The Bedding Snob

Cultivating relaxation need not leave you starving for style …

Posts by Megan

How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?

Woman sleeping with Jane Austen

Woman sleeping with Jane Austen by WarmSleepy, on Flickr

Do you ever have those nights where you wake up after a few hours and just cannot fall back asleep? Not only are you not alone, but you may be following a more natural sleep pattern than on those nights when you slumber straight through eight solid hours!

According to historian Roger Ekirch of Virginia Tech, who spend 16 years researching sleep patterns, there is, “a wealth of historical evidence that humans used to sleep in two distinct chunks.” Ekirch found that the typical night involved a, “first sleep” of four hours, “followed by waking period of one or two hours and then a second sleep.” However, he found that between the onset of the Industrial Revolution, and the growing use of indoor lighting and street lamps, the common practice of spending long, leisurely nights with multiple “sleeps” began to fade away.

Odd as it may seem to us now, this research does seem to explain why so many of us often find ourselves wide awake, staring at the clock in the wee hours of the night. Truthfully, we find the idea of enjoying a late-night cocoa break in soft, comfortable loungewear, with a good book, and a puffy down comforter wrapped around us very appealing, although we admit that it might be tough to pull it off every night in today’s fast-paced society! What do you think?

Please comment below to share your thoughts! You can read more about Ekirch’s research on sleep patterns in, “The myth of the eight-hour sleep.

Maine: Home to One of America’s Greatest Main Streets

Library Park in Bath, Maine - a gorgeous spot!

Library Park in Bath, Maine - a gorgeous spot! by Dana Moos, on Flickr

We were so pleased (but not surprised!) to learn that nearby Bath, Maine was recently touted as having one of America’s Greatest Main Streets by Travel and Leisure Magazine.

Bath, a picturesque town not far from Portland, is one of our favorite weekend destinations because it is a great spot for visitors of all ages and interests – with unique architecture, beautiful gardens, scenic mountain biking and hiking trails, fantastic local shops, bakeries, and restaurants, and the one-of-a-kind Maine Maritime Museum, it truly has something for everyone!

With so much going for it, it is not surprising that Bath was also named “One of America’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations” by The National Trust for Historic Preservation for having “a dynamic downtown, commitment to historic preservation, interesting architecture, cultural diversity, an economic base of locally owned small businesses, and walking access for residents and visitors.”

If this inspires you to start planning a trip to Bath, why not drop by Brunswick, Maine, while you’re in the area? Recently highlighted in the, “Your Kind of Town” section of Smithsonian Magazine, Brunswick’s bustling downtown area features a variety of locally owned shops and a wonderful array of restaurants, including an artisanal gelato shop not to be missed!

We hope you enjoy your journey if you make a trip to the beautiful midcoast Maine region – and if you do, don’t forget to stop by and visit us at our Outlet Store in Freeport, Maine!

Happy Graduation!

graduation

graduation by sovietmole, on Flickr

Congratulations to all the recent graduates – they’ve worked hard, and they deserve a rest!

If you looking for the perfect gift for the graduate in your life, we have some food for thought – high school grads will soon be moving on to a dorm room, away from the comfort of their own home, while many college grads will soon be moving into their very first apartment. This means all recent grads will be in need of items for the home or dorm, among the most important of which is new bedding!

A new comforter or a set of high-quality sheets make great (not to mention practical!) gifts for recent high school or college grads. If your grad is moving to a dorm, a twin extra-long mattress pad or featherbed might be just the thing to make their transition more comfortable!

One of our own wrote a blog post with the perhaps elaborately long, but certainly much appreciated, list of items she sent her “baby” off to college with – you can read her post, Off to College for even more ideas!

In the meantime, please share your tips with us – what kind of items do you think make the best gifts for recent graduates?

Cuddledown’s 800 Fill Power European White Goose Down Pillow – Product Review of the Week

800 Fill Power European White Goose Down Pillows at Cuddledown.com

800 Fill Power European White Goose Down Pillows at Cuddledown.com

There is nothing we love more than hearing from customers whose sleep has been improved by their Cuddledown bedding!

“My neck doesn’t hurt anymore!!” – from a customer in Asheville, NC

“I had given up trying to find a pillow that would really give me a good night’s sleep. I have bought pillows everywhere, including others from Cuddledown. None of them gave me comfort for more than a day or two. I just thought this was how it was going to be as I got older. After reading the reviews of this pillow, I decided to bite the bullet and spend the money and AM I GLAD I DID. I bought the medium fill, I am a side sleeper and it is pure heaven. I wake up without a neck or shoulder ache. It is somewhat smushable, so it adjusts to my head, neck, and shoulder heights. I LOVE it…thank you Cuddledown. This is SO WORTH it. After more than a month’s worth of use, I thought it was time to write this review and I have never written a review of a product before.”

