Can you feel it? It’s officially holiday prep time. You may be coordinating travel schedules or meal planning for crowded gatherings. If you’re able to think beyond the bird, however, you’re eyes are likely on the real holiday prize: the tryptophan-induced, post Thanksgiving nap. And, as with all good holiday plans, you should really start the prep-work now.
The annual snooze calls for the softest sheets, the coziest blankets, and pillows that feel like squishy pizza dough. “Once you’re down post-Thankgiving, the goal is to not have to get up,” says Thayer Joyce, curator of the Instagram obsession @alwayssssleep. “It’s exhausting enough preparing for a big holiday. I need everything within arm’s reach, because once I’m down, I’m down.”
And with the holidays being a sort of stressful time (you know, with rushed travel plans, harried shopping and arguments about how many football games are too many), sleep is something we can all get behind (and reap the benefits from, too). “We all have different relationships with clothes, food, fitness, but sleep is a universal wellness tool,” says Joyce.
So, to help you upgrade your sleep style, we picked Joyce’s well-rested mind to gather the most aspirational and inspirational slumber essentials to outfit your happy place—because she’s truly tested them all.
Keep scrolling for Joyce’s top tips to deck out your bedroom.
While foam versus spring mattresses are a deeply personal thing, Joyce prefers an old-school, inner-spring mattress. Add foam or pillow toppers to customize your ultimate end feel. “I add two layers of foam, so you get the best of both worlds,” says Joyce. She says that it makes for a thicker mattress—”from the side it’s like an ice cream sandwich.”
Skip pouring over thread count and go with your gut. “Ultimately, you have to like the feel of your sheets on your skin, particularly on your face and feet. These are the places where you feel sheets the most when you’re falling asleep,” says Joyce.
Focus on finding your favorite finish. Sateen has a softer feel while percale feels more like your typical men’s button down. “A bamboo sheet would be a really nice option for a post-Thanksgiving nap,” says Joyce. “It has a silky feeling, but will keep you warm; bamboo has a lot of the same feel properties as flannel.”
For brands, Joyce’s go-to are still the Schweitzer linen sheets she grew up with, but affordable Parachute and posh Peacock Alley also get the job done. “Peacock Alley sheets wash really nicely. Over time, they’ll become the softest sheets you have.”
“People DM me about what pillow to get, and I love answering because I have a very specific brand,” says Joyce. “It sounds weird, but I love Claritin brand pillows. They’re my secret weapon.” The allergen-barrier pillow is stuffed with down alternative pillow, and it does a good job of molding to your shape. For a high-tech option, Joyce suggests Bedgear Impulse 1.0, a foam pillow with cooling technology and a firm, yet squishy, feel.
“I’ve tried pretty much everything, but I keep going back to The Company Store,” says Joyce. “It’s an old-school, catalogue-based model, but their products are so well-made and they last forever—plus they always have great sales.”
The sleep masks
Joyce digs Perpetual Shade’s plain, silk masks for their full coverage (the eye panel is larger than most) and thick elastic bands. “They stay on from the moment you go to bed to the moment you wake up,” says Joyce. Plus, with their simple aesthetic and solid colors, even guys can get on board. “It’s nice to have a simple sleep mask that doesn’t look like it belongs at a sorority slumber party,” adds Joyce.
The essential oils
Joyce goes to pure lavender essential oils (the ingredient has stacks of studies behind it’s sleep help) to create a calm environment, and you can diffuse it in one of these beautiful diffusers. “It’s great if you have guests in for the holidays,” says Joyce. “Sleep situations are a good area to invest in when you’re hosting, because that’s where you can really make things comfortable for people.”
The air purifiers
Consider swapping out your white noise machine (or app!) for an air filter. “For some people, it’s about lighting a candle before bed, but I love the health properties of having an air filter,” says Joyce, who notes that the Alen brand is her favorite. “I seriously think air filters are going to be the next revolution. Air filters are the jam, man.” Touché. Air filters are the jam, but they’re a close second to naps.