Bed linen

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Supply of bed linen in a department store

As bedding or bedding is any textiles , which in a bed used. These are essentially the sheet (also: sheet ) and the covers over the pillows and duvet (from bottom to top). Even textiles between the sheets and the mattress - they should protect the mattress from dirt or make it softer or warmer, e.g. B. Molton - are referred to as bed linen.


Originally, straw mats, animal skins and also animal skins were used as covers for beds as early as the Roman Empire . The first bed sheet was made from linen by the Egyptians, the material for which was obtained from the flax plant. Since the 17th century, linen has been made into sheets and pillowcases. Cotton has been used for production since 1860 because it is easier to process. Since bed linen used to have a purely functional use, it was kept in monotonous white before colors and decorations were added.

The word sheet goes back to the Old Saxon word lakan " cloth ", while the word sheet refers to the material flax fiber (linen).


Bedding protects the bedding from soiling. It is important for hygienic reasons, as people sweat while sleeping and the textiles are soiled with flakes of skin . These scales are eaten by dust mites ; Their excretions can cause allergic reactions (" house dust allergy ") in humans. This results in the requirement that the bed linen is easy to change and washable. More and more often, covers have zippers instead of buttons, which are traditionally and sensibly located at the foot of the duvet. In hotels in particular, to minimize the amount of work, covers are usually used to plug in - without a lock.

In addition to its practical purpose, bed linen also has aesthetic purposes. It can be used as a design element in the bedroom and create a pleasant or erotic atmosphere.


According to textile fiber

By type of fabric

  • Beaver , brushed cotton fabric, which is recommended in winter and in cold areas.
  • Flannel , similar to beaver, particularly thick, is suitable for cold winter nights.
  • Terrycloth , in bed linen usually a knitted fabric with special absorbency and a pleasant feel.
  • Jersey , a knitted fabric , therefore easily warps.
  • Linen , fabric, easy to print, dimensionally stable, pleasant on the skin, suitable for every season.
  • Polypropylene - non-woven fabric , the disposable sheets are used like normal sheets and are intended for single use (duration of use up to two weeks).
  • Microfiber plush, although mostly only intended as an ordinary blanket, this fur-like fabric is also particularly suitable as a warming and airier bed sheet.
  • Renforcé , medium-fine, smooth cotton fabric, suitable for summer and easy to print.
  • Satin , fabric with a beautiful sheen made of different materials.
  • Seersucker , cotton fabric that is non-iron thanks to alternating smooth and gathered strips of fabric.
  • Batiste , a very fine-threaded fabric that is particularly airy and light.

While the bedsheets are usually colored in one color , covers are often printed with patterns or woven from different colored yarns. There are also different weaving patterns ; these are particularly visible with plain-colored bed linen.

Usual sizes

  • In Germany the sizes 80 × 80 cm or 40 × 80 cm are common for pillows for adults, in Austria the sizes 70 × 90 cm or 60 × 80 cm. In Switzerland the following sizes are used: in the German Switzerland most 65 × 65 cm, usually 60 × 60 cm in French-speaking Switzerland cm and in Italian Switzerland 50 × 90th
  • For traditional flat sheets and fitted sheets, 90 × 200 cm to 100 × 200 cm for single beds and 140 × 200 cm for large beds are the usual sizes, for the French or double bed, however, 180 × 200 cm. Since only one sheet can often be stretched out on a double bed, widths of up to 220 cm are not uncommon. Due to their construction, water beds are slightly larger than normal double beds and therefore usually require sheets with a length of up to 240 cm.
  • The standard cover in Germany is usually 135 × 200 cm, in Austria 140 × 200 cm and in Switzerland 160 × 210 cm ("Nordic") and 135 × 170 cm (for sleeping with two Sheets, i.e. top sheet and bottom sheet ). There are many duvet covers for taller people, e.g. B. 155 x 220 cm. There are also envelope covers that include decorative elements. Duvet covers are closed with a simple button placket (with firmly sewn or loose linen buttons), double button placket (with removable push buttons ), press studs (mostly made of plastic ), zippers or so-on. "Hotel impact".
  • In Switzerland there are countless formats for mattresses and duvets. There, “Nordic bed linen” is understood to mean the duvet cover with a drawn-in blanket, in contrast to the usual method in France of sleeping under a sheet, over which a blanket is stretched and placed under the mattress at the foot and side ends.

Mattress protector, slipcover

Originally (until about 1980) mattress protectors or protective blankets were supposed to protect the mattress against mechanical stress from below, the bed frame , the slats or springs. Otherwise, the upholstery fabric, especially the innerspring mattresses, could quickly rub through the mobility of the metal springs and other upholstery elements at the support points. They can consist of a piece of fabric or fleece. Previously, wood wool or horsehair aufgepolsterte blankets used. Today the term is also used for bed protection against soiling from above, analogous to seat covers.

Mattress protectors between the slatted frame and mattress have become unusual today because there is hardly any wear and tear between the widespread wooden slatted frames with many narrow slats and the mattresses. In addition, such protectors significantly reduce the breathability of the mattress; you sleep 'warmer' and 'more humid'.


The draw sheet is an absorbent, smoothly lying bed sheet. The intermediate layer (often called a “draft”), which is only present in the middle part of the bed, is intended to protect the sheets and mattress from any kind of contamination and to be easier to change if the sick person cannot get out of bed.


The bedspread is a blanket used to cover the bed during the day or a light rug that is intended to emphasize the cosiness of the room. This is then removed again for sleeping. Bedspreads hinder the drying and cooling of the bed and thus promote dust mites. Allergy sufferers are advised to hang their duvets to air during the day - for example over a clothes horse - and not to cover the sheets on the bed.

Individual evidence

  1. The small 1x1 of bed linen . Section: The History of Bedding. Retrieved November 29, 2014.

Web links

Commons : Bedding  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Bed linen  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: bedding  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations