What sheets are the best?
What sheets are the best?
In order to answer this question, we need to understand bed sheets and the pros and cons of each material type. There are several types of materials used in sheet sets. Polyester, Flannel, Cotton Blend, Cotton, Bamboo, Eucalyptus, Percale, Linen, Jersey cotton are the most common types. A sheet set is usually comprised of a fitted sheet, a flat sheet and pillowcases. The amount of material and type of elastic varies greatly between manufacturers. The “pocket depth” is the vertical depth that the sheet is designed to fit. For example, if a sheet has a 15-inch pocket depth, it should fit mattresses up to 15-inches.
Fitted sheets are designed to cover the mattress and wrap around the edges to create a snug fit and a smooth feel, while minimizing or preventing bunching of the material. Fitted sheets vary in pocket depth. Deep pocket fitted sheets usually fit mattresses over 15-inches thick and often up to 22-inches thick. Most fitted sheets use ¼ inch elastic, often on only the corners, which may provide only a slightly snug fit, where some manufacturers like DreamFit offer 1-inch thick 500 lb tencel strength eleastic around the entire perimeter of the fitted sheet, as well as anchor bands that stretch diagonally under each corner for a very snug fit that won’t pop off or shift throughout the night.
A flat sheet is designed as a top layer above the sleeper and under a blanket or comforter. Most properly sized flat sheets will allow 12-14 inches of extra material to hang down the sides and foot of the bed. This is one area the some manufacturers really skimp on the amount of material, and often you are only left with 4-6 inches of material along the sides of the mattress, which contributes to more fighting over the covers. The flat sheet usually has a hem at the head which creates a nice look when making the bed. The edges are sewn to prevent the material coming apart. Some sleepers prefer using a Duvet cover in lieu of a top sheet. The Duvet cover covers the Duvet or comforter and is usually made of the same material as the fitted sheet.
Polyester is an inexpensive material that can be made into bed sheets. It is more of a heat insulator. Not typically as warm as flannel, but much warmer than cotton. It insulates the body heat more. Most Microfiber sheets are made of polyester. If you prefer sleeping in a warm sheet, then you will probably enjoy a polyester sheet.
Cotton Blend Sheets
Cotton blend sheets are usually made of both polyester and cotton. The percentage of cotton to polyester may vary, but usually it’s in the 50/50, 60/40, or 70/30 range and offers a slightly more breathable feel than 100% polyester, but is still less expensive than 100% cotton. These are great for guest beds or kids beds where they may not be as picky about the sheet feel.
100% Cotton sheets are made of one of four types of cotton, long staple cotton, pima cotton, Egyptian cotton, or Supima Cotton. Long staple and pima cotton are both longer fibers and usually end up softer than Egyptian cotton which is a shorter staple cotton and ends up with a crisper feel. Egyptian cotton gets its name from its origin which is grown in the middle east region. Long staple and pima cotton are a type of cotton that can be grown inside or outside of the U.S., and Supima cotton is only U.S. grown pima cotton. Typically, Supima cotton is one of the most preferred and considered “best” cotton to be used for sheets.
Jersey sheets are made from a blend of cotton and synthetic fibers. They are usually much stretchier and are similar to the material used for T-shirts. This cotton blend material has a soft feel however the material has more friction than regular cotton and tends to move with the person rather than staying put.
These are usually made of cotton and it is specifically due to the weave pattern. Unlike pima cotton where the weave is over over under, Percale sheets use a simple over under weave that creates a grid like pattern in the weave and typically uses lower thread counts. This often creates a slightly more course feel.
Linen is made from the stalks of the flax plant. It is usually thicker and longer than cotton, so often used in luxury bedding, place mats and fancy dinner napkins. Linen sheets usually get softer with each washing.
Bamboo sheets are a blend of bamboo and cotton. Usually a 70 percent bamboo 30 percent cotton blend. These offer a breathable cool feel similar to 100% cotton but with an alternative feel. Soft and pliable, the bamboo fiber offers a smooth comfortable feeling sheet.
Eucalyptus sheets are made from Eucalyptus lyocell with is made from the pulp of the Eucalyptus plant and spun into a textile. These are super soft and very breathable. One of the coolest sheet options on the market.
What does thread count mean?
Thread count is a term for the number of threads in one square inch of fabric. It is calculated by adding the numbers of lengthwise (warp) and widthwise (weft) threads in one square inch. The more threads the tighter the weave and usually a softer feel. However, the higher the thread count the more insulating the fabric can be as it allows less air flow and heat to dissipate through the fabric. The most comfortable thread count for warm sleeper is between 300 and 400 count. Some companies use double or triple ply threads which are typically lower quality than a single ply thread, then count those double and triple ply threads to inflate the total thread count. A 900 count triple ply sheet may be lower quality than a 300 thread count single ply sheet.
To summarize, there are several factors to consider when selecting the best sheets. Look at the amount of material, the type of material, the weave, thread count and of course color too. Consider temperature when selecting the best sheets as some materials sleep cooler, and buy from an established retailer with a good return policy that backs up there products.