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How to Choose Bed Sheets

by Glyn Sheridan


You spend approximately one-third of your life in bed, and choosing the right bed sheets can make the difference between a night of tossing and turning and a night of blissful slumber. Bed sheet quality depends upon the type of fiber, the fabric weave pattern and the tightness of the fabric weave. If you're on the hunt for new bedding, look below to learn how to choose bed sheets.


  1. Measure the depth of your mattress. Today's bed sheets are available in sets or for purchase individually, and they will fit most standard mattresses except those that are very deep. By knowing how thick your top mattress is, you can select the correct size sheets. Extra-deep pockets are available in some styles.

  2. Consider thread count. Look for a high thread count when comfort and durability are important. Sheet manufacturers determine the thread count by the number of threads contained in one square inch of the bed sheet fabric. A thread count of 200 is acceptable, but good-quality sheets may have thread counts between 300 and 500. The highest quality luxury sheets may have thread counts over 600.

  3. Think about Egyptian cotton. The Egyptian cotton plant produces a finer and longer thread staple, enabling sheet manufacturers to increase tension on the thread and create a finer and tighter weave. Luxury bed sheets often contain Egyptian cotton.

  4. Think about sateen. Choose sateen sheets for a soft feel. Sateen sheets contain cotton fibers, but manufacturers use a special weave to make one side of the fabric very smooth. Expect to sacrifice some durability when you have sateen sheets. These sheets may pill after a few dozen washings, but they are very comfortable and suitable for guest beds where they will not be overused.

  5. Go with a fabric that works for you. Select special fabrics to suit your sleeping style. Satin sheets are relatively inexpensive and have a super-silky feel, but they may trap moisture next to the body. Sheets made of silk and bamboo fibers are incredibly soft but are more expensive and may require special care, such as hand washing or dry cleaning. Cotton sheets are available in a wide array of textures and qualities, meaning they're a dependable choice.

  6. Mix and match. Mix and match bed sheets with bed skirts, comforters and window treatments to create an interesting, dynamic style in your bedroom.

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