What is the Scandinavian Sleep Method and why are so many couples using it?

A couple pictures in bed using the Scandinavian Sleep Method
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Scandinavian Sleep Method is growing in popularity among couples with hugely different sleep needs, but what is Scandi sleeping and how does it work? Here we explain everything you need to know about this trending sleep method and whether investing in Scandinavian Sleep Method duvets is actually worth your money or not.

While studies have shown that bed-sharing with a partner can improve sleep at night, for other couples it's more of a nightmare. From snoring to fidgeting, your partner's sleep habits can wake you up, keep you awake at night and may even lead to a sleep divorce. Even if you have invested in the best mattress for unbeatable motion isolation and temperature control, it may not be enough to help you both sleep well in the same bed. 

Step forward the Scandinavian Sleep Method (also known as the two-duvet system). Here's how it works and how it's helping some couples to sleep easy at night – and once you've read the below, we also walk you through how to make your bed Scandinavian Sleep Method style

What is the Scandinavian Sleep Method?

"The Scandinavian Sleep Method involves a couple sleeping in the same bed, but they each use a separate duvet or blanket. These might be different weights or togs, and perhaps made of entirely different materials," explains Claire Davies, Certified Sleep Coach and Sleep Editor at Tom's Guide.

"This is great if you sleep hot but your partner feels the cold easily and sleeps better when burrowed under mounds of heavy blankets," continues Davies. "The Scandinavian Sleep Method is also great if you like lots of personal space in bed, but still want to bedshare."

Scandi sleeping is really a simple, low-cost trick for couples to get a better night's sleep. The method gets its name from its origins and popularity in Scandinavian countries such as Sweden and Denmark, where it's been around for quite some time. It's gaining popularity in the US and UK thanks to viral TikToks from the likes of Swedish content creator Cecili Blomdahl, who talked about the sleep technique.

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How does the Scandinavian Sleep Method work?

To employ the Scandinavian Sleep Method properly, you'll first need to put away the big blanket (duvet in the UK, quilt or comforter in the US, and doona in Australia) that you and your partner share. Also, you may have to ditch the top sheet if you currently sleep one, as that extra layer isn't really conducive to this method. 

Now, it's time to get yourselves two individual duvets that take up half of the bed.  Once your in bed, it's perfectly fine for your duvets to overlap a little in the middle, and you may want to tuck the outside edges into the end of the bed so the duvets stay in place  — and that's it. 

The pros and cons of Scandi Sleeping for couples

There may be a reason why Norway, Sweden, and Denmark are in the top ten countries for best sleep quality. When done correctly, the Scandinavian Sleep Method has plenty of benefits for co-sleepers, as follows...

Scandi Sleep Method bedding_two duvets

(Image credit: Getty Images)

✅ It fits your own individual sleep preference

Just because you share a bed, doesn't mean you share sleep styles. This method helps you to customise your duvet to hep you fall asleep. For example, if you overheat at night or are suffering from menopausal symptoms, then you can opt for a light summer duvet with a breathable cover. 

Meanwhile, your partner may get chilly at night and need something thicker. This way allows you to share a bed while using bedding that's comfortable for you as individuals. 

✅ It's cheaper than buying separate beds

Mattresses are expensive, and splashing out on a two new beds after a sleep divorce can set you back financially. Buying two new duvets (and duvet covers) is a lot cheaper. 

✅ Allows you to enjoy the benefits of bed-sharing

According to a 2020 study, bed-sharing couples enjoy longer REM sleep. The Scandinavian Sleep Method allows couples to have a duvet of their own while still keeping the benefits of co-sleeping.

If your partner's sheet-hogging drives you up the wall, then the Scandi sleep method will also prevent any duvet tug-of wars and squabbles.

✅ It's great for couples on different sleep schedules

If you like to go to bed early, but your partner likes to stay up, then you may feel the movement of a shared duvet when your partner eventually climbs into bed. Two separate duvets mean that any night-time disturbances from night hawks will be limited. 

However, the Scandinavian Sleep Method does have a few setbacks...

❌ It ruins the intimacy of sharing a duvet

Separate duvets are great if you enjoy having your own sleep space, but those who find it easier to sleep while close to their partner may find it isolating. 

❌ It isn't a miracle cure for all bed-sharing woes

If you sleep with a restless sleeper, then it's likely you'll still feel their movements if your mattress has poor motion isolation. Plus, if your partner snores and the noise is keeping you up, a separate duvet is definitely not going to fix that.

Scandinavian Sleep Method bedding

Scandinavian Sleep Method duvet

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The good news is that you don't need any special bedding for the Scandinavian Sleep Method. You get to keep your bed, mattress, bed topper, mattress protector, and pillows. The only thing you need to replace is the duvet and it's cover. 

Instead, choose two smaller duvets and duvet covers. Each duvet cover should take up half of the bed. For example, if you sleep in a king size bed, you'll each need a Twin XL duvet. 

You can also customise your duvets to fit your sleep requirements, such as a more lightweight duvet with a breathable cover if you tend to overheat at night. Oh, and it's time to give up the top sheet if you have one.

The Scandinavian Sleep Method: How to start

The great thing about the Scandinavian Sleep Method is that you can begin once you grab two twin duvets and you're both ready to make the switch. If you want to have a trial period before you buy two new duvets, you could use two separate blankets instead to see if you like the feel. 

You could also look for a comforter with a trial period, so you can try it out for a number of nights before you return it. For instance, this twin-size Down Alternative Comforter from Layla Sleep comes with a 30-night sleep trial, and is one of our picks for the best comforters thanks to its cooling properties. 

Do you need separate beds for the Scandi Sleep method?

No, you don't need to have separate beds for the Scandi Sleep Method. The best thing about this trick is it's accessibility. You can keep your bed, your bedroom, your mattress — the only thing that changes is your duvet. In fact, the whole point of the Scandi Sleep Method is to make it easier to share a bed with your partner. 

However, if you or your partner is a restless sleeper, and your mattress isn't great at absorbing movements, you may want to consider a split king bed. A split king bed are two twin XL mattresses that are pushed together to form one king-size bed. These beds are great if you don't want to feel your partner's tossing and turning, or if you have different sleep styles and need a different firmness level to each other. 

Frances Daniels
Sleep Staff Writer

Frances Daniels recently joined the Tom's Guide team as Sleep Staff Writer, and her role includes covering all sleep and mattress news, in addition to mattress reviews and buyer's guides. Frances is a PPA-accredited journalist and is hugely interested in the relationship between good sleep and overall health. When not writing about sleep and mattresses for Tom's Guide, Frances enjoys writing about women's issues, health and wellbeing, the environment, and her native Wales.