A Comprehensive Guide to Bedding

June 6, 2024

There are many different types of sheets. If you have been shopping for a new set, it is easy to get overwhelmed. What is the best material? How do different materials feel? How do you know if the sheets are worth the price? All of these questions and more are probably swirling around in your mind.

The most important thing to understand about sheets is the material and the weave. Let's look at what’s available.

Materials

Cotton is one of the most popular materials for sheets. It can be used by itself or in a blended fabric.  Queen bed sheets made from cotton are prized for being durable, breathable and soft.

Bamboo is an increasingly popular material for sheets and other bedding. It is a synthetic material made from the pulp of bamboo plants.  This type of material is known as viscose or rayon and it can be made from a variety of source materials.

Bamboo is soft, smooth, silky, temperature-regulating regulating and moisture-wicking.

Tencel is a similar material to bamboo viscose. Instead of being made from bamboo, it is made from eucalyptus and has a slightly different manufacturing process. Tencel is a brand name, the generic term is lyocell. Lyocell has a more environmentally friendly manufacturing process than viscose.

Polyester is familiar to most people due to its common use in clothing. It is an inexpensive material made out of plastic and is extremely durable. It has moisture-wicking properties which can be of benefit to hot sleepers.

Silk is a natural protein fibre, produced by insects to form their cocoons.  Silk can be made by many different insects, but the most common is the mulberry silkworm.

Silk is a strong durable material that is also soft and shiny. It is breathable and generally maintains a cool temperature. This make is ideal for luxury bedsheets.

Linen is a fabric woven from flax fibres, which come from the flowering flax plant.  Linen is one of the oldest known fabrics, dating back over 30,000 years. It is valued for its durability, breathability and pleasant feel.

Weave

Sheets made from the same material but with a different weave can perform drastically differently.

Percale is the most commonly used weave for sheets. Also known as plain weave, percale is one yarn over, one yarn under. This means the lengthwise threads (warp) will be equal to the horizontal threads (weft).

Percale has a crisp smooth feel and a matte appearance. It is valued for its breathability and has a lower thread count than other styles.

Sateen is a thicker weave than percale. It has a pattern of three or four yarn over, and one yarn under weave. Sateen weave has a lustrous sheen, a soft smooth feel, and a beautiful drape. It tends to be warmer than percale due to its thickness.

Satin is a similar weave to sateen, just made with different fibres. Satin is made exclusively from silk, nylon or polyester. Sateen weave uses materials like cotton or rayon.

Now that you understand the basics, you are better prepared to find just the right sheets for you.

 

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