The Bedding Snob

Cultivating relaxation need not leave you starving for style …

How to sleep better in the summer

Sunny days, outdoor adventures, and beach/poolside relaxing are just a few of the many joys of summer.

Yet, there is one aspect of summer that falls on the “not so pleasant” side of the joy spectrum: hot, humid, sticky summer nights.

700 Fill Power Temperature Regulating Down ComforterWith heightened temperatures and downright oppressive humidity, falling asleep and staying asleep during the summer months can be challenging.

Read on to discover how to beat the heat of hot summer nights and get a great night’s sleep.

Exercise

You can add better sleep to the ever growing list of benefits of exercising.

According to CNN Health, getting exercise during your day can help you sleep better at night. Just make sure to avoid exercising too close to bedtime, as doing so can sabotage your good night’s sleep.

Aim for fitting at least 30 minutes of exercise into your day, with three hours before bedtime being a “no exercise” zone.

Turn your bedroom into a cool, cozy haven

600 Fill Power White Duck Down ComforterOutfit your bed in crisp percale sheets and 100% cotton pillowcases – known for both softness and breathability. You’ll be on your way to a sleep that’s both cool and luxurious.

Top off your bed with a light, summer weight down comforter or airy blanket, and stick to cool, breathable fabric such as cotton and linen.

Batiste and Voile are also great fabric choices for summer, as they both are lightweight and extremely comfortable for warm summer nights.

No central A/C in your home? Help keep your bedroom cool with a fan or air conditioning unit.

Experiment with fan cooling techniques such as cross breeze creation, where you place fans in a manner that creates a “cross breeze” that flows through your bedroom.

Set a new curfew…for screen time and caffeine

To set yourself up for a great night’s sleep, skip coffee or other caffeinated drinks six hours before bedtime, and shut down your Smartphone, tablet, or television at least half an hour before you hit the sack.

Studies indicate that drinking coffee and other caffeinated drinks within 6 hours of bedtime can have a negative impact on how well you sleep.

When it comes to electronics, the blue light spectrum emitted by smartphones, tablets, and television can interrupt your sleep throughout the night – and also make it more difficult to fall asleep in the first place.

For summer sleep success, avoid caffeine and electronics as your bedtime nears.

Wear the right pajamas

Lightweight, breathable pima cotton nightgownPajamas can make or break a comfy night’s sleep in any weather. The general rule of thumb to remember: When it comes to summer pjs, it’s all about loose fit and breathable materials.

Look for loose fitting, lightweight cotton or linen pajamas for your summer slumber attire. Pima cotton nightgowns are an excellent choice for summer sleeping, because pima cotton is extra-soft and extremely lightweight.

For those who prefer pajamas to nightgowns: Sleeveless, sheer cotton capri pjs are a great choice for staying cool and cozy on warm summer nights.

To boost the comfy factor, consider adding a spa mask, that is able to be frozen, to your pajama wear. This can help you cool down on extra hot summer nights.

Invest in smart bedding

Cooling Pillows, pillows for neck pain, pillows for back pain and moreOne definite perk of the 21st century is the availability of clever technology to solve life’s problems. Like many past inconveniences, getting a great night’s sleep during hot summer nights is a problem technology can now solve!

Consider investing in smart bedding solutions such as Temperature Regulating Comforters and Pillows that actually adjust to your ideal sleeping temperature throughout the night.

Our Temperature Regulating Comforters use hi-tech mesh fabric to transport excess warmth away from your body, which prevents perspiration and brings your sleeping temperature back to a comfortable range.

Similarly, our Temperature Regulating Pillows use hi-tech ventilated fabric to transport excess warmth away from you as you sleep. As you change positions during the night, the ventilation feature is enhanced, which creates an increased airflow that keeps you at a comfortable temperature.

Round out your smart summer bedding with our Outlast Temperature Regulating sheets and you’ll be on your way to a blissful summertime sleep.

