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Bedlinen: Types of Bed Sheets


Bedlinen is not something we buy frequently, but it's an essential part of our home. Given that we spend one third of our lives in bed, it's important that we're as comfortable as possible. It's not only comfort that counts with bedlinen – the bed is often the largest item in the room, and making sure it looks good can change the whole feel of the space. Investing in some gorgeous new bedlinen, whether that's linen sheets and linen duvet covers or another fabric, is a key decision.

We're here to make that choice easy for you. We've got the lowdown on different bed sheet varieties and fabrics, so you can select the best bed linen set for you and your family.

What are the different types of bedlinen fabrics?

Cotton bed linen

This is a popular choice as it's a natural fabric that's easy to care for. The softest types of cotton bed linen sets are Egyptian and Supima. Some cotton sheets and duvets are made from cotton blended with synthetic materials, like poly-cotton fabric. While it's low maintenance, poly-cotton is less comfortable and doesn't allow your skin to breathe as well as pure cotton. It also pills more easily.

Choosing cotton bed linen can be confusing when faced with different thread counts. When it comes to thread counts for bed sheets the higher the number, the better. A count of 200-400 generally creates a soft, breathable weave. More than 400 produces a softer, silkier and more durable bed linen. Keep the thread count in mind when selecting your bed linen, but don't use it as a deciding factor.

Apart from cotton types and thread counts, examine the weave. Sateen is a popular weave for bed linen as it's very smooth and soft. However, it tends not to be very durable. Standard weave is more hard-wearing than sateen, but lacks its smoothness and softness. Pinpoint is another type of weave. It's softer than standard, and more durable than sateen. Twill weave is durable, wrinkle-free and soft.

cotton bedlinen

Flannel Bed Linen

During the winter months flannel bed sheets are a popular choice. If you're considering buying some, it's important to know that flannel is not measured by its thread count. Instead it's measured by weight per square yard. Good quality flannel bed linen is no less than 4oz per square yard (and the more weight per square yard the better). Those weightier flannel bed linen sheets are less likely to pill and are way softer.

Linen Bed Linen

Our favourite (you won't be surprised to hear!). Linen bedlinen is, in our opinion, by far the best choice for a good night's sleep. Thanks to its natural moisture-wicking and heat-regulation properties it keeps you cosy yet not too hot, all year round. It's soft yet durable, and gets better with every wash. Linen also uses fewer resources to produce than cotton, making it a sustainable choice. You can read more about how linen compares to cotton here.

Jersey Bed Linen

Jersey bed linen is quite a recent addition to the bedlinen scene, and it has quickly gained popularity. Jersey bed linen sheets are often marketed as t-shirt sheets because they look and feel like a cotton t-shirt. This fabric is made of knit cotton which gives them a good stretch, so they fit nice and tight. They are a favored by people who want their bed linen not quite as warm as flannel, but not as cool and crisp as regular cottons. Jersey is also extremely durable, and unlikely to pill.

Satin Bed Linen

Satin bed sheets can feel luxurious. However, be careful when choosing as the wrong satin sheets can be more uncomfortable than the cheapest synthetic sheets. The trick is to know the whether the satin fabric is knit or woven. Make sure to choose woven bed linen if you opt for satin sheets.

For more tips on choosing the best bedlinen go here.

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I'm Inga and this is a space where I celebrate simple, slow living. It's a place to be curious and creative, to share ideas on how to live and work sustainably and mindfully. Being the creative force behind I also write about my love for linen and natural fabrics. Linenbeauty weaves inspiring stories of slow living with interior style features, travel and cookery tips and outfit ideas. Thanks so much for stopping by.