Five More Minutes

I have a confession to make…..getting into bed is possibly my favourite time of the day and getting up, probably my worst!  I bet I’m not the only person to utter “5 more minutes” when the alarm goes off.  In my opinion, there is nothing nicer than an inviting bed and slipping into luxuriously soft bed linen.  During the last few years we’ve been lucky enough to have slept in some of the loveliest, comfiest beds in the world – the Ritz Carlton Battery Park springs to mind.

However, it was on holiday a few years ago that really ignited my love affair with beautiful linens and trying to make our bed a true haven.  We were staying at The Club at The Legian in Bali, when we both fell in love with the linen, divine pillows, duvet and featherbed (also known as a mattress topper).  During our 10-day stay (look out for a future post on this), we slept like babies every night.  Whilst some of this was down to the relaxing nature of our holiday, a large element was the luxurious bed we snuggled into every night.  So impressed were we, we asked the hotel which company provided the linens, duvets and pillows.  Much to our joy, we discovered the supplier also sold to the general public.  And that lead us to the delight that is Ploh.

Once home, I hit the Internet and soon our dreamy linens, duvet, featherbed and pillows were winging their way to us.  Quite honestly it is some of the best money we’ve ever spent and haven’t regretted it for one moment.  Getting into bed every night is such a pleasure and sleeping on the featherbed, well, it’s just like sleeping on a cloud!

We all know that sleep is essential to our everyday wellbeing.  With more studies proving that adequate sleep can help with our battle of the bulge, creating the perfect sleeping environment has become even more important.  So, here are my tips so you too can create your perfect bed.

Source: The White Company

Domestic Princess tips on creating your perfect bed:

1.  Mattress

The foundation, as you all know, is the mattress, so don’t skimp on it.  In the long-term, it’s just a false economy. Remember, the variety and quality of mattresses are vast.

We have an Ambassador mattress from Jensen that we discovered when they had just launched in the UK, so got an amazing bargain compared with prices now!  I’d recommend going to a proper bed store so the salesperson may assess how you (and your partner) share the bed and inform you of the brands and different types of mattresses available.  Try out as many as you can.  We chose And So To Bed in Harrods and the saleslady couldn’t have been more helpful.  The Domestic Prince was adamant he needed a hard mattress and I was pretty determined I wanted a soft one.  Turns out we were both wrong, the most suitable one for us, as a couple, was a medium one.

Which? have recently published their findings on the best mattresses and suppliers in the UK.  So, if you’re thinking of purchasing a new one, click by and have a read.

2.  A featherbed or mattress topper

Now, we were late to the party on this delicious addition to a bed, but gosh are we happy we finally did arrive!  Sinking into 4 inches of feathers and goose down is just bliss and creates an extra layer cwtchiness (def: the Welsh word for cuddling).  It moulds around your body providing support and cushioning for your joints.

There are many different fillings available in a topper, which can be bought from The White Company, John Lewis, Macys and Marriott to name but a few.  Go for it, I promise you won’t regret it!

3.  Duvet and Pillows


The warmth, softness and weight of a duvet, depends very much on the tog rating and the type of filling.  The three things to consider when purchasing a new duvet are: tog rating, type of filling and size.

The tog rating tells you how effective the duvet is at trapping warm air, so the higher the rating, the warmer the duvet.  Duvets made up of natural fillings have better thermal properties than synthetically filled ones.  However, if you suffer from allergies, you’d probably want a synthetically filled one in preference to a natural one.  With regards to the size of the duvet, if you and your partner tussle over the duvet, you’re better off opting for the next size up to ensure no more squabbles!


Finding the correct pillow is essential for a comfortable night’s sleep.  When choosing new pillows, things to consider are:  shape, size, filling and firmness.

