Is just knowing the material of the fabric enough? Ever bought 100% cotton sheets and couldn’t figure out why you can’t get that 5 Star Hotel feel ?
Let’s find out what to look for when buying sheets and make better investments.
First, let’s look at three properties that one should keep in mind while choosing a bedsheet.
- Breathability – The ability of a fabric to allow moisture and air to pass through it. It’s important because it helps remove the moisture that your body sweats, thus keeping you comfortable.Breathability-scale :- Linen > Modal, Bamboo, Tencel > Supima Cotton, Egyptian cotton, organic Long-staple cotton > Conventional cotton > Polyester, Nylon.
- Moisture-wicking – The ability to pull away moisture from the body, through the fabric so it can evaporate.Regenerated fibers ( Bamboo, Modal, Tencel ) are natural in origin but are processed, so exhibit excellent breathability along with good moisture-wicking ability.Moisture-wicking scale : – Polyester, Nylon > Modal, Bamboo, Tencel > Linen, Supima Cotton, Egyptian cotton, Organic Long-staple Cotton > Conventional cotton.
- Temperature management – It depends on the breathability of the fabric and the heat retention of the fiber. Some fibers retain heat more than others, so they are more suitable for winters than summers; and vice-versa.
- Summer fabrics – Linen, bamboo, modal are exceptional for summers. Cotton retains heat more than the above-mentioned fibers but is still a very good choice for summers.
- Winter fabrics – Flannel is warm and retains heat, so it is good for winters. Although all summer fabrics can be used during winter, flannel should be avoided during summer.Synthetic fibers like polyester, unless chemically altered for specific benefits, should be avoided in a bedsheet.
- Type of weave – Weave is the thread structure of a fabric. Type of weave gives specific effects to the fabric but it doesn’t matter as much as thread count and type of fiber used. These are the two most common weaves used in bedsheets –
- Percale – The most common weave, also called the plain weave. The fabric is crisp, breathable and durable with no luster.
- Sateen – The most luxurious weave. This fabric is soft, lustrous, and drapes beautifully.
- Thread count (TC) – Number of threads per square inch of fabric. Generally, the higher the TC, the more luxurious the fabric is, but breathability suffers from high TC. Aim for 250TC-400TC single-ply weave for a luxurious balanced weave.
So, what’s the best material for bedsheets? Silk? Cotton? Bamboo? Linen? Let’s compare them and then look at them one by one.
|Silk||Extremely soft, Breathable, Hypoallergenic, comfortable, Lustrous.||Very expensive, Requires delicate care.|
|Cotton||Soft, breathable.||Huge ecological impact, benefits vary widely with different varieties of cotton, Market flooded with products with false claims of high-quality cotton. Try to look for long staple organic cotton.|
|Tencel||Soft, breathable, hypoallergenic.||Less environmentally friendly.|
|Bamboo||Soft and silky, breathable, cool, hypoallergenic, moisture-wicking.||Expensive, Not 100% natural (Regenerated).|
|Linen||Gets softer over time, extremely breathable and strong, best for summer.||Wrinkles easily, expensive.|
|Polyester||Durable, cheap, wrinkle-resistant||Uncomfortable, not breathable, retains heat.|
The Verdict –
Keeping cost aside, the best fabrics are bamboo, linen, long-staple cotton, and silk.
Linen and bamboo are perfect for summers while long-staple cotton is good as well.
If choosing cotton, look for authentic Supima, Egyptian or organic long-staple cotton.
Silk sheets are the most comfortable and luxurious but require delicate care.
Polyester should be avoided in bedsheets.
Now that you are informed about the various fibers and weaves, which one would you prefer?
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