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How to Pick the Right Sheets

February 10th, 2012 Bed and Bath

Is your bed not as comfortable as you'd like it to be? Perhaps you're trying to figure out what you can do to make it the oasis of sleep that you've always wanted. Even the most comfortable mattress in the world won't compensate for rough bedding. Don't underestimate how important your sheets are! You're going to be between them all night, so you want them to be as comfy as possible. With all the variety out there, it can be a little tricky to find what's best for you. Here's a quick primer on buying new sheets, courtesy of LinenCloset.com.

1. The material. There's a reason cotton is such a popular bedding material - it's soft, fairly inexpensive and helps wick away moisture, so you don't wake up feeling clammy and sticky. There are alternatives out there, however. For instance, according to Cuddle Down, linen has been in use for thousands of years, and though it may not be quite as soft as cotton, it keeps moisture away just as effectively. Cashmere is another incredibly soft option, but be prepared to pay a premium if you want your bedding to be made from this material.

2. Thread count. In general, the higher the thread count, the higher the quality of the sheet. In the United States, this tops out at 310, though European sheets can go much higher. A thread count of about 200 is fairly standard, though if you'd like softer sheets, feel free to go higher.

3. The hand. The "hand" of a sheet is simply the way it feels to your touch. Even with all of the numbers in front of you, if you don't like the way a particular bedding feels, go ahead and walk away. There are many other factors influencing its quality, so don't feel as though you "have to" like a particular sheet because its thread count is 400 and it's made from 100 percent cotton.