Buying sheets is not as easy as it used to be or should be. There’s such a wide variety of styles, colours and fabrics to choose from. You may go to a store wanting plain white cotton sheets but end up so confused because you have so many different types of cotton, that you may go home with the wrong one (in most cases) or end up buying something you don’t want.
The amount of time you’ll find yourself spending in trying to choose the right type of bed sheet can be VERY frustrating and buying online makes this process even harder because you can’t FEEL how soft/rough the fabric is. Frankly speaking, most people would rather spend that valuable time doing something else.
Well, here are a few pointers you should keep in mind when you want to buy sheets for your bed or anybody else’s bed for that matter. These are just a few simple ‘rules of thumb’ for selecting the right sheets. Once you understand these, there’s no reason why you should not be able to choose the best sheets for yourself, your family and guests each and every time. You can literally order online as though you went to the store in person.
So here we go…in order of importance, here's what you should look for when shopping for sheets:
1. The Weave
The very first thing to consider when buying ANY type of bed linen is the weave.
Simply put, the weave describes the way the individual fibers of the fabric have been woven or twisted together when the fabric was being made.
For example, if the fibers have been twisted together very tightly, then you get a sturdy fabric, but if the fibers were twisted together loosely, then you get quite a flimsy type fabric.
So in other words, the weave of the fabric will determine how crisp, smooth, wrinkly (especially after wash), cool (on the skin), soft, warm, clingy, durable and even how shiny your sheets will be.
2. Thread Count
The next thing to consider when shopping for sheets, after the weave, is the thread count.
The thread count is the number of threads woven into one square inch of fabric and can range from 180 to over 2000 threads per square inch. The higher the thread count, the softer the fabric.
When shopping for a sheets look for thread counts of between 200 – 250 as a bare minimum. The higher this figure gets, the more luxurious the bed linen!
Sheet prices are based on the thread count. The higher the thread count the more expensive the sheet.
Although a high thread count would normally mean that you get a better quality of sheet, please don’t consider thread count alone when making your buying decision. Remember that you may get a fabric with high thread count but of poor fabric quality and inferior weave! So consider everything if you want to buy the best.
3. Length of Fibers
The best types of sheets have a high thread count, good weave and are made with long fibers. Long fibers give sheets a silky smooth feel.
If you want fabrics that have long fibers and are generally smooth to the touch, you should look for Egyptian, supima and pima cottons. These cottons have the longest fibers around (Egyptian cotton has the longest fibers from group).
4. Standard Fabrics for Bed sheets
Fabrics come in two types; natural and synthetic.
Natural fabrics, like cotton, silk, linen and wool, are made by nature, whereas synthetic fabrics (nylon and polyester) are man-made.
As a general rule, natural fabrics are more breathable and most people find them more comfortable.
Synthetic fabrics are good value for money and are generally warm.
When choosing fabrics, quality is a must. Always look for a good combination of weave, thread count and fibers. Again, to make your life a just little easier, here’s a list of some standard fabrics used in sheeting at present:
Cotton in general:
Excellent for comfort and durability. A natural fabric which is very breathable.
The highest quality cottonavailable. Very long fibers, giving it great softness, luxury and smoothness. Feels great against the skin!
Supima and pima cottons:
Also have long fibres and feel soft and smooth to the touch.
Cotton and Polyester combination:
Although the polyester can pill over time, these types of fabrics wrinkle less and are easy to iron. The polyester adds durability to the fabric.
Silk:v As you know, silk is the QUEEN of luxury. This is also a natural fiber. It's value is measure on it's weight (it's called the ‘momme weight'). The higher the momme weight is, the better the quality of the silk. An average silk sheet would weigh between 10-12 momme fabric.
Before you rush off to buy sheets for your bed, you must know what size sheets your bed will take! If you don’t, you’ll be wasting your time.
So be prepared. You should also measure the height of your mattress and keep this information with you when you choose your sheets.
Here are the basic sheet sizes you should keep in mind:
Twin: flat (66 x 96 inches), fitted (39 x 75 inches)
Full: flat ( 81 x 96 to 100 inches), fitted (54 x 75 inches)
Queen: flat (90 x 102-106 inches), fitted (60 x 80 inches)
King: flat (109 x 102-106 inches), fitted (78 x 80 inches)
California King: flat (102 x 110), fitted (72 x 84)
Buying bedding can be confusing and time-consuming - But NOT Anymore!