When it comes to buying mattress sheets, comforters and bed linens, you should not only know the size of your
bed, but also understand the different fabric weaves, thread counts and ply of different sheet types.
Have you ever woken in the middle of the night to find your fitted sheet bunched up beneath your hip because it
refuses to stay on that mattress. Although you thought that queen size sheets would naturally fit a queen size
mattress, it would seem that this is not the case. You must measure carefully because not all brands are exactly
the same size. Measure the length and the width of the mattress in addition to its depth. When measuring the depth,
do not forget to include the thickness of your mattress topper and pad.
At one time, mattresses always used to average eight to twelve inches in height, but these days, they can easily
exceed twenty inches. Consequently, this extra depth requires a deeper pocket than comes with most standard sheets.
If your mattress is very thick, look for sheets labeled deep pocket or extra deep pocket.
Thread Count and Ply
As you do not sleep directly on the beautiful fabric covering your mattress, the fabric that you do sleep on is
very important. The old favourite of course is cotton and although durable, can vary substantially when it comes to
If you choose a beautiful sheet with 180 thread count, which is the approximate number of threads per inch, be
prepared to spend your nights in scratchy splendor. On the other hand, a sheet with a thread count of over 300 is
going to be heavenly and probably last about six months.
Longer threads and higher thread counts create a cotton sheet that is softer, more comfy and, to a certain
extent, wears longer. However, beware of extremely high thread counts as this material is thicker and has a
tendency to pill and split under stress.
Pima cotton is the most common type of cotton used to make sheets. Supima cotton, a registered variety, is grown
only in the USA. Egyptian cotton is considered to be the finest that you can buy but check the label. Any cotton
that is grown in Egypt can legally be called Egyptian cotton, but it may not be the superior cotton you are looking
for. You should always double check the feel of the fabric before buying.
The final part of the puzzle when buying sheets and mattress covers is the way that the threads are woven
together. Percale is the standard 'over one, under one' weave that wears well, but it may not be as soft and comfy
as you would like. Thread count for percale starts at about 200, which is classed as the lower level for comfort.
Sateen changes the way a sheet feels by smoothing out the surface with four threads over and one thread under.
However, the durability of sateen is affected as the threads are exposed to more wear from rubbing.
Whatever your reason for buying new sheets remember to measure your mattress carefully. Also, choose a quality
fabric with a decent thread count. And finally, choose a weave based on whether you desire more softness or more