National Home Organization Month ends this week so we thought we would share a little primer on what you have and how to buy.
The first thing to consider is the size of your bed. Standard sizes are listed below, and before you buy be aware of your mattress depth. Mattresses can range from 5 inches for some foam styles to 20 inches. When measuring your mattress for the perfect sheet fit, be sure to include the added height of any mattress pads/toppers.
Twin: 39 x 75”
Twin XL: 39 x 80”
Full (Double): 54 x 80”
Queen 60 x 80"
King: 78 x 80”
California King: 72 x 84”
Once you know the right size, there are three main variables to consider when buying sheets: Material, weave and thread count.
Cotton is by far the most-loved fabric for sheets. There are three main varieties of cotton: American Upland, Pima and Egyptian.
- American Upland is the most widely used cotton and can be short to long staple (staple refers to the length of individual fibers). If a label reads “100 percent cotton,” it is likely to be American Upland.
- Egyptian Cotton: longer lasting and extremely soft,
- Pima Cotton (Supima is a trademark for pima cotton) : Pima has shorter fibers than Egyptian cotton, making it slightly less durable
- Cotton / Polyester blend: the mixture of natural and synthetic fibers make for soft sheets that are also extremely easy to care for.
Mink and Fleece – Known to be soft, cozy, breathable and launders well. It is machine washable and dries quickly because of its construction and is, therefore, also water repellent. and wicks moisture away from the body. Fleece fabric is available in several finishes or textures. Berber fleece is a flecked multicolored fabric with a soft nubby surface. Sherpa and Shearling look like lamb's wool because the surface nap has been curled. Plush fleece (used in QuickZip crib and twin sheets) is smooth because all the fibers have been trimmed evenly.
Microfiber - a synthetic fiber finer than the diameter of a strand of silk. Micrfeber textiles can be made from wood pulp, or polyester and nylon polymers. Microfiber sheets are very thin, but are strong and exceptionally smooth and comfortable. -
Linen – Linen is expensive, but known for durability and can last for decades. They are cooler than cotton and popular in warm climates. Linen may require special care in cleaning.
Silk- Silk sheets are also durable when cared for well, and are great for cold climates.
- Thread count
It sounds so simple. The higher, the better, and the softer the sheets, right?
Thread count is the number of threads woven into one square inch of fabric. The number is based on the threads woven widthwise (warp) and lengthwise (weft). Up to a point, the higher the thread count, the softer the sheet, and the more likely it will wear well-or even soften-over time. Good sheets range anywhere from 200 to 800, although you'll occasionally see numbers over 1,000. Extra threads can also be woven in to increase the thread count. These added threads are called "picks" and are included in the overall count, which is how some sheets end up having thread counts in the thousands. Experts recommend buying sheets with thread counts between 225 and 400, as studies show that most people cannot differentiate 400 thread-count sheets and those that are 800,and higher counts can be less breathable.
The weave of a sheet is responsible for the finish and feel, so paying attention to this aspect can help you to narrow down to specific characteristics such as added comfort and warmth.
- Flannel: measured in ounces per square yard instead of thread count, flannel is brushed cotton which is thicker and great for cooler climates or winter months
- Percale: percale is lightweight, closely woven, plain matte weave, for a smooth finish and crisp feel. Great for people who get overheated when they sleep.
- Sateen: sateen weave is heavier and very soft, it is different because warp threads interlace with filling threads. The result is a lustrous, smooth and durable fabric with with a luster that makes it resemble satin
- Twill: yarn wrapped around itself creates the pattern of diagonal lines or ribs
I am dreaming of diving into my perfect bed – comfy QuickZip sateen cotton 400 thread-count sheets and a big, puffy comforter. What is yours?