A high quality bedding set is not only a decoration in the bedroom but a must for a good sleep. Nowadays many people just buy a set that they like without really thinking about whether it will be comfortable and healthy to sleep on it. How to choose the perfect bed sheets? Which material is best? What are the pros and cons of different materials? We shall give you the answers of all these questions so that you can find the best linen for you and your family.
Bed sheets are in contact with the body which means that they need to meet a lot of criteria. On the first place, they should fit your bed, they should be comfortable, pleasant to the touch,easy to wash and not cause allergies. Good linen is sewn only from natural materials. Synthetic fabrics breathe poorly, quickly lose their attractive appearance and cause skin irritation.
Another very important selection criterion is the composition of the fabric. This is just as important parameter as color and design. Particular attention should be paid to the choice of children’s underwear. It must be of high quality and safe. The main factors to consider are the age of the child and his interests.
Thread count is another parameter of great significance. Usually bed sheets have thread counts of 180-200. Sheets with a thread count of 140-180 are classified as muslin. Bed sheets with a thread count 200 or higher are considered to be of good quality and those with 300-400 are considered luxury quality.
What are the common types of bed sheets?
Bed linen can be classified based on different criteria. As you know there are different types of bed sheets and each type has its advantages and disadvantages. Based on quality there are three large groups:
Luxurious bed sheets – this category is distinguished not so much by the zeros on the price tag but by the unsurpassed quality and luxurious design. Many world famous brands have leading positions in this category and even have their own laboratories to develop unique fabrics and harmless dyes for them. Typically, in the production of luxurious bed linen only the best types of natural silk, satin, jacquard, and sometimes truly exotic materials are used. The collections are created by famous designers creating real works of art. The advantages of luxurious bed linen are the highest quality of materials, the best natural fabrics, the opportunity for development of individual design, etc. On the downside are the high price tag and the fact that usually, products are sold only in company stores or through authorized representatives.
Budget friendly bed linen is sold in almost every store and is offered in both expensive and more affordable options. It has good characteristics and a wide selection of colors, which makes it very popular. Today, more and more factories produce linen from environmentally friendly and wear-resistant satin, calico, poplin or cotton. The pros of this type of bed linen are the affordable price, the huge selection of colors, patterns and prints, the availability of products, etc. The major drawback is the weak resistance of fabric to fading.
Bed sheets for children – this is a separate category of bedding as the highest demands are placed on its quality. Children’s bedding sets should be not only attractive in appearance, but also made of natural hypoallergenic fabrics. In addition, they must have good breathability and withstand frequent washing. The major advantages of chidlren’s sheets are that soft, natural fabrics and safe dyes are used for the production of the sets, they are wear-resistant and withstand frequent machine washings. Further to that, the products cone in a wide array of beautiful applications and fun drawings.
How to choose the perfect bed sheets – important steps to follow
Before buying bed linen, it is recommended that you decide in advance what type of linen you want, the color, design, the size of the bed, etc. Having decided on the type of bedding you need, you can proceed to a more detailed study of the set you liked. What parameters indicate a high-quality product, and what should you pay attention to?
Density of fabric
The appearance, durability and strength of the set depend on this criterion. The density is determined by thread count, which is he number of horizontal and vertical threads per square inch (cm). If the material has a “sparse” structure, this is a sign of poor quality and the bedding set should not be purchased. The fabric will lose its shape after 3-4 washings. Good dense material is not afraid of numerous washes and will not lose its shape.
Quality of the seams and threads
The threads must be durable and correctly selected in color. To check the quality of the seams, the product must be turned inside out and you need to inspect the inside. The edges of the sheets s must be carefully processed, tucked in in two folds and stitched. This ensures long service and protects the edges from fraying. Avoid buying bed linen with poorly stitched edges or a single seam.
The bedding set should not have odors of chemistry or dampness. If you feel a sharp or “chemical” smell, this is an indication of a poor-quality product. A distinct smell of dye means means that the staining was wrong and the sheets are of low quality. Good quality bed linen smells only of textiles.
