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I Never Thought My Bedding Mattered That Much. I Was So Wrong.

Folded duvet with two pillows stacked on top
Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by Parachute.

Back in December, I made an extravagant decision.

For the previous nine months, I’d been throwing myself into whatever small joys I could find, and often those brief moments of happiness were fueled by pandemic-driven FOMO. I made whipped coffee, which was, sadly, quite disgusting (at least mine was). I baked sourdough, much to the chagrin of my gluten insensitivity. I took up running, something I’d always hated, only to later replace it with a Peloton—another pandemic-fueled purchase made in hopes of salvaging what was left of my mental health. (It worked.) Eventually I noticed that despite all my joy-seeking, I still wasn’t sleeping very well—I mean, who was?—and figured it was time to start investing in my bedding.

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This is where things got a bit drastic for me. Historically, I had resigned myself to picking up sheets and duvet covers at Marshalls, Target, or Amazon, and I was generally content with those options. Besides, I’d always figured that as long as I had a solid mattress, everything else was secondary. So what if my subpar comforter made me hot in the middle of the night? If I woke up sweaty, it was easy enough to kick off the duvet, right? Likewise, when I got too cold, I could just pull it back on.

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But this sleepless cycle led to too many restless nights, and more important, my broken sleep fueled my anxiety and depression. I desperately needed temperature regulation and fast.

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After spending a few months scouring the internet for recommendations, I landed on a percale duvet cover set from Parachute. I loved the range of colors. And when I popped into the store—another reason Parachute appealed to me, versus Brooklinen or Riley—I could tell upon feeling the percale that the fabric was sturdy, but breathable, cool, and soft. I dallied around the store and polled the two folks working about whether they slept hot, and one said they did. I asked what their favorite fabric was for addressing the issue of bed sweat. They validated my instincts that the percale would be my breathable nighttime savior—so I bought it.

When I got home, I began to worry. It seemed bigger and heavier than I’d expected, which made washing it a drag. It took forever to fully dry, and it seemed to ball up into itself more than sheets typically do. I had to stop the dryer every half-hour or so to unfurl it and expedite the drying process. Getting it onto the duvet went as expected, but by then I was frustrated.

Everything changed the moment I got under it. When I fell asleep is a blur, but I woke up feeling cool—as if it were a breezy spring morning. Even with a top sheet and the duvet’s heft, I slept through the night perfectly regulated, and for the first morning in recent memory, I woke up without feeling disgusted by sweat and exhausted from tossing and turning all night. It’s remained on my bed every night since, and each morning, I can’t imagine how I ever slept without it.

The duvet is a keeper.