Best bedding 2022: Comfort and style from our favourite duvet covers and sheet sets

Gareth Thomas Pete Wise
14 Oct 2022

Bring both style and comfort to your night’s sleep with the best bedding sets and sheets

Getting a good night’s sleep is vital, and buying the best bedding is (almost) as important as buying the mattress itself. After all, if you’re investing in a decent mattress, it doesn’t make sense to then skimp on the sheets that you put on top of it.

From the frugal to the flowery, there’s plenty of choice when shopping for duvet covers, sheets and pillow cases. And on top of aesthetics, there’s the all-important question of comfort. Whether it be a luxurious silk spread or more basic cotton, bedding can be found in a whole range of different materials.

But don’t worry, we’re here to save you from that last-minute dash to the department store. Whichever way you want to dress your mattress, we’ve compiled a list of the best bedding sets for you, as well as a handy buyer’s guide to answer any questions you might have before you buy.

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Get 40% off Cloverlane's cotton percale bedding set

You can currently save up to 40% on Cloverlane products from Nectar's site, including the cotton percale bedding set we've featured in our roundup. A king size set (including a duvet cover, fitted sheet and pillowcases) is down from £149 to just £89. Cloverlane Save 40% Buy Now

Save 20% on the Saraya Jungle Print duvet cover

La Redoute is currently offering sitewide discounts of up to 50%, with 20% off the Saraya Jungle Print duvet cover. All sizes are included in the offer, with a king size, for instance, coming down from £60 to £48. La Redoute Save 20% Buy Now

Save 50% on a Hampton & Astley bedding set

Hampton & Astley’s luxury Egyptian cotton sateen bedding set is one of the most expensive products on our roundup, which is why this deal is particularly welcome. Right now, you can save 50% in the brand’s autumn sale, whether you buy a full set or individual items. A complete bedding set in a size double, for instance, is currently down from £229 to £114. Hampton & Astley Save 50% Buy Now

Best bedding: At a glance

How to choose the best bedding for you

What material should I buy?

The material of your duvet cover, bedsheet or pillow cases could have just as much of an impact on your comfort during the night as the thickness of your duvet or the firmness of your mattress. Some of the most common bedding materials include:

Cotton: Traditionally, one of the most popular and accessible bedding materials, cotton is soft, smooth, easy to look after, and relatively affordable. For the highest quality cotton, choose Egyptian or Pima. While more expensive than some other varieties - such as upland - the extra softness you’ll get from the long fibres in Egyptian and pima cotton can’t be beaten.

Flannel: Great for the winter months, flannelette bedding is commonly made from cotton or synthetic material that has been brushed, resulting in a fabric that is fluffy and warm. The quality of flannel is not measured in terms of thread count (which we’ll get to below), but instead by grams per square metre.

Tencel: Tencel is a brand name, referring to a material made from the wood pulp of Eucalyptus trees. Soft and naturally antimicrobial, Tencel is seen as a more environmentally friendly alternative to cotton, with a more energy and chemical efficient production process.

Polyester: Polyester is a synthetic fabric made from the same polymers that are used to make plastic water bottles. As such, it isn’t the most environmentally friendly. Polyester sheets are cheap and while they can be soft and durable, they are prone to become rough and scratchy over time.

Silk: Smooth and soft, silk is the material of choice for those who want a bit of luxury in their bedroom. Of course, such luxury comes at a price, and delicate materials such as silk will also require a higher standard of care.

Blends: There are also a range of fabric blends to choose from, most of which include cotton to some degree. The most common blend is cotton and polyester (a cheaper alternative to buying 100% cotton) but you can also buy bedding made from cotton and rayon (a chemically treated bamboo pulp), cotton and bamboo, or nylon and polyester.

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What thread count should I look out for?

For most woven fabrics – with the exception of flannel and synthetic knitted materials such as polyester – quality is usually measured in terms of thread count. This refers to the number of vertical and horizontal threads woven together per square inch – the idea being that the more threads, the higher the quality.

But this shouldn’t always be taken entirely at face value. A higher thread count doesn’t always mean you'll have a more comfortable experience, especially if the threads used aren’t good quality to begin with. A thread count of 200 will feel crisp and cool – better for summer months – whereas a thread count above 400 might feel softer and warmer. But be sceptical about bedding claiming to offer any higher than this; as a general rule, quality over quantity is better.

Anything else I should consider?

