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So, you have your new mattress, perhaps a mattress topper, and now you need new sheets. Chances are the new bedding decision has resulted in a much thicker mattress and/or topper than you have had, and this will mean that your old sheets will have to go too! A good retailer will provide you with an accurate measurement, so that the sheet set(s) you purchase will have the right fitted sheet pocket depth – usually a small range of inches is provided by the manufacturer. As expensive as sheet sets can be today, you will want to be certain to get the very best comfort and durability for your buck. All sheet manufacturers should provide the following information:
Egyptian cotton is often heralded as being the finest cotton to be found, and both bath and bed linens are often made of this fabric. There are, however, other cottons (e.g., combed cotton) which are just as good, as well as percale and linen. Some people prefer flannel or jersey as well, and in particular these two fabrics can provide an extremely soft sleeping experience that has become extremely popular. It is important to be able to feel the fabric for yourself, so go to a retailer that has samples for you to touch. Smart sheet providers offer packaging that can be unzipped or snapped so you can feel the material. While some people value softness, others value a more crisp feel – it’s all a matter of personal preference. One word of caution: Be certain to read the labels of any sheet set you consider. Manufacturers often add softeners and/or starch in their processes, and these will wash out quickly, thus reducing the “feel” you were looking for. For those concerned about over processed bed linens that include bleaching and dying and potentially harmful chemical exposure think about natural or organic sheet and mattress pad options.
Thread count refers to the total number of threads (horizontal and vertical) within a square inch of sheet fabric. At first glance, one would surmise that the higher the thread count, the more comfortable and durable the sheet will be. Not so! The true “key” to thread count is the thickness and quality of the thread or yarn as it is sometimes called being used. Thus, a 450 thread count of a thick thread will provide both comfort and durability and no “pilling” after washes. A 1,000 thread count can easily have very thin thread – thread that can break and weaken causing the annoying feel that we call pilling or balling up which reduces both comfort and durability. Cheaper and thinner threads will also cause sheets to shrink. Price will probably be the best gauge of sheet quality. You can buy an 800 thread count sheet, but if the price is low, it is very likely that you are not buying quality or durability. On the other hand a higher thread count sheet that is in the higher price range will most assuredly have thicker, higher quality thread/ yarn and give you longer life and greater comfort.
The important point is this: you have a personal preference for the feel of the sheets within which you place yourself. Considering that approximately 1/3 of your life is spent between your sheets, do not sacrifice comfort and wear for a cheaper price. Good sleep, comfort, and support can only be achieved with the entire package and what we make and dress our beds is the final piece of the sleep puzzle and is just as important as the pillow and mattress itself.