We talked to bedding and lifestyle expert Ariel Kaye, the founder of L.A.-based Parachute Home, which just opened its first store in Venice, about the elements needed to make the perfect bed. Believe it or not, your bedding can have a major impact on how you sleep. Here’s how to love your bed and enjoy the best sleep of your life.
“We have heard a lot of great reviews about people loving the combination of Parachute Bedding with mattress companies like Tuft & Needle, Leesa, Saatva and Helix,” says Kaye. “They all offer excellent mattresses and generous home trials, so if the feel is not right for you, the mattress can be returned, and you can try another brand.” We’re huge fans of Sapira, the first high-end, pocket-spring hybrid mattress that ships directly to your home compressed in a box. It’s ideal for someone who prefers sleeping on a spring mattress, not just foam, and wants a simple online shopping experience. It’s 100-percent American made and the direct-to-consumer model means it’s more affordable. (Twin mattresses start at $875; sapirasleep.com.)
“A mattress pad extends the lifespan of your mattress while a feather or fiber bed provides a super plush, five-star hotel feel—the first is an essential while the second we consider a necessary luxury,” says Kaye. “The fitted sheet goes over both of these.”
“We’ve been trained to equate large numbers with luxury,” says Kaye. “But this logic is not the case when it comes to textiles. Thread count isn’t important—in fact, it’s largely a marketing gimmick. What actually matters more than thread count is the caliber of the fabric. Parachute uses long-staple Egyptian cotton and the purest linen, which translates to softer, stronger bedding that lasts over time.”
“Choosing among different fabrics is a personal preference,” says Kaye. “Consider factors like whether you naturally sleep hot or cold and what texture you like to feel against your skin. We often compare our Percale to the perfect button down shirt—cool and crisp to the touch. It’s an exceptionally breathable fabric, and a stonewashing process gives it a more casual appearance. Sateen is extremely smooth and has a unique weave. Also, it is more wrinkle resistant. Linen is a natural fiber made from the flax plant and is a stronger and more durable alternative to cotton.” No matter what, when choosing bedding, look for all natural fibers. Ideally, it should be Oeko-Tex certified, which means no harmful chemicals were used on the fabric.
“Forty percent of Americans sleep without a top sheet, so we offer this item separately,” says Kaye. “Why pay for something you don’t use? It always ends up tangled at the foot of the bed anyway. That said, if you prefer a top sheet—and you like a neat and tidy look—lay the top sheet flat over the fitted sheet. Align the top of the sheet at the head of the bed, and allow excess material to flow over the two sides and the foot. Tuck the excess material at the bottom of the top sheet under the foot of the mattress. Move to the corner and lift the material to create a triangular shape, much like when gift wrapping a box, and rest this on the bed. Tuck the excess fabric under the bed then let the triangle fall back down. You can leave the rest of the sheet falling around the bed or tuck it all underneath. Repeat on the other side. While there are no notable benefits to tucking your top sheet this way, it does create a polished look. But you shouldn’t feel like hospital corners are the be-all and end-all of bed making.”
“Choose a warm and cozy duvet comforter in either premium quality down or hypoallergenic down alternative fill,” suggests Kaye. “No matter which fill and weight you choose, protect your comforter with a duvet cover! To transition my bed between seasons, I add or strip off layers of blankets. How exactly you make the bed depends on what looks and feels good to you. I give my duvet a quick fluff in the morning, and leave it hanging loosely over the bed frame.”
“If you can only invest in one thing, I recommend choosing pillows—I cannot sleep without a comfortable one,” says Kaye. “The right pillow is a very personal choice and worth the investment, and, by the way, it’s what’s on the inside that really counts. Our pillows are made with all-natural down or down alternative filling—and in soft, medium or firm fill options—covered with a sateen cotton shell for comfort and protection. A pillow’s number one function is to align your head and neck with your spine while you sleep.”
Here’s your guide to choosing the correct pillow for your sleeping preference:
– If you are a stomach sleeper, your neck rests in a neutral position. Choose soft.
– If you are a back sleeper, choose medium to avoid your head being pushed too far forward, which could lead to a stiff neck in the morning.
– If you’re a side sleeper, you have the widest distance between your ears and shoulders, so maintaining alignment requires a lot of loft. You should select firm.