The other day a friend of mine called to say that
she had purchased a sheet set of 1,500 thread count 100% Egyptian Cotton sheet set for $38.00. As the owner of an online store selling
bedding and sheet sets, I perceived a bit of a glimmer of “gotcha” in her
voice. In these economic times and with
all of the suppliers scratching for any business at all I supposed that just
possibly she had stumbled upon the one outfit desperate enough to sell below
cost and normal profit margins.
I asked if I could see the product and the packaging
and we agreed to meet at one of my
sheet set suppliers to review the product she had bought for $38.00. My supplier is a reputable distributor and an
experienced hand in the bedding business dealing in comforters, throws, duvets
, duvetcovers, sheets, and all manner of woven products. In the course of her career she has developed
a touch which can fairly accurately analyze a product simply by rubbing the
fabric between her fingers.
Thread count is indicative of a product’s quality,
durability, softness, and maintenance characteristics such as wrinkling. Egyptian Cotton is, with the exception of some
Pima Cottons, the best cotton in the world for sheets. Egyptian Cotton actually comes from the Nile
region in Egypt. The name has been so
abused by manufacturers that the Egyptians have created a triangular symbol
which may only be used on verifiable Egyptian Cotton products. Look for it the next time you are buying a
product claiming to be Egyptian Cotton.
Without knowing the issues which brought my friend
and me to her office, my supplier took the sheet between her fingers and within
seconds declared that the fabric was three hundred thread count, possibly four
hundred. We explained that it had been
sold as a 1,500 TC. She laughed. I
laughed. My friend did not laugh. Not because she had spent $38.00 under the
delusion that she had succeeded in a major buying coup, but for the fact that
she had been cheated.
An inspection of the packaging provided little
evidence of the provenance of the product.
The pitch words, Egyptian Cotton, 100%, 1,500 TC, were there, but
basically the labeling lacked any professional or legitimate information
regarding the manufacturer’s contact information. We did agree that the product probably was a
300 TC product and as such it would be serviceable. My friend did in fact take the sheets to her
home and washed and dried them three times just to see if there was any obvious
deterioration. There wasn’t, so she had
bought a useable product, but not the elegant one she had been lured to buy.
The message here is that when you find a product
promising unusually high quality at an unrealistically low price—know who you
are dealing with. Understand that from
the get go, a manufacturer of high quality products is not going to offer
exceptionally low pricing. Also, throughout
the process, there is a mark-up for the costs associated with each step plus some
sort of reasonable profit. And real
quality does carry a commensurate price.
“Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it’s home to sleep we go” to paraphrase
Disney’s Seven Dwarfs as they sang on their way home from work … not “to
sleep”, unfortunately. If they had sung about sleeping, we could have a great theme song for our sheet
sets. But, no,
they went to work, not
sleep. We can surmise that, among those magnificent
seven, “Sleepy” loved to go to his
little bed. Had they sung the appropriate words, he could
have been the Comforters Luxury spokesperson.
The thing about sheet sets is that the individual sheets
take a bit of a beating from feet,
elbows, shoulders and knees to name a few of the offensive weapons we take to bed each
night. The care and maintenance of sheets is important
from a number of points of view. The
main point is cleanliness and that requires washing and that’s tough on sheets
as well. I guess that a sheet’s life is
not a bed of roses. Sorry.
Washing instructions come with most products today and we should
be well advised to follow them. However, if for some reason the instructions
have been mislaid or torn off the sheets—isn’t that against some law—let’s
review the basic care and washing instructions.
Perhaps the basic suggestion for all aspects of bedding
washing is “Be gentle”. Use gentle
washing detergents. Follow the
instructions about dissolving the powders or liquids totally before you immerse
your sheets. Full
strength detergents may harm the sheets’
fibers and you will also see your bright pink sheets (kidding … I
think) fade to finky pinky. Midnight
blue becomes sky blue, etc.
And try to avoid the addition of products promising to
whiten and brighten. They also
may weaken and discolor the fibers.
There are alternative whitening and brightening agents. Something natural like lemon juice.
