It’s that time of the year when if we’re not curled up on the couch at night we’re snuggled up in bed. So as the nights draw in and we sleep more – an extra 1.75 - 2.5 hours in winter, according to studies –now’s the time to eliminate drafts and invest in a luxury winter duvet rather than crank up the heat.
10 ways to embrace the colder months
1. Luxury winter duvet
Unless a bedroom is super chilly the best tog for winter duvets is 10.5. Most people sleep better in cooler environments, and a high quality 10.5 tog duvet will usually provide all the year-round warmth you need. Even in winter it can be mild, and it’s better to add a lightweight blanket, quilt or second duvet when it’s chilly than to overheat under a 13.5 tog duvet that’s too warm. While there is no such thing as the best winter duvet or a luxury winter duvet, some duvets are better at keeping out the cold. A high-quality goose down or luxury feather and down duvet will offer superior temperature regulation. A hotel-quality microfibre duvet will also keep you warm during those long winter months.
2. Soft sheets
For the best luxury winter bedding you can’t beat soft, breathable long-staple cotton sheets. While high quality cotton sheets simply reflect room temperature, they gain heat from your duvet and bed topper which trap and dissipate warm air. Bear in mind the warmest bed sheets aren’t those with a very high thread count, despite some retailers claims. In fact, linen over 600tc can stifle air flow preventing that ‘goldilocks’ just right winter warmth.
Read our guide to choosing sheets in Anyone Can Spin a Yarn.
3. Zap gaps
A quick fix to warm a room and save energy is to zap gaps that let cold air in and warm air out. Typically, these occur around windows, doors and through floorboards, but can be managed with draught excluders, window film, rugs and thicker curtains (see below). If you own your home (or have an obliging landlord), DIY products such as caulk or weather-stripping to seal doors and window, and expanding foam, can quickly and easily fix cracks, gaps and holes. Keep doors to unheated rooms closed to stop the cold air from moving into the rooms you use.
4. Thick curtains
An effective way to prevent loss of heat is to invest in thicker curtains. If you don’t want the expense of new curtains, consider attaching thick cotton interlining to your main curtain fabric. Check out this step-by-step guide to making thermal curtains made in collaboration with The National Trust. For a stylish statement, a canopy bed draped in beautiful fabric can not only look amazing but shield you from bedroom drafts.
5. Warm colours
Colour will brighten any room and create the illusion of a warmer space. According to Ruth Mottershead, Creative Director at Little Greene: “Warm, neutral shades of honey, caramel and chocolate will bring warmth and comfort into our homes, creating cosy enveloping interiors that appeal to all the senses. Perfect for use in ‘all-over’ schemes in both contemporary and traditional settings, these delightful neutral hues work really well in a colour drenched room as an alternative to white, grey or stone. Juxtapose them with deeper browns and blacks to create a captivating, sophisticated interior.”
Read here for more on adapting your interior for the changing season.
6. Plush rugs
Rugs are an easy way to warm up a hard floor. Emma Hooton, of interiors practice Studio Hooton, says: “Aside from insulating the floor and adding comfort, rugs can tie a scheme together and provide a striking focal point around which to frame the decor. Going for an extra-large rug extending 12-18 inches either side of the bed but free from doors and furniture can look particularly effective in the bedroom. A plush wool rug or soft jute rug will feel ultra-warm and cosy underfoot
7. Luxury winter robe
A luxury velour robe is a winter wardrobe essential. Ideal for snuggling into when you pull back the covers in winter or relaxing in after your bathe, the best winter robe is smooth cotton velour on the outside and absorbent terry towelling on the inside. Putting on a luxury winter robe in the evening can also form part of your wind-down routine for sleep
8. Add a topper
A topper is an easy way to give your bed a comfort boost. Adding a quality natural topper also helps to keep things snug by trapping warm air. As with natural fill duvets, most sleepers find a high quality 70% feather and 30% down topper provides the perfect balance between comfort and support. Unlike a duvet, however, a topper needs to support body weight. Our best natural topper comprises two chambers: an upper chamber of duck down for exceptional softness, and a lower chamber for support. While suitable for all seasons, a topper and luxury winter bedding will be particularly welcome in the cooler months.
9. Cosy lighting
Just as a flame creates warm feelings so can the right lighting. As James Poore of lighting design consultancy JPLD explains: “Our homes are essentially our caves, our nests. It’s where we go for security and comfort, and to rest and relax ready for the next day. For a bedroom to feel nurturing, it needs to mimic the pattern of light between sunrise and sunset. This also helps to maintain a healthy circadian rhythm”. To achieve peak cosiness, James suggests avoiding bedroom ceiling lights and using ambient lighting characterised by a warm orange glow (2200K or less on the Kelvin scale). “Dimmable smart lights that are tunable to the time of the day can also help to create a cosy, warm, laid-back bedroom feel.”
10. Warm throws
Adding your warmest throw or another luxury winter duvet to the bed is a quick way to dial up the heat. However, avoid anything too weighty on a down duvet as down loses its insulating properties when compressed. Throws, blankets and quilts come in many fabric types, with a pure new wool blanket a top pick for winter warmth. They can also add an interesting design element to the bed. Ben Spriggs, Editor in Chief at ELLE Deco tells Tielle: “Throws are a great way to add colour and pattern. White sheets look great combined with an accent colour, and stripes, checks or florals will add even more character.” The same throw can also be draped over a sofa – perfect for binge-watching on long winter nights.
Did you know? A quilt consists of three layers – one layer of batting (filling) sandwiched between two layers of fabric - a blanket is a catch-all term for a single-layer of rectangular fabric in any size.