Block unwanted light out

Keep your blinds and curtains closed during the day to block out hot rays from the sun. Use thick curtains or blinds to maximize the light blocking properties. Blinds and curtains can be opened during the morning hours to help wake up your day.

As previously mentioned, shut off electronics like smartphones and TV at least half an hour before bed, so the lights from these devices won’t throw off your sleep quality.

If your room still let’s a lot of light in during sleeping hours, consider purchasing a sleep mask or eye mask to further block out the light.

Getting great sleep on hot summer nights can be a challenge. Try the tips discussed above to beat the heat, and make this the summer of your best sleep yet.

Do you have additional tips for sleeping well during summer? We invite you to share your best summer sleep tips in the comments!

Easy DIY Holiday Decorations

Ornaments by Grant Hutchinson via Flickr
Ornaments by Grant Hutchinson via Flickr

 

Whether you’re looking for fun holiday crafts to make with the kids or need last-minute decorations for your Christmas party, these will work!

1. Original Ornaments- Simply remove the topper from a clear ornament and fill it with whatever you like! Some ideas to get you started are ribbon, glitter, tinsel, paint, small candies, small photos or jewelry you no longer wear. You can display the one-of-a-kind ornaments on the tree or showcase them in decorative bowls or garden cloches.

2. Festive Table Settings- If you’re hosting Christmas dinner, make the table more festive by tying each napkin setting in thick ribbon and topping it with a bow. Any bows that you have on hand will work, even the ones with the sticker backing. It’s a great project for the kids to work on before company arrives!

3. Christmas Card Tree- Display your cards by hanging them from a tabletop tree. If you don’t already have a tabletop tree, you can create a wintry one by gathering branches outside and placing them into a vase. Keep the branches in place with small rocks and finish the look by tying the vase with ribbon.

3 ways to turn your guest room into a cozy home away from home

With the holiday season right around the corner, it’s time to spruce up your guest room so guests feel cozy and welcome, but the task doesn’t have to be overwhelming! Follow these three easy steps to help your guests feel home away from home.

1. The bed, of course, is the most important part of any guest room. Update an older mattress or soften a new one with a quality mattress topper. It may not be the most glamorous part of your guest room, but a comfortable bed makes all the difference!

Mattress Topper

2. To fully invoke the feeling of being “home away from home,” think of the little things. Leave a glass or bottle of water on the nightstand, some books or current magazines, an alarm clock and a note with the wifi password.

Nightsand Buddhist by Matt Gibson via Flickr Nightsand Buddhist by Matt Gibson via Flickr

3. As people have different sleeping temperatures, make your guests more comfortable with a plush throw and a small fan if the room doesn’t already have one. That way, both hot and cold sleepers can rest peacefully.

UGG Duffield Throw

 

Fall weather essentials

With fall’s cooler nights, it’s time to swap out your light summer bedding for warmer, cozier comfort. And with our tips, you’ll be ready for those chilly nights in no time!

Warm Cotton Blanket

Flannel is always a great option for warm sheeting, but if you prefer the silkier feel of sateen, try our new Warm Cotton Bedding. Super soft and cozy, our Warm Cotton sheets and blanket are not only 10% warmer than conventional sateen, they’re also 20% lighter.

Faux Fur Throw

Throws are also fall weather essentials since they provide an extra layer of warmth as nights get cooler. One of our customer and employee favorites is the Faux Fur Throw. Available in four stylish prints, our ultra plush throws add elegance and warmth to any bed, chair or sofa.

UGG Ansley Slipper

Chilly nights and mornings call for fuzzy slippers to protect your feet from cold floors. We love the classic look of the UGG Ansley Slipper.

If you have any fall weather essentials you’d like to share, please let us know in the comment section below!

Back-to-school sleep tips!

Cuddledown

As it gets closer to the start of school, it’s important to gradually ease your kids back into an earlier and regular sleep schedule. An abrupt change can throw off their internal clock, causing a cranky and tired start to the school year. Prevent that from happening by following these tips!

