They call it ‘beauty rest’ for a reason: sleep is hugely important to our physical and mental health. There are several ways to up your bed game when it comes to impacting your appearance, from the use of silk pillowcases to simply making the bed each day. But after you up your bed game, how do you maintain the upkeep? Allow me to explain:
How to Clean Silk Pillowcases
It may sound hopelessly extravagant, but sleeping on a silk pillowcases offers benefits well beyond the sheer glamour of it all. If your hair is prone to frizziness, the silk will help to keep your locks from becoming overly dry. And for those who are prone to acne, dermatologists recommend silk pillowcases as a way to reduce blemishes.
But then, of course, you need to contend with washing a silk pillowcase! And silk is a demanding diva of a fabric. The good news is that, generally, you will be just fine laundering your silk pillowcases in the machine, as long as you follow a few rules. Before we get to those, though, I want to urge you to check the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning the specific brand of cases you buy, as care practices can vary from style to style (that’s also a thing you may want to take into account when making your purchase).
The three rules of laundering silk bedding are:
- Pick a detergent designed for use on silk. There are a number of options at various price points; three to look out for are Le Blanc Silk & Lingerie Wash, Charlie’s Soap or Ivory Snow. If staining occurs, WinterSilks Spot Out is a great product that can also be used to remove that salad dressing splatter from your best silk top.
- A cold water, gentle cycle is the one to choose if you machine wash. Ideally, your silks should be washed alongside other silks and delicate fabrics, as heavier, more durable fabrics can damage more delicate ones in the wash.
- When it comes to drying silk sheets and pillowcases, air drying is ideal, but you may also opt to tumble dry them using a no-heat setting.
How to Wash an Eyemask
Some people choose to sleep with an eyemask to block out light, which promotes deeper sleep. But it’s equally as common for the sleepmask types to not realize that those items need to be washed once every month or two. (I mean, it it sitting on your face for hours every night.) Hand-washing is a pretty painless option, given that sleepmasks are so small, but they can also be tossed in the wash—just put it in a mesh laundry bag to protect the elastic that secures the mask to your head from getting stretched out.
How to Keep a Mattress and Pillow Free of Allergens
All the silk sheeting and eyemasks in the world aren’t going to do anything for your looks if you’re a sniffly, red-eyed wreck due to allergies. If, after being tested by a doctor, you discover that you have a significant dust or dust mite allergy, one of the first things you’ll be told to do is to clean your mattress and pillows, which harbor a huge number of mites. (That sounds, I absolutely promise, much worse than it really is. We’ve all lived this long with dust mites in our beds!)
Most pillows can be laundered, and ones that can’t go in the machine can be sent to the cleaners’—check the care tag for the right instructions for your particular pillow. Mattresses obviously can’t just be tossed in the washing machine! But they can be vacuumed. Yup! I’m telling you to vacuum your mattress. Use the hose attachment or a hand vac for easier maneuvering, and aim to give the mattress a once-over two to four times a year, depending on how bad your allergies are.
For those with severe allergies, Dyson has just released a mattress vacuum. While the price point is a bit steep for such a specialized item, at $249.99 it isn’t that much more expensive than many of the anti-allergy bedding options on the market, which can run up to $300 for mattress protectors.
I tried out the Dyson mattress vac and was delighted by the amount of dust it sucked out of my mattress, because I’m the type of person who is delighted by weird and gross things. Would you like to see a photo? Sure you would!
I was curious, though, if the mattress vac was significantly different from Dyson’s floor vacuums (I got a Dyson stick model as a wedding gift, because people know the way to my heart). And wow, yes, there is a difference: When I put the mattress vacuum on my hardwood floors it practically stuck in place due to the increase in suction power that the mattress vac offers over the floor vacuums.
On the Importance of Making the Bed
As you might imagine, based on what I do for a living, I’m a capital-B, capital-M Bed Maker. And I encourage my readers to adopt the habit too, for a whole host of reasons!
Since we’re on the subject of allergies, though, I’ll start with this one — if you have pets, making the bed is a way to control the amount of contact your animals make with your sheets. Even for people who don’t have allergies or pets, making the bed has some very real psychological effects: It will make your bedroom look tidier, which in turn will give you a feeling of control and accomplishment as you begin your day. On the other end of things, at night, turning down the bed is an indication to your body that it’s time to begin preparing for sleep. Plus, getting into a nicely made bed just feels really good.
Disclosure: Dyson provided a sample model of their mattress vacuum for testing purposes; all opinions are my own.