For time-pressured people, one of the deal-breakers in deciding which bedding to buy is how difficult it is to clean and keep in tip top condition. It’s worth bearing in mind that some all-white sets can look very much worse-for-wear if they get stained or dusty (though, on the other hand, they can look especially inviting when perfectly clean). More generally, a bedding set’s washing instructions will determine to a large extent how easy the set is to keep in good condition. The quicker a bedding set is to launder, the more time you can spend wrapped up in it.

The best bedding sets to buy

1. Panda Luxury Bamboo Bedding Set: Best overall bedding set

Price: From £110 (complete set, single) | Buy now from Panda

One of our absolute favourite bedding sets is Panda’s Luxury Bamboo Bedding. Above all, this set feels beautiful, with a soft-yet-tactile texture to the material that only gets better after a few washes. It kept us at a lovely, moderate temperature throughout the night, regardless of whether the room was warm or cool. Indeed, bamboo (which is a key component of the Panda brand), is known for its breathability, as well as its hypoallergenic and antibacterial properties.

Some details that we’re especially keen on include the bamboo buttons on the duvet cover, as well as the design of the pillow cases. These have their openings in the centre of the back, so that the pillow can’t slide out. The set also comes with a 30-night trial period meaning, if you don't like it, you can return it for a full refund.

It’s worth bearing in mind that the Bamboo Bedding has to be washed, ironed and dried on low settings only, and you’re instructed not to treat it with fabric softener.

Key features – Sizes: Single, Double, King, Super-King; Colours: 5; Material: 100% bamboo fibre; Washing instructions: Machine washable at 30°C (eco-friendly detergent recommended, avoid fabric softener); Warranty: 1 year with 30-night trial

2. Argos Home Easycare Polycotton Duvet Set: Best complete bedding set on a budget

Price: From £11 (single) | Buy now from Argos

If you’re looking for some cheap bedding, then this simple set from Argos should suffice. Made from a blend of polyester (52%) and cotton (48%), with a 144-thread count, it’s not going to be the softest or best quality bedding set ever, but it’s a decent buy on a minimal budget – an ideal option for a student bedroom.

And it comes in a surprisingly wide range of colours – 11 in total – from Super White to Crystal.

Key features - Sizes: Single, double, king, super king; Colours: 11; Material: 48% cotton, 52% polyester; Thread count: 144; Washing instructions: Machine washable at 40°C

Buy now from Argos

3. Zipcode Design Carolos Duvet Cover Set: The best-value bedding set

Price: From £14 (single) | Buy now from Wayfair

This bedding’s botanical design looks especially lovely in its green and grey colourway, and the contrasting print on the underside is a nice touch. Beyond its looks, though, we found that Zipcode Design’s bright and breezy Carolos bedding set provided a comfortable night’s sleep, especially during warmer weather when the cover’s relatively thin material helped us to keep pleasantly cool. The flipside to this, however, is that the Carolos might not be quite warm enough for some during winter.

Ultimately, a modest amount of money goes a long way with the Carolos. It’s only a fraction more expensive than our roundup’s basic budget bedding set, but we think its printed design definitely makes it stand out as the more attractive option. Do bear in mind, though, that it doesn’t come with a sheet, so you’ll have to buy one separately.

Key features – Sizes: Single, Double, King, Super-King; Colours: 2, Teal & Green; Material: cotton and polyester; Washing instructions: Machine washable

Buy now from Wayfair

4. Hampton & Astley Luxury Bedding Set: Best luxury cotton bedding set

Price: From £229 (double, complete set) | Buy now from Hampton & Astley

Starting at £229 for a complete set (duvet cover, fitted sheet and two pillow cases), Hampton & Astley’s hotel-quality bedding is one of the most expensive sets on our roundup. With this in mind, it’s best suited to adding a touch of luxury to the master bedroom. It's also worth noting that it's not available in a single size. 

Made from 300 thread count Egyptian cotton sateen, the bedding feels cool and silky soft, even after it’s been put through the wash. The fitted sheet is notably deep too, meaning there’s plenty of room for a mattress topper: we tested it with Tempur’s 7cm foam topper and found it was more than deep enough.

If you don’t quite have the budget for a full set, individual bedding items are available. A double duvet cover on its own, for instance, will cost you £104. You also get a 30-day trial with any purchase, during which you can return your order for a refund or an exchange if you’re not happy.

