Caring for your cocoon

Follow these handy tips to keep your bed as soft and lovely as a dream

In the wake of the hustle and bustle of the past few months, and with the goals and pressures of 2024 already making themselves felt, you may be fantasizing about retreating to your bed for a long winter’s nap. If so, you’re in luck—the early months of the year often coincide with white sales, which means now is the time to give your bedding some much-deserved attention. Follow these simple tips to turn your bedroom into a clean, sweet-smelling haven of rest.


Bed sheets and pillow cases:

  • Check the label. Most bed sheets are machine-washable, but be sure to check the label anyway. Certain delicate fabrics are better suited to dry-cleaning or hand-washing, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
  • Choose the right program. If your bed sheets are machine-washable, launder them in hot, warm, or cold water according to the indications on the label, bearing in mind that higher temperatures are more effective at eliminating germs and dust mites. Certain washing machine models have a dedicated “bedding” program; otherwise, the “normal” setting is generally fine for sheets. If you are washing delicate fabrics such as silk, choose the “delicate” setting.
  • Add detergent and softener. Any mild laundry detergent should be suitable for washing your bed sheets. For extra softness, especially if you have hard water, don’t forget to add fabric softener.
  • Dry completely. Bed sheets must be dried completely before being used or stored. Tumble dry using low heat until optimal dryness has been reached. Alternatively, if your home is equipped with an outdoor clothes line, and the weather is pleasant, why not dry your sheets (and towels) in the fresh air? They’ll smell great, and your budget will benefit, too.
  • Sheets and pillow cases should be cleaned every one to two weeks depending on the season and whether or not you suffer from allergies.


The above steps will ensure that your bed sheets remain in optimal condition. But what about trickier bedding items such as pillows and duvets? They need to be cared for also—read on to learn how.


Pillows and duvets: 

  • Check the label. While some pillows and duvets can be machine-washed (provided your machine is big enough), others cannot. Because the large dimensions of duvets make machine-washing tricky, the wisest choice may be to have them dry-cleaned.
  • Be gentle. If you opt for machine-washing, choose the gentle cycle and a mild detergent.
  • Dry thoroughly. You don’t want your bedding to smell like mildew, so be sure that your pillows and duvets are 100% dry before storing or using them. Either tumble dry on low heat (along with a tennis ball or two to ensure optimal fluffiness) or hang them outside to dry in the fresh air.
  • Repeat (just not too often). Over-washing can damage your pillows and duvets, so wash in moderation. Pillows should be washed only once or twice per year; duvets are generally protected by a cover and thus only need washing once every several years.


For more tips on how to care for your favorite clothes and linens, visit our special fabrics section.

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