Putting on the Ritz...the behind-the-scenes secrets to making the perfect bed
Gone are the days when I get to laze around in bed. Long gone. In fact it's an absolute miracle if I get past 7am. So lazy mornings are out. And to be honest early nights are out too at the moment but I live in hope that one day I'll get to spend some quality time in there.
The one exception to this bare minimum sleep rule is the rare occasion my husband and I get to escape the kids and go and stay somewhere lovely. Then we sleep. Sometimes we don't even wake up until 8.30am. Crazy times. And we often have another little disco nap in the afternoon too. Because we can. Now obviously one of the reasons we sleep so well on these trips is because we are knackered! But the other big reason is the beds. You can't beat a hotel bed for sheer luxury. The plump pillows, the fresh sheets, the mattress which is so thick I usually need to climb in Princess and the pea style.
And when it's all over I always vow to come back and recreate that hotel bed feeling at home. Because I want the few hours I do spend in it to be glorious. As I'm sure you do too. So when Made.com invited me down to The Ritz's brand new Green Park signature suite for a demonstration from the hotel's expert Housekeeping team, sharing the secrets to making a truly luxurious bed, I thought that sounded like something that was definitely worth getting out of bed for.
I have to admit I'm a fairly recent convert to the joys of linen sheets and there's no going back for me. I have a set of Made's washed linen Brisa bedding range in dusky pink and they get a big thumbs up from me. I'm eyeing up another set in a different colour so I can mix and match them. I also think they are a really good price for a duvet cover and two pillowcases and I really like the double stitched detail around the border. The range also includes linen dressing gowns which I like to think are perfect for wafting around the garden with a cup of coffee in hand on warm summer mornings.
So my sheets and wafting attire are sorted. But here's the other insider tips I picked up to help me on my way to sweet dreams.
Change is good
A mattress has around an eight to 10 year life span so if you're still kipping down on your childhood mattress it's probably time to go bed shopping. The Ritz change theirs every six to seven years...but they're fancy. If you are in the market for a new bed, the Ritz favours a spring mattress with 1400 pockets. Med firm to firm is a good choice as it gives the best support for your back and body.
Turn, baby, turn
To maintain a mattress, you should turn and rotate it approximately every three months, to ensure even dips. Otherwise it will sink in the places you sleep and that's not good for you. They stitch a reminder into all of their mattresses so they know when it's time to flip them. If your bed is new, it's recommended you turn it every month to stop sagging.
Let it breathe
When you're changing your sheets The Ritz's Executive Housekeeper Adriana Milea says it's a good idea to take the sheets off, open a window in your bedroom and go and do something else for 30 minutes or so before putting new sheets back on. I'm not sure I recommend that as a course of action in the depths of December but definitely one to bear in mind in the Summer months.
Put a top on it
This is an essential if you're going for that cocooning hotel bed feel. Using a mattress topper adds instant luxury to any run of the mill mattress. It's like sleeping on a giant pillow. You can get differing thicknesses and materials and The Ritz used a feather one which looked more like a quilt to me. Bear in mind that if you do go for a thick one you'll probably need a extra deep sheet to go on top of it. A cotton mattress protector then goes on top of the topper to prevent stains etc. This is washed every time the sheets are changed.
Layer it up
The Ritz maids then add a sheet, a blanket, yet another sheet on top of that and a silk bedspread to finish. No duvet. But unless you've got loads of time and patience on your hands this probably isn't a realistic course of action. Duvets are great! But like many things bed related, it's absolutely worth buying the best you can afford. A good duvet will make all the difference. And layering is also a great way to style your bed. Lisa Mehydene, owner of online interiors destination Edit 58, is the absolute master at bed layering, whether it's her own bed, her kids or her daughters doll's bed. Check out her Insta to see her in action.
I'm a linen girl so thread count doesn't come into it, but if you're buying new sheets keep an eye out for the ones with the highest thread count. I got some high thread count ones in the sale at Marks and Spencer a few years ago and you can really feel the difference. Sadly they were white and I've learnt the hard way that white sheets just don't work in a house where we get invaded by snotty, messy kids every morning. FYI The Ritz sheets are 440 thread count sateen cotton which is verrrry high and gives that silky feeling when you slide in. According to Adriana, the more you wash the sheets, the better they get.
Now the pillows are all about personal preference though as a general rule you should be looking at medium firm so they are providing the best support for your neck. Adriana showed us the Ritz pillow test. Apparently if you hold a pillow over your forearm and it flops down on both sides, it needs replacing, as otherwise you'll wake up with a stiff neck. Well, safe to say I went home and tested mine and I am failing epically on the pillow front. Mine don't just flop, they are practically touching the floor. Oh dear.
The Ritz's pillows come from a company called Snuggledown in Norway and Adriana revealed she is often asked to by her guests to order the pillows for them and get them sent to their homes. And we are talking about some seriously wealthy people here. So they must be good.
As a finishing touch Adriana recommends misting your sheets in the morning and evening with a linen spray. And don't worry, there's no need for any fancy pants spray that costs as much as your Diptyque perfume. Though you can if you like. But here's an insider tip. Adriana makes her own at home for less than £10 using essentials oils, distilled water and something called Polyphosphate 20 which helps mix the natural oils with the water. In the morning she recommends a homemade citrus mist for it's energising 'let's get shit done' qualities. Then in the evening, her team uses a homemade lavender spray, for it's calming 'time for zzzzzz' vibes. You could also light a candle.
So there you have it, the secrets to making a perfect bed, tweaked a little by me to make it relevant to our everyday lifestyles. Because even though most of us want our beds to be like hotel beds...sadly most of us don't have the housekeepers to make them for us.
To find out more about a stay at the iconic Ritz hotel email firstname.lastname@example.org