Are you sleeping on ragged or itchy sheets? Maybe you’ve discovered an unexpected hole with your big toe. In either case, replacing your bed sheets is unavoidable. There are many types of sheets available and many more with varying thread counts. Sometimes it can be difficult to determine how to pick bedsheets like a grownup when you really want to support character sheets. If you share your bed with a spouse that might not be something he or she would like to sleep on. Below is a guide to some of the best options for bedsheets you and/or your partner will love to slide into every night.
Thread Counts Defined
Bedsheets come in a variety of thread counts. Simply defined, thread count is the number of threads woven into a 1″ square of fabric. Generally, the higher the thread count, the better the quality – though this isn’t always the case. Some of the possible thread counts you can choose from are:
Other rarer thread counts may exist in custom-made orders, but the numbers above are basically the complete selection you can choose from.
Sheets are not all created equal. Different brands use different fabric types. Egyptian cotton is generally considered the best, though silk is arguably the most comfortable. Don’t forget about the benefits of cotton-polyester sheets. They’re resistant to wrinkling and far more durable than traditional cotton. However, cotton is more dirt resistant and easier to keep clean than polyester. For a budget-friendly sheet set that’s super comfortable and dirt resistant, try jersey cotton. It feels exactly as if you stretched a t-shirt out across your mattress and it won’t make you sweat like flannel sheets in the winter time.
Weave, Finish, and Dye
The perfect sheets are not just determined by the fabric type and thread count. To buy bedsheets like an adult you also have to look at the weave, the finish, and even the dye. Tight weaves like jacquards have a textured sensation. The pattern blends soft and shiny and blending with a more coarse fabric. Damasks and jacquards are considerably more expensive than plain weaves because they are made on a specialty loom.
The finish, on the other hand, can also affect sheet quality in a different way. This is due to the chemicals used in the production process. Specific chemicals keep sheets from shrinking, wrinkling, or losing their shape. Some even include a special chemical to make the fabric shiny. A few manufacturers offer what is referred to as pure-finish sheets meaning there are no chemicals used, or the chemicals have been removed. Chemical free sheets are much more challenging to keep wrinkle-free. However, they are a much better choice for those that suffer from allergies or certain sensitivities to chemical exposure.
Dyes used in the production process are usually applied to the sheets after they are finished being woven. The problem with dyed sheets is that they usually feel stiff until you’ve washed them a few times. That means those brand new sheets you put on the bed are going to be pretty uncomfortable for the first couple of weeks. If you don’t want to wait for them to be “broken in,” just run them through three or four washes in the washing machine and then toss them into the dryer. They’ll be more comfortable and not as rough against your skin.
If your inner child can’t stand sleeping on anything but character sheets, there are a few things you should know about them. For the most part, unless custom made, you will be hard-pressed to find them in anything other than a Twin size. Also, because they are usually targeted for children, the thread count is lower and thus more uncomfortable to sleep on each night. If you must have them, shop around and see what you can find. Compare the different thread counts of each if they’re not the same. Most character sheets are about 250 thread count and heavily based on dyes. Given a few good washes, you’ll be snuggling up against your favorite characters in no time.
Picking bedsheets like a grown-up is easy if you know what you’re looking for. Thread count and budget are a personal choice. It is true that a higher thread count usually means better quality, but for some, that is just too unrealistic to afford. If budget is a problem, set some money aside for a few pay periods until you have enough to get what you want. After all, half the fun of being a grown-up is buying what you want when you want.