Practises vary across the globe, but in most western cultures and in Australia the normal arrangement of sheets is fairly uniform. One or two bed sheets (fitted and/or flat), one or two pillows for practical use (depending on Standard Bed Size), and a doona / quilt on top for warmth.
To start, find out the size of your mattress since all sheets should be bought according to the standard size of the bed and mattress. To make it easy for you, sheets, mattresses and bed fittings are made according to global “standard sizes.” This should be written on your mattress’s label, but if you are unsure what size your bed is, you can check with measuring tape and compare what you find to our measurement chart.
Your first sheet is used to cover the mattress. This will be the sheet you sleep on. They come in flat and fitted styles – a flat sheet is a simple rectangular sheet of material. A fitted sheet, far more commonly used, has its corners fitted with elastic to better fit on and stay on the mattress it is covering. As your body makes direct contact with this sheet, it is important to consider quality and feel to the touch as well as durability and ease of care.
Next any pillows, in pillowcases, are left at the head of the bed. For practical use, a bed usually only needs one or two pillows (one per person), and these should be covered with the plain pillow cases available in most bedsheet sets. Single and king single bed sheet sets will generally come with one pillowcase, while double, queen and king size sets generally contain two. Depending on the bed and your personal taste, more pillows can be added for style and decoration, but let’s leave those for now.
After the pillow(s) comes the second sheet (if you use one), that is a flat sheet that is laid over the fitted (or flat) sheet and mattress. The size should allow for the edges to hang over the sides of the mattress, and should cover the mattress nicely without touching the ground. Let the sheet lay over your pillow(s) for now. This is the sheet you sleep under – your body will be sandwiched between the first and second sheets, so both need to be durable, changed regularly and soft to the touch. On particularly warm nights, you may wish to forego the doona or quilt and sleep with just this flat sheet over your body. Or you may choose simply not to use this sheet and sleep with just a doona or quilt on top of you, in which case you will need to make sure your doona/quilt cover is soft, comfortable and durable.
Last is the doona, or quilt. A doona is great for keeping sleepers warm, and the best (most comfortable and warm) of them will often made of feathers and other hard-to-wash materials. Doonas can be used for decades if cared for properly, so it is worth investing in one. To avoid expensive cleaning costs, try to keep your doona from making contact with human skin and the room’s natural environment as over time this will start bedbugs breeding – always use a quilt cover! If you’re buying a new doona try to match it to the size of the bed you’ll be using it on, but if what you have is a little different don’t worry about it – just make sure your quilt cover and doona are the same size, so that the cover fits snugly.
This quilt cover makes the top layer of typical bedsheet arrangements, and thus is vital in considering a bedroom’s decor. If you use a flat sheet, the looks of a quilt cover can come before tactile feel – remember you will be sleeping in contact with sheets, not with the actual cover! Choose a cover set that best expresses your personal style and matches that of your bedroom and house.
Depending on the bed and your personal taste, more pillows can be added for decorational purposes. This is why quilt cover sets ALSO contain pillow cases (as many per size as with sheet sets). These pillows are arranged along with your practical pillows in a stylish way, and removed when it comes time to sleep. As they aren’t for practical use, as with the quilt cover more emphasis can be placed on the appearance rather than the tactile quailities. With this in mind, our bedsheets are a silky 300 thread count Cotton while many of our Quilt Covers are poly-blend for ease of care and versatility in looks and styles. If you do wish to sleep using these extra pillows, you will as with the quilt cover need to be mindful of the material of the pillowcases.
As well as the standard pillow, decorational pillows come in many sizes – “breakfast” and “neckroll” are some sizes for which covers are available as extras in our quilt cover sets. On larger Queen or King Size beds, extra pillows give a very luxurious look. Arrange to taste.
Quilts of the decorational, patchwork variety, woolen blankets or other bedding items can be added to the arrangement for a personalised look or for that extra layer of insulation in winter. It is up to you where you layer these in – woolen items are warmer close to the skin, while patchwork-type quilts are best laid on top of the doona to keep the heat in and show off the handiwork. Just remember to keep the bedsheets between you and your extra blankets, so they don’t need as much cleaning and have a longer life.
We offer regular cotton bed sheet sets containing a fitted sheet, flat sheet and pillowcase(s) in all five regular sizes. We also offer ‘fitted’ or ‘combo’ sheet sets, which have just the fitted sheet and pillowcase(s) for those who do not use the flat sheet. Find all our sheet sets here.