The protection of your sheets’ fibers is vital to the
longevity of the sheet. In past blogs we’ve discussed the various
cottons used in the manufacture of sheets:
Percale, Sateen, Egyptian, Pima, and of course, bamboo. This
latter fiber, bamboo, is possibly the strongest, very durable, and
exceptionally soft. All of them are affected by heat.
Heat is bad for fibers and weakens them.
Cold water washing detergents are advised and available.
And please be careful drying your sheets. Wouldn’t it be great to hang sheets outside
and let the soft breezes dry them? My
mother used to do that and air drying left a delightful scent. Today?
I’m not sure that many people do it that way. But protect your sheets by taking the time to
dry them in your dryer on Low for best results.
Despite taking all of the precautions we’ve discussed, sheet
sets do wear out, particularly if you use one set week after week. We’ve had sheets last four or five years with
careful washing. What we should be doing is
rotating two or three sheet sets and get even more years of service. Sheets don’t cost that much and climbing into
bed between your carefully laundered sheets is a true pleasure you can look
forward to each evening. And sheets can
make a décor statement to please your artistic tastes. Have fun with them! Be extravagant with them! Unless you run tours through your
bedroom, only you know for sure how wild you are or sedate …
whatever. But always take care of them.
One of the main
problems with being in the luxury comforter and bedding business is the variety
of names applied to the same object. Or
to slight variations from the same functional item. This is going to be a short blog, since
sorting the names out gives me a headache.
One source of many sources of delicious headaches in this business. But enough about me.
The other night
as we were making our bed with our California King Sateen Sheet Set, my wife
said, “Would you put the slips on my pillows?” Aside from the request to do
something with her pillows which are big fat pillows and none of the as yet
unnamed items we have to put them into are quite large enough to make the task
easy, her use of the word, “slips” caught my frayed attention.
said. “Slips?” I repeated. “We don’t need no filthy slips,” I finished
“Of course we
have no filthy slips, we’ve just washed them,” she chided.
said. “What’s with this ‘slips’ thing. These are pillow cases!”
That’s where the
lines of communication started to crumble. She looked across the beautiful
comforter we had just floated out across he bed, swiped her hand across it,
and, from under carefully plucked eyebrows, gave me that inflected, single word
that speaks volumes, and conveys the death penalty if I should
disagree—“Slips!” A presumption that
the one utterance alone ended the subject.
So blasted “wifely”, as those of you who fall on my side of the aisle
know so well.
Since most of
our Readers are probably from the other side of the aisle, I can sense a ground
swell of support for my wife. At least I
hope there are enough Readers for a swell.
In any event, a
small issue. Then we have “shams”. I’m sure there is a really good reason why a
fancy pillow case is called a sham. They
do cost more than regular pillow cases.
Slips don’t. Shams do. Is there any such thing as a “pillow cover”?
Some Decorative Pillows
come with shams . . . not slips or
cases. They too cost more, but we have seen
some very ornate, intricately woven, beautiful shams for decorative pillows. We anticipate offering Navajo Chief shams for
20” by 20” pillow forms (my wife taught me about “forms”). These shams replicate original Navajo Chief
blanket design elements from the mid-1800s. If you are a collector or an
appreciator of Native American woven art, stay tuned to this Blog space. There’s quite a story behind Navajo Chief Blankets,
serapes, cloaks and the modernization of key design elements on pillow
Well, that about exhausts my knowledge
of pillow cases or whatever you prefer.
Next blog perhaps we’ll discuss stitching. Or perhaps not. As always, your comments are feared. Cheers!
From the depths of the bed, my wife’s voice posed the
question of the day, or at least the first question anyone in our bed had posed
on this particular day: “Why is it so difficult to get out of a bed in the
morning after we’ve just changed the sheets?”
Well, that does, even at 5:00 AM when our alarm goes off, challenge ones
mouth to produce an intelligent answer.
Actually, my wife doesn’t find it possible to even speak until 6:30 AM,
as a rule. So a verbalized question so
early in the morn was totally unexpected and, considering her effort to be
vocal at all, the question required a thoughtful answer.
