Guide to Buying Bed Sheets: How to Purchase Bed Linens for Bedroom or Guest Room

Bed sheets are an investment you want to last for many years -- whether designer linens, silk sheets or every day bed sheets.

If you’re planning to buy new bed sheets, there are several considerations to take. Not only are a variety of styles and colors available, but multiple thread counts and fabrics as well. Sheets are now available in fabrics such as satin and linen, as well as Egyptian cotton and even organic, chemical- and dye-free products. Here’s how to make the process of purchasing sheets easier.

Measure Your Bed

Mattresses and sheets do not always come in the same sizes. In addition to extra-deep and extra-long mattresses, pillow tops and other features can make the size of a mattress different from the “standard” sized sheets. Be sure to measure your mattress length, width, and depth prior to selecting bed sheets to ensure that they will properly fit your bed.

Choose a Fabric

There are several fabrics to choose from, the most common of which are cotton, flannel, satin, and silk. While cotton is the most popular choice, a non-wrinkling cotton blends might be a better selection. Flannel, microfiber or jersey sheets can be a cozy choice for areas with cold winters, as the sheets do not feel as cool to the skin as cotton sheets can.

If you’re looking for luxury, consider satin or silk sheets.

If you’re having trouble making up your mind, feel each of the fabrics in store and choose what feels best to you. You could also purchase a set of bed pillowcases to see which is the most comfortable to you and which you like best overall, then go back and purchase the sheets.

Consider Thread Counts

Thread count is the number of threads per square inch. The thread counts of sheets are intended to be an indicator of quality. However, studies have found that they are actually a voluntary standard for the textiles industry, which means that what the packaging says may not be what’s actually inside the package. Be careful when looking at thread counts, and consider that not mean what the packaging says.

Thread counts should correlate to the price of the sheets; for example, 2,000 thread count sheets are considered quite high end and should have the price to prove it. Also, keep in mind that less expensive sheets are more prone to shrinking. When shopping for bed sheets, a thread count of more than 250 will provide good wear softness; for crisper sheets, select a 200-300 thread count.

Check Care Instructions

Look for sheets that do not require ironing, unless you are willing to do this every time the sheets are laundered. Stay away from dry clean only sheets unless you can take them to the cleaners each time you want your sheets washed. Also, keep in mind that 100% cotton sheets will likely shrink; be mindful of the care instructions and make sure that you can follow them after you get the sheets home.

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