The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Perfect Bedding for Your Sleep Preferences

When choosing the right bedding for your sleep preferences, there are a few important things to consider. Think about what colours and fabrics you like, what will look right in your bedroom, what size your bed is, and any skin sensitivities too. Another important thing to consider is what your sleep looks like now. Do you tend to overheat or are you often too cold? Do you have trouble drifting off into sleep or staying asleep throughout the night?

You may also want to think about the environmental impact of your bedding. Are sustainably sourced materials and low-impact processes important to you? We will look into all these variables to help you consider which bedding is the best for your needs.

Understanding thread count and weave

When discussing sheets, duvet covers and pillowcases, there’s a lot of talk about high thread count. But what does this mean exactly? 

What is thread count? 

In general, you may have heard that the higher the thread count, the better the quality of bedding. But it’s not as simple as all that. A fabric’s thread count is the number of threads per square inch of fabric (counting both horizontal and vertical threads). So it follows that a higher thread count will make for more luxurious, weightier fabric. Plus, if the threads are tightly woven together, the finished bedding has more durability in the long term.

But choosing the highest thread count doesn’t always get you the best quality sheets. Of course, we don’t want our sheets to be thin and flimsy but we also don’t want them to be too heavy and thick. There needs to be a certain softness and breathability to them too.

The thread count of fabric will depend on the type of fibre being used – as some threads are thicker than others. It will also depend on the weave pattern – as different weave patterns will be tighter or looser. In general, the best thread counts to aim for in terms of your bedding are between 400 and 800. This allows your skin to breathe while you sleep.

When choosing the right thread count for you, consider what kind of sleeper you are. If you tend to run hot and get sweaty in the night you will want breathable bedding with a medium thread count that allows maximum air movement. A one-up/one-down percale weave allows air to pass through. It will help your bedding feel cool to the touch while being soft and gentle on your skin.

On the other hand, you may be a cold sleeper, often pulling your duvet up around you. If you are drawn to thicker, weightier bedding to help you fall asleep, try a higher thread count as more threads per square inch make for slightly warmer bedding. A four up/one down sateen weave for example allows for more threads to be held in a smaller space, resulting in a higher thread count. 

Choosing the right material

When choosing the right bedding for you, it’s important to consider the materials your bedding is made from. There are many different fibres in the bedding world but there are only two fibres that make for supremely soft, comfortable and long lasting bedding. Though you may be tempted to go for synthetic fibres blended with cotton as these can be sold as ‘longer lasting’ or ‘crease free’ than 100% cotton. This will in fact have a negative effect on your overall sleep – especially if you are a hot sleeper.

Synthetic fibres are much more likely to make you sweaty and uncomfortable during the night as they are less breathable than natural fibres. They can also cause problems for anyone with sensitive skin that is prone to allergies or infections.

Natural fibres like cotton or linen are the most breathable for bedding sets. High quality cotton and linen fabrics are strong and long lasting whilst also being highly breathable and super soft against your skin. Let’s look at the top three natural fibres for bedding: cotton, linen and silk. 

Extra long staple cotton bedding

For soft and long lasting cotton sheets, the cotton itself has to be top quality. That’s why you want extra long staple cotton. The longer fibre length means you get a smoother surface, with fewer exposed fibre ends. These longer, stronger strands mean the fabric won’t fray, pill or wrinkle as easily. The colour won’t fade as quickly either. And stains will come out more easily too.

For high-quality sheets get softer and softer with every wash, extra long staple cotton is an excellent material to choose. 

European flax linen bedding

Linen is an amazing fibre that is strong, soft and has remarkable durability. It’s not as smooth as cotton but feels very soft to the touch. In fact some people prefer the feeling of linen bedding against their skin. It’s so breathable, temperature regulating and moisture wicking that it works especially well in the warmer months of the year. And just like long staple cotton, it gets softer and softer with every wash, without losing its signature strength.

On top of all that, linen is one of the most sustainable fibres to grow. It grows very fast and requires little water and no harmful chemicals. All in all, linen is a top choice for bedding. 

Silk bedding

Many people like silk bedding, as it is often seen as the most luxurious option. Silk bedding feels extremely soft, silky and smooth against your skin. It’s a completely different texture to cotton or linen - a silkyness not one everyone enjoys.

The downsides of silk bedding are that it is less durable and less breathable than cotton or linen. It is also a lot more expensive. For the investment, you may not get as many years use out of silk bedding. 

Maintaining your bedding

Once you have invested in good quality bedding, it’s important to preserve it as best you can. This will save you money and have less impact on the planet too. By following a few bedding care tips, you’ll also maintain the quality of your bedding – so it stays soft and smooth and more comfortable to sleep in. 

