You will most likely want to use sheets that feel great and are long lasting.
Among the things you need to put into consideration are the fiber content, thread count though it is not everything, knowing the difference between weaves, not assuming that it will fit the new mattress and checking the return policy.
It is important to always read the fiber content first before purchasing sheets.
The best option is to go for sheets that are 100% cotton because they are soft and affordable.
However, if you are looking for premium, it is best to go for Extra Long Staple cotton (ELS) such as Egyptian or Pima, which are softer and more durable.
The disadvantage of going for these is that they are more expensive and a company may deliberately mislabel its sheets as Egyptian while in real sense they are not.
Another option is cotton/polyester blends which though they may have a synthetic feel, are durable, less expensive and not so much prone to wrinkling.
Not giving thread count all the attention
It is possible for a company to manufacture sheets with high thread counts without necessarily increasing their quality.
According to research, 300-500 makes good sheets in terms of softness and strength.
However, this does not automatically mean that count that goes above 500 is better; the quality might have been compromised.
Knowing the difference between weaves
One’s options are primarily percale or sateen.
Whereas percale is basic and feels crisp and light, sateen on the other hand feels smooth and silky. According to research, consumers prefer sateen more than percale.
Percale are more popular in warmer climates and during summer in climates that change.
They are more breathable and lighter in weight.
Sateen is a little thicker and is woven more tightly. It is more preferable in cold climates and during winter months.
Not assuming that the sheets will fit your mattress
It is important not to assume that the sheets will fit your mattress.
Ensure you measure your mattress before buying the sheets, especially if yours is not of standard size like king or queen.
Also put into account shrinkage that comes after laundering.
Checking the return policy
It is also necessary to check the brand’s return policy because it is impossible to know whether the sheets are okay for you until you try them out.
It would be unfortunate not to enjoy sleeping on sheets but not be in a position to return them to the manufacturer.
There are brands such as those that do internet-only sales which allow for return of sheets up to months after the purchase.
Best fiber for sheets
According to research, most people prefer cotton as compared to other fabrics when it comes to sheets.
This is because cotton breathes well, is durable and soft.
However, other fabrics such as polyester also rank highly because of affordability.
Microfiber sheets – sheets made of extremely fine polyester fibers- are soft and affordable.
They are also more resistant to piling as compared to traditional polyester fabrics.
The downside of polyester is that it is less breathable as compared to cotton and is not the best option for people with sensitive skin.
Jersey sheets made of cotton are good and appealing to people who like sleeping in soft fabric.
They are also quite breathable which makes them even better and easy to clean.
They are knit which makes them different from other cotton fabrics that are woven.
Microfiber and cotton jersey lack the crispness of cotton that is woven, therefore for people who prefer to flip their pillows to the cooler side, it is better to consider cotton percale instead, which is less expensive.
Different types of cotton
First, there are the long-staple cotton fibers including Egyptian, Supima, and Pima.
These make the highest quality and softest sheets.
However, this does not mean that all other types of cotton do not make great sheets.
Best thread count for sheets
This is the count of the number of horizontal and vertical and threads in a square inch.
It is assumed that a sheet will generally wear based on the number of thread count.
The softness of the sheet is also considered to be related to the thread count in the sheet.
A good sheet has between 200-800 threads per square inch.
However, there are also sheets that have above 1000 threads per square inch, and they are good but not necessarily the best.
Some manufacturers inflate the thread count by using multiple yarns that are twisted together; which does not improve the fabric and may instead lower its quality.
Therefore, attaining a high thread count may not necessarily equate to high quality of sheets.
In the same way, a low thread count is also not an equivalent of low-quality sheets.
There are sheets with low thread count that have been finished nicely to the extent that they feel as if they have high thread count.
Fewer chemicals are used, and more mechanical finishing given to give the sheets a nice feel.
Does thread count always matter?
Thread count does not always matter.
The only instance where it matters is in 100% cotton single ply weaves.
Thread count can be ignored in the following instances:
In multiple-ply yarns – this is where 2 or 3 ply yarns have been used to increase the thread count by double or triple.
Polyester or blends– polyester fibers, which are man-made, can be produced to be very thin and therefore their thread count can be in thousands.
Linen and silk– whereas linen is quite thick thus making the thread count low, silk is so thin that it has to be measured by weight.
While buying these therefore there is no much use for considering their thread count.
Flannel and knit fabrics – flannel sheets are sold according to fabric weight while jersey knit sheets are made up of construction that is different from that of the traditional woven sheets.
Their worth can therefore not be measured according to thread count.