After all, sheet sets, comforters, and duvets are our
business and such insights as to--why first night, clean sheets are better than
second night sheets--are required by our customers. Perhaps there are a number of reasons why the
comfort factor is greater with brand clean sheets. I’ll try to muster a cogent (not a 5:00 AM
word, for sure) answer.
One answer is that we
are fortunately in a position to try out and sleep on really great sheets, such
as sateen cotton, Egyptian cotton, or bamboo cotton. We, being in the business, have our
choice. All of these latter options are
excellent, particularly once you get into the 600 TC and higher thread
counts. So, softness is one key factor,
but admittedly using sheets more than once does not eliminate their softness
quotient. Only at a certain point, which
my wife makes sure we never reach, do sheets become stiff. Wash your sheets, please.
Speaking of washing,
and this “Washing Instruction” probably comes from my mother rather than
any industry insider information—don’t use harsh detergents on your sheets, use
a lower heat which results in a longer life for the sheets and a fresher smell,
and make sure the rinse cycle is doing
its job. A lot of what is nice about
first night sheets is the odor—or lack of odor, perhaps—which a good washing
provides your bed linens.
Let’s not forget the comfort factor of clean pillow cases
next to your face either. That clean
smell and the coolness of the pillow slips definitely enhance the first night
enjoyment of clean bedding. All in all, it seems that the clean smell of fresh sheets
and pillow slips is a major factor in why the first night sleep is better with
As I tossed about trying to come up with an answer for my
wife’s question which was floating in the air above the bed waiting to be
tethered to some logical explanation, the fairy tale story, “The Princess and
the Pea”, came to mind. While I can, if
need be, go to sleep in 3 seconds on corrugated
steel, my wife claims to be kept awake
by the slightest irregularity in the bedding.
This may, in fact, be the reason
why she sleeps so well on the first night sheet sets.
After a good washing and a thorough drying, newly laundered sheets
tend to lie flatter. Their threads have
been relaxed, un-bent, and straightened out.
In subsequent nights—sensitive readers cover your eyes for a
moment—wrinkles are pressed into the sheets, odors do accumulate (c’mon it’s
natural) and furthermore, moisture dampens the sheets’ spirits. Okay, uncover your eyes. All of this is natural wear and tear on a
sheet set and ultimately the reason why we wash our sheets or change them for a
clean set. No bumps, no wrinkles, no odors,
just cool, smooth sheets.
By the time I delivered my
carefully constructed answer, my wife had gone back to sleep, comfy in her
first night sheets. I am left wondering
if her question was rhetorical. Now I’m
Friends and business associates frequently ask why, how, and
when did I become interested in bedding as an online business opportunity? The answer to “Why?” I became involved in luxury comforters, duvets,
sheets sets, organic
bedding products, pillows and blankets, because I decided needed a business
I could fly solo.
The answer to “How?” is simple. Having decided to enter the online retail
ecommerce luxury comforter bedding market, an organization walked me through
the complex process of creating a business website. There’s more to it than you would imagine.
Finally, the “When?” Well, that probably goes way back. I love my bed.
I love going to bed and I love not
getting up in the morning. A number of
factors are particularly significant in this preoccupation—I find myself
thinking about going to bed around 6:00 PM.
Not because I’m really tired either.
Our business includes beautiful, faux silk comforters from
talented designers and manufacturers. A
colorful comforter on a bed makes a bedroom sparkle. As the largest piece of furniture in a home, the
bed should be a centerpiece, an inviting statement. Making the bed in the morning is like making
a promise of comfort to come. At night, taking off the comforter is like opening
Diving into the bed and pulling up the organic Eco-Wool
duvet and a fistful of the cool sateen or bamboo sheets under my chin, and stretching out my
limbs under the welcoming weight of the comforter and sheets—well, that’s like
coming home for Thanksgiving from college.
You are indeed at home, safe and sound! The coolness of the pillow
against my face is a caress like none other—well sort of.
