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Let Us Teach You How to Style a Single Bed

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Written By Alex Petrović

Certified Sleep Consultant

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29 April 2024 9 min read

Although single beds tend to be less grandiose and flashy than king-sized beds, that doesn't mean you can't add some wow factor! So, here are some ideas for styling your single bed!

When it comes to styling your bed, the sky is the limit. Whatever decoration or style brings you the most joy is the perfect match for your bed. However, sometimes it can be a bit difficult to get inspired.

So, we're going to go over five factors that you should consider when styling your bed, and hopefully, they will also get your creative juices flowing. And by the end, your single bed is going to shine as brightly as even the largest of king or queen beds!

Make your bed look good 24/7

An image of a woman covered in a brown bed sheet and a small pillow

From the moment you get out of bed to the moment you fall asleep again, your bed sheets and quilts dictate the look of your bed. So, make sure you take full advantage and make it look stunning! And depending on the bed design you're going for, there are quite a few options to choose from.

So, let's go over all the main players in this category (like fitted and flat sheets) and discuss what aesthetic you could potentially work in. Do note that these bedroom ideas are going to be rather vague, as it's up to you to pick out the exact colours and designs you think look good.

Get good bed sheets

As mentioned previously, there are two main types of bed sheets we want to talk about – fitted sheets and flat sheets. The main difference between the two is that a fitted sheet wraps tightly around your mattress while a flat sheet is just laid on top.

So, if you were going for a loose, relaxed design, a flat sheet would probably serve you better. However, if you want to run a tight ship and make more intricate colour patterns, we think a fitted sheet is your best bet.

And while we don't focus on functionality that much when it comes to bed linen, we will point out one significant difference. Namely, a top sheet is more likely to get wrinkled or fall off the bed. So, if you toss and turn at night or love jumping onto your bed, you should keep that in mind. But on the other hand, a fitted sheet might give you some headaches if you have a mattress topper or mattress protector as getting the right size is more difficult.

But either way you slice it, there are some excellent designs to choose from. A patterned bed sheet is great for adding a bit of flare while a monochrome sheet can be a subtle backdrop for more colourful pillows. The sky is the limit.

Get a bed skirt

Although similar to a flat sheet, a bed skirt does have a slightly different aesthetic. Namely, the part of the sheet that hangs off the mattress is more stylized and thus more eye-catching. Sometimes they can be completely flat all the way through but other times they'll have a wavy design that gives the bed somewhat of a flowy, elegant feel.

We find that bed skirts are especially useful if the rest of your bedroom features lots of plants, bright colours, and ornamentation. Just do note that they can pick up a lot of dust, so they probably need to be cleaned more often than a fitted sheet.

Get a bed runner

Sometimes referred to as “bed scarves”, bed runners (UK) are a very easy way to make your bed look more distinguished. They don't take up too much space and can break up the monotony of your sheets by introducing a splash of colour at the end of the bed.

You can either get a bed runner that's in a similar aesthetic to the rest of your linen or even go for a drastically different colour for more emphasis (like a yellow runner on black sheets). Plus, runners take up very little space and can easily be swapped around – which is quite handy if you have a guest room with a different bed styling.

Get a good bed cover

An image of a fancy bed with a stylish headboard

Although they might seem similar to bed sheets, bed covers are a bit more nuanced and can drastically change the look of your bed during the day. And while you would usually take them off before going to bed, they are also a lot thicker and more comfortable than sheets, so they can offer a good night's sleep as well.

And while we could get lost in the terminology forever regarding what constitutes a bed cover, we'd just like to focus on three prime categories – blankets, quilts, and comforters.

Blankets

When trying to style a bed so that it has a homey, cottage aesthetic, blankets are your best friends. After all, few things in this world are associated with comfort as strongly as blankets.

And the thicker the weave the more clearly this aesthetic comes across. We especially like wool blankets, as it makes for such a distinguished aesthetic. Not to mention that you can also keep your single bed warm through the harshest of winters.

Quilts

A quilt cover is very similar to a top sheet, however, since it comes with extra padding it's a bit more eye-catching. And just like with blankets, they simply ooze comfort. However, we think they offer even more options than blankets, as the quilt itself can come in different shapes and thus fit different designs.

Plus, the presence of more refined patterns can make your single bed seem a lot larger. And if you have a big bedroom, that could be quite a beneficial illusion.

Comforters

If you took one look at the quilt covers and wished that they could be even puffier, comforters should be right up your alley. Getting a good comforter just makes you want to jump onto your bed every time you enter the room.

However, they are rather large (usually hanging from the sides), so you have to be careful that they don't consume your whole bed. After all, it's difficult to nail a specific aesthetic if one bedding product covers up everything else.

Have a good bed frame

Although a single bed frame by design isn't going to be as extravagant as a king size, that doesn't mean that it has to be dull. For example, even the king of bed frame luxury, the four-poster bed usually comes in a single size.

