The Benefits of Separate Blankets for Couples

Medically reviewed by
 Dr. Nayantara Santhi

Dr. Nayantara Santhi

Dr. Nayantara Santhi holds an academic position at Northumbria University. After completing her Ph.D. at Northeastern University (Boston, MA), she joined the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School as a post-doctoral fellow to research how sleep and circadian rhythmicity influence our cognitive functioning.

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By Geoff McKinnen Certified Sleep Coach

Last Updated On October 20th, 2023
The Benefits of Separate Blankets for Couples

Key Takeaways

  • What Is It: The Scandinavian sleep method, widely adopted in Scandinavian countries, involves using separate blankets and is gaining popularity worldwide for its potential to enhance sleep and relationships.
  • Minimize Disruptions: Separate bedding with two individual blankets can improve sleep quality for couples by reducing disturbances like overheating, blanket-hogging, and nighttime wake-ups.
  • Not for Everyone: Consider personal preferences and relationship dynamics, as separate bedding may impact cuddling and bed-making routines. Communication and balance are key to making this method work effectively.

When night falls, snuggling up with your special someone sounds cozy and heartwarming. But sometimes, sharing a bed leads to unexpected issues like overheating or shivers waking you up. Tossing and turning by your bed partner might also play a part in disrupting your peaceful slumber. These disturbances mess with your sleep quality, making it hard to catch those Zs.

Before you jump to the idea of a “sleep divorce” and give up on sharing a bed altogether, it’s worth considering how your bedding might be contributing to your sleep troubles. While separate beds might seem like a solution, not everyone has enough space for that.

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Instead, could having separate duvets, blankets, and top sheets be the answer? Increasing research suggests that it might indeed help you sleep better, improve your mood, and enhance your relationship. It’s a common practice in Scandinavian countries and is growing in popularity overseas.

“One of the purposes of using separate blankets for couples is to facilitate temperature control specific to each person,” says Dr. Nayantara Santhi. “Having the right temperature in the sleeping environment is essential for good sleep. Too hot or too cold is disruptive for sleep.”

“A randomized controlled trial in 2022, Verified Source National Library of Medicine (NIH) World’s largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible. View source comparing temperature controlled sleep systems with traditional mattresses and pillows showed that the former facilitated shorter sleep latencies and sleep quality than the latter. Increasing evidence now points to the importance of having well designed sleep environments.”

Here’s where two blankets for bed partners step in like knights in shining armor. With them, you can still enjoy the closeness of sleeping together without the nightly battle of being too hot, or too cold.

You and your partner can finally have a fabulous night’s sleep, free from these common bedtime struggles. So, let’s dive into why you should think about trying separate bedding for bed partners.

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The History of the Scandinavian Sleep Method

The Scandinavian sleep method, where two separate blankets are used for partner sleep, wasn’t invented by a single person. It’s a popular way of sleeping in Scandinavian countries like Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, as well as in places like Iceland and Germany.

These countries are known for having excellent sleep quality, in stark contrast to the United States, which ranks 87th in sleep quality.

In 2019, The Daily Scandinavian reported on this sleeping method, inspired by a study that compared sleep quality in Scandinavia, the U.S., and other countries. This is when the term “the Scandinavian sleep method” was coined.

Since then, more people have adopted this concept as a way of more comfortably sharing a bed. Verified Source National Library of Medicine (NIH) World’s largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible. View source If you’re someone who enjoys using a top sheet but your partner doesn’t, you could have your partner sleep on top of it. How you proceed from there depends on your unique sleep preferences.

Can the Scandinavian Sleeping Method Work: One Bed and Two Blankets?

Do you or your partner blanket hog? Blanket-hogging, a common issue, can make sleeping together tougher for many couples. It’s not the only problem; snoring, differing bedtimes, sleep conditions, and bedtime routines can also be challenging.

Surprisingly, one out of every three Americans reveals that their bed partner negatively affects their sleep, according to the Better Sleep Council. This is a significant concern, especially considering that most Americans are already sleep-deprived.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a staggering one-third Verified Source Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) The United States’ health protection agency that defends against dangers to health and safety. View source of adults get less than the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep per night. One partner’s sleep troubles can negatively affect Verified Source National Library of Medicine (NIH) World’s largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible. View source the other’s sleep quality.

