The ultimate guide to different types of bed sheets with materials, sheet weaves, thread count and popular bed sheet styles. When asked about the most comfortable space in your house, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? You’d definitely be lying if you didn’t say your bedroom.
Despite the warm comfort a sofa can bring, the bed is still probably the most relaxing piece of home furniture.
Your bedroom is considered to be your own safe, little haven—the best place for rest and relaxation after a hard day’s work. You certainly owe it to yourself to ensure that you’re always guaranteed a perfect night’s sleep by the time you go to bed.
Contrary to popular belief, that takes so much more than just investing in a luxury mattress. In fact, your bed sheets are just as important, too!
We’ve curated a comprehensive list of various types of bed sheets available on the market below that will suit every homeowner’s preference.
Bed Sheet Material
To get started, here are the various types of bed sheet materials.
It goes without saying that cotton is the most common material for bed sheets. If you plan to invest in this type of bed sheet, consider the following factors: weave, thread count, staple length, and more.
Cotton sheet needs to be stretched out from the boles that they come in with. The quality of that stretch will then account for its staple length.
Flannel is a cotton sheet that’s best known for its twill or plain weave. Because of its construction design, flannel is considerably far more pliant and softer compared to its counterparts.
Egyptian cotton is probably the highest quality of cotton available on the market. Considered to be a premium product, Egyptian cotton is far more expensive than its counterparts.
The reason behind this? Its extended staple lengths. Egyptian cotton is made of premium materials known for its extreme durability, impressive softness, as well as suppleness.
Although jersey sheets are normally made entirely of cotton, there are other types that are made of a combination of synthetic blend and cotton fibers.
They are usually knit together instead of woven, resulting in a stretchable quality that’s just perfect for a bed sheet. Jersey bed sheets are essentially soft and provide great insulation, especially for cold winter nights.
American Pima cotton, widely recognized as Supima, is another viable cotton forerunner. It’s just as high quality, soft, and long-stapled as Egyptian cotton, but is generally more affordable.
It can also be a great bed sheet investment as it is known for its great strength and durability.
If you’re looking for a bed sheet that’s 100% cotton, then the American Upland might be the one for you.
This has a shorter staple length compared to the others, possibly resulting in a rougher quality of bed sheet compared to others.
But make no mistake; Upland bed sheets are still durable and can still be comfortable, but not just as equally luxurious as the other cotton types.
High Quality Cotton Sheets
Here are some high quality cotton sheets to choose from for your bed sheet needs.
Polyester is a synthetic or man-made material which has three types: pure polyester, polyester blend, and microfiber. Pure polyester can be scratchy and rough to the touch.
Polyester blend, on the other hand, is the one that’s used to make polyester bed sheets. It has a similar blend with cotton so it’s also smooth and soft to the touch.
Fun fact: the polyesters in our sheets are actually made out of the same materials that are used to make plastic bottles and other everyday plastic items.
Linen is basically made from flax, a known fiber of the Linum plant. Linen is soft, textured, and durable which makes for a perfect bedding material.
You can either opt for 100% linen sheets or go for one that is blended in with cotton. These sheets are best for keeping you both warm and cool, which makes them perfect for any season of the year.
Another type of polyester, microfiber bed sheet is made of closely woven materials so it isn’t as breathable as the other two. However, it has excellent stain-resistance properties.
Silk is a fabric produced from silkworms best known for its luxurious and hypoallergenic qualities. It’s also soft and quite cool to the touch.
It’s probably worth noting that this material isn’t as durable as others. Thus, silk bed sheets also require special handling and care for maintenance and cleaning.
Best known for its lush and silky qualities, satin has four threads over and one under for the weave, which might explain why it’s significantly heavier and more durable compared to other types of regular bed sheets.
Despite what its name may suggest, bamboo sheet isn’t actually made of bamboo fibers but of bamboo pulp or rayon instead.
Bamboo is the most sustainable and environmentally friendly option out of the various types of bed sheets. A great affordable alternative to Egyptian cotton, it’s soft, silky, and durable.
Tencel is made out of eucalyptus tree pulp, which makes it naturally anti-microbial and environmentally friendly while still retaining the comfortable feel of cotton sheets.
This type of material isn’t as breathable as cotton as it tends to retain extreme heat very well, which makes it perfect for hot sleepers.
Sheet Thread Count Difference
Sheet thread count basically refers to the number of vertical and horizontal threads per square inch. Simply put, the higher the thread count is, the softer the sheet will most likely be.
Moreover, the bed sheet is bound to get softer over time, as it gets worn in. In terms of thread counts, a good range to keep an eye out for is at 200 to 800. There are also some premium bed sheets with thread counts that are well over 1,000.
Still, it’s important to note that a higher thread count doesn’t necessarily mean better sheets. Some manufacturers would fluff the numbers up by using multiple yarns twisted together, which in no way would result in softer sheets at the end of the day.
Similarly, a lower thread count doesn’t necessarily mean poor sheets quality either. In fact, there are affordable cotton sheets that are only at 200 thread count that have an almost premium quality to them.
Some of these bed sheets are also made with less chemical and technology, as well as have mechanical finishing processes, giving you bang for the buck value from your purchase.
So to wrap it up, there really is no end-all be-all when it comes to thread count. But it does help to know that anything over 400 should be taken with a grain of salt because it might just be a marketing strategy.
