At the age of 35, I've finally achieved what I consider a very grown-up bed. Finally, right? I blame grad school for delaying this achievement even longer. From college to my 20's and admittedly into my early 30's, I didn't invest very much in my bed, linens, pillows or my mattress. I thought there were more important things to spend money on and I was moving every year or so. But when you think about how important sleep is to your health and well-being it's a bit nuts that we don't invest more in all the elements that allow you to sleep restfully.
In my former career as an attorney, I was a walking zombie. I was so stressed that it would take me very long to decompress and I would wake up frequently in the night. I was averaging 6 hours of sleep or less which isn't good for anyone. When I changed careers, I made the conscious decision to also focus on my overall health as well, including sleep and my sleep habits.
So what steps did I take? Here are my prerequisites for a very grown-up bed:
1) Bedframe. Invest in a bedframe you love and that is suited to your lifestyle. Do you like to read in bed? A higher upholstered bedframe is probably a good idea so you can sit and read for long periods of time. Do you have allergies? Weird question I know, but you might want consider getting a bed raised off the ground, so you can clean all those dust bunnies on a weekly basis. Do you have a dog that sleeps on the bed with you? Might want to forgo a frame with a footboard so your furry friend can hop in easily. You get the idea. My recommendation, stick with a frame that is timeless in both color and design.
2) Sheets. Invest in quality sheets that feel great on your skin and ones that let your body breathe. Stick to natural fibers like cotton and linen. I swear by my linen sheets, I know some people find them a bit too scratchy, but they get softer with each wash. It took me four months to save up for my linen sheets and worth every single penny. Thread count isn't everything as numerous articles have stated. If your budget allows, focus on companies that have a good reputation and are known for their linens. I've heard good things about Parachute and Rough Linen.
3) Mattress. Perhaps the most important element, purchase a mattress that is well made, comfortable and provides the right amount of support. When we first moved to San Francisco, my mother-in-law gifted us with a really expensive tempurpedic mattress. I didn't have the heart to tell her that I woke up sweating every night. Apparently, this is a common problem. When we moved to Oakland, we placed that mattress in the guest room and since we just purchased a house we spent $300 on a mattress and that's what we had been using until Tuft and Needle gave us a mattress to try. The first couple of nights, I wasn't quite sure if it was firm enough for me, but a week in, I can confidently say I'm a convert. And a plus? No sweaty nights. The firmness and support level is ideal for my husband and me. What's so surprising is that we have differing opinions of what makes a mattress good for sleep, and despite the lack of consensus, the Tuft & Needle mattress has suited our needs and wants equally. The lesson? Find a mattress that's right for you. I also don't think you have to spend a ridiculous amount of money to get that perfect mattress. There are so many options out there today, go forth, do your research and try some out!
4) Pillows. Similar to mattresses, pillows are so basic but so important. Are you a side sleeper? A back sleeper? All those things matter when choosing the perfect pillow for you. Do you have allergies? You may want to avoid down pillows and stick with synthetic fillings. There are even pillows for those with back/neck issues or people that are prone to snoring. Your partner just might end up thanking you for that pillow switch! Similar to mattresses, the sky seems to be the limit on how much one can spend on just one pillow, but order some and test them out prior to committing.
For fun, I've created two bed looks, one for those in your 20's and another for those in your 30's, both from current projects I'm working on. Hopefully these looks can inspire you to start investing in your bed, sleep and sanity!
In your 20's, it's often the case that your budget is a bit tighter so I've sourced items that look great and are affordable.
I recently finished a project with the most inviting bedroom. It's the ideal design for those in your 30's, armed with a bit more disposable income, to create that sanctuary you deserve. All sources below!
I started a bit late in obtaining my grown-up bed, and I have major regrets. Learn from my mistake. There's nothing better than crawling into your own bed, especially if it's beautiful and comfortable.
Our mattress was generously provided by Tuft & Needle. All thoughts and opinions are my own.