Types of Bed Sheets

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People always want the best when they rest and sleep. This is the reason why a lot of people invest in getting a comfortable bed to sleep in. But, of course, there is more to it than just securing a good bed, investing in the perfect sheets can make this experience a whole lot better.

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The problem with sleeping on the wrong sheets is that they may hinder you from getting the rest and sleep you need. You may wake up from time to time when you are feeling too hot or chilly -, and this is exactly where the importance of getting the right sheets, made from the bed sheet materials that you prefer come in to play and affect your night’s sleep.

If you have been experiencing the same troubles for a long time, then now is the best time to make a change! There are a variety of bed sheets that you can choose from, and if you are clueless as to which type to get or how to know which one is best for you, read on for additional information.

We have lined up essential information about the different kinds of sheets available. We have included each and everyone’s description to give you an idea of how it feels. Plus, by the end of the article, you will have a useful guideline on how to get the perfect sheets for your bed.

What Defines a Sheet as a Bed Sheets?

When we speak of a bedsheet, we are talking about a piece of cloth, usually rectangular in shape that is placed on top of the mattress to serve as the bedding. There are different ways on how to use a bedsheet. Some countries use two separate sheets to serve as bedding, where one would be called a top sheet, which is the layer on which you lie directly. Meanwhile, the other one is called a bottom sheet which is placed just above the mattress and below the top sheet.

What are the Different Types of Bed Sheets?

An Introduction to the Most Common Materials Used

Whether you are aware of it or not, there are various bed sheet types. They may all look the same when you breeze through department stores or when you check online stores, but there are actually a lot of differences between each type. So, let us get to know more about these.

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Cotton Bed Sheets

So far, this is one of the most popular types of sheet used across the globe. Believe it or not, cotton sheets have been used for over seven thousand years. They originated from the cotton plant and, to be more specific, from the cotton plant’s fluffy fibers. The material is known for its durability and ability to stay sturdy even with frequent use and washing.

This is the best pick in case you are worried about dyes. Cotton is also the type to pick for temperature control, particularly when you want to feel warm or when you want to keep a constant and stable body temperature. And the ultimate reason why a lot of people choose cotton is that the material is hypoallergenic.

A drawback for  100% cotton could be that some may feel as if they are of low-quality. This is the outcome of a low thread count or poor manufacturing. To make sure you get quality sheets that will make you feel comfortable at night, go for the ones with the highest thread count.

Pima or Egyptian Cotton Sheets

As we have mentioned, cotton is known for its quality and comfort. If you hear about Pima or Egyptian cotton, know that this type is one of the most luxurious kinds of cotton, including the highest quality cotton. Buying Pima cotton or Egyptian cotton guarantees a high thread count and longer fibers. This makes the fabric stronger and its weave smoother.

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Do not think that smooth and soft cotton is easier to break or to be worn out. This type boasts of premium sturdiness, comfort and effective absorption of moisture. You can also rely on the fact that most often, these sheets are more aesthetically pleasing than the regular ones.

The drawback for this type would be that it comes in an expensive price range. As mentioned earlier, a cotton sheet with lower thread count may feel a bit mediocre; in comparison, this type comes with a higher thread count. These sheets are generally considered the best sheets available, thanks to their feel and long-lasting quality.

Flannel Bed Sheets

If you ever heard of brushed cotton, then you have heard of flannel, too. Both terms can be used interchangeably. As with the previous two options, these bed sheets are made from cotton fibers. The difference being that these bed sheet types have been finely brushed and thee tiny top fibers pulled a bit loose.

When it comes to the feeling of, these give you a cosy and warm feeling. There is a bit of fleeciness or fuzziness to this type. Hence, people feel more snug and comfortable with this type. Keep in mind, that with the given texture and feel of the flannel sheets, these may not work that well in warm climates, as these could tend to get too hot.

In terms of cleaning, these are definitely not easy to clean as compared with others. Although they are made of cotton, they are heavier and thicker in texture, requiring more time and effort to wash and dry them.

