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How To Choose New Bed Sheets
Your bedroom is your refuge.
We spend up to a third of our life in bed, so why not make it as comfy as possible? The feel of a soft, smooth, clean sheet against your skin is one of life's true pleasures. It's better to have only two sets of really great sheets than a half-dozen cheap, rough ones.
One thing to consider is buying sheets individually. A bottom sheet that fits your size mattress and a top sheet a size or two larger for extra cover and comfort. This also works well if your partner likes to steal the top sheet. With a larger size you just may end up with some covers after all.
Cotton is possibly the most comfortable fabric made. It comes in many forms, such as 100%, or blended with polyester. Pure cotton is best. It's absorbent and feels great against the skin, and wears well. Egyptian cotton is best. The growing season is hotter and longer than in other parts of the world. This enables the cotton fibers to grow longer and stronger.
Thread Count. We've all been there, especially when buying sheets for kids beds. I guess the mills have to pay a lot for those yellow sponge creatures and pink princesses because the thread count seems to be about forty. It's very disappointing to open such a package. So, after that experience I began paying more attention to the outside of the package. A good thread count is about 150. Thread counts can go up to 1,000. Thread count means the individual threads woven into the fabric per square inch. However, the best sheets have a higher warp to weft thread count than cheaper ones. This means there are more warp threads, or those attached to the loom, as well as more weft threads, or those that are shuttled back and fourth on the loom.
There are also varying finishes as well:
Flannel sheets are more comfy on cold winter nights. My husband wears flannel PJ's in the winter and doesn't like the flannel sheets because the two flannels together seem to form a sort of ‘Velcro effect' as he calls it and he says he can't move. I don't know about that, but I've heard him crab about it enough to figure it's worth mentioning.
Percale is a type of finish, and does not indicate the thread count or fabric content. Percale sheets are woven with the threads very tight together which makes if more durable and my mother insists that ‘it washes better.'
Sateen is my favorite. Again the term refers to the finish of the fabric, not the content or thread count. However, there is a sateen weaving process in which there is one warp or vertical thread for every four weft or horizontal threads. The thread is often mercerized, a chemical process that shrinks the threads that then become stronger and the also take the dye better. This also makes the fabric more mildew resistant, which is good to know if you live in a damp, tropical climate. I just love the way it feels against my skin, so a personal preference.
Silk sheets are the ‘Cadillac" of bedding. I‘ve never had the pleasure of sleeping on silk sheets, but I‘ve heard it is wonderful experience. Silk sheets, made from the silk woven by silkworms for their cocoons, are very expensive. The starting price is about $250 which is why I‘ve never had them. I'm not sure if this is the cost per sheet or per set, but on my budget it's a moot point.
They are said to have a special property that makes them more comfortable that wicks away perspiration and also helps retard wrinkling of the skin. To my surprise, I learned that they are machine washable, in cold water on the delicate setting. They are also machine dryable and it is suggested that you remove them immediately from the dryer at the end of the cycle. These may be a great idea for a wedding gift that several people (or a dozen in my family) could go in on together. The sheets are said to last a very, very long time if properly cared for.
I try to purchase the best sheets I can, so wait for sales and coupons and any other bargain devices I can get. Last summer I found two sets of a beautiful rich rust color, 400 thread count, percale sheets on sale for twenty-dollars a set! It was the end of summer clearance and I‘m sure the color was not a huge hit, but I love it.
August and February are good times to look for sales on bedding, so look for discounts and maybe get a better night's sleep in the ‘bargain.'