Bed Sheets Buying Guide
Bed Sheets 101
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Types of Bed Sheets
Flannel sheets are a cotton-woven fabric, brushed to give you a nice soft cozy feel. It’s a good idea to check for flannel that is preshrunk to reduce the risk of shrinking and has anti-pill properties.
Micro Fleece Sheets
Cotton-Polyester Blend Sheets
Egyptian Cotton Sheets
Bedding Buying Tips:
• For warmer climates, look for breathable fabrics such as cotton or linen to stay cool
• If covering a pillow-top mattress or mattress pad, buy deep-pocket sheets for a better fit
• Measure your mattress depth to get sheets that offer the best fit and sheet hugging performance
• Stock up on pillowcases when you find ones you like (or on sale) as pillowcases will wear out faster than your sheets
Bed Sheet Features
Thread Count +
A popular term in the sheet world, thread count refers to the total number of threads per square inch of fabric. While a factor in purchasing bed sheets, thread count can be misleading. A high thread count doesn’t always mean a better sheet. Most sheets range in thread count from 180 to 1000, with 200 considered a good quality count. Move up to 400 and the increase in quality is noticeable. However, move up to 1000 and you may find the high count makes the sheet too dense, warm or stiff for you.
The weave of your sheet will affect its feel, longevity and price. A percale weave is smooth and crisp, creating a soft, cool and sturdy sheet, good for affordable year-round use. For a more luxurious feel, sateen sheets offer increased softness and a distinct sheen, though their looser weave makes them less durable than percale. Jacquard and Damask weaves are another long-lasting (though more expensive) option, which will give your sheets a textured feel in patterns that can have an array of hand feels.
If you've ever struggled to stretch an undersized fitted sheet onto a mattress, you know the importance of having the right size sheets. You can easily purchase bed sheets designed to fit the standard mattress sizes (twin, full, queen and king) as well as the longer-format mattresses. When shopping, look for fitted sheets with elastic edging all the way around to ensure a snug, attractive fit. It may be helpful to measure your mattress for comparison as exact sheet dimensions can vary. If you have a pillow-top mattress or mattress topper on your bed, purchasing deep-pocket sheet sets will make for a more comfortable fit.
Fabric Finishing +
Most sheets today are chemically treated to prevent them from shrinking, wrinkling or losing their shape. A process called mercerization is used on some sheets to strip their outer layer for increased lustre and strength. This also helps the fabric absorb rich colours more easily. A resin treatment is used on cotton sheets to increase wrinkle resistance (decreasing your need to iron), and preshrinking processes minimize fabric shrinkage (Flexi Fit).
Colours and patterns are applied to most sheets after they have been woven, which may make them feel stiff. With washing, your coloured or patterned sheets will soften over time. You can also purchase yarn-dyed sheets, which are woven from dyed threads for a softer finish.
Most sheet sets come with two pillowcases (twin sets will come with one), but you can also purchase pillowcases separately. Because pillowcases tend to wear out more quickly than sheets, it’s a good idea to stock up when you find a style you like. Pillowcases are most commonly available in standard, queen and king sizes, though you may also see European pillowcases (a large square size).
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Bed Sheet Maintenance Tips:
• Wash sheets in lukewarm (not hot) water to prevent fabric from shrinking or breaking down
• Use mild detergents diluted in water before adding sheets to your washing machine
• Remove sheets from dryer and fold promptly to reduce wrinkling
• Remember to always follow care instructions as provided