Learn the art of achieving peaceful sleep. Discover a whole new world about bedroom luxury.
When describing our bed linen, we often use terminology specific to either the fabric used or the embellishments applied. Here is a simple guide to the most commonly used terms.
A quilt cover is designed to fit over and protect your desired quilt while adding colour and style to your bedroom. It can be easily removed for washing, saving the need to wash your quilt as often. Quilt covers are either sold separately or more frequently as a set.
Cotton is a natural fibre - it breathes against your skin making it comfortable and cooler to sleep on or under. It is also non-allergenic, making it ideal for people with allergies. Cotton does, however, crease therefore it requires more care than a polyester/cotton blend
Polyester cotton, shortened to poly/cotton is a blend of cotton and polyester fibres used in bed linen. Polyester, a synthetic or man-made fibre, helps increase the durability of the cotton and the life span of the product. Cotton keeps the product soft and comfortable to sleep on or under. Together, they produce an `easy care` fabric.
Supima Cotton is one of the world`s finest cotton. It is superior to other cotton because it has fine, long fibres that can be spun to make softer, silkier and more durable textile products. The Supima Trademark is the consumer`s guarantee that the product is made from 100% American Pima Cotton. Pima cotton represents just 3% of annual cotton production in the US, therefore customers can be guaranteed that their Supima purchase is not only of the highest quality, but is also exclusive due to its limited supply.
Egyptian cotton, grown in the Nile River Valley, is long fibred cotton that is spun into a fine yarn. The result is a very lightweight, fast-drying soft, yet durable fabric. Products made of Egyptian cotton are substantially lighter and more compact than those made of cotton. This is a good compromise between regular cotton and silk.
The way in which fabric is woven also has an effect on its feel. Cotton sateen sheets, for example, are softer than those with a classic linen weave. A satin weave has more warp threads on the top surface, resulting in a silk-like touch and appealing lustre. Which is better? It`s a matter of personal taste; some people prefer the crispness of a linen weave, others like the softness of the satin.
Combing separates the long desirable fibres from the shorter fibres and other impurities in the cotton. This creates a stronger, smoother yarn.
Cotton Sateen is created by using a special weaving process to place more lengthwise yarns on the surface of the fabric. This process produces a soft sheen to the fabric and a very soft feel.
Thread count refers to the number of threads woven into per square inch of fabric. The higher the thread count, the softer and more durable the fabric is. The thread count of standard cotton or muslin is around 150, whereas good quality sheets start at 180. A count of 200 and higher is referred to as "percale".
Thread count also relates to the quality of yarn and its construction. With finer threads, more can be woven into each square inch producing a finer, softer, more flexible fabric. Thread counts above 500 are something of a misnomer. Very high thread counts generally entail the use of a "plied yarn" - one that is produced by twisting together multiple fine threads. For marketing purposes it is not uncommon to count the twisted yarn as double which enables fabric with 250 individual four-ply yarns in a square inch to be described as 1,000 thread count product.
As you`ve just read, thread counts cannot always be relied upon to demonstrate a sheet`s softness and level of quality. Softness depends more on the quality of the fibre rather than the actual thread count. It is for this reason a 200 thread count fine cotton sheet can have a softer feel than a 400 thread count sheet that uses an inferior grade of cotton or a twisted thread.
While some claim thread count is the best way to choose bed linen, take note of the quality of cotton and the way a sheet will feel on your body. This is what matters most for a good night`s sleep.
Percale is a fabric with a minimum thread count of 200 threads per square inch.
How often you wash your sheets is a personal preference. In general, it's a good idea to launder them weekly to remove dirt and dust. Use warm water rather than hot, which can shrink fibers. Wash printed and colored pillowcases inside out to protect the color. If your sheets feature delicate trim, check the care label before washing.
When dealing with tough stains, use oxygenated bleach on whites and light colors (chlorine bleach is too harsh for most linens). Cosmetics and face lotions are a common cause of discoloration. Many skin products contain oxidizing agents that can bleach sheets. If you are concerned about these spots, choose white linens or consider purchasing an extra set of pillowcases when you buy sheets.
