Bed Sheet Type Guide
Types of Bed Sheets
With all of the different colors, patterns, and fabrics that sheets are made of these days, looking through different types of sheet sets can be like searching for a fine piece of art to add to your collection. Your bedroom collection that is. Now that you know we're shopping in an art gallery of sheets, finding your next set of sheets just got more fun!
All types of sheet sets are going to have their own unique characteristics that can make them artistic, but sheets are made with comfort in mind more than style. How comfortable the sheets are will depend on factors like the type of sheet they are, the material the sheets are made from, and your personal preference for how those materials like cotton, silk, polyester, or linen feel to you.
What is a sheet set?
A bed sheet set is a collection of multiple bedding pieces that include a flat top sheet, a fitted bottom sheet, and usually a pair of pillowcases. Bedsheet sets are easy ways to get the basic ben linens you need. Sheet sets don't include other bedding items like mattress protectors, mattress toppers, blankets, or comforters. There are entire bedding sets that you can buy that include all the basics you'd get with a sheet set, plus all these extras and more, including things like duvet covers.
What is a flat sheet?
What flat sheets are is all in the name. They are sheets that are flat. Flat sheets can be used directly on top of your mattress, but they usually aren't. Flat sheets will move around since they don't wrap around the mattress like a fitted sheet. For this reason, flat sheets are mostly used as a top sheet, in between you and your comforter. A basic sheet set will include a flat sheet.
What is a fitted sheet?
A fitted sheet, on the other hand, wraps around the entire mattress and secures itself in place by tucking each corner of the mattress into the pockets of the fitted sheet. Some fitted sheets come with deep or extra-deep pockets to make sure your fitted sheet doesn't move or adjust during your sleep. A basic sheet set will include a fitted sheet.
What are the differences between types of sheets and sheet sets?
We mentioned how the different colors, patterns, and fabrics can make sheet shopping seem more fun, which it can be, but there are lots of differences between types of sheets and sheet sets that you should be aware of to make choosing the right sheets for you a smooth process. Here are the basic options about sheets you should know, along with some general advice for deciding which type of sheet you'd like to take home.
What is the thread count on sheets?
The thread count on sheets is used to describe the number of threads in each square inch of sheet fabric. To calculate a final thread count for sheets, they add together the total number of threads running lengthwise, also called the warp, and the total number of threads running widthwise, also called the weft. This means if a sheet's thread count is 500, each square inch of the sheet will have 250 threads running lengthwise and 250 threads running widthwise.
A lot of people will judge the quality of sheets based on their thread count because having a higher thread count usually makes sheets stronger and softer at the same time. This means sheets with higher thread counts are usually going to cost more, but are known for being more durable and lasting longer, as well as being more comfortable to sleep on.
What is a good thread count for sheets?
There is no one size fits all answer to this question, just like there's no one size fits all sheet set for every mattress. The thread count that's best for you is going to depend on your budget, your style, and your sleep preferences. Some people don't like sheets with super-high thread counts because they say they're too soft. Other people swear by having sheets with a high thread count because they love how soft they are.
Insider Tip: Incredibly high sheet counts like 2000 or more can sometimes be poor quality because cheaper threads are used to be woven together at these extremely higher counts.
A good rule of thumb for getting sheets on a budget is sticking to the lower end of thread counts for sheets, which are ones that have a thread count between 200 and 500. The next level up in thread count for sheets is the 500 to 1000 thread count sheets, and if you're feeling really extravagant, you can find sheets with thread counts well over 1000.
It's important to remember that not all sheets are measured by their thread count. Silk, for example, is rated based on a unit of measurement called momme. Momme measures the weight of silk by how many pounds are in every 45 inches by 100 yards piece of silk. This brings us to our next sheet option to consider when buying sheets or sheet sets and that's the sheet material.
What materials are sheets made from?
The material your sheets are made of also makes a big difference in finding the perfect sheet set. Not all sheets are cut from the same cloth, literally. Bed sheets come in a wide variety of materials, including silk, microfiber, bamboo cotton, poly-cotton blends of cotton mixed with polyester, extra-long-staple cotton, Egyptian cotton, and just when you thought we'd run out of types of cotton, there's still good old plain cotton. You can even find sheets made of flannel, or linen sheets, which are made from flax plant fibers.
What are linen sheets?
That's right, linen sheets are made from flax. The flax fibers that linen sheets are made out of are derived from the same plant that produces the healthy flax seeds or ground flax meal you may have seen on shelves in the grocery store, or maybe you already know all about flax and you had some in your smoothie today. Either way, some people aren't aware that flax is used to make linen sheets.
Many people choose linen sheets because the natural plant fibers make them breathable. They also wick away moisture easier than other sheet materials and this makes them great sheets for hot summers, or if you live in areas with warmer climates year-round. You will often see linen sheets labeled as French linen. This means the flax that was used to make the linen was grown in France, which is known for making fine linen.
What are bamboo sheets?
Bamboo sheets are another type of sheet made with plant fibers, usually rayon, which is a fiber made from processed bamboo pulp. You can sometimes find bamboo linen sheets that are less processed and more natural. Bamboo sheets are measured in thread count and they can range between 300 and 500 and people tend to like them for their durability, but also for how soft they are. If you've never felt bamboo sheets before the softness is often compared to cotton.
What sheets are eco-friendly?
Since linen is made from plant fibers, it's also biodegradable. This makes linen sheets a perfect eco-friendly sheet choice for yourself or a gift for someone you know who prefers using products that are friendly to the environment.
Bamboo linen sheets are also sheets that eco-friendly, but it's important to remember that bamboo linen is made from bamboo fibers, which is what makes it an eco-friendly sheet choice, but regular bamboo sheets are different. Regular bamboo sheets are made from bamboo pulp that goes through a chemical process to make fibers like rayon. This processing making regular bamboo sheets less eco-friendly than bamboo linen sheets.
What are the most affordable sheets?
The most affordable sheets are going to be ones with a lower thread count like we mentioned earlier. These are usually sheets with thread counts between 200 and 500. Prices start going up a little bit once you get past 500 thread counts, because of the extra durability and softness, but you can still find good deals on sheets with higher thread counts than 500.
How do I choose the best sheet set?
When it comes to buying a sheet set, like art, we recommend choosing one that speaks to you. Once you've decided your comfort level by choosing what material you want your sheets made out of, you will often be faced next with choosing from a variety of colors. Everyone has a favorite color, and maybe that's the color of everything you buy, but there could be a sheet color that makes an impression on you when you see it. If it does, then that one could be the best set of sheets for you.
If you don't have time to look through for the best bed sheets, then consider something like an all-in-one bedding set that comes with a full set of sheets, including a fitted and flat sheet, as well as pillowcases, and a comforter.