Please tell me about the coziest, softest, and most comfortable things in your home.
December 3, 2009 10:55 PM   Subscribe

Please tell me about the coziest, softest, and most comfortable things in your home.

After a recent luxury hotel stay, I'd like to make my apartment more comfortable...the kind of place with a sofa that's easy to curl up and nap on, an appealing reading nook, a bed that's ridiculously inviting after a long day.

To that end, please recommend your favorite comfortable home items. I'm looking for great throw pillows, blankets, bedding, really anything that makes you look forward to coming home.
posted by lalex to Home & Garden (65 answers total) 145 users marked this as a favorite
I love my Slanket. Note: not a Snuggie.
posted by sinfony at 11:04 PM on December 3, 2009 [7 favorites]

I don't have specific recommendations, but here's my list: Awesome sheets, a good blanket, and a down comforter or a quilt make for an awesome bed. Be sure to actually make the bed.

I have fleecy, squishy slippers that are warm and cozy. A good bathrobe, towels, and a bath pillow/tub tray are nice. So are fresh flowers (hint: you can get gerbera daisies or something equally cheerful for as little as $5.)
posted by runningwithscissors at 11:09 PM on December 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

My body pillow. Oh, and I don't have one yet, but I'm hoping for a heated mattress pad for Christmas. It's like an electric blanket, only it goes under your sheets.
posted by IndigoRain at 11:12 PM on December 3, 2009

Tempur-pedic Mattress + Egyptian cotton sheets + Cuddly Body Hugging L shaped Pillow = cozy soft heaven on earth
posted by lucysun at 11:15 PM on December 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

My two fluffy microfiber blankets! They are lightweight, warm, incredibly snuggly and very washable. I've even taken them on long car trips with me, especially when I'll be staying in other people's homes or hotels as they make me feel at home and comfy. Although I got my blankets here at a local store in Montreal; these are along the same lines as mine and should give you a general idea of what to look for.

I also like my covered mugs; mine have delicate blue oriental dragons on them. They are generally from China, are ceramic and have matching fitted covers -- I love them because they keep my mug of tea warmer for a longer time and in the summer, I don't have to worry about stray dust/fluffs or bugs wandering into my tea.
posted by Jade Dragon at 11:18 PM on December 3, 2009

Oh, and add fluffy down pillows to my list. My preference is white everything -- I find white bedding, etc., worth the extra cleaning effort in exchange for having everything feel cool and calm. You might find it institutional-feeling.
posted by runningwithscissors at 11:20 PM on December 3, 2009

Modal sheets. Bed Bath and Beyond sells the "Pure Beech" brand -- they are incredibly soft (and stay that way even after you wash them), environmentally friendly, and not ridiculously pricey, as sheets go. I have the Jersey type, but they make sateen ones as well, for that extra-fancy touch.

I also really love down and/or feather pillows (as opposed to the polyfill most pillows are made of these days). I like them because the support is endlessly adjustable, and the pillow tends to conform to my own sleeping patterns over time.
posted by vorfeed at 11:20 PM on December 3, 2009 [4 favorites]

A real down duvet for starters -- nothing else compares. Duvet cover instead of the blanket-top sheet setup, so you can wrap yourself up in it. I have a chenille afghan for curling up on the sofa.

And of course you can't ever beat a couple of warm kitties.
posted by citysquirrel at 11:20 PM on December 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

We have this chair; it was once part of a matched chair/couch set, but the couch is long gone. When we bought the chair, we wanted the narrow one, but a wide one showed up, and we decided to keep it.

