If you’ve ever been shopping for bed linens then you’re probably amazed at all of the available choices in top sheets, fitted sheets, pillow cases and duvet covers. They all come in a variety of styles, sizes, colors, patterns and types of fabrics also.
Whether you’re looking for luxury bed linen or discount linens, it’s all here online nowadays.
It doesn’t have to be confusing though, if you have these nifty tips on hand to help you sort out your bed linen choices.
First off, go ahead and measure your bed to be absolutely sure what you need is what you end up buying. You don’t want any surprises here.
Don’t go by the typical size label, like queen or king.
Measure the thickness of your mattress, lots of folks forget about this and end up with fitted sheets that pop off because the sheets were made for a thinner mattress.
Some of the newer beds can have pillow top mattresses 18″ thick…so if the fit looks close, then opt for the the next size up to account for some possible shrinkage.
A note on fitted sheets.
For the best quality, look for the ones with elastic all the way around. They will stay on the bed without popping off, rather than the ones with elastic only on the sides or on the corners.
Then figure on your pick of fabric.
This is important because your bed sheets, duvet covers and pillow cases will be touching your skin, so it’s probably a good idea to go for more natural fibers like linen, cotton, or blends of those.
You’ll find that they wick away moisture, dry quickly, and are absorbent. Not to mention that they just feel really soft too! Pure cotton fabric feels cooler to the skin also, which is great for those of us who kick off the covers cause we just get too hot at night.
A lot of people go for polyester blends for their bed linens, because they’re more economical and tend to wrinkle a bit less.
They do tend to be warmer for those folks who get too cool at night. But these blends are generally not as comfortable, they hold onto body oils and sometimes odors, and they tend to “pill” also. That means that as they are washed, fibers loosen and eventually fuzz up and form little balls over time.
I remember being able to actually see right through some of my sheets because they had worn out so much right there in the middle, with all of these tiny little balls of what used to be the sheet all over the place. Yes, that was a long time ago- before I knew that nicer sheets and bedding would actually help me feel and sleep better. lol
Some people want to string me up for even mentioning the word polyester in my articles or on my site…but hey…lots of folks still buy and enjoy those poly blends. One lady commented that using polyester sheets was like sleeping inside a plastic garbage bag. I have to take her word on that. lol
These days, most people really are using 100% cotton bed sheets, pillowcases and duvet covers.
For the best durability and softness, a few of the best types of natural fabrics for bed linens are pure Egyptian cotton and Pima or Supima.
What makes this cotton better than all the rest is the fact that their fibers are longer than regular run of the mill cheaper, shorter fiber lower thread count cotton.
Why is this important for bed linens?
Well, if the fibers are longer they makes stronger thread, and then stronger yarns, and ultimately you’ll end up with stronger fabric for your bed sheets, pillowcases, duvet covers, comforter shells..etc… These linens even get softer and more comfortable as you wash them over time. You’ll be thrilled at how soft and luxurious 100% Egyptian cotton sheets can feel under your skin.
Some folks write and ask me why their sheets pill even though they swear to me that they are really positive that they have 100% pure high thread count bed linens.
Be careful here and make absolutely sure that you’re buying 100% Egyptian or Pima, or Supima cotton.
Sometimes you’ll end up with misleading labels that actually don’t mention that they have blends with other cheaper cotton fibers. This is why it’s very important that if you’re spending the dollars for that level of quality sheets, you buy through reputable retailers. Remember that skimping on the price is okay as long as you don’t expect to have the finest most luxurious, longest lasting bed linens on your bed.
There are a few other things to keep in mind when buying bed linens:
1. Using harsh detergent may hasten the breakdown of your linens. Use a small amount of a gentle liquid detergent to help prevent pilling. If you have hard water, then toss in a little bit of fabric softener right into your washing machine. And hey – put them on the gentle cycle… unless you haven’t washed them in over a month they shouldn’t really be that dirty, unless you sweat a lot of course. If you’ve got the washer on the other cycles…then it’s just like taking your sheets out and clubbing them with a rock. No wonder they pill. lol
2. Leaving your sheets and other bedding in the dryer on high…or for too long will also really start to bake your sheets. Not good. Try and take sheets out while they’re still a tiny tiny bit damp. You’ll get less wrinkling that way also….which is a great thing for you and your sheets, pillowcase and duvet covers! Just fold them up nice and they’ll dry out naturally. Better yet, try a clothesline when possible.
3..Wash your bedding once per week. So figure on always having 3 decent complete sets of sheets. So, it’s one set on the bed, one in the laundry, and one in your linen closet. If having fine bed linens is important to you, then this little routine will help you get the most comfort and use out of them.
Then there’s the whole thread count aspect of linens, which just means how many threads run up and down through one square inch of fabric.
Generally speaking, thread counts range from 80 or so, to well up over 1000 these days.
You’d assume that the higher the count the better your bed linens would be. The thing is, that the more threads that you put into that one square inch, the smaller those threads tend to become. Some bed linen manufacturers split the threads and then weave them in a way that allows them to say the thread count is double. Naughty naughty. lol
So there is a point at which a higher thread count doesn’t guarantee better softness and durability….which happens somewhere around 400 as I’ve noticed in reviews by experts in the bed linen industry.
So, a general rule of thumb to go by:
200 to 220 is respectable thread count, and is just fine for daily use.
230 to 290 is better
300 to 400 is best
That being said, there are those folks that really love their 1000 count luxury bed linen and wouldn’t have anything else!
So if you’re looking to freshen up your bedroom with a great new look, you’ll be sure to find everything you need online…with some great deals delivered right to your door.
I hope you enjoy this little guide to help you buying bed linens and it helps you become a more informed and happy customer.