So, it can still easily be the focal point of your entire bedroom! A platform bed is probably your best bet if you want a minimalist design and a storage bed is a great fit for a kids' space due to the extra storage.

Speaking of which, if you're looking to dull up a guest bed, sofa beds are your best friends. Although they usually come in bigger sizes, some sofas do feature a single bed. And in this way, your guest bedroom is now also a second sitting area, which can be very convenient.

So, don't automatically default to a standard bed frame. Sure, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to design – but we strongly suggest looking at all the options before making your decision. Especially since a quality bed frame can only enhance your quality bedding.

Make your duvet stand out

If you don't like putting a top sheet on and instead leave your duvet on your bed, it dictates the look of your entire bed styling. So, make sure that's a positive and not a death sentence!

When it comes to the duvet itself, just make sure you stay warm. Look into what a TOG scale is and have a duvet of the appropriate warmth for the season. The duvet cover on the other hand is a lot more flexible.

Duvet covers come in all shapes and sizes and can help you pull off some impressive designs. So, just like with the bed frame, do some research instead of immediately committing to a monochrome cover. We especially recommend reversible duvet covers, as they often have two completely different designs on either side.

And when it comes to the duvet itself, make sure that it's either set atop the bed evenly when you're not in it or have a folded duvet at the end of the bed for a more stylized look. Just don't leave it a mess once you get out of bed, as even the best duvet covers can't save that look.

Utilize pillows

An image of three pillows of different shapes and sizes

Pillows open up an entirely new world when it comes to styling your single bed as there's more variety than you'd know what to do with. So, let's break down the two main players – sleeping pillows and cushions.

Sleeping pillows

When it comes to the size and shape of your sleeping pillow, it's usually rather standard. After all, their main purpose is to support your neck – so, they might not always look their best while doing so.

However, a good pillow case can cover up a lot of hurt. So, get creative! If you just use one big sleeping pillow, make sure that it doesn't clash with your duvet or the sheets, as it's the focal point for the upper half of the bed.

And once you've done that, you can use the smaller cushions, depending on what style you're going for, to either contrast or heighten that aesthetic.

Cushions and throw pillows

Bed cushions make for the easiest way to spice up the style of your single bed. The number of cushions per bed is “as many as will fit” and the standard size of cushions is “whatever you want it to be”. In other words, you're bound to find a cushion for just about any aesthetic.

And then you can also multiply that variety with all the different pillow covers you can use! So, as we've mentioned briefly, use the smaller cushions in tandem with your bigger sleeping pillow to make more intricate designs and patterns.

Even the pillow arrangement can add to the style quite heavily depending on how you use them and how many pillows are at play. So, go wild and see what you can come up with – bedroom cushions are your best friends in this regard.

The position of the bed matters

Although the position of your bed isn't always a debatable subject (especially if you have a small bedroom), you should give it some thought. After all, if you have a more grandiose bed frame, tucking it into the corner can negate all the elegance you had built up!

In fact, you should probably avoid putting the bed in the corner in general. After all, a single bed already isn't that large and when put in a corner, it can seem even smaller. Not to mention that it also limits your design choice a bit, as people can only view the bed from one side.

If possible, have the bed in a more prominent location. But if space is tight, at least move it away from the wall slightly – either leaving enough room for a coffee table or at least a phone charger.

Invest in a headboard

An image of a fancy bed with a stylish headboard

If your bed isn't already rocking a headboard, we strongly suggest you look into getting one. After all, even a single bed automatically looks so much more imposing and grand when paired with a proper headboard. And if you're getting an entirely new bed frame, you can even get one with a footboard as well if you really want to make it look elegant.

Our personal taste strongly leans towards tufted headboards in particular, as they're not too flashy but also look rather luxurious. And depending on the material used for the headboard, the luxury can only go up!

There are even bedding manufacturers that will make custom headboards to perfectly suit your taste. So, give it some thought and browse your options online.

Make a DIY faux headboard

Considering that we mentioned luxury more than once when talking about headboards, it's no surprise that they can also be rather expensive for a decorative item. However, that alone shouldn't necessarily turn you away!

After all, you can find countless examples online of people creating their own headboards without spending too much money. Not to mention that since they're custom-made, they can also be tailored to whatever aesthetic you're going for. So, if you have some creative juices and know how to work with tools, this might just be the perfect option for you!

Conclusion

In conclusion, just because you don't have the biggest bed, doesn't mean you can't have the prettiest one. From the types of sheets you use to the many different covers, pillows and even the bed frame itself – you can craft the perfect bed.

So, hopefully, you now have some ideas regarding how to style a single bed, and your bedroom will look more stunning than ever. And if you want to know more about bedroom design or specific bedding products, odds are that The Sleep Advisors has you covered!

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About the author

Alex Petrović
Sleep Consultant
A CPD certified Sleep Consultant with more than 2000 hours of research into all the different ways we can get a great night's sleep. As a former insomniac, I know how difficult life can be without a nightly recovery and I love that I get to share everything I've learned with you all. So hopefully we can all sleep soundly!
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