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Bed Sheets

Bed sheets are important both for a comfortable night's rest and to project an impression of comfort, luxury, and taste. Bed sheets are sold separately, but since they are almost always intended to match, they more commonly come in sets. A set of sheets includes a fitted bottom sheet, a flat top sheet and one pillow case (in a twin set ) or two standard, queen or king pillow cases. A 'bed in a box' set may also include a matching comforter.

Sets of sheets can cost as little as $30, but more expensive designer sheets can run hundreds of dollars. Sheets are made to fit the standard bed sizes: twin, full, queen and king. The larger sheet sizes almost always cost more. Odd sizes such as twin extra long and California king may only be available for purchase online or through catalogs.

Consider the following when buying sheets:

  • One measure of sheets is thread count, or the number of individual threads per inch of fabric. The higher the thread count, the softer and more luxurious the sheet will feel:
    • Muslin sheets have a low thread count and can feel coarse.
    • Percale sheets have thread counts up to about 250. These sheets will wrinkle less and will generally last longer than higher thread counts, but they also feel stiffer.
    • Sateen sheets have treat counts of 300 and above.
    • Very expensive sheets have thread counts over 1000.
  • The second measure of sheets is their fabric's composition. Sheets made by blending cotton with polyester are available, but better sheets are 100% cotton.
    • Egyptian cotton has extra long threads, which result in stronger fabric. The best American cotton is pima. Cotton can be combed to make it softer, but this process also makes the sheet thinner.
    • Lawn is cotton that is thin and lightweight, and is often used in hot climates.
    • Flannel sheets are soft, warm, and very durable but more suited to cold temperatures or air conditioned rooms. Look for flannel sheets that are pill resistant.

Remember to measure your mattress. New mattresses are thicker and will need fitted bottom sheets that are 12 to 15 inches deep (often referred to as "deep pocket" sheets).

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