

68 pick and 56 pick

68 and 56 pick sheets are a little coarser than percale ones, but are very fine sheets all the same. They are named after their respective thread counts, which are 68 and 56 per square inch. Sheets with lower thread counts are less expensive, but they are also less luxurious to the touch and lack durability, and could suffer from bobbles after just a few washes.

Flannelette

Flannelette sheets are a warm, insulating sort of sheet made entirely from cotton and are fleece like to touch. They are described a little differently from the sheets thus far touched upon. Their quality is measured in weight - ounces per square yard, rather than counting the number of threads per square inch. A quality flannelette sheet should weigh more than four ounces per square yard.

Quilts

Quilt thicknesses

Quilts come in many different thicknesses, so that they can be swapped and changed at different times of the year. The thickness of a quilt is measured in togs. A high tog rating indicates a thick, warm quilt, while a low one indicates something more lightweight.

A quilt's tog rating is derived using precise mathematical means. Specifically, it is the temperature difference in centigrade, when the flow of heat is equal to one watt per square meter, between one side of the quilt and the other, multiplied by ten.

If that isn’t quite clear, then don’t worry; for our purposes, it's sufficient to know that a summer-weight quilt will have a tog rating of around three or four, while a winter-weight quilt will have one of around thirteen or up to fifteen. Most quilts lie between these two extremes.

Quilt sizes

Quilts come in many different sizes, to match the many different sizes of available beds. There are single quilts, which are 135cm wide; double quilts, which are 200; king quilts, which are 225; and super-king quilts, which are 260. The former two are both 200cm long, while the latter two are 220.

Your choice of size will depend almost entirely on your mattress, which will in turn depend (if you haven't already bought it) on the size of the room and your budget.

Quilt covers

Of course, a bed would look remarkably austere without a quilt cover – and the longevity of the quilt would suffer too, since it would have no protection from stains and the like. A quilt cover is therefore an essential purchase.

We offer covers to suit all personalities and ages. Our selection ranges from subtle creams and whites to bolder reds and blues to more elaborate pictures from endorsing your favorite football team to comic-book heroes. Our selection is large enough that there is something for everyone. What's more, we stock items which will complement your choice and help to hold the room together. If your curtains, cushions and runners all match, the result will be a room which is aesthetically unified and will be a pleasure to wake up to. Our range is also expanding to include rugs and lighting to soon you will be able to buy everything you need for your room all in one easy to navigate store!

Quilt fillings

Hollow-Fiber

Most pillows and quilts sold in the UK are stuffed with hollow polyester fibers. There are several reasons for this popularity. Hollow fibers are inexpensive and so represent an attractive option for those on tighter budgets. They are can be easily deformed to achieve the appropriate shape and pose no threat to those who suffer from allergies. That said, hollow-fiber products tend to have shorter lifespans than their feather-stuffed counterparts.

Duck feather and down

The next bracket up from hollow fiber quilts are those stuffed with duck feathers. You may have a fair idea of what feathers are, but be rather perplexed by the term 'down'. There is a deal of difference between feathers and down so it is important to know what you are buying and why. The feathers on geese or ducks are the outer covering layer of the bird and the part that we see. These feathers have quills, repel water, and make it possible for the duck to fly.

Down sits beneath this protective covering, usually on the belly of a bird. It is light and fluffy in comparison so much nicer to the touch. The down provides the insulation birds need to keep warm. Rather than quills, a down cluster has a round center called a plumule. This means that they are soft and airy.

Feathers provide a supportive and durable fill while down provides a soft, fluffy and cushioning fill. They are very different buying preferences which is reflected in their respective prices.

Goose feather and down

This category is fairly self-explanatory; while duck feathers are soft, goose feathers are softer still.

Hungarian Goose Feather

Hungarian Geese have the softest down feathers and for this reason make the best pillows and quilts. If you want the ultimate in quality, then look no further.

Now that we’ve taken a look at quilts, let’s move on to pillows.

Pillows

The pillow is just as important as the quilt in ensuring a good night’s sleep. Arguably, it is even more so, as it supports your head as you sleep. If you find yourself waking every morning with a stiff neck, then your pillow is likely to blame.

We stock pillows stuffed with the same materials that our quilts are stuffed with, with one or two additions. We also provide pillows with memory foam, which deforms to the shape of your head, ensuring that it is properly supported and cushioned, along with heat reactive, latex Dunlopillos which ensure that your head is kept at a comfortable temperature and in a comfortable position.

Pillowcases

While our feather pillows come in down proof casings, it is always best to use a pillow protector. This will not only help to extend the pillow's lifespan; it will also help to protect the pillow against potential staining.

Unusual Pillows

It's worth also mentioning some of the more unusual pillows we offer, which have their own specific uses. Square pillows are intended more for decoration than for their practical use. They can sit upright in your bed. Kingsize pillows are for use on wider beds – they are wide enough that you don't roll off them in your sleep!

For the most part, a quilt will last a great deal longer than a pillow before it needs replacing. This is because the latter must bear the weight of a person's head and will therefore deform over time. In order to lessen this effect and thereby extend the lifespan of your pillow, you should plump it daily.

UK bedding size chart

Below is a size chart for UK,  single, double, king  and super king bedding. Please note, manufacturers and listing will quote approximate sizes, so the actual size can be + or - 5 cm of the sizes below.

Super King Size bedding

Duvets/Quilts - 260 cm x 220 cm

Duvet covers - 260 cm x 220 cm

Flat sheets - 305 cm x 280 cm

Fitted sheets - 200 cm x 185 cm

King Size bedding

Duvets/Quilts - 225 cm x 220 cm

Duvet covers - 225 cm x 220 cm

Flat sheets - 274 cm x 264 cm

Fitted sheets - 150 cm x 200 cm

Double bed bedding

Duvets/Quilts - 200 cm x 200 cm

Duvet covers - 200 cm x 200 cm

Flat sheets - 229 cm x 259 cm

Fitted sheets - 137 cm x 190 cm

Single bed bedding

Duvets/Quilts - 135 cm x 200 cm

Duvet covers - 135 cm x 200 cm

Flat sheets - 180 cm x 260 cm

Fitted sheets - 90 cm x 185 cm

To see our range of duvet covers and bed sets click here

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