Carefully inspect the packaging. A good and self-respecting manufacturer will not save on this. It is imperative that there is a label with all the necessary information about the product. The label should be clearly typed and firmly glued to the bag. The label must indicate:
- composition of the fabric;
- scheme of the complete set with the size of each element, for example indicating the size of the sheet, duvet cover and pillowcase;
- recommendations for proper care;
- information about the manufacturer, company contacts, required address and phone number;
Pay attention to everything, especially if written with small letters. Often, unscrupulous companies write “cotton” in capital letters on the top, and in the lower corner a prefabricated composition can be indicated, where there is not much cotton.
Pay attention to the color of the prints. It should not be too bright on the front side and pale from the inside. Make a quick test. Rub the front side with your hand. If traces of paint remain on your palm, the color of the fabric will fade quickly.
How to choose bed sheets material?
In addition to overall quality, the most important characteristic for bed textiles is the material. The choice of fabric is individual. Some people prefer cotton, others are crazy about fine silk. Let’s look at the characteristics of different fabrics so that you can choose the best option for yourself. In terms of composition, fabrics are divided into three main groups:
- natural fabrics made exclusively from natural fibers, such as cotton, linen and silk. Artificially obtained viscose fibers from natural non-fibrous materials (cellulose) like viscose, tencel, modal, bamboo also belong to the group of natural fabrics.
- artificial fabrics, consisting of synthetic fibers obtained by chemical process, mainly polyester;
- mixed fabrics that combine different types of fibers, for example linen and cotton, silk and cotton, cotton and polyester.
Natural fabrics are pleasing in many ways and offer a lot of advantages. They absorb moisture very well, have a natural origin and allow the skin to “breathe” during sleep. But there are also disadvantages. Such fabrics wrinkle easily, shrink during washing and dry for a long time. For everyday use, it is better to prefer eco-friendly sets made of natural fabric. Linen, cotton and silk are natural, providing the best conditions for a comfortable sleep. Artificial fabrics are much more durable than natural ones, but they are synthetic, they “breathe” poorly and are not environmentally friendly. Some manufacturers add synthetics (polyester) to the natural fibers to increase the strength of the textiles. Mixed fabrics accumulate static electricity and quickly collect dust.
Cotton is the perfect natural material for making bed sheets. It is pleasant to the skin and the body, breathes and does not cause a “greenhouse effect”. It absorbs moisture well, which means you will not sweat even in summer and will not freeze in winter. The group of cotton fabrics includes batiste, satin, muslin, percale, flannel, sateen, etc.
Batiste is lightweight, semi-sheer cotton fabric. It is light, airy, flowing, gentle to the skin and amazing in appearance. Such bedding is expensive and not quite suitable for daily use due to the fact that the thin fabric is not strong enough to cope with daily stress and frequent washing.
Satin is strong, dense, durable and wear-resistant. It is smooth and has a soft sheen and looks very elegant and solemn. Satin is made from heavily twisted cotton threads, as a result, the material looks very much like silk, but it is cheaper. Satin bed sheets provide a pleasant coolness and are comfortable to the body. The fabric does not wrinkle or deform and does not stretch. This is a high-quality fabric for bedding and comes with the relevant price tag.
Muslin (mousseline) is a cotton fabric and has all the pros – it is breathable and temperature-regulating, pleasant to the touch and comfortable for the body.
Percale bed sheets get their name from the specific type of weave of the cotton fabric. As a result of the specific weaving, the sheets are elegant and smooth. The fabric is durable and feels softer after each washing. The sheets are lightweight, comfortable and feel cool and crisp to the touch which makes them ideal for warm weather. Due to the natural material, percale bedding is hypoallergenic and suitable for sensitive skin.
Flannel bed sheets are soft, warm and affordable. They are the perfect choice for wintertime. Flannel offers the advantage to look nice and crisp as it does no wrinkle easily. In addition, it is a very absorbent material which is essential for your comfort. If you consider buying flannel sheets, you need to know that this fabric is not measured or rated by thread count but by weight- grams per square meter (ounces per square yard).
