Monday, December 17, 2012

Preparing beds for deep winter in a wood heated home

It is a fact universally acknowledged that in a wood heated home the further away you are from the wood stove the colder it will be.  So for those of us who like to use wood heat for our homes in winter keeping the beds warm, cozy, and inviting takes thought and preparation.

When we lived in our first small centrally heated home I didn't have to think about making beds warmer in winter.  Like most people I used standard cotton sheets and a comforter and that was it.  I didn't have extra sheets or anything like that because when it got really cold you just flipped a switch.  But when we moved to Wyoming my view of winter sleeping got an abrupt and unpleasant wake up call.  Our old country farmhouse not only didn't have central heating, but it only had heat boxes which operated much like a gas stove, one in the kitchen one in the living room.  The children upstairs stayed fairly warm because of radiant heat but our bedroom was so cold that ice froze on the insides of the window and stayed all winter and into April!

I then started to view the changing of the seasons by the changing of the bedding.  I now have for each bed two separate sets of sheets based on season plus blankets and pillow cases for the different seasons.   I also keep at least two back up sheet sets and comforters for each size bed in case someone throws up or wets the bed in the middle of the night and I need to change the bedding.  This is something I think all people who should be preparing for disasters should think about.  All we need is to look at those suffering from the aftereffects of hurricane sandy.  What were they in need of most was warm bedding, clothing, and food because they had no electricity or back up food stored.  Some people were without power for over a month!  How would you keep warm and night in winter with only one thin little blanket and no electricity to heat your home?

It actually gives me great pleasure and contentment to make my families beds warm soft and cozy in the winter.  I keep a lookout at thrift stores and yard sales for items I know I'll need in winter and have outfitted 6 people's beds with name brand high end bedding for less than $50.00.  Each bed has extra warm and soft flannel sheets that will instantly make you feel warmer.  I have striven to find down comforters and down beds for each person in my family and have gotten each one in great condition at summer yard sales for tops $10.00 each.  In fact I just picked up a down bed (this is like an extra thick down comforter that lays under you at night) for free!  Down comforters and beds make all the difference in a cold room.  I love them and so do my children.  They snuggle down into them and are warm within 2 minutes no matter how cold a room gets at night.  If I really want to treat them I warm up rice bags or hot water bottles and put them in between the sheets about a half an hour before bedtime and it makes the beds toasty warm.

  For my eldest daughters bed she has a super thick feather bed under her bottom flannel sheet which makes her extra warm.  Then a top flannel sheet and light blanket and then a heavy blanket and flannel pillow cases.  I am also looking to get her another feather comforter because she likes to sleep extremely warm.

My youngest daughters bed gets flannel sheets and pillow cases, a extra thick down comforter and then a blanket on top of that.  She has a wall heater that kicks on automatically when it gets to a certian temperature in her room.

My sons sleep in the coldest room due to it not having a wall heater and being the furthest away from the wood stove.  They have a bunk bed but prefer to sleep on the bottom bunk which is a full size mattress together because they are still little.  Onto the bottom bunk goes first a thick feather bed, then a flannel sheet set then a medium fill down comforter, then a light duvet cover, and flannel pillow cases.  They told me its like sleeping in a marshmallow!

On my husband and my's bed we have flannel sheets, a light cotton weave blanket, then a heavy down comforter, and then a light cotton blanket to cover the feather comforter.  I still have to throw off the comforter sometimes because I sleep hot.

Buying all these high end bedding items would cost hundreds of dollars brand new, but I find them in new condition at yard sales and thrift stores all summer long because people in centrally heated homes find they don't need them.


  1. We used to use flannel sheets after moving to Oregon from Northern California. But now we use microfiber fleece sheets. They are so soft and warm, it is like slipping into fuzzy socks. In fact, the first day or so after putting them on the bed, we usually oversleep!

  2. I love flannel sheets. I initially had my doubts, but they are very cozy. I have also made a few quilts with extremely heavy loft batting and fuzzy backing. They weigh a ton, but are tremendously warm without adding a ton of bulk. Definitely a welcoming way to sleep on cold winter nights! (Two dogs who double as furry furnaces and curl up near my toes don't hurt either!)

    1. LOL Jamie, we too have those kind of furnaces in the form of our three cats!


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