The bed takes all the glory. It is there in the morning, a comforter at night, and is the one piece of furniture that allows you the ultimate in relaxation. But where is the love for the humble sheet?
Slipping under fresh, crisp bedsheets is a glorious feeling, and choosing them needs to be done correctly. A bed is nothing without a comfortable fabric clinging to your skin. Read below for our guide on how to choose bed sheets on your next shopping trip.
What will I need?
A full set of bedsheets includes quite a few items. It should include a top sheet, a fitted sheet for your mattress, and two or more pillowcases.
When choosing a bedsheet, the thread count matters. Thread count is the measure of how many threads are woven within a square inch of fabric. The more threads, the thicker and more durable your sheets will be.
Fabric with many strands will be much smoother. the downsides are it can be heavier when washing and drying. When combined with soft cotton, a good thread count is a must when choosing the best bed sheets.
For softness and strength, the best thread count is between 300 to 500. Sheets under this can be good comfortable, but they may not last as long and become a false economy. Over this number can increase durability and comfort, though often a 500 count can be just as good as a higher number.
Egyptian cotton has a reputation for being luxuriously expensive, and it is justified. A set of Egyptian cotton sheets will cost you around $500 and upwards. But the expense will be worth it.
This cotton has very long fibers. It makes thin but very smooth and warm sheets. They last far longer than other, shorter fibers, so are worth the investment.
Check the credentials of the manufacturer that you are buying the sheets from. Some unscrupulous manufacturers label sheets as Egyptian cotton when they are in fact not. Ask the retailer or do some online research before laying down the cash.
Pima cotton is often sold under the title Supima. Like Egyptian cotton, it is very high quality due to long strands and fibers. Short fibers can often poke out of a bedsheet when washed a few times and this is unlikely with Pima cotton.
Both Egyptian and Pima cotton are known as ELS (Extra Long Staple) cotton because of their long strands. This will be marked on the packaging, so look out for this when making a purchase.
Linen is a popular choice for bedsheets. It is woven from European flax and is incredibly cool and light. Quality can vary vastly though so do some research before purchasing.
Silk is extremely light and delicate. It can be very good for anyone who has sensitive skin. It does take some care and attention to wash and clean, particularly in the first few washing cycles.
Bamboo Rayon is another option. Bamboo is a natural substance but the Rayon that treats it is made from chemicals. This means they are great for keeping out moisture and are great in any climate.
Percale and Sateen
These are the two main weaves that will make your bedsheet. Both have a slightly different feel and texture. Try to find some fabric swatches to test them before you buy them.
Sateen is a soft yet heavy weave. It is very smooth and gets its namesake from the fabric satin. It is very lustrous and luxurious.
Percale is a very cool fabric, ideal for anyone who lives in a hot climate or someone looking for summer sheets. It has a matte weave and is lighter than Sateen.
Measuring Your Bed
Measuring your bed is important, as standard size sheets only take into account the upper side of the mattress. For example, you may buy sheets that say they fit a queen bed but they will not account for the depth. Thus, you will not be able to fit them properly.
Measure the depth of your mattress before you visit a retailer. Sheets will also naturally shrink when washed so add some extra size on for this. Once you have done this, look for the correct depth on the sheets you purchase.
It is a possibility you may not even enjoy sleeping on your brand new sheets, so you should always check the returns policy. Some stores will not allow returns for hygiene reasons. Many places, particularly online retailers, will give returns within a specified time period.
How to Choose Bed Sheets for Children
When choosing a bedsheet for children, you need something that will be easy to wash and dry. For this reason, a cotton and polyester mix will do the job. Ideally, you should be aiming for a 90 percent cotton to 10 percent polyester mix.
If you use anything with more than 30 percent polyester the sheets will begin to feel synthetic. They can keep heat in the bed, so could become uncomfortable quite easily on hot nights.
One other benefit of polyester bedsheets is its ability to keep shape without wrinkling or shrinking. You will find that with higher grade fabrics, sheets will often need to be pressed before being put on the bed. This is often not the case when a sheet contains a polyester mix.
Making a Purchase
Now you know how to choose bed sheets, it is time to make a purchase. Shop around for the best deals and try a few fabrics and weaves before committing. You may surprise yourself with your preferences.
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