Tumble dry sheets according to label instructions, and remove them before they're fully dry to help minimize wrinkles. To avoid mildew growth, make sure sheets are dry before storing them. If you have the time, ironing your sheets is a surefire way to make them feel new again.
Keep spare sheets, neatly folded, in a cool, dry closet or drawer. Surfaces should be lined with acid-free tissue paper, which helps keep fabric from yellowing. Avoid storing sheets in plastic containers, which can trap moisture and foster the growth of mildew.
Frequent washing will break down even high-quality sheets. Replace them when you see obvious signs of aging, such as stains, fraying hems or faded patterns.
As a rule, if you sleep on your stomach, a soft density or low profile pillow will be the most suitable. A medium density and profile pillow will suit most back sleepers, while a firm and high pillow gives complete support for those who sleep on their side. A contoured pillow will be ideal for those who require more neck support as it moulds to the contour of your neck.
It is important to first understand the fibres used in the various products when buying a pillow. There are basically four categories of fill used in pillows.
Made from the sap of the rubber tree, latex pillows are 100% natural and retain their shape for the life of the pillow. The natural properties of Latex make it anti-microbial, low allergenic, and resistant to dust mites, mold and bacteria.
Microfibre Fill is a lightweight fill of a fine denier fibre, which is blown into the casing. This makes it loft well and is designed to feel just like "down". It also regains its shape readily.
Memory Foam is a pressure relieving material that moulds to the natural contours and curves of your body, relieving pressure points, and most importantly, maintaining correct spinal alignment. With the correct memory foam pillow, neck muscles will remain relaxed, helping to prevent tension and headaches.
The special size or model pillow offers a therapeutic function. It's usually recommended to alleviate common problems such as snoring, back pain and stiff neck.
This type of pillow is well known for the ability to relieve neck and shoulder stress and strain. Down comes from ducks and geese, and is extremely light with superior loft.
All pillows should be aired frequently to remove body moisture that will have been absorbed during sleep. This refreshes the pillow and "lofts" the filling. Check the care label on the pillow for cleaning instructions - some are dry clean only. Some pillows (e.g. Latex) have removable washable zippered covers for ease of cleaning. In periods of high humidity or with people who perspire a lot, feather pillows may develop an odour. The solution is to air well and spray gently with a linen spray. The use of a pillow protector will make pillows last longer and keep them looking like new.
A pillow's normal life span is just two to four years. Pillows have a much shorter life than duvets because they're flattened by the weight of our heads. Once pillows start to go, they no longer give the support you need and can become very unhygienic.
Here are some signs that your pillow needs replacing:
Your pillow is discoloured
We lose up to a pint of sweat each night. This inevitably dirties and stains your pillow cover and allows unhealthy bacteria to grow inside the filling.
You wake up with neck ache
It may be because your pillow has become flat or lumpy, and no longer supports your neck as it should. It may also mean that you have the wrong pillow for your sleeping style.
You wake up wheezy or with a runny or blocked nose
You may be allergic to house dust mites living in your pillow. New pillows are dust mite-free. Once a week, pop your pillows in a tumble dryer for 15 minutes to kill dust mites and freshen and fluff them.
How firm or soft your pillow feels depends on what filling is used. In a natural pillow, firmness depends on:
Take your time choosing the pillow that will give you the right balance of support and comfort for your body shape and size, your personal preference, and, most critically, the position you sleep in. Everyone is different, and you and your partner may have different needs.
Do you sleep on your back or tummy?
You'll need one soft pillow (not too thick) that will offer support by gently moulding to the shape of your head and neck.
Do you sleep on your side?
You'll need one firmer pillow (or two pillows, depending on how broad your shoulders are) to keep your head supported and aligned with your spine. A firm bottom pillow and a soft top pillow might be a good choice.
Surround pillows offer the best of both worlds. They're ideal if you like a soft feel but need extra support. Surround pillows are made with an outer layer, or 'surround', of lofty filling for softness and an inner core of firmer filling for support. If you're unsure whether you need firm or soft support, visit one of our stores where we can help you to try out a variety of pillows.
