I am all about the bed, but my bedding practices are not necessarily practical, just something I love to share with guests, and that suits our home. I resisted piping up because of this, but I still have a few things that could be taken from what I do, I suppose.
I use antique linen sheets, mostly French, some Italian and some Irish, many beautifully hand embroidered, with huge detailed dowry initials, most with gorgeous detailing like hemstitch borders that look stunning on the turndown. I buy the biggest sheets I can get (most I procured in markets in France), as most antique beds were not as big as modern beds. All my linen sheets are gently washed and line dried (even in the winter I dry them on my indoor line in the basement). less electricity! The sleep in antique linen is like nothing else you have ever felt.
I also use all highest quality down pillows, cushions and duvets. I collect antique linen or Metis pillow and cushion covers, but my duvet covers are all white Egyptian cotton. Egyptian cotton is the softest, and because the threads are the longest, the fabric is resistant to pilling, and is strongest despite being incredibly light and floaty.
Sleeping in a bed made up of glorious linens and high quality down (at least 700 fill power) is quite cloud like and incredibly cool. In the summer I forgo the down duvet and use French made light covers, either light crocheted cotton, or a Marseille with a beautiful pattern. I also have some Italian pique style cotton coverlets with amazing details such as cherubs etc. As the bedding is all in white and off white, it matches beautifully, and I can use some throw pillows for a splash of color.
The collection took time to build, and was my passion before airbnb. I already had many more antique linen sheets than I could use, and with care, they last and last, despite being 100 years old already! In fact, they improve with time. I do worry about the more delicate pieces, and in fact have a Marseille on the bed of a guest right now, which really shouldn’t be used, as it is a museum piece at this point. But so far things are surviving fine (since quitting the pet thing!).
The down handles washing beautifully, and a queen duvet fits in a standard washer and dryer with ease, in fact, I have a very large king duvet with the highest fill power making it exceptionally fluffy, and even it fits into our front loader no problem. To dry down, you just need to throw it in the dryer with a tennis ball or other kind of laundry ‘fluffer’. Down never clumps like synthetic pillows and duvets do, so long as you buy properly baffled duvets. They come out perfect every time!