I’m no expert on bedding – fabric types, thread counts, etc. But I do know what I like and don’t like. And I learned the hard way how to increase my chances of choosing bedding that makes me happy.
1. If you’re going to re-paint the room, get the bedding FIRST. It’s easier to match paint to bedding than try to find bedding that matches the paint.
2. Don’t rely on standard labels like “full”, “queen” or “king” to ensure the bedding will be the size you want. We have a full size bed and I’ve purchased comforters labeled full size that didn’t actually fit. And in some cases you need to allow for shrinkage. So instead of purchasing based on the label, measure the area you want to cover and purchase based on what matches your measurements.
3. Before you purchase bedding, TOUCH IT. I purchased a bedspread that looked good and matched my measurements but I wasn’t able to touch it before I bought it. I took a chance and guess what happened? I hated the way it felt and took it back ASAP. My new rule is that if I can’t touch it, I won’t buy it.
In retrospect, I probably could have asked a salesperson to open the bag for me but I didn’t think of it at the time. I will next time.
4. Read the care instructions and fabric type. I’m usually looking for bedding that can be washed at home so I avoid dry clean only bedding. I also know that if it’s 100% cotton it might shrink so I need to allow for that when I choose a size.
5. Don’t pass on bedding that doesn’t have pillow shams. Some of the “coverlets” and “quilts” don’t have shams. You can purchase shams from other bedding sets that will coordinate or you can use a fancier pillowcase. Our last bedspread didn’t have shams so I purchased a hounds tooth print pillow case. I intended to sew buttons on the ends to make it look a little fancier but I never did it. I liked the way it looked.
6. If you don’t like it, TAKE IT BACK! I think I returned at least three bedspreads when I was on the hunt for a new one. The thing is, you can’t tell if you like it until you get it home and put it on your bed. Sometimes they look good in the package but not so good on the bed. So be willing to take it back if you don’t like it.
7. This is important: pay attention to how it’s folded in the bag so that if you need to take it back you can fold it back up and get it in the bag. I finally learned this.
8. Again, touch the fabric. More important for me than the thread count is how the sheets feel. I like the silkier feeling sheets over the cotton. And I can’t always tell by looking at the sheets – I need to touch them! The last set I got had a decent thread count but they were cottony feeling and I don’t like them. I’ll be replacing them at my first opportunity.
9. Mix and match. There’s no rule that says the top sheet has to be exactly the same as the bottom sheet. If you buy separates, you can choose whatever combinations you want. And then if one of the sheets bites the dust, you can easily replace just the sheet that’s out of commission.
10. Buy fitted and flat separate. If I can, I buy a full size fitted sheet and a queen sized flat sheet. The full sets come with flat sheets but they just aren’t big enough! But a queen flat is perfect.
What do you look for when purchasing bedding?