How to Make a Cozy (& sustainable) Bed

Don’t you just love those beds at the bedding store or in magazines that make you want to jump in and have a nap right there on the spot?

You can make your bed at home look this inviting too - without making it too complicated or expensive. You don’t need designer pillows or duvet covers. Invest in a few quality eco and health-friendly pieces that will last a long time and follow these instructions on how to use them.

  1. Start with a good foundation.

    Investing in a good mattress and mattress cover will help you sleep better and protect your mattress so it will last. You might even want to get a mattress topper for the extra sink-in-deep factor. Look for eco-friendly materials as much as possible so that you remain healthy for the long-haul. We spend a lot of time in our beds (at least we should) so you want healthy materials next to your skin when catching your zzz’s. Here’s a good article on what to look for in a natural, healthy mattress.

  2. Choose white or neutral sheets.

    Look for sheets that are non-toxic natural materials like 100% cotton, silk or hemp. They’ll be soft, have lasting power, help regulate your body temperature and keep you healthy. The simplest colour is white - they’re soothing, they’ll go with whatever else you use on your bed and any colour scheme in your bedroom. And they feel luxurious - hotel bedding is always white! Besides, having all white bedding seems to me to be more sustainable - you can mix and match white fitted and flat sheets when one wears out, and odds are your white sheets will last longer than your patterned ones you’ll get tired of and replace.

    Put your flat sheet on good side down and then turn down the top bit of it (along with the blanket over it, which we’ll get to next).

  3. Add a light blanket.

    A light-weave cotton blanket goes on next. It adds an extra layer of comfort and peeks out from under your duvet that you’ll put on top. Again, choose a white or neutral solid colour. Fold down the top bit of the blanket with your top sheet so that the pretty part of the sheet shows.

  4. Add a good duvet and cover.

    Invest in a duvet that provides warmth but that also let’s you breathe. You don’t want to choose one that’s too warm or you’ll end up sweating up your nice white sheets and getting no shut-eye. But try to get one that is full and puffy - it will make for an inviting looking bed.

    Your duvet cover could be either a solid colour or a pattern, depending on your style. Solid colour linen covers are wonderfully cozy and make you want to snuggle in. And they’re great because the more they wrinkle the more comfortable they look. This one and this one are wonderful. Patterns are pretty fun too! You could try this modern look.

    Turn your duvet down about half way on your bed, revealing the light blanket underneath. It also makes your bed look billowy and soft.

  5. Pile on the pillows.

    But keep it simple too. No need to invest in so many pillows you can’t see the bed! For a queen bed, I suggest 4 sleeping pillows - two stacked on top of each other on each side of the bed. For a king, probably use 6 if you want the bed to feel full (but just use the 4 if that works better for you). You can use pillow shams and/or the cases that comes with your sheet set. Of just use standard pillow cases for them all.

    Then put either a small toss cushion in front of each of your stacked sleeping pillows, or just one lumbar (long narrow) cushion in front of the others. Choose colours and/or patterns that will go with your bedroom style and duvet. Here’s your chance to have some fun - use cushion covers that you can change out when you want something different - it’s an easy and sustainable way to decorate and refresh your room. Check out these pillow and case options from Etsy.

  6. Add a throw at the end of the bed.

    Use a wool or cotton throw blanket spread across the bottom of your bed to complete the look. Use something that’s soft and cozy for those nights you want extra warmth. Chunky knits are great for fall and winter; lightweight throws are nice for warmer months. Or add your grandma’s handmade quilt folded up across the bottom of the bed for a more rustic look that’s meaningful as well. Here’s a beautiful option, and here too.

That’s it! Don’t worry about exactly how many pillows or blankets you need. Just layer in these basic pieces and choose materials that are natural and feel comfortable on your skin. To complete your bedroom look, you might find this post on choosing a rug for your bedroom helpful too.

Check out these beautiful beds for inspiration. Then make yours up and sink in for the weekend!

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Want more tips on how to create a beautiful, comfortable and simple home? Download my free Quickstart Guide below.