At one point or another in life, most of us have to buy a set of bed sheets. The first trip down the bedroom linens aisle can be rather confusing. While it may seem that buying bed sheets should be relatively straightforward, it is anything but. Knowing what the different bed sheet varieties are will help you select a set that will meet your needs.
Cotton Bed Sheets
Most sheets are made from a cotton material. There are a variety of choices one has to make when choosing a cotton sheet set. The two softest cottons used to make bed sheets are Egyptian and Supima. Sheets also come in a polyester cotton blend, but poly-cotton sheets tend to be less comfortable. This is because poly-cotton tend to absorb less moisture, pill easier and are less breathable because they are not entirely natural.
When choosing cotton bed sheets, you also need to select a thread count and weave. When it comes to thread count for sheets, the general rule of thumb is the higher the thread count the better. From 200 to 400 generally produces a soft, breathable weave. Five-hundred and up would be a softer, silkier and more durable luxurious sheet. That said, some thread counts can be deceiving because manufacturers may separate the two-ply threads and count them as two threads instead of one. So, keep the thread count in mind, but don't let it be your deciding factor.
Weave should also be looked at along with cotton type and thread count. Sateen is a popular weave for sheets. It is extremely smooth and soft. However, sateen tends not to be very durable. Standard weave is far more durable than sateen, but it doesn't feel or look as smooth and soft. Pinpoint falls in between the standard and sateen weave. It is softer than standard, and more durable than sateen. Twill weave tends to be durable, wrinkle free and soft.
Flannel Bed Sheets
Flannel bed sheets are popular during the winter months and in cooler climates. Buying flannel bed sheets may seem straightforward, but there are a few things to look for. Flannel is not measured by thread count, it is measured instead by weight per square yard. Quality flannel sheets should be no less than 4 oz. per square yard. With flannel, the more weight per square yard the better. Weightier flannel sheets will be less likely to pill and will be softer.
Jersey Bed Sheets
Jersey bed sheets are a more recent addition to the linens department. However, they have soared to the top in popularity. Jersey bed sheets, are often market as t-shirt sheets because they look and feel like a cotton t-shirt. Jersey sheets are made of knit cotton. This gives them a good stretch, so they fit nice and tight. They are a nice choice for people that want a sheet that is not quite as warm as flannel, but not as cold and crisp as regular cottons. They are also extremely durable, and unlikely to pill.
Satin sheets can be very luxurious. However, if you choose the wrong satin sheets, they can be more uncomfortable than the cheapest set of poly-cotton sheets. The primary thing you should look at when buying satin sheets is the whether the fabric is knit or woven. Knit satin sheets may look smooth and shiny but they won't be smooth and soft to sleep on. When it comes to satin sheets, woven is better for comfort.