It just so happens that the arms on this chair (and the couch, natch) lean outwards, and have broad flat tops angled out and down, and the width of the chair is just right for me to sit sideways on with my legs draped over one arm, perfectly supported and cozy while I'm on my laptop.
posted by davejay at 11:20 PM on December 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Seconding having a down comforter for your bed and lots of pillows. I also like this fleece blanket from Sahalie. This robe is the warmest I've ever had.
posted by gudrun at 11:25 PM on December 3, 2009

I have this little rug in my bathroom that I keep in front of my toilet. I just checked and it doesn't have any labels on it, but I think I got it at Target. It's very soft with a carpet pile at least an inch deep, maybe more, on a rubber backing. It's machine washable. It's not a big fancy deal, but it's so nice to be able to scrunch my toes into something soft and fluffy in the mornings, or at night after a long day, after traversing cold bathroom tile. I didn't know I'd miss it so much until last week when I ended up misplacing it after tossing it in the wash. Luckily I found it and my toes are happy again!
posted by Mizu at 11:28 PM on December 3, 2009

I love my fleece slippers, so comfortable for sitting at the computer or watching tv. The memory foam mattress topper is amazing, I couldn't afford the whole mattress but this works just fine.
posted by lilkeith07 at 11:30 PM on December 3, 2009

I love my featherbed. It is the nicest, snuggliest thing in my room and I would not part with it for anything.

I also have a sweet blanket that was given to me for a wedding present (second marriage). The blanket has lasted longer than the marriage. I think it's a nice fleece? I can't find the tag, but I might have cut it off over the last ten years. Anyway, it's huge and soft and warm.

I also recommend, as someone did above, good sheets...
posted by patheral at 11:35 PM on December 3, 2009

The coziest thing in my house is my fleece blanket. It is a knotted fleece blanket that I made last year. It is ridiculously simple to make but so cozy. In fact it went to the hospital with me when I was there for a couple months. No sew blankets

As for my bed, in the winter we use the softest flannel sheets and a great big fluffy comforter. Pillow wise I don't spend as much money as I squish them to death with the way I sleep (I basically hug them really tight in my sleep.)

For the rest of the house, in the bathroom make sure you have big fluffy towels. Nice soap to use to wash your hands not whatever is cheapest will make even the simple task of washing your hands nicer.

In the living room have some nice pillows and a blanket or two tucked away so you can always pull one out to snuggle into your couch or with your significant other.

Another thing is nice lighting. Use softer lighter overall and then add task lights that can be turned on separately for other things. Nothing makes a house seem more sterile than way too much light for sitting together. Installing dimmers on your lights also will make you able to adjust your lighting the way you wish.
posted by SuzySmith at 11:36 PM on December 3, 2009 [4 favorites]

I love my bed, especially the nice sheets. (Also: mattress and this). I find the heavy, sleek feel of the sheets to be dangerously comfortable (although I imagine bedding is a matter of personal taste.)
posted by kprincehouse at 12:06 AM on December 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

Not sure if you're looking for furnishings or personal items, but I can't say enough about shearling wool slippers like these (link may or may not work, not sure if it uses a token). A lot of vendors do not provide sufficient information about the soles, but I prefer softer cowhide soles like the one in the link; most shearling slippers on the market have a hard sole which makes it sound like horses are walking around in your house.
posted by crapmatic at 12:28 AM on December 4, 2009

My family has this black leather recliner and it is very comfortable to sit in. It's had twenty years of breaking in though...

I don't personally own one (but I plan to some day), and this might not be what you had in mind, but at my school we have these ridiculously comfortable giant bean-bag chairs. The catch is they aren't made of any bean or bead like material, though: to my knowledge, they're made of foam.
posted by tweedle at 12:31 AM on December 4, 2009

A medium weight down-filled throw blanket for the couch and a cuddly self-cleaning furball to snuggle under it with. :3
posted by Juicy Avenger at 12:37 AM on December 4, 2009

These suggestions are great, but check you bank account because many of them are super-pricey.

I agree with lucysun 100%--a well-baffled down comforter is heaven--but that's my taste. Some people say that the memory foam layer that you put on top of your mattress is all you need. Some people can't stand the tempurpedic mattresses. If you're looking for a really firm mattress, my roommate has a Vera Wang mattress from Serta (yes, that Vera Wang), and it's super-firm but with a pillow-top for the best of both worlds.

Down comforter, down pillows I agree with as well, though I have three down pillows and two polyfill pillows, because my moods (and neck needs) change. Egyptian cotton sheets (no lower than 500 thread count--I recommend 1500 if you can afford it).

