1. swanpride
    June 3, 2014 @ 12:57 pm

    The airing out is a hang over from “old times”….back then, “Daunendecken” were popular (meaning covers filled with downs). In fact, they still are, but they are more expensive than the cover you picked. The thing with those covers is though, that the downs might become mouldy if you don’t air them out regularly.
    Nowadays this is technically not necessary any longer, because there is more than just simply downs in those covers, but old habits die hard and a lot of Germans are not even aware WHY they were taught to air out the Bettzeug regularly, just that they should do it, so they do, even though it has become pointless a long time ago.

  2. Lori
    December 5, 2013 @ 11:45 am

    So googled German Bdding and found this. When I was touring with my high school class, let’s just say, many years ago, I feel in love with their whole “pillowcase on a comforter” system…. How do I buy a decke and removable sheet. I want them for my whole family as flat sheets have become a non entity it seems. My kids won’t keep the on their beds or use them!

    • Andrew
      December 5, 2013 @ 8:47 pm

      Hi Lori, i honestly don’t know where you might find that kind of bedding outside of Germany. I recommended once to check out the German Ikea site and see if they would send international. The other option is looking at comforters with duvet covers. Not exactly the same, but similar.

      If you do ever figure out how to get stuff where you are, let me know.

  3. How to Deal With Being Overwhelmed as an Expat - Grounded Traveler
    September 22, 2013 @ 11:48 am

    […] but the other part is definitely getting enough rest. Sometimes this is not easy given the differences in bedding (yup even beds can be different, like I said, everything is different.), but being rested means you […]

  4. Mariella
    February 23, 2013 @ 9:01 pm

    I aboslutely love how you explained Betten beziehen. “The trick is to have the cover inside out, reach down in and grab the corners from the inside. Match these corners to the corners of the Decke and grab them through the cover (sometimes the corners are cut out even), then push the cover down and flap about wildly until it floats gently down the Decke.” Hilarious. It never occured to me that someone might not know how to do that…

    • Andrew
      February 24, 2013 @ 8:28 pm

      I was in a German hostel a few years ago. There were a couple of British guys in the same room as me and they couldn’t figure it out. It takes a little trick, but is easy enough. Glad you enjoyed it.

  5. Fancy Bed Sheets | My Life in Lederhosen
    September 26, 2012 @ 12:14 am

    […] you know, Germans and Americans have different sleeping habits. Andy has explained this in more detail over at his blog, but to boil it down for you: an anomaly culturally, Americans like to actually share bedspace and […]

  6. Using German Numbers – A Practical Guide » Grounded Traveler - Expat Adventures in Germany
    February 13, 2012 @ 9:16 pm

    […] There is culture in so many small things that we don’t even think about at first glance. Like sleeping or laundry or […]

  7. Sabrina
    January 19, 2012 @ 5:33 pm

    Haha! A constant disagreement between me and my Italian boyfriend: the bedding. I won though and we have bought a huge down comforter (German style) to sleep under as opposed to the Italian blankets that you tuck in all around the bed and sneak under.

    My pet peaves in foreign bedding? Chinese beds which are insanely hard (like sleeping on a wooden plank) and the French head-roll-thingy (Know what I mean? The role they use instead of pillows…).

    • Andrew
      January 20, 2012 @ 9:22 pm

      I’ve only seen pillows in France, but then hotels are different. I do think I know what you mean though. I always untuck the Italian beds. I thought it was a hotel-pretty thing, not something you are supposed to actually use. I move a lot in my sleep. Tight sheets would bug me.

      • Sabrina
        January 20, 2012 @ 11:32 pm

        That’s what I though too, but apparently you’re meant to sleep just crawl in and sleep in the tucked-in sheets. Weird Italians 🙂 And I saw that lovingly 🙂

        • Andrew
          January 21, 2012 @ 12:18 pm

          Of course lovingly. 🙂 It is indeed strange.

