Sleep Experts Weigh in on Best Winter Bedding Swaps


Sleep Experts Weigh in on Best Winter Bedding Swaps

MSN and Well + Good spotlight Cariloha bamboo bed sheets in her article “Sleep Experts Weigh In On the Most Important Winter Bedding Swaps for Chilly-but-Cozy Nights,” in which she talks about our sheets containing thermal-regulating properties, which help prevent big temperature swings throughout the night. MSN and Well + Good receive more than 113 million unique monthly visitors.

Sleep Experts Weigh In On the Most Important Winter Bedding Swaps for Chilly-but-Cozy Nights

By Erica Sloan

While waking up in a puddle of sweat is an all-too-common plight of summer, shivering under the covers in the winter can have a similarly sleep-disrupting effect. That’s because, according to sleep specialists, there’s very much a goldilocks temperature for sleep—somewhere between 60°F and 70°F—and optimizing your environment so it’s not too cold and not too hot is particularly important when the outdoor temps swing in either direction. As winter inches near, outfitting your bedroom with bedding fit for the season can help your body maintain that just-right temperature.

Figuring out what that optimal winter bedding looks like, however, isn’t necessarily as straightforward as buying cooling bedding for the summer. While summer bedding mainly needs to be as breathable, moisture-wicking, and lightweight as possible, ideal winter bedding has two tasks: Hold in just enough heat to keep you in that optimal temperature zone on frigid nights, while also not trapping so much heat that you end up, once again, coated in sweat beneath it.

“As you progress through the sleep stages, you gradually lose the ability to regulate your internal temperature during REM sleep.” —Angela Holliday-Bell, MD

This is an important line to toe because of how body temperature fluctuates throughout sleep. “As you’re falling asleep, your temperature drops 1 to 2 degrees,” says sleep specialist Angela Holliday-Bell, MD. (Hence the desire to bundle up—particularly in a room that’s extra-crisp in the winter—when you’re trying to drift off.) “Then, as you progress through the sleep stages, you gradually lose the ability to regulate your internal temperature during REM sleep,” she says. And that’s precisely when you run the risk of overheating beneath an overly thick blanket, even if it was just the right amount of cozy when you went to bed.

Essentially, a slight drop in body temperature is part of what helps you get and stay asleep, and ensures good sleep quality, so you’ll want to steer clear of any winter bedding that’s so warming that it gets in the way of that process, says Michael Grandner, PhD, sleep advisor for Casper and director of the Sleep and Health Research Program at the University of Arizona.

To that end, the best sheets, comforters, and blankets for getting cozy (but not too cozy) are made of 100-percent-cotton flannel or jersey, or bamboo-based fabrics that boast thermal-regulating properties (aka the ability to keep you at a consistent temperature). You can also layer bedding, adding a bed blanket or quilt in the winter, so you can adjust throughout the night if needed, says Dr. Holliday-Bell.

Another reason to consider a swap-out for the season? Hygienic purposes. “Over time, bedding collects dead skin cells, body oils, sweat, and saliva that can quickly accumulate,” says Dr. Holliday-Bell. Of course, washing your bedding regularly is key to mitigating that buildup (experts recommend every other week for sheets), but changing it out seasonally or twice a year can also help to keep each set fresher for longer.

Below, find our top picks for winter bedding, including sheets, comforters, and blankets

The best sheets for winter

Cariloha Classic Bamboo Bed Sheet Set, Queen — $179.00

Naturally odor-and allergy-resistant, bamboo sheets are a great year-round option for anyone who’s sensitive to indoor allergens. Come winter, you’ll love these, from Cariloha, for their extra-soft twill weave and thermal-regulating properties, which help prevent big temperature swings throughout the night. Their smooth finish easily rivals that of high-thread-count cotton, and they’re every bit as moisture-wicking, too.

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