So, last week I wrote a post about my never-ending bedroom makeover and how I’m hoping to finish it one day soon. You can read about it and see the moodboard I created here. Well I’m one step closer now as I have found the most perfect natural cotton bedding. I’d been planning to invest in some linen bedding in a blush pink shade as I really like the relaxed, creased look that is widely acceptable with linen bedding. You know I hate ironing and the last thing I want to iron is bedding so mine is always creased anyway, but at least linen is meant to look like that, right?
Anyway, I’d been struggling to make a decision (as always) and then I was contacted by Bedfolk, a relatively new start-up run by husband and wife team Nick and Jo, who are trying to re-energise the tired bedding industry with their curated range of high quality natural cotton bedding that doesn’t break the bank. They wanted to know if I would like to give some of their bedding a go and share my thoughts with my readers. My interest was immediately piqued so I headed over to the website to check it out.
BINGO!!!! First off, what a lovely website. So easy to navigate and not at all overwhelming. They even have a process to help you make your choice. A handy slider comes in and says “Don’t lose sleep over finding the perfect sheets…Find your bedding style” Ideal! I clicked on this straight away and was taken to all the options. There are in actual fact just three: Relaxed, Classic, Luxe. This is perfect for someone like me who gets crippled with indecision. It only took a moment before I knew that the relaxed natural cotton bedding was the style for me.
What I most liked about the relaxed bedding was that it has the laid-back look of linen that I was after, but it benefits from the softness and breathability of cotton. It is made from woven 100% long staple cotton, which will apparently get softer with every wash. The percale weave makes it light and breathable and the fact that the bedding has been garment washed is what makes it super soft. I knew straight away that this crumpled, understated bedding was the one for me. I put in my order and a few days later it arrived.
I was so impressed with the packaging. I have to admit I’m a bit of a branding and packaging geek too and if something I buy also manages to win me over on this front I’m a customer for life. I just think this small detail can really make or break the buying experience. One of the things I loved most was that there was no plastic in sight. None!!! With the plastic crisis getting increasingly worrying and evermore urgent, it was so refreshing to see a company shunning this unnecessary packaging material.
Instead, the bedding arrived inside a large cardboard box. It was then neatly folded inside a re-usable cotton storage bag that is made from the off-cuts of the bedding. It also comes with a care kit which includes three wool balls inside a muslin bag. These balls are handmade from 100% natural New Zealand wool and make a great environmentally friendly alternative to dryer sheets and fabric softener.
You simply pop them in the tumble dryer with your bedding to soften and fluff it. It makes the drying process speedier and ensures the bedding has less wrinkles whilst drying. Apparently, these balls will last for over 1000 drying cycles and you can even add essential oils to them before you pop them in the dryer if you want your bedding to smell nice. What a great idea!
Unboxing this bedding was such a lovely experience and it made me even more excited to get it on the bed. The next thing that really impressed me were the pillowcases. They have envelope backs, but unlike any other envelope pillowcase I’ve ever used, the flap is in the middle of the pillowcase instead of at one end. This means that the pillows stay fully in place and don’t work themselves out of the pillowcase. It’s such a small detail but it makes so much difference to the perceived quality of this natural cotton bedding.
Now I’ve never actually slept in linen bedding before but I honestly can’t imagine that it could be softer than this natural cotton bedding. It feels absolutely amazing against my skin. Even my husband agrees that this is the softest bedding he’s ever slept in. He never really cared that much about bedding until he tried Bedfolk bedding and that was the point he realised that it is definitely worth paying for great bedding.
Admittedly, this bedding is still quite pricey (£174 for duvet cover, fitted sheet and 4 pillowcases) if you’re not used to investing in your bedding, but it’s a lot cheaper than some of the linen bedding that is currently on the market, often around the £250-300 mark for the same pieces.
I realise that is a lot of money and some people can’t afford to fork out £174 for one bedding set, but I assure you it is definitely worth it. Last year, I bought three budget bedding sets costing a total of just under £100. Since then, one has faded terribly from washing and now looks really awful, one has come apart at the seams and has a small hole in and only one still looks ok. Now to me that’s a false economy.
