Want to sleep better at night? Get two duvets.
When my husband and I got married more than twenty years ago, it was the first time I had lived with a man in the house since my parents divorced when I was twelve. So there were some… surprises. That first year of marriage was both wonderful and also rocky at the same time. But one of the hardest things about being a newlywed shocked me: sharing a bed. Full confession: I am an “athletic” sleeper. I flip. I flop. I hippity-hop. I talk in my sleep. No one wants to sleep with me, and I am certain our first year of marriage was as shocking for my husband as it was for me.
But one of the hardest parts of sleeping together was temperature. I was always cold. He was always hot. I stole the covers. Then he was cold. It was not pretty. AND we had a dog who slept with us as well… but many nights she was the only one getting a good night’s sleep.
So it went, and there were nights when I coveted the 1950s twin beds of yore — not for their supposed modesty, but for personal space and liberty. Study after study shows that sleeping in bed with someone else reduces both the quality and quantity of sleep for both people, too. Evidently we aren’t the only ones who aren’t especially compatible when unconscious.
And then one cold, Minnesota night as I tried desperately to get comfortable, I thought about a recent trip to Norway. Both as a guest in others’ homes as well as in hotels, I’d been struck by two things: they didn’t use top sheets, and everyone got their own duvet. It was snug and warm, the definition of hygge… and brilliant.
I jumped out of bed, grabbed another duvet from the guest room, and never looked back.
For nearly twenty years we have been sleeping Scandinavian-style, and it is one of the best things we have ever done! We each have our own duvet on the bed — mine is heavier and warmer than my husband’s. We don’t use top sheets or other blankets, just a bottom sheet and a duvet. And we are cozy and comfortable every night.
Not only does it make sleeping together more comfortable, but sleeping Scandinavian-style makes bed making so much easier! We just spread the duvets over the bed and replace the pillows each morning. Voila!
When it is time to wash the linens, we wash the bottom sheets, pillow cases, and duvet covers each week. It makes for light work and neater bedrooms. I wash the duvets themselves every few months. All of our beds are made the same way — sometimes confusing for guests, but they get used to it.
American sheet sets usually come with a top sheet, and I used to donate them. But lately I have been making those top sheets into duvet covers which is surprisingly easy, and it saves money, too.
I have collected souvenirs from all over the world, but my favorite souvenirs don’t sit on the shelf — they are attitudes and habits I have collected from my travels. And sleeping Scandinavian-style ranks as one of my favorites! Now not only are there two adults and a dog, but we are sometimes joined by our child. He brings his duvet, too. And we always keep warm together. Scandinavian bedding may be just the sleep solution you have been looking for. It certainly was for us!
How to Outfit a bed
2 fitted sheets
2 Duvet covers per person (2 for twin; 4 for queen or king)
Pillow cases (2 per person)
1 sham per person (1 for twin; 2 for queen or king)
I buy two sets of sheets for each bed which generally includes two flat sheets. I make one duvet cover from those two flat sheets, and then purchase a second duvet cover to coordinate.
Why two sets of sheets? This way I can strip the bed and remake it immediately — then wash the other set of sheets and tuck them away for the next week. This seems luxurious, but it means I get the beds made much more quickly, so it is an expense that’s absolutely worth it for us! And our linens last twice as long since they are only used every other week.
However, this also means we have linens to store. Check out our easy linen closet storage solution. Our linen closet is truly a thing of beauty!