Key features – Sizes: Double, King, Super king; Colours: 3; Material: Egyptian cotton; Washing instructions: Machine washable at 40°C (wash, dry and iron inside out and do not over-dry); Warranty: 1 year with 30-night trial

Buy now from Hampton & Astley

5. La Redoute Interieurs Saraya Floral Duvet Cover: Best duvet cover for floral flamboyance

Price: From £35 (single) | Buy now from La Redoute

Want to channel your inner Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and bring some pizzazz to your bedroom? La Redoute have you sorted with a whole range of printed duvet covers.

This exotic number is adorned with palm trees and wildlife, with an 80/cm² thread count and taped edges. Again, you’ll have to buy pillowcases separately, but if you want to make a statement with your bedding, this one’s for you.

Key features - Duvet cover size: Single, double, king, super king; Pillowcase sizes: Standard, square; Material: Cotton percale; Thread count: 80/cm²; Washing instructions: Machine washable at 60°C

Buy now from La Redoute

6. L.L. Bean Ultrasoft Comfort Flannel Sheet Set: Best sheets for warmth

Price: From £128 (twin set) | Buy now from L.L. Bean

If you’re looking for something soft and warm for the winter months, you can’t go far wrong with these flannelette sheets from L.L. Bean. The 100% brushed cotton will keep you cosy in colder climates, while not being quite as thick and stifling as some alternatives. As such, you could even use these on your bed all year round – although those prone to getting too hot at night should err on the side of caution.

Nothing too fancy, they come in a lovely selection of muted colours. And for just under £113 for a twin set, you’ll get a fitted sheet, flat sheet and pillowcase (while larger sets come with two pillowcases).

Key features - Sizes: Twin, double, queen, king; Colours: 7; Material: 100% brushed cotton; Warranty: 1 year

Buy now from L.L. Bean

7. Cloverlane Cotton Percale Bedding Set: A silky smooth bedding set

Price: From £99 (single) | Buy now from Nectar

Cloverlane, the homeware brand behind Nectar and Dreamcloud mattresses (formerly known as Resident), recently launched a luxury bedding line. The range of sheets, duvet covers, and pillowcases come in a choice of fabrics: 100% organic cotton percale, sateen or washed linen.

We tested the cotton percale bedding set and found it to be very soft and smooth, with a luxurious silk-like quality. According to Cloverlane, this is designed to get softer still with every wash, though we have yet to put that claim to the test. If anything, some might find it too smooth, and the lack of friction meant that my pillows would occasionally begin to slide off the bed in the middle of the night.

As a luxury bedding line, it’s not cheap. Prices start at £99 for a single set, with a double set costing £134 and a king £149. That said, you do get a complete set for your money, including two pillow cases, a duvet cover and a fitted sheet (plus a fabric bag for neat storage).

This cotton percale bedding is a great summer choice for those in the market for luxury quality, without forking out £399 for a Gingerlily silk duvet cover (see below). It’s perhaps worth noting that, although Cloverlane doesn’t offer a trial period as such, you do get the option to trial a pair of pillowcases for £10. Then, if you decide to go for the bedding, you’ll get a £10 discount.

Key features - Sizes: Single, double, king, super king; Colours: 3; Material: 100% organic cotton percale; Washing instructions: Machine washable at 40°C

Buy now from Nectar

8. Lekka duvet cover set: An innovative, easy-to-change duvet set

Price: £50 | Buy now from Amazon

This duvet cover from the newly launched brand Lekka is a little bit different from your standard bedding. Instead of fitting over your duvet in the traditional fashion, through a sealable opening at the bottom, Lekka’s duvet cover has a large zipper that runs across three sides (leaving the top side zipper-free). This allows you to completely unfold the cover, lay the duvet on flat, and then zip it back up again. As such, it’s designed for those who can’t bear the hassle of making the bed.

Indeed, when we tested it out, the merits of this new system are apparent; removing the cover to throw it in the wash becomes particularly speedy. However, it’s worth adding that you only really get the benefit if you have enough space around your bed, and those of you with your bed set up in the corner of your room might still struggle.

Nevertheless, this alternative method is an interesting one, and the Lekka duvet cover is one to consider for those who dread the days when it’s time to change your bed sheets. Plus, you can rest assured that the zipper does not get in the way of comfort when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep.

Key features - Sizes: Double; Colours: 4; Material: 100% cotton; Washing instructions: Machine washable at 30°C

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