Picking the right bedding for you largely comes down to understanding what kind of sleeper you are and the kinds of fabrics that feel good on your skin. If you’re a cold sleeper in a cold climate then you’re going to need warm bedding.
Alternatively, if you live in a tropical climate you’re going to need sheets in a fabric that can breathe and won’t make you sweaty. Think less about thread count and more about what you need for a good nights’ sleep. Here’s our guide to picking the perfect sheets.
Breathable sheets that can keep you cool: bamboo, linen and cotton.
Warm sheets to keep you snug: Flannelette, silk and high thread count cotton.
Sustainable options: Eucalyptus and bamboo.
Smart sheets: Microfibre and peachskin.
Eucalyptus is proven to have the lightest eco footprint on earth in the bedding industry, and the sheets are made from wood that has been broken down into fibres similar to bamboo or linen, then woven into a yarn. These sheets are wrinkle-free, highly absorbent, hyper allergenic and anti-bacterial, with a similar feel to bamboo sheets.
Linen is a highly breathable fabric that can absorb up to 20 per cent of its weight in moisture before feeling damp. It’s very durable with a long lifespan, and it naturally repels dirt and bacteria, making it a solid investment for families. However, wrinkles and creases are a mainstay of linen bedding.
Silk is a surprisingly snug fabric and is known to be antimicrobial, hypoallergenic and is an ideal solution for sufferers of dermatitis or eczema. Available in both tussah and cultivated mulberry varieties, the latter is smoother and more durable while the former is coarser and short-lived. Silk isn’t considered family friendly due to the requirement of hand washing the sheets.
One of the most popular fabrics for sheets, cotton is a bedding staple. Quality varies drastically when it comes to cotton sheets, so it pays to know what you’re looking for. Egyptian cotton is heralded as being the mark of luxury, while Pima cotton is budget friendly Extra Long Staple (ELS) cotton with the same softness and longevity as Egyptian quality sheets, but without the price tag.
Anything marked 100 percent cotton is typically upland cotton which is more likely to pill, feel a little coarser and have a shorter shelf life that the other options. If you're after organic cotton, look for products that have been verified from a governing body such as Australian Certified Organic (ACO) or Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS).
Flannel sheets are made from a thick cotton yarn that’s been brushed to create the soft, fuzzy feel they’re known for. Weight is the best guide for determining flannel quality, for maximum warmth and softness you want a rating of 170gsm or higher.
Bamboo is one of the worlds’ fastest growing plants, meaning products made from bamboo are more sustainable than those made of cotton, linen or silk. Bamboo bed linen is soft, cool, hypoallergenic and antibacterial, however beware of any products claiming to be 100 per cent bamboo, as other fibres are needed to turn bamboo into a textile. Fibres often blended with bamboo are rayon, viscose and lyocell.
The man-made fabric of these sheets feels like the skin of a peach. Made from smart fabric that’s comparable to 1500 thread count sheets, these are supposed to be cool, soft, smooth, long-lasting and moisture-wicking. With anti-pill and anti-slip capabilities, these sheets can be a robust family selection, but buyer beware, you get the quality you pay for.
While probably not your first choice when it comes to bedding, microfibre sheets are reported to be one of Amazon’s best-selling products and are smooth, comfortable, affordable and available in a huge variety of colours and patterns.
This article originally appeared on Better Homes and Gardens.
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