Babies under 12 months shouldn't sleep with pillows, duvets or quilts. Instead, we advise using a baby sleeping bag without a pillow.
A child's first pillow should be very soft so as not to strain little necks. We recommend using a non-allergenic pillow for children. You can machine wash and tumble dry our non-allergenic pillows at up to 40°C. Our down and feather pillows will take temperatures of up to 60°C. Dust mites are killed at around 57°C
The weight of a towel is measured in gsm, which means grams per square metre. This relates to the weight of the fabric (usually cotton) woven into a square metre of towelling. It's easy to assume that the heavier the towel, the more absorbent it is. But you need to consider the type of cotton used as well.
Heavyweight towels - 700-900gsm
Heavyweight towels feel warm and substantial when wrapped around your body. They are generally long-lasting.
Medium weight towels - 400-600gsm
Medium weight towels are just as absorbent as heavyweight towels, but are lighter, cooler and faster drying. This makes them ideal for families as they're easier for children to manage and quicker to dry in busy bathrooms.
Lightweight towels - 150-350gsm
Lightweight towels are super versatile, quick to launder and easy to pack. Often made with no pile, they're woven from thicker cotton, providing the extra surface area they need to be absorbent. Lightweight hand towels work well in cloakrooms and kitchens, or you might pack a lightweight bath towel or sheet for the gym or beach. Aside from cotton, towelling can be made of linen, bamboo, hemp or even wood fibre.
Cotton is a soft, fluffy fibre that's naturally breathable and absorbent as it allows air and water to pass through the yarns. It's the most commonly used fibre for making towels and towelling robes.
Egyptian cotton is recognised as one of the best quality cottons in the world, known for its strength, durability and lovely fluffy feel. Egyptian cotton towels are really soft, warm and absorbent. They're made with a deep terry towelling pile formed of twisted yarn 'loops'. These absorb water not only through the yarns themselves, but also by trapping water in the loops.
Made from pure natural cotton, this special towelling uses a clever technology where the yarn is spun with little to no twist and an airy hollow core. This makes the towelling feel just as thick and soft as Egyptian cotton, while being beautifully lightweight, incredibly absorbent and fast drying.
Made from ultra long staple Aegean Turkish cotton, this super soft and lightweight towelling uses an innovative spinning technique that gives the yarns a special twist and creates air channels around the fibres. This allows air to pass through, making the towelling highly absorbent and fast drying. Despite its widespread use in casual fabrics and clothing today, the word 'cotton' comes from the Arabic 'qutun' meaning 'fancy fabric'.
|Face Cloth||30 x 30|
|Bath Towel||50 x 90|
|Hand Towel||70 x 125|
|Bath Sheet||100 x 150|
|Jumbo Sheet||115 x 180|
|Square||60 x 60|
|Medium||50 x 80|
|Large||70 x 110|
|Extra Large||100 x 150|
|Runner||50 x 150|
Always wash your new towels before you use them to 'break them in'. It takes several washes for towels to achieve their maximum absorbency, softness and fluffiness.
To help keep your coloured towels looking lovely and bright, use a special 'colour' washing powder. Also keep them away from strong sunlight as well as bleaches, oils and face creams that contain benzoyl peroxide. To keep your white towels brilliantly white, only ever wash them in a 'white' load.
Avoid using fabric conditioner with towels, as it leaves a 'coat' on the towelling loops, which reduces their absorbency. If you do use fabric conditioner, use only the tiniest amount in only the occasional wash.
Tumble dry your towels with textured 'dryer balls' in the drum to make them extra soft and fluffy. You can find dryer balls in most supermarkets, but a couple of tennis balls will do the job just as well. They basically keep the drum moving to help air get inside the towels.
