When buying bed sheets there are a few things to consider. Think about the materials, the weave and the thread count you are after, making sure that they align with your lifestyle, and the climate you live in. Once that is taken care of you can move on to size and pattern.
In terms of material, cotton is the most popular. However, not all cotton blends are created equal, and vary in both quality and feel. Sheets that are declared 'cotton rich' are those which are comprised of at least 50% of pure cotton.
Egyptian cotton is the créme de la créme of cotton. It is is built to last and gets softer with each wash, but tends to be a bit more expensive. Pima cotton or upland cotton are great, more affordable alternatives. Jersey cotton is stretchy and soft, but is less durable and often begins to pill after a while, while flannel offers a thicker, fuzzier feel that is ideal for those of us sleeping through cold winter nights.
For those of us who don't want cotton sheets, there are other options too. Linen, silk and satin to name a few. Linen is an excellent cooling material. It is light and fluffy and perfect for the summer months. Plus it gets softer with every wash. Silk is a very luxurious material for sheets. Although they are beautiful and lavish, they are an investment and can be more laborious to care for. Satin is often used as an alternative to silk, as it still offers an alluring, romantic feel but is made out of synthetic fibres making it more affordable.
And finally, for those of us looking to be more environmentally friendly with our sheet selection, try Tencel or Bamboo sheets. Bamboo sheets are wrinkle resistant, durable, hypoallergenic and breathable, not to mention soft. Tencel offers similar qualities and is entirely recyclable.
Now that we have thought a bit about materials, let's talk about the weave of sheets. For the most part, sheets are constructed through one of four main weaving techniques; percale, sateen, twill and dobby. Percale sheets are made with cotton, are perfect in hotter climates, and get softer with every wash. Sateen weaves on the other hand are less durable than percale sheets and are better suited for cooler climates. Twill sheets are thick and wrinkle resistant and generally affordable, but are more prone to shrinkage, while dobby weaves are used to create patterns on the sheets, giving them more texture.
Lastly, the thread count. Thread count is the number of horizontal and vertical threads in one square inch of material. Generally, the higher the thread count, the smoother and more durable the sheet but this rule may vary depending on the material being used. For example linen sheets tend to have a lower thread count of around 120 while cotton sheets would need upwards of 500.
After you have these things sorted, all you have to do is pick the right size for your bed, and pattern for your room. You choose.