What to consider when buying bed sheets?
1. Focus on Material:
Sheets are made from a huge range of materials, each offering a different look and feel.
While linen is lightweight, breathable and durable, making it a good choice for people who sleep hot, silk offers a luxurious sleep environment. Cotton flannel is great for making your bed warm and cosy during winter nights. At the same time, choosing organic cotton can be an ideal choice if you’re concerned about sustainability. But, people who prefer a far more sustainable material than cotton can always turn to bamboo. However, the basic yet most crucial question is:
2. Which is the best fabric for bed sheets?
a) Cotton – Cotton is the most common and popular fabric among all the other types. It is mostly preferred due to its durability, breathability, softness, and easy maintenance. It is also in demand due to its affordability.
Other common cotton fabrics or varieties of cotton that can be acquired as an alternative are Egyptian cotton, Pima cotton, Upland cotton, Flannel, and many 3. more.
If you choose cotton flannel, then select a bed sheet set that’s brushed on both sides for maximum softness and durability. If you sleep hot, the lack of breathability will be a problem.
b) Linen – Made up of fibres that came from the stems of the flax plant, linen sheets, pillowcases, and mattress cover are breathable and durable. They are not only moisture-wicking but also hypoallergenic and grow softer with every use. Made from natural fibre, linen is an easy to care bedding material that offers a good night’s sleep.
c) Silk – Produced by silkworms, the silk material is a symbol of luxury. The advantage of silk is definitely a soft and cool material, but the downside is, of course, its high cost. It’s cool in summer yet warm in winter. It’s resistant to dust mites and mildew while being hypoallergenic, making it an amazing pick for allergy sufferers.
d) Tencel – Made from cellulose fibres, Tencel is a great alternative to cotton. They are also more environmentally friendly due to their production process and the trees used to extract the material for manufacturing. They feel quite soft and cool to your skin and are very durable and long-lasting.
e) Organic cotton should be 100% cotton. This means no synthetics or blends, which can irritate your skin and maybe less durable. However, choosing organic would mean that the cotton is grown without toxic chemicals. This is better for the farmer, worker, wildlife, environment – and you.
f) Bamboo has similar qualities to silk but without a high price tag. It’s also machine washable, so easier to care for. Smooth and soft like silk, it still lacks the shininess of silk. It’s hypoallergenic and gentle on sensitive skin. Its fibre yields are greater, and it needs less water.
g) Acetate – Acetate is a fabric made from wood fibres that render soft sheets. However, the material is a bit weaker than others; therefore, it requires dry-cleaning or hand-washing.
h) Polyester – This one is a manmade material that is inexpensive. Generally, you’ll find polyester with different terms like acrylic, which is a synthetic material.
Bed sheet sizes can differ across manufacturers. To get the right size, measure the length, width and depth of your mattress. If you’ve got a particularly deep one, like a pillow top, make sure your sheets fit it properly.
Ensure the sheets are of good quality. Check the seams on the wide hem of the top sheet and pillowcases. Look for neat, tight and small stitches.
Use independent review websites to read real-life customer experiences. If you can, take them out of the packaging and feel them.
5. Thread count
Contrary to popular belief, a high thread count isn’t always a guarantee of better quality or durability.
Thread count is the number of threads (vertical and horizontal) in a square of fabric. It’s usually per 10cm2 or per square inch.
A reasonably high thread count (over 180 threads per 10cm2) is good. The closely woven fabric wears well and shrinks less.
But a higher thread count can be deceiving because a thinner yarn produces a higher thread count. That’s because more threads fit into 10cm2 of fabric. A very high thread count will result in a soft, smooth fabric. But it’ll also be more delicate and not as durable.
Durability depends on the strength and quality of the fibre and the weave quality – not on the thread count.
From French flax linen bedding to luxurious Egyptian cotton bed sheets, the best quality comes at a price. You might find a sheet with a high thread count at a lower price range. It’s probably too good to be true. But for some products, to get such a low price, fibre quality and construction have probably been compromised.
The best advice that we can give is to try to invest in the best linen you can afford.
Chemicals can be used to produce high-quality bed linen. Singeing (a process) burns tiny fuzz from the fabric surface to prevent pilling. Mercerising uses caustic soda to swell then shrink fibres to increase the fabric strength and luster.
But, if you’ve got skin sensitivities, allergies or eczema, you can always choose organic cotton, which is chemical-free.
8. Returns policy
A lot of bed linen companies let you try your sheets at home. If you don’t like them after 30 or 60 nights, you can return them for a full refund. This is something to look for if you’re a nervous buyer.
Or, before investing hundreds of dollars in your bed linen, try a pillowcase first. This is a cost-effective way to check the quality and material for yourself.