When shopping for the perfect plush towel, you might want to heed your mother’s advice and “keep your hands to yourself!” Why you ask? Because, believe it or not, “touch” is NOT the ideal way to distinguish the good from the garish when choosing the right towel! Similar to denim, there are towels that fall apart after the first few washes and others that get better with age. So don’t let that first “fuzzy feeling” blur your senses.
Cotton is the primary fibre used in bath towels. The quality of standard cotton is determined by a number of factors, with the length of the fiber being a key factor in choosing the right cotton to create sturdy, moisture-seeking, 100% cotton towels.
Environmental and luxurious? If you want both of these qualities in your towels, here is some good news - it is possible to stay stylish and go “green” with nature’s abundantly growing, eco-friendly bamboo. This majestic plant thrives naturally without chemical fertilizers, and it’s fibres are naturally anti-microbial.
The “Queen” of cottons, you can’t find a higher quality towel than those made of 100% Egyptian Cotton. Egyptian cotton is revered for being extremely breathable and durable. It’s extra-long silky fibers will withstand the test of time. Quality Egyptian Cotton towels are a significant investment.
The astonishing absorbency and light feel of MicroCotton towels make us covet these every time we need to dry off. We celebrate the fact that these towels won’t strain your back when you lift them, but don’t let their lightness fool you. MicroCotton towels definitely raise the bar.
Organic cotton is grown using methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment. It's grown without the use of toxic pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. All cotton sold as organic in the United States must meet strict federal regulations covering how the cotton is grown.
If you are looking for enduring softness from a “name-brand” you can’t go wrong selecting "Supima®" . “Supima” signifies products made purely from 100% American Pima cotton – a US hybrid of Egyptian cotton made from extra-long cotton fibers.
Wonderful bed linen relies on the quality of raw cotton and the yarn it produces. The finest yarns feel fantastic next to your skin and also wear really well. But many of us get caught up in the lure of high thread count.
A 200-thread-count cotton sheet made of very fine yarns will feel softer than a 400-thread-count sheet made from poorer quality cotton of thicker yarns. Linen will always have a lower thread count than cotton, yet it's regarded as one of the most luxurious fabrics to sleep in.
Also bear in mind that a very high thread count will be more expensive and more difficult to launder because of its silkier finish. Don't assume that a higher thread count means a better quality fabric.
Thread count is the number of threads per square inch of fabric. It tells you how closely woven a fabric is. It's a common mistake to assume that a higher thread count means a better quality fabric. In fact, the fineness of yarn is more important.
Cotton is the most widely used fibre for making bed linen. Long lasting and easy to launder, it's renowned for its natural breathability and comfortably cool feeling. The longer the 'staple' of cotton, the finer the yarn, and so the smoother, softer and stronger the bed linen.
Egyptian cotton is deemed one of the finest cottons because, cotton in Egypt grows with an unusually long staple. Many other countries now also grow long staple cotton, like American Supima.
Supima cotton, short for 'superior US Pima cotton', is an extra long staple cotton grown in the most sun-drenched parts of America. It's prized for its incredible strength and softness and cozy warmth.
Flannel is woven from extra long staple Supima cotton, and finely brushed to create tiny fibres from the loosely spun yarns. This creates a velvety smoothness that's lovely and cozy for winter.
Cotton-polyester blends produce bed linen that's easy to launder and needs little to no ironing. But beware of poor quality easy-care fabrics that quickly bobble and/or whose easy-care finish washes out. Our high quality 60% cotton-40% polyester percale feels very smooth and soft, thanks to the higher than usual cotton content.
Regarded as one of the most beautiful fabrics to sleep in, linen is loved for its comfort and breathability. We use only Belgian washed linen: 'Belgian' because it's woven from a gorgeously slubby yarn grown from the world's finest flaxseed in Belgium, and 'washed' because it's repeatedly laundered in the manufacturing process to enhance its supple, soft-feel for a wonderful handle and drape. Linen is non-allergenic with a loose natural weave that draws heat away from the body in summer and traps warm air in winter. Linen is up to three times stronger than cotton and very long lasting. The more you use it, the more beautifully it ages and acquires its unique subtle sheen.
