Your bed should be a relaxing oasis where all your cares and worries drift away as you lay your head down. The perfect linens help make this possible, but it can cause stress instead of relaxation if they pill. If you're looking for the best no-pill sheets, you'll want to choose those made with long-fiber fabric to help avoid annoying pilling.
What Is Pilling?
Pilling is a natural occurrence in fibers after normal wear and tear. Some fibers are more prone to pilling, including those made with shorter fibers, like some cottons as well as synthetic fabrics, like polyester. Pilling is essentially the loosening of the fabric over time, and as the fiber starts to unravel, it turns into a little pill ball. Pilling can happen to anything made using fabric, including clothes, furniture, and bedding.
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While there's no way to completely prevent pilling, there are a few steps you can take to avoid it or limit it from happening to your fabrics. One way is by investing in fabrics made with natural, long fibers, including single-source kinds of cotton, silks, and linen. You'll also want to pay attention to the weave of a fabric. If a fabric has a loose weave, it's more likely to pill. Even expensive and high-quality bedding is prone to pilling if the material is made with a loose weave or short fibers.
What to Look for When Choosing Sheets
Besides narrowing down your desired fabric choices to prevent pilling, you'll also want to do research and consider a few other aspects before purchasing a new sheet set. While there's much ado about a sheet's thread count, a high or low count doesn't necessarily mean the sheets won't pill and will be extra soft. Some sheets with high thread counts are more prone to pilling because they have a looser weave or are made with short-fiber textiles.
Another factor you'll want to consider is whether you're a hot or cold sleeper. Cotton, linen, and bamboo fabrics are suitable for those who tend to sleep hot due to their moisture-absorbing and thermoregulating capabilities. If you tend to need extra layers when sleeping, flannel and heavier cotton sheets are good choices.
You'll also want to look at how to care for and wash your sheets to make sure you're up to the task. Some fabrics, like silk, require more frequent cleaning to keep them in top shape.
The Best Nonpilling Sheet Fabrics
When looking for sheets that are most resistant to pilling, you'll want to invest in those made with natural, single-sourced fibers. Some of the most dependable sheet fabrics are silk, linen, and long-staple cotton.
Silk is a natural, long-fiber material that holds up well against pilling. Silk is a protein fiber, meaning it comes from an animal (the silkworm) and is woven to create a textile. Though it's often more expensive than other fabrics, it's known for its luxurious feel, and it's a great hypoallergenic option that will make both hot and cold sleepers happy. If you choose to go with silk sheets for your bed, read the care instructions, as weekly cleaning is often required.
Linen is another dependable sheet fabric that does not pill easily due to its long fibers. Linen is a highly durable and long-lasting fabric that is typically easy to care for and clean. This fabric is also great for people who tend to sleep hot, as it's both anti-bacterial and moisture-resistant. One downside to linen is that it's not as soft as silk or cotton, which may make this a no-go for some people.
While some cotton materials are made with short fibers and blended with synthetic materials prone to pilling, sheets made with long-staple cotton fibers and a tight weave are a safe bet when looking for quality, long-lasting sheets. The best weave style for cotton sheets is percale due to its tight, durable weave style. Pima and Egyptian cotton are both long-staple, high-quality cotton fabrics that tend not to pill when properly maintained. Long-staple cotton sheets usually aren't a cheap investment but tend to make up for the high price with longevity and a dreamy, soft feel.