While a bed or mattress is a long-term investment, it’s important to remember it’s just one of many peripheral products that likewise bolster and improve the quality of your sleep. There are plenty of ways your sleep can benefit from choosing worthwhile bedroom accessories, from pillows to curtain rod.
“I think sometimes people get into a rut or habit and forget — or are afraid to change things up,” Drew Ackerman, host of the sleeping-aid-podcast Sleep With Me, told me about the way we perceive the significance of products in our bedrooms. “It is a balance — there is no silver-bullet sleep product, either.”
Many times, people don’t invest in their sleep because they figure it’s a personal problem if they don’t get quality sleep, what Ackerman says is the result of social pressures: “too much pressure” and “too much shame.”
“There's a stigma to sleeplessness,” Ackerman said, adding the message people get is that everything would be fine “if you were only more centered, exercised more, etc.”
That’s hogwash. Sleeping accessories and products can definitely help even the most centered and fit among us (even if we can all benefit from a little adjustment).
One “inexpensive way to freshen it up,” Ackerman advised, is trying out a new pillow or set of sheets.
He has two types of pillows at home. One is a “‘prop up,’ puffy, firmer pillow for reading,” he said. Some favorite examples of these include the No. 1 best selling pillow on Amazon, the Hotel Collection pillow set from Beckham Luxury Linens and DreamNorth’s plush gel pillows.
The other pillow Ackerman keeps at home is softer to place under his head when he sleeps or, as he added, “for me to embrace like a stuffed animal.” You have plenty of plush options like these highly-rated goose down alternative pillows and these hypoallergenic cotton pillows.
Sheets and Covers
Ackerman likes breathable beds. And when it comes to the stuff we toss and turn and sweat on, Ackerman looks for something “nice.”
“There are good breathable ones,” he said, adding they’re “easier to wash” than the pillows themselves and that they additionally protect against allergens.
Mellanni’s sheet set, the best selling on Amazon, has more than 50,000 reviews and its wrinkle and stain resistant sheets go for less than $30. Nestl Bedding’s Duvet Cover Set is at the top for best selling duvet covers — the brushed microfiber set comes with more than 20 style options. You can also get breathy and comfortable with comforters like the highly rated Cloud Comforter from Buffy, which will keep you warm when you need it and is designed to keep you cool when you need that.
“I like to be able to switch it up. Clean fresh sheets have the biggest ‘ah, yes’ impact,” Ackerman told me, adding he has several sets himself. “I also like the sheets/duvet to look nice so that when I make my bed and my mom visits, it looks good.”
Blocking Out the Sun
Ackerman covers potential sunlight in his bedroom using blackout curtains. And while he didn’t recommend his favorite curtain, he did recommend the Umbra Twilight curtain rod.
“The cool thing is that [Umbra] rod covers the sides so less light leaks through,” he said. “I live across from this industrial area with giant lights so I need them.”
On top of that, Ackerman’s favorite sleep mask is the Sleep Master, a highly-rated, satin fabric and lightweight sleep mask.
“It is the best. I have tried about 10 other kinds and types of eye masks and this one blows all of them away,” he said. “I thought I lost it on this last trip and was crushed but then I found it had fallen next to the nightstand.”
No matter what you find and get to improve your sleep, Ackerman hopes you’ll find yourself “at the weird intersection between self-care and commerce.”
“If you're going to spend money on something,” he said, "this is a good decision to take your time with and invest in."
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