To start the day I set the radio alarm an hour before I
really have to get up. That period of
half sleep, of stretching, of yawning, of getting the duvet straight, and trying out all of the sleep positions in
order to sip up the remainder of the night’s rest, rates as the best time—along with getting into
the bed six plus hours (hopefully) earlier.
The soft, grey morning light, sneaking around the window shades softens
the entry into waking up. The day’s tasks will never be so clearly in my mind
for organization as they are in this dawning moment. How neat is it to drift off and return
seconds or minutes or a half hour later?
Weekends! Boy, if
there is no commitment like soccer or dog walking or a major chore to attend
to, there is nothing like lying in bed and listening to the day’s sounds create
a familiar chorus outside the house. A
distant leaf blower. The playful shrieks
of the kids next door. A truck rolling
by. Car doors closing as other people
met their obligations. Not me, I think about
wiggling more deeply into the warmth!
This is the sleep
experience: a bed filled with
comforters, pillows, and sheets
selected to enhance and encourage this most beneficial investment of time. My job is to put people to sleep. We have a phrase we like to use in all of our
communications . . . Sleep well!
Sleep well, my
As a business person, there is always the nagging suspicion
that what you do, what you’ve dedicated your life’s work to, is not always the
beneficial activity which leads to Sainthood.
Not that Sainthood is my personal objective. As they say, “God knows” that I’m not on anybody’s
“go to” Saint candidate list should the need to fill a vacancy arise suddenly.
However, with some research, it is apparent that working in
the quality bedding business, offering a line of comforters, duvets, sheet sets (sateen, bamboo), and particularly Eco-Wool bedding ( for the
Green interests) does actually contribute in many significant ways to the
beneficial daily activity we hope our customers enjoy – seven to nine hours of
One of our company mottos is “We put you to sleep”. Well, self-deprecation, modesty, etc. is good
for a chuckle … we hope, but to find out that putting people to sleep actually
does provide a variety of health benefits is very satisfying.
Do you remember how, back in your student days, you could
rely on your brain to have learned lessons and produce results for you when you
awakened from a good night’s sleep? I
used to set a problem and tell myself – order my brain – to have an answer, a
solution, a result for me when I woke up. Your brain’s memory capacity is
enhanced by sleep. You do actually learn
while you sleep.
Research has shown that a good night’s sleep is good for your heart. You cannot beat that as a major benefit! We used italics and bold type for emphasis
here. The lack of sleep is a real negative
in maintaining heart health. During
sleep, the body heals itself producing proteins for repair jobs from skin
damage to stress related issues. We all
know that a good night’s sleep or a daytime catnap tends to reduce our stress,
making us feel more alert and with the sleep comes sharper thinking as we deal
with work problems or good old life problems.
Medical professionals have suggested that during your sleep
your body produces cancer fighting melatonin.
Scientists do attribute tumor growth suppression to melatonin. To get the highest levels of melatonin at
work inside you, be sure to keep your bedroom as dark as possible. Light reduces the levels of melatonin, i.e.
sunlight and artificial light at night.
Go figure, but as with so many aspects of health, if you can do it, why
not do it?
Lack of sleep is suspected of contributing to weight
gain. Hormone generation during sleep is
part of the repair job the body does while you are asleep under your Eco-Wool
comforter or down
duvet snuggled up between your strong, soft Bamboo sheet set. So much for the commercial: the Devil made me do it—God knows. Back to the hormones: two hormones, leptin
and ghrelin, are credited with contributing to appetite regulation. Again, it’s one of those possible benefits
all of which add up to contributing to better health.
To paraphrase Mel Brook’s famous line, “It’s good to be
asleep!” Sleep is the respite from the rigors of
living. I can say with some great
measure of satisfaction that Comforters Luxury does contribute to the ongoing
health of our customers. And I do want
to give credit to our medical advisory staff, Drs. Google, Yahoo, and Bing, for
their input on the subject. Where would
we be without them?