4.  Bed linen

Bed linen comes in many types of fabric:  cotton, Egyptian cotton, cotton sateen, silk, linen, polycotton.  I prefer sateen and tend to go for something like Montabello Cappuccino linen from The White Company.  Many people have the impression that the higher the thread count, the better the bed linen; this is simply not true.  Pure linen, for example, will always have a lower thread count than cotton, but is still considered extremely luxurious.  For me though, the thought of ironing pure linen puts me right off!  Before purchasing any bed linen, I always, always have to feel it – the softer the better!

John Lewis and The White Company both have detailed guides on how to purchase duvets, pillows and bed linen.

Another few tips that help me sleep deeply are:

  1. Eye shades – I think I started wearing these when we had shutters installed in our house in London.  Whilst the shutters look fabulous, they don’t create the pitch black room that I like and which is recommended by the sleep experts to help enhance one’s sleep.  There are many lovely eye-shades available, but I tend to use the ones I pick-up on the ‘plane when travelling.  They’ve worked for me for nearly 10 years, so I think I’ll stick with them.  However, Susie Amy on her wonderful Blusher and Blogging blog swears by this lavender eye mask.  Maybe I’ll treat myself and give it a whirl to see how they compare?
  2. Chamomile tea – most nights we trot off to bed with mugs of chamomile tea, which we both swear helps us enjoy a deep slumber.
  3. Magnesium supplements – a new addition to our nighttime routine is 400mg of magnesium citrate.  Magnesium is known to have a calming effect on the brain and is also important for muscle function; a lack of it may cause muscle cramps and restless legs.

So, readers – tell me what makes your dream bed?  Is going to bed your favourite time of day?  And do you have any good tips on what helps you enjoy a good night’s sleep?

With much love

The Domestic Princess


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  1. Domestic Prince says:

    One additional piece of advice is that finding the right mattress and bed for you is really important, because think of the hours you spend in it (or at least would like to spend in it!). You wouldn’t sit in an uncomfortable chair or wear uncomfortable shoes for that long.

    The mattress topper/featherbed is my favourite!

  2. Catherine Streeter says:

    Some great tips, Em, thank you. However, all that “pillow talk” has made me crave my bed even more on a Monday morning stuck at my desk!

    I have to confess to having a not-so-heavenly experience with the mattress topper though. Neil and I invested in the feather one from the White Company shortly before George was born. I really really wanted to love it as I’m totally on board with the whole concept, but it didn’t go well! From day one, rather than feeling I was sleeping on a cloud, I felt like the bed was kind of swallowing me up; it made me feel a bit claustrophobic! Admittedly, this is a bit of a weird reaction and I’m sure it’s just me! However, this wasn’t all….Neil and I both noticed that the topper smelt a bit odd when we first got it but assumed it would just wear off the more we used it. Unfortunately, it didn’t; if anything it got worse. We think it was the feathers; you could really smell them; to quote Neil…”our bed smells of poultry!”. We kind of admitted defeat when it was so bad one night that we were convinced that one of George’s dirty nappies had some how found its way under the duvet with us. Anyway, luckily, the White Company were very understanding and actually said that some other buyers had experienced a similar thing. Depsite us peservering with it for over 3 weeks, they were happy to arrange a collection of the offending article and give us a full refund!

    Dont’ let my experience put you off though!

    • I know – I did wonder whether this was a good post for the workers on a Monday!

      Oh no, I can’t believe your experience with the featherbed. But thank goodness The White Company gave you a refund.

      Ours is from Ploh and 8 years on we still love sinking in every night.

  3. Ann-Marie Cole says:

    I also have a bedroom confession… and one that makes me long for my bed every night… a heated underblanket! First experienced in a luxurious hotel where housekeeping switched it on when turning down the beds in the evening, so you climb into a warm, cosy bed. Absolute bliss and I’ve had one in the winter ever since. Only on my side I might add as Roberto could think of nothing worse, and sarcastic remarks about “old people” are often heard from our bedroom. Frankly I’m past caring – the heavenly sensation of a toasty bed is well worth it! xx

  4. TayabIqbal says:

    I’ll generally set 3 alarms on my phone to wake me up in the morning…for example.

    6.45am – and by this time I will be awake and ready to roll!

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