  8. Dr. Huch
    January 16, 2012 @ 12:47 am

    Well, deep in our German souls dwells the longing for a good bed.
    Time for some poetry, methinks.
    Heinrich Heine, “Deutschland ein Wintermärchen”, 1844:

    Ich ging nach Haus und schlief, als ob
    Die Engel gewiegt mich hätten.
    Man ruht in deutschen Betten so weich,
    Denn das sind Federbetten.

    Wie sehnt ich mich oft nach der Süßigkeit
    Des vaterländischen Pfühles,
    Wenn ich auf harten Matratzen lag,
    In der schlaflosen Nacht des Exiles!

    English translation, stolen from http://www.heinrich-heine.net/winter/wintereng7.htm :

    I went back home and slept as if
    Angels sang into my head.
    One rests so soft in a German bed,
    For it is a featherbed.

    O how often, through my nights in exile,
    For a soft German bed I yearned,
    When laying on hard mattresses,
    I sleeplessly tossed and turned!

    • Andrew
      January 18, 2012 @ 8:51 pm

      I love the poem, thanks so much for sharing. I find German beds in Hotels far harder in general than those I remember from places in the US. In our search for a bed there were quite a few mattress sets that just got harder as you paid more money. Soft seems to not be good for the back and thus is not offered. Germans have perhaps changed in 160 years?
      We noticed this mostly in looking for a couch. Every single “good German” one was rock hard. We ended up with an Ikea one that is decent.

  9. Laurel
    January 15, 2012 @ 3:08 pm

    I bring top sheets from Canada with me as I don’t like sleeping directly under the Decke either. It’s too hot, and I find it easier to wash a sheet than to take off the cover and try and stuff the Decke back in again. My German husband hates the top sheet and doesn’t see the point. It’s funny how something like bedding is such a cultural thing.

    • Andrew
      January 18, 2012 @ 8:44 pm

      We have a number of blankets, though it is getting cool enough that I might break out the Decke soon. The covers are actually not too bad, you just can’t wash more than 1-2 in a load. The tricks to getting the Decke on take a bit to learn yet work fine.

      Yeah, I was surprised as I first got here how different beds and sleeping where here.

  10. Marc
    January 13, 2012 @ 8:46 pm

    BTW the crack between the mattresses is called “Besucherritze” (visitor’s crack or guest’s crack).

    • Andrew
      January 18, 2012 @ 8:42 pm

      That is totally hilarious. Sheesh, I have no interest in the guest’s crack nor do I think it is an appropriate place for guests.

  11. Adam
    January 13, 2012 @ 12:17 am

    I’ve been surprised at how soft my bed is in Germany – wish it was a bit harder but oh well. Interesting to see Yvonne’s comment about sleeping with the windows open… I should try that.

  12. Debbie Beardsley @ European Travelista
    January 12, 2012 @ 8:53 pm

    I too love sleeping under the Decke! I’ve had friends travel to Germany to be amazed that the beds didn’t have linens on them. I had to break the news to them, this was the way they do it in Germany.

  13. Andrea
    January 12, 2012 @ 9:14 am

    We loved the German bedding system in hotels – one nice Decke each (because I’m a notorious cover thief)

    • Andrew
      January 13, 2012 @ 1:35 pm

      Problem solvers, those Germans. Do you find that you overheat under the thick ones?

  14. Ali
    January 12, 2012 @ 3:33 am

    I miss that bed!

    • Andrew
      January 13, 2012 @ 1:34 pm

      And I miss you in it.

  15. Ariana
    January 11, 2012 @ 12:17 pm

    Honestly, I loved the German beds and mattresses. All those springs in American mattresses never seemed to do the right things for me. We brought our mattresses here to England, and now have to find a bed that will fit them and comes with the slatted base like you guys have. I also really like having two mattresses put together, because it does isolate the movements from one side to the other. We do share a duvet, though!

    • Andrew
      January 13, 2012 @ 1:33 pm

      Im definitely learning to like the German system. We have noticed between home time and traveltime that we sleep better with the dual mattrasess. Mostly due to the space. I get up at least once a night and it is nice not to disturb her. We share blankets though. Where did you bring bed from? US or Germany?

