My perfect bedroom

Morning all, I hope you’re looking forward to a fabulous bank holiday weekend. Even if it is raining!

I’m looking forward to spending several happy hours engrossed in the wonderful, perfect world that sits on the pages of interior design magazines. Thinking about my future home has become a small obsession of mine. I currently rent (but hope to have a lovely home to decorate at some stage), and so for now I satisfy myself by collecting pictures of country kitchens, cosy living rooms and simple, stylish bedrooms in my – bulging! – “Homes” folder.

Of course, the master bedroom would have to be the most chic, luxurious and calming room in the house.  I’d decorate it in soothing, neutral colours and play with textures to create a peaceful but interesting look. A big, beautiful bed would key, topped with the best, most comfortable mattress I could find and my soft alpaca wool duvet. There would be two pretty bedside tables, large enough to accommodate stylish reading lamps, a radio, my daylight alarm clock and flickering, aromatic candles. They’d have drawers and cupboard space for my other essentials (book, magazines, bed socks, SleepPhones, Chillow) as well as other bits and pieces that I don’t want cluttering up my dreamy sleep sanctuary. Clever, invisible storage solutions would mean that there would never, ever be stacks of magazines, heaps of unwashed clothes, toppling piles of paperwork, bags, books, shoes….. I’d feel the daily stresses melt away every time I walked into my lovely bedroom.

Ah, well I can dream, can’t I?

Amy x

Product review: Alpaca wool duvet

Welcome to my third product review. Every few weeks I will be testing and reviewing a sleep-related product. This time it is the alpaca wool duvet.

Alpaca - don't you just want to cuddle him? ©iStockphoto.com/CelesteQuest

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about an excellent blog post by the Sleep Geek on keeping cool on hot summer nights (you can read it by clicking here). The Sleep Geek highlighted two products to help prevent overheating in bed: the Chillow and the alpaca wool duvet.

Having tested and reviewed the Chillow, I can happily confirm its effectiveness as a soothing, cooling sleep aid on those hot, sticky, summer nights – read my full review here.

Now, I want to share my thoughts on the alpaca wool duvet. Let me tell you a few facts about alpacas and their wool first, though: Alpacas are native to South America (although they have been exported to other countries, including the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) and are bred predominantly for their soft, glossy wool. Alpaca wool is light and hollow (unlike sheep wool which is solid) and is very effective at regulating body temperature in changing climates and terrains – helping to keep alpacas warm when it’s cold and cool in higher temperatures. Alpaca wool is also naturally clean and dry. These special characteristics of alpaca wool make it very valuable and ideal for clothing and bedding.

I bought my very first alpaca wool duvet in November last year, so I’ve had an opportunity to test its natural temperature regulating qualities during the cold winter months and in the recent warmer weather.

When my duvet arrived – on a particularly chilly day in November – I was surprised by how thin and very light it felt.  Honestly, I was worried it wasn’t going to keep me warm enough. I feel the cold really easily and have previously piled on thick pajamas, bed socks and blankets to stay warm in bed in the winter – only to wake up in the night to throw it all off because I’m too hot! Anyway, back to the duvet…..well, it did the job! It kept me cosy – but not hot or sweaty – all through the winter. And I didn’t even need my extra nightwear (except my lovely bed socks – I get very cold toes in the winter!) or blankets. It even kept me warm in bed when the central heating broke in December and we had no heat or hot water for three days. It isn’t as heavy or as fluffy as standard “winter” duvets can be – but it’s comfortable and will certainly keep you warm on cold nights, I can vouch for that!

Winter seems a long time ago now, but up until a couple of weeks ago, my alpaca wool duvet remained in place on my bed. Being thinner and lighter than standard duvets, my alpaca wool duvet has been great on warmer nights – it’s comfortable to use all through the night and I haven’t had to do any bedtime sit-ups (throwing my duvet off because I’m too hot, then sitting up to retrieve it a couple of minutes later because I’m too cold) this year. But, as temperatures have risen further in the past couple of weeks, my flat has got hotter and hotter and hotter, and I have temporarily relocated my duvet. To be honest, I didn’t expect it to work miracles – in the heights of summer, in an airless flat in the heart of the city, I don’t want anything covering me at all.  It’s as simple as that.

My verdict? Lovely, comfy duvet that will keep you sleeping soundly at the optimum temperature in the depths of winter and (the majority of) the warmer months. Love it!

The alpaca wool duvet is available from We Love Sleep.