The mattress is one of the single most important items for sleepers everywhere, but it’s not complete without certain accessories. Some of the most vital to pair with any mattress: Sheets, which provide both comfort and aesthetics for the mattress and bed area.
There are many providers of sheets, including some situations where quality mattress companies will also offer sheets and other accessories to pair with their materials. When selecting sheets for any mattress, what are the primary factors to consider? Here’s a primer.
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One of the simplest areas to think about when it comes to sheets is the fit, as it is a one-to-one comparison between where the mattress edges are and how much sheet material covers those edges. There’s no right or wrong way to have sheets fit on any mattress, so long as there is enough excess for ample coverage from each side of the bed.
Some people prefer blankets underneath their fitted sheets for various degrees of warmth, while some sleepers may use one inch between the edge of the mattress and where the sheet ends. It’s up to personal preference in most cases.
When we talk about thread count, we’re referring to the number of threads present in each square inch of fabric being discussed. Higher thread counts equate to a more fine, smoother sheet, and they tend to be more expensive as well.
This isn’t purely a linear thing, however. Higher thread counts don’t automatically equal more comfortable sheets for every sleeper, and some people prefer the extra firmness that comes with lower thread counts. As a result, it’s best to see what kind of sheet material you’re looking at and correlate it with how you sleep and what you think will be most comfortable for you or your sleeping partner(s).
While thread count gets all the attention from many sheet buyers, another thread quality that’s just as important is thread weave. Thread weave refers to the method by which threads are placed together, and it has a major impact on the way your sheets feel.
Here are some of the most common thread weave options:
- Jersey: These sheets are known for their softness, plus how stretchy and breathable they are. They provide a great fit, and it’s easy to make jersey sheets in varying levels of thickness as well.
- Percale: This is one of the most common threads used in bedding for its durability, strength, and overall quality. Percale weave tends to be closely woven together, leading to a tight sheet that can keep you warm, but it can also make a sheet uncomfortable to sleep on for some people.
- Egyptian Cotton: These sheets are the high-end choice of many, as they’re known for their softness and durability. They may require more maintenance than other materials.
- Sateen: Soft, flexible and smooth, sateen sheets are known for their comfort above all else. These sheets aren’t as durable or long-lasting, but they can feel amazing while you sleep.
- Stain: These are thin sheets with a very high thread count, which means that they’re quite soft. Stain sheets are known for being very comfortable but not durable, as they tend to wear out quickly with lots of use.
Finally, while it’s certainly not the only factor you should be evaluating, it’s also worth looking at the brand of sheets you’re thinking about buying. The overall quality and performance, as well as how durable they are, can vary significantly between brands in some cases.
Some brands may be known for their high thread count sheets but lack in durability and overall build quality. Others might be more affordable and still provide a comfortable night’s sleep. It’s important to understand what you’re looking at before making any purchase, as this knowledge can help make your decision much easier.
By considering these factors first along with any product-specific considerations, you should be able to find sheets that are perfect for both your budget and sleeping needs.