I love scented candles (I especially love going to the store and smelling all of them--the more boutique-ey stores have "scent cleansers" that you smell in between testing candle scents so that no scent is influenced by the candle you tested before.

As soon as I come home from work, I take off my shoes and slip on my Wicked Good Moccasins from L.L. Bean--and I mean every single night. I buy one pair a year, because I wear them out.

Depending on whether or not you get real winters where you live, Bean also has this Winter Fleece Robe that I put over my pajamas--that plus my slippers keeps me comfy and warm.

This river stone bath mat is one of my favorite luxuries. It feels so good on your feet when you step out of the shower, and the backing absorbs water and then allows it to evaporate.

Aqua-Jet Foot Spa is divine. Perfect after being on your feet all day.

Microwaveable Fleece Socks (can you tell my feet need the most comfort?) are so comfy. It's been proven (with SCIENCE!) that you sleep better if you get into bed with warmed feet. I tend to have very cold feet, so I love these beyond reason.

I think I've gone on for way too long, plus if you tallied all of this up you'd be spending a small fortune. But I hope this gives you some ideas.
posted by tzikeh at 12:49 AM on December 4, 2009 [5 favorites]

One more thing - buy your top sheet and your down comforter one size up from your bed. I have a queen-size mattress and king-size top sheet and down comforter. It looks nicer when the bed is made, and it feels nicer when you can really snuggle into it in all kinds of ways without having any part of you uncovered. Mmmmm.
posted by tzikeh at 1:03 AM on December 4, 2009 [8 favorites]

Bean-bag chair.
posted by creasy boy at 1:06 AM on December 4, 2009

Papasan chairs are great for reading.
posted by equalpants at 1:16 AM on December 4, 2009

I have a firm orthopedic mattress which has a memory foam pillow top. On top of that I have a duvet (comforter) with a fitted sheet over it to hold it in place. Most comfortable bed ever.
posted by essexjan at 1:51 AM on December 4, 2009

I have a couple of big sheep skins (each is 4 skins sewn together) for my living room rug that I got at Costco, I love walking across it and my dog thinks it's pretty close to heaven.
posted by BoscosMom at 2:05 AM on December 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

Cuddler two-person recliner. Better than a sofa for watching TV or playing video games. It accommodates two (relatively thin) persons, but also fits a single heavier person if your weight tends to that range. Used solo, the extra width means you have better width--for greater comfort than a single-person recliner. And the upholstery is soft and pillowy (in my experience).
posted by Gordion Knott at 2:36 AM on December 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

I have a firm orthopedic mattress which has a memory foam pillow top. On top of that I have a duvet (comforter) with a fitted sheet over it to hold it in place. Most comfortable bed ever.

I have this too, and when my parents come to visit from out of state, they refuse to get a hotel room because they're addicted to my bed. It's completely delicious.
posted by dzaz at 2:45 AM on December 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

Seconding the Slanket (not Snuggie) and millionthing a good down comforter and good sheets. And a cat who is willing to let you carry him around and rest your head on his stomach.

In the summer when the huge cozy blankets are too much, I love my chenille throw.

I also like to keep a variety of good-quality shower gels, bubble baths (Lush bubble bars are the best I've found), and lotions around.

Having a designated lounge-around-the-house outfit or two helps - something more comfortable than what you'd clean or garden in, but more structured than pajamas.
posted by Metroid Baby at 4:24 AM on December 4, 2009

Just a few days ago we got a present from my in-laws that my wife wanted.. it's like a soft layer that you put between the sheet and the mattress of your bed and it makes the sheet feel thick and soft so it wraps slightly around you rather than you just lying on it.
posted by wackybrit at 4:25 AM on December 4, 2009

Slanket (not Snuggie)

Slight derail: Why is the Slanket better than the Snuggie? Aren't they both the same kind of blankets-with-sleeves?
posted by essexjan at 4:53 AM on December 4, 2009 [2 favorites]

Ibex merino wool blanket. Fleece sucks.
posted by fixedgear at 5:03 AM on December 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

I do not have one now, as my bed-mate's body thermostat is distinctly different than mine, but in the distant past I spent many a night sleeping on a feather bed, under a down comforter. It was superbly cocoon-like.
posted by drlith at 5:03 AM on December 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

I have a heavy fleece bathrobe from Target. Sure, there are ones of much higher quality out there, but I'm not sure if there are any quite this comfortable, especially for the price ($30). It's like being back in the womb, only less damp.

