If it’s a timeless, natural or neutral room you’re going for, swiping up piece after piece in a neutral color palette can be quite boring. However, the final effect, in all its calm, cohesive glory, can be well worth the effort. Case in point? The all white bed.
Like a capsule wardrobe, the trend-resistant look of a monochromatic bed can be satisfying to build, but require some creative restraint during the shopping phase. Is so much more fun to add those trend colors to cart. Remember, the bed will never be boring if you’re in it, right?
An Ode to the White Bed…
Perhaps it’s the emotional attachment I have to all the resorts I’ve slept in on vacation over the years, but there’s just something so iconic about the perfectly turned down hotel bed — almost always dressed in all white bedding. Layer after precisely tucked layer. An excessive, but organized amount of pillows. And an unmade hotel bed — a sea of whipped white texture — can look even better than the pristine bed at check-in.
The timeless look of so many textures in just one shade makes a white bed a smart choice for almost any home. To pull if off, here are a few tips on shopping a white, cream or monochromatic bed that’ll bring the look to life…
How To Build The Perfect White Bed
The reason an all-white or monochromatic bed works so well is that all the layers, from headboard to quilt, become layers of the same object. That cohesive effect can be very soothing in a room meant for sleep, calm and coziness!
you’ll need The basics: The basics are enough — or even preferable, if you’re on a budget or going for a truly Zen or utilitarian look in your space. Required elements: a very good mattress, natural duvet, pillows and sheets.
To the mattresses | When it comes to mattresses, a non-toxic version is key. Sadly, that giant slab in your bedroom can off-gas less-than-healthy toxins into your space if you’re not smart about how you shop. Read our story,What That New Mattress Smell Means For Your Health for more, as well as this full report, Detox Your Sleep: Uncomfortable Questions To Ask About Your Bedroom.
White as a sheet | When it comes to sheets, the utilitarian will find their match in Parachute’s set of top sheet-free linen bedding. The Venice set includes a fitted sheet, duvet cover and two pillowcases in a nearly-nubby linen that wrinkles in a way we love.
Parachute Home sheet set
If it’s function you’re after, we’ve been raving over a sample of Nollapelli sheets recently delivered to HQ. The mostly Tencel fabric is designed to keep you cool while you sleep. If you’re a sleeper who gets too hot during the night, I highly recommend trying a fabric like this that’s designed to balance temps. If you really need body temperature support while you sleep, check out the bio-hacker beloved, Chilisleep Ooler, a high-tech mattress liner designed to improve your sleep cycle through optimal temperature regulation. More on this set-up later!
After Parachute’s tactile linen sets and Nolllapelli’s cooling Tencel sheets, Boll & Branch’s organic cotton sheets are another fave. Luxurious, yet crisp, these classic sheets are made responsibly (both for the cotton farmer and the sleeper) in White and in Natural, a creamy neutral that also makes for a beautiful, monochromatic bed if you’re able to match off-whites and creams across brands. A special mention for natural sheet sets from Coyuchi too, but you can get our full guide to natural sheet sets HERE.
Pillows + pillows | If it’s pillows that you need, there are essentially two natural, non-toxic, but luxe options: down or natural latex. Coyuchi’s organic latex and feather down options are pretty diverse, depending on your preferences. Target also makes a down pillow for only $39.
It seems I was in my mid-20’s before I realized that king-sized pillows were a thing. If you have a king size bed, clearly these pillows are a must-have — and the ultimate game-changer for the pillow-layering obsessed.
To achieve The layered look:
As mentioned, the great thing about a monochromatic or all-white bed is that it looks as good disheveled as it does perfectly made. All you need are the basics, but if you’re all about building a bed that is a haven for your light night or early morning activities, or just want to get a more developed look, here are a few things to keep in mind…
Consider an upholstered headboard | If you really want to keep the cloud-like white bed appeal head-to toe, I suggest going with an upholstered headboard or bed to match. Lulu & Georgia’s Adara Headboard in Sherpa takes the white out to a whole new level with a cream sherpa or boucle texture that’ll make your nest of a bed feel endless. Parachute’s Horizon bed frame is a dream in linen or faux shearling!
Layer your duvet | With all the lush negative space of an all white bed, try layering in textures with throw blankets or quilts. A loopy, knitted weighted blanket like this one from Bearaby looks great thrown over a made bed. Jenni Kayne’s baby alpaca throw comes in ivory and lends even more texture in a basketweave I love. This cashmere blanket from Oyuna lends a bit of natural drama with all those tassels — without breaking up your color scheme.
Speaking of texture, monochromatic throw pillows can build your look. Just because the bed is white or monochrome, doesn’t mean it has to be trend-free — embrace a timely look with this white boucle ball or arched wool pillow from Sarah Sherman Samuel for Lulu and Georgia.
Go for euro shams | You’re either a one pillow or seven pillow kind of person. Pick a team. If you’re that person who makes the bed with layers of decorative pillows, make sure you have at least two euro shams in rotation for those hotel-like layers that so many us love. See my note on king size pillows above. And if you haven’t tried this look in monochromatic white? Give it a go and tell us it’s not like floating in heaven.
Try a mattress topper | Maybe it’s the feeling of being in bed that’s more important to you than the way all these monochromatic layers look. For the true hedonist, a mattress topper may be in order. We love Avocado’s organic latex mattress topper for firm contouring or the brand’s alpaca wool topper for a bit of plushy fluff.
To build on the look:
Again, just like building a capsule wardrobe, having all your neutral basics in place doesn’t mean you can’t break out and try something new! In fact, a monochromatic bed can really help those personal or seasonal pieces to shine. Add a throw blanket in a color you’re obsessed with for a moment and easily kick it to another room once it no longer suits you.
Layer in that heirloom quilt like its on exhibition. Rotate in new colors with the seasons or embrace a trend with accessories as varied as you like. Current favorites include Parachute’s Linen Duvet Cover in a warm, pink-ish Clay and The Citzenry’s chunky wool throw in Grey.