Custom-made sheets and other bedding can take a bedroom makeover to the next level or make a wonderful gift item. It can also be a necessity for custom or non-standard mattresses and bed frames. If you have an upcoming bedroom decorating project in mind, need a special gift idea or just want a fresh look for your own bed, the following tips and resources can help you choose the perfect bedding.
Benefits to Consider
Custom bedding offers many advantages over mass-produced, stock items including:
- A perfect fit - Despite industry standards for mattress sizes (i.e., twin, full, queen, king), bed dimensions vary according to the type and brand of mattress being used. Mattress toppers can also affect the fit of bed sheets and the drop of quilts, comforters and bedspreads. Bedding components that are made-to-order, based on precise measurements of your bed ensure a perfect, tailored fit.
- Choice of fabrics - Choose the textures and tactile feel that you love, from sheets to bedspreads to accent pillows. Mix textures and patterns in your favorite colors or those that coordinate with the other décor in your room.
- Free design help - Many companies or designers offer free design help with in-home consultations, in-store consultations, or can work with you remotely.
- One-of-a-kind, high-quality look - You can expect higher quality from custom-made bedding, with more attention to detail. If you work directly with a seamstress, interior designer, or decorator your bed will have a one-of-a-kind look that reflects your personality and character.
As with any product, custom bedding also has some disadvantages that need to be considered:
- Higher price - On average, custom-made bedding usually costs more than ready-made bedding, depending on the amount of customization offered; a complete bedding ensemble made from choice fabrics with lots of embroidery or trim can easily reach $3000 or more.
- Difficult to compare prices - From exact measurements to fabric choices, it takes a lot of legwork to get price estimates for custom pieces.
- Longer wait time - Made to order items may take several weeks to several months to complete, depending on what you're having done and how busy the designer or company is.
- No returns - Custom, made-to-order items are almost always non-refundable and not exchangeable so you need to be 100 percent sure of your measurements, fabric choices, design and style before committing to an order.
Resources to Get You Started
Browse through the fabric collections and design options of the following retailers to see what inspires you. You may want to make a quick assessment of your budget as well. Be wary of retailers selling ready-made bedding sets labeled as custom. True custom bedding is always made to order based on a specific or personalized design, specific size or is custom-built from scratch using specific fabrics cut and tailored to fit your mattress's or bed's exact dimensions. It just depends on how much customization you're looking for.
Always contact a custom bedding retailer before buying anything online. It's wise to get a written estimate of all costs up front before exchanging money that you might not get back in full if you decide not to follow through with the whole process.
Calico Corners is a nationwide retailer of contemporary home fabrics for window treatments, furniture and bedding. If you are interested in a complete bedroom makeover with coordinating fabrics on bedding and other accessories such as curtains, area rugs and chairs, this might be the company for you.
Calico Corners offers free in-home or in-store consultations with a design expert, who can meet with you in the evening or on the weekend if needed. The company will also mail you free 5 by 5 inch fabric swatches. Custom bedding offered here includes:
- Comforters - Reversible. quilted
- Duvets - Reversible, quilted, can be used alone in summer and with an insert in winter
- Bedspreads and coverlets - Fitted, semi-fitted or throw-style; quilted or unquilted
- Pillow shams - Square or rectangular, boxed, knife edged, ruffled, flanged, welted or trimmed
- Bed skirts - Tailored or gathered
- Upholstered headboards - Choose the height, edge style, fabric and embellishments such as tufting, welting, nail heads or decorative trim
The only products you can order online are fabrics, trim and books. You will need to work with a store designer or customer service representative by phone if you want to place an order for bedding. For more information, visit the Getting Started page or make an appointment for a free consultation.
Advanced bedding is the place to go for sheets if you have a non-standard bed design such as an adjustable bed, dorm bed, loft bed, futon or platform bed, camper, RV or semi- truck sleeper, etc. Here you can get bed sheet sets and individual flat or fitted sheets made in any size you need. Fortunately, they provide detailed instructions on exactly how to measure the mattress to ensure you get a perfect fit.
Fabric choices in assorted colors for sheets include:
- 200 thread count polyester(50) and cotton(50) percale
- 300, 400 and 600 thread count 100 percent cotton sateen
- 300 thread count bamboo (60) and cotton (40)
- 100 percent cotton flannel
- Bridal satin
Other custom bedding items you can order on the site include custom sized mattress pads and toppers, comforters and duvet covers, made from a selection of about 21 different fabric prints and materials such as velvet in varying colors. Be sure to measure twice and follow their measuring directions carefully, as custom items are not returnable. A set of custom sheets big enough to cover a king size bed with a fitted top sheet (at the foot of the bed) and lock-tight corners on the bottom sheet will set you back $200-$300.
Don't let the name throw you off, as Design Nashville doesn't limit their clientele to only those living in or around Nashville. Founded by lead designer Tanna Miller, this boutique style custom bedding retailer has an impressive design history and works with homeowners and businesses across the United States and abroad. They also offer a huge selection of fabrics appropriate for people of all ages, from babies to kids to teens and adults.
You can have a bedding style designed for you free of charge by choosing at least one main fabric or two accenting fabrics featured in Design Nashville's online store. Pricing will include labor plus the cost of fabric. You can also choose a pre-designed ensemble in both modern and traditional styles ranging in price from about $1400-$1900, plus the cost of fabric.
For a fee of $65, you can get two completely different bedding designs drawn up for you, complete with illustrations and fabric swatches. The designer will ask you a few simple questions to help target your desired color scheme, budget, style category and fabric types. Your designer will collaborate with you by e-mail, scheduled phone appointments and text messages. Email the company before completing an online purchase, so you understand exactly what you are getting and what additional costs might be added.
Additional Places to Find Custom Bedding
There are other options to consider in addition to companies who specialize in custom linens:
Ready-Made Bedding Retailers
If you have a favorite supplier or bedding retailer for ready-made bedding, check to see if they also offer custom-made bedding. The Company Store, a well-known retailer of down and down alternative comforters, offers custom bedding made from their own line of fabrics or the fabric of your choice.
Many retailers that specialize in the sale of fabrics, custom window treatments and upholstery also offer made-to-order bedding. You can inquire about this by calling or visiting local retailers if you live in a small town or rural area. A local seamstress is another option worth looking into.
Seek Professional Help
Take advantage of interior decorating textile companies that provide free design consultants who can bring fabric samples to your home or consult with you in-store. It's important to bring fabric swatches home or have them mailed to you if working with a company or designer remotely. You need to see how the colors and textures look under the room's lighting and against other furnishings and accessories.
A local interior decorator can also set up a free consultation to show you fabric options and bedding designs based on the trade professionals she or he works with. Some designers/decorators will charge a small fee to come up with a rendered design for the bed and bedroom, (or coordinating accessories such as curtains) complete with fabric samples. Just make sure you really communicate your style ideas and color preferences to your designer/decorator, especially in the first consultation. The less you need to make changes, the easier it is on your wallet.
If you like to redecorate often and change your bedding evey year or two, investing in a full custom bedding ensemble doesn't make good financial sense unless you can comfortably afford to do so. Consider a less expensive option such as a custom print from sellers like Art Bedding or Collage.com. You can still get a custom look in your bedroom at a price comparable to ready-made bedding.