Tencel Bed Sheets

Tencel is a popular cotton alternative and has been used ever since it was created in 1972. Originating from eucalyptus trees’ cellulose fibers, Tencel bed sheets were quickly made available for use around the world. This type of sheet material has become one of the most popular choices as it is environmentally friendly and made of a closed-loop process that does not give way to chemical leaks. Also, this is very sustainable as its material comes from fast-growing trees.

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Those who are familiar with these sheets will tell you that a night’s sleep in these sheets feels cool, breathable and soft. This is effective in drawing moisture from the skin.

This type is more expensive than cotton; however, it is a much more economical choice than Prima or Egyptian cotton. So if you are working on a budget but want to upgrade to a good quality sheet set, this may be a great option.

Bamboo Bed Sheets

This type of bed sheet is made from bamboo plant fibers. Popular for being lightweight, you can also count on having a much cooler feel when using bamboo sheets, as they don’t retain excessive body heat. Just like cotton sheets, they absorb dyes well, and you can expect a soft and smooth feel.

Similar to Tencel sheets, this is another sustainable type because it comes from another fast-growing plant. The only drawback for bamboo rayon is that it often requires a gentler approach when washing and drying. Though these are high-quality sheets, they often wrinkle more easily than other types, and their price tag can be a bit more expensive than other choices.

Polyester Bed Sheets

This type of bed sheet emerged during the mid-twentieth century and is entirely human-made. Some important things to consider is that synthetic polymer fibers are used to make polyester sheets and that these are not as breathable as other types. This seals heat and moisture, so its use is ideal for cooler environments. You can often find a polyester sheet set can contain a cotton blend, to make the sheets more breathable.

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As for the material, it is definitely sturdy, wrinkle-resistant and a bit thick. It can easily be stained by grease and oil, and too frequent washing can cause it to wear out. A large advantage that this type has is that it is budget-friendly and more economical compared to others.

Microfleece Bed Sheets

This is another type of polyester; the difference lies in the piling. This set is piled a bit more to resemble the feeling that a flannel’s feeling gives. With this kind, you can count on effective water resistance and quick drying. People find that these tend to be extremely durable and offer easy handling, making them a great choice for if you need to frequently change and wash sheets.

As for its feel, it retains heat and therefore is ideal for use in places with cold climates. These are economical, but it requires a bit of caution when washing and drying. If the process is done in a too rigorous way, it may cause irritations for people with hypersensitive skin.

Modal Bed Sheets

This type of bed sheet is similar to Bamboo and Tencel sheets as they are made from plant fibers and often have a similar type of weave. The material is crafted from the beech tree. This type is a good choice if you are looking for enhanced cooling properties, as these have a cool and breathable feel. They are soft and are less likely to fade or shrink over time.

The drawback for this type would be that it requires higher maintenance and gentler care. These should be washed using a cooler setting, and it should be dried on a low setting. Neglect or failure to care for these properly can lead to tearing.

Linen Bed Sheets

Similar to the previous types mentioned above, this ancient fabric is crafted using the flax plant. A trivia for this type would be that it was formerly used for Egyptian mummy wraps. This type is unique in appearance as it may look a bit rustic.

The feel is soft and gets softer after every wash, and it also has excellent cooling properties and is naturally anti-microbial. The downside for this would be that the material is not very elastic, so your sheets may end up quite wrinkled, even after having carefully stored them in the linen closet.

Silk Bed Sheets

Known as a type of sheet made from a luxurious material, this is created using silkworms. The amazing function of silk bed sheets cannot be denied. This keeps you cool in hot climates and warm during cold climates. It absorbs less moisture than other types, and it is a good idea to invest in a set if you have sensitive skin and are prone to having skin problems like eczema or extremely dry skins.

Despite the amazing features that come with this type, the drawbacks for this would be that it requires extreme care – handwashing is recommended. And since its make is not as low-cost as others, these sheets can be costly.

