There is nothing worse than climbing into someone's gross bed.
You know what I'm talking about: musty sheets, thin pillows, uncomfortable mattresses, questionable stains… As a lady who's spent some time between a variety of sheets, I've made multiple game-time decisions to sleep out or in based purely on which bed would make me most comfortable.
Don't get slighted because you couldn't turn your bed into a palace. From sheets and smells to lighting and mattresses, here's how to make your sleep space so damn comfortable she'll never want to climb out of it.
Keep it clean
Getting back to a guy's place only to discover his bed is unmade, his mattress is 100 years old and springy, and his musty, disheveled comforter is covered in cat hair is a great way to kill a lady boner.
Freshen up! Get rid of all half-empty soft drinks, water glasses, dirty plates, and tissues from around the bed. Wash your sheets every week. And make for damn sure there's nothing stuck in your sheets… like one of your dirty socks, some other woman's jewelry or hair, or God forbid a condom wrapper.
Get control over your style
One time, I went to a guy's house and he had camouflage sheets and a gun rack as his headboard. Sure, he got points for originality. But it was also an indicator that the two of us weren't going to be consummating a marriage in there.
Your bed is not the place to make some niche statement about your interests. You may love Star Wars -- but your collectible sheet set needs to stay tucked in the back of your closet. Probably forever.
When in doubt, err on the side of sleek, masculine, and simple. Too much of anything (scented candles, incense, throw pillows) has the potential to be overwhelming. Simple, upscale details can make even that crawl space in Williamsburg feel spectacular.
Get a mattress upgrade
I can chart my progress as an adult through my mattresses: those weird single-long beds of college dorms, hand-me-down mattresses, futons ,and awkwardly sized IKEA beds in various Manhattan apartments, 10 months spent sleeping on a waterbed in my late 20s, Tempur-Pedic memory foam, and a brand-new, custom-formulated, foam Hyphen mattress that's the most comfortable thing on the planet.
Actually, I don't even understand how people survived before all this crazy mattress technology came along.
Old beds, with springs that dig into your back or make your arm go numb, are no bueno for setting up a love nest. Mattress companies like Hyphen, Leesa, Tuft & Needle, Nest Bedding Alexander, and Casper are all marketing the hell out of RIDICULOUS mattresses for less than $1,000 that come with around a decade-long warranty (and flexible return policies if anything's not perfect). That's $100 a year for better REM -- and a lot more slumber parties. These places will also ship to you in a small box you can easily wrestle up those apartment stairs. So seriously -- stop procrastinating.
Get two sets of insanely nice sheets
Since you're now going to start having women over and washing your sheets every week, you'll need at least two pairs so you aren't ever stuck with a bare mattress (total deal-breaker, sorry).
There's no hard-and-fast rule on what kind to get, but definitely go for high-quality cotton over other materials or blends. And don't make the mistake of getting really cheap ones that are never going to feel luxurious on your skin and that you'll end up tossing anyway.
Saving money is good; but buying crappy sheets sucks.
To forego the guesswork of buying some random sheet set off Amazon, check out luxe companies like Parachute Home, Thread Experiment, or Brooklinen: all of which offer high-quality sheet sets for less than $200. Sheets that are scratchy or stiff will be memorable for every wrong reason. So understand this is an investment on your part for the next several years of your life, a third of which (statistically speaking and with any luck) you'll spend in bed.
Pillows are right up there with sheets and mattresses in importance; and they can make or break your sleeping situation. Every adult in your bed gets at least two comfy pillows to put where they see fit for the most comfortable sleep. Big and fluffy is obviously better than flat and lumpy -- the standard rule is that a pillow should completely fill the gap between your head and shoulders.
Also, you're supposed to be changing those things out every six months, which I just found out. Apparently, there's a crazy amount of dirt, oil, and millions of dust mites that lurk in older pillows. Ugh.
Just make sure your pillows are clean, you've got enough without being one of those crazy people with 6,000 throws on their bed, and ensure the pillows are comfy as hell. A couple should also be extra-firm: These will come in handy.
Update your lighting
There's got to be some decent middle ground between garish overhead lights and pitch blackness, since neither is the best for great sex. Ideally, you can cast a soft glow on things without revealing every blackhead, ingrown hair, and vein on the human body.
A couple dimly lit wall sconces by the bed, a dimmer for an overhead light, or one well-placed lamp will do. Lighting is one of the easiest fixes to make in a crappy apartment, so don't be shy about getting a nice fixture you can take with you when you leave.
Keep your scents about you
A bedroom that stinks of air freshener-treated body odor is going to do nothing for your game. Room scents shouldn't be masking gross smells. To keep things neutralized, don't let your laundry (which should be contained in a hamper) build up. Keep air circulating throughout a living space with a well-placed fan or open window. And keep any smells you add simple: No one wants to smell like Nag Champa until they shower next.