Egyptian cotton may be grown in Egypt but, to create the finest quality bed linen, we like ours to be finished and stitched in Italy.
Percale is a type of plain weave - one thread over, one thread under - that allows air to pass through, giving it a lovely powdery coolness and breathability. Our hardwearing cotton percale is woven from the most refined Egyptian cotton yarns to give a crisp and matt look with a smooth and soft feel.
Sateen is an elegant weave of four threads over, one thread under, which places more threads on the surface of the cloth to give a silky-smooth feel and sheen. The distinctive weave traps air and holds in warmth so it's especially inviting in winter. Not to be confused with satin, sateen is very special to sleep in, but not as hardwearing as percale.
Jacquard is woven on a special loom to create a multi-dimensional pattern of sateen (which is raised threads) and matt (which is flat), usually in a stripe, check or floral design.
Seersucker is a crinkly fabric created by a slack tension weave where some groups of yarn are bunched together while others are left flat. The word seersucker comes from the Persian 'shir o shekar' meaning 'milk and sugar' - the smooth part resembling milk, the crinkly texture like sugar.
Waffle is a fabric of tiny textured squares like those on a breakfast waffle. We always combine a waffle design on the front with plain percale on the back so that you can flip over your pillow or duvet for a smoother feel next to your skin.
Pillowcase - housewife or Oxford?
A housewife pillowcase is an edge-to-edge pillowcase that fits to the contours of your pillow. It's usually the one you sleep on and the most popular style for children. An Oxford pillowcase has an extra border beyond the seamed edge. If layering pillows, we suggest you use a housewife pillowcase underneath, but it's down to personal preference.
Bottom sheet - fitted or flat?
A fitted sheet has elasticated corners to keep it secure when you move about in your sleep. The sides should be deep enough to fit your mattress and topper. If your mattress is extra deep, choose a flat sheet and fold the corners underneath.
You need a flat top sheet if you make a bed with blankets. You can also use one with a duvet to give your bed a tailored look. A top sheet may have a decorative 'cuff' for display when you fold back the sheet.
Duvet cover - standard or Oxford?
A duvet cover comes in two styles: a standard 'bag', which is an edge-to-edge seamed cover, and an Oxford, which has an extra border, just like an Oxford pillowcase.
A valance is a decorative cover for your divan base, in case your divan doesn't match your headboard or other bedroom decor, or simply to pretty it up. It still allows you to open any drawers in your divan. Make your bed linen easy to identify by using coloured ribbon ties or by storing each set in a different pillowcase.
For children, we recommend using bed linen of 200-thread-count cotton percale, as this is hardwearing, long lasting and washes really well. It also feels soft, crisp and smooth against their skin.
For babies, we advise using a baby sleeping bag, which is difficult to kick off or slide down over their head. Choose 1 tog in summer and 2.5 tog in winter. Babies under 12 months shouldn't sleep with duvets, quilts or pillows.
Natural duvets contain feathers or down, or a blend of the two, from ducks or geese sourced from the coldest parts of the world. The feathers and down trap air to create a duvet that's warm, drapes well around your body and looks lovely on your bed. All our natural duvets come with a 10-year guarantee.
Feather is flat and curved in shape, with a quill shaft running between the fibres. Firmer and heavier than down, feather offers a more substantial feel of duvet.
Down is a three dimensional cluster of very fine filaments, with no quill shaft between them, and widely recognised as the world's best insulation material. Lighter and loftier than feather, down offers a super soft and lightweight feel of duvet, with excellent warmth and a beautiful drape around your body. The larger the down, the warmer the duvet (because the down clusters form big air pockets of insulation), and also the more lightweight it is (because it takes fewer clusters to fill it).
European duck feathers and down
Feathers and down from Europe are generally sourced from the coldest parts of Scandinavia, where the birds develop a highly insulating coat to keep them warm in freezing weather. European-made duvets will be of a higher quality than duvets made in China, but not as premium as duvets whose feathers and down come from the colder regions of Siberia and Canada.
