What Defines Better Sheets?

We all know that the higher the sheet thread count the more comfortable sheets you’ll have on your bed, right?

Well according to RealSimple.com, it turns out, that we’re wrong: “it’s the thread that matters most. In fact, a sheet of a better-quality fiber with a lower thread count will feel softer and stand up to washing better than a sheet of a lower-quality fiber with a higher thread count.”

When looking for comfortable sheets, RealSimple.com recommends that you do the following:

Check the bed sheet’s fiber content. Cotton-polyester blend sheets are wrinkle-resistant and durable and can cost up half of what all-cotton sheets go for. But if you want real cool and real comfortable sheets, you’ll “have” to go with 100 percent cotton. “You’ll hardly ever wake up clammy on cotton sheets, since the fiber wicks moisture away from your skin,” RealSimple.com states. “And cotton sheets are less likely to stain than polyester blends; a water-loving fiber, whereas cotton releases dirt easily when wet.”

The next thing to search for is the weave of the sheet. The weave, according to RealSimple.com “affects the way a sheet feels, the way it looks, its longevity, and its price. Basic plain weaves, which are woven from an equal number of vertical and horizontal yarns, are least expensive and may not warrant a mention on the label. Percale is an upscale plain weave with a thread count of 180 or higher and is known for its longevity and crisp feel.”

You also may want to look for “intricate” weaves, such as jacquard and damask. These are as “…durable as plain weaves, they are made on special looms and are considerably more expensive.”

Finally, pay attention to the finish. “Most sheets are treated with chemicals (including chlorine, formaldehyde, and silicon) to keep them from shrinking, losing their shape, and wrinkling,” RealSimple.com says. “Some are treated with alkalis to produce sheen.”

So if you want chemical-free, comfortable sheets, you’ll have to look for what are called “pure-finish sheets.” This either means that the sheets never were treated chemicals or all chemicals were removed after production. These sheets probably will generally be more expensive, but will feel great without the risk of irritation from inherent chemicals.


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