Bed Sheets and Thread Count: How to Choose the Perfect Weave

What is the most important room in your house? You might be tempted to say a room that your guests will see, the living room or the kitchen. But your bedroom is the place you will be spending a great deal of time in. Hopefully-if you are getting your rest–six to eight hours a night. Choosing a bed is an important step in decorating a home, and choosing a comfortable and aesthetic way to dress that bed makes a difference. Good sheets are worth it. Having an oasis retreat to at the end of the day can really make a difference in your life and the quality of your sleep.

Counting Threads

Organic 400 Thread Count Sheet Set by Sleep and Beyond
Organic 400 Thread Count Sheet Set by Sleep and Beyond

Sheets are one of those things you don’t want to cheap out on. A lot of products have great inexpensive alternatives, but with sheets you really do get what you pay for. Just a few moments handling different kinds of sheets will make it clear that some are just not the sort you want to wrap yourself in every night. Higher quality sheets tend to have a higher thread count. Thread count refers to the number of vertical and horizontal threads per square inch of sheet. They can range from anywhere between 100-1,000, and the price typically rises along with that number.

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Cotton Above All 

500 Thread Count Italian Percale Sheets Z3750_30 by Royal River Trading
500 Thread Count Italian Percale Sheets Z3750_30 by Royal River Trading

Thread count is an important factor in your sheet choice, but it isn’t the most important. Anything between 300-500 is really the best thread count you’re going to get–anything above that ceases to make much of a difference. Anything above that is really just gratuitous. What really matters when you are purchasing sheets is the material. Choosing 100% cotton sheets makes a world of difference, as opposed to sheets that are partly polyester.

Pleasing Patterns

Garden, 6 Piece Duvet Cover Sheet Set LE120Q by La Vele
Garden, 6 Piece Duvet Cover Sheet Set LE120Q by La Vele

Oftentimes you can purchase sheets in combination packs, bundled with pillowcases and a duvet cover. This saves you from having to pick out individual color combinations and pieces. La Vele and Dolce Mela both have some great multi-piece sheet sets, with patterns that range from floral, to animal prints, to robot and alien themes. Kids’ sheets tend to have lower thread counts, but there are some high-quality ones too. Sheet sets range in price depending on weave and materials.

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Consider the Weave

Sateen Gathered Bedskirt - 18" Drop Z5719 by Royal River Trading
Sateen Gathered Bedskirt – 18″ Drop Z5719 by Royal River Trading

When you are shopping for sheets you may come across words like ‘sateen’ cotton as opposed to ‘percale’ cotton. This refers to the weaving method. Sateen cotton, like in the bedskirt above, is made from a long-fiber cotton and generally has a smoother, more satiny feel to it. Its thread count also tends to be higher. Percale sheets tend to be crisper and lighter against the skin, so they may be better for summer weather. It all depends on personal preference.

Pull it Together 

Venus, King Size 6 Piece Duvet Cover Sheet Set DM479K by Dolce Mela
Venus, King Size 6 Piece Duvet Cover Sheet Set DM479K by Dolce Mela

Once you choose your sheets and your theme, you can tie it all together. With so many varying bedspread options, you can easily find one that suits your bedroom decor. The designer in the above photo has chosen to pair blue and brass with mahogony and a blue wall, but the possibilities are basically endless.

It comes down to personal preference, but believe me when I say that sleeping in good, high-quality sheets makes such a difference. I spent my college years buying poly-blend, and low thread count in order to save on cost. Never again!