My cat is really the coziest thing in my house. He would make a wonderful pair of slippers. Someone somewhere will get insanely rich if they start making faux cat fur blankets, socks and sheet sets.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 5:12 AM on December 4, 2009

Get a microfiber bathrobe. Don't skimp on this.
posted by sickinthehead at 5:22 AM on December 4, 2009

Microfiber fleece pillow cases are incredibly soft. (My cats love mine and act like it's their mother.) I don't have the sheets. It seems like they'd be more like light blankets than sheets, but I bet they'd be lovely in cold weather.
posted by Ery at 5:22 AM on December 4, 2009

I have a tube-shaped monkey stuffed thing. I have named it "Monkey Pillow". (If I had a cat it would probably mostly be called "Cat"). It is good for curling up with on a couch.

I also have comfy clothes for wearing around the house. Loose skirts and a big flannel shirt that I can change into and not worry about messing up nice clothes when I get home from work.

I am also considering getting a Kotatsu (heated table), which is one of the most amazingly comfy Japanese winter furnitures. Stick your legs in, heck, crawl all the way in, and feel nice and warrrrm. But I am in Japan where they are more available and the central heating is nonexistent or pathetic.

I like really heavy covers, so down is pretty good, but wool tends to be better. Flannel sheets feel nice, but they do too well at heating, so I avoid them for the smooth sheets.
posted by that girl at 5:46 AM on December 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

I have approximately 6billion pillows, so that every human being on earth can drop by my house and have a pillow. My bed has two duvets - one for each human. This may sound like it cuts down on snuggling, but it adds in coziness since no one ends up with cold feet in the middle of the night from unauthorized blanket shifting. I'm also a fan of layers of blankets. Layers up on layers. Quilts, cotton blankets, duvet - I live in a cold climate and like to be cozy in bed, but also like the option of just snuggling with a quilt for a short nap.

We have two blankets for the couch: one lightweight, one fleece. Fleece blankets are proof that G-d loves us and wants us to be happy.

Have I mentioned the pillows? I especially love square "continental" or "European" style pillows.

We have an amazing mattress, but for maximum coziness in the past, I've used a memory foam mattress pad, or even the cheapo "egg crate" pad placed on top of an old comforter, which makes for extra softness. Not too much softness though or you lose lumbar support.

People have often refused to leave my bed/home for the coziness that it contains is epic.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 5:59 AM on December 4, 2009

OH! And sheets! Buy the highest thread count you can afford. Flannel seems like a good idea, but gets too hot - jersey knit is better, but really high thread count cotton sheets are like sleeping on little slices of heaven.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:01 AM on December 4, 2009

My underfloor heating system is extremely cozy. I can walk around and get sort of a hot foot massage, and sometimes I lie down and bask.
posted by acidic at 6:07 AM on December 4, 2009

I simply love my heated mattress pad--dual control, so if I do get too warm during the night I just roll over to the unheated side for a bit.

I also have a heated fleece throw for my reading chair--very similar to an electric blanket but it's throw-sized--I think I got it from Lands End.

And both are made even cozier when accessorized by my two cats--my own personal furry space-heaters.
posted by bookmammal at 6:32 AM on December 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

I sleep with this natural cozy warm heating element tucked next to my chest and tummy and hubby also bought me some warm fleecey jammies. They're like someone made pajamas out of these blankets, which I also recommend.
posted by mrsshotglass at 6:47 AM on December 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

For me it's the bed: I bought a duvet that cost more than a month's salary and has been worth it. It's the lightest, fluffiest and warmest thing I own - I wish I could wear it! I also bought a new mattress and tried out scores in various shops. I ended up with a firm-ish memory foam. I like the way it supported each part of the body.

