Last updated: August 21, 2020

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Sleeping is one of the most important physiological processes for our general health and well-being. It can be refreshing and pleasurable, but sometimes we don’t get a good night’s sleep. It is common to lay awake in bed worrying about a stressful situation, but there are other factors that can affect the quality of our sleep, such as bed sheets.

Most people simply choose bed sheets based on their color, but there are so many other aspects to consider. The fabric used will determine not only the texture, but also the durability. Contrary to popular belief, a higher thread count does not equate to softer sheets, or a more even wear over time. So that you can find out everything you need to know to find the best bed linen to suit your individual requirements, we have prepared this useful shopping guide.

Key Facts

  • A bottom sheet is a fitted piece of material that protects your bed’s mattress from moisture, dirt, bed mites and allergens. A top sheet covers the person sleeping, over which a blanket or coverlet can be placed.
  • There are lots of different types of bed sheets on the market, most often classified by the type of material they are made from, which can be natural (such as silk, cotton or bamboo) or synthetic, such as polyester.
  • When buying a sheet for your bed, or a set of bed linen, you need to keep several criteria in mind, including the size of your bed, the design of your bedroom, and the type of fabric used in the manufacturing process.

Our Selection: The Best Bed Sheets on the U.S. Market

Buying a new set of bed sheets is a great way to help you get the best night’s sleep possible. In order to give you an overview of the different options currently available on the market, in this section we show you the four best bed linen sets, in four different categories:

This is the best-selling bed sheet set on Amazon and it’s easy to see why. Made from 100% polyester, they are soft, silky and luxurious to touch. They are fade, stain, shrink and wrinkle resistant, machine washable with cold water, and dry quickly in a tumble dryer on a low setting. They are perfectly suited for any bedroom in the house, and are available in lots of different sizes and colors.

Best Microfiber Bed Sheets

Enjoy a truly luxurious experience and a cool comfortable night’s sleep with this ultra-thin, breathable sheet set. The microfiber fabric has a silky soft feel and a lustrous finish. This sheet set provides a lasting vibrancy of color, no matter how often they are washed. The durable microfiber threads ensure that the fabric will stay soft and wrinkle free for years.

Best Bed Sheets on a Budget

This four-piece bed sheet set offers fantastic value for money at under $20. These luxurious sheets are tightly woven and double brushed on both sides, contributing to a silky soft feel. Lightweight, breathable and cool to the touch, this dreamy, soft bedding will create an unforgettable sleeping experience. Choose from the selection of vibrant, beautiful colors to find the perfect shade that will update your bedroom and give it a fresh, new look.

Best 100% Cotton Bed Sheets

If you are looking for 100% cotton bed sheets, this is product for you. If you love the luxury and durability of hotel bedding, and the look of crisp pillowcases, you’ll adore these stunning 400-thread-count sheets. They are made with 100% long staple cotton fiber, and a gorgeous sateen weave. These eco-friendly sheets retain softness for a lifetime and are resistant to fading.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Bed Sheets

The wide range of bed linen sets currently available on the market means that there is definitely something for everyone. However, this also means that choosing the one that is best for you can be a little overwhelming. To help you find out everything you need to know to make an informed choice, in this section we answer the most frequently asked questions about bed sheets.

The size of the bed is the most important factor to consider when buying a set of sheets.
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What types of bed sheets are available?

The top sheet is a thin piece of cloth used to cover someone at nighttime while they are sleeping. For extra warmth, a blanket, comforter or bedspread can be placed on top. A base sheet covers the mattress, protecting it from dirt and moisture.

Most commonly, bed linen is sold in sets of sheets, including a top sheet, a fitted base sheet and two or more pillowcases. There are many different types of bed sheets, as you can see illustrated in the following table:

Type of Sheet Material and Composition
Cotton Sheets You can find sheets made from 100% cotton, a cotton blend (typically 50% cotton and 50% polyester), Pima cotton and cotton satin.
Microfiber Sheets This material does not wrinkle and is made from either polymer, polyester or wood pulp.
Coralina Sheets They are made from 100% polyester, and are soft, warm, and ideal for winter.
Silk Sheets They are very luxurious, 100% natural and require special care.
Linen Sheets They are fresh and light, although they can be more expensive as they are an all-natural fabric.
Bambo Sheets A type of Japanese fabric, that is environmentally-friendly. These sheets are fresh, soft and affordable.
Flannel Sheets They can be manufactured from synthetic fibers, wool or cotton. They are not as soft as other types of sheets, but are very suitable for cold nights in winter.

