Bed made with pillows and a comforter folded down. All bedding is blue.

How to Shop for a Bed Set

August 10, 2018

Author: Josie Sivigny

Maybe you’re outfitting a new mattress or just looking to change up the vibe of your bedroom, either way, bedding can be a great way to add a some cozy style to your home.

You might find, pretty quickly, that the world of bedding is seemingly endless—it can be hard to know what you need and what’s just a bonus piece.

Our ultimate bedding guide will walk you through everything you need (And everything you don’t!) and make it easier to dive into shopping for a new bed set.

The Basics:

Here’s what you need to get the most out of your bed.

Crisp white sheets bunched up

Sheet set

Sheets can help or hinder your sleep for a few reasons. Most importantly, comfort. There’s a lot of myths out there about thread count and what kind of cotton you should be splurging for, but we’ll give it to you straight: you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on 10,000 thread count Egyptian cotton to get the luxury feel. Often, thread count is exaggerated by twisting several threads together and artificially charging for higher quality.

The reality is that if the cotton is good—the thread count doesn’t matter as much. Look for long staple-lengths for a smoother, but stronger, sheet that will hold up to use over time so you’re not out shopping again next year.

Lower thread count sheets are actually more breathable, probably the second most important factor in your bedding. You don’t want to inhibit any cooling features in your mattress by suffocating it in thick sheets. Look for a light, breathable sheet set that you can wash weekly without worrying about how it will hold up.


Pillows are extremely important in maintaining proper alignment and waking up without any stiffness or soreness. We’ve got a great guide to buying a pillow here, but we’ll summarize here for you.

  • Focus on something that you can return. Pillows are super subjective and you don’t want to be stuck with something that causes neck or back pain.
  • Decide what material is right for you. Some people love down pillows, while others prefer foam. Materials play a huge role in durability, so be sure to look into warranty policies before investing.
  • If you’re looking to add pillows just for the sake of aesthetics—grab some cheap throw pillow inserts from Amazon or Target. You won’t notice a huge difference by spending more on something you’re just going to place on the floor at bedtime.

Corners of a duvet covers piled on top of each other

Top it off

Here’s where things get a little more complicated. Depending on your preference, how you grew up, the time of year, and a whole host of other things, your taste in bedding may vary greatly. Here’s a guide to duvets vs comforters, but for a quick breakdown here’s a few things to ask yourself or your partner when deciding on bedding:

  • Are you a hot sleeper? If you already sleep on the warm side, a massive comforter topped with a wool throw probably isn’t going to work for you. Duvets are generally warmer, but you can customize the weight of an insert for warmer or cooler months. If a duvet isn’t your style, a simple bedspread or quilt will keep you just warm without overwhelming your aesthetic—or you.
  • What’s the vibe? If you want a flowing, fluffy bohemian look, you’ll probably want to create a few layers of thicker bedding—layer a duvet, a few throws blankets and pillows to create a less structured look. If you’re into clean lines and tightly-made bed, a thin bedspread tucked neatly will be plenty comfortable without the distractions of additional accessories.

The Nice-to-Haves:

Now that you’ve got the needs out of the way, let’s talk accessories. Depending on the look of your room, bed frame, and needs, there are a few additional things that can really tie a space together.

  • Bedskirts: Hear us out, they aren’t all frilly and dated. If you’re working with a simple bed frame and want to switch up the look, a simple, straight-cut bedskirt can take your metal frame to another level, without the investment. This also allows you to switch up style and color schemes quickly and easily.
  • Mattress protector: If you’re worried about spills or accidents, a mattress protector is a great addition to your bed setup, though it can have its drawbacks. Check out this guide to mattress protectors to decide if one would benefit you!
  • Silk pillow case: Pillow cases should come with your sheet sets, but you might want to consider upgrading to something a little fancier if you’re worried about breakout-prone skin or tough-to-manage hair.
  • Throw pillows: Another quick way to make your bed feel cozier and add a little color to your room is with throw pillows. Places like H&M Apartment and Ikea have really affordable pillow inserts so that you can swap out covers whenever you feel.
Featured Posts