Washing your bedding

Before you put your load on, separate your colours and pre-treat any tougher stains to avoid having to wash your sheets twice. Wash your cotton or linen bedding at 30℃ - 40℃, using non-biological (non-bio) detergent. This heat and detergent choice will help protect the fibres of your bedding in the long run, keeping them soft, smooth, and less likely to pill.

Drying your bedding

For both linen and cotton bedding, tumble drying works well, on low to medium heat. But you can also line dry if you’re looking to save on energy, especially if the weather is nice. 

You can avoid ‘over-drying’ your bedding  by setting your tumble dryer to the correct time; and shorten your dry time by using dryer balls.

Other tips

To keep your bedding looking and feeling fresh, wash it every week or 2. It also helps to regularly air it out by folding your duvet back and allowing your bottom sheet and mattress to breathe. Read more bedding care tips.

Soft and breathable Rise & Fall bedding

At Rise & Fall, we have two different types of cotton bedding and one type of linen bedding. All three are designed to help you fall asleep and stay asleep with temperature-regulating fibres, and a soft and smooth finish. Below we look at our different bedding collections.

Crisp & Cool Organic bedding

Our Crisp & Cool Organic bedding is made with 100% GOTS-certified organic cotton. It is woven in a one-up/one-down percale weave in a 400-thread count. The threads are evenly laid out allowing air to pass easily through the fibres. This weave type is slightly cooler to the touch than our other cotton bedding, making it a great choice for anyone who runs warm. If you tend to get too hot and kick off your covers, the Crisp & Cool Organic bedding set is a great choice for you.

It also works really well for the most sensitive skin – as the cotton is 100% organic, made without any harsh chemicals. (GOTs certified organic cotton has strict rules about environmentally and socially responsible harvesting, manufacturing and labelling.)

Choosing the most breathable bedding can really help you fall asleep and stay asleep. If there are any fluctuations in the room temperature or your body temperature, breathable bedding will help you stay cool and calm.

Shop Crisp & Cool Organic Bedding

Picture of Rise & Fall bedding on a bed, with a plant next to it

Soft & Smooth bedding

Our second cotton bedding type, Soft & Smooth, is a four-up/one down sateen weave. As the name suggests, this sateen weave makes for a lovely, silky-smooth finish.

With a higher thread count of 600, our Soft & Smooth bedding set is slightly weightier, making it a great option for cold sleepers or anyone who wants ultra plush looking sheets. If you like an extra layer of luxurious warmth between yourself and the duvet, try a Soft & Smooth flat sheet. The extra layer acts a bit like a weighted blanket to help you drift off into a blissful night’s sleep.

This cotton bedding type may not be as lightweight as our Crisp & Cool but it is still highly breathable and comfortable. 

All our cotton bedding is made by India’s finest bedding manufacturer. The factory is run entirely on renewable energy, recycles 99% of its water, uses no harsh chemicals (Oeko-Tex 100 certified) and offers its predominantly female workforce unlimited free education.

Shop Soft & Smooth Bedding

Picture of Rise & Fall white with navy piping bedding on a bed

European Flax Linen bedding

Finally, we have our European flax linen bedding. Made with 100% European-grown linen it is super soft and durable with a lovely lived-in texture. Linen is famously a summer fibre for a reason. It is great at keeping you cool and fresh when temperatures soar. It’s less well known but just as good at keeping you cosy and warm in the winter too – thanks to its temperature-regulating qualities.

It’s also incredibly soft. It has a very different hand feel to our cotton bedding, more textured, and less cool to the touch. High-quality linen provides a long-lasting softness that feels great against even the most sensitive skin.

Our linen bedding set comes in a great range of rich earthy colours and is an excellent option for staying comfortable and dry, year-round. If you have sensitive skin, run hot and dream in colour, our linen collection – featuring duvet sets, cushions and throws – is the one for you.

Our linen bedding is made in a factory in Portugal with over 75 years of expertise. The factory is certified by OEKO-TEX,  uses majority renewable energy and 99% recycled and reused water. 

Shop European Flax Linen Bedding

Image of green Rise & Fall linen bedding

If you’re looking to improve your sleep quality, bedding is one of the most important things to get right. There’s nothing like climbing into ultra-soft, smooth and luxurious sheets at the end of a hard day. How good your sheets feel against your skin will help you drift off into a restful sleep. And how well they allow your body to regulate its temperature will keep you dreaming till morning.

For cold sleepers, the extra weightiness of our Soft & Smooth will help you fall asleep. And for hot sleepers or anyone with extra sensitive skin, our Crisp & Cool Organic bedding  is sure to help your slumber. If you love deep colour and the look and feel of beautifully textured linen, our European flax collection is the one for you. 

Whatever your needs, sleep preferences and favourite fabrics, make sure you choose highly durable, beautiful quality, natural and sustainable bedding. You’ll sleep better and the planet will thank you.