We spend about a third of our lives in bed, so it makes sense to invest in bed linens that make us feel comfortable, even pampered. But with labels touting high thread counts and warring claims about fiber content, making the best choice can become confusing.
If you want to skip the guesswork for your next set of sheets, follow these guidelines provided by textile test groups:
Check the Fiber Contest First – 100% cotton is the go-to-choice, with premium Extra-Long Staple (ELS) cotton, such as Egyptian or Pima, the softest, most durable option.
They are more expensive but typically worth the splurge. Cotton/polyester blends are cheaper and wrinkle less, but they have a more synthetic feel. All-polyester sheets, while least expensive, tend to retain body heat, making them less comfortable
for those who sleep hot.
Consider the Thread Count – Manufacturing techniques allow some brands to make high thread count sheets without actually increasing quality. Tests have shown that
a 300 to 500-thread count is the sweet spot for softness and strength. You can find good 200-thread count sheets, but they may not be as comfortable, and anything over 500 isn’t necessarily better.
Know the Difference Between Weaves – The primary options are percale or sateen. Percale is a basic, grid-like weave that feels light and crisp. Sateen feels silky
smooth. It’s a matter of personal preference, though in tests, consumers tend to favor sateen.
Be Sure the Sheets Will Fit Your Mattress – Standard sizes, like queen or king, don’t account for mattress depth. So, if yours is tall or if you use a mattress topper,
make sure to measure before you buy. You should also account for some shrinkage after laundering. Generally, fitted sheets labeled to fit up to 15-inch mattresses are fine.
Check the Return Policy – You can’t know whether you will love your new sheets until you’ve slept on them. Some brands, especially those with internet-only sales,
allow you to make returns for any reason.
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