Have You Tackled Spring Cleaning Yet?

Rubbermaid HomeFree series closet system

Spring is a beautiful time of year – the flowers are blooming, the trees are green again, and the air feels fresh and clean after a long, cold winter. One thing we don’t quite love about spring? The inevitable spring cleaning. However, whether you agree with this line from Martha Stewart.com: “There are few rites of spring more satisfying than the annual clean.” or you absolutely dread spring cleaning, it is one of those tasks that inevitably must be done.

We were doing some browsing around the web for ideas on where to begin, and stumbled across an article on Real Simple with some great tips for Organizing your Linen Closet.

It’s a relatively painless place to start (in comparison to, say, the garage or the attic!), and as they point out on RealSimple.com:

If you’re as worried about guests seeing your clean laundry as you are the dirty, it’s probably time to reorganize your linen closet.

Keeping your sheets and towels neatly folded and in their respective places isn’t always easy, but it can be done! Bathroom furniture, such as a linen tower or an extra bathroom cabinet can help minimize clutter and keep things in their place. Another way to save space and stay organized is to store linen sets inside a matching pillowcase rather than stacking them in piles which are likely to fall over or get mixed together.

If you are ready to tackle the whole house, About.com has a great roundup of room-by-room spring cleaning checklists.

And for those wary of the unknown components of many cleaning products, you can cut the chemicals out with all-natural Caldrea cleaning products made with plant-derived ingredients and essential oils – and they really work!

We’d love to hear from you – share your spring cleaning tips with us by commenting below!

How NOT To Fold A Fitted Sheet

We were so pleased to receive a lovely email from one of our blog readers linking to the cute, funny video below – with the cold, dreary weather we’ve been having, the video and this reader’s comments gave us a much-appreciated boost in the form of a good laugh!

“Our package of goodies from your birthday sale arrived yesterday. Included was a fitted sheet. I know you have instructions on how to fold them on your web site, but I came across a YouTube of someone who REALLY needs some additional help. Now that things are somewhat thawed out in Maine, maybe you could take a trip south to DC and help her out. : -) .

You can see the difficulty she is having here:

“She probably isn’t aware of Cuddledown’s videos. For those who do not know, the ‘Tian’ she is calling to for assistance, is her male consort at the National Zoo (http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/GiantPandas/default.cfm). We are hoping she will need lots of crib sheets in a few months as she and Tian did get together (with help from vets!) this past week-end.

Enjoy !!!!! – ShiningStar

In addition to the National Zoo, ShiningStar also mentioned another great reason to visit Washington, D.C. – the Textile Museum, a favorite vacation hotspot of our Ecommerce manager. Textiles are dear to our heart here at Cuddledown, and we love the fact that the Textile museum preserves this important historical legacy for the world to appreciate. We highly recommend a visit should you ever find yourself in our nation’s capital.

Many thanks to ShiningStar for the note – and for sharing this adorable video!

We loved hearing from ShiningStar – and we’d love to hear from you, too! Please feel free to comment below or email us directly anytime you have feedback or a story to share. Oh – and if you find yourself getting as frustrated as Mei Xiang while trying to fold your fitted sheets, you can watch our video guide on how to fold a fitted sheet, which shows you step-by-step instructions for quickly, neatly folding your fitted sheets.

Our Birthday Present To You – 20% Off at Cuddledown.com

Cuddledown Birthday Cake

It’s our birthday today – but we want you to have the present! To celebrate 39 years of manufacturing fine home fashion, we are offering 20% off everything at Cuddledown.com (including sale merchandise.)

Come celebrate our birthday with us – but hurry, the discount and your savings end tonight at midnight PST – 4/26/12! Simply click this link to shop our birthday sale now.


*Please note that this discount applies only to orders placed on our website 4/26/12 until midnight PST. This discount offer cannot be combined with any other promotional offer. Discount is applied at an item level. The discount does not apply to shipping and handling charges, taxes, monogramming or gift services fees. Not applicable to previous purchases.

Why Can’t Southerners Sleep at Night?

Sleepless in the South

Sleepless in the South

A recent study by The Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine indicates that people in the South seem to be prone to sleeplessness, with Missouri, Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and West Virginia ranked as the very worst states in the country for sleep.

So what makes these states different from the rest? Well, according to Fox Business News, “Three of the states have the absolute highest obesity rates in the country, and the other three are in the top 12.”

