How to choose sheets for your bed for a better night's sleep

Tuck yourself in

Two images of bed with green comforter on green marbelled background
(Image credit: Dormify)

Ok, so you’d think that the process of picking out new sheets for your bed would be as simple as strolling into the store and picking out a set of sheets within your price range, wouldn’t you? And yet, the process can be complex and even a lil' overwhelming. 

There are just so many options to choose from. There are different weaves. Various thread counts. A mixture of materials. Ugh. And then there are the sizes — how do you know if a standard-size sheet will fit your bed? You want sheets that are going to last over the years and hold up in the wash but are also within your price range. Who'd have thought shopping for sheets could be so stressful? 

That said, panic not because we've got you on this. To give you a helping hand, we’ve put together a simple guide to all the ins and outs of choosing sheets for your bed and how you can ensure that you select the best ones. 

How to choose the best sheets for your bed

1. Be mindful of fiber content 

So, let's chat fiber. It sounds a little odd but when it comes to sheets the fiber type matters. Different fibers impact the feel and quality of your sheets, so it pays to be selective. 

If price isn’t an issue, you can’t go wrong with 100% cotton sheets (especially as they’re silky soft, and super durable). For an even smoother sleep experience, you could opt to upgrade to Egyptian or Pima cotton, which costs a little more but is even softer and more durable. 

For a lower-cost option, look for cotton and polyester blended sheets. These tend to have a more synthetic feel but are more durable and longer lasting, plus are less prone to creasing. 

2. Thread count isn’t everything 

You naturally assume that the higher the thread count the better quality the sheets, right? I hear you on this. But that isn't necessarily the case. 

So, when it comes to shopping for new sheets, you need to understand that some sheets with high thread counts have actually been artificially inflated, with the material being crafted from triple-ply fibers rather than single-ply. This means that for each fiber used the thread count triples — so a sheet that has 300 fibers in it, would be counted as a 900 thread count sheet.

Obvi, some high thread count sheets are the real deal, but knowing how to spot the differences is a must. Luckily, by reading the label you should be able to determine whether a sheet's thread count has been artificially inflated. 

3. Take weaves into account 

It’s also a good idea to take into account the different sheet weaves and what they mean in terms of the feel and comfort of your sheets. The two most common weave options are percale or sateen. Percale is a grid-like weave, while sateen is a satin weave that feels silkier and smoother. 

In terms of which weave is best, it's a personal preference. If you currently have sheets that you love, determine what weave they use and opt for new sheets with the same weave. 

4. Think about mattress depth (not just standard sheet sizes) 

A common mistake that many people make when it comes to choosing sheets is assuming that a standard-sized sheet will fit their mattress depth. The fact is that newer mattresses, especially mattresses in a box, tend to be deeper than traditional mattress designs, which means that standard sheet sizes don’t always work. So, if you have a deep mattress or you have a mattress topper on your mattress, it’s important to take those factors into account before buying sheets. To combat this issue, some people choose to size up their bedding or opt for deep-fit sheets instead of regular fit. 

Beth Mahoney
Staff Writer

Hi! I’m Beth Mahoney and I’m a Staff Writer at Real Homes. I’ve been a journalist for the national press for the past six years, specializing in commerce and trends-related lifestyle articles, from product reviews and listicles to guides and features. With an eye for pretty things (think: quirky wall prints, scalloped edge furniture, and decadent-looking tableware) but a limited budget, I love nothing more than a bargain buy.