However, there are enough suggested benefits Verified Source National Library of Medicine (NIH) World’s largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible. View source to couples sharing a bed, such as a sense of communal security, that it’s wise to not give up on the idea completely without trying other strategies first.

How to Put It into Practice

To dive into the Scandinavian way, all you need is to grab an extra top quilt, blanket, or duvet. It might sound a bit puzzling trying to make room for two blankets on one bed. The key is to go for two single-sized blankets, not the larger king or queen ones, to avoid getting lost under the covers.

The authentic Scandinavian sleep method suggests skipping flat sheets. Instead, opt for a fitted sheet and a duvet or comforter.

Once you have your coverings ready, you have two options. You can place them side by side on the bed when you make the bed every day, each person having their own, or you can overlap them slightly.

To do the overlap, lay one down and then place the other beside it and slightly on top, creating a center area where the two blankets meet. Plus, doing an overlap can cover the gap of a split king mattress.

With your blankets settled on your respective sides, it’s time for some shut-eye! All it takes to get started with the Scandinavian sleep method is adjusting the placement of the blankets and ditching the top sheet. No more midnight tug-of-war or waking up in a blanket bundle.

Advantages of Using Separate Bedding

There are myriad advantages of using separate bedding, revealing how this sleep strategy can transform the nighttime experience for couples.

Reduced Wake-ups When Your Partner Gets Up

When you have separate bedding and sheet sets, you can smoothly slide in and out of bed without disturbing your partner’s night-long slumber. Interruptions during the night can disrupt your REM cycle and prevent you from getting a proper night’s sleep, especially if one partner is a light sleeper.

Provided you’re otherwise quiet and your motion-isolating mattress isn’t squeaky or super-soft, separate bedding can significantly benefit couples who wake up at different hours.

Personalized Sleeping Temperature Control

Our sleep preferences, such as our favorite type of bedding, our preferred side of the bed, or the ideal sleeping temperature, are behaviors we learn over time. Using separate blankets solves the problem of getting too hot when sleeping next to your partner, allowing you to enjoy their warmth from a distance and stay cool at night.

It also helps you tailor your sleeping environment to your comfort by choosing the weight of the bedding, whether it’s a light blanket for a cooler temperature for sleeping in the summer or a heavier duvet for a toasty and warm sensation.

“The ambient temperature plays an important role in sleep,” says Dr Santhi. “Humans are physiologically wired to sleep at night which is the coolest time of the day. Not surprisingly a cooler temperature facilitates sleep.”

“Did you know that your core body temperature is also lower during sleep than when we are awake? Furthermore, our core body temperature reaches its lowest during the night. The physiological pathways connecting sleep centres in the brain and the circadian clock are a matter of intense investigation.”

Convenient Nighttime Adjustments

The primary aim of the Scandinavian sleep method is to enhance both you and your partner’s sleep quality, ensuring a happier life. The role of learned behaviors, such as sleep preferences and bedding choices, which can significantly impact sleep quality and overall well-being.

Contrary to the belief that sleeping alone might be the solution, studies indicate Verified Source National Library of Medicine (NIH) World’s largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible. View source that bed-sharing can lead to Verified Source National Library of Medicine (NIH) World’s largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible. View source improved and more stable REM sleep. This method minimizes the chances of being disturbed by your partner’s movements, allowing you to enjoy uninterrupted and deeper sleep, crucial for optimal functioning.

Such research highlights the importance of addressing discomfort for couples who want to avoid potential sleep disruptions.

No More Cover Conflicts

Ever faced the annoyance of a partner swiping your blanket, leaving you shivering in the middle of your peaceful slumber? If so, separate bedding is the ideal solution – cunning blanket thieves are rendered powerless when they’re cozied up in their own duvet, leaving you snug and warm in yours.

Sometimes, people toss and turn due to various reasons like stress, chronic pain, menopause, or medical conditions like insomnia. It’s unfair to expect someone with these conditions to stop moving, and it’s equally unfair for the other person to endure these constant disruptions.

Someone prone to sleepwalking may even take the blanket with them as they wander around, before returning to bed.

In such cases, respecting each other’s sleeping space and opting for separate bedding ensures a good night’s sleep for both partners.

Disadvantages of Using Separate Bedding

While separate bedding has its advantages, sharing the same bed and bedding is a traditional and cherished practice for many couples. It can come with a couple of drawbacks and too many blankets that may be a stumbling block for some couples.

