Nothing feels better at the end of the day than soft, luxurious sheets. Although looks matter when it comes to your comforter, the only factor you should consider when buying sheets is comfort. Understanding the different materials and weave options helps you pick sheets that you love.
When you think of luxurious sheets, Egyptian cotton likely comes to mind. As the name suggests, the cotton used in these sheets grows in Egypt and has a much longer staple, or fiber, than other types of cotton. Because the fibers are so long, it's easier to make sheets with a high thread count. Egyptian cotton is also known for its strength and softness. Check the label to make sure the sheets are 100 percent Egyptian cotton instead of a blend.
Pima is another type of cotton prized for being luxurious and also has an extra-long staple. Sheets made from Pima cotton have a soft, smooth, silky feeling. Peru is a hotspot for growing this type of cotton, but it also grows in the United States. Supima is the trademarked name for Pima cotton grown in the U.S.
Percale isn't a type of fabric, but instead it's a way to describe the weave of the fabric. These sheets often made of cotton or a cotton blend. Percale features a smooth, plain, tight weave that has a cooling effect. This makes them ideal for warm weather or for people who always feel hot at night. Cotton mixed with synthetic material also cuts down on wrinkles. Expect to find percale sheets with a thread count between 200 and 800. Splurging on a higher thread count cuts down on pilling.
If you like the look and feel of satin but want something that's easier to take care of, consider sateen. Sateen is a mix of cotton and natural fibers, and is made with a weaving technique that uses four threads over one. The result is a silky smooth texture with a bit of luster to the finish. This weave type also makes the sheets strong, so they can hold up to regular washing. Sateen sheets are usually a little heavier than percale, but still only light to medium weight so they can be used year-round.
You're probably familiar with satin sheets. They're easy to spot thanks to their shiny, smooth surface. If you feel hot at night, satin may help as it always feels cool to the touch. You can find satin sheets made from a variety of materials, including cotton, polyester, silk and acetate. Look for a thread count of at least 300 when you buy satin sheets, so they hold up well.
Because they feel so warm, flannel sheets often come out during the winter months. They're made from cotton, and they have a brushed finish which makes them so toasty. Unlike other cotton sheets, flannel quality shows up as ounces per square yard, such as 5 ounces per square yard. Look for flannel sheets with at least 4 ounces per square yard.
Microfiber sheets feature tightly woven, very fine synthetic fibers. They're super soft, strong and thin. Plus, microfiber repels liquid, so you don't have to worry about stains. Look for a minimum 300 thread count in microfiber sheets.
Chemically treated bamboo creates this type of rayon sheet. Its wicking quality keeps you dry by absorbing moisture from you while you sleep. It's also good at helping regulate your body temperature for additional comfort year-round. Bamboo rayon sheets with a thread count of 250 or higher are best.