1. Start getting ready for bed at least an hour before. This routine could include having your kids brush their teeth, taking a bath or shower, putting on pajamas, laying out an outfit for the next day and winding down with a book. Setting up a routine will signal to your child’s body that it’s almost time to sleep.

2. Shift the time your child goes to bed by 15 minutes a day if he or she is used to late summer nights. A drastic change will only leave them unable to fall asleep as sleep patterns take time to adjust.

3. Make sure your children’s bedding is optimal for a good night’s sleep! Replace any old or flattened pillows and check if their covers are still weather appropriate. As we transition from summer to fall, an extra throw or blanket might be necessary.

If you have any back-to-school sleep tips to share with other Bedding Snob parents, please post them in the comment section below! A good night’s sleep is important for focusing, learning and retaining information. We hope your kids have a great first day of school!

Benefits of pure linen bedding

Linen Sheets

Linen fabric has been widely used for centuries, and there’s good reason for it! Linen is stronger, more absorbent and more durable than other fabrics. It’s also naturally lustrous and lint-free, looking and feeling better after every wash. Since pure linen is moisture wicking and temperature regulating, it’s great for year round use, keeping you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. If those reasons weren’t enough to make linen the perfect sheeting fabric, it’s also an environmentally friendly, biodegradable, renewable resource. That’s because linen is made from the flax plant, which is used in other products, such as flax seed oil and even linoleum.

If you already love linen or are interested in getting your first set of linen sheets, now’s the best time. You can save on Italian linen sheets during our Luxury Bedding Sale!

Summer bedding essentials

Crochet Cotton Coverlet & Sham

It’s officially summer, so it’s time to swap your heavier bedding for warm weather essentials that will help you sleep comfortably cool. The first thing you’ll want to do is switch your thick comforter for a summer or blanket weight comforter. If you’re a very warm sleeper or live in a particularly hot climate, a coverlet will provide just the right amount of warmth, while also adding texture and style! To keep your out-of-season bedding free of dust and dirt, try our breathable Cotton Canvas Zippered Storage Bag- perfect for storing your down comforters!

Classic Seersucker

Light, breathable sheeting makes sleeping on hot summer nights more comfortable too. Linen and seersucker are summer classics for good reason! Linen is naturally moisture wicking to keep you cool and seersucker’s puckered stripes increase air circulation.

Nautical Cotton Pajamas

Now that your bed is ready for the summer heat, make sure you have weather appropriate sleepwear. Fabrics that are moisture wicking or are sheer and lightweight like cotton lawn, make the perfect summer pajamas!

Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Father’s Day is this Sunday! If you’re not sure what to get Dad, we can help!

For the active dad- Does he love to go fishing or hiking? Give him the gift of memories and surprise him with a camping trip for the family! Click here for help finding camp sites.

Morning Camp by Bureau of Land Management via Flickr Morning Camp by Bureau of Land Management via Flickr

For the dad who loves to relax- Ever catch him snoozing on the couch? Make sure he’s extra comfy with a plush throw or cozy loungewear. If you’re not sure what color throw to get or what size clothing he wears, you can’t go wrong with a Cuddledown gift certificate.

European Cotton Fleece Blanket or Throw

For the dad who’s hard to shop for- Any dad will enjoy and appreciate a nice, home cooked meal! Check out allrecipes.com for some great ideas.

Steak & Chips by Mark Walker via Flickr Steak & Chips by Mark Walker via Flickr

Gifts for Grads!

NTU Graduation Week 2014 NTU Graduation Week 2014 by Nottingham Trent university via Flickr

Looking for the perfect graduation gift? We’ve got you covered! Bedroom essentials are always appreciated by college-bound students preparing to move into dorms and recent college grads getting ready for their first apartment. Here are some of our top picks!

