Living Space: Updated winter bedding makes sleeping a cozy pleasure
In the winter, the prospect of a warm, cozy bed creates a cocooning response. The problem is, when your bed or linens are tired, your long winter's nap is never as comfortable or enjoyable as you might like. But it only takes a few changes to make your slumber more sound, more warm and much more enjoyable.
Replacing a mattress is not inexpensive, but the fix for an overly hard or sagging mattress can be as simple as adding a memory foam topper. These toppers create a new-feeling foundation that instantly adds more comfort to your bed - and in the winter, warmth. Available in a range of prices from $100 and up for a queen size, a memory foam topper makes your bed both warm and comfortable when temperatures outside plummet.
Sheets for warmth
The winter standby for comfort has always been the flannel sheet, but there are more options today. Jersey is popular. Made from the same fabric used for T-shirts, jersey sheets are lightweight and soft and don't have that cold feel or sheet shock of percale sheets. Because they're soft, jersey sheets also warm up faster than percale sheets.
For a completely cozy and luxurious feel, you can't beat fleece, a staple for bathrobes, windbreakers and winter pullovers. Now, imagine that fuzzy feel against your skin in bed. Fleece warms up in a snap on the coldest nights. On less frosty evenings, fleece makes for cozy, lightweight bedding without a heavy blanket or comforter. Fleece is a bit more costly than flannel, but the cost is offset by its fabulous feel ($50 for queen).
Blanket of warmth
Everyone has an opinion about blankets. Some like old-fashioned quilts while others favor cotton throws. For some, weight is the goal while others crave a cloud-like, billowy feel.
The new microplush blankets are thick and soft and almost as comfortable to lie on as they are warm to sleep under. That fluffy texture is what makes them so warm and lightweight. For around $40, you can get a luscious, microplush blanket - and about $10 more gets you an extra fluffy blanket if you can't get enough plush.
Silk is extremely warm and lightweight and, for many, a good option because it's hypoallergenic. Silk blankets and comforters are popular in China, the home of silk production. But even local and online stores carry comforter sets. However you're buying silk, it's costly. A queen set can cost upward of $500 and more.
If you want more heft in your blanket and a sumptuous feel, alpaca is the go-to fiber. Alpaca blankets are warm and soft as cashmere. They're so soft that they're often made into baby blankets. A bed-sized blanket runs around $200 and up.
Kathryn Weber is a home and decorating columnist and publishes the Red Lotus Letter feng shui ezine. For more information, contact Weber through her website, redlotusletter.com.