Is the thread count the most important factor to consider when buying new bed sheets?

Many people believe that thread count is the most important factor to consider when purchasing new bed sheets, however this is definitely not the case. It is basically a marketing ploy, that is very fashionable today, and having more threads does not equate to a higher quality fabric. Shannon Maher, Assistant Professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology Home Product Development Program advises that a thread count of anywhere between 200-800 is adequate.

The thread count refers to the number of vertical and horizontal threads per square inch.
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Are there bed sheets specifically designed for winter and for summer?

There are different sets of bed sheets which are better suited for hot or cold nights. Summer sheets should be fresh and light, while for winter it is best to have heavier sheets to protect against the cold and moisture. Next, we outline the main differences between these two types of bedding:

Bed Sheets for Winter

  • Microfiber Sheets: Also known as “sedalina”, this innovative material is lighter than thermal or Coralina, and can be made from either natural or synthetic fibers.
  • Flannel Sheets: Flannel is a fantastic thermal insulator, in addition to being wash resistant, hypoallergenic and good at regulating moisture. It is made using a mixture of fibers such as polyester or cotton.
  • Coralina or Thermal Sheets: These sheets do not absorb much moisture and dry very quickly. They are made of polyester, and last longer than cotton as they are highly resistant to being washed.
Bobby BerkU.S.-American Interior Designer

“Nothing makes you feel better than when you get into a hotel bed, and the sheets feel so good. Why shouldn’t you wake up like that every day? Spend money on your mattress and bedding because these things make a difference on your sleep and, ultimately, your happiness.”

Bed Sheets for Summer

  • 100% Cotton: Cotton is one of the most breathable fabrics, and is often used on beds in hotels. It is very soft and hypoallergenic.
  • Silk: Ideal for hot climates, silk is hypoallergenic and antibacterial, in addition to be very absorbent. It is highly resistant to washing, but is unfortunately a very expensive option.
  • Linen: Linen is another type of fabric that is very breathable, while also being resistant to odors. It is ideal for higher temperatures, but is easily wrinkled.
  • Bamboo: This all-natural fabric usually has thread count between 250 and 300. It is biodegradable, very soft and resistant to washing. It is highly recommended for people who suffer from allergies.

Do I need to use different bed sheets depending on the weather?

As most people have adequate heating systems in their homes these days, it’s not overly important to have a different set of bed sheets to use on hot or cold nights. It does not matter if you use summer sheets in the middle of winter, although you will most likely need to use more blankets or a warm comforter. Just keep in mind that natural fibers are more breathable than synthetic fabrics and allow for better air circulation.

Bed sheets can make your bedroom more aesthetically pleasing.
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How can bed sheets be prevented from pilling?

“Anti-pilling” is a procedure that is applied at the factory to prevent “balls” from forming on fabric after several washes. It is important that the manufacturer guarantees that this treatment has been performed, so that your sheets are as durable possible.

Specifically, it consists of discarding small threads (formed during the weaving process), using a controlled flame under which the fabric is passed. This procedure is always carried out at a constant speed and, is usually performed on high-quality sheets.

foco

“To die, to sleep – to sleep perchance to dream….” Shakespeare’s Hamlet. 

How often do I need to wash my bed sheets?

Bed sheets should be washed at least once per week, or at most once every two weeks, as bacteria and mites quickly accumulate in bedding. Keep in mind that they must be washed using the correct cycle for them to be adequately cleaned.

It is best to use hot water between 100 and 140 degrees. It is also a good idea to check the labels of the sheets to help you choose the best washing cycle. Dry them outdoors in the sun, or in a tumble dryer at a low temperature.

