They say you should spend money when you spend your time. (Which means I should be driving a Pagani)
Most people spend 1/3 of their life between the sheets, so following the comfort principal, it makes sense to spend good money on some luxury bedding.
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The bedding industry is big business. In the United States the business of bed sheets is worth around $3 billion. The desire for high end bedding is ever-growing, so if you are in the market for some specialty sheets, here is a little guide to what all the terminology in sheet buying actually means:
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The thread count on a set of sheets measures the number of threads per square inch, counted vertically and horizontally.
The lower the thread count the more marginal the sheet.
Thread count can be misleading though, some manufacturers use “plying” which is taking multiple fine strands and twisting them together, counting each of these mini strands in order to give a high thread count, but in reality you don’t have any extra fabric. A high thread count sheet should feel like there is more fabric than a lower thread count sheet, so look for a single ply.
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Thread count isn’t everything though. You can have a high thread count sheet that is made from an inferior fabric. A short-staple cotton with a higher thread count will feel less luxe than a long-staple cotton with a slightly lower thread count.
100% Egyptian cotton is considered to be the most luxurious cotton in the world.
The weave of the fabric also changes the feel. It largely comes down to your personal preference.
Percale is a tight weave that makes sheets feel smooth and firm and doesn’t come in a glossy finish. Percale sheets can be 100% cotton but they can also be a blend of fabrics, so check the label before buying.
Jersey is a t-shirt like fabric that is actually a knit, not a weave.
Flannel is a cozy, warm weave. It is a medium weight with a napped texture made by stretching and lifting the threads.
Satin. A satin weave is made with silk, and is made glossy and smooth by floating some threads over others. But beware when buying satin weave sheets – sometimes cheap sheets made with polyester or nylon are also labeled sateen. Make sure you read the label to see which fabrics have been used.
Sateen is like satin but made with cotton.
Size Does Matter
Measure your mattress before buying your sheets. A fitted sheet should tuck under the pocket comfortably, not ride up the mattress. You could have a 14 inch, 16 inch or even 18 inch mattress depth, and buying the wrong size, whether too deep or too shallow ruins the effect and comfort of your expensive bedding.
Also know the size of your pillows to ensure a perfect pillowcase fit.
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Know Your Cottons
Egyptian Cotton is grown in the Nile Valley and is known for it’s silky and luxurious feel. Look for 100% Egyptian cotton – some manufacturers blend it with inexpensive fibers, which creates a less silky feel.
Pima Cotton is mostly grown in the southwest USA but is also grown in other countries (including Australia, Peru and Israel)
Pima is reasonably priced and has a smooth texture
Standard Cotton is the least expensive and lacks the luxurious feel of Egyptian and Pima cottons.