  16. Yvonne
    January 11, 2012 @ 5:32 am

    There’s a trick not to get too hot under the Decke… most Germans (like me) sleep with open windows (even in winter) and don’t really heat up their bed room. Actually I did live in an apartement for four years where the bedroom had no heating at all. (It was a gorgeous old buildung) When it’s too cold I take a hot-water bottle with me to bed… and I sleep perfect 🙂

    • Andrea
      January 11, 2012 @ 11:03 am

      Ah, that’s interesting! I usually sleep with the windows open too but often find it’s too cold in Germany to do that, at least in winter, but now I know that’s the way to go!

      • Andrew
        January 13, 2012 @ 10:07 am

        Me too in the summer only though. The only time I did it in the winter was in college where the boiler heated all winter and made the rooms a sauna.

    • Andrew
      January 13, 2012 @ 10:00 am

      That is interesting. I like fresh air more than the average american but not this far. Especially in Berlin open windows seem horrible. It reminds me of camping under just a roof in my sleeping bag and all my clothes.

      But goodif it works for you. Thanks for the insight.

  17. DTravelsRound
    January 11, 2012 @ 12:47 am

    Really interesting!! I find that this is true for a lot of Europe.

  18. Sabina
    January 10, 2012 @ 7:38 pm

    You’re right. Bedding really is a cultural thing. I realized that as soon as I read your opening. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this earlier. Southeast Asia, and all of Asia for all I know, is one corner of the world where bedding apparently doesn’t have to be all that comfortable. Extremely hard mattresses are pretty normal (as are extremely hard sofas and cushion chairs, for that matter). I appreciated the support they gave me while I was there, but I would have given up some of the support for a little more comfort. Meanwhile, box springs seem to be a U.S. phenomenon, perhaps Canada too. I guess they make the mattress last a little longer, but are they really worth all the expense, I wonder now.
    PS – I love Spannbetueche! They’re so comfortable. I hope to sleep with some again soon. 🙂

  19. Jeremy Branham
    January 10, 2012 @ 7:34 pm

    Honest;y, I can say I don’t give much though to mattresses. I bought one a few years ago but haven’t looked sense. Comfortable and clean is all I need! 🙂

    • Andrew
      January 10, 2012 @ 8:04 pm

      Good man, know what you want and need. I never really thought much about it either until I went through the ordeal of getting a new one for two of us.

  20. Andrea
    January 10, 2012 @ 4:27 pm

    The problem I find with the decke is that it’s always too hot, even with the lightweight ones but with no flat sheet I get cold without the decke. I have been known to take the cover off the decke and sleep with that lol but generally I just don’t sleep well in Germany.

    • Andrew
      January 10, 2012 @ 8:03 pm

      I do understand. I definitely overheat while sleeping. They certainly sell Kuscheldecke and Heimdecke as what we would see as blankets. Flat sheets exist but are not as common. I have slept with all of them and the Decke are certainly nice when it is cold. I do usually end up sticking out my feet during the night to regulate temperature. Oddly though, I don’t feel that I overheat any more in the summer than in the winter with one.

    • swanpride
      June 3, 2014 @ 1:03 pm

      I actually own three different kind of covers….a proper “Daunendecke” which I use for most of the year, because it is cold most of the time and (like most Germans) I sleep with open windows as long as possible (I draw the line when the temperature goes in the minus area), a “Stepdecke” in case my regular one becomes to warm…and a simple sheet I sometimes use when the summer is really, really hot.

  21. Gillian @OneGiantStep
    January 10, 2012 @ 3:55 pm

    I love sleeping under a German decke…I prefer a softer mattress but love the fluffy covers!

    • Andrew
      January 10, 2012 @ 8:01 pm

      Our foam mattresses are pretty soft actually. I was surprised, but the German engineers can certainly do some great things with the stuff.