How to Buy Quality Sheets and Know the Difference in Varieties
I spent some weeks looking at popular faux leather ottoman beds, before deciding on a beautiful white storage bed. However, that is not the end of the road – what good is a fabulous bed if your sheets are rough and worn? Next, it is time to go sheet shopping.
With so many different kinds of sheets at so many prices, it can be difficult to determine which are the softest and most durable for the price.
There is a wide variety of sheet types available on the market from Egyptian cotton, Pima cotton, jersey and flannel knit. What is the difference in these types of sheets and the price range of quality sheets?
Egyptian Cotton, Pima, Flannel and Jersey
Pima is grown here in the US, and is very durable. Egyptian cotton is grown in the Nile river valley and is very soft. There is no reason to purchase by designer name for quality; the quality is in the thread count and the weave.
Flannel sheets retain heat and are perfect for the winter or cool climates. It is a heavier fabric made from wool and cotton; it is very soft because of the way the yarn is loosely spun.
Jersey knit, named after the Jersey Islands near England, is a warm, flexible and insulating fabric. Similar to flannel, but a lighter weight fabric, Jersey knit is made with a close weave on a machine. It is made from cotton and various synthetic fibres and has a right side and a wrong side.
Factors to Consider When Purchasing Bed Sheets
Thread count – the number of threads per inch or TPI of fabric, generally the higher the count the softer the sheet.
Standard thread count is 150 so purchasing something at that thread count or lower would be a waste of money. A thread count of 180 is considered better quality and 200 and above is considered percale, which is a balanced blend of fabrics so the fabric is smooth and the weave is tight. It will wash well and is of a medium weight.
Weave can affect the hand in some cases and the lower count maybe softer. Sometimes fabrics are piled – which is made by twisting together multiple finer threads. Sometime a label may refer to 1,000 thread count, but this is truly 250 threads woven using a two-ply system.
Ends per inch are the number of warp threads per inch of woven fabric. The higher the number, the better the quality.
Higher thread counts can be less durable.
Purchase the correct size; make sure the bed is a king and not a California king, which is longer than a typical King.