Sleep well and stay healthy!
first thing to appreciate is the fact that Egyptian Cotton is actually grown in
Egypt on farms alongside the Nile. The
rich soil and the region’s humidity combine to make for ideal growing
conditions. The cotton is also spun into
thread there as it has been for centuries—although the spinning process is now
modernized. Of course, from there the thread is shipped around the world.
a buyer of products made from Egyptian Cotton (which is wise on your part)
there are a couple of indicators to be looking out for. Apparently a number of manufacturers were
prone to co-opting the name “Egyptian
Cotton” for their products. They
lied. So the Egyptian government created
a logo to certify that Egyptian Cotton is the real deal. The logo features a cotton plant in the
center of a heavy triangle a la a pyramid.
Look for it, the guarantee of
100% Egyptian Cotton, when you shop. If
it is not 100%, but a percentage, the product does not have as much of the
excellent characteristics Egyptian Cotton offers.
second consideration is “thread Count” (TC).
As the TC increases, meaning the number of threads you could count with
a powerful magnifying glass in one inch of fabric, the cost goes up. Starting
at a minimum of 200 TC, the number of threads in an inch of fabric can approach
1200 plus. The cost plus the comfort
factor will appreciate accordingly. But,
in the long run, the comfort factor pays the dividends on the investment. Egyptian cotton items will outlast the
is it specifically about Egyptian Cotton’s durability characteristic that makes
this fabric a good buy? Simply because the
Egyptian Cotton fibers tend to be longer than competitive cotton fibers. The cotton fibers from the Egyptian plants
frequently runs a couple of times longer than other varieties. This means that the thread produced from the
longer fibers—some 2-plus inches in length—is stronger and more durable through
many washes than are competitive fabrics.
finally, the nature of the Egyptian Cotton fiber is such that it absorbs
moisture and dyes better than other strains of cotton fiber. The colors are more vibrant in the Egyptian
fibers and the color last longer. So
colorful products like sheets, duvet covers, bath towels and clothing intended to absorb fluids away
from the skin are most desirable when made of Egyptian Cotton.
is, in the United States, an interest in “buying American.” If that is your desire, there is a good
chance that you will be very pleased to learn that there is an American grown
and produced cotton thread called Pima. American
Indians in the Southwest started growing Pima cotton in in the late
1800’s-early 1900’s. The battle rages
about the superiority of either fabric.
In comparison tests, the Pima does very well against the Egyptian
Cotton. So you have two excellent
choices from which to select your next shirt or towel. Both are superior.
if you really want to sleep like an Egyptian, you know which fabric to select.
There was nothing quite like being a
bachelor in New York City. Period. And, to continue, there was nothing like
coming home to our fifth floor walk-up brownstone apartment from a very late
date or a night out with the boys—hoping for a very late date—and falling
immediately into your very own pre-rumpled sack. Like wine, the bedding seemed to get
friendlier and better as the days went by.
Sheets thrown back and awaiting your collapse into their creased embrace;
pillow, dented as you left it in the morning with a convenient hole to plunk
your head into for the remaining few hours of the night.
The first notion that life was going to
change significantly crept into my awareness when I was laid up with the flu for
a week. My newest female friend insisted
on coming to my apartment to assist in my recuperation. Her first encounter with the “Rancid Pit of
the Eastside”, as she called my digs, may be expressed in one word, “GAAACK!” At that time I was living with a couple of
roommates and we collectively financed a once a week cleaning lady named
Louise. She was stern faced, rawboned, and
rangy. She could have played forward for
the New York Knicks. Together she and my
current wife attacked me, my bedroom, and all of its contents. As an inventory control measure I was in the
habit of keeping my clothes tastefully arranged around my room on whatever
resting place was suitable. I explained that the selection process was
easier. Now, there was a doomed practice!
Shortly after the “Rancid Pit”
visitation by Louise and the woman who became known as Wife, she and I made it
all legal and, contrary to a trend sweeping the nation way back then, we
actually got married before living together.
At that point, the Sunday ritual of laundering and changing sheets and
remaking the bed was implanted in my life.
We bought a bedspread which was so heavy that spreading it on our
Cal-King bed endangered my back every day – yes, part of the submission process
was actually making the bed every day.
