What to look for when buying sheets for your bed

December 30, 2014

Replacing your bed sheets is a surefire way to refresh your bedtime routine, update your bedroom decor and perhaps even improve your quality of sleep. Whether you’re looking for pure cotton comfort, silk or satin, here are some helpful tips for buying that new bedding set.

Types of bed sheets

Bed linens are generally categorized by material type.

Cotton: Soft, durable and breathable, cotton makes an ideal bed sheet. Egyptian cotton sheets are considered the luxury class of fashion bedding due to their exceptional softness and lustrous finish.

Synthetics: Polyester sheets are relatively coarse and inexpensive, therefore most likely to be used in institutional settings where they go through frequent wash cycles. Microfleece or fleece sheets can be exceptionally soft and cozy when the weather turns frigid.

Silk: Silk sheets are most often associated with romance due to their luxurious texture and rich sheen. Natural silkworm fibre is hypoallergenic and favoured by those with sensitive skin.

Blends: The most common type of bedding, poly/cotton blended fabrics are found in the majority of affordable sheet sets and bedding collections. Other blends may include silk and bamboo. Most blends resist wrinkling and wash up easily.

Bed sheet features

The calibre of certain features often accounts for big price differences between various bedding sets.

Thread count: This is a primary indicator of quality and indicates the number of threads per square inch, horizontally and vertically. A higher thread count usually means a finer, more expensive product with a better “feel.”

Weave: The type of weave often determines the texture of the sheet. Common weaves include flannel, percale, sateen, satin and microfibre. Satin sheets get their silky smooth finish from tightly woven, synthetic fibres.

Dye and design: The colour of your bed sheets is important when you’re trying to match your bedroom decor. Consider a colourfast, solid shade or something in a printed floral, paisley or geometric pattern.

Tips for buying bed sheets

  • Poly/cotton and other blended linens offer the best combination of comfort, price and quality
  • Look for bed sets with a thread count of 200-400 for everyday sheets and 500-1000 in luxury linen
  • Consider bedding sets that come with bedspreads, or a so-called bed-in-a-bag for outfitting kids’ bedrooms
  • Deep pocket sheets are required for newer types of cushion-top mattresses more than 14 inches thick
  • Bamboo sheets have natural anti-bacterial properties and can be washed in cold water without bleach or softener

You “wear” your bed sheets almost as much as you wear your work clothes, so make sure they’re just as comfortable. Outfitting your bed with a quality wardrobe can mean a better night’s sleep, less time doing laundry and a big break for your household budget.

What to look for when buying sheets for your bed
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