With brands and designs abound keep these pointers in mind when buying bed linen, says Suvasini Sridharan

My grandmother always stressed the importance of making the bed well, especially when one has house guests. To this day I love watching her make the bed, she makes it look effortless and the end result is beautiful. The sheets she uses are soft and sweet smelling, and have been collected over the years from trips abroad—good quality bed linen wasn’t always available in India as it is now. The bed linen is freshly laundered and ironed; first to go on the bed is the fitted sheet, a top sheet is then added and the corners folded back neatly and the sides tucked into the mattress, a pillow inserted into a matching case is placed at the head of the bed. When it is cold a blanket is layered over the top sheet. The finishing touch is a pretty counterpane that covers the bed and finally cushions are artfully placed on top.

I recently made a trip to a department store to buy some new bed linen, the number of brands, variety in design and material was astounding. Fitted sheets, pretty duvets, even things like mattress protectors were available.

“People are more open and willing to invest in home décor not just in terms of interior design but also the products and items they use when it comes to bed linens, pillows, bed runners etc,” says Arun Bhawsingka, CEO Creative Portico Pvt Ltd, their brand Portico New York which deals with bed and bath furnishings is available at most department stores. Home décor magazines, television shows and social media has heavily influenced and exposed people to the art of making the bed, “The influence of international trends and many brands now available in the market has created more awareness,” says Akanksha Himatsingka, Director of Atmosphere Furnishings which has stores across the country. “More importantly it is the visual influence of social media platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram, etc, that offer a variety of DIY bed linen ideas, which many are embracing and experimenting with.”

Portico New York prides itself on having bed linen to suit every budget, “We do solids and self-jacquards. We also have theme based designs, which could be teamed with matching comforters and duvets,” says Arun. Portico New York has also had fashion designers like Manish Arora and Neeta Lulla design bed linen for them.

Bed linen is all about personal taste and style, whether you want bright motifs or subtle prints, pastel colours or vibrant tones. “We have a range of solids, stripes and patterns in percale and satin sheets at Atmosphere,” says Akanksha “The products are versatile, most of our sheets can be coordinated with the various designs offered.” This allows you to mix and match bed linen. “We don’t believe in collections and trends. We add new items every year but they all belong to the same world,” says Yamini Namjoshi, Brand Director of Bandit Queen which is an India based luxury home-linen brand that is available around the world. “A lot of detail and time goes into creating our products so we want them to be timeless in design and usage.” Bandit Queen customises bed sheets based on size and if you want to feel truly special they can monogram your initials on the bed linen.

With summer upon us try to keep bed linen cool and light. “Summer bedding should be light and easy, it can be fresh solid colours or interesting multi-coloured stripes in light tones mixed with neutrals,” says Akanksha.

Cottons and linens or even cotton-linen blends work best for the season. Thread count is something we have all heard about when it comes to choosing bed linen. Thread count is basically the number of horizontal and vertical threads that make up one square inch of fabric. So the higher the thread count the softer the sheet feels, but it is important to remember that higher thread count also weakens the fabric.

“Thread count is important to a degree,” says Yamini. “But the more threads you have in one square inch means that the thread used is thinner, which could make the fabric weaker. So there should be a balance between the tactile feeling of the material and durability.”

When it comes to buying bed linen pay attention to quality along with design. Considering the number of hours we spend in bed, the material should be comfortable, feel good and most of all enhance sleep.

Because after a hard day’s work nothing beats the feeling of getting in to a bed made with comfortable sheets that smell of sunshine and forgetting the world outside for a few hours.

Pay attention to the quality of the bed linen

Don’t buy sheets that have a high thread count, the material will be weaker

While buying fitted sheets make sure you know the dimensions of your mattress so that you buy the right size

Change your bed sheets at least once a week