Think about the most comfortable bed you've ever slept in, and what comes to mind? If it's the sheets, you're in good company. Because they come in direct contact with our skin, sheets are as important as a quality mattress and cozy blanket in sending us off to a great nights sleep.
The sheer variety of sheets on the market, however, can throw you for a loop when you're shopping. Here are our top pointers to help you decode the labels and choose the sheets that will suit you best.
Back in the day, most sheets on the market came in cotton and it's still the most popular sheeting fabric, due to its durability, comfort and breathability.
Cotton both traps heat and let’s cool air pass through in summer weather, so it's a great choice for almost any climate. It can be blended with rayon and other materials that affect its weight and feel.
Egyptian, Pima, and Sea Island cottons are the gold standard. We at PUREPARIMA sell only 100% Egyptian cotton sheet sets. True Egyptian cotton is grown and processed according to specific stipulations.
Even though Linen sheets work well in hot climates because they keep don’t hold onto body heat they do wrinkle a lot. So be prepared to do quite a bit of ironing. Although satin sheets feel romantic, they retain body heat. In this case, cotton looks great, feels soft, and keeps your body temperature well regulated in any climate.
With the entire buzz about thread count — the number of threads in 1 square inch of fabric — it's easy to assume that higher means softer. But that's not always the case. A lower-thread-count sheet made from fibers that are softer by nature, such as Egyptian cotton, will feel silkier than a high-thread-count sheet made from a lower-quality cotton blend.
All other things being equal, high thread counts can indeed translate to increased comfort.
Crisp or soft? If you like your sheets with a little snap, choose percale, which is a plainer weave than the more supple sateen. Neither is inherently better; it's a matter of personal preference.
Jersey sheets — which you probably think of as T-shirt sheets — are made with a flat knit that keeps them soft but also means they can be prone to slipping and sliding on the bed. If you live somewhere that gets extremely cold, consider nubby cotton flannel sheets, unsurpassed for keeping you toasty.
Percale sheets in a bright, playful print wake up a bed that is usually dressed in white.
If you've ever tried to wrestle a too-small fitted sheet onto a mattress, you know how important it is to buy sheets that are the correct size. If you have a standard-size bed, such as a twin, queen or king, look for features such as elastic edging all the way around, which help to ensure a smooth, snug fit.
For extra-long twin, California king, pillow-top and other nonstandard mattresses, you'll need to look for sheets specifically marked for those sizes. If you add a foam pad or other topper to your mattress, measure the height, and then buy an extra-deep sheet that corresponds. Extra-long twin sheets stretch comfortably over a mattress that accommodates taller sleepers.
And don't forget about pillowcases: If your pillows are under- or over scale (king pillows on a double bed, for instance), buy fitted sheets, flat sheets and pillowcases as separates rather than as a same-size set.