We don’t know about you, but we’ve been spending an awful lot of time in bed. And not just sleeping in it, but all kinds of other things too. Before imaginations run wild, we’re talking about working in bed (sometimes), Zoom meetings in bed (occasionally) and Netflixing in bed (all the time). With staying home still very much a part of the forseeable future, a wise investment in 2021 — besides more masks and hand sanitisers — would be quality bedsheets.
We asked Clara Teo, co-founder of local bedding company Sunday Bedding, which has recently expanded into loungewear and towels, to give 8days.sg some tips on bedsheet-buying, bedsheet maintenance, the different kinds of materials, and other things you never knew about the cloth you sleep on.
#1: High thread count doesn’t mean high quality.
According to Clara, many people equate a high thread count with high quality, but she advises us to look beyond thread count. She says, “Different brands measure thread count differently, which can be confusing for consumers. While a higher thread count usually implies softer sheets, a higher thread count can sometimes be achieved by thinning the threads which actually lowers durability. The fact is, as thread count rises, sheets can become more prone to pilling and become more fragile.”
Instead of just focusing on thread count, consider other factors that go into making sheets, like material and weave, which can achieve the same effect as a higher thread count, without compromising the fabric’s durability. Clara tells us that Sunday Bedding sheets have a thread count of 300 to 400, which balances softness and durability. Also, materials like French linen are not measured by thread count, but by grams per square metre.
#2: It’s a great time to invest in good bedsheets.
“In the past, investing in quality bedsheets may not have been seen as important,” says Clara. “But with more staying home because of the pandemic, self-care has become quite the buzzword, as uncertainty from the pandemic has caused us to rethink the way we work and manage new stressors and anxieties. In a bid to create distinct lines between work and rest, the pandemic has led to many individuals investing in quality bedding that goes beyond just bedsheets and pillows alone; extending to towels and even loungewear.”
“We see self-care as the destination and rest as part of the journey to a person’s overall well-being. Investing in well-made, quality products is akin to investing in yourself. We’ve realised how little most of us know about buying linens and lack understanding how quality sheets, towels and fabric can affect how we rest and reset. We started Sunday Bedding to end the frustration and educate customers on what makes quality linens, and help them weave moments of respite — that familiar Sunday feeling — into their daily lives, especially amidst Covid-19.
#3: If you have sensitive skin, try French linen.
According to Clara, French linen is great for sensitive skin thanks to its natural qualities, especially if the sheets are made from 100 per cent pure linen without any synthetic or polyester blends, like those at Sunday Bedding. Sourced from France, the flax fibres used in Sunday Bedding’s French linen sheets do not trap dust easily, which is typically the source of most allergies.
#4: Know your weave when you buy bedsheets.
Bet most of us don’t know this one — there are two common types of weaves to look out for. Percale is durable and lightweight, but can feel a little rough and has a more matte finish. Sateen has a smoother and more luxurious feel.
#5: Bedsheet materials, explained. And there are sustainable options.
According to Clara, there are several different types of fabric but they can be broadly categorised into three main categories: synthetic fibres (e.g polyester, microfibers etc), natural fibres (e.g. cotton, linen, silk) and regenerated fibres from plant fibres (e.g. Tencel, bamboo, Lyocell). There are also blends across different types of materials.
“At Sunday Bedding, we specifically chose to offer 100 per cent natural fibres or regenerated fibres such as bamboo,” says Clara. “Synthetic fibres like polyester are petroleum-based and a non-renewable carbon-intensive resource. Similar to plastic, polyester is not biodegradable and not a sustainable textile option.” Sunday Bedding has bamboo sateen bedsheets, which feel soft and are moisture-wicking and great for hot and humid nights, as well as French linen, great for sensitive skin and for that cosy, rumpled aesthetic. They also offer 100 per cent organic cotton (sleep soundly knowing you’re minimising the impact of your purchase on the planet!) and cotton sateen — durable and low maintenance, and great for those with pets and kids.
#6: For those with pets or kids, get cotton or French linen.
Consider your sleeping environment and situation when buying sheets, as there are so many different types of materials. Cotton or French linen is great for those who sleep with pets or kids, as these materials are more fuss-free and durable, and hold up well to frequent washing. Linen sheets can last up to 10 years or more and get softer with each wash.
