A Bit About Bettwäsche

On Friday I decided my bed needed a bit of an upgrade. Okay, full disclosure: it wasn’t so much that I wanted to upgrade, but more so that I fluffed my comforter and noticed a hole had suddenly formed in my fitted sheet, right about the spot my feet usually hang out. Additionally, I have been wanting to buy a new pillow for weeks now, but that whole “flying all over the damn planet” thing kind of got in the way. But I digress. If you go shopping for linens in Euro-land, there are some things you should know.

If you’re thinking about moving here and are super attached to your California King bed, you might want to think twice. That size doesn’t exist here, and the sizes that do are just ever-so-slightly different from the standard U.S. sizes. A quick trip to the IKEA web site will show you a multitude of options in a size that most people would consider “twin” or “single.” Double beds have definitely become more common, but they’re still not the same as our standard size. For example, my bed is 140cm x 200cm, which is the smallest “double” size, but slightly (3cm) larger than a double in the U.S. 

That trend continues throughout all the sizes. A very helpful chart can be found on Wikipedia, if you’re so inclined. So the moral of the story is: if you’re bringing your own bed, you better pack extra bedding because the sheets here might not fit. I managed to find a Spannbetttüch, aka fitted sheet, that said it would fit any of the three main “double” sizes, which was great as I wasn’t sure if I had measured it correctly. Tip: have a measuring tape with the metric system!

Additionally, if you’re staying in a hotel, don’t be surprised at seeing something like this:

In case you can’t tell, those are two twin beds pushed together to create a “double.” I drew that helpful illustration line in the second one for you. These photos are from two different hotels, one in Bavaria and one in Salzburg, Austria. If you stay at a chain hotel, you might not encounter this, but if you stay in a smaller hotel, pension, or guesthouse, you’ll probably find something similar. I’ve seen them all over the place. This arrangement has pros and cons depending on who (if anyone), you’re sharing a room with. But I think you kids can figure those out on your own. 

You might also notice that each person is given their own duvet to go with their separate bed. So for every guy who has complained about their significant other’s blanket-hogging ways, rejoice! Most people also use strictly the duvet here, and I think it’s brilliant. My mother always yelled at me for only using the comforter at home, but I hated using the top sheet. I understand her logic, sheets are much easier to wash then quilts, but it always bothered me. So Europe is perfect for me, as top sheets are few and far-between; I’ve actually never seen one here. You have your duvet, and the removable cover that gets thrown in the wash. 

I bought a new duvet cover and pillowcase as well, but will save the duvet cover for winter. Those came in about three different sizes, and none of the ones I found seemed to match up exactly to the measurements I had for my current duvet cover. I bought the one that was the closest and luckily it’ll fit just fine, but I was a little confused when I was in the store. It happens. Anyway…

Sleeping for 10-12 hours at a time sounds awesome, right? It should. Really, it should. But the last few months, no matter how long I slept, I was still tired. And I think I figured out why. On average, I’d say I wake up 3-4 times a night. Usually I wake up faceplanted onto the mattress or something equally weird. My pillows at this point were basically for decoration as they were serving absolutely no functional purpose whatsoever. I’ve pretty much bought one pillow per year since I arrived, so I had three, but they were the absolute cheapest ones that IKEA had to offer and definitely past their prime. No more! 

Finally, I decided to get on the European pillow bandwagon. The standard head pillow here is enormous. Seriously. It’s 80cm x 80cm, and about two times the size of the pillows I had. Check it out…

I bought this glorious Kopfkissen (I love this word) on Friday, and can I just tell you… oh man. I slept like a rock the last two nights. So well in fact, that today I popped out of bed before 9am. That never happens. And it needs to happen because I can never fall asleep on Sunday nights because I sleep until noon, and then spend all day Monday exhausted in class. I need to break this cycle because I am tired of being tired. It’s annoying and unproductive. So I’m a convert. Get a giant pillow! Go!

Here you go RZ…

One corner of my Fortress, just for you. 

I realized when taking this picture that my flat went from zero to girly super fast recently. I got the picture above the couch and the throw pillows the same weekend I did the wall stickers. But I like it. Mostly I like being able to do things such as, go to the store and buy stuff without having to decide if I want to eat that week or not. That I do not miss about Prague. 

8 thoughts on “A Bit About Bettwäsche

  1. Oh bedding… I can't even begin to start. I am fearful of IKEA's bedding system. When I bought my very first double bed from IKEA prob about 13 years ago in the UK and didn't realise that they were using Scandinavian sizes which are not the same as UK sizes, which are not the same as US sizes. So nothing fitted.

    S doesn't like the big square pillows so I have just ordered pillows from the UK…which seem to have gotten lost in the post…

    And the kids have children's sized pillows from Mothercare which match no other pillow size known to the planet, so I have just made, yes, actually sewn, new pillowcases for Orla's bed…made from IKEA fabric (which I am not frightened of)

  2. Oh goodness. Well, there is that handy chart on Wikipedia if you ever find yourself up that creek without a paddle again. And this comment makes me MIGHTILY glad that I only have to worry about my own sleep situation. Sewing my own pillowcases is not in my bag of tricks, that's for sure.

  3. Yay! Love the girliness. And the compactness. I love that kind of living. Don't you love when you realize you left your phone in your “room” and all you have to do to retrieve it is to reach your arm over the edge of the couch?

    – RZ

  4. I do love it. But occasionally it makes me feel 10 times more lazy when I can't work up the energy to move three feet from the couch to my bed. Some days it is faaaaaaaaaar.

  5. I love your girly decorating! The duvet covers are great in winter but I think they're way too hot in summer. I don't know how Germans sleep under those big fluffy things when it's twenty plus degrees outside.

  6. Thanks! I liked your decorating posts a while back too… I don't think I commented but your living room was beautiful!

    My IKEA special duvet is actually perfect for me, it's warm in winter and cool in summer. Must be some sort of Swedish black magic. 🙂

  7. This is on my list of future blog fodder topics…

    I brought sheets and a comforter from the US, and I've found that a queen sized fitted sheet works pretty well on 140x200cm. My comforter, on the other hand, is always trailing off the edge of the bed to the floor, but I don't care. I like having enormous blankety goodness.

    I'll probably switch to a duvet at some future date though because you can *wash* a duvet cover, and this comforter is just too big for the washer.

    I am hesitant about the big square pillows that seem ubiquitous though- I need a certain balance of mushy and firm or I wind up unable to get comfortable.

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