Challenges for Cuddling

Using two separate duvets can hinder couple-friendly sleep positions, like spooning, and make nighttime cuddling less feasible since the smaller duvets can’t accommodate both.

Despite this, couples employing the Scandinavian sleep method can still enjoy pre-sleep cuddles and then transition to sleep under their individual bedding. This simple separation can contribute to improved sleep and better mental health.

Increased Bed-Making Difficulty

When making your bed in the morning, you may find that arranging two single duvets on the bed might not appear as tidy as a single larger one. This can particularly frustrate anyone who wants to style a king bed or even a smaller queen one.

To address this when making your bed , you can choose matching duvets, add an extra blanket or quilt to conceal the duvets, or fold each duvet in half lengthwise for a neater look, which is particularly practical for smaller beds.

Add decorative pillows and some printed duvet covers, such as ones that feature beautiful plants and flowers or slimming stripes, to add a relaxing aesthetic touch to your bedding preferences.


Should couples have separate weighted blankets?

Couples using separate weighted blankets come down to individual preferences. Some find it easier to enjoy the benefits of weighted blankets with one of their own, as it allows each person to choose a weight that suits their needs. This is especially true if one partner prefers a heavier blanket while the other likes a lighter one, or if there’s a significant difference in body type.

Partners tailoring their sensory experience can enhance their overall sleep quality. However, it’s also common for couples to share a larger weighted blanket, providing a sense of togetherness and warmth. It ultimately depends on what fosters a more comfortable and restful night’s sleep for both individuals.

Is it healthy for couples to sleep in separate beds?

Sleeping in separate beds can be a practical solution for couples facing sleep disturbances such as snoring, restless leg syndrome, or vastly different sleep schedules. While it might seem unconventional, prioritizing quality sleep is essential for overall health and makes it easier to tackle other life issues as a united front. 

Even with a “sleep divorce,” Couples can still maintain intimacy by spending time together before bedtime and in the morning. The key is open communication and finding a balance that allows both partners to enjoy restorative sleep while nurturing their relationship, even if it means using individual duvets for a comfortable night’s sleep. It’s a matter of prioritizing individual and collective well-being.

How many blankets is too many?

The number of blankets you need depends on personal preferences and climate. While there’s no specific limit to the number of blankets, using too many can become cumbersome and uncomfortable. It’s best to strike a balance that keeps you comfortably warm without feeling weighed down. 

In colder climates, this might involve layering a sheet, a light blanket, and a thicker comforter. In milder climates, a single comforter or duvet may suffice. Ultimately, the ideal number of blankets is subjective, so adjust to your comfort level and seasonal variations. It’s important to strike a balance that keeps you comfortably warm without causing discomfort or sleep loss.

How often should I wash my blanket?

In general, it’s a good practice to wash blankets every one to two months, particularly if you have a top sheet as a layer separating the blanket from your body. However, if you use your blanket daily or have allergies, consider more frequent washing, perhaps every few weeks or even every week or two weeks. 

Always refer to the care instructions on the blanket’s label, as some materials are more delicate and may require special handling. Some blankets may be dry clean only. Whatever is needed to keep it in good condition, regular washing helps maintain hygiene and freshness, ensuring your blanket remains a cozy and clean addition to your bed.

Is it better for couples to have their own blankets?

Having separate blankets can be beneficial when partners have different temperature preferences or toss and turn during the night, preventing blanket-hogging disputes. It allows each person to choose a blanket that suits their warmth needs.

However, sharing a blanket can promote intimacy and connection, which is important for many couples. Partners can experiment to find the arrangement that works best for them. Ultimately, the decision should prioritize both partners’ sleep quality and overall relationship satisfaction.


The Scandi Sleeping Method of using separate blankets offers couples a practical solution to common nighttime disruptions, allowing for personalized comfort, fewer wake-ups, and improved overall sleep quality. It’s one of the best ways to make the bed if you sweat at night. By prioritizing restful sleep, couples can wake up refreshed and ready to face the day together, fostering a healthier and happier relationship.

About the author

Geoff McKinnen is a writer focusing mainly on the healthcare industry and has written articles on everything from foods to help you lose weight to the connection between Alzheimer’s and sleep. Geoff’s passionate about helping readers improve their well-being to lead happier lives. Outside of work, Geoff enjoys cycling and hiking and believes that by leading a healthy lifestyle, he can help others do the same.

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