6 Tips For Choosing The Right Bed Linen For You

Did you know we spend around one-third of our lives in bed?

Surely, then, we should choose bedding and bed linen that makes this time as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. But with so many different types of bedding to choose from, where do we even start?

Start with us. The experts here at Sleep and Beyond can guide you through the process of choosing the bed linen that’s right for you.

Let’s start with quality:

This is where many people get confused, and we’d like to debunk a little myth before we go any further: a high thread count does not always indicate quality.

But what does thread count mean? Thread count refers to the number of threads per square inch of fabric, and higher thread counts have often been thought to indicate higher quality. However, if the quality of the yarn is low, a higher thread count isn’t going to do anything for the overall quality of the bedding. So how do you know if the quality really is high? The best indication is always price. If you find a high thread count sheet for a too-good-to-be-true price, odds are it’s not all that great after all.  

Bedding comes in all sorts of different fabrics, and each different type will have an effect on comfort and feel. The most common fabrics are cotton, silk, linen and poly-blend, and the type you choose will largely come down to personal preference.

Cotton bedding is a very popular choice, particularly the highest quality Egyptian cottons which produce some of the most sumptuously soft sheets on the market. Cotton is durable, versatile and breathable, making it ideal for luxury bed linen.

Poly-blend bedding mixes soft cotton fibres with polyester, and is a hugely popular choice for many homeowners due to the fact that it is comfortable and easy to care for.

Linen is renowned for its uncanny ability to keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Yes, you’ll have to accept its wrinkly, less-ironed look, but it is luxuriously soft to sleep under and gets softer with each wash.

Lastly we have silk; one of the most expensive fabrics to choose from, but well worth it. Silk is naturally hypo-allergenic and, like linen, has the ability to keep you cool in summer and warm in the winter. The only downside is that it is fairly high-maintenance due to its delicate nature, so it’s not ideal for busy households.

The way your bed linen is woven will also have a big effect on the way it feels and looks. The two most common weave types are percale and sateen.

Percale is a simple, plain weave that creates a flat, crisp finish and feels cool against the skin. Sateen weaves (not to be confused with Satin) are usually made with cotton and are characterised by their softness and subtle sheen, perfect if you love the silky feel for your bed linen.

Brushed cotton is also popular with those who prefer the extra soft touch, as the delicate brushing process gives cotton bedding an extra cosy feel.

Other weaves are also available, such as jacquard – a weave that creates a pattern of flat matte parts and raised sateen parts –, twill or herringbone – a weave with characteristic diagonal lines and lightweight feel –, and flannel – fabric that is woven and then brushed on both sides for a super soft finish.

Have a feel of a range of different weaves to see which one you like the look and feel of the most.

The way your bedding looks is just as important as the type of fabric and weave, and can drastically alter the aesthetic of your bedroom. Don’t be afraid of introducing patterns; some weaves such as waffle and jacquard will automatically inject a patterned element, which is a great start, but you also can mix and match patterns and prints if you know what you’re doing.

Our advice would be to aim for a mixture of different pattern sizes for pillows, duvet covers, cushions and throws, as it’ll look too busy if they’re all the same size. You should also make sure you keep every element to roughly the same colour group to avoid the whole ensemble looking too chaotic.

This depends largely on the type of fabrics you have chosen. Linen, silk and Egyptian cotton will usually do a fine job of keeping you nice and cool in the summer and perfectly warm in the winter, so there shouldn’t be any need to change your bed linen from season so season. (Though you may want to change your duvet, depending on the type you have. Check out our duvet tog guide for more tips on this).

If you do find yourself feeling a little too chilly in the winter months, however, flannel weave bedding is a great cosy winter option with it’s double-sided, brushed softness. Or, if you like the layered look, you can simply add a blanket or throw for extra warmth and style.

Different types of bed linen require different care processes, so make sure you keep your lifestyle in mind when choosing yours. If we don’t care for our bedding, it won’t last as long; it’s as simple as that.

Cotton and poly-blended cotton bedding types are among the easiest to care for. They are usually machine washable and the poly-blend in particular requires little to no ironing, making it perfect for busy family life with lots of laundry loads.

In contrast, silk is the hardest to care for. Super luxury bedding like this cannot be put through the washing machine, and must be gently hand washed and air-dried outdoors where possible. In other words, if you’ve got a huge family and very little spare time, give the silks a miss.

Linen bedding can also be machine washed, and actually benefits from regular washing as it becomes softer each time, making it just as practical as it is pretty.

No matter what bed linen you choose, always always always read the care label thoroughly to make sure you follow instructions and give your bedding the care it needs.

Here at Sleep and Beyond, all of our luxury bedding is easy to care for, wonderfully soft and designed with love, care and attention to detail. Take a browse through our bed linen collections and mix and match our luxury duvet covers, pillowcases, fitted sheets and flat sheets.

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