Bedding refers to the materials that are laid over the mattress for the purposes of hygiene, protecting the mattress as well as for warmth and aesthetic effects. These materials are also referred to as bedclothes. They are meant to be removable and easy to wash or clean on a rotational basis in order to improve the sleep comfort of the user at various temperatures. The term includes the bed frame, box spring and the mattress in the United Kingdom.
Bedclothes usually comprise a fitted or flat sheet that covers the mattress, another flat top sheet or blanket and a quilt (a type of bedcover) or cover duvet. The bed set up is barely complete without pillows and pillowcases also called pillow shams. If in very cold zones, additional blankets are provided for sleep comfort. Some adults and especially children have their beds decorated with dolls, plush stuffed animals and other soft toys. They are not part of the bedclothes as such but they too provide the extra warmth for the sleeper.
The most commonly used types of sheeting are the printed plain weave or the solid colour, lightweight white, satin weave, cotton/polyester blends or the flannel cotton. For the quilts and duvets, duck or goose down as well as other feathers are often used as the warm and lightweight filling materials. There are markets for synthetic and natural down options for those who are allergic to the duck and goose down since they always protrude even if the quilt or duvet is tightly woven causing a lot of irritation. Wool, cotton or polyester batting is the widely used form of fill since these materials are less expensive and can be laundered more easily than the feathers or natural down. The synthetic fibers are excellent in the thermo-fused form (where fibers cross) of batting. Blends of cotton, knitted or thick woven wool, acrylic and other microfiber synthetics are used in blankets.
The sizes of the bedding are laundered bearing in mind the measurement of the mattress and bed for which they are to be used. The sizes of beds vary all over the world. Many countries have their own terminology and standards. In the United Kingdom, beds are classified according to sizes as follows:-
• UK Single bed
This bed size measures (90 cm x 190 cm. It requires a fitted sheet of size 90 x 190 x 20cm, a flat sheet measuring 180 x 260cm and a duvet cover of 135 x 200cm.
• Euro Single IKEA size
This bed measures 90cm x 200cm. It requires a fitted sheet 90 x 200 x 20cm, a flat sheet measuring 180 x 260 cm and a duvet cover size of 150 x 200cm.
• UK Double bed
It measures 135 cm x 190 cm. It needs a fitted sheet 135 x 190 x 20cm and a flat sheet measuring 220 x 260 cm as well as a 200 x 200 duvet cover.
• Euro Double IKEA size
It measures 140 cm x 200cm and requires a fitted sheet of 140 x 200 x 20cm. It is also fitted with a 220 x 260cm flat sheet and a 200 x200 cm duvet cover.
• UK King Size bed
This is a bed measuring 150 cm x 200 cm. It requires a fitted sheet 150 x 200 x 20cm in size, a 265 x 275cm flat sheet and a 225 x 220 cm duvet.
• Euro King IKEA size bed
This measures 160 cm x 200 cm and needs a fitted sheet 160 x 200 x 20 cm, a flat sheet measuring 265 x275 cm and a 240 x 220 cm duvet.
• UK Super King Size bed
The bed measures 183 cm x 200 cm. It requires a 183 x 200 x 20cm fitted sheet, a 280 x 290 cm flat sheet and a 260 x 220 cm duvet cover.
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