In order to purchase quality bed linen sheets that will serve you many years and get softer after each wash, one has to know some key factors.
1. The first one is a thread count . Thread count refers to the number of threads, both vertical and horizontal, in 1 square inch of fabric. It it generally considered that a thread count of higher than 100 is desirable –and anything above 180 is ideal. There are fabrics available with thread counts up to 1000, but anything that excess 400 is thought by many to be simply extraneous. In general - the greater the thread count, the softer and more luxurious the bed sheets will feel.
We would not advise purchasing your bed linen sheets of more than 400 thread count. Although they may be marketed as super luxurious, a very high thread count usually means that the individual threads are thinner therefore a 1000 thread count bed sheet may not be as durable as a 250 thread count sheet. The best option is to buy bed sheets of a thread count of 200-400.
2. The second factor to consider is fabric weave. Bedlinen sheets can be woven in percale, sateen and flannel weave. We have already written about percale and sateen weave. Percale is usually higher than 200 threads per inch count. It has medium weight, is firm and smooth with no shine, it washes very well.
Sateen sheets are woven using the satin stitch. The high proportion of threads on one side of the sheet results in the luxurious look and feel which is and sateen sheets‘ key benefit.
Flannel is a plain-weave or twill weave fabric with a long, fleecy nap usually on one side only. The single or double raised thread creates heat retention points and makes flannel a warm soft fabric. It is popular for cold seasons bed linen sheets.
3. The third one is the types of the fiber. Bed sheets most often are made of cotton, cotton-polyester mix, linen or silk. Cotton is most popular one because sheets made of cotton are durable, absorb moisture and can be washed at high temperatures. Bed sheets made of cotton-polyester mix do not crease easily and therefore are preferred by some people. But the disadvantage is the lack of breathability and lesser abilities to absorb moisture. On the other hand, cotton-polyester bedlinen is generally cheaper than cotton or linen sheets. Linen bed sheets are a luxurious choice – linen fabric is famous for its breathing, moisture absorbing, anti-allergic ant other qualities. Silk bed sheets are the most expensive option. Apart from softness, silk has other nice qualities - it is cool in the summer and warm in winter it drapes one’s body without air pockets and holds the body heat.
The general rule of thumb is to purchase the best quality sheets that you can afford, after examining the fabric, fiber and weave.