Bed sheets are available in a number of fabrics, weaves, colors, and sizes. Bedding and sheet quality can make a big difference when it comes to the comfort of your bedroom. Use this buying guide to help you determine the best sheets for a good night's sleep.
Cotton is the most frequently used fabric in bedding due to its universal comfort and durability. (Popular examples of cotton sheets are jersey, percale, and flannel.) We break down the different types of cotton most commonly used as well as other popular fabrics found in bed sheets.
Egyptian Cotton: One of the highest quality cottons, Egyptian cotton is strong and best known for its luster and luxurious softness. It gets its name from the northern area of Africa where the cotton is usually grown.
Pima Cotton: A strong and durable cotton that is known for its natural sheen and softness. Most often grown in the southwestern United States.
Supima®: A trademarked name for fabric made from 100% American Pima cotton.
MicroCotton®: A trademarked name for a unique cotton yarn developed in India. This cotton is known for its quality and is amongst the finest in the world.
Synthetic: Polyester is the second most common material found in bed sheets. Not as soft, durable or breathable as cotton, polyester sheets are often a more affordable option. These sheets may be more likely to pill than cotton.
Microfleece: A popular material used in polyester synthetic sheets is microfleece. These sheets are very warm and known for their plush touch and easy maintenance.
Tencel®: A newly developed, synthetic fiber that manages moisture and inhibits bacteria growth making it ideal for bedding and bed linens.
Blend: The most common blend is cotton/polyester. Blending these fibers creates sheets that are easier to care for and they will last longer than purely synthetic sheets. The synthetic fibers make these sheets warmer than cotton; however, they will wear out faster than a 100% cotton sheet. They are a more affordable option than 100% cotton sheets.
Modal: A high-strength fiber made from the pulp of beech trees to create a soft and silk-like material with durability.
Thread count is often used to describe the quality of the fabric. Thread count is the number of yarns per square inch used when sheets are woven. While a high thread count often denotes a higher quality, it's important to consider other factors like fiber and finishing techniques. As a rule of thumb look for sheets with a thread count of 200 or higher.
There are four main constructions of bed sheet fabrics.
Plain Weave is the most simple weave technique used in the majority of bedding and bed sheets. Plain weaving produces a strong, even fabric.
Twill Weave is easily identified by the diagonal lines of the weave on one side of the fabric. This technique yields a material that holds its shape and tends to be wrinkle-resistant.
Sateen Weave produces smooth, lustrous bedding with a thick close[SH6] texture. The number of yarns exposed on the surface gives sateen its characteristic sheen and explains why it is sometimes confused with satin.
Patterned Weave is an extremely difficult weave, which means these sheets are woven on a special loom. An example of this weave is a jacquard or a repeating design woven into the face of fabric.
Before purchasing your new sheets, measure your mattress size to ensure a good fit. Take note of your mattress's height as the pocket of a fitted sheet may need to be extra deep to accommodate your mattress.
This chart shows sheet sizes and standard mattress sizes.
38 x 75 inches
38 x 80 inches
53 x 75 inches
60 x 80 inches
78 x 80 inches
72 x 84 inches
If possible, purchase sheet sets in multiples so you'll always have clean sheets; one to have on the bed, one in the laundry, and a fresh set in the linen closet!
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