So what is luxury bedding anyway? Good question. Luxury bedding can be many things. Ok well first things first. Bedding can be made of many different fabrics and materials. We won’t dwell too much on linen bedding here. Yes our linen bedding sure is luxurious. But let’s look more broadly at bedding, at different types of bedding, not just linen.
Cotton is probably the most common fabric used to make bedding products such as duvet cover and sheets. Just because it’s the most common fabric, doesn’t mean it’s the best fabric of course, but then we would say that right. Beyond cotton there are a myriad of other materials used to making bedding materials. There’s polyester, Tencel, silk, bamboo, hemp and many various blends. A common blend for example is common and polyester.
When it comes to luxury bedding, most often luxuriant cotton and silk come to mind. We would add linen to the list of course, but also hemp. Let’s look at all of these in turn, starting some of the morse obscure options first, then finally we’ll take a look at cotton.
Hemp Luxury Bedding
Hemp has a lot in common with linen, it is thermoregulating, sustainable, it is the oldest fabric known to man, it is also the strongest natural fibre in the world. Again like linen, hemp is environmentally friendly, growing quickly without the need of herbicides or pesticides.
Hemp is also known to block out UV rays, it’s a very tactile fabric, it dyes well and it’s a god choice for allergy sufferers.
Silk Luxury Bedding
Silk bedding doesn’t just look luxurious, it also feels luxurious and smooth. Silk is a durable fabric, more durable than cotton in fact. Despite what you may think, silk is actually a fabric that provides warmth during the colder months of the year. Like linen and hemp it is a good choice for allergy sufferers, as it’s resistant to dust and hence dust mites.
Silk bedding is very expensive because silk is a very expensive fabric to produce. Despite being a durable fabric it needs to be treated and laundered with increased care versus other fabrics.
Cotton Luxury Bedding
And so we move onto cotton. Like bedding in general, there are many misconceptions when it comes to cotton bedding, and what constitutes high quality and luxury cotton bedding. Most people wrongly believe it is the thread count that determines how luxurious and high quality cotton bedding is, but this is actually incorrect. A higher thread count doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better quality.
If you’re up to speed on thread count, you’ll already know it refers to the number of threads per square inch of the fabric. Starting about 80, thread count typically goes up to about 800. When high thread count cotton bedding is advertised, you’ll often see through count abbreviated to just the initials ‘tc’, alternatively you’ll quite often see this noted on the packaging.
A better indicator of cotton bedding quality is staple length. Staple length is the length of the fibres woven together to make the cotton fabric. High quality cotton tends to be long staple, or perhaps even extra-long staple. It is true that long staple fibres can more easily be woven together tightly, often resulting in a higher thread count. But it is the quality of the staple itself that determines the quality, not how tightly they are woven together. That said it is important to ensure the thread count is high enough to result in a robust fabric. A thread count of 250 or over is generally a good benchmark.
Cotton is grown in many countries around the world. The US, China and India for example are some of the largest cotton growing countries in the world today. But it is in Egypt where the highest quality cotton is said to be grown. Egyptian cotton comes from the Gossypium barbadense plant, and it is hand-picked which contributes to the strength and softness of the resulting fabric. Giza cotton is a world renowned premium Egyptian cotton originating from a specific region in the Nile delta. Bedding made of Egyptian cotton therefore tends to come at a premium price.
Pima cotton is another well-known type of long staple cotton grown in the US, Australia and Peru. It is made from the same plant as Egyptian cotton. Supima then, essentially the same as Pima cotton, but grown exclusively in the US under strict controls is another premium and well known long staple cotton. Other perhaps less well known cottons include Upland cotton, also known as Mexican cotton, Sea Island cotton and Suvin Gold.
Ok so we’ve covered thread count, and staple length, the final aspect of luxury cotton bedding is how the fabric is actually produced – the weave. The two most common weaves in luxury cotton bedding are percale and sateen. Percale is most often associated with the summer months, it is a light weave with a soft smooth finish. Sateen is durable weave with a silky look and feel. Sateen woven cotton is heavy and durable and most often associated with the colder months of the year.
Choose and Snooze
We spend a hell of a lot of time in our beds, so whatever type of luxury bedding you choose, make sure you choose what’s right for you. And make your bed the comfiest, cosiest place to rest and recharge in our home. Biased as we may be, we would of course recommend 100% linen bedding.