Bed Linen

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When buying bed linen in Australia or anywhere online, there are some basics you need to know to create that luxury and style of a designer hotel experience in your very own bedroom. Discover which bed linen is right for you from none other than the best in bed linen.

We all know the feeling of nestling down into a comfortable bed with crisp, clean linens and drifting off to sleep is one of life’s pleasures, but never really know the elements that comprise the perfect bed.

A perfect bed is all about balance. Your bed linen target, achieved cheaply or at luxury hotel grade prices, can vary a lot, but the basic elements always remain the same - a comfortable pillow, a level mattress, and a doona suited to the season, are your basic essentials.

However, dressing those basic bed linen elements properly and stylishly is what brings everything together in harmony with your body, design taste, and bedroom's personality. Quality bed linen is an affordable luxury that you can actually physically feel during each restful night’s sleep, and when design matched to your room's existing decor and colour scheme, something to enjoy every morning when you wake up and any time you spend in your bedroom during the day. For optimal enjoyment, ensure linens are washed weekly.

1. Essential Bed Linen

Always keep at least two sets of bed linen per bed, so that you always have a set available when it’s time to launder and change over your sheets and quilt cover. When buying linens to dress and style your bed, these are the pieces to consider:

Quilt Covers

Quilt covers are the linen that cover and protect your quilts, doonas, or duvets. They come in and endless range of colours, fabrics, and styles but generally you'd want to consider these aspects:

  • Design - pattern and colour, including any furnishings, throws or cushions.

  • Thread count - refers to how many vertical and horizontal threads there are per square 10 cm.

  • Material - Fabric composition, such as cotton and cotton blends, flannel, synthetic materials or luxurious silk.

Bed Sheets

  • Flat sheet - Use a flat sheet between the quilt and quilt cover and your body for that luxury feeling and fold over the doona cover for a designer touch and burst of colour - many flat sheets come with decorative features perfect for display. Using a flat sheet also extends the need to launder your quilt cover.
  • Bottom sheet - fitted or flat? This is the sheet that you sleep on which covers your mattress. The sides should be deep enough to fit firmly over your mattress and tuck in securely below the mattress, staying in place as you move around while sleeping. Both fitted and flat work equally well, though fitted is a lot easier to manage and feels neater.


Pillowcases are the linens that cover and protect your pillow. They come in a range of styles and shapes depending on purpose – decorative cushions tend to be more ornate, while the pillows intended for sleeping tend to be simply styled and gentle on the skin. Types of pillowcase include:

  • Standard - which is an edge-to-edge pillowcase designed to fit firmly around the sides of your pillow

  • Tailored - fits the contours of your pillow and also includes an additional outside border which is often decorative.

Many quilt cover designs come with matching pillowcases for two distinct pillow sizes - a standard Australian pillow and Euro pillowcase, designed to fit the square European pillow. Both are used in combination for effective styling.

Taking it to the designer level, you have all the additional inclusions such as Euro pillowcases, throws, cushions, even a valance and bedspread or comforter, as in this illustration which provides labels and depicts general placement location on the bed:

2. Bed Linen Sizes

Super king bed linen? Or king? Knowing the size of bed linen you need, before you begin shopping, can save a lot of time and effort. Remember too if you're buying your bed linen online, Australian sizes are different to UK, European, or US sizes. Australian sizes tend to be slightly larger than the others.

A common tip to maximise comfort is to choose a quilt that is one size up from your bed size, for example if you have a queen bed then use a king size quilt or if you have a king bed, use a super king quilt.

Here's a chart of standard Australian bed linen sizes:

3. Bed Linen Care

Caring for your beautiful bed linen will help keep them in the best shape possible and ensure you always have a clean and hygienic bed in which to sleep. We constantly sweat and shed tiny flakes of skin when we sleep quickly build-up of bacteria and dust which become foul smelling and can even trigger health conditions like asthma, bronchitis, allergies, and eczema - so it’s important to protect pillows and mattresses and wash linens regularly to avoid this rapid build-up of bed grime.

  • Wash and air out your doonas, pillows and toppers as the seasons change from summer to winter to help keep them clean and at their best.
  • Your linens quilt covers and sheets, should be changed once a week.
  • Follow the care instructions to find the recommended cleaning method and optimal temperature to use.

