The night-changing magic of new bedding | Jack Marshall’s column
There’s a social phenomenon called the circumstantial lowering of standards. CLS describes how, in certain settings, some people come across as far more attractive than they would in others. For example, on a desert island populated by boorish fox-hunting UKIP voters with halitosis, someone you wouldn’t look twice at in the street could be your Prince Charming.
I experienced a bad case of circumstantial lowering of standards recently regarding my bedding. Twisted up in the stress of moving house and settling in a new area during lockdown a few years ago, I fumbled the ball somewhat when it came to upholding comfortably lofty bed-linen standards. In other words, I got a pretty cheap duvet and pillows.
Now, in a world where bedding has gone extinct, the concept of a thick-togged winter blanket and plump downy pillows a thing of the past, my bargain basement bedding would have been a Godsend. Manna from heaven. But we don’t exist in that world, and so my circumstantial lowering of standards was unnecessary, as I emphatically realised recently.
My girlfriend and I recently bought new bedding, spurred into domestic action by the falling Mercury fall and soaring heating bills. Before long, an impossibly thick duvet arrived in the post, bundled into a beef wellington-looking sack of comfy joy. Pillows fat with feathers and drool-tinged good dreams followed, all quickly dressed in crisp new covers.
The bed was utterly transformed. Whereas where it had once lain flat as a Dutch horizon, essentially a two-dimensional piece of furniture consisting of pancake pillows squeezed thin after hundreds of heavy midnight heads and a duvet as rangy and steamrollered as roadkill, it now thrust out off the mattress, buxom and ample and hefty.
Nights amidst this new bedding have been a revelation. Swamped in an envelope of warmth, a million soft folds of comfort, and a welcome weight, we now lie with heads swallowed in cotton amidst undulating mounds of opulence. For years I laboured under the dark clouds of unacknowledged CLS. No more.
Talk has now turned to the mattress and all I can say is expect a column about memory foam and pocket-springs soon.