We’ve all been there: you share a bed with a loved one and it’s a nightmare. It’s too hot, too cold, you move too much, they move too much, someone steals the duvet… And only one of you (or possibly neither of you) rests well.
Yet most of us still want to share a bed with our partner, despite the obstacles. But what do you do when you both have very different needs?
Well, there are ways – yes, plural, because all of our needs are different. We’re talking mattresses that cater to different tension preferences, duvets with different warmths, and much more. So snuggle down and read our top tips for making nights more comfortable.
Let’s start by having a look at some common disagreements…
There’s not enough space
Hands up who’s never encountered a starfish? You know the kind – they sprawl out in the middle of the bed, legs and arms akimbo. This means you have to hit the hay before them to nab a spot. Alternatively, you can accept the fact that a tiny sliver of bed space is yours for the night.
The solution to this is simple: buy the biggest bed frame you can comfortably fit into your room. ‘Comfortably’ means you need to have plenty of space to lie down. It also means you’re able to walk around and reach both sides of the bed.
This is actually a great general bedroom design tip, too. However, it’s even more key when you’re faced with someone who needs a little more space to stretch their limbs. And if that still doesn’t help… a little physical nudge could go a long way.
I share a bed with a human heater / I like being warm, but my partner wants to feel cool at night
Unless you’re someone who constantly feels a little cold, sharing a bed with a partner who runs hot is probably not your idea of a restful night.
The easy solution to this is to have separate duvets, so each of you can pick how warm – or cold – they’d like to be when sleeping. That also allows you to swap over for the seasons, if necessary, so you’re always wrapped in a cocoon of the ideal temperature.
But what if you *want* to share your duvet? Well, there are two ideas.
You could opt for what’s commonly seen as the best middle ground and choose a 10.5 tog duvet – it accounts for your partner’s extra body heat, but isn’t so thin that it’ll leave you with cold feet. (Though sleeping next to a human furnace usually makes it hard to feel cold anyway.)
Alternatively, if body heat isn’t the issue but you both prefer very different duvet warmths, there’s the option of a split design. It has one cooler and a warmer side, with different tog ratings so you both get exactly what you need while still being able to cuddle up, without overheating or shivering through the night.
Hang on, pause. What’s a tog rating?
Okay, time for a brief intermission.
Against popular belief, your duvet’s tog rating doesn’t indicate how heavy it is, nor does it describe the quality. Instead, it shows you how warm your duvet is – the higher the number, the warmer it’ll keep you.
Bear in mind, though, that tog ratings are usually calculated on a flat surface and using a new duvet. However, unless we’re very much mistaken, you’re not a flat surface, and your quilt won’t be new forever. What does that mean? In short, the state of your duvet’s filling and how well your chosen design cradles you will affect how well it insulates you and how warm you’ll feel. So a tog rating is more of a guide, not a guarantee.
But back to the topic at hand…
My partner could sleep on a stone slab and be happy, but I prefer my mattress soft and bouncy
Finally, the one that often feels like the biggest issue. Mattresses are incredibly personal, as our features editor Georgina found out recently, and chances are you and your partner need – and want – very different things.
Once again, the easiest and probably most popular solution is to compromise. Alternatively, you could have separate mattresses, like so many of our parents. But then there’s another issue: a split in the middle, which is oh-so-easy to roll into while asleep. It might be comfortable for a night or two, but not if it happens over and over again.
Enter: the split-tension mattress. Much like the two-tog rating duvet, it’s a single mattress, but with two different tensions.
The only problem I have no solution for is how to stop the other person from hogging all the blankets. But as a certified duvet stealer – rumour has it I roll myself into a snug burrito, with no way for the other person to get the duvet back – maybe I wouldn’t be qualified to speak on that particular matter anyway…
Keep a stash of spare duvets on hand – that’s my advice.
Featured image: Puffball bed, £1095 for a double, Loaf.