Since we spend a third of our lives asleep, it's hard to overstate the importance of good sheets. It's not too much of a stretch to argue that everything you do from the time you get out of bed in the morning until you crawl back in at night has an impact on your Z's. To make sure that your sheets are doing their part, take time to find the bedding that works for you.
What should you consider when you're shopping for new sheets? There's probably more to it than you think. In recent years, the range of materials and weaves that are available has increased a great deal. While this means you should be able to find sheets that match your needs and your lifestyle in all four seasons, it also means that there are more factors to consider and many options to compare.
Whether you're looking for seasonal specialties or a year-round option, luxury or convenience, or even environmentally friendly or cruelty-free items, you'll need to consider a few things as you start shopping for new sheets. Here are some of the most common general considerations:
The Right Fit for Your Bed
It might be hard to believe, but there isn't a standard for the dimensions of mattresses. One manufacturer's King mattress might be an inch or so longer than another's, while a different manufacturer's product might be a bit wider. This variance can affect the performance of a fitted sheet, making a difference between being in love with your new bedsheets or being frustrated with sheets that don't fit. Be sure to take measurements of your mattress and shop for sheets that will fit the actual dimensions rather than relying on generic mattress size designations.
The Right Fit for Your Routine
With so many bedsheet options available, it can be tempting to purchase a set that seems exotic and posh. Before you do, however, consider whether you want to make room for them in your daily routine. Silk sheets are synonymous with luxury, but are you willing to pay to have them dry cleaned regularly? Do you run your heating and central air to keep your house at a constant temperature, or does it make sense to stock up on warm flannel sheets for the winters and crisp, cool cotton for the summers?
The Right Fit for Your Values
We all want to know that we're getting quality when we make a purchase, and bedsheets are no exception to that rule. But beyond shopping for quality, are there other factors that influence your buying habits? Does organic cotton fit with your efforts to be more environmentally friendly? Would silk products contradict your desire to purchase cruelty-free products?
Finding the Right Feel
When it comes to finding the right feel for your bedsheets, you'll need to look at two things. The first thing to consider is the material that they are made of. The second is the weave or knit that was used to make them. These two factors combine to determine the comfort and durability that you can expect for your sheets.
Cotton and Cotton Blends
Cotton is the most popular material for bedsheets and has been for generations. It offers a soft, cool feel that tends to get better with age when you purchase quality sheets. If you're looking for a wrinkle-free option, you can choose sheets in a cotton blend. Either way, you'll want to consider the source materials and the exact blend. You'll also want to consider the thread count and the weave.
You can find affordable quality options in Egyptian, Pima, or Organic cotton. Cotton blends incorporate man-made materials that can improve durability and lessen the work involved in caring for your sheets. The higher the thread count, the smoother your sheets will feel, but high thread counts also reduce a sheet's breathability.
Both flannel and jersey sheets are specialty product options for cotton sheets. Flannel used to be produced with wool but is typically made from carded or combed cotton today. Jersey knit cotton sheets have the look and feel of T-shirt material for a soft, comfortable, durable option.
Silk and Satin
If you're looking for a luxurious feel, then silk and satin are great options. Either satin or silk will require more specialized attention than cotton or cotton-blend sheets when it comes to care, but many believe it's worth it. For satin sheets, look for a high thread count and woven material to get the smoothest feel and lasting luster. Silk sheets won't have a thread count. Instead, you'll be looking for a momme weight of 20 or higher.
Satin sheets should be washed on a delicate cycle or by hand in cold water. Silk sheets need to be dry cleaned. Also, if you're a vegan, vegetarian, or otherwise trying to make cruelty-free purchases, you'll want to avoid silk.
If you want the look and feel of cotton from an even more environmentally friendly material, you should consider bamboo sheets. In the thread count range of 300-500, they are as soft and breathable as cotton and offer superior durability. Bamboo sheets tend to cost a bit more, but their durability will make up for that over the long run. Bamboo consumes less water during the growing process than cotton and is considered a self-replenishing resource.
Microfiber sheets are made from very thin strands of man-made materials and woven with a very tight weave. They are wrinkle-resistant, soft, comfortable, and extremely breathable.
With so many great options on the market, you're virtually guaranteed to find sheets that provide quality and comfort and fit your budget. Knowing what to look for will make it easier to narrow your options and find a product that fits your style and comfort needs.
Of course, quality sheets always feel best when they're paired with a mattress that delivers superior performance. At Shovlin Mattress Factory, we'll help you find the mattress of your dreams. Visit our store in Fanwood, New Jersey, or contact us—great sleep is waiting for you!