We spend a lot of our time in bed — conventional wisdom says a third of our lives in fact (though it you're a bed-reader like myself, it's probably way more). It's why trying to make your bed the coziest place on earth actually makes a lot of sense. The bedroom is a big part of our lives, and unlike other places we spend a lot of time — like, say, public transportation, or the office — we actually have some control over how our sleep space looks and feels.
And it's not just a matter of indulging ourselves. According to a study published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, 70 percent of Americans report having trouble sleeping a few nights a week or more, and 70 million of them are affected by regular sleep problems. The study, which compared sleep patterns in participants with bedding systems older than five years and participants with brand new ones, showed that newer, higher quality bedding significantly increased sleep quality and reduced back discomfort.
This, combined with the fact that the National Institute of Health tells us that a lack of quality sleep affects our "mental health, physical health, [and] overall quality of life," means that making sure our beds are super comfy is actually pretty freaking important.
If you've been having trouble sleeping, or just want to feel like your bed is a total oasis at the end of the day, here are seven hacks for getting the comfiest bed ever. And since we don't all have the funds to run out and buy a brand new mattress or box spring, these tips are all catered to fixing up the bed you already have.
1. Get A Mattress Topper
In a video on her website, lifestyle guru Martha Stewart recommended a mattress pad — or topper — that goes directly on top of your mattress and under your first layer of sheet. You can get mattress pads in anything from memory foam that fits to the curves of your back to a classic egg-crate shape to a plush fleece. These pads instantly make your mattress feel super lush and decadent, and for the fraction of the price of investing in a whole new mattress.
2. A Pillow That Suits Your Sleep Style
Also according to Martha, pillow shape is actually super important to our quality of sleep. "Side sleepers need a firm pillow," she said, while, "back sleepers need a medium pillow, and stomach sleepers need a thinner, softer pillow." So think about how you typically sleep in a night and evaluate if you're using a pillow that's maximizing your comfort.
3. Don't Skimp On Sheets
A piece on Oprah.com on how to sleep better makes special note of the importance of sheet quality and fabric when it comes to how nice your bed feels. "Thread counts aren't nearly as important as fabric. Though cotton and polyester blends don't wrinkle, 100 percent cotton is a better choice because it breathes more," her team said. In a video on how to make the perfect bed on YouTube, bed-stylist Steven Whitehead said the rule of thumb for bedding should be to buy the best that you can afford.
Interior designer and YouTuber Toni Fairley said that one of the fastest ways to make a space warm and inviting is by layering furniture with blankets and pillows. She recommended layering your bed with a comforter and soft cotton blanket on top so you have options for warmth, and then adding pillows of various shapes and sizes to accommodate different activities, like reading and napping.
5. Go Electric
When ApartmentTherapy.com asked it's readers to write in with their top tips for staying cozy in bed, an overwhelming number of respondents recommended electric blankets and pads for winter. You can place an electric blanket under your mattress cover and pre-heat the bed a few minutes before getting in for an absolutely cozy and amazing feel.
6. Always Make It
In another Martha tip, this time from a video on bed-making, she stressed the importance of getting into a well-made bed each night. And honestly I don't think any of us need a lifestyle expert to tell us how amazing it feels to come home to a made bed and to crawl into crisp, clean sheets. Not to mention it will make your room look way neater, which is always a bonus.
7. Get A Reading Lamp
This last one is a personal tip, and it goes out to all of you out there who like to read or write just before bed. There's nothing like getting super sleepy and being able to turn off a little soft light right by your bed instead of hauling yourself across the room to get to a light switch. I promise this super simple and relatively inexpensive addition to your bedroom will improve your evening routine a ton.
There are a lot of reasons that we might not be getting the best night's sleep, but an uncomfortable bed should never be one of them. In a world full of stressors and anxieties, do yourself a favor and invest in a sleep space that helps calm you down and makes you genuinely happy to get into bed each night.