Wednesday, May 2, 2007

3 Things You Must Know Before You Buy Your Next Set of Bedsheets

Pop Quiz:
  • Should you buy 150 count or 800 count sheets?
  • Is Pima cotton better than muslin?
  • What is the definition of Sateen?

How’d you do? Not very well? That’s okay – you will know the answers to those questions and more by the time you finish reading this article.

There are 3 main aspects of linens that make up the fibers you sleep on for 1/3 of your life:
  1. Thread Count
  2. Weave
  3. Types of Cotton

1. Thread Count
Definition: the number of threads, both vertical and horizontal in a one-inch square of fabric.

Thread counts range anywhere from 80 to 1000 or even more. The thread count can be affected by the ply and thickness of the yarn used to produce the fabric.

Ply is determined by how many threads are wrapped together into a single thread. Single-ply is a thread used upon itself. Double-ply indicates the yarns are twisted together and THEN woven.

The finer threads will give a higher thread count because more threads can fit in a 1-inch space. This will give the fabric a softer feel, but will also yield a less-durable fabric.

So, what is a good thread count to purchase? Experts say:
  • Greater than 100 is desirable
  • Greater than 180 is ideal
  • Greater than 400-500 is considered a farce due to the manufacturer’s using double-ply fabrics, which actually double the thread count

Read on for more information that will help you make your decision…

2. Weave
  • Standard – 1 stitch over, 1 stitch under – this is the basic weave
  • Pinpoint – 2 stitches over, 1 stitch under – this weave may not be as soft to the touch, but it is the most durable
  • Sateen – 4 stitches over, 1 stitch under – this has a very soft feel, but may not be as durable as other weaves

3. Types of Cotton
  • Combed Cotton – this is a cleaning process that eliminates the shorter, less desirable fibers
  • Muslin – the low end of the cotton spectrum; usually used in children’s themed bedding (thread count range: 128-140)
  • Percale – closely woven fibers; available in 100% cotton and 50/50 cotton/poly blends (thread count range: 140-200)
  • Pima or Supima – 100% cotton – very high quality grown in the Southwestern United States (thread count range: 200-300)
  • Egyptian – 100% cotton – very high quality grown next to the Nile River (thread count range: 200-400)

One last question for the Pop Quiz: True or False – the higher the thread count, the better quality the sheets.

What was your answer? If you answered “True”…go back and read #1 one more time.

Now that you have all of your bed linen facts straight, where are you going to find those sheets?

I’m always looking for great bargains and I’ve found that has great quality sheets at tremendous prices. You can find all thread counts, weaves and cotton types – it really just depends on your personal preference and budget.

Happy Shopping!

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