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What Are the Different Types of Bedroom Sheets?

By T. L. Childree
Updated May 16, 2024
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There are many different types of bedroom sheets with various degrees of comfort and durability. Cotton sheets are the most common type sold and are available in an array of thread counts and weaves. Sheets made from flannel are thick and warm, while jersey sheets provide a soft and stretchable bedcovering. Polyester bedroom sheets are constructed of durable, man-made materials that can sometimes be uncomfortable on which to sleep. Another option includes satin sheets, which are very attractive, but not particularly comfortable, while silk bedcoverings usually have a soft, luxurious feel.

The majority of bedroom sheets are made of natural cotton threads, with the number of threads contained in these sheets significantly affecting the overall softness and durability. Higher thread counts usually produce a softer, more durable sheet, while lower counts typically feel rough and wear out quickly. The variety of cotton used for construction may also affect the softness and durability. Egyptian cotton is generally considered to be the softest and most durable variety.

Cotton bedroom sheets are also manufactured in several different weaves. Sateen weaves are very soft and smooth, but provide little durability, while a standard weave cotton sheet is usually more durable, but less soft than sateen. Pinpoint weaves are generally softer than standard-weave sheets and have greater durability than sateen-weave sheets. Also available are twill weaves, which are soft, durable, and produce a smooth, wrinkle-free sheet.

Flannel bedroom sheets are usually much thicker to provide added warmth during cold weather. The warmth and softness of these bedcoverings is determined by their weight rather than thread count or weave. A heavyweight sheet is typically softer, thicker, and more durable than a lighter version. Jersey sheets are made of a soft, stretchable material and can also provide some additional warmth in cold weather, as this material is very durable and usually makes an attractive bedcovering.

Polyester sheets are often used for commercial applications such as hotels and hospitals. This man-made material is usually very durable and easy to maintain. Polyester bedcoverings tend to be less comfortable than cotton sheets and their softness is not affected by thread count. Allergic reactions have also been known to occur when sleeping on polyester fabrics.

Satin bedroom sheets are usually very attractive, but may also be uncomfortable. It is important to choose the correct type for maximum comfort. Knit satin is often very stiff and shiny, while woven satin is usually softer and less glossy. Silk sheets are very soft and luxurious, but generally more expensive to purchase, but are naturally hypoallergenic and suitable for year-round use.

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Discussion Comments

By kylee07drg — On Jun 25, 2012

I usually buy cotton queen bed sheets of medium thread count. I don’t want to buy the absolute cheapest kind, because they are not very comfortable. I also don’t want to spend a fortune, so I go with the ones in the middle.

They are what I have always thought of as typical sheets. They smooth out the top of the mattress, and they provide a layer of protection between my body and the blanket, which has a few rough spots.

They just do what sheets are intended to do. They are not fancy, but they are of good quality.

By wavy58 — On Jun 24, 2012

@cloudel - I do love jersey sheets, but it gets extremely cold where I live. So, I prefer to use flannel bedroom sheet sets on my mattress.

They actually feel a little bit like a fuzzy blanket. They are thinner than a blanket, but they are definitely thicker than your typical sheet.

If I am sandwiched between a couple of these at night with a thick comforter on top, I stay cozy. I don’t even have to wear my thick pajamas to sleep anymore.

For the coldest nights, I have a flannel comforter that matches one set of sheets. It doesn’t get any cozier than this.

By cloudel — On Jun 23, 2012

Jersey sheets are my favorite kind. They are not expensive, and when I lie down at night, I feel like I’m lying on a huge t-shirt.

You can stretch them out easily just by pulling. So, once you pull the bottom sheet across the mattress, it will pretty much stay in place and not get all wrinkly.

Jersey sheets are a lot warmer than thin cotton ones. I have three sets of jersey sheets that I rotate out during the winter. I don’t generally use them in the summer, though, because they make me a little too warm then.

By shell4life — On Jun 23, 2012

Of all the bed sheet sizes, king is the most expensive. Of all the types of sheets sold at my local department store, Egyptian cotton is the most high-priced. I own a king size bed, and that’s why I only have one set of Egyptian cotton sheets.

It was a wedding gift, and I could not have afforded to buy it with my salary. The sheets are 600 thread count, and they feel luxurious.

The material looks a bit like satin, but it feels silky. I love lying on these sheets. They feel cool to the touch in summer.

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