Linen is an incredibly durable material with excellent thermal conductivity. This natural and environmentally friendly fabric has antiseptic properties, but it feels slightly harsh to the touch. However, after several washes and ironing, this drawback becomes less noticeable. However, linen is really hard to iron. Linen is ideal for hot climates. It is considered to be one of the finest sheet fabrics. Investing in fine linen sheets is worthwhile as they will last for decades.
Silk is the king of materials and the constant companion of romantic dates. Silk looks luxurious, pleasing to the body and has excellent characteristics in all aspects, except for the price. Silk is also hypoallergenic, cool and sensuous, smooth and luxurious. Silk bedding must be dry-cleaned and with proper care such bedding will last for a very long time. Saving and choosing cheap silk will bring nothing but discomfort. Cheap sheets imitating silk are usually made of polyester and they feel scratchy against the skin.
Bamboo sheets are made of environmentally friendly natural material, very soft and pleasant to the body. The material is durable and has antiseptic properties. It does not require special care, while it looks elegant and has a natural shine. Sheets and duvet covers from bamboo look simple, natural and at the same time attractive.
Tencel bed sheets are made from a branded material fabric produced by cellulose from the wood pulp of the eucalyptus tree. The material is environmentally friendly with anti-microbial properties and feels soft to the touch. Tencel is not as breathable as cotton and retains heat which is great for cold periods but may cause discomfort during the summer. Tencel is less wrinkly than cotton, it is not prone to shrinking or misshaping.
Polyester is an artificial material. It is not breathable and sheets feel scratchy. They retain heat and moisture which may cause unpleasant sensation while you sleep. In addition, they are prone to static and pilling, and can be irritating to sensitive skin. Most polyester bed sheets are made of cotton and polyester in different proportions – 50 percent cotton/50 percent polyester, 60 percent cotton/40 percent polyester. Bed sheets made from blends are smooth and wrinkle resistant. The greatest advantage is that they come at a very affordable price.
How to choose bed sheets size?
To choose the right size for your bedding, you need to accurately measure your mattress. Bedding sets differ so it is best if you write down the dimensions of your mattress. Due to the fact that mattresses come in standard sizes manufacturers offer standard sheet sizes for the different mattress options – twin beds, full-size bed, queen and king bed. The depth of the matress is also important as it affects the needed size of bed sheets.
How to choose bed sheets for babies and children?
When you choose bed sheets for children you need to be extra careful. A child under 1 year old spends most of the time in bed, which is why linen should provide constant comfort. For older children, the color and design of the linen is important. It should correspond to the character and hobbies of the child. Select bed sheets made of natural materials. High quality bed sheets are hypoallergenic, safe and environmentally friendly, without toxic components or dyes. Natural fabrics are breathable and absorb moisture. Other important criteria for bedding sets for babies and children are:
- Durability – the sheets must be made of soft and easily washable material.
- The strength of the fabric – this is a guarantee that the bedding set will not lose its attractive appearance.
- Safety – A duvet cover for a child under 4 years old must have a secure fastener. It is not recommended to use ties or buttons. The best option would be a hidden zipper and it is also convenient to use a sheet with an elastic band.
- Proper size – You should not buy bed sheets by eye measure. For example, if the sheet and duvet cover are too long they will go down to the floor.
- Color and design affect the quality of sleep and the psychological state of the child. Avoid acidic and neon colors, especially if you choose bedding for newborns or small children, as they overexcites the psyche and affects the quality of sleep. Older children will surely like a set with characters from a favorite fairy tale or cartoon.
In conclusion, we have to say, that choosing the perfect bed sheets should be focused primarily on high quality materials, density, quality of the seams and durability of the dye, color and design. It is important to determine in advance the size of your mattress. The bed is the largest piece of furniture in any bedroom, immediately attracting attention. And quite often, it is the bed that becomes the main focal point in the room. Therefore, bedding sets should be in harmony with your character, mood and, of course, the overall design of the room.