Bedding Buying Guide
Here at The Luxe Company, we understand that buying quality bedding can be a confusing process. Here's our guide to help you choose what's right for you.
Yarn is the starting point for great-quality bed linen. Yarn quality is the key to producing fabric that looks, launders and wears exceptionally well to create outstanding and reputable bed linen.
Thread count refers to the number of threads in a square inch of fabric. It's a measure of how closely woven the fabric is. Different types of bed linen require different thread counts so don't be seduced by claims of high thread count numbers alone. High thread count cotton bed linen will usually retail at a higher price but there's nothing quite as luxurious to sleep in due to it's ultra-fine weave.
Linen bedding is also regarded as one of the most luxurious fabrics to sleep in. Linen is made from 100% natural organic fibres that come from Flax. Linen fibres are naturally hypoallergenic, anti-bacterial and anti-mycotic. It has a natural pH balance which helps to soften and preserve the skin. Unlike cotton, linen bedding is not classified by thread count. Breathable like a second skin, Linen can help to regulate your temperature. It absorbs moisture in the heat and retains body heat in the cold. Linen does wrinkle because it does not have elastic properties in its fibre. It is 2-3 times stronger than cotton and continues to soften over time.
Egyptian cotton bed linen has become very popular in recent years. For many years one type of cotton was regarded the same as another and it was actually the ‘thread count’ of the cotton fabric that was the only important factor when choosing quality bed linen. This is no longer the case as consumer guidelines for buying bedding suggest that cotton from Egypt is superior to other cotton. But why is this? And does Egyptian cotton really produce better quality bed linen? What difference does it make?
As a natural product, the quality of the cotton used to make the thread is paramount in creating high quality woven bed linen. This can be affected by growing conditions (weather, soil, temperature) and of course, the plant type. Egyptian-grown cotton is known for its ability to create extra long staples, or fibres. These fibres can produce yarns that are thinner than other cottons because of their longer length. This yarn is smaller in diameter yet stronger than other cottons. Smaller yarn means that more threads per square inch of material can be used to create a more luxurious fabric which is stronger, lighter in weight, yet breathes well.
As already mentioned, many buyers think that choosing high thread count sheets is the only gauge of quality. This is not true, as in the case of Egyptian-grown cotton the threads in are longer, stronger and closer together. Furthermore, 100% Egyptian cotton fabrics resist pilling or “surface balling” after repeated washings, as the cotton plants used to make it don’t produce a lot of lint, unlike other cottons, or blended Egyptian cottons, which may pill. If properly cared for, bed linen produced from Egyptian cotton can last for decades.
Quality cotton bed linen starts at around 180 threads per inch, with varying thread counts up to 1000 which provide superior luxury. Bed linen made from lower thread count fabric will be harder wearing and have a super crisp feel as the individual threads are thicker, whereas bed linen with a silky satin feel is provided by the thinner threads, such as those of the higher thread count bed linen.
Bear in mind that the feel of bed linen created from Egyptian grown cotton is a bit harder than other cottons when the bedding is new. However, with every wash, Egyptian cotton duvet covers, sheets and pillowcases become softer and softer. Like a fine wine, Egyptian cotton bedding definitely improves with age and, unlike many products, you will prize it more and more with time and use.
Well basically, it's down to personal choice as cotton and linen each have their own advantages and disadvantages. We recommend you take the following into consideration when deciding which to choose.
So please consider whether you prefer hotel style crisp Egyptian cotton bed linen, or a softer more luxurious feel. Are you looking for bed linen with a strong construction, able to withstand frequent washing, or perhaps short term luxury is more important? Comfort is all important in creating the perfect night’s sleep, and the right bed linen is a vital part of this.