FABRIC CONTENT is an important place to start. We offer a wide range of blends and 100% cotton sheets. There are different grades of cotton, which are determined by the length of its staple or fiber. The longer the staple, the more luxurious and durable the grade of cotton.
100% cotton sheets will be the softest and most breathable, as they are an all natural fiber. The benefit of a cotton/polyester blend is that they will not wrinkle as much and are more moderately priced. However, polyester sheets will not breathe or absorb moisture as well as all cotton. 100% cotton will always be the most comfortable choice, and if you take them out of the dryer promptly and either fold them or put them on the bed, they will not be as wrinkled as you think.
TYPES OF COTTON:
EGYPTIAN: A long staple cotton that is grown in the Nile River Valley. The optimal climate conditions of this area make for exceptionally fine quality yarns. This highly-absorbent cotton is strong yet breathable.
PIMA: Named after the Pima Native American tribe. Grown in the Southwest of the United States and South America, this cotton is high quality and long staple.
SUPIMA®: An abbreviation for "superior pima". Supima cotton is the finest yield of long staple Pima cotton that is grown exclusively in the United States by certified farmers.
ORGANIC: A cotton that is grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. If an organic product is certified, it will have a United States Government approved 3rd party certification to ensure authenticity.
SYNTHETIC: Polyester is the most common synthetic fiber used in sheets. Synthetic materials are man made and while they are wrinkle-resistant, they are not as soft, breathable and durable as cotton. This material is more likely to pill (tiny balls of fabric that collect on the surface).
BLEND: The most common blend is cotton/polyester. The natural and synthetic fibers are blended to construct sheets that are easy to care for. Since polyester is not a very breathable fabric, these sheets will sleep warmer than 100% cotton sheets. Blends are more durable than synthetic fibers, however wear out faster than 100% cotton sheets.
MODAL: A fiber made from the pulp of beech trees. This soft and silky material has excellent draping qualities.
WEAVE is another important feature to look for in sheets.
Other weaves include:
SATEEN: (Not to be confused with satin). This has a stitch of four over, one under, placing the most threads on the surface, making it extremely soft, though slightly less durable than a percale or pinpoint.
PINPOINT: This is a stitch of two over and one under. This is more durable than a regular weave, but not as soft as sateen. Pinpoint sheets will soften after repeated washings.
PERCALE: Yarns are woven one over and one under each other to produce a strong, long-lasting fabric. Percale can be finished to have a crisp or a soft feel. This weave allows air to pass through easily, so percale tends to be breathable. Percale will soften after repeated washings.
TWILL: With twill sheets, yarns are typically woven two over and one under. This weave can be easily identified by diagonal lines on one side of the fabric. These sheets hold their shape well, drape well and tend to be somewhat wrinkle-resistant.
JACQUARD: This is a patterned weave that is extremely complex to create. These sheets are produced on a special loom to allow the complex repeating patterns on the face of the fabric. Often Jacquard sheets have a large design that repeats or a tapestry effect.
MANUFACTURING TECHNIQUES should also be considered.
COMBED: Cotton fibers are combed to create soft and strong yarns by removing short uneven fibers. The combing leaves behind long, straight fibers which are even and aligned.
COMPACT: A process that significantly reduces the amount of hairy stray fibers and weak spots in the thread. The process is called 'compact' because outside fibers are compacted towards the core of the yarn as they are twisted. These yarns also enable fabric to be resistant to wrinkling and pilling.
FLANNEL: This medium-weight fabric is soft and fuzzy and is usually made of cotton with a napped finish on one or both sides. Napping is a brushing technique that provides a raised surface with a fluffy appearance. Flannel provides cozy warmth during the cold winter months.
JERSEY: These sheets feel like a t-shirt and provide an excellent stretchy fit. These sheets are knitted and not woven so you won't find thread count listed on the product packaging.
THREAD COUNT is another feature to be taken into consideration. Thread count is the number of threads per square inch of fabric both vertical and horizontal. Assuming you are looking for the softest and most durable sheet, the higher thread count will always be the best. Look for it to be at least 200 or higher.