Moving in together can stir up an abundance of confusing emotions. Of course, you’re excited to start a new chapter with your partner—whether you’re taking steps towards an engagement or if you're simply feeling more committed. Either way, it’s an exciting time, but change can also be stressful. While you may have had sleepovers before, spending every night in the same bed and space with someone and actually trying to catch some Zs can be a whole new ballgame.
To help you navigate this new territory, BRIDES tapped interior designer Bobby Berk from Netflix’s runaway hit Queer Eye for his tips on making the best of your time in bed as a couple.
Start with a fresh bed
“If you’re a new couple, get a new bed if you can,” Berk recommends. This might seem like an obvious option, especially if either of your mattresses have been through other relationships, but it’s also an easy thing to convince yourself to save on if you have a mattress in perfectly good condition. If you're a couple who just moved in together, bump a new mattress to the top of your priority list and thank us later. You’ll avoid a lot of sleepless nights wondering who and what went down in this bed before you.
It’s all about the mattress
Whether you’re sleeping alone or with your partner, a good mattress is the key to a good night’s sleep. Finding the right mattress for two, however, can prove a little tricky. Berk recommends a mattress built for couples with dual controls to have a customized sleep experience for each person, like the Sleep Number 360 smart bed that adjusts to different firmness and temperature desires for each person. Another option? Get a regular mattress with two separate inserts to get the best of both worlds.
Berk also recommends upgrading the size of your mattress if needed. “A lot of times, new couples, they don’t necessarily know how to sleep together. They are used to sleeping by themselves,” he explains, adding, “I even find with my husband, and we’ve been together for 15 years, but the last few years I’ve been gone so much filming that I got used to sleeping by myself and not next to him. So we recently just upgraded to a King because I would come home, and [we have] a queen normally—he’s 5’6—a queen was enough.
But now I'm like, 'Get away. I need my space.' I’m so used to sleeping by myself so making sure you guys understand how you sleep well together, making sure you have enough space, if that's what you need, because getting good sleep is really important. It makes for a much better relationship when you guys aren't exhausted.”
Don't forget the bedding
“If your bedding is comfortable, seasonally appropriate, clutter-free, and appealing, you’ll sleep better,” according to Berk, which is why it’s the one thing he always tells people to splurge on. “I like to add layers of texture in neutral colors. And throws and soft rugs can help create a cozy feel and promote relaxation.”
And, yes, good bedding includes good pillows. As Berk says, bad pillows can be a real pain in the neck.
Pay attention to what’s on the nightstand
First off, make sure your nightstand has closed storage. It will help you keep things organized—or just out of sight and out of mind. If clutter is something that stresses you out, it's not what you want to be presented with right before you go to sleep or when you wake up. A decluttered space can “improve your happiness and the flow of the room.”
On top of the nightstand, Berk recommends a good carafe for easy access to water throughout the night. Bonus tip: A night light or under-bed lighting that won’t disturb your spouse's sleep when you wake up early or go to the bathroom in the middle of the night is also key.
Go dark with colors
“I wouldn't paint a room a bright color in the bedroom,” Berk says. “I think that’s a big no-no. I either like all white or I love a dark, black bedroom. It’s really sexy, it’s romantic, it's relaxing so I’m a big fan of dark colors in the bedroom.”
Start from scratch with design
So your partner brought their favorite, but ugly, couch with them during the move and you’re not feeling it. The solution is not to push your style down their throat, but rather come to a compromise—AKA, the solution to most relationship problems.
“When a couple has two very different design aesthetics in their current home what I always recommend is start from scratch," Berk says. "Find a design aesthetic you can both agree on, and do your home in that so that way your home doesn't feel like ‘Oh, it’s her home’ or ‘It’s his home’ it’s something you guys chose together.”
And that is when the big C word—compromise that is—might come into play.
“Don’t be selfish. Try to take into account things that make [your partner] happy because at the end of the day, if they're happy you’re happy,” Berk says. “Concede a little bit try to meet people in the middle is really the only key to a good relationship.”