Healthy Mind Healthy Sleeping Habits

I Tried the Scandinavian Sleep Method—And Now My Partner and I Refuse To Sleep Any Other Way

Photo: Getty Images/dolgachov
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Last month, my now-husband, Alex and I spent a week in Copenhagen, Denmark for part of our honeymoon. And not to be dramatic, but I loved absolutely everything about it—the hygge lifestyle, the thriving bike culture, the drool-worthy design, the clothes—even the sleeping arrangements. Yep, the sleeping arrangements. Because when we tucked in for bed on our first night, we noticed we weren’t bundled under one duvet, but two.

At first, we were mildly concerned about how our nightly cuddle would work under separate comforters. But we trusted the Danes and assumed they knew something about sleep that we didn’t, and spoiler alert: they totally did. It’s called the Scandinavian Sleep Method—where a couple sleeps with two comforters on a bed instead of one. The genius sleep hack is said to work wonders on improving your sleep—and by extension, your relationship—and is common practice throughout Scandinavia (which includes Denmark, Norway and Sweden). It's so popular, that it's steadily catching on throughout Europe. We tried the Scandinavian Sleep Method for our five night stay in Copenhagen—here’s how it went.

What happened when I tried the Scandinavian Sleep Method

TLDR: We kind of loved it. Having our own blankets meant that we wouldn't have to fight over them throughout the night, and it gave each of us the freedom to ditch the blankets if one us began to overheat, or bundle up when the room got chilly.

For context: Alex and I are polar opposites when it comes to sleep. I’m a notoriously heavy sleeper, I fall asleep quickly and can do it almost anywhere (I’ve even fallen asleep standing up at a concert). While he’s a light sleeper prone to stirring himself awake at the sound of a pin drop. It’s a combination that makes for problematic sleep hijinks, to put it lightly. Then there's the stressful, frustration-filled mornings, during which I’m told that I move violently across the bed and take the comforter with me, forcing Alex into a nightlong game of tug of war, or worse, the laborious task of unfurling the comforter that I’ve wrapped around myself like a human burrito. In other words, ours is the type of troublesome sleep dynamic that the Scandinavian Sleep Method is designed to solve.

After our first few nights in Copenhagen, we were delighted to discover that we both slept great. Because he had his own comforter, Alex didn’t have to wrestle it from me, thus could enjoy a night of smooth, uninterrupted sleep—and I could wrap myself into a taquito of my own without consequence. Because the Scandinavian Sleep Method calls for no top sheet, there was zero risk of blanket wars, or any movement that might compromise our rest. What’s more, we could enjoy our breakfast as blissed out newlyweds, without the subtle (but totally justifiable) resentment that comes with sleeping terribly because your partner hogged the blanket all night.

Another major pro to the Scandinavian Sleep Method is that it helped us stay cool throughout the night. When one of us started to overheat under the weight of the duvet, we could push it away without leaving the other person shivering in the cold. With our own duvets, we were the masters of our own personal sleep environment. What could be better than that? Thanks to the Scandinavian Sleep Method, we slept better than we had in months—and we weren’t prepared to let it go—so I tapped the experts to learn more.

Who is the Scandinavian Sleep Method for?

"[The Scandinavian Sleep Method] can be particularly beneficial for couples who have differences in temperature preferences, or if one partner is a sheet-stealer or tosses and turns," explains Dr. Wendy Troxel, a behavioral scientist, author of Sharing the Covers: Every Couple’s Guide to Better Sleep, and scientific advisor for The Sleep Foundation.

"It also can serve as a compromise for couples who differ in terms of their bedding preferences, but don’t want to sleep in separate bedrooms." If you've ever considered getting a "sleep divorce" from your partner, the Scandinavian Sleep Method could be a good first step.  The method is also a sound option for couples who have different schedules that require them to wake up and go to sleep at different hours. As helpful as the sleep method is, Dr. Troxel cautions that it isn't the answer for couples facing more glaring sleep challenges like snoring.

Before you try it

Before you try the Scandinavian Sleep Method for yourself, couples therapist Genesis Games, LMHC recommends having a conversation with your partner about the intentions behind the switch to make sure you're both on the same page. "I would have a conversation with my partner and ensure we agree and understand the purpose," says Games. You'll also have to make a more concerted effort to snuggle before snoozing, according to Dr. Troxel. "There is the potential that if each partner is cozied up in their individual comforter and bedding, it could reduce the opportunity for closeness and cuddling," she explains. "So it is important that couples be proactive and make sure not to forsake the opportunity to be physically close, before falling asleep."

Should you try the Scandinavian Sleep Method?

"Although it might seem unconventional to have separate duvets, if this is going to eliminate trivial fights and improve the sleep quality of the partners, it is at least worth the try,"  says couples therapist, Genesis Games, LMHC.  "Poor sleep is linked to physical ailments, in addition to irritability, fatigue, lack of concentration, and even the exacerbation of other mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression...Chronic poor sleep can become a serious issues for long term partners."