#7: Don’t sleep in air-conditioning? Get bamboo sheets.
“For consumers who sleep without air-conditioning, we highly recommend bamboo as it is moisture-wicking and thus great for those who sweat easily at night, advises Clara. “Bamboo has a soft and cool handfeel which makes it an ideal fabric for Singapore’s warm and humid climate.”
#8: Get cold easily? Try cotton or linen.
Cotton or linen are great options as they are weightier and thicker than bamboo. Says Clara, “Cotton is a highly versatile material and a perennial classic — there’s a reason why hotels use cotton! Linen’s weight makes it the perfect material to snuggle in during cold nights.” Perfect for the current sweater weather!
#9: Shop local. You’ll be making a difference.
There are a ton of bedsheet brands out there, but we say support local if you can. As a local brand founded by Singaporeans, Clara says Sunday Bedding understands the local market and customer needs, and comes up with products designed specifically for Singapore’s climate. They also collaborate with local artists to develop designs, such as their first loungewear collection, designed in collaboration with Esse The Label, a local sustainable fashion brand.
#10: Muted colours and simple designs make for calmer minds, especially in bedrooms.
“Colours and emotions are closely linked. Colours can make us feel happy and relaxed,” shares Clara. “With that in mind, we specifically chose muted, warm and subtle colors like Sunday Bedding’s Blush Pink, Olive Green, Misty Blue and Dusty Plum. We found that cool colors like blue and green can make sleepers feel calm, while pastel colors and particularly cool-toned pastels like baby blue or our Sunday Bedding Misty Blue colourway can have a calming and relaxing effect. Neutrals like Sunday Bedding’s Sunny White and Cloudy Grey can also create a calming effect. The fewer colours you combine and the simpler and more pared back a design, the more calming the effect. We also want to make it easy for customers to mix and match our print designs with their existing sheets or bedroom decor. That said, we believe the journey of living well is different for everyone. That’s why we also work with emerging artists or like-minded local brands to create limited runs featuring their artworks or designs.”
#11: Wash your bedsheets every two weeks.
“We recommend washing your sheets every two weeks, as the moisture levels in Singapore’s climate can cause bacteria to build up pretty quickly. If you have pets or kids, that frequency can go up even higher. Investing in quality sheets that can withstand frequent washing without pilling, yet maintain their softness and absorbency, is key to making sure your dollars are well spent. We recommend our Sunday Bedding customers to wash their sheets in the washing machine on the cool setting, using mild detergent and with similar colours. Line dry or tumble dry on low. Avoid using fabric softeners or harsh liquid or powdered detergents, as well as products that contain benzoyl peroxide, chlorine bleach or alpha hydroxy acids.”
#12: Store your bedsheets in a space with some airflow.
“Singapore’s humidity and high moisture levels can encourage the growth of mold and mildew, and musty smells if we don’t store our bedding properly. Before we put any of our duvet inserts, quilts or sheets away, they should be clean and completely dry, and rid of any leftover moisture. The ideal place to store any bedding is to fold them on a shelf in a closet, where there’s airflow. Fold and stack your sheets as neatly as possible, to prevent your sheets from becoming overly wrinkled. Cloth bags are the best choice because they protect bedding from dust and bugs, but allow moisture to escape. At Sunday Bedding, most of our bedding items are packed individually in cloth bags which can be used for storing sheets.”
#13: Life hack: Iron your sheets when they’re on the bed. Why not?
“Ironing sheets while they are still slightly damp has proven to be the most effective. Water is a wrinkle release and makes the job much easier. If sheets are dry, try spraying a bottle of water to create some dampness. Avoid letting sheets sit in the dryer for too long once the cycle has finished as it causes sheets to further wrinkle. For those who are tight on time, you can consider ironing sheets while they are on the bed. A good tip is to ensure that ironing movements are kept quick and light, as heat may damage your mattress, especially if you have a memory foam or latex mattress. Alternatively, our Bamboo sheets don’t even need to be ironed as they are wrinkle-free.
Sunday Bedding is at https://sundaybedding.com/.