4. Types of bed linen

Depending on your lifestyle and personal tastes you may find you prefer one fabric over another. from touch, comfort, and warmth. You may want your bed to radiate heat or feel crisp and cool, then in these cases the linen fabric you choose is just as important as your design and colour choices. Always begin with the practical rule of thumb; no matter how lovely your linens look, if they’re not comfortable for you, they’re not for you. Here are some of the most commonly used fabrics in bed linen:

  • Linen - made from flax plants, linen is one of the most beautiful fabrics to sleep in. It’s cool and absorbent nature makes fabric this perfect for summer or warmer climates, and is an excellent alternative to cotton as it is non-allergenic, and won’t trigger allergic reactions in allergy sufferers.
  • Silk - naturally hypo-allergenic, meaning unlikely to cause an allergic reaction, silk is versatile enough to provide warmth in winter and still be cool in summer all thanks to how its light fabric facilitates excellent body temperature regulation. A great choice if you suffer from sensitive skin or acne since it won’t irritate skin or absorb any lotions or skin products. Silk also prevents hair from tangling or pulling in the night, preventing ‘bed head’ or frizz caused by static electricity. One downside of silk is that it’s more delicate than other fabrics and requires careful maintenance and washing.
  • Cotton - the king of fibres is cool, absorbent and ultra versatile, cotton comes in a range of different forms. By far the most widely used fibre for making bed linen as it is naturally breathable, easy to wash, durable, and incredibly affordable - making cotton a popular choice with families and households the world over.
  • Egyptian cotton - often considered one of the most luxurious cottons available, Egyptian cotton is world famous for softness and quality. The climate in Egypt is ideal for growing long cotton fibres, which can be spun into very fine yarns that are both soft to the touch yet strong and durable. Linens made from Egyptian cotton are more expensive than other types of cotton due to limited supply.
  • Supima cotton - much like Egyptian cotton, Supima or Pima cotton is also a long cotton fibres and is spun to create a fine and durable finish. Supima cotton linens are strong yet feel soft, smooth and luxurious against the skin.
  • Flannel - flannel is woven from Supima cotton, but is finely brushed to pull extract fibres from loosely spun yarns to give it its signature fluffy finish. Linens made from flannel are exceptionally warm and feel smooth and velvety against the skin – perfect for winter.
  • Polyester cotton - as the name suggests, it’s made from a blend of polyester and cotton, this linen is comfortable to the touch, dries quickly and is more resistant to creasing, requiring minimal ironing. Aa great solution for busy families and works well on children’s beds requiring minimal fuss when laundering. Be sure to look out for poor quality polycottons by aiming for a thread count greater than 180 to help guard against regular wear and tear.

5. Bed Linen Finishes

Funky bed linen, floral or striped? Once you know the type of fabric and the size of linens you need, it’s time to move on to the exciting world of style and design where the details and finishes of your linens come together to highlight the focal point of your bedroom - your bed. All the colours and finishes you select should complement your bedroom design and bring the whole look together. Consider how you can use your bed linens to add subtle or embellished texture, create colour contrasts or balance the colours using a harmonious colour scheme of your choice.

Types of finishes are:

  • Printed - Designs that are printed directly onto the fabric.
  • Waffle - A certain weave that creates a textured pattern of squares similar to the pattern on the surface of a waffle yet still feels soft and smooth to the touch.
  • Sateen - An intricate weave that has a surface made of vertical threads which give a smooth, silk-like finish on the top and a plain finish on the bottom.
  • Jacquard - This is style of weave where designs are woven directly into the fabric to create a multidimensional, complex finish.

6. Colourful Bed Linen

White bed linen, green, grey, navy or blue, black and white, pink, yellow, purple - what’s the meaning behind the colour?

  • White - purity, innocence, and wholeness. Being an equal balance of all colours makes its basic feature equality, implying fairness, impartiality, neutrality, and independence.
  • Red - the colour of drama and passion, is universally used to signify danger, courage, and strength. It’s also stimulating, vibrant and exciting.
  • Orange - a colour of encouragement. conveys excitement, warmth and enthusiasm. Social and inviting, this is a colour for exuding happiness and joy, releasing inhibitions.
  • Yellow - the colour of optimism. A compelling colour that conveys youthful, fresh energy. This colour of sunshine is uplifting and illuminating.
  • Pink - a colour of sensitivity and associated with love, tranquillity and femininity, as well as tenderness and nurturing.
  • Blue - colour of trust is thought to induce calm and convey tranquillity, serenity and peace, instilling confidence and inspiring feelings of trust, integrity, and loyalty.
  • Green - a colour of growth and health. Think nature in abundance and a plentiful environment and evoke a restful and secure feeling.
  • Purple - a colour of spirituality, one that inspires reflection and self awareness. Long associated with royalty, and characteristics of quality and luxury.
  • Grey - the colour of compromise and has a stabilizing effect as it is very neutral, and whilst not glamorous is always elegant.
  • Black - actually the lack of colour and is as formal and sophisticated, as it is sexy and secretive.

7. About Thread Count

Thread count is a general sign of quality when choosing bed linen, typically, the higher the thread count the higher the quality. Thread count refers to the number of threads in one 10cm x 10cm square of fabric and the density of the woven threads per square.

While thread count can give an indication about how smooth your linens will feel against the skin, this isn’t the only factor in luxury bed linen. The fineness and quality of the thread is another important factor given a finer thread with a lower thread count often feels more luxurious than thicker threads made to a higher thread count.

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