In addition, the study found that, “All six states with the worst sleep are also among the top 11 states with the highest smoking rates among adults.” Smoking is known to have many health risks, and one of these is an increased risk of significant sleep disturbances due to the stimulating effects of nicotine and the “mild withdrawal” smokers’ bodies go through during the night.

Healthy lifestyles are a work in progress all across the United States, and these states are no exception, with programs such as the West Virginia Office of Healthy Lifestyles, the nonprofit Alabama Action for Healthy Kids program, Arkansas Center for Health Improvement, The University of Missouri Healthy Lifestyle Initiative, Motivating Mississippi, and a new law in Oklahoma that may open up the use of “gyms, playgrounds, tracks and athletic fields” at neighborhood schools “for public use as part of a new law to promote more active lifestyles for Oklahomans.”

We hope all these initiatives towards healthier lifestyles help them get a little more shut-eye at night in addition to all the other health benefits to be had! While we like to think that a cuddly, cozy bed stocked with fluffy pillows, soft sheets, and a nice down comforter is all you need for a good night’s sleep, sadly it is not always enough! Still, a comfortable bed seems like a great incentive to stay in bed longer – and based on these articles, it seems that perhaps prioritizing sleep is a good first step to take towards a healthier lifestyle.

What do you think? Feel free to comment below and share your thoughts!

Comforter Sizing Guidelines – To Choose or Not to Choose

Maine-made Cuddledown Comforter

Maine-made Cuddledown Comforter

We recently had the following conversation on Twitter with someone frustrated by the lack of industry standards for comforter sizing (we have protected the customer’s identity by x’ing out their username):

Customer: At @Cuddledown, Queen comforters are 92 x 88. Meanwhile, at @thecompanystore, they are 92 x 98. Why? Seriously guys, Why???

Cuddledown: @xxxxxx: The avg Q mattress is 60×80, so we size our comforters to comfortably cover. If you prefer larger, we do offer oversize Q in 98×98

Customer: @Cuddledown Please understand: what I want is for manufacturers to agree on some standard sizes, so comforters & duvets are interchangeable!

We get the customer’s point – for those who want to mix-and-match products from different companies, inconsistencies in sizing could be pretty frustrating. But the conversation prompted us to wonder: is it better to have a product that is adaptable to customer needs, or is it better to have industry standards that result in fully uniform products?

We have found that comforters aren’t exactly one-size-fits-all. Because we design, develop and manufacture all of our down products in Maine, USA , we’ve been able to offer customers an ever evolving and refined product line to meet their needs. For instance, if customers tell us that they want their comforters to be a bit larger to cover the sides of the mattress, we pursue making them a little bigger, which sets off a chain of events to service a new product, like our oversized comforters. And if you have an oversized comforter, you need an oversized duvet cover. Naturally, accommodating customers by creating new sizing options does bring us (and other manufacturers) farther away from creating a standard size that all can adhere to, but on the flip side, we make customers happy because we are able to give them exactly what they asked for.

To answer our customer’s specific question on the size of our comforters and duvet covers, all of our Cuddledown Exclusive sheets will be sized to fit our comforter sizes uniquely. Below left, you can see our comforter size measurements for all of our down and synthetic down comforters. Cuddledown Comforter Size Chart
When shopping for a comforter cover for a Cuddledown comforter, you will want to purchase a Cuddledown duvet cover, or a comforter cover from another retailer that is within 4 inches in both length and width. If there is some variation in sizing, our Comforter Clips can help to keep the comforter from shifting in the duvet cover excessively.

Our goal is to be flexible for those customers who want the option to provide feedback on what they like, with the end result that we listen to them and respond by meeting their needs with a new product. But perhaps this method of manufacturing doesn’t work for everyone, and some would prefer consistency over choice or flexibility.

Your comments are welcome! Please let us know what you think – would you prefer choice over standards?

Happy New Year!

Fireworks - Adelaide Skyshow 2010

Fireworks - Adelaide Skyshow 2010 by anthonycramp, on Flickr

As hard as it is to believe, 2011 is nearly over and it’s time once again to ring in the new year! Of course, the hardest part of New Year’s can be coming up with a really good resolution. On that note, we decided to share two simple resolutions that we think are both achievable and worthwhile.

Spend more time with your loved ones. So many of us have busy lives where we juggle long to-do lists, and it can be challenging to make time for family and friends. We love this list of the “Six Greatest Gifts You Can Give Your Loved Ones” which has some inspiring reminders of what really matters most in life.

Share your smile more often. Did you know that smiling (even when you don’t feel like it) can actually make you happier? Not only that, but studies have also shown that smiling can even make you look younger!

While these resolutions are not the most ambitious, sometimes starting with small changes can add up to a big difference. But if you’re looking to accomplish more, try checking out the Top 10 New Years resolutions for 2012 on USA.gov.