Why spend £100 on three cheaper options that will last little more than a year? It’s wasteful, both in terms of the money you spend and the actual waste you create when you inevitably throw that bedding out. It’s better to spend £174 on bedding that is well made, won’t fade and that gets softer with each wash. It’s a no-brainer, surely?
Even if you can only afford to buy one set, you can keep it for a special treat. Get it out for special occasions like birthday weekends, anniversaries, Christmas etc and give yourself a taster of the boutique hotel experience in your own home.
To finish off I’d like to leave you with a short interview with Nick, co-founder of Bedfolk. I love to get the inside story when it comes to brands and find out a little bit more about the people behind these companies.
Jo and I met at Warwick University where she studied Psychology and I studied Mechanical Engineering. I went on to work in the city for five years, whilst she went on to study Interior Design and join a family business in the luxury interiors world.
Did you have any experience of the bedding industry and if not, how did you get started on this journey?
No not at all! Jo had experience working in interiors, so knew the frustrations of buying bedding, but neither of us had any textile experience. The journey was born from our personal lives. We’re both into interiors and after renovating our first flat in Hackney, we were looking for good quality bedding that didn’t break the bank. We tried to do our research and shop around but there wasn’t really an obvious choice, which planted the seed, and we spent the next 12 months learning everything there is to know about bedding.
Why is shopping for bedding so confusing these days?
Because there’s too much choice and it’s really hard to differentiate in terms of quality at the point of purchase. When we were doing our research before starting Bedfolk, we were amazed by just how many bedding sets some retailers sell – in some cases more than 70 or 80 plain white duvet covers.
On top of that, the quality of bedding is something that you can only truly appreciate once you’ve got it back on your bed, and certainly not when looking at it through a layer of plastic wrapping in a department store. Things like thread count have been put forward by retailers as an indicator of quality, which is really not the case (more on that here!), and so ultimately I think people find it hard to know what they should be looking for, through no fault of their own.
How have you aimed to simplify the process?
We only sell three styles of bedding (Relaxed, Classic, and Luxe) each with a distinct aesthetic and hand feel, which in our opinion are the most important things to consider when buying bedding alongside price, quality, and environmental factors.
We didn’t know much about bedding when we started out, so we really immersed ourselves in the industry and tried to learn everything that there is to know about the raw materials and production processes, and to identify what really made good quality sheets. Focusing only on the things that directly affect quality, and cutting out the unnecessary, is the basis of everything we do.
Why should we buy our bedding from Bedfolk?
Because of the process we’ve been through, spending nearly a year in product development (we tested literally hundreds of different cotton weaves, weights, and finishes), and because of our direct-to-consumer business model, we’re confident that we offer the very best bedding on the market at the very best possible price.
We also care deeply about the provenance, ethics, and eco-credentials of our bedding. Our sheets are woven in Guimaraes in Portugal, a World Heritage Site which is steeped in textile manufacturing tradition. The mill that we work with is run by third generation master weavers – it’s a beautiful thing to see and we find any excuse that we can to visit them!
Bedfolk bedding is also Oeko-Tex certified, which is an exacting eco-standard ensuring that no harmful chemicals, dyes, or synthetics are used at any point in the manufacturing process. You’d be amazed how many chemicals can go into a bedding set which you spend so many hours in contact with (more on that here!).
Do you have any plans to expand your offering?
Yes – but always maintaining a very curated range. Over the coming months we hope to complete our sizing range with our current three colours (including adding Singles and Super Kings), and add a few more natural, easy-living tones to our collection. All of our colours will be designed for mixing and matching, so our customers can easily update their look with just a new pair of pillowcases, or an updated duvet colour.
If I’ve managed to convince you that you also need this beautifully soft natural cotton bedding from Bedfolk in your life, you can now get a £15 Gift Card to use against your first order online by simply entering the code DESIGNSHEPPARD at the checkout. Happy shopping folks!!! If you do make a purchase make sure you let me know which option you’ve gone for!