What to look for when buying bed sheets?
If you are sleeping 6 - 8 hours a day, then you spend almost the same amount of time in your bed as you spend at work. Shouldn’t your bed linen purchase make you feel as good as that designer outfit you wear to work?
Here are few quick tips to differentiate the extraordinary from the mundane.
The starting point for great-quality bed linen is using the highest-quality yarn. Here is how to decipher what the label on your bed linen says.
Standard Cotton – One of the most common choices for making everyday bed sheets. Its so commonplace that most of the labels wouldn’t even mention them. If a label only reads "100 percent cotton," it is likely to be standard cotton.
Pima Cotton - This differs from standard cotton due to a combing process which takes place to ensure the loose fibres are ‘combed’ off. Gives linen a firm, smooth finish and higher quality feel.
Egyptian cotton - Regarded as the best material for crafting bed linen, thanks to the ideal cotton growing conditions in Egypt. Egytian cotton fibres are longer than usual which means that the cotton is more absorbent and can be spun into very fine yarn. Beautifully soft yet durable and strong, Egyptian cotton is used in the highest quality bed linen.
Thread count refers to the number of threads woven into 1 square inch of fabric. Why does it matter? The higher the thread count, the softer and smoother the sheets will be.
The most common sheets have thread counts of 180-200. Higher-quality sheets have a 250-300 thread count and feel silky to the touch. Sheets with a high thread count (400 and above) are considered luxury quality
High thread counts can certainly make for better sheets, but buying the highest thread count doesn't necessarily mean you have purchased the best sheet. In fact, a sheet of a better-quality fiber with a lower thread count will feel softer and stand up to washing better than a sheet of a lower-quality fiber with a higher thread count.
The weave affects the way a sheet feels, the way it looks, its longevity, and its price.
Percale Weave - Percale is a plain-weave fabric, meaning that the vertical and the horizontal threads cross over and under each other one at a time. The threads are tightly woven, which results in a fine texture and finish.
Cotton Sateen - Sateen weaves have more vertical than horizontal yarns. The higher proportion of vertical threads results in an extremely soft fabric. This is a weaving technique that is slightly more expensive to weaving classic cotton cloth.
Other Weaves - Intricate weaves, such as jacquards and damasks feel textured. They can be as durable as plain weaves, but they are made on special looms and are considerably more expensive.