Quality bedding in Twin XL can be hard to find at department stores, but not at Cuddledown! We’ve got Twin XL sheets, mattress pads and even featherbeds to turn those dreadfully uncomfortable dorm beds into pure bliss.

For college grads moving into new apartments, treat them to the luxurious, weightless warmth of a down comforter! Our 600 Fill Power Primary Down Comforter, voted “Best Buy Comforter” by Consumers Digest, and our 600 Fill Power Cotton Sateen Colored Down Comforter are great choices.

If you’re in Maine, our Freeport Outlet Store has a great selection of gifts (and some amazing deals) for your graduate! In addition to bedding and sleepwear, our outlet store has locally made goods, home decor, slippers and gifts you won’t find online or in our catalog.

Spring cleaning – linen closet organization

Busted! by Andrew d'Entremont via Flirck Busted! by Andrew d’Entremont via Flickr

It’s time for spring cleaning again! If cleaning your entire house seems like a daunting task, reduce stress by breaking it up and focusing on one area at a time. We’ll help you get started with some quick tips to organize an important part of your home – your linen closet. An organized linen closet will make finding the right sheets and towels a breeze, saving time and effort throughout the year.

1. Start by going through your closet and determine what you should keep, donate, re-purpose or toss. If you’ve been keeping random, mismatched pieces that you “might use” one day and haven’t touched in years, it’s time to part ways. After sorting through your stockpile, wipe down your shelves and let them dry before putting things back.

2. Label your shelves or storage bins by either the size or room that each towel or sheet set belongs to. By having designated sections within your closet, finding exactly what you’re looking for will be a snap.

3. Keep your sheet sets even more organized and easily accessible by folding the sheets, shams, pillowcases and duvet cover into one of the coordinating pillowcases. That way, you won’t have to rummage through everything, causing a mess in the process. Keeping your most-used items at eye level or below will also help prevent neatly folded stacks from toppling over as you take out specific items. Seasonal linens should be stored on the top shelves in dust bags.

Sleeping during allergy season

Sneeze by mcfarlandmo via Flickr
Sneeze by mcfarlandmo via Flickr

If you’ve got seasonal allergies, then you know that in addition to more sun and warmer weather, springtime is also the season of runny noses, sneezing and itchy/watery eyes. Allergy season can also lead to restless nights since symptoms don’t stop at bedtime, but with a few changes and some planning, that doesn’t have to be the case!

1. Use a HEPA filter in your bedroom to reduce the amount of pollen, dust and pet dander in the air. HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters work by trapping debris in a fine mesh filter as air passes through. And speaking of pet dander, it’s best to keep your furry friends out of the bedroom, especially during allergy season. That’s because their fur is a magnet for dirt and pollen.

2. Washing your sheets more often can also help reduce nighttime allergy suffering. If doing laundry at least once a week doesn’t work into your schedule, keep an extra set of sheets on hand. Showering before bed, instead of in the morning, will also help keep symptoms at bay and prevent the pollen collected on your skin and hair from transferring onto your sheets. For even more protection, use anti-allergy bedding.

3. Know when you need a new mattress or pillow. Unlike sheets and bedding, pillows and mattresses are much more cumbersome to clean, but still collect dust, pollen and even mold! Mattresses should be replaced every 7-10 years while pillows should be replaced more frequently.

How to choose wall art

coco+kelley by James Stephoto via Flickr

Immediately pull a room together or bring interest to barren walls by adding the right piece of wall art. If you’re not sure where to start, follow our three simple steps below!

1. Size- Use the size of the wall as a guide. A single small piece will look out of place on a large wall and a large piece may overwhelm a small space. You can also use several small pieces to create a collection that carries the impact of a larger piece.

2. Color- When choosing colors, think about the mood of the room. Cool tones, such as blues and greens, evoke calmness and relaxation while warmer tones are usually energizing and inviting.