Shopping Criteria

The large range of different sets of bed sheets available on the market these days means that there is definitely something for everyone. So that you can be sure you’re buying the option that is best for you, it is important to keep the following criteria in mind when making your purchase:

Material

As we mentioned previously in this article, the material used to make bed sheets is a very important factor to take into account. It is a good idea to choose a synthetic material, if they are going to be used in your child’s bedroom, as they will be more resistant to staining. A good option for adults is 100% cotton, because it is suitable for both colder and warmer times of the year, although the cost is higher.

Bed sheets should be washed once a week, or at most every two weeks.
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Thread Count

The thread count refers to the number of vertical and horizontal threads, per square inch (PSI). A fabric with a higher thread count will often be tighter, more durable and softer. However, this is not always the case and it should not be the main factor to consider when making your purchase.

In fact, sheets with lots of threads can sometimes be very rough and heavy. Although this may seem a little confusing, the thread count can be split into three simple categories:

  • Less than 100 threads PSI: These types of sheets are more affordable, but of lower quality.
  • Between 180 and 420 threads PSI: This is the ideal range, as this type of fabric is not prone to shrinking and is not overly rigid. Anything higher than this thread count will cost much more, but not be noticeably better.
  • Over 500 threads PSI: Material with a very high thread count can be rough, so it’s a good idea to check customer reviews and see what other buyers have said about it. Just remember that the number of threads is not a decisive factor, or at least not as important as the type of fabric used.

Fabric

The term “fabric” actually refers to the composition of the sheets, which can be made from natural or synthetic fibers. Natural ones, such as silk or linen, have lots of great advantages, but they are more expensive and do require more care. 100% cotton, for example, will shrink and wrinkle with each wash.

If you choose a synthetic fabric made by a well-known manufacturer, you will definitely be getting a high-quality product, but on the other hand a cheaper alternative from an unknown brand will be of lower quality. The best option is to choose a blended fabric, made from a minimum of 50% natural fibers.

Woody HarrelsonU.S.-American Actor

“I try to apply the organic concept to my clothes and bedding as well. There’s nothing like swimming in organic cotton sheets.”

Design

The bed is the centerpiece of the bedroom, and it is important to consider color coordination when choosing new bed sheets. If you have accessories with intricate patterns, such as lamp shades, choose plain sheets that match. However, if the curtains, the walls and the cushions are solid colors, a good option is to choose linen with a more interesting design to enhance the look of the room.

If you decide to purchase cotton sheets, remember that its natural color is white, so this will be a more ecological choice than colored sheets that must be treated with potentially toxic dyes.

You can have different sets of bed sheets depending on the time of year.
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Bed Size

This size of your bed cannot be overlooked when buying a new set of sheets. The top sheet must always be larger than the mattress, so it can be tucked in. A bottom sheet that is too large will be difficult to fit evenly on your mattress, and one that is too small will be totally useless. The following table breaks down the measurements of the most common bed sizes:

Bed Size Size of Top Sheet Size of Bottom Sheet
Twin 67″x79″ 39”x75”
Twin XL 79″x106″ 39”x80”
Full 87″x106″ 54”x75”
Queen 95″x106″ 60”x80”
King  100″x106″ 76”x80”
King Cal 102″x112″ 72”x84”

Summary

Silk, cotton, linen, polyester, microfiber and bamboo are the most common types of material used for making bed sheets. Most fabrics have a different combination of these materials to improve different properties, such as moisture absorption, temperature regulation, softness and durability.

To find the bed sheets that are best for you, it is important that you consider several key factors, such as the design, the size of your bed and the thread count. It is always a good idea to have at least two sets of sheets for your bed, which will allow you to use one set, while washing the other.

We hope you have enjoyed reading our shopping guide and it has made your purchase process easier. If you liked this article, please be sure to leave us a comment and share it with your family and friends!

(Source of Featured Image: Belchonock: 22222990/ 123rf.com)

Why you can trust me?

John Kelly Writer & Tech Expert
Writing and reading have always been passions of mine, and I have a really fun time being part of the team. I have a wide range of interests, so reviewing products is a great way to share my experience with people. I'm always researching online about the latest tech gadgets and looking for things to buy for around the home. With so many new options constantly hitting the market these days, I hope you have found my articles helpful in finding out about the latest products.