The (New) Rules of Eating in Bed


It’s a divisive issue, let’s face it, and the root cause of many a breakup. As many bed eaters realise as they enter adulthood, eating in bed is that guilty pleasure you don’t necessarily share with others. It’s the kind of thing that can either bring you closer as a couple (when you first realise you’re both bed eaters), or drive you apart (when those cotton percale sheets start resembling a map of fatty-stain islands and there’s a smell about the bed one can only describe as “yesterday’s pub lunch”). There’s also the crumb factor to consider (not a vibe), and lest we forget those six-legged bedfellows – and possible wildlife surrounding your living arrangements – that could turn an otherwise intimate situation into a Noah’s Ark scenario. To some, however, eating in bed is the picnic of indoor pursuits, but so much more private; and if you get it right, could be so sexy.

After comparing notes with a host of bed eaters from across the globe, let’s lay down the law of eating in bed, and lay this whole issue to bed (would you look at that!).


Not under the covers. Aaaww! But where’s the fun in that? Hey, no one said a manifesto didn’t come with some level of compromise. Remember that amazing “picnic of indoor pursuits” analogy from earlier? OK, so this is that. Would you sit under the picnic blanket? Moving on, the place in which you sleep is (for lack of a better word) sacred. And to get the best quality sleep, your bed needs to be clean, fresh and inviting. For most, waking up with a shard of potato chip stuck to their cheek is no way to start the day.


Live a little, too. Eating in bed can be so much fun! Sticking with the indoor picnic theme, why not get a tasteful (but machine-washable) throw to cover your bedroom dining surface? There is also an infinite variety of bed trays to keep your platter neat and tidy. But colouring within the lines when it comes to any bedroom activities isn’t for everyone. There’s something so sleeping-in-separate-bedrooms about a bed tray – kind of stuffy, like the old aristocracy. In the end, though, it needs to work for you.


You’re right, there are salads and then there are salads. Take a Caesar salad, for instance. It’s fiddly. All those bits of springy lettuce, parmesan shavings and anchovy-laced dressing. Do you want that in your bed? On the other hand, a caprese salad is just so much more manageable – and a sexy salad to eat – none of that leaning over your plate to catch those flying bits of who knows what. But then, there’s also spaghetti. So Italian, so delicious, so passione, so amore. There’s no right way to eat it (although it twizzles very helpfully around a fork), and you know what, isn’t it worth a bit of spillage?

Hands down, bowls are the best crockery for eating in bed. It’s naturally kind to bed eaters, with its raised edges that keep things contained – from slipping or sliding onto that freshly pressed set of Egyptian cotton sheets. In short, bowls can hold anything a plate can, but on an uneven surface, really take your mind off a bed eater’s worst fear: having to pop your bed linen into the wash and to recover your entire bed in the middle of the night.

You’ve had your fun. It’s been amazing – everything your indoor picnic promised to be – and the fun needn’t be over… but just to be sure you’re not in for an “Oh my god, what is that cold, slimy thing touching my leg!” (in other words, mood killer), do a quick sweep of the crime scene. Make sure there are no stray bits of crouton, cherry tomato or T-bone (no judgment) still lingering around. After all, wouldn’t you sleep more soundly if you knew you were doing so without unwanted company?