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How to Pick the Perfect Bed Sheets

by Cathy Carr

A smiling woman curls up on a bed, holding a dark grey pillow.

A good set of sheets can make a big difference at bedtime. When you slip into a bed made up with sheets that are just the right weight, weave, and texture, you can't help melting into dreamland! But finding that perfect set can be harder than it seems.  

Well, you don't have to be Goldilocks to find those sheets that feel just right -- if you start your sheet shopping journey armed with the right knowledge, that is. To help you on your path toward a better night's sleep, we've put together this list of everything you'll want to keep in mind to pick the perfect sheets.

 

Thread Count

Thread count is often thought of as the ultimate measure of sheet comfiness, but it might not be as important as we once thought. Thread count typically ranges between 100 and 800 threads in a square inch of fabric, with some luxury brands advertising thread counts of over 1000 -- but in reality, it's almost impossible to reach a thread count higher than 400 without cutting corners. Sheets with a thread count above 400 achieve this by wrapping threads around each other before the weaving process, which has little effect on the comfort and quality of the fabric.

That doesn't mean that you shouldn't consider thread count at all though -- the difference in touch between 100 and 400 thread count can be significant. If you want to max out your nightly coziness, you'll want to get a thread count of at least 200. Anything below that and you'll definitely feel some scratchy edges.

 

Weave Method

This may be a new idea for the average sheet shopper, but there are actually two different weave methods that can drastically change the look and feel of your sheets. Sheets of almost any fabric and thread count can be woven using one of two methods: percale and sateen.

Percale uses a tighter weave pattern to create a crisp, matte finish. Your favorite work shirt and light, cotton sheets probably use this weave. Percale sheets are light, breathable, and perfect for warm weather.

Sateen sheets have a silky-smooth finish and are a bit heavier, making them the perfect thing to curl up in during winter. They're prized for their luxurious luster and elegant look on any bed.

Neither of these options is objectively better than the other. Depending on the weather and your own personal preference, either weave can make an incredibly comfy bedsheet option, but you'll definitely want to make a note of which type your favorites are as you shop.

A rumpled bed with white cotton sheets.

 

Fabric Type

Not all weaves and thread counts are created equal! The type and quality of the fabric your sheets are made of will majorly change the look and feel of them, so be sure to get a fabric that suits your needs.

 

  • Cotton

Even within the cotton-sheet family, there are big differences between the different types of cloth. If you're looking for peak luxury, seek out sheets made of 100-percent Egyptian cotton. But if you're more interested in bargain hunting, Upland cotton and cotton blends provide much of the comfort and breathability of cotton at a fraction of the price. No matter the type, cotton is always a great choice for its reliability, affordability, and easy washability.

 

  • Linen

The ultimate summer sheet! Not only is linen light and breathable, it's also great at wicking away moisture in warm and cool weather. It does tend to have lower thread counts though, so it can be a bit scratchy before being worn in, but once it is, linen sheets are as light and comfortable as a summer breeze.

 

  • Flannel

For winter warmth, you can't get cozier than flannel sheets. These sheets are fairly heavy and super soft, so you can curl up feeling safe and sound all winter long. They're easy to wash too, although they should be dried at the lowest setting to prevent pilling.

 

  • Jersey

These knit, cotton blend sheets feel as cozy and easy to slip into as your favorite t-shirt. Unfortunately, that means they're as susceptible to stretching and holes as a t-shirt too. But they're another great option for winter (though not as warm as flannel) and for year-round comfort on a budget.

A pink silk pillow on a bed with brown sheets and a polka dot bedspread.

 

  • Silk

Naturally hypoallergenic and incredibly soft to the touch, silk is perhaps the most luxurious sheet option on the market. It can even help prevent bedhead, since the fabric doesn't catch easily on skin or hair. This super comfy fabric isn't measured by thread count either, but instead by weight in "mommes." So if you're dedicated to the ultimate sleeping experience, you're going to want silk sheets of at least 19-mommes.

  • Bamboo

Bamboo or rayon sheets are nearly as smooth as silk and even more durable. They're moisture wicking, hypoallergenic, antibacterial, cozy in winter and breathable in summer ... is there anything these sheets can't do? Well, taking it easy on your wallet is one thing they're not so good at. Bamboo sheets can be a bit pricey and difficult to properly care for, but if you're willing to put in the work for them, they'll last you many comfortable nights!

 

When you sleep on a set of sheets that feels like they were made just for you, you'll be snoozing better than ever. So start your journey to better sleep today! And if new sheets aren't cutting it, you might need a new mattress to go with them. Come by our store to check out our selection of mattresses and ask one of our expert associates for help picking the perfect one for you.