Couple About World: Duvets? Or sheets and blankets?

Jason Nissé knows exactly what he likes to find on the bed when he stays in a hotel. The only trouble is that his wife, Emma Bagnall, takes a different view


Duvets

Duvets

I don't sleep well in hotels. City hotels are often too noisy and too near the traffic and someone in the next room always seems to have his TV on too loud. Country hotels are too quiet. Having lived in London for the last two decades, I need more than the sound of a badger tiptoeing through the undergrowth to reassure me.

But two things really feed my insomnia in hotel rooms - the heat and the blankets. Hotels always turn up the heating, and however much you twiddle the thermostat you can't get it to a comfortable level. And then there is the small matter of why, in 2005, so many hotels persist in giving you sheets and blankets to sleep under.

Being trendy, middle-class, early adopters, my family moved to "continental quilts" in the mid-1970s. It was a liberating moment for me, equalled only by my discovery of fitted sheets in my mid-twenties. No more was I forced to fiddle with a thick woolly blanket and a greasy sheet when my mum told me to "make the bed". Instead, I just threw this enhanced bedspread, with its jaunty cover, over my bed, happy in the knowledge that this was just what groovy Scandinavians would do after a night of unbridled passion followed by a bowl of muesli.

I never looked back. Nor it seems has anyone else. I have stayed in many people's houses since then and I cannot remember sleeping under anything but a duvet.

But not in hotels. Why is this? Many hotels have smoking or non-smoking rooms. They offer you a choice of pillows. You can even specify different mattresses in some. Yet almost all of them give you no choice in what you sleep under. It is sheets and blankets, or nothing.

While duvets tend to adapt to your body temperature, blankets seal in the heat. So the only alternative to sweating like a spaniel is to get rid of a blanket or two (there is always more than one). This involves getting out of bed, pulling off the covers and then trying to get comfortable again. I find the only way to deal with this is to pull all the blankets and sheets free before I get in so I can easily chuck one away.

But why should I? Come on, hotels. Move to duvets. Or at least give duvet lovers such as me the choice.

JN

Sheets and blankets

Hotels are a bit like LP Hartley's definition of the past: they're often in a foreign country where they do things differently. Being the mother of two small boys, I find hotels are a huge treat. The differences are part of that. Uncluttered

en-suite bathroom? Check. Perfectly hung drapes which block out every chink of light? Check. Wonderfully efficient radiators? Check. And immaculately laundered sheets and blankets with extra blankets in the wardrobe? Absolutely.

Duvets are so work-a-day. Functional and dull. Matter-of-fact. They are not the stuff of romantic get-away-from-it-all weekends. Duvets are for huddling in on cold mornings, before one is bombarded by children. Sheets and blankets speak of languor; the smell of coffee and purr of a Vespa on the ancient street below. Can you imagine rose petals strewn on a duvet? Exactly.

I am always either boiling or freezing under a duvet; you either shrug it off or burrow under. With blankets, you can always add another or take them away. Is anything nicer on a warm summer night than sleeping under just a cool linen sheet?

True, duvets are practical. It is easy to tidy them on a busy morning, and motherhood has taught me that duvet covers and fitted sheets do not need to be ironed. Were I to have the kind of lifestyle which incorporated a housekeeper and a 'tween maid, I would have linen sheets, welsh wool blankets and satiny, padded counterpanes. I would also be living circa 1935, so I accept it is not to be. Staying in hotels, however, removes such a reality clause. I'm not doing the laundry or making the bed so I can live how I like.

For me, hotel living is as much about the things I don't have to do as about the things I do. So there is food I do not have to purchase and cook, dishes I do not have to wash, bed linen I do not have to launder, and beds I do not have to make. That I am in a cosy hotel room climbing into immaculate, tightly tucked linen means that I'm not going to be woken by pooey nappies at dawn, and for that I am truly thankful.

EB

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Guru Careers: Events Coordinator / Junior Events Planner

    £24K + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Events Coordinator ...

    Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: Chief Executive Officer

    Salary 42,000: Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: The CEO is responsible ...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

    £35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

    Ashdown Group: Technical IT Manager - North London - Growing business

    £40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A growing business that has been ope...

    Day In a Page

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
    Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

    Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

    Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
    Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

    Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

    Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
    Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

    Join the tequila gold rush

    The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
    12 best statement wallpapers

    12 best statement wallpapers

    Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
    Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

    Paul Scholes column

    Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?