What makes good sheets

6 July 2011

Selecting a good set of sheets is about more than just thread count. Although thread count is part of the story, it’s not where it ends either. Following, we’ll briefly explore some fine linen purchasing tips. Look for future posts expounding on each of these points.

As we mentioned, thread count isn’t everything – however it’s still quite relevant. Thread count refers to the number of threads (more technically called “yarns”) that pass through a square inch of fabric. Depending on the yarn diameter, weaving quality, cotton type, etc. – the same thread count can yield varying results. Generally speaking however – a higher thread count will produce a thicker fabric. Most important is that you select the hand and weight in a sheet that suits your preferences and that you are not swayed by thread count claims alone. (We say “claims” due to widespread and illegal thread count manipulation to be covered in a following post)

Weaving quality is a major factor to consider in your quest for luxury linens. Single pick insertion and single ply fabric result in a softer, smoother, more durable product. Shortcuts in weaving can lead to pilling, rough fabric and a short-lived set of sheets. If the information isn’t disclosed, it’s worth asking; experience, reviews and reputation can also assist.

Next in line would probably be the type of cotton that the yarns are spun from. We of course are partial to Egyptian cotton because of its consistent quality. Egyptian cotton is renown for its long staple - or fiber length - that results in a softer hand and increased durability. There are other cotton varieties that can also contribute to a nice set of linens.

Generous dimensions and detailed finishing are imperative to a favorite set of linens. Today’s thicker mattresses coupled with rising raw material costs, often lead to short-sheeting. Flat sheets that don’t hang over the side of the bed, fitted sheets that don’t cover the mattress and pillowcases that leave your pillow exposed are all casualties. Finding oversized sheets that won’t shrink significantly is critical.

Your sheets are the only bedding component in direct contact with your skin. They can compliment or detract from your sleeping experience. If you have yet to experience the difference of fine linens, it’s well worth the investment. Now that you’ve been enlightened on the intricacies of linens, you are on your way to blissful sleep!