Shopping for sheets can get a little bit confusing. You will read labels that use words like thread count, Egyptian cotton and, simply, 100% Cotton. How do you know what to buy? Read on to learn what makes the best quality cotton in order to head to the bedding store armed with knowledge and buy sheets you’ll love for years to come.
This is the one term that probably causes the most confusion. Simply put, it refers to the amount of threads that are woven both horizontally and vertically across one square inch of the material. While it makes sense that higher numbers mean better wear and softer fabric, the type of threads being used is actually more important when considering the quality and smoothness of the sheets.
High quality cotton sheets equal luxury but what type of cotton should you choose? If money is no object (or you’re ready for a splurge), opt for 100% Egyptian cotton which is the cream of the crop. What makes it better are its longer fibres which weave into thin, supple sheets that are also strong and durable.
A trademarked name, Supima cotton refers to a type of cotton that is second best to Egyptian. It’s comprised of 100% pima cotton, which is grown in America and has shorter fibres which create a somewhat rougher fabric that is also are more likely to pill. If the label simply says 100% Cotton, it likely refers to this type of cotton, a good second option to the more expensive Egyptian-grown variety.
Percale and Sateen
These two types of cotton weaves have varying qualities. Available in either cotton and polyester blends or 100% cotton, Percale is a fabric that feels crisp because of how it is combed and closely woven fabric and its thread count of about 180 to 200. Sateen is created out of shorter cotton fibres that are lengthened in carding or combing, resulting in a supple fabric that’s then processed to become smoother and satin-like. Buyer beware, though: there are lots of fake sateens on the market which are superficially sheened and will thus lose the satiny appearance after being laundered.
A little bit of polyester added to your cotton can result in some easy care sheets. These are a great choice for harder working bed linens that need to be frequently laundered. With only a 10 percent addition of polyester, your sheets will still feel soft and add a cozy appeal to your bed.
Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be able to purchase cotton sheets that are exactly what you want and create a luxuriously outfitted bed! Sweet dreams!