They say a good night sleep is the ultimate kindness we can give ourselves. Quality of bed sheets is one important factor, topnotch hotels pay close attention to, in order to deliver on their promise of a “Good Night Sleep”.
While market is saturated with numerous products and options that promise similar benefits, there is little on what differentiates them. Here you’ll find a quick guide on dimensions/characteristics to look for in order to choose perfect bed sheets:
Material / Fabric:
Cotton is traditionally the most popular fabric used in beddings. It is a soft, breathable material and has good insulation properties. Good for any season.
Premium quality cottons are Egyptian (grown in Nile River Valley) or Pima (grown in the United States). These long fibres are silky and produce a luxuriously soft touch. They are resistant to tearing and fading. There are manufacturers that claim to contain 100% cotton, but there’s no guarantee or quality check to confirm these claims. Recommend touching the product to feel the quality of fabric for yourself or look for “Pima” / “Egyptian” on labels rather than “100% cotton” only, to identify premium quality products and manufacturers.
Check out these 400 TC 100% Long Staple Cotton Sheet Set by Pizuna (affiliate link, please see Disclaimer at the bottom of this post).
Cotton can be blended with other materials (ex cotton/poly) too that affect it’s weight and feel. Cotton blend beddings are usually stronger than pure cotton due to polyester-like fabrics that’s blended in them.
Polyester / Microfiber:
This material is synthetic polymer. Microfiber sheets are lightweight and thin, very comfy and anti-wrinkle. They are durable and strong while being on the lower pricing tier for bed sheets. As polyester is moderately hydrophobic, it absorbs little fluid and dries relatively quickly (compared to absorbent fibres such as cotton for eg).
Downside is they are not very breathable and so trap moisture and heat.
Both cotton blend (w/ poly) or pure polyester bed sheets might have feature labels such as “Coolmax moisture-wicking”, meaning they do not absorb moisture, or “temperature regulating”. Here’s an example of Striped Microfibre Bed Sheet Set (affiliate link). These features do not exist in traditional cotton bed sheets, and they usually need more care.
Linen is a material made of fibres of flax plant. It is a strong fabric and twice as durable as cotton. The nature of this material is anti-static which allows skin to maintain natural PH level. These fabrics are considered environmentally friendly not only due to their long lifespan but also for being biodegradable since they are made from a natural mean. Check out these 100% French Linen Sheet Set by Micasa Collections (affiliate link).
Downside is they are prone to wrinkle and so need a lot of ironing. Also linen is not as soft as cotton but they become softer with each wash. So if you are looking for softness, this would not be best choice for you.🤷🏻♀️
Bamboo sheets are made of the plant Bamboo (originally from Asia). These sheets are super light, and have outstanding natural cooling properties. They are naturally hypoallergenic and antibacterial and so are more durable than traditional sheets. They are wrinkle resistant, do not absorb oils (eg from your skin) and won’t change colour over time. Bamboo sheets are renewable (as you might have guessed) due to their natural essence. Having reached the end of their useful life, they can be composted and disposed of in an organic and environmentally friendly manner.
Although Bamboo sheets are on the more expensive side of the pricing tiers, they are sustainable option and worth the extra $$ investment. Check out these Classic Bamboo Sheet Set by Cariloha (affiliate link).
Tencel sheets are another natural fabric and very similar to Bamboo sheets, except they are made of eucalyptus trees. They’re a less expensive alternative for Bamboo sheets, eco-friendly and good for your skin. They can keep you cool in summer and warm in winter. Try these high quality Tencel Sheets by Royal Hotel (affiliate link) experience an enhanced sleep 😌.
Okay, done with the most popular fabrics reviews, let’s learn about next dimension:
It is basically number of threads in 1 square inch of fabric that measures thickness of a fabric. TC can be anywhere from ~ 100 and ranges to + 1000.
It is perceived that the higher the TC, the better quality of the sheets. But after a certain level, the extra thread count doesn’t make enough difference in feel to justify the price. See what experts say on this, here.
Ideal sheets range from 400-600 TC, they won’t be too rough and not too thin. Below 250 TC would be cheapest and most lightweight. Above 600 (normally 800 tc or 1000 tc), it becomes thick and heavy.
NOTE: Microfiber is measured by grams per square meter (GSM) and not thread counts. Their thickness will range from 55 GSM on the very low end up to 120 GSM.
It’s the finishing technique used in production of beddings/textiles. There are three popular types:
Percale: It has a crispy touch and feels nice and cool against your skin; It is ultra breathable and super comfy. It is a plainer weave than the more supple sateen (next).
Sateen: It has a luxurious look and silky smooth feeling to the touch. It is also wrinkle resistant. It has more threads running vertically than horizontally which creates a softer touch against skin. These Sateen Sheet Set by Brooklinen is very dreamy (they are a US based company and have become quite popular).
Check out these Sateen Pure Bamboo Sheets (affiliate link) and experience definition of silky soft.
Neither of these are better than the other, it is more of a personal preference.
Flannel (or brushed cotton): It is warm, cozy and soft. Great for colder days of winter. Take a look at these Velvet Flannel Sheet Sets by Pinzon (affiliate link).
Picking a bed sheet will eventually depend on your needs, and preferences. Do you prefer to have something durable, breathable or both? What’s your budget? Do you prefer crispy feel or soft? Recommend to inform yourself ahead of time and consider these factors before finalizing a purchase decision.
Hope this guide could lighten your path to purchase to some extend and help to pick the sheets that are right for you.
Disclaimer: There are a few links in the body of this content that take you to retailer’s website such as Amazon. Those are affiliate links, we earn some revenue (at no additional cost to you) when you purchase using our links. There are also other links to websites with no affiliate partnership which we find useful to share with you simply because they are great!