So if sleeping the Scandinavian way is going to improve your sleep and minimize potential resentments between couples, Games says go for it without shame. "Don’t compare yourselves to other couples and focus on what works best for the two of you."  Dr. Troxel agrees that the if the method is going to improve yours and your partner's sleep, it can only improve your relationship. "A well-slept person is happier, healthier, a better communicator, and less prone to conflict—all of which can support healthy relationship functioning," she explains.

If you're thinking the Scandinavian Sleep Method might be for you, recreating it at home is easier than you think. We rounded up all the bedding finds you'll need to make the switch at home.

Two twin comforters + duvet covers

buffy breeze comforter in a bedroom
Buffy, Twin Breeze Comforter — $169.00

While making the bed with two twin comforters might feel odd at first, I promise you it’s well worth the effort of folding the comforters slightly to make it work. Alex and I use the Buffy Breeze Comforter already, and will be switching to two of the twins as we adopt the Scandinavian Sleep Method at home. Instead of traditional down filling, the Breeze uses TENCEL™ lyocell fibers (a plant-based fiber derived from eucalyptus trees) that help regulate temperature and keep you cool throughout the night, making it perfect for those who run hot while they sleep. It’s even slightly weighted, which makes crawling into bed feel like nestling into your own personal sleep cocoon.

hig twin down comforter set
Hig, Twin Down Alternative Comforter Set — $27.00

If you’re worried that double the comforters will mean double the cost, this affordable option will put those concerns to bed (no pun intended). It’s made of a super soft microfiber that’s lightweight, yet warm enough to keep you comfortable throughout all four seasons—making it a repeat purchase for many Amazon shoppers (with over 12,000 5-star ratings!). “This is actually the third comforter of this brand I have purchased,” writes one 5-star reviewer, “So satisfied with these. They wash well and look amazing on my beds.”

bed threads flax linen duvet cover on bed
Bed Threads, 100% French Flax Linen Twin Duvet Cover — $220.00

These linen Bed Threads duvet covers have been making the rounds on my Instagram feed, and it’s working. With their rich spectrum of color options, Bed Thread duvets are an easy way to make a functional, decorative statement in your bedroom—making them an instant add-to-cart. Even better, the 100 percent flax linen material is naturally temperature regulating and anti-static, promising to get softer with every wash. You can even mix and match colors across duvet covers and pillowcases for a cool, color blocked effect.

A fitted sheet, pillows + pillowcases

classic percale sheet set
Brooklinen, Classic Starter Sheet Set — $75.00

Originally $104, now $75

I actually received this Brooklinen sheet set as a bridal shower gift, and I’m thrilled that I’ll get to keep it on my bed as we switch over to the Scandinavian Sleep Method. Notice that it includes one fitted sheet, and two pillow cases—no top sheet. While some people may bear a strong attachment to their top sheet, rest assured that tornado sleepers like me (and their partners) will be better off without it, as it’s one less thing to fight over in the middle of the night. Brooklinen’s Percale sheets feel crisp and cool to the touch, giving you that covetable hotel feeling in the comfort of home. Unlike most fitted sheets out there, the Brooklinen sheet isn’t a nightmare to put on, they even lent a helping hand in the form of “short” and “long” labels that help speed things along.

slip silk pillowcase
Slip, Pure Silk Pillowcase — $89.00

The way I see it, if you’re sprucing up your bedding with the Scandinavian Sleep Method, you might as well go all out and splurge on new pillowcases too. Slip’s silk pillowcases feel like pure luxury, and also happen to be great for your skin and hair. They don’t create friction against your strands like traditional pillowcases, allowing hair to glide on the smooth material without drying it out or causing breakage. Another plus? Silk pillowcases won’t soak up all of your nightly skincare products, so your serums and moisturizers stay where they belong.

casper hybrid pillow
Casper, Hybrid Pillow — $74.00

Ever since Alex and I invested in Casper pillows, we never looked back. Their Hybrid Pillow is everything we need—it’s firm, but malleable, and thick enough to support your head without requiring a second pillow. How? The unique fiber and memory foam construction. The outer foam layer helps the pillow keep its shape, saving you the trouble of fluffing and adjusting it all night long, while the inner fiber fill gives you the squishy, comfortable feel you want.

bedsure middle firmness pillow set
Bedsure, Middle Firm Pillows, Set of 2 — $40.00

Amazon shoppers love this affordable pillow set—it has over 7,000 5-star reviews! They’re made with a down alternative filling that promises cloud-like softness, reliable support, and breathability for a good night’s sleep. What’s more, the Bedsure pillows keep their shape and firmness over time, making them perfect for side and back sleepers alike who crave soft but dense support. “I got these close to a year ago and they are still super fluffy and thick,” writes one 5-star reviewer.

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Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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