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According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, it's estimated that sleep-related problems affect 50 to 70 million Americans, and the rate of sleep deprivation has increased over the last 30 years.
Though actual sleep disorders may require intervention from a doctor, you can do your part by making sure your bedding is in good shape.
Consumer Reports digital lifestyle editor Elliot Weiler joined TODAY in March to reveal the magazine's Best Bedding Picks of 2020. He shared the best sheet sets and pillows, along with tips for choosing each item.
Each one was tested by Consumer Reports to mimic normal wear — and three items from each category stood out among the rest.
Check out the choices below!
Consumer Reports says that finding a good set of sheets might be harder than you think. The most important quality is finding ones that fit, but almost half of those tested didn't fit the bed after one year of washing.
Other details you'll want to focus on are the thread count, type of material and specific weave. The thread count is the number of vertical and horizontal threads per square inch. Though it's often assumed that a higher number is better, Weiler says that's not always the case.
The type of material is also important. Typically, long-fiber sheets are stronger — like Egyptian cotton and Pima cotton sheets. You'll also want to pay attention to the weave of the fabric. A Percale weave is crisper, while a sateen sheet has a softer feel.
Consumer Reports says that most sheets don't get softer over time, so if you don't like the feel of the sheets in the store, you likely won't like them a year later. Find the top picks below, in order of popularity with TODAY readers.
Featuring a 480-thread-count weave, the Luxe Sateen Sheets are "buttery-smooth" according to the brand. Each set comes with one flat sheet, one fitted sheet and two pillowcases.
This tailored sheet set from Boll & Branch is made with 100% organic cotton. The Percale weave — a close-knit stitch — makes the sheets extra smooth and crisp.
The L.L. Bean Pima Cotton Percale Sheet set comes in four sizes and nine solid colors. The Pima cotton is derived from long-staple yarns, which make the sheets extra durable.
Once you have your sheets, you'll want to make sure you have a good pillow. Consumer Reports says the No. 1 characteristic to look for in a pillow is the support.
You'll want one that will neutralize your spine, meaning your neck and back should be aligned. If you sleep on your back you should search for a fairly flat pillow. If you sleep on your stomach you'll want a thin pillow. Side sleepers should opt for larger pillows to ensure the head is fully supported.
Mattress firmness also contributes to the alignment of your spine as harder ones leave a large gap between your body and the bed. The solution? If you have a firm mattress you’ll want a higher-lofted pillow and if you have a soft mattress you’ll want one that’s low-loft.
When it comes to durability, Consumer Report says that you generally get what you pay for. And after spending over 2,000 hours evaluating, Weiler revealed the three best pillows. Check them out below, in order of popularity with TODAY readers.
This bestselling pillow has over 6,000 verified five-star reviews on Amazon and gets the seal of approval from Consumer Reports. "I have spent hundreds on brand name memory foam pillows that failed to relieve my neck pain — these pillows made that pain go away immediately," said one verified buyer.
The Original Pillow from Coop Home Goods offers optimal support. It also comes with extra fill so you control the level of firmness in the pillow.
My Pillow claims that its plush pillow will be the most comfortable one you'll ever own. It also comes with a 10-year warranty that covers workmanship or material defects.
This article was originally published on March 12, 2020.
For more stories like this, check out:
- See the winners from Good Housekeeping's Best Bedding Awards 2020
- 25 expert-approved products to help you achieve a better night's sleep
- These $30 bedsheets stay cool and wrinkle-free all night long