What is YOUR New Year’s Resolution? If you feel like sharing, we’d love to hear from you!

Here’s to a Happy and Healthy New Year from all of us at Cuddledown!

Cuddledown’s Annual Comforter Sale is on!

	 800 Fill Power Sateen European White Goose Down Comforter

800 Fill Power Cotton Sateen European White Goose Down Comforter

Christmas is over, New Year’s is fast approaching, and the temperatures are dropping. It’s the perfect time of year to cozy up with a warm, fluffy comforter.

With all of our premium quality Maine-made down comforters and down alternative comforters on sale (for a limited time only), now is also a great time to invest in a new comforter to take the chill off all those winter nights ahead.

Choose from a variety of fabrics, warmth levels, fill weights, colors, and styles. If you aren’t sure which comforter would work for you, our interactive “Comforter Picker” tool can help you find just the right comforter based on your preferences, sleeping stye (hot, cold, in-between) and budget.

You can also can check out our video guide below, or read our online article “How to Choose a Comforter” for additional tips and a quick tour of comforter features.

The Cuddledown Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree Made from a Cuddledown Catalog

The Cuddledown Catalog Christmas Tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is, quite possibly, the most creative use of a Cuddledown catalog we’ve seen yet! A Cuddledown team member (from the Creative Department, naturally) crafted a desktop Christmas tree from an old Cuddledown catalog.

Special Offer: Free Upgrade to 2-day Shipping

Free Upgrade to 2-day shippig

Time may be running out, but you can STILL get those last minute gifts before the holiday, because we are offering our blog readers a FREE upgrade to 2-day shipping. So how does it work? Simple: just place an order on our website by 1PM EST today, and you will receive 2-day shipping for the price of standard UPS ground shipping.

To redeem your offer for a free upgrade to expedited 2-day shipping, just click through this post and place your order on our website by 1PM EST today, (12/21).

Happy Holidays!

Disclaimer: Free Shipping Upgrade is UPS 2 Day. This discount offer cannot be combined with any other promotional offer. Promotion applies only to orders placed on our website on 12/21 until 1PM EST. To trigger promotion order must be placed by clicking through this post or entering the S. Code IS11UP2 on checkout. Appropriate upgrade must be selected on step 2 of checkout in order to receive the free upgrade. Promotion is limited to 1 time per customer and 1 time per order. Applies to items in stock only. Orders containing furniture, mattresses, rugs, wall art, featherbeds, mattress pads and toppers do not qualify for this free shipping offer. Not applicable to previous purchases. Free Shipping upgrade will be displayed on cart.

Last Day to Save with Sitewide Free Shipping

Final Day - Sitewide Free Shipping

Christmas is just around the corner, but you can still save on holiday shopping with our sitewide free shipping offer. Live on the West Coast? Better hurry – the UPS cutoff for standard ground shipping for the Western States is today at 1pm EST (10 am PST). To see all shipping cutoff dates to get those gifts in time for Christmas, check out our holiday shipping cutoffs page.

To activate your free shipping offer at Cuddledown.comenter promotion code IFSCD11 in the “Promotion Code” field on step 3 of the checkout process.

Free Shipping is UPS Standard Ground shipping. This discount offer cannot be combined with any other promotional offer. Promotion applies only to orders placed on our website 12/14/11 through 12/16/11 until midnight PST. Orders containing furniture, mattresses, rugs, wall art, featherbeds, mattress pads and toppers do not qualify for this free shipping offer. Not applicable to previous purchases. Free Shipping will be displayed on cart.

Save with Site Wide Free Shipping Today!

1,000 Fill Power Batiste Pillow

1,000 Fill Power Batiste Pillow

You can still save on holiday shopping with our site wide free shipping offer! Visit us at Cuddledown.com and enter promotion code IFSCD11 in the “Promotion Code” field on step 3 of the checkout process to activate your free shipping offer.

Wondering how many shipping days are left before Christmas? Our holiday shipping cutoff page shows the cutoff date for ground, 3-day, 2-day, and overnight shipping to all regions of the US.

If you are still puzzling over gift ideas, check out our specialty selections; Gifts for Her, Gifts for Him, Gifts Under $50, Gifts Made in the USA, and Gifts of Luxury – there’s something for everyone!

Free Shipping is UPS Standard Ground shipping. This discount offer cannot be combined with any other promotional offer. Promotion applies only to orders placed on our website 12/14/11 through 12/16/11 until midnight PST. Orders containing furniture, mattresses, rugs, wall art, featherbeds, mattress pads and toppers do not qualify for this free shipping offer. Not applicable to previous purchases. Free Shipping will be displayed on cart.

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