With bedding, giving it a long life is mainly a matter of buying quality and laundering correctly.
1. Launder sheets so they last
– Make your sheets and duvet covers last longer by washing them in cool or warm water on the gentle cycle.
– Reduce the recommended detergent by half and avoid bleaches, because they break down the fabric fibre.
– Be careful not to let your sheets tumble in the dryer after they are dry, because this wears fibres as well.
– For flannel sheets with deep colours, add 250 millilitres (one cup) of white vinegar to the wash water. This will help set the dyes.
2. Buy sheets that wear well
When shopping for sheets, begin by buying the right size. Many of today’s mattresses are quite deep.
Standard-sized sheets simply won’t fit, and if you try to stretch a contoured sheet that’s too small over a deep or nonstandard-sized mattress, you’ll risk overstretching the elastic or actually tearing the sheet seams. Here are other features to look for when you shop for long-lasting sheets:
– The thread count tells you how many threads are woven into each square inch. Sheets with high thread counts are stronger and more durable than sheets with low counts. They are smoother and nicer to the touch as well. Avoid sheets with thread counts less than 175.
– Linen sheets, spun from flax, cost more and require extra care, but they can last for twenty years. Egyptian cotton has a relatively long fibre, making it stronger and long-lasting.
– Read the fine print, though, to be sure that the sheet is actually made from this fibre. Some manufacturers will mention Egyptian fibre in the large print but use only a small percentage of it in the manufacture of their product. Pima and Supima qualified cottons are also long-lasting fibres.
– The weave can affect the ability of sheets to survive many cycles of wash and wear. Sateen (four threads over and one under) weaves, for example, are lustrous and smooth, but not as durable as pinpoint (one over and one under) weaves.
3. Buy extras
– If you find a pattern you like, buy extra pillowcases and an extra bottom sheet because these will wear out faster than the top sheet.
4. Wash blankets with care
– Wash blankets in cool water with like colours and mild detergent.
– Hang to dry. Avoid machine drying of most types of blankets to prevent shrinkage and pilling.
5. Cover your comforter
– Duvet covers are a great way of adding years of life to your comforter for the simple reason that they keep the costly comforter clean and reduce the number of times you need to wash it.
– Wash duvet covers often with half the recommended laundry detergent using cool or warm water. Wash the comforter itself only a couple of times a year.
– Dry on a gentle heat until nearly dry, and then hang to ensure complete drying.
– You may need to bring your comforter to a commercial laundry because they are often too large for a home washing machine.
– Cover you pillows with protective cases, too.