You charm her with your jokes and your oh-so-suave ability to navigate a wine list. Then she gets back to where the magic happens, and your quilt covers are ratty as hell? C'mon, men—this should be your highest priority!
By Will Welch
Photographs by Ditte Isager
Men: Why do we pay the least amount of attention to the stuff that matters most? We carefully curate our Nikes, sports cars, and all-tube-everything sound systems, only to neglect the place where we spend a third of our lifetime doing two very crucial things: making sweet, sweet love and dozing off to quiet, blissful sleep.
So this one's for you if you haven't bought new quilt covers since you signed the lease. If the edges of your sheets are fraying and your pillows are discolored from drool. If Bed Bath Beyond makes your balls revolt. We'll tell you everything you need to know so you can set yourself up with a sexier, cooler-looking, more snoozable bed. And while, yes, your lover(s) will be turned on by the upgrade, we guaran-damn-tee the person who appreciates it most will be you.
Get More Colorful in Bed
All-white sheets are like all-missionary sex: boring. The trick is to start mixing your solids.
It's simple as hell but kind of life-changing: buy three sets of matching colored sheets from one designer you like. Shazam! It no longer matters what's clean or dirty. Put on red pillowcases, a white fitted sheet, blue quilt covers... Mix, match, and mingle.
Obvious, But...Make Sure the Bed's Warm
You know how you get your closet ready for the cold weather by brushing off your heavyweight suits, pulling your sweaters out of storage, and putting your scarves back into rotation? Treat your bed with the same seasonal respect and winterize it. Here's how: Buy a set of flannel sheets and a warm blanket. They're cozy and down-home, commensurate with the bluster and nastiness outside. Flannels say, "I think ahead." They also say, "You won't need to wear that long underwear to bed, baby."
For our cold-weather gear, we intuitively trust established companies with long histories in cold-weather locales. The blanket above comes from Woolrich, based in rural Pennsylvania, and the sheets are Lands' End, which has its headquarters in Dodgeville, Wisconsin. Just makes sense.
What the Hell's in a $1,000 Sheet?
Frette's Scott Formby breaks it down
"Our Egyptian cotton sheets aren't going to lose their softness or color after a few washes. In fact, they get better with age. You have to ask yourself what you want to spend eight hours a night in, every night, for the rest of your life."
The Burning Question:
How to Top It Off, Part 1**
It's a trick I stole from a European hotel: covered duvet, no top sheet. A cotton duvet is warm in the winter and comfortable in the summer when you've got the A/C pumping. Just wash the cover with your sheets every week. And stick the duvet in the dryer every other month with two dryer sheets and three tennis balls. The fluff bounces right back."_—Jim Moore, _GQ creative director
Learn a New Sleeping Pattern
A riskier, friskier approach to bedsheets
If you're ready for a bolder and busier look, use the trick we recommended for solids: Buy three patterned sets that look handsome together and mix 'em. Your bed will feel a little different every week without ever clashing. There are plenty of masculine colors and patterns out there; just try to strike a good balance by combining aggressive patterns with mellower ones.
Those Sheets Your Mom Gave You? Burn 'Em!
Ten no-b.s. rules to a better bedroom
- How old are those sweat-stained sheets? Wow, dude.
- Don't go back to Bed Bath Beyond—go to a department store or, even better, a specialty store.
- Thread count is a marketing ploy. The Europeans don't even know what it means.
- You want to touch sheets and see how they feel. Once you know what brands you like, then you can buy online.
- **Remember: If you have three sets of matching sheets in rotation, they'll last longer.
- **Oh, there's this, too: You'll never lose out on a spontaneous lovemaking session because your bed is bare on laundry day.
- Strip the bed once a week, put on a new set, then wash the dirties and dry with a dryer sheet. We like Downy.
- Even if you decide to buy a duvet, get a blanket, too, and fold it across the foot of your bed. Looks cool; provides extra warmth.
- Go to jonathanadler.com and buy a throw pillow for $98. Nice touch.
- **Should you make your bed every morning? We're here to help, but we're not your mother. That's your call.
**The Burning Question:
How to Top It Off, Part 2**
Even with killer sheets, a bed can still look boring. The no-frills way to fix that is to add a big graphic blanket, like this Navajo-print Pendleton. The right blanket will punch up the look of your whole bedroom. Don't be afraid to go large and loud."—Madeline Weeks, GQ_ fashion director_