Bed Sheet Buying Guide

Bed sheets are an investment in comfort and style. Learn more about bed sheet sizing, material, weave types, and care.


Bed sheets provide a comfortable base for your bed, providing warmth, insulation, and comfort, which contribute to a good night’s sleep. Since your bed is the most personal place in your life, finding the right sheets will make a large impact on the comfort of your bedroom. Bed sheets generally refer to a fitted sheet, which covers your mattress, and a flat sheet, which covers your body. Bed sheets are available in a number of sizes, fabrics, weaves, and colors. Every attribute affects the quality and value of bed sheets.

Bed Sheet Sizes

Measuring your mattress will ensure a good fit so that fitted sheets and flat sheets properly fit your bed. The following guideline will help you select the ideal sheet size set to purchase according to the size of your mattress.




38 inches x 75 inches

Twin XL

38 inches x 80 inches


54 inches x 75 inches


60 inches x 80 inches


76 inches x 80 inches

California King

72 inches x 84 inches 

Bed Sheet Material

Bedding and sheet quality will make a big difference when it comes to the comfort of your bed. Thread count, fabric material, and weave type are aspects to consider when finding the right balance of durability and softness for your bed.

Thread Count

Thread count is often used to describe the quality of the fabric, but is not an accurate indicator of true quality.

FACT: Thread count indicates the number of threads per square inch.

MYTH: While a higher thread count indicates a heavier, more durable fabric, it does not indicate the softness or smoothness of the fabric.

GOOD TO KNOW: A thread count of 200 or higher is a good place to start for standard quality sheets. However, regulatory guidelines for advertised thread counts are not controlled. This means that multi-ply threads, where 2 or more thinner threads are woven together to create a regular-size thread, are advertised as higher thread counts. A 200 thread count can be advertised between 400-800 thread count.


Weave Type

Each weave has a characteristic feel that will determine its overall comfort.

  • Plain weave: A percale weave is the most simple weave technique that is used for about 80% of all bedding. In a plain weave, each yarn alternately crosses over and under, which produces a durable and smooth fabric.
    • Includes percale, gingham, voile, batista

  • Twill weave: A twill weave is easily identifiable by its diagonal rib, or twill line on one side of the fabric. This technique yields a strong bedding fabric that drapes well and is wrinkle-resistant compared to plainer weaves. Twill construction has more cotton fibers exposed on the surface of the fabric, so it can be brushed for extra softness and is well suited to heavier fabrics.
    • Includes flannel

  • Sateen weave: Sateen weave is the most time-consuming basic weave to produce, and expensive. It is used to create a fabric with a smooth feel and lustrous finish. This technique uses a four-over, one-under cotton weave which results in a higher proportion of vertical threads that gives sateen weave its characteristic sheen. Consequently, sateen weave may not display the level of durability intended for intensive daily use because it is prone to snagging. It is important that sateen has a higher thread count to keep the yarns close together.
    • Includes silk

  • Patterned weave: Patterned weave is ideal for upholstery fabric. It is the most difficult and expensive weave to produce with sheets woven on a special loom to create a repeating design woven into the fabric.
    • Includes jacquard, damask, pique



Depending on what you are searching for, bed sheets are made from a variety of materials that will determine how comfortable you are at night. This fabric guideline outlines the varying characteristics of the most common fabrics used for bedding to help determine the best bed sheets that will appeal to you.

Egyptian Cotton

Benefits: Highest quality cotton, unmatched durability, valued for luxurious softness
Good to Know: Also known as “extra long staple”, or ELS cotton, for its long fibers (or staples). Certified Egyptian cotton is grown in Egypt, and has earned its reputation for luxury and quality in the marketplace. 

Pima Cotton/Supima

Benefits: Silky, soft, natural sheen, considered second only to Egyptian cotton in quality
Good to Know: “Supima” is a trademarked name for 100% pima cotton. Pima cotton has an extra-long staple, and is grown in the United States, Australia, and Peru 100%


Benefits: Cotton sheets at an economical price point
Good to Know: Refers to shorter-staple cotton which gives this fabric a rougher weave. It is less durable and more prone to signs of wear such as pilling 

Bamboo (Viscose Rayon)

Benefits: Naturally hypoallergenic, sustainably grown, extremely durable, better breathability and temperature control than cotton, wool, or synthetic fabrics, lower price
Good to Know: Made with viscose rayon from bamboo, the smooth, round fibers of this fabric are naturally antibacterial and hypoallergenic, for non-irritating, luxurious softness. 

Microfiber (Synthetic)

Benefits: Lower price, durable, wrinkle-resistant, natural stain repellant
Good to Know: Microfiber refers to the size of synthetic fabrics, and not the specific material which means that microfiber sheets can vary widely in quality and character. 


Benefits: Affordable, very durable, wrinkle-resistant; best for situations that require frequent laundering
Good to Know: The most common blend is cotton/polyester. A blend up to 80% cotton/20% polyester is a fine choice that balances comfort and durability, and is great in places that experience heavy wear such as children’s bedrooms. 


Benefits: Silky, soft, durable
Good to Know: This high-strength fiber is made from the pulp of beech trees. 


Benefits: Smooth, sleek, luxurious
Good to Know: Satin and silk are not graded by thread count. Satin is a weave (not a fiber), and can be woven from wool, cotton, polyester, and silk fibers. Silk is graded by “momme weight”, and exhibits an extra-long staple which makes it extremely strong. Higher momme weight indicates more silk has been used in the weave. Silk bed sheets usually have a 16 to 19 momme weight. 


Bed Sheet Care

Protecting and caring for your bed sheets and linens will help extend its life, as well as create a sanitary environment suitable for a comfortable night of sleep. 


  • It is highly recommended to wash your sheets weekly (more often for humid climates) to extend the life of your bed sheets and linens. Particles such as dirt, dust, skin cells, and body oils accumulate on sheets, which places more stress on sheet fibers.
  • It is highly recommended to wash sheets separately from your clothing or towels. This gives sheets enough room to circulate in water so that every area of your sheets are properly cleaned. Even cleansing reduces the amount of wear and pilling that can occur over time, and prevents damage caused by zippers or fasteners in clothing.
  • Always pretreat stains before laundering sheets. Avoid bleach for all bed linens. Instead, use a mild detergent for cotton and cotton blend sheets, or add ¼ lemon juice to the wash water to make whites brighter.
  • Use a low heat setting for drying because high temperatures can damage fabrics.
  • Hand-washing is preferred for silk sheets. If washing in a machine, use the delicate cycle in cool water, and use Woolite detergent or a special soap recommended by the manufacturer. When drying silk sheets, dry on the lowest heat setting and never wring silk sheets. Use a towel to blot dry to remove excess water.
  • Linen sheets can withstand higher washing temperatures, and dries more quickly because it is a durable natural fabric.
  • Bamboo sheets can be washed in the delicate wash cycle, but be prepared for some fading to occur. Air-dry or dry bamboo sheets on the lowest heat setting.