Siberian goose down
Siberian white geese develop coats that are naturally big and fluffy to guard against harsh winters of -50°C. Siberian goose down is more premium than European duck down, but not as luxurious as Canadian goose down.
Canadian goose down
Canadian white goose down is considered the best duvet filling in the world. The geese develop coats with the largest possible down clusters to protect against harsh winters and dramatic temperature drops.We use only white down and feathers. These sometimes feature spots of grey, and we leave these as nature intended.
Non-allergenic duvets contain fillings made of synthetic fibres, like hollowfibre and microfibre, or silk, which is naturally free of dust mites. All our non-allergenic duvets come with a 5-year guarantee.
These days, synthetic duvets aren't necessarily made of stiff and clunky foam. Many on the market are silky soft, cozy, warm and beautifully lightweight with a wonderful drape. Just beware of cheaper versions, which will soon become lumpy and uncomfortable. Synthetic duvets are inherently dust mite free, but make sure you choose one with a mite-proof cotton cover. You can machine wash synthetic duvets at 30°C.
Silk or silk blend duvets are ideal if you suffer from allergies but want the luxury of a natural fibre filling. They're filled with silk floss, with mulberry silk floss being the most premium due to its fine long yarn for a softer feel and silkier drape.
Silk is wonderfully lightweight and naturally hypo-allergenic. It also helps to regulate your body temperature by trapping warm air next to your skin in winter and drawing it away from your skin in summer.
Silk duvets rarely need cleaning, though you can machine wash them at 30°C. More often than not, you should simply freshen them up by airing outside on a sunny day.
The finest silk comes from the mulberry silkworm, which gorges on only mulberry leaves before spinning its cocoon.
A tog rating tells you how warm a duvet is. The higher the tog rating, the warmer the duvet. Tog rating is based on a duvet's ability to trap warm air. Natural duvets have better thermal properties than synthetic duvets, so they need less filling to achieve the same warmth.
A tog rating is given irrespective of filling. So a 9 tog natural duvet will be just as warm as a 9 tog synthetic duvet. It might just feel a little lighter. Silk duvets can't be measured by tog rating because the fill is made of floss. Instead, their warmth is shown by weight in gsm (grams per square metre), but we'll always give you a comparable tog value too.
|Summer||Lightweight||3 to 4.5 tog|
|Spring/Autumn||Warm||7.5 to 9 tog|
|Winter||Toasty||10.5 to 13.5 tog|
Duvets are filled, or quilted, and then stitched with box or diamond casing to ensure an even spread of filling. More premium duvets also have 'baffle walls', which improve loftiness by saving feathers and down from getting trapped in the seams.
All our duvets are encased in a tightly woven mite-proof cotton cover. They're each edged with button holes and come with a supply of cufflinks, so you can join together 4.5 and 9 tog duvets to create a 13.5 tog for winter. Most brands of natural duvet wash at up to 40°C. Ours can be machine-washed and tumble-dried at up to 60°C, which means dust mites really don't have a hope. While in theory you can wash and dry your duvets at home, we strongly recommend professional laundering because you need a very big machine to properly tumble dry them. Dust mites are killed at around 57°C.
Babies under 12 months
Babies under 12 months shouldn't sleep with duvets, quilts or pillows. Instead, we advise using a baby sleeping bag, which is difficult to kick off or slide down over their head. Choose 1 tog in summer and 2.5 tog in winter.
Children under 10 years
Young children should use a lightweight tog rating as their small bodies trap more air, making them much warmer than adults would be under the same duvet. A first duvet should be the lightest 3 or 4.5 tog. As a child grows, they may want a warmer 7.5 or 9 tog.
Children over 10 years
Older children may want a toasty warm 10.5 tog duvet, especially if their room is quite cold. Help your child to regulate their own temperature by choosing a lower tog duvet and leaving a quilt or blanket, folded concertina style, at the bottom of the bed. That way, they can easily pull it up for extra warmth when they need it. In high summer, switch the duvet to a cool top sheet with a quilt or blanket. Small bodies get hotter in bed than adult bodies.