Buying Bedding: A simple guide
- Know thyself
- Know thy bed
- Know thy sheets
When buying bedding many factors come into play: fabrics, weaves, sizes, dyes… It can be confusing so we’ve compiled a simple guide to simplify your buying process.
When deciding on sheets the fabric material is the first factor that will help you assess the overall quality of the sheets. Everyone has different inclinations, but whatever your fabric preferences make sure the raw material is of quality. The quality of silk for instance will depend on its momme (mm), which measures its weight. For cotton and linen the quality will depend on the length of the fibers. Longer fibers mean less ends and a smoother yarn, with long combed fibers giving finer and softer fabric. With cotton especially, you should look for sheets that are expressly described as extra long staple cotton, or extra long fiber cotton. As general advice we recommend avoiding blended fabrics, especially those mixed with the man-made fabric that is polyester.
Once you’ve selected the fabric that suits your preferences you must pay attention to the way it has been confectioned. For silk the type of diet fed to the silkworms -cultivated or wild diet- will affect the fabric with cultivated silk usually giving better quality. For linen and cotton the weaving technique used on the yarn will determine the feel of the fabric. If you’re looking specifically at cotton products know that a sateen weave will be softer and warmer than a crisp and cooler percale. For both linen and cotton you should favor a yarn that has been combed from impurities and look at certifying labels such as Oeko-Tex, or organic labels. Also take note of the thread count: linen should be 100-200, cotton should be between 200 and 600. Beware of advertised higher thread counts as these usually will give a low porosity fabric that doesn’t breathe properly and feels heavy.
Natural dye? Embroideries? Colored borders? What final appearance do you want your newly clothed bed to have? For instance a cotton sheet that hasn’t been dyed won’t be completely white but rather beige. Naturally dyed fabrics such as indigo must be laundered separately to avoid staining and coloring. If you are into meticulous embroidery work know that you will find the best embroideries in French and Italian products but these will likely be very expensive. Also, when deciding whether you want patterned or neutral sheets keep in mind that your bed is what takes the most space in your bedroom, a pattern will leave little scope for accessorizing whereas a unified white sheet will provide ample decorating freedom.
Let us know your preferences! What fabric do you find the most comfortable to sleep in? What look are you after when it comes to your bed? Leave us a comment below