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When it comes to interior design, we have a lot to thank Scandinavia for. They're masters of neutral minimalism, they put hygge and Scandi-cool on the map, and of course, they bought us the gift that is IKEA. Besides aesthetic contributions though, there's a lot we can learn from their practical way of life too, their trick for airing your bedding being a fine example.
Admittedly, we've taken many a leaf out of Scandinavia's book already, but now we have one more wellness trick to add to the list - airing your duvet outside. Now, most of us know that making your bed first thing in the morning has implications when it comes to hygiene. While we shower and dress, most of us fold back our covers to let our bed breathe for a bit, but rarely does that extend to taking your duvet outside and hanging it on the line.
Well, that's exactly what our friends in Scandinavia are doing in their modern bedrooms, and if there's one region that knows how to live well, it's them. This element of their cleaning ritual is deeply rooted in their culture, and the idea has been intriguing users on TikTok in every corner of the world. To find out more, we asked bedding experts just how beneficial the idea is so you can decide whether or not to incorporate it into your morning routine.
Why do Scandinavians air their bedding outside?
TikTok has taught us a lot so far, but it's safe to say no one saw the revelation that Scandinavian citizens air their duvet outdoors coming. Many users have taken to the video-sharing app to explain why this routine is part of everyday life and preach the many benefits it has, and now we're left wondering if we should be doing it too.
'The practice of airing bedding outside, particularly in Scandinavian countries, is rooted in a cultural tradition and belief in the benefits of fresh air and sunlight,' explains Carlie Gasia, a Sleep Science Coach at Sleepopolis. 'The practice is also quite common in many Northern European countries.'
In short, the concept is all about harnessing the powers of fresh air and sunlight to battle the moisture, odors, and bacteria that can build up in your bed while you sleep. As Muffetta Krueger domestic service manager and founder of Muffetta's Domestic Assistants, explains: 'During sleep, our bodies release moisture, which can accumulate in bedding. Airing it out helps dry the bedding and prevent the growth of mold or mildew.'
She also explains that exposing your bedding to fresh air can reduce the buildup of dust, allergens, and skin particles, creating an overall cleaner and healthier bedroom environment to help you sleep better. The same effects apply if you sleep with a comforter, too.
How long does your bedding need to be aired outside for?
Ready to give this Scandi bedding hack a try? We couldn't blame you. After all, who wouldn't want a cleaner, fresher, more relaxing bedroom, right? The only problem is, it's not the most convenient cleaning ritual, so fitting it into our busy morning schedules is easier said than done. With that in mind, the burning question is how long we should be airing our duvets outside in order to reap the benefits.
'The duration for airing bedding outside can vary, but typically a few hours is sufficient,' says Carlie. 'Aim for two to four hours of exposure to sunlight and fresh air, and adjust the duration based on your local climate, weather conditions, and the thickness of the bedding. Use your judgment to determine when the bedding has been adequately aired before bringing it back inside.'
Not so simple to do if you have to leave the house before 8AM, then. In such cases, you could always air your duvet in the evening instead, or make the most of weekends or days off by putting your bedding outside for a more extended period of time.
What should you do on rainy or overcast days?
Scandivanians are a pretty hardcore breed so not a lot stops them from putting their duvets outside - in fact, some even claim freezing-cold conditions are best for the job. However, even the Nordics can't argue that putting your bedding outside on a rainy day isn't a good idea.
Wet days are inevitable, and for some of us further north, they're more common than not. In such cases, it's best to call a rain check, but there are still alternative indoor methods to refresh your bedding if you're keen to embrace this wellness trend.
'If you have sufficient space indoors, hang the bedding near an open window or in a well-ventilated area to facilitate airflow and help with moisture reduction,' says Muffetta. 'You could also place a fan near the bedding to improve air circulation and aid in drying.'
Carlie notes that you could also consider using a dehumidifier to reduce moisture levels. 'If available, you can use a dryer following the manufacturer's instructions,' she adds. 'Plan to air your bedding outside on the next suitable, dry, and sunny day, instead.'
Incorporate this simple habit into your morning routine and you'll be on your way to embracing a more Scandi way of life. And trust us, your bed is sure to thank you for it!
If you're a hot sleeper, this duvet is a great option as it helps fight humidity, minimizing the need to air your bedding. It's made with an added layer of merino wool to naturally wick away moisture and prevent you from sleeping too hot and the sewn-in chamber design keeps the down fluffy and in place.
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For style leaders and design lovers.
Lilith Hudson is the Staff Writer on Livingetc, and an expert at decoding trends and reporting on them as they happen. Writing news, features, and explainers for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration you need in your home. Lilith discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. After graduating, she decided to take things a step further and now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London, with previous experience at the Saturday Times Magazine, Evening Standard, DJ Mag, and The Simple Things Magazine. At weekends you'll find her renovating a tiny one-up, one-down annex next to her Dad's holiday cottage in the Derbyshire dales where she applies all the latest design ideas she's picked up through the week.
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