A Useful Buying Guide for Bed Sheets

Now that you know of the different types of bedsheets, it can be a bit overwhelming to choose the best one for you. With all the numerous brands claiming to be the best in the market, you may have difficulty choosing the right one you like. Hence, here is a simple guide of factors to pay attention to and use when buying bed sheets.

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Mind the Fiber

Some people just shop for bed sheets by simply looking at it and feeling a bit of its surface. While these are good points to consider, a good and guaranteed method to know whether a bed sheet is of high quality is to know its thread count and the type of fiber used to create it.

Fibers differ in sources, thereby differing in terms of texture, feel, smoothness and durability. Mentioned above are the types of typical materials used and their feel and the warmth and coolness they provide. Determine which kind of feeling you are after and decide accordingly. Don’t forget to also take the climate into account!

Know the Thread Count

In terms of thread count, more does not always mean better. Some people who shop around solely looking for sheets with high thread counts as, generally speaking, these are found to be better than those with a lower thread count. However, a big factor affecting this would be the type of fiber used, its production quality, and whether it is tightly woven.

It is important that you know about the different types of fibers and how to determine a sheet that is poorly made. Sometimes, you may have a better experience with a sheet that only has a 300 thread count than a sheet with an 800 high thread count but is poorly crafted.

Consider the Fit

A common mistake shoppers make when buying bed sheets is that they rely entirely on standard sizing. It is important to know whether your bed is a California King, Twin XL, Split King, Queen or a Full bed. But do not forget to measure the depth of your mattress, too.

Some sheets are available in those sizes but may be lacking or fall short of your bed’s depth. This can be frustrating as nobody wants to waste their time or money. If none of the standard sizes match your mattress’ size, you can always opt to find online retailers and makers who can make personalized sheets to fit your mattresses.

A Fitted Sheet VS a Flat Sheet

Also consider whether you would like to have fitted sheets or flat sheets? Flat sheets are generally easier to store and, if you have the time and the energy to, look extremely neat. They can be pulled taught and can be used on beds which are smaller than your sheet size. For example, if you only have a King size flat sheet, you can still make it look picture perfect on a Queen size bed. No one will know! Fitted sheets are a convenient option. They are quick and easy to use, but many people find them very annoying to fold and store away neatly. Fitted sheets are great if you toss and turn a lot during the night, as the elasticated sides help keep them in place and wrapped around the mattress.

Both fitted sheets and flat sheets have their positives and negatives. Ultimately, it comes down to what you prefer and what you find most convenient.

Ease of Cleaning and Maintenance

Each type of bed sheet comes with a different tolerance to chemicals such as dyes, oils and other elements. Along with these differences come the variation in terms of washing and drying. Some sheets are prone to wrinkling, fading or shrinking, while some remain durable and resistant. Determine which type of bed sheet suits your lifestyle and existing setting best.

Conclusion & Final Thoughts

No matter how trivial they seem, bed sheets have a huge impact on the quality of rest and comfort we get when we lie on our beds. Hence, we should be mindful of the small yet complex details that come with choosing your option.

Knowledge of the different types available can be handy and useful when choosing the right set of sheets to purchase. Coming up with a choice can be pretty challenging, so to make it easier, come up with a price range or budget to spend. This will definitely narrow down your choices.

The materials we talked about above are the most common types. There are, of course, many more options available, some examples being satin sheets, jersey-knit sheets, sateen sheets (which uses satin material, but different kind of weave), and microfibre sheets.

The Final Take Away

Always remember to put quality over everything. Aesthetics can follow, but the comfort your bed sheet gives you will constantly affect your experience. Use the information and pointers we’ve provided above to lead you to the perfect sheet for your bed.

Henry Carlson
Henry Carlson

Henry’s first job was in the furniture and mattress industry as a sales associate. From there, he moved up to merchandising specialist for several years and then became an assistant manager. Working in the industry gave him access to a lot of products and also helped him gain in-depth knowledge.

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