A bed draped with sheer netting has a soft, romantic look to it. It might seem to some people that this treatment is merely for effect, and in lots of modern homes, it is. There was a time, however, when such nets were literal lifesavers. The practice of hanging nets around sleeping areas developed out of necessity in order to prevent the spread of deadly insect-borne diseases such as malaria. Netting can block not only mosquitoes but also smaller flying and biting insects if the mesh is small enough to prevent them from getting through the openings. This usefulness may still come into play today for people who prefer not to run air conditioners and sleep with windows open in warm weather.
Shoppers who are interested in obtaining netting for the bedroom, whether for looks or for function, should be sure of their bed size so that the netting drapes properly and completely surrounds the bed with no gaps. Buyers can then choose how they want the netting to be suspended over the bed and make further decisions, such as what colour to purchase.
Mosquito Netting: History and Background
Surrounding an area, particularly sleep quarters, with sheer fabric to keep out pests is a practice that has been around for hundreds of years. Malaria is not the only disease that can be controlled by the use of netting; others include dengue fever, yellow fever, and West Nile virus. In addition to disease prevention, mesh netting prevents annoyances by flies and other flying insects.
Mosquito Netting Specifications
In order to function effectively as a mosquito net, a mesh must be 1.2 mm or smaller. Tiny insects such as biting midges or gnats require a much finer mesh, approximately 0.6 mm. If functionality is a concern when buying netting, be sure to look for these specs on the label or ask the seller about them.
Malaria is a preventable and curable disease; still, it causes hundreds of thousands deaths annually worldwide, with hundreds of millions of total cases occurring each year. Although malaria is most common in Africa and other regions with tropical climates, it can occur in other areas, such as Europe and North America. In the UK, malaria is the most common tropical disease, affecting up to 2,000 people annually.
The cause of the disease is a parasite that is transmitted from the carrier mosquito to the human through the biting action. Because the disease is bloodborne, it can also be transmitted by transfusions and other blood-sharing actions. These parasites travel through the circulatory system to the liver, where they spend a few days maturing and then re-enter the bloodstream, infecting red blood cells. What begins as general flu-like symptoms, which may be difficult to accurately diagnose, can lead to death if not treated promptly. While the most effective type of mosquito nets are insectiside-treated nets (ITNs), netting in general has reduced the occurrence of malaria.
Getting the Right Size
The size of the bed to be draped is of primary importance. Buyers should confirm their mattress size before shopping for netting. The following chart summarises the dimensions of standard mattresses.
75 by 190 centimetres
90 by 190 centimetres
120 by 190 centimetres
135 by 190 centimetres
150 by 200 centimetres
180 by 200 centimetres
In some cases, the size of the bed may not be as crucial as in other cases, but this mainly depends on the way the netting is suspended over the bed. It is always best to have this information up front when purchasing netting.
Suspension Methods for Netting
The next decision in buying netting for a bed is how the netting will be hung over the bed. There are a few main methods used to suspend the netting. Most of these rely on either a top-down structure hung from the ceiling or supports built up from the frame of the bed itself. With netting that hangs from the ceiling, the bed will have to be left in the same place, or else the netting system may have to be moved if the layout of the furniture in the room is rearranged.
One of the simplest ways to hang netting is to hang a hoop from the ceiling and then attach the mesh to this hoop. The netting then drapes outward from this central point and is held apart by the edges of the bed or mattress. The hoop may be centred over the middle of the bed or placed further toward the head of the bed. In order to hang the netting properly, first use a stud finder to locate a joist in the ceiling, and then drill a hole or multiple holes as necessary to hang the hoop.
Bed Frame Netting
A frame functions similarly to a canopy bed except that it is suspended from the ceiling, much like a hoop. Such a frame may be a simple wood frame or an arrangement of bamboo poles or aluminium rods, depending on the aesthetic preferences of the bedroom’s occupant or occupants. Finding the supportive joists with a stud finder is necessary in order to securely hang the frame from the ceiling.
Bed Posts or Canopy Bed Netting
When a bed is outfitted with tall posts or a canopy frame, the bed is automatically set up to hold netting. Loose netting can simply be draped across the canopy in this instance.
Netting Materials and Colours
The original nets were made of natural fibres, although these tend to be less sheer than their synthetic counterparts. Most modern mosquito netting is made of synthetic fibres, such as polyester or nylon, although cotton netting is available as well.
White is the traditional colour of mosquito netting, although fashion colours are also available to blend with a particular décor. Pale pink and blue are popular for little girls’ and boys’ rooms. Light tints are more common, but it is possible to find black, red, and other bright hues and deep shades as well. A buyer should consider that white netting is best for those who tend to redecorate fairly often, as it goes with everything.
Where to Find Netting
Bedroom netting is available at many home decorating outlets, bed and bath stores, and department stores. Aside from brick-and-mortar stores, you can check out mail-order catalogues, retail websites, and online auctions. Netting intended for disease control may be found at medical supply stores, and some are even pretreated with insectisidal chemicals to further prevent disease transmission. Used netting may be available at yard sales, flea markets, charity stores, and consignment shops. Additionally, you might consider setting up netting yourself by purchasing the material at a fabric store and working on a do-it-yourself project.
How to Buy Netting on eBay
You can shop for netting quickly and conveniently by visiting eBay. There are two primary ways to find netting. The first is to begin at the homepage and click on continually smaller categories until you arrive at canopies and netting. You can then enter the keyword “net” or “netting” and click Search to further narrow the results. The second way to find netting on eBay is to simply perform a keyword search from the homepage. Enter a phrase such as “bed netting” or “mosquito netting”. With either method, you can click on various category filters on the landing page to indicate your preferences regarding size, colour, and other options. If you prefer to stay within a certain budget, you may enter a desired price range or simply specify used items only. Filtering for all listings that come with free postage and packaging is another way to save on costs.
Netting adds a serene quality to a bedroom but can also be very practical, particularly in country areas or in homes where residents prefer to sleep with the windows open in warm weather. Whether a buyer is looking to hang netting over a small single or a super king bed, knowing the specific size is important with certain suspension styles. Whereas a ceiling hoop may not be dependent on the bed dimensions, a frame-type setup is, as is a canopy that is part of the bed itself.
White mosquito netting is probably the most commonly seen colour, other tones are available if a more decorator-inspired look is desired. The good news is that there are not too many other decisions to make before purchasing netting for a bed. Cost has little to do with quality; the primary thing to check is the density of the mesh if it is to be used for actual pest control. Also, buyers should keep in mind that sleeping inside an area closed off by mesh can feel hotter than usual. While there is obviously still some airflow in an area enclosed by netting, it is fairly restricted. It only takes a few decisions, though, to make a good purchase and set up a lovely sleeping area surrounded by netting.