3. Style- Ultimately, you want to choose pieces that you like and will want to look at. Therefore, whether it’s a modern or traditional piece, make sure it matches your own taste and preferences. Wall art also doesn’t strictly mean paintings and posters; try decorating with mirrors, framed fabric, clocks or anything else that can hang on a wall and interests you. A great resource for unique wall art is Cuddledown.com- we have lots of new wall decor and mirror options!

P.S. When hanging the art, it’s best to keep the center of the image at eye level. And if you’re hanging the artwork above your bed, sofa or table, keep the bottom edge of it 6 to 12 inches above the furniture.

How to keep Bamboo Towels soft and fluffy

If you’re a fan of our Bamboo Towels, then you know how luxuriously soft and absorbent they are. Like any quality linen, you’ll want to keep your towels at their best. To protect your lovely towels from detergent buildup, hard water and roughness, here are some simple tips to try.

1. Do not use fabric softeners- Ironically, fabric softener creates a waxy residue on towel fibers, causing them to become stiff and less absorbent. To get your towels nice and fluffy, try using dryer balls, clean tennis balls or our down fluffer rings.

2. Use the extra rinse cycle- Over time, detergent residue can also build up on towel fibers, especially if too much detergent is used. To prevent this from happening, use the extra rinse cycle and make sure your washer isn’t overloaded so that the towels have room to move freely. To remove detergent build-up, add a cup of white vinegar when washing and don’t forget the extra rinse cycle to keep the towels from smelling like vinegar!

3. Lastly, our Bamboo Towels should be washed and dried on lower settings, as hot temperatures can break down the fibers. We recommend washing with warm water and drying with low heat. Also, take care when using cleansers containing benzoyl peroxide, as it can cause discoloration in fabrics.

We hope these tips help and if you ever have any questions or comments about caring for your Cuddledown products, please let us know!

How much sleep do you really need?

Infographic via the National Sleep Foundation

Since everyone has differences in lifestyles and genes, the exact number of hours needed for sleep varies from person to person, but sleep experts have been able to produce a general guideline to use as a rule-of-thumb. Recently, the National Sleep Foundation updated its recommendations after two years of extensive research and examining more than 300 studies. The Sleep Foundation warns that getting too much or too little sleep on a regular basis is linked to, among other consequences, diabetes, obesity and poor judgment. In other words, make sure you get enough rest! Visit www.sleepfoundation.org to learn more.

DIY- Upcycling Bed Sheets

Love the color or print of your sheets, but no longer have a need for them on your bed (maybe you got a different size mattress or simply found a new set you like even better)? Instead of shoving them into the back of the linen closet, put them to better use with one of these fun upcycling ideas!

Wall Art- You don’t need to be a master painter to create your own beautiful wall art! All you need is a canvas, some staples and any fabric of your choice to create some lovely pieces- you can follow an easy tutorial here. Our customer Jodi did this using our Monet fabric, and they make great accents on her beige walls.

Monet Canvas From Sheets DIY

Monet Canvas Wall Art by Jodi

 

Reusable shopping bags- Another idea for upcycling your sheeting is to turn it into reusable shopping bags. Not only are you saving landfills from plastic bags, but you won’t have to buy the branded ones that everyone else at the grocery store has.

Cloth Grocery Bag by katbaro

Cloth Grocery Bag by katbaro via Flickr

Gifts- By gifts, we don’t mean presenting someone with your old sheet set, but turning it into something one of a kind! Mary, of Mary’s Custom Sewing and Design, turned our Antique Map quilted sham into a beautiful stocking for the holidays.

Antique Map Percale Stocking

Stocking by Mary of Mary's Custom Design and Sewing

Curtains- Fashioning your sheets into curtains is one of the easiest upcycles to do! It’ll also allow you to perfectly match your window dressings to your bedding. Click here for a tutorial on how to turn a duvet cover into lovely curtains.

curtain by Thomas Weidenhaupt

curtain by Thomas Weidenhaupt via Flickr

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