Learn more about bed sheets before you shop

Valentines bed sheets
CC image courtesy of Rubber Dragon on Flickr

I am assuming you want to shop for bed sheets.

But you aren’t sure about thread count or where to get the sheets.

Well, if that’s the case, then I believe this post will shed light on everything you need to know.

It also includes answers to questions you may have on this type of bedding.

Let’s begin:

What are the standard bed sheet sizes?

The bed sheet sizes vary slightly from one manufacturer to the next.

Here’s a table that you the approximate sizes of the bed sheets in inches.

Sheets FittedFlatPillowcase
Twin L 75 x W 39 L 96 x W 661 piece, L 30 x W 20
Twin XL L 80 x W 39L 102 x W 661 piece, L 30 x W 20
Full L 75 x W 54 L 96 x W 81 2 pieces, L 30 x W 20 each
Queen L 80 x W 60L 102 x W 902 pieces, L 30 x 20 each
King L 80 x W 76 L 102 x W 108 2 pieces, L 40 x W 20 each
California King L 84 x W 72L 102 x W 108 2 pieces, L 40 x W 20
Split King 2 Twin XL L 102 x W 108 2 pieces, L 40 x W 20 each

Now, the depth/ height of fitted sheets can be over 15 inches depending on the sheet brand.

What is thread count?

It refers to the number of threads woven horizontally and vertically per square inch of fabric.

Does thread count in sheets matter?

Well, no, not really. What matters is the fiber, texture, and weaves construction of the fabric.

Now, you’re probably thinking, ‘She has no idea, a higher thread count equates to a quality bed sheet.

This is true if the sheet fabric is made of quality threads/ fiber that create higher numbers of woven threads.

Sheets made of these types of fabrics feature long, fine fibers that produce soft yet durable results. And vice versa if the fibers are short and twisted.

For a thorough definition of thread count check body pillowcase review post.

What I have learned is to look at the quality of fiber/ fabric first.   

For example, a sheet with a low thread count made of long-staple cotton is better than a low-quality high thread count counterpart.


Which thread count is the best?

It depends on the fabric. For the Egyptian long-staple cotton fabric, a thread count below 500 is just fine.

And besides Egyptian cotton, Pima cotton made in the USA also features long fibers for production of quality sheets.

Now, the good thing is there are fabric options in the market that work just fine for different needs. These fabrics may feature thread counts over 500.

And they are:

Different Fabrics For Bed Sheets (besides cotton)

Tencel sheets

tencel white bedding
CC image courtesy of thesleepjudge.com on Flickr

Tencel sheets are usually soft, breathable and long-lasting.

They are made of lyocell (cellulose) and modal fibers produced from raw wood.

These fibers can be blended with cotton, wool, and other fabrics to enhance their functionalities.

Linen sheets

Pure linen sheets are breathable and durable, and they tend to work well for night sweaters and people living in warm areas.

Their prices can be on the higher side especially when compared to cotton. And this is because of the laborious processes involved in their production.

Rayon sheets

Rayon fibers tend to imitate the properties of other fibers such as cotton, silk, and linen. So their sheets offer similar functions as sheets made of natural fibers.

You can find rayon sheets made of regenerated cellulose fibers from materials such as bamboo.

Silk sheets

Pure silk sheets tend to be highly priced and for good reasons. The sheets are amongst the smoothest and softest, and the most luxurious.

Some of these expensive sheets such as the mulberry sheets are made of silk fibers from silkworms feed on only mulberry leaves.

Now, manufacturers of these sheets use momme weight instead of thread count to grade the silk.


Well, because silk features very fine threads, so the thread counts for most, if not all fabrics will be high.

Now, the momme weight, which is the weight of 100 yards of silk in pounds, grades the quality. This means the higher the momme (over14), the better the sheet quality.

The truth is all these sheets work for different reasons and situations.

green printed bedding
CC image courtesy of sdaponte on Flickr

Synthetic sheets

You may have noticed that I mentioned the natural fiber sheets, but that doesn’t mean that the polyesters or microfibers are not good.

Some of these synthetic fabrics work just fine because they function quite similar to their natural counterparts.

Most buyers tend to prefer these synthetic sheets because they are affordable and easy to maintain.

You can find synthetic sheets that are durable, absorbent, and wrinkle resistant too.

Are most sheets treated with chemicals?

Not all sheets are treated with chemicals, and most manufacturers mention that factor in their descriptions.

This is true, especially for the natural fiber sheets. For example, some manufacturers of linen do not use bleaching chemicals because of their effect on the environment.


Where can you buy sheets?

You can buy sheets online from sleep product stores and e-commerce stores. And you can also buy them from brick and mortar stores around the country such as IKEA. 

Are bed sheets taxable?

This depends on your state’s tax laws, but it is possible for sheets to be taxed. In some states, sleep products are taxed if their prices exceed a certain amount.

To be on the safe side check your state’s department of revenue site for more information.

What about bed sheet designs?

There are a variety of designs in the market from the plain to the colorful. You can also get some with patterns and zippers, especially for your young ones.

The good thing is the sheet designs come in different sizes, so you have to get your mattress dimensions right.

Do sheets come as sets?

Most sheets are sold as sets featuring 2 sheets or more and 2 pillowcases. The set usually features a fitted sheet, which should be the size of your mattress.

It also includes a flat sheet that is longer than the fitted sheet. Nowadays, most manufacturers make deep pocket sheets that can cover mattresses with heights over 15 inches.


a set of bed sheets
CC image courtesy of katalicia 1 on Flickr

What is the price of a set of sheets?

A set of full-size cotton sheets can go for over $30 and $60 for the Egyptian ones. And the same size for linen sheets can be over $100.

Are sheets considered delicates?

I believe sheets made of fine fabrics that feature lace and sometimes silk can be considered as delicates. This means that although they are easy to maintain they require extra care.

Can sheets make you sweat?

I believe sheets and other bedclothes that aren’t absorbent and breathable can make you sweat. Even your mattress can increase night sweats.

But you can also sweat because of a health condition such as menopause. So before you blame the sheets learn about the symptoms of your condition. Or the side effects of the medication you’re taking.

Now, if you believe your sheets are part of the problem get rid of them.

And buy pure linen or Tencel sheets that can keep you cool and dry all through the night.

What about bed sheets and skin irritations?

You can get allergic reactions such as skin irritations because of the bed sheets compositions. For your peace of mind get the hypoallergenic sheets if you are prone to allergies.

Or opt for pure silk sheets for your sensitive skin.

Now, remember to keep your sheets clean and avoid using fabric softeners. These actions will minimize the skin irritations.

Are sheets recyclable?                                

Yes, old sheets including the torn ones are recyclable. They can be recycled into fibers, or reused as wiping cloths.

Most states sites like this New York State one expound on the acceptable textile.

So check on the environmental page of your state’s official site for more information.


I hope you learned something new about bed sheets. You have learned that thread count isn’t as important as most buyers believe it is.

Just try and get the right sheets for your needs.

Breathable, hypoallergenic sheets work just fine for most people, so consider these two factors too when shopping.

CC featured image courtesy of Dreams Beds and Mattresses on Flickr

Author: Brenda

Brenda Nadi is a proud mama, entrepreneur, and sleep blogger. She creates guides, tips, and reviews of sleep products that make comfortable environments for new buyers.

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