Full disclosure first…I am a busy mother of 3 beautiful and rambunctious kids. I love my kids to pieces, and as many mothers do, I wear so many different hats. On a daily basis, I try to juggle my day job, with my part time job as my kids’ chauffeur, and my other part time job as the house cook (note that I didn’t say “chef”…since my cooking mostly consists of chicken nuggets and steamed broccoli, I know my limitations ;-)
And these are just 3 items on my ever growing and never ending “to do” list. So what do I want this Mother’s day? I want to sleep! I dream of a long night of uninterrupted sleep that will go into the late hours of the morning. I dream of waking up naturally when my body feels it had enough, and not at 4AM when my daughter needs to go potty, or at 6AM because my son has band practice at 7.
So since sleep is on my mind, this is the perfect opportunity to write about bedding fashion and choosing the perfect bed linens for the ultimate sleep experience.
When I was younger, in my pre-kids existence, I would splurge on bed sheets. I had a bit of an addiction to hotel style, expensive sheet sets that require a small mortgage. Having kids helped me realize that I need to be wiser with my spending habits. I kept one addiction (shoes) but when it comes to home decor, and specifically to bed linens, I find that a bit of research can get you a long way. My home is full of singular pieces that didn’t cost half of what they look like they cost, and when it comes to bedding, I still sleep on beautiful sheet sets, surrounded by comfy pillows and covered with fashionable comforters, which cost a fraction of the price. There are so many stores that sell value sets nowadays, the trick is to know what to look for.
When I look into buying a new sheet set, I look at 4 main factors: thread count, weave, material, and color:
Thread Count – often considered the single, most important factor to look for. A thread count refers to the number of threads woven into a square inch of fabric. In my experience however, the thread count is not always so reliable, and the type of material you choose is much more important. In theory, the higher the thread count, the softer the sheet. Good sheets range anywhere from 200 to 800, although you’ll occasionally see sheets with counts of over 1000. “Low thread count doesn’t always mean low-quality sheets.” Says Daniel Gabay, Senior VP for So Home Studio. “You can easily find 200-count Percale weave or 400 thread count sateen weave out there that are extremely nice and actually feel like they have a higher thread count. Nowadays, manufacturers use advanced technologies with less chemicals, using long stapled combed cotton which produce excellent results even with lower thread counts.”
Weave and Yarn- Weave is not always indicated on the packaging, but its nice to understand the difference between the various weaves:
- Sateen is cotton cloth made with a satin weave. It produces a very soft, lustrous feel but is often considered less durable than other weaves.
- Percale is a popular weave which produces durable, crisp and plain fabric. Most percale sheets have count of at least 180. It has a cool feel, so it is a good solution for people who get overheated when they sleep.
- Combed cotton has been combed to remove the short fibers and leave the long ones. This process produces a strong, soft fabric.
*Home Dynamix Microlush Hotel Sideline Set
Material- for me, this is the one thing I am really picky about. I am a cotton girl all the way. I like my sheets to be soft and breathable, and I simply can’t stand synthetic blends. When it comes to the kids’ sheets, I will often compromise with a cotton-polyester blend, but stick to a 90/10 blend, which makes it more durable but still gives it that cottony feel. As far as cotton goes, it is important to understand the difference in cotton blends. The number one choice is 100 percent Egyptian cotton. Its long fibers produce thin and luxurious yet extremely strong and long-lasting sheets . Another good choice is Pima cotton, also known as Supima. Note that when a label simply says “100 percent cotton,” it’s most likely American upland cotton, which is a rougher, less expensive variety.
Color- color is not usually considered a factor when choosing bed linens. Indeed, it is a very personal choice, depending on your own taste and design sensibilities. However, I do want to sing praise of the color white. With kids, it may sound like a counter intuitive choice. I can’t tell you how many times my 3 year old drooled on my pillows, or my 10 year old decided to do a handstand on my bed with hands that are less then pristine. However, my white sheets are so easily laundered and they always look crisp and clean. From a design perspective, white bed sets fit any room design, giving it that airy, spa like feel without overshadowing any design accents I have in the room. I simply love it.
*SoHome Studio Egyptian Cotton 800 Thread Count set