Sounds so simple right?
Nay, it is a feat of science, art, engineering, and mathematical reasoning.
A few days after our arrival, we discovered the local “Jysk”. This store can be most closely compared to a “Bed Bath & Beyond” in the United States.
First order of business at the Jysk was to buy bunkbeds for the kids, because, you know, if they don’t sleep well, John and I don’t have even the option of doing so
But after two weeks on the air mattress, we decided it was time to get a real bed.
Little did we know:
First of all, the bed itself.
We returned to the Jysk, tempted to buy the very cheapest bed they offered, but at the store clerk’s suggestion, we did not buy it. We bought the second-cheapest bed. Or should I say “beds”, since there are two of them? I don’t know. Typically in Denmark, rather than having one large two-person bed (we would call this queen or king size) they have two twin-size beds, arranged side by side. I imagine that this evolved out of necessity due to Europe’s small doorways, halls, and stairways, but really I have no idea. So there are the two twin size beds, and you can either just keep them pushed together, or you can clip them together somehow. For each twin bed, there is a box spring type thing, and then on top of that goes a “bed roll” type thing. Since John and I are used to sleeping on one large bed, we got one large “bed roll” to go on top of the two twin box spring type things.
After deciding on the bed itself, we went over to the bedding area to find sheets, etc. And of course they don’t just have names like in the U.S.: Queen Size, King Size, Twin Size. No, they just have measurements printed on everything, and of course it’s all metric. So I had to determine the dimensions of the bed we purchased, and then find correlating bedding. Except for it doesn’t always correlate exactly because I don’t know why. Each of the twin beds we bought were 90 x 180, but together they were 180 x 200. So I bought a mattress cover and a fitted sheet in close to that size. Also: it’s hard to find fitted sheets here, as they prefer “envelope sheets” . As it happens, “top sheets” are not a thing either (although there’s really no difference between that and an envelope sheet, so not too hard to cheat the system). And no, you can’t just buy a “sheet set.” That’s not a thing.
In the U.S., it is common to buy all your sheets together in a set which includes fitted sheet, top sheet, as well as one or two pillowcases. You would typically go by the “name” of the bed size, rather than the measurements, so twin, full, Queen, King. If you want to go a step further, you can buy a “bed in a bag” in the States, which would also include a comforter.
Next we needed a blanket of some sort. Except due to their selection in the Jysk and what we have noticed elsewhere, it is quite evident that they don’t really like blankets/comforters in Denmark. They’re all about duvets.
And now, my thoughts are turning into a song, and it’s to the tune of, Meghan Trainor’s “All About that Bass” (And for anyone wondering, it’s pronounced “Du (rhyming with boo), and “vay” (rhyming with day):
Because you know Denmark is all about duvets,
‘Bout duvets, no blankets,
They’re all ’bout duvets, ’bout duvets, no blankets
They’re all ’bout duvets, ’bout duvets, no blankets
They’re all ’bout duvets, ’bout duvets.
And now that song is stuck in my head–thanks a lot, Denmark!
So the traditional Danish way of bedding assemblage is for a couple to each have their own duvet, rather than sharing one giant one. Depending on who you ask, this custom of “not sharing the duvet” is either responsible for Denmark’s super high divorce rate, or it’s responsible for the Danes being the happiest people in the world, 40 years running.
For more on Danish duvets causing divorce: http://blogs.denmark.dk/diane/2014/08/15/beds/
And for the sake of unbiased journalism, here’s the opposing view:
I figured, when in Denmark, do as the Danes. So I grabbed two duvets. They had about a million white duvets there, and I had no idea what to get so I again went with the second cheapest. We also did not buy top sheets (or envelope sheets appropriated as top sheets) as that is not the Danish way. And thus was ending the War of the Top Sheet. (John and I have argued for years about whether or not to use a top sheet. His argument: they always get wadded up at the foot of the bed and are all around useless. My argument: they help regulate temperature as you can use just the top sheet on a warm night–also, they are a mark of civilization. But since we are committed to doing this Danish-style, I surrendered.
We already had pillows (also a challenge to buy since they come in strange sizes–measured in centimeters; and they’re all square in shape, which is strangely difficult to get used to), so after grabbing duvet covers, we headed to the checkout. (Oh and by the way, stores close really early here, so we are always rushing to get places right after John gets off work. Jysk, for example, closes at 5:30, and many grocery stores close at 6.)
At checkout we discovered that the bed(s) was not in stock, and we would have to wait another week for it to arrive. So it was back to the air mattress for us.
We also realized at that we still didn’t have “legs” for the bed(s), but we didn’t want to mess with it, and they were expensive, so we left Jysk and later found two sets of legs at the local second hand shop. The two sets we found (one for each of the twin beds) match in shape but not color, but we really could not care less at this point.
Typical “legs” for a Danish bed:
Then, finally, our bed(s) arrived!
John used his physical strength and engineering prowess to put the bed together, attach the legs, and even rig a way for the two beds to stick together, since we had forgotten to buy the “clips”.
And, then–wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles: we put on all of our metric-measured bedrolls, mattress overs, sheets, duvets, duvet covers, and everything fit!
Here it is, our Danish bed (I’m not gonna lie, it’s a little weird making a bed with two duvets, but this is what I managed):
And we’ve been sleeping well ever since : ).