And so to bed

Last updated 10:58 14/08/2012

This bed took six hours to make. Seriously.Can someone please explain to me the modern obsession with having massive numbers of pillows and cushions on a bed? Because I hold no truck with this nonsense.

Yes, I accept that artfully arranged throw pillows and such can look nice but a bed's main purpose is to be comfortable. I don't truly understand what is comfortable about having to plough through a Mt Everest of pillows before you can enjoy any of that comfort.

This observation is prompted by a story I read yesterday, on the art of bedmaking. In it an interior designer admits that the beds that feature in magazine layouts can take six hours to make. SIX HOURS. That's longer than Gone with the Wind. It's longer than it took The Titanic to sink. Heck, you could construct an actual bed in that time. I understand that things in photoshoots have to be "just so" (I've been watching The Block NZ) but it seems to me that across the board there may be a bit too much effort going into these pillow piles than is strictly advisable.

In our house we have a rule that there will never be more than four pillows on the bed (naturally one of these will be my fancy pillow*). After all, even four can cause uncomfortable pillow congestion. The other morning I woke up to find that one of the pillows from the Silver Fox's side of the bed was pretty much on my head. If we weren't on such good terms I'd assume he'd been trying to suffocate me in his sleep but I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt and say he just pushed it out of his way at some point in the night and that's where it ended up. Probably.

I suppose some people would say that four pillows is two more than your really need but those people obviously don't like sitting up in bed with a good book, or more frequently a laptop. An extra pillow is essential for such activities as it provides a soft buffer between one's back and an unforgiving headboard. I know that all the advice with regards to getting good sleep is that activities like reading and watching telly are bad things to do, but screw that. I like being warm and snuggly. I do not think a life in which bed-reading is verboten is one that I would be happy living.

But back to the actual bed-making. I'm a "give it a quick straighten and pull the covers up in the morning" sort of person (assuming I'm not running late) and am fairly relaxed as far as "hospital corners" go. Mine are more "General Practice corners". Possibly even "Sick Bay corners". When we were growing up our mother would tuck the sheets in so tightly that King Tut himself would've had more wiggle room, so these days if things are generally lined up all right and not falling off then that's good enough for me. 

I'm also a great believer in putting clean sheets on the bed before you go out of town so you've got that freshly sheeted, nicely made bed to look forward to when you get home. And because there's nothing like getting home tired, unpacking and then having to make the bed as well to take the glow off a return to the roost.

So how much effort do you put into the arrangement and tidiness of your bed? Puddle of blankets more or less in the middle okay by you or do you need it to be smooth and unrumpled? Hospital, GP, or Sick Bay corners? And the eternal question: how many pillows are too many pillows?

* Interesting factoid. If you Google [fancy pillow people] my blog post on this topic is the top hit. I couldn't be prouder.

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layna   #1   11:11 am Aug 14 2012

Haha i totally change my sheets and clean my house before i go away, just so i can come home to a lovely house. but i have 5pillows on my bed.. two for each side and a tri pillow for the middle. although when i get up in the morning there are pillows all over my bedroom..

JCC   #2   11:14 am Aug 14 2012

We have an 6 pillows but 4 come off for actual sleeping (no 'accidental' smothering in the night). This is probably excessive (and a trip hazard in the night), but useful for reading and they look pretty. The bed must look tidy, but not tucked in as i like to put my feet out in the night and hate being restricted. I agree about the clean sheets after holidays which is why i make sunday nights better by having fresh sheets on the bed.

janet   #3   11:33 am Aug 14 2012

my house is always a mess. that's why i love my bed to look nice. It takes hardly any time and it's always one spot that looks in order. Normally i just pull up in the morning and tuck the top bit in- the corners stay good all the time (I'd probably compared them to the corners when you wrap an awkward shaped item with too little wrapping paper).

Six pillows is ideal. Two navy to blend with the curtains, two matching the duvet, my tripillow centered then a pointless wee cushion that ties it all together. Voila! One tidy spot in a messy house.

Chilli   #4   11:34 am Aug 14 2012

I've got two normal pillows on each side of the bed and two fancy cushions for display purposes. The cushions get unceremoniously pushed off the bed when I get into it in the evening for some laptop usage/book reading.

I reckon that's an acceptable level of pillow display - any more than that and I would never, ever make my bed up properly.

And are there seriously people who ban bed reading??? That sounds completely awful!

Ben   #5   11:49 am Aug 14 2012

I would have to say 'battlefield clearing station corners'.

Hotels are serial offenders when it comes to cushions and pillows. My hotel room in the morning is littered with surplus pillows, etc, giving the impression to the chambermaid that I have been engaged in some night long orgy on the floor.

abcd   #6   11:52 am Aug 14 2012

Finally someone has stated what I have also thought for so long!!! Why all the pillows. If you actually put your head on the pllows as they were laid out on the bed, half of your body would be off the end.

Jellybean   #7   11:53 am Aug 14 2012

We have four pillows plus my 'Mr Squishy' pillow. I make my bed up fully (tucked in etc) when a visitor is popping round but generally I just straighten up the covers each morning. I also like to change the sheets before tripping away. It's really nice to have a fresh bed.

My friend recently returned from her honeymoon and was looking forward to a nice sleep only to find her mother had put rice (or something) in between her sheets, apparently it's some weird tradition. She was so exhausted and annoyed that she cried her eyes out.

Leon   #8   11:54 am Aug 14 2012

I've an unheated bedroom (no heater, leccy blanket, hot water bottle, or cat), so I have one pillow on which I put my head, and then one pillow that sits on top of my head to keep my head warm.

Due to loud snoring, I'm a side sleeper so I don't end up breathing in the pillow during the night.

Lisa   #9   12:00 pm Aug 14 2012

guilty with 6 pillows,we have 2 large europeans which are super comfy for leaning back on whilst reading, they come off for sleeping though.

CD   #10   12:02 pm Aug 14 2012

My mother-in-law has enough pillows on all the beds in her house to sleep an army and it takes ages to make the bed each morning. Granted she runs a curtain making home decorating business and uses the rooms as displays but having to fight your way through them each night to get into bed isn't fun (unless it leads to a good pillow fight with the other half). Also the pillows that are on the beds aren't nice comfy, squishy, good for sleeping pillows, they are hard, fat decorative ones. Her rooms do look lovely though, and I often wish mine looked the same (but only if someone amde it each morning and prepared it each night for me).

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