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If it's too warm for a duvet in summer, what can I put on the bed instead?

There are better solutions than ‘one leg in, one leg out’ – honest. Gráinne O’Reilly has the details.
Aug 12th 2019, 10:41 AM 2,669 0

OUR UNPREDICTABLE summer weather in Ireland can often leave us in a predicament over what to do about bedding in the warmer months. Overnight temperatures can go from sweltering one night to chilly the next, leaving us tossing and turning and waking up either sweating or shivering.

So, what can we do to ensure we get a comfortable and restful night’s sleep in the summer months?

1. Get a multi-tog duvet

Investing in a multi-tog duvet to carry you through all the seasons is the simplest solution, and means you can use the same duvet covers all year round. These clever duvet sets include one very light tog duvet and one medium tog duvet, with snap buttons on the corners so that you can combine them to create one heavy tog duvet.

This allows you to have the warmth you need in the winter by using the two duvets combined, and the light bedding you need in the summer by using the lightest one on its own. You can then use the medium weight duvet for the shoulder seasons.

2. Layer up

It may sound counter-intuitive to layer up in the warmer months, but creating layered bedding with a sheet and light blanket can be just what you need on hot nights.

Dress your bed with a fitted sheet, then a flat sheet, then a light blanket, quilt, or bedspread – opting for pale colours will have the added effect of psychologically feeling cooler.

Sleep in between the two sheets and if you get too warm during the night you can throw off the blanket and just use the flat sheet. Much better than fighting with your duvet and doing the whole one-leg-in/one-leg-out rigmarole all night.

3. Switch to natural fibres

Natural fibres help you to regulate your temperature as they are more breathable than synthetics. Many bed sheets and duvet sets are a polyester-cotton blend; polyester is a synthetic fibre and traps heat so look for natural fibres instead.

Don’t get too hung up on a high thread count – it may feel more luxurious but it also makes for a denser fabric, which will be warmer. Also consider a light feather duvet, cotton or wool filled pillows, or a cotton, bamboo, or lyocell blanket.

And don’t forget your nightwear – opt for natural fabrics there too and you’ll have a much more comfortable night’s sleep in warm weather.

4. Cover your feet

Using a light blanket or low-tog duvet over your body, with a heavier throw over your feet can help to regulate your temperature during the night. Our bodies are warmed by blood circulation, when we lie still our circulation decreases which makes our extremities – our hands and feet – feel cold.

Sleeping with a light covering on your body and a warm throw over your legs can help you to stay cool without your feet getting frozen. And if the temperature takes a dip overnight, you have your warm throw handy to pull over yourself.

View this post on Instagram

This is our guest room, which I’ve never shared before! Today I took some tips from Natalie @vintageporch today to layer the bedding to dress up this bed. You can also see the nightstand I refinished a couple weeks ago. I think think it suits the space perfectly! On another note, my strep throat is back, so I’m off to the pharmacy again. I don’t feel as terrible as I did before (yet) so I’m hoping I can kick this nasty bug this time for good! . . . . . #guestroom #bedroomdecor #bedroomideas #bedroomdesign #bedding #farmhousebedroom #farmhousechic #farmhousedesign #farmhouselove #layeredbedding #cozyliving #countrylivingmag #newbuildhome #hgtvhome #smmakelifebeautiful #thedesigntwinslovespring #neutraldecor #botanicalprints #cozybedroom #americanfarmhousestyle #mycountryhome #vintagefarmhouse #modernfarmhouse

A post shared by KYLA | Valley + Birch (@valleyandbirch) on

Go for texture

A blanket with a loose, open weave or knit, or one with a really distinct, raised texture such as waffle weave can help you feel cooler at night. An open weave or a raised texture means there is less blanket in direct contact with your skin, which allows better ventilation for air to circulate so your skin can breathe. There are lots of beautiful handmade options like this or this, or if crafting is your thing you could even try knitting or crocheting your own.

If you want to get really inventive… 

While bedding is one way to keep cool at night, there are other tricks for staying comfortable in hot weather.

Dry air in your bedroom can dehydrate you, meaning you wake up parched in the middle of the night. Running a cool mist humidifier can help combat this, but only try this in dry weather – the last thing you want when it’s humid is more moisture.

Another trick is to use a cool gel pad inside your pillowcase to keep your head and neck cool, you won’t have to disturb your sleep to flip the pillow around to find a cool spot!

Lastly, a really quick and easy solution is to make yourself a cold water bottle – take a regular hot water bottle, fill it with water from the tap, and pop it in the fridge during the day. Then at bedtime, put it on your feet, behind your knees, or under your neck to keep you feeling cool and fresh while you sleep.

Follow Gráinne @parsekus on Instagram for more home hacks and décor inspiration.

More from Gráinne: How do I get the most out of my utility room?>

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Grainne O'Reilly


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