Sheets Buying Guide
Bed sheets usually come in a set with a flat sheet and a fitted sheet. The fitted sheet has elastic edges and stretches over the top of your mattress as a form-fitting protective cover, and the flat sheet provides a barrier between you and your blankets to keep them clean. Sheets can be purchased individually, in a set with a flat and fitted sheet, or in a set with matching pillowcases and other accessories. Sheet sets are popular for their affordability and the convenience of an all-in-one package.
Things to Consider When Buying Sheets:
A fabric’s thread count is the number of threads woven together per square inch. A higher thread count makes a denser material, which usually means the fabric will be heavier and more durable. Thread counts for sheets range from less than 200 to over 1000. To learn more about how the quality of sheets is measured, check out our Bed Sheet Thread Count Fact Sheet.
Bed Sheet Sizes
Sheet and mattress measurements can vary slightly by brand, so it’s a good idea to check the specific dimensions of both before finalizing your purchase. Listed below are the common dimensions for bed sheets in each size.
Bed sheets also come in varying depths to accommodate the thickness of different mattresses. Fitted sheets usually come in standard, deep, and extra deep measurements. The standard depth of a fitted sheet might not be enough for all mattresses, so look for deep-pocket sheets if you have a pillow-top mattress or a foam topper. Head over to our Frequently Asked Questions About Deep Pocket Sheets guide for answers to all your questions about this sheet type.
Bed Sheet Materials:
Egyptian cotton is a strong, lustrous cotton with extra-long fibers grown only in Egypt. Its extraordinary quality is due to the long growing season in that country. Sheets made from 100 percent Egyptian cotton with a high thread count are considered by some to be the most luxurious sheets because of their breathability, strength, and softness. Look for a thread count over 300 to ensure you purchase quality sheets. Learn more about Egyptian cotton by reading our Quick Facts about Egyptian Cotton Sheet Sets.
Sheets made from a blend of cotton and other materials offer the benefits of both natural and synthetic materials. Synthetic fibers will increase durability, resist wrinkles, and bring down the cost of the material, and the cotton fibers will provide breathability and comfort. These sheets are easy to care for and will last for years to come. Look for thread counts from 200 to over 1000.
Polyester is a synthetic fiber that is common in bed sheets. Sheets made from polyester are durable and resistant to staining from most liquids, so they will keep their appearance longer than other types of sheets. They are also easy to care for and will resist shrinking and wrinkling. The cost of polyester sheets is generally more affordable than cotton sheets, but getting sheets made from a combination of the two will be the most beneficial. Polyester sheets don’t have a thread count, so that’s one less thing to have to keep in mind.
Jersey knit sheets are made from cotton or a cotton/synthetic blend that has been knitted rather than woven. The knit construction gives Jersey sheets a natural stretch and a soft, broken-in feel. Jersey sheets are also popular as winter sheets because of their warmth. Knit sheets are measured by weight per square yard rather than thread count, so look for sheets that weigh between 9 to 14 ounces a yard for long-lasting, comfortable material.
Rayon bedsheets are made of chemically treated material created from bamboo. These bamboo rayon sheets help regulate your temperature while you sleep, making them perfect for any season. The absorbent construction also wicks moisture away from your body to keep you dry and comfortable all night. Look for these sheets in thread counts of 300 or above for the best feel.
Flannel sheets are made from a blend of different types of cotton. The quality is not measured by thread count but in ounces of material per square yard of fabric. Four ounces or more per square yard is considered good quality flannel. Flannel bed sheets have a soft, brushed surface and are highly popular for providing warmth during colder months. Learn more about what makes flannel great with our Frequently Asked Questions about Flannel Sheets guide.
The synthetic fibers used to make microfiber sheets are extremely fine and tightly woven to create a thin, strong material. Microfiber sheets are popular because of their exceptional softness and ability to retain your body heat on cold nights. The tight weave also repels liquids, which prevents stains and ensures a long life. Microfiber sheets don’t have a thread count, so if you see these sheets advertised with one, you should know they come from a less than reputable manufacturer.
Linen bed sheets are the perfect summer option thanks to their breathability and moisture-wicking ability. Even on hot and humid nights, linen sheets allow airflow and absorb moisture to keep you dry and comfortable. Linen sheets have lower thread counts than sheets made from other materials, so look for thread counts around 200 for a suitable quality.
Percale sheets are made with a tight weave that gives them a smooth, luxurious feel. They can be crafted from one or a blend of several different fibers such as cotton, polyester, or silk. Higher thread counts will resist pilling more effectively, and choosing sheets with a blend of cotton and synthetic fibers will help prevent wrinkles. Pick up percale sheets with a thread count between 200 and 800 for a durable construction and comfortable feel. Read through our Percale Sheets Fact Sheet for answers to other specific questions.
A satin weave gives your bedsheets a smooth feel and a lustrous shine. Satin sheets are considered by some to be luxury sheets and can be made from wool, cotton, acetate, polyester, silk, or a blend of materials. Because of their cool feel, satin sheets are great for warm nights. A thread count of 300 or more will enhance the sheet’s durability, smooth feel, and glossy appearance. Compare the differences between satin and cotton sheets with our Satin Sheets vs. Cotton Sheets guide to find out which is best for your lifestyle.
Sateen is a weave of natural fibers and cotton. These bed sheets are produced in a unique four-threads-over-one-thread method of weaving, which gives the sheets a special luster that looks similar to satin. The cotton threads also go through a strengthening process that makes the sheets mildew- and allergy-resistant. Sateen sheets feel similar to satin but are easier to care for. Choose a thread count over 300 for optimal quality. For a deeper dive into sateen sheets, check out these Frequently Asked Questions about Sateen Sheets.
Caring for Bed Sheets:
Check the care label for specific recommendations on how to launder your sheets. Wash them regularly to prevent the buildup of dirt, dust, and other particles. Also, avoid harsh detergents or bleaches that will damage and weaken your sheet’s fibers.
Dry your sheets on a clothesline or in your dryer with low heat. Placing your sheets on your bed or folding and storing them immediately after drying will help prevent wrinkles. Make sure your sheets are completely dry before storing so they will stay free of mildew or musty odors. Washing, drying, and storing your bed sheets properly will greatly extend their life.
More Ways to Shop
- Bedroom Guides