Years later we discovered faux silk
comforters. light weight (great for the back), warm, and above all
colorful. The design opportunities are
super. Since a bed is the largest single
piece of furniture in a home and it is central to the “tour of the house” room,
it should be a visual pride and joy.
Stripes, geometric shapes, patchwork, corduroy, colors galore are all
I was allowed, by Herself, to have an
opinion in the selection process and I found a really great comforter full of
color, and stripes, and about as masculine as I could get away with. It sets
the tone for the entire room. Six and
one half seconds to float the comforter across the bed adjusting it in flight
to land perfectly. Then chuck the two
big sham covered pillows and walk. Done!
Two things I’ve learned from all of this. I love sleeping in clean sheets. A colorful comforter makes you want to go to
Women love silk and cashmere fabrics. Or so my research indicates. And these scientifically determined research
truths are verified by my personal truth sayer…my wife. As a matter of fact, she prefers cashmere to
anything else in the world. The five or six other women I’ve discussed the
matter with seem to agree. Cashmere is
pretty good stuff.
This is strange to me since silk comes from worms and
cashmere comes from goats. Neither
species is a favorite with women in these creatures; tree or barnyard raw
state. And cashmere doesn’t have to come
from Himalayan goats either. Most goats
are suppliers of cashmere wool.
I’ll discuss more about silk in later blogs. Let’s follow the goat path. Allow me to be your goatherd. This is beginning to sound like the
earthiness of “Lady Chatterley’s Lover”.
Yes, the goat eating the tin can in the children’s books can
produce wool suitable for manufacturing cashmere yarn; the products of which
sell for thousands of dollars. But it’s
not as simple as with sheep which are sheared twice a year—avoiding the bad
bits—and wash the wool well. Goats grow
two types of hair: an undercoat which is fine and soft and is used for cashmere
yarn and then there is the outer coat called “Guard Wool”. Guard wool is coarse and used for the
bristles of some hair brushes. That
application gives one pause doesn’t it?
So, the goat’s hair is either sheared off like sheep’s wool
or combed off which is a several day, tedious process. The image of combing out the goat hair for
several days makes my wrists hurt. But,
if the timing is right, the soft cashmere wool will come out easily with
combing and reduces the steps required to separate guard wool from
cashmere. Then the cashmere wool is
processed through the mill where it is spun into cashmere yarn.
I’ll admit that cashmere is indeed soft. Cashmere is warm. I heard a noted woman
clothing designer a while ago ecstatically claiming that cashmere wool takes
color better than most other materials.
And, above all, women love its feel on them in just about any
format. There are cashmere throws,
blankets, comforters, and, of course, sweaters, scarves, and coats, and a
myriad of garments for both women and men.
I’ll take a cashmere blanket or
sweater any day.
In all fairness to sheep’s wool, it must be acknowledged
that moths show no preference for cashmere over sheep’s wool. Moths simply love it all. Baa, baa!
Our first experience sleeping under a duvet was on a
freezing cold night in Munich, Germany.
We had checked in late and were provided with two end to end twin beds
nestled under the sloping roof of the better than 100 year old hotel. Icicles hung like huge teeth from the eaves
outside our window overlooking the courtyard below. Frost etched the window pane.
Having flown throughout the previous night from New
York, we drove to Munich from Frankfort braving the icy roads and staying out
of the way of the German drivers for whom the ice, snow, and wind posed no deterrents
to their accustomed autobahn speed. A warm, filling dinner in the hotel restaurant
and we were ready for some sleep. End to
end beds were really better than nothing.
Each bed was covered by a billowing, white cover
which turned out to be called a “duvet”.
That was it. We looked at each
other: this is it? We looked all over
the room for blankets. We looked at each
other again. Under the “duvet” we found
the bottom sheet. Just the Duvet and bottom sheet, no top sheet, no blanket.
Shivering we decided that we had better go to bed
and warm ourselves with our rapidly depleting supply of natural warmth. To our surprise and definite pleasure, we
soon found ourselves getting warm … warmer … and soon very warm. Those duvets were super.