Ultimately, it’s still best to really get a feel for the sheets you’re buying to ensure you’ll get to buy your money’s worth.
Types Of Sheet Weaves
Learning the different types of sheet weaves can be overwhelming at first but it doesn’t have to be all that complicated. Here are the common types of sheet weaves types that you’re most likely to encounter to get you started.
Pinpoint is a soft and durable weave pattern that has two threads over and one under. This weave is common not just in bed sheet fabrics but also in men’s shirts and similar clothing pieces.
Damask has its patterns visible from both sides of the bed sheet and is usually reversible. It’s also usually detailed intricately so it makes for really decorative bed sheets.
Dobby is best known for its geometric shapes and other decorative patterns. This is especially a great option to consider if you’re looking for sheets that have details in the edging.
Jacquard is an elaborate weave which has slightly raised areas that are embellished or embroidered. This weave is produced on a Jacquard loom, hence its name, and the resulting fabric is somewhat old-fashioned but still charming.
This weave especially makes for stylish and elegant coverlets and comforters.
Two-ply weave is made of yarn that has been plied out of thread, resulting in heavy-duty and extremely durable sheets.
Single-ply weave is made of threads that haven’t been plied during the weaving process. The overall result is a soft sheet or fabric.
This type of weave is especially reserved for decorative bed sheets and not for regular ones.
Flat vs Fitted Sheets
There’s still an ongoing dilemma in choosing between a flat sheet and a fitted sheet for one’s bed sheet preference.
As the name suggests, flat sheets lie flat on any surface. They’re rectangular, simple, and utilitarian.
Fitted sheets, on the other hand, have elastics in the corners and are designed to be pulled over the corners of the mattress. This gives a snug fit to the sheets but also makes them quite difficult to fold.
What are fitted sheets for?
Fitted sheets are also called bottom sheets. Their main function is to protect and cover the mattress.
Meanwhile, flat sheets are also known as top sheets. They’re usually laid on top of the fitted sheets but layered underneath the blankets, comforters, or duvets.
You can also opt out of the comforter and just go for the flat sheet during the warm summer days and nights
These make the bed look better and are used as extra layers to cover the comforters and duvets.
When it comes to cleaning and maintenance, a flat sheet is changed and washed regularly whereas the comforters and duvets aren’t changed as much because they don’t get as dirty.
The debate boils down to which is better between the two. People usually favor the flat sheet more as they’re easier to clean and fold but in reality, both have their own strengths and drawbacks.
When choosing the best fitted and flat sheets for you, it’s important to take note of the size of your mattress. This particularly applies to the fitted sheet, since the wrong size might not fit the mattress well. Read more about the different types of mattresses here.
How To Choose Bed Sheets
The thread count is essentially a good place to start when choosing a bed sheet, Like we’ve mentioned, a reasonable thread count range would be at around 200 to 400.
Anything over that count is usually just a marketing ploy. Basically, go with your gut feel and with the bed sheet that feels good to the touch.
As for the best type of fabric, all things considered, cotton or cotton blend sheets are the best in terms of softness, durability, and affordability. But then again, there are so many options available on the market so it’s best to go with whatever fits your preference.
Lastly, you have to think about the aftercare. It’s best to look into sheets that are easy to wash and don’t wrinkle that much.
Washing sheets in general are pretty much the same except for some exceptions. Some sheets, such as cotton sheets, just happen to hold up better compared to the others.
Best Fabric For Bed Sheets
Cotton is the best fabric for bed sheets, no ifs and buts. The good ones, especially the long staple ones such as Egyptian cotton or Pima offer soft sheets that are also quite durable.
What’s great about cotton sheets is that there are so many options available; whether you want one that’s ultra soft, stretchy, crisp, and so on—there’s bound to be one that’s perfect just for you.
Softest Sheet Material
There are two types of bed sheets in the running for the softest sheet material in our book: silk sheets and Pima cotton sheets.
Silk is quite delicate and soft to the touch, however, it may not be as durable compared to its counterparts.
Pima, on the other hand, is a delicate type of cotton that has extra large staple fibers—making it the softest cotton available on the market.
Best Type Of Sheets For Hot Sleepers
Sweaty nights are the worst especially if you’re a hot sleeper. Thus, it would be best to pick out bed sheets that will keep you cool.
Some of the best options to go for are 100% linen sheets, 100% eucalyptus fabric sheets, 100% bamboo fabric sheets, 100% Egyptian percale cotton sheets, 100% Supima cotton sheets, and technology-enhanced sheets meant for cooling.
Bed Sheets That Don’t Pill
There are no types of bed sheets that actually don’t pill but if you want to at least lessen your worries about this, go for bed sheets that are made of a single natural material.
It’s also best if you go for those that are made of long fibers that don’t really tangle or break. Avoid synthetic fabrics at all costs because the shorter the staples or fibers are, the more prone they are to tangling, fraying, and eventually, pilling.
Moreover, keep an eye out for “long staples” labels since these are your best bets.
What Type Of Sheets Do Hotels Use
5-star hotels generally go for high-grade, durable types of bedsheets, particularly soft cotton sheets. The main favorites are Egyptian cotton or Supima cotton.
There’s a reason why staying in hotels can be so relaxing. It really all boils down to the quality of sleep you get from their beds and sheets.
If you want your bedroom to feel like a luxury hotel, then Supima or Egyptian cotton is definitely the way to go.
For other related types of bed sheets content, check out this article on popular types of beds.