The average person spends one-third of their time in bed sleeping. That of course doesn’t take into account all the delicious moments reading the Sunday paper, snuggling with your kids, taking in a late-night movie and other nocturnal events. We all know having an excellent mattress is important, but your sheets certainly shouldn’t be an afterthought. That’s why we asked Missy Tannen, founder and president of New Jersey’s Boll & Branch fine linen company for guidance on picking out the choicest sheets and how to care for them. Here, she shares her advice that  will guarantee future nights of blissful rest.

Organic and all-natural quality matters. When Missy and her husband Scott started Boll & Branch they quickly discovered that using all-natural, organic materials, from the cotton seeds all the way to the dyes, made a big difference in the finished product. “Growing cotton organically provides a better life for our farmers, who work so hard to hand pick our cotton,” Tannen says. “We also discovered that we could use safe, non-toxic dyes to make beautiful, vibrant colors and hydrogen peroxide (not chlorine or bleach) to make bright whites. We also learned  that we could sew our sheets in factories where people are treated as equal partners and respected by us. These rigid quality standards and attention to details deliver products of the highest quality.”

Wash towels and sheets separately. On laundry day, most people wash their sheets and towels together, which Tannen says is a common mistake. “When in the washer, towels can be abrasive to the delicate sheeting fabric,” she notes. “In the dryer cycle, towels can produce lint that clings to the sheets. It can appear that the fabric has ‘pilled,’ but in reality the extra lint fibers have become twisted with the yarns on the sheeting fabric.” Keep your sheets pristine by always opting for separate loads.

Go “Free & Clear.” When you’ve invested in quality bedding, taking good care of your sheeting makes a big difference. “The better you can take care of your bedding during washing and drying, the longer and better it will be able to take care of you,” Tannen advises.  “I recommend using mild detergents — those that are labeled ‘Free and Clear’ — as they clean just as well as traditional detergents, but without the dyes and perfumes that aren’t needed.” Plus, detergents with added fragrance can be really irritating to sensitive skin.

Give your sheets a shake. During the wash cycle, sheets get worked into a ball. To ensure proper drying, when you move your sheets from the washer to the dryer detangle by giving them a shake or two. Tannen notes that you’ll be surprised by how this little change will significantly reduce wrinkles.

Wrinkle-free insurance. According to Tannen, the secret to perfectly folded sheets is to undertake the task right when drying is complete. “When sheets cool and sit in the dryer for hours creases become more pronounced,” she says. Try setting the alert bell on your dryer to notify you when the cycle is complete.

Fold with the thirds approach. Folding sheets, especially that dreaded bottom one, doesn’t need to be a daunting task. “If I don’t have one of my daughters or husband there to help me fold the large pieces of fabric, then I find it easiest to lay the sheets on a bed to fold them,” Tannen shares. Take a peek at her video for her simple, foolproof  process.

Use a storage bag. When storing sheets, it’s best to cover them so they stay as fresh and free from dust as possible. “At Boll & Branch, we ship all of our sheets in an oversized drawstring bag,” Tannen says. Not only will the sheets fit inside the bag for easy storage, but then they stack easily in your linen closet and are easy to identify.

TSG Tip 269  from Missy Tannen of Boll & Branch. Boll & Branch is featured in The Scout Guide Northern New Jersey.