I also bought high-thread count sheets but was disappointed that they were too sheeny for my tastes. They also didn't seem to breathe as well as lower thread counts and often had a damp feel to them, so I ended up buying 180 thread counts sheets and all is well again.

I think the bed is the most important place in a home - once that's sorted, you can work on the remaining comfort.
posted by stenoboy at 6:53 AM on December 4, 2009

I have the microfiber fleece sheets, and they are positively amazing. The first two nights I had them I slept through my alarm because I was so cozy. They're a bit thinner than the standard fleece blanket, so they're not overwhelming.
posted by olinerd at 6:54 AM on December 4, 2009

I keep the thermostat pretty low in winter, and one thing that's made a huge difference in my comfort is wearing a warm fleece hoodie around the house, with the hood up. You know that old line about how you lose most of your heat through your head? Yeah -- maybe it's because I have really short hair, but having something soft and warm around my head/neck makes a *world* of difference in how cozy I feel.
posted by Kat Allison at 6:56 AM on December 4, 2009

The Ofelia throw blanket from Ikea. And kitties!
posted by runtina at 7:41 AM on December 4, 2009

i recently had a revelation about natural fiber bedding. while fleece and other polyester-based fabrics can feel soft to the touch, they don't breathe too well. so you'll end up cuddly and snuggly for about a half hour (actual time may vary depending on furnace-like quotient of bedmate), and then you start to sweat. kick off the fleece and you're freezing. rinse, repeat. i just swapped out a memory foam topper for a super-thick featherbed and replaced my silk-front-but-polyester-underneath duvet cover with one made of soft cotton. i am pretty stoked on it. also, furnace-man doesn't sweat any more either.

same with jammies. for christmas i want a thick cotton robe and some uggs (or knockoffs--point is they must be all leather and [real] fleece). a cashmere robe would be insane & awesome, but pretty pricey. wool would be nice, too.
posted by apostrophe at 7:43 AM on December 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

I can't tell you how much I love "couch quilts" -- fluffy throws, not just the woven or fleece blankets.

Our new bed has a curved leather-upholstered headboard.It's nice for sitting up in bed and reading, but it's also kind of comforting to have a soft, smooth surface to touch (we were considering a Craftsman-y one with wood slats, but this just looks and feels much nicer all around). And it's also useful for protecting one's head during... other times ;)

I also have a chaise on the end of my couch. I adore putting my feet up, so this is just fantastic. But the nice part about having a chaise at the end of the couch, as opposed to just a footrest, is that it makes a nice L shape where I can snuggle with my partner while we're both stretched out (one facing one way and the other perpendicular). It's not as big or as crazy-looking as a sectional, so that's even better.

I have a pillow that my mom got me at a home show. It's supposed to be some sort of anti-snoring pillow, but I don't know if it really works for that. The inner parts are chunks of foam; I refer to it as Squishy Pillow. It's so much nicer than just the fluff of softer pillows, and I can scrunch it any way I want -- and it more or less stays that way until you squish it again.

Fuzzy slippers at the door, for yourself and guests, are lovely. Those should also be made from real fleece or similar.

Ample places for putting books and/or mugs when you're on the couch are a must. We have this great end table from Target that overhangs the couch itself, which is great for saving space or just getting a sturdy flat space in the middle of a larger piece of furniture.

Towel warmer?

Upholstered chair in the bedroom for putting on your shoes and socks? (or holding laundry...)
posted by Madamina at 8:26 AM on December 4, 2009

Whenever I go to the thrift store I look at the men's sweaters to see if there are any cashmere sweaters. You'd be surprised. I then use them as pajama tops.
posted by Stewriffic at 8:49 AM on December 4, 2009 [4 favorites]

Probably repeating here, but flannel sheets and a couple microwave-heated rice socks under the comforter at the foot of the bed about ten minutes before we get in. Wow!
posted by gb77 at 9:07 AM on December 4, 2009

Essexjan, the Snuggie is a cheaper and inferior material. The Slanket is a thick pile and verrrrrry cozy. I have it in red, the warmest color.

