How to Create the Ultimate Bed

Quality Matters When it Comes to Your Sleep

You spend one third of your life in bed, which is about 3000 hours a year (unless you’ve got a newborn)! Investing in authentic quality bedding is really an investment in the quality of your life, and we mummies know the value of a good night sleep. I always suggest starting from the inside out with authentic quality products that will stand the test of time – and kids.

For starters, there’s nothing like a down duvet for comfort. Down adapts to your body temperature, so it’s not too hot in the summer, but still keeps you warm and cozy all winter. 

A good quality duvet should last a couple of decades. Trust the brand you’re buying, and find out where it’s made. The truth is, duvets can be stuffed with anything – like chicken and duck feather - despite what it says on the package. Choose white goose down – either Canadian or European – and make sure there is a high-thread count shell that is soft and quiet, as well as baffle-box stitching to prevent the down from clumping at the bottom.

TIP: Synthetic duvets are washable and so great for toddlers!

Another key component to a wonderful night’s sleep is the pillow. I recommend goose down for optimum comfort, but feather can also add some firmness for those who prefer more support. Buying a good pillow is a trial and error process. I suggest trying them in the store and making sure it’s as squishy or firm as you like.

TIP: Don’t forget to buy pillow protectors, which protect against dust mites!

Go to page 2 to read the rest of Joanna's suggestions!


Invest in quality sheets that last. Look for sheets with a thread count of 200 or higher – thread count being the amount of threads per square inch. Some people prefer crisp, dense sheets known as Percale (think of your favourite button-down shirt) while others prefer the finer feel of cotton sateen. One is not better than the other. As with pillows, it’s personal preference. Just make sure the cotton is Egyptian (the best in the world) and know that Italy is renowned for its tradition of weaving. Those three factors – where the cotton is from, where it’s woven and your preference of thread-count all combine to create sheets that will soften over time, and last years.

Have fun and style it. Make sure to choose linens in a palette you can live with long-term. If you want to be more daring, choose a neutral foundation and add pizzazz with decorative shams, throw cushions and quilts in more vibrant or trendy colours. Eventually, if you do grow tired of these bolder pieces, they can easily be replaced at far less expense than starting from scratch.

TIP: know your taste! Trends come and go, so follow your heart. An “ultimate” bed is a lifetime investment that will certainly outlast the current trends.

Know your measurements – including the depth of your mattress (they vary from 8” – 18” in thickness) as well as the bed skirt measurement. You don’t want to order all your bedding and find nothing fits your new deep mattress. There is no more standard depth mattress, which can make the shopping experience complicated.

Don’t be intimidated by caring for good quality sheets. They’re more resilient than you think. Throw them into the washing machine as you would anything, but avoid long sessions in a hot dryer. Over the course of a full hour cycle, the hot dryer destroys the fiber of the cotton and wrinkles the linens. Instead, put your sheets in the dryer for no more than ten minutes, and then let them air dry either laid out on the bed or folded. You’ll find it worth the extra effort the moment you slip between those soft, cozy sheets, and you will have them for a lifetime. Sweet dreams. You deserve it.

Joanna is the owner of Toronto bed linen store Au Lit Fine Linens, author of three novels and Mummy of two beautiful children.