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Want the Softest Sheets? Here's a Comprehensive Buying Guide

Softest Sheets
Planning to buy bed sheets? Where can you find the softest sheets? Here's some information that will help you select the softest bed sheets for your home.
Smita Pandit
Last Updated: Apr 9, 2018
After a hard day at work, it is extremely essential to get adequate sleep so that the fatigued muscles of your body get rejuvenated. For getting proper sleep, one needs to sleep on a mattress that will support the spine properly. Though a mattress should neither be too hard nor too soft, bed sheets should always be soft. A bed with soft sheets and fluffy pillows certainly looks very inviting. No wonder, most of us look for a soft, breathable fabric while buying bed sheets.

We do want the pillows and bed sheets to be 'super soft' as well as durable. Since most of the big stores have huge sections filled with various brands of bed sheets, finding the softest ones becomes a very difficult task. What are the other qualities we must look for while selecting bed sheets? This question pops up every time you go shopping for bed sheets. Let's find out what makes some bed sheets softer than the others.
Tips for Buying Bed Sheets
Several high-end departmental stores have vast sections for bed linen. Though bed sheets are made from different types of material such as cotton, satin, silk, flannel etc., the ones that are made of 100% cotton are the softest. You must be wondering why? Here's some information on what makes cotton the best fabric for bed sheets.
Thread Count
Woman making bed
While shopping for bed linen, do not forget to ask for a bed sheet with a high thread count. The bed sheets with a high thread count are certainly the softest. A thread count is determined by how many threads in the fabric crisscross one another within each square inch. The higher the thread count, the softer the bed sheet, but let me tell you, the price also goes higher with the thread count. If you are looking for those super-soft bed sheets, be ready to shell out more money. You might have heard about Egyptian or brushed cotton sheets that are made of very soft fibers. These bed sheets have a high thread count and are made of natural fibers. Though cotton is categorized into 100% regular cotton, Pima cotton and the Egyptian cotton, it is the Egyptian cotton sheets that are considered to be the softest. You might also have come across bed sheets made from poly-cotton blend. Though these are not as expensive as Egyptian cotton and don't wrinkle like cotton, when it comes to softness poly-cotton blend bed sheets don't score that well. A cotton-poly blend with a higher percentage of polyester and a higher thread count will certainly not be as soft as a bed sheet that is made from 100% cotton even though it may have a lower thread count.
Ply of the Fabric
Soft bedsheet
This is another factor that affects the durability of the fabric. The thickness of the thread and the ply of fabric can certainly affect the texture of the fabric. The 'ply of the fabric' is a term used to describe the number of threads that are wrapped together into a single thread. In case of double ply fabrics, two pieces of thread are joined together. While single-ply fabric appears to be thinner and delicate, double-ply fabrics usually have a heavier feel as the yarn is plied from two threads. When you buy a bed sheet that has a thread count of 600, it could either contain 600 single-ply threads or 300 double-ply threads. When this fact was brought to the notice of the Federal Trade Commission, the American Society for Testing and Materials International issued a guideline stating that plied yarns should be counted as one thread for the purposes of calculating the thread count. However, manufacturers may or may not follow this guideline. So, it would be best to go for bed sheets made from single-ply thread with a high thread count.
Other Factors
Different grades of cotton are marked by the length of their fiber. The longer fiber makes the cotton softer. So, the softest bed sheets to buy would be ones with long fibers and a high thread count. You should look for 100% Egyptian cotton or a variety called SUPIMA cotton. Besides thread count and the ply of the fabric, the weave type and fabric content also makes a difference. A twill weave makes the flannel cotton sheets very fluffy and soft. You could also check out percale sheets that come in 100% cotton or a blend of 50% cotton and 50% polyester. Percale refers to a weaving pattern where each thread passes under and over one thread. Egyptian cotton percale sheets with 100% cotton will certainly be softer than the cotton-poly blend percale sheets. You could also check out the plain-stitch 'jersey knit sheets'. These bed sheets are quite soft as well. While bed sheets made from cotton are great for summer as well as winter, flannel and bamboo are materials that are soft and will keep you warm during winters.
Now that you know what makes some bed sheets softer than the others, the next time you go shopping for bed linen, do buy a bed sheet made from long stable cotton with a thread count higher than 200. Keep the aforementioned aspects in mind as these will help you find the softest sheets for your home.