“Duvet”, implies either goose or duck down or
feathers, as it is used in French. Essentially,
a duvet is a loosely packed comforter. There are a wide range of fillings to
choose from. Both cotton and wool are
used extensively and both provide the luxurious warmth one would expect. The main difference between the down, cotton,
and wool options are the weights one desires.
We know of marital disputes around the weight and therefore the warmth
factor. Some duvets are available with
difference weights on two sides of the duvet.
There are those who will claim that silk duvets, constructed of layers
of silk, are the superior duvet and silk is indeed a great option. However, traditionalists, people,
particularly those who have come from Europe, who have slept under duvets since
birth swear by the down filled duvet. It
is soft and only requires shaking out every few days to regain its plump.
Most duvet users slip the duvet into a duvet
cover. A duvet cover is essentially a large
pillowcase. The bottom end of the cover
is fastened by cloth ties, or a zipper, or a row of button. The cover serves several utilitarian and
aesthetic functions. First of all, it
protects the duvet from becoming soiled.
Depending on the duvet cover’s fabric, it only requires washing at
appropriate times. The duvet cover also
relieves the lumpy look the au natural duvet
tends to have. The cover provides a
smooth attractive look to the bed.
The first duvet we slept under was white, as most
duvets are. Some, particularly the
organic duvets which may also feature wool or cotton stuffing instead of goose
down, are a natural white; not overly bleached. Sort of off-white. Wool and cotton filling are both very
acceptable fillings and the wool is hypoallergenic for those who are affected
Duvet covers come in many styles and make the duvet serve
in place of comforters or bedspreads over the bed. Some are extremely ornate. They may be selected to coordinate with the
rest of the bedroom’s décor or to “illuminate” the bedroom as we like to say. Always read the cleaning and washing
instructions before you buy. The cost of
dry cleaning versus machine washing at home may be a decision point for you.
Our research indicates that the duvet has become an
increasingly popular piece of bedding in the United States. It is in our home. The duvet was brought to the United States by
immigrant families. In the early years many
immigrants found it necessary to request duvets and covers from their former
homelands, because they were unavailable in America. Fortunately, there are many sources of duvets
and duvet covers today, and the variety of filling materials and weights provide
a broad array of products from which to choose the ideal duvet.
One last thought. Duvet Post-Washing, Re-Insertion Instructions: After
washing the duvet cover, position yourself near your bed with your back to it. Calves
touching the mattress. Place the duvet
cover over your head and let it gather on your shoulders. Then, feeling around blindly, grasp the top
two corners of the duvet. Now lift your hands with the duvet corners up close
to your shoulders and shrug the duvet cover off your shoulders so that the
cover falls down around your fists...and you.
Raise your arms and shimmy the duvet upwards into the cover until your
fists are in the corners of the duvet cover.
Release grip on corners. Fall backwards onto the bed and slither out
the bottom … alright … it works for me to my wife’s amusement. This method, admittedly, may not work for you. Perhaps we should say, “Don’t try this method
at home! Leave it to the professionals.”
The Bed Bugs Are Coming! The Bed Bugs Are … Yuck!
Recent research, and the press which
spreads the research results around, indicate that we are in danger of a
resurgence of Bed Bug infestations. Not
really a plaque as one heck of a lot of bugs co-existing with us. Where do they come from? Why are they here? How do I know if I’ve got them? What can I do about them? Why in MY bed?
Bed Bugs have not been a problem recently in
the United States. The old refrain,
“Sleep tight and don’t let the Bed Bugs bite,” was about as close to the
evil little devils as most Americans have come to a Bed Bug.
However, as the name implies,
wherever there is a bed, you might find a Bed Bug lurking in the warmth and
darkness. When you are in that bed, the warmth and moisture of your body
attracts the Bed Bugs during their feeding forays.
You will be able to see them. They are about a quarter of an inch long and
an eighth of an inch wide. Their flat,
oval shaped bodies are reddish brown in color.
While they are visible against the white of sheets, they tend to stay in
a dark place only coming out to feed when it’s dark – day or night.