Not yet technically mine, but I am working on it: my parents have a blanket from Woolrich that is a regular heavy plaid wool blanket on one side and a thick wool sherpa pile on the other. Good god. I make a beeline for that thing when I go home.
posted by oflinkey at 9:55 AM on December 4, 2009 [2 favorites]

I'm allergic to down, so no down comforters or mattress pads for me. Luckily these wool filled ones are even better.

Love love love. My sister always comments on how comfy and inviting my bed is and she has a down comforter.

Worth every penny.
posted by ephemerista at 10:02 AM on December 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

When in the house during cold months I just wear sweat pants, puffy sweat shirts, and really thick socks (the sort made for outdoor adventures.) This keeps me warm and everything is nice and soft. It's also cheap, so I don't worry about getting spaghetti sauce on my sweatshirt.
posted by massysett at 10:08 AM on December 4, 2009

My featherbed. And a couple of warm kitties.
posted by lawhound at 10:28 AM on December 4, 2009

Seconding YES to Pure Beech modal sheets, either jersey or sateen. They are FABULOUS.
posted by oldtimey at 11:03 AM on December 4, 2009

A good queen size bed, jersey bed sheets, a decent duvet, feather pillows, and a very warm boyfriend who knows the value of a good moisturizer.
posted by futureisunwritten at 11:41 AM on December 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

After staying at the Alden - Houston, my wife and I ran out and purchased a set of their Encompass Pillows from United Feather and Down. Worth every penny to cradle your only head for 6-8 hours per day on the best dual-chambered down pillows ever. But buy the pillow covers to protect your investment.
posted by cross_impact at 11:48 AM on December 4, 2009

I'm a big fan of sheepskin throws.
posted by yohko at 3:46 PM on December 4, 2009

Response by poster: Wow, thank you all, this is so great! My weekend project is going to be checking out the recommendations that have been made so far.

and no worries, I already have the pair of fluffy kitties.
posted by lalex at 6:16 PM on December 4, 2009

Actually the best comforter I have ever experienced was a silk-filled one. It was flannel-covered, thick and extremely heavy and warm. Man I wish that had been mine. Silk comforters are expensive, though.
posted by that girl at 7:02 PM on December 4, 2009

This river stone bath mat is one of my favorite luxuries. It feels so good on your feet when you step out of the shower, and the backing absorbs water and then allows it to evaporate.

Oh. Wow. Holy crap -- a bath mat made of rocks, so the cats won't pee on it?! I must have it!
posted by vorfeed at 7:33 PM on December 4, 2009

Scottish pure wool blanket and my sweater bought this past summer during our trip to Scotland of course! They are oh so warm and soft.
posted by Taurid at 10:32 PM on December 4, 2009

American Apparel is always a questionable recommendation, because some people hate the place and some people love it. But I bought one of their California Fleece blankets on sale a few months back, and they're so fluffy and big and warm I'm more than likely going to pick up another at full price. In fact, I am writing this comment from beneath one. Definitely recommended.
posted by saturnine at 11:13 PM on December 4, 2009

My guest linens include an inch-thick featherbed, percale sheets, a Land's End eight-foot long fleece blanket, a featherdown duvet inside a percale cover, and down pillows.

Why, you ask, do the living room transients get such luxury?

It is because I have a Tempurpedic mattress with jersey modal sheets, matching pillows, and a billion-dollar down duvet (thank you, sibling who upgraded to king size just after receiving wedding gifts) on my own bed.

Suck it, visitors.
posted by Sallyfur at 2:05 AM on December 5, 2009

I love my Sheex (bedsheets made of the same material that athletic wear is made of--wicks the moisture away from you for a comfortable sleep).
posted by I'm Brian and so's my wife! at 6:27 PM on December 6, 2009

You know, I'm kind of down on the modal sheets. I had them for a couple of years but they did not age well -- they got pills and holes and it was just awful. I switched to high thread count cotton sheets and I am much happier.
posted by sugarfish at 9:21 PM on December 6, 2009

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