Today’s world is all about choices. We have so many decisions to make on a daily basis because we have more options in front of us than ever before. From what to eat, what to wear, and what bedding material to use, anything we want is just a mouse click away from being delivered to our door.
It’s great to have all those choices. But it means you have to do some homework before you purchase something to make sure it’s what you truly want and need. To help you learn about the best material for bedding, we’ve prepared this guide.
The Most Popular Fabric for Bed
Cotton sheets remain the top contender in the bedding industry. Does that mean it’s the best bedding material though? Not exactly.
Cotton is the fabric that people are used to having on their beds. It may be the fabric they grew up using. After all, it’s been a staple fabric for several thousands of years in some capacities.
As a sheet fabric, cotton has a lot going for it. It’s comfortable, widely accessible to purchase, everyone has heard of it, and, most of the time, it’s pretty affordable unless you’re after the more expensive Egyptian cotton.
So while cotton is still the reigning king of the industry, there are other good quality bedding options that are gaining steam, like eucalyptus.
The Best Fabrics For Bed
If you’re looking for the best quality bedding, you need to know the pros and cons of each of the types of fabric available.
There are different kinds of cotton, and your bedding experience will depend upon which one you choose. If you’re looking for high-quality luxury, choose Egyptian cotton with its long fibers, smooth texture, and high thread count. Pima cotton is also an outstanding choice because of its softness. Upland cotton is popular because of its lower price point, although it’s not as soft.
- It’s soft.
- Cotton is available in a wide range of prices.
- The fabric is breathable, which is a plus for sweaty sleepers.
- It’s easy to clean and dry.
- It tends to shrink with repeated washing and drying.
- If you want ultra soft sheets, you’ll have to stretch your budget for the more expensive cotton which has a higher number of threads.
- Not fully wrinkle-resistant -- you may have to iron your sheets for a wrinkle-free look.
If you’re looking for a smooth, amazing feel against your skin, silk is one of the best fabrics. Silk pillowcases resting against the face is the ultimate in luxury.
If you’re warm, you’re instantly cooled down when you touch these bed sheets. But as great as silk feels, this fabric choice does have some significant cons.
- Silk sheets feel incredibly luxurious against your skin.
- They give a romantic feel to any bedroom.
- Silk is a hypoallergenic choice which is good for allergy sufferers.
- This fabric helps your body regulate its temperature -- you’ll stay cool in the heat and warm in the cold weather.
- Silk is so delicate that it’s hard to care for without snagging or harming the sheets.
- Since they are so delicate, they also don’t stand up well to heavy usage. Don’t expect these sheets to last for years.
- The price can be steep for silk sheets.
- Sweat can stain this fabric.
Some people consider good linen sheets a luxury buy. It’s not the most practical of fabrics for your bedding, but they feel so comfortable that some buyers are willing to overlook linen’s downsides.
- It’s a highly breathable fabric.
- Linen is a cooling choice for hot sleepers.
- It’s so strong that a good linen sheet set can hold up for decades of use.
- It’s one of the wrinkliest fabrics for sheets. It will look messy unless you keep it well ironed.
- Linen can be pricey.
Bamboo has been a more recent addition to the bedding industry.
- Bamboo is a sustainable source of bedding material because it grows so fast.
- It’s soft.
- The fabric is breathable.
- It doesn’t use an eco-friendly manufacturing process. It takes a lot of chemicals to produce fibers from bamboo. It’s potentially one of the least environmentally-friendly bedding choices.
This fabric is made from eucalyptus, and it’s attracting a lot of attention when it comes to luxury natural bedding. You can find an entire bedding set made from this plant, including cooling bedding sheets, a eucalyptus duvet cover, pillow cases, and even eye masks.
- Tencel is super soft.
- It’s produced in an environmentally-friendly way.
- It’s a cooling fabric.
- Tencel is a good choice for those with allergies and sensitive skin.
- It resists wrinkles better than most bedding choices.
- While still fairly breathable, it can feel a little damp at times.
- It’s not as easy to care for as cotton is.
This fiber isn’t natural and can be a little harsh feeling on the skin, so you’ll often find it used in conjunction with another fabric for sheets. Unless you’re on a tight budget, there are better sheet options out there.
- This bedding material is cheap.
- It resists wrinkles well.
- It’s durable -- you can toss it in the washer and dryer.
- Polyester doesn’t have the most comfortable feel against the skin.
- Not great in terms of being eco-friendly.
Bedding Shopping Tips
If you’re going to be buying new bedding soon, here are some practical tips to help you find the best fabric for you and your lifestyle.
- Ask a friend what they use: They may have tried one of the sheets you’re considering and hated it. If they’ve found a sheet set they love, it’s worth considering whether you want it too.
- Define your number one goal: Is your goal to find a hypoallergenic sheet that cuts down on your allergy symptoms, or is it to find the softest sheet out there? Having a defined purpose can help you narrow down your choices.
- Look at your budget: It is worth splurging on a great sheet set? Absolutely. But is it worth it if you’re up at night, every night, worried about finances? Maybe not.
- You’ll be fine with a mid-range thread count: Don’t listen to the sheet snobs who tell you that anything less than 1,000 thread count is like sleeping on sandpaper. It’s not true. There are great sheets in the 300 to 500 thread count range.
Think long term: If you find yourself having to replace your sheet set every year, maybe it’s time to spring for a better quality set. Great sheet sets can last for decades in some cases.
Sleep on Your Decision
There’s no need to run out and buy the first sheet set you think looks decent enough. Spend a little time mulling over your options to make sure you get a bedding set that you’ll be happy with for the long haul.