In the United States the Bed Bug problems
we encounter come from the large transient populations moving through hotels in
particular. Bed Bugs infest clothing,
too. They’ll hide in golf bags, books,
bedside tables, in closets, under covers, certainly under beds, and in shoes. If you can think of a dark and possible moist
place you have identified a potential hiding place for Bed Bugs. They and their eggs (they multiple like rabbits
– or vice versa more likely) hitchhike a ride out of hotels stuck to just about any item a traveler
may have brought along. The hotel
industry is well aware of their responsibility to their clientele, and the
hotels go to great lengths to contain the problem by thoroughly washing,
cleaning, vacuuming, and dusting their rooms and facilities.
As the Bed Bugs travel, they
inevitably end up in homes. Bed Bugs are not known to transmit infectious
diseases, but they are an unpleasant vermin with whom to share your bed, one of
the darker, warmer environments the Bed Bug love.
The most effective method for
ridding yourself of Bed Bugs may be a pest control professional. There are many products on the market:
cleaning fluids, sprays, and even some Bed Bug trap-like products. All of this may seem a bit extreme for the
residential home owner, but keeping the bed rooms spic and span and washed on a
regular, weekly basis will help avoid the unpleasantness of Bed Bugs.
the bed mattress is a preferred nesting place, you should look for protective
covers which will encase the mattress and provide decent protection for you. These covers reduce the likelihood of the Bed
Bugs (and Dust Mites – another story) getting to you while you sleep and
“biting” their way into your life. The seams and zipper closures of these
polypropylene mattress covers are specially made to give you full mattress encasement
designed to prevent Bed Bugs from passing through the protective cover.
protective covers featuring specially made seams and Bed Bug and Dust Mite
control, and the covers are made of long lasting polypropylene, which is
machine washable in cold water. The sets
you may want to consider should include a mattress protector, a box spring
protector, and at least one pillow protector.
Mites are, as mentioned above, another story, and perhaps we’ll blog about Dust
Mites in the future, but, unlike the Bed Bug invasion in progress, Dust Mites
are here and everywhere now. The
protective covers will reduce the Dust Mite effect.
Needless to say, the key to defending against Bed
Bugs and Dust Mites is cleanliness throughout your bedroom. Wash, and vacuum, wash and vacuum, wash and
vacuum …. and so it goes. Sleep tight!
Are you the proud owner of a California
king sized bed? Well then of course you know that standard king size sheets
will not be sufficient to cover your oversized mattress. What you will need to shop
for are California king sheets or a
complete California king sheet set. Yes,
there is a difference! King sized sheets
are 5 inches shorter than the California King sized sheets. Apart from the issue of size, buying the
right sheets for your bed really boils down to 3 things:
In my experience, complete California king
sheet sets are generally easier to find than the individual pieces – fitted
sheet, flat top sheet and matching king sized pillow cases. I once ran all over town trying to find
pieces that matched. I never did find the
top sheet in the color that matched what I had already purchased. By the time I added up my receipts I found
that I had spent $12 more than it would have cost me had I purchased a complete
set. And I still did not have the top
sheet. Not to mention my time running all over town and gas for the car. What I
learned was this, not only are complete sets easier to find and therefore much
more convenient, they are also cheaper because of the cost savings from
packaging. Now I even save myself the
time and order from a reputable source online where I know that I’ll find the
perfect California king sheet every time.
But there is another, and in my mind very
important aspect to buying the right sheet sets for your California King
bed--which is quality.
Quality usually relates to fabric, thread
count, finish and durability. There are many fabrics – from cotton to silk and
everything in between, but one thing I have learned to look for (the hard way)
is: are the sheets pre-shrunk if the material contains cotton or other fabric
that will shrink. I cannot tell you how many times I have pulled my brand new
sheets out of the dryer only to find that they have shrunk just enough not to
fit my mattress anymore. It is always a
good idea to check into the recommended care before you make a purchase. Once I purchased a sheet set that could only
be dry cleaned, and one sheet I had purchased in dark green discolored the rest
of my laundry because I ignored “wash separately or with like colors”. Don’t
let that happen to you.