Bedding is only as complex as you make it. We addressed pillows in a previous article, and here we will touch on the nature of linens, specifically bed sheets and their functions.
Now, you might not think there is too much to know about sheets, and then again, you might have come across words like “beech”, “sateen” or “percale” and especially “thread count” and been a bit mystified by the difference. Consider this your reference guide, or cheat sheet, to sheets.
- Beech: includes a combination of bamboo or modal which adds a sturdy quality to the fabric, while maintaining softness.
- Sateen: this is the type of weave used in the manufacturing process. It is a dense weave with a very slight satiny finish. Some would recommend it as a Fall or Winter sheet, or year-round in a city with one temperature. Wonder which city this might reference?
- Percale: this weave has an equal number of horizontal and vertical threads, a smooth finish and keeps cool to the touch. Best used as a Summer sheet in true summer climates.
- Egyptian cotton: the finest form of cotton out there producing the softest and most luxurious fabric.
- Supima: extra long and durable cotton threads, trademarked representing some of the finer linens on the market.
- Thread count: the number of threads per square inch. Note: 250 is rather standard. This you probably grew up with as a child, or had in your dorm room. 300 is getting closer and for some the perfect balance of comfort and money. 400-600 is a nice bit of mid-high luxury, and is being heavily marketed lately and is much easier and becoming cheaper to find. 600 and above, you will be looking at one heavy duty sheet. And by heavy, I do mean heavy. These sheets are great for colder climates. Please note the word “climates”. Here in San Francisco, we have One season: 68 with a touch of fog. If you have not already guessed, there is a biased opinion toward 400-600 thread count sheets.
With that said, 400-600 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets in a sateen weave! Ooh la la! Spending more than $60.00 on said sheets, is unnecessary; you just need to know where to look. Online market places and your local clearances are fantastic for options.
A quick tip: Sales and clearances, White Sales, perhaps those 20% off discounts you see in the mail: all well worth it. Paying full price is … wasteful. Have a bit of patience. You will find what you are looking for or maybe something you didn’t even know you were looking for at a remarkable discount that will simply “Wow” you!
If there are any other terms out there that you would like clarification on, please feel free to contact me.
In the next issues: “Design tips” and “Decorating with sheets” in ways you might not have thought of.