What about when it comes to the materials—and types—of pillows, duvets, blankets, and quilts?
Down is light and fluffy without feeling heavy, so it’s always my top recommendation for pillows. It’s also more breathable than a synthetic fill, so it’s a bit better for the summer in that respect as well.
With covers, I think if you get really hot, opt for a lightweight cotton or linen blanket for summer (with or without a top sheet). Or, if you like sleeping under a comforter year-round with the A/C on, go for lightweight down, which will still be warm and substantial, but not stifling.
What about quick bedding fixes that might include just one upgrade, rather than an entire new set?
There are lots of quick fixes that don’t require buying a whole new sheet set! A new duvet cover and pair of pillowcases, or even just a new throw, can transform the look and feel of your bed. Bringing in color through a light blanket, for example, can add energy and vibrancy, while switching to an all-white duvet cover and pillowcase set will be a palette cleanser that exudes serenity and calm. On the other hand, adding texture to your bed, via linen or a knit throw perhaps, will add visual dimension. Overall, a small tweak can yield a surprisingly large change.
Do you think that for summer bedding, less is more? As in, try to ditch the blankets?
Argh, I can’t sleep without some sort of blanket! I love sleeping with a comforter and duvet cover for as long as possible, but when it gets really into the hot, sticky days, sometimes I switch to my light cotton summer blanket. It’s a lot cooler and thinner than a down comforter, and it’s a great way to change up the look in the room. For now I’ve been really into linen because it sleeps cool and has that textured look that I love so much.
Any triage suggestions for a hot night when you can’t sleep?
When the A/C breaks in the middle of the night (or if you didn’t have one to begin with), you’ve got to get crafty. Other than sticking a foot out from under the blankets (your extremities lose heat fastest, so getting one out into the air can bring your core body temperature down a little), I recommend grabbing an ice pack from the freezer. Use it as a cool compress on your pressure points, forehead, and even as a little instant cooler in your bed. You can also take a lukewarm shower to bring down your core body temperature (not a cold one, because then your body will overcompensate trying to warm you back up). If you do happen to have a fan, put it in front of some ice water so that it blows cooler air toward you.