Bed Linen Buying Guide
August 02, 2017

When you’re trying to find out which is the best bed linen to buy, it’s easy to get a bit lost in the confusing terms. One set’s made of cotton, another’s made of part cotton and part polyester – but what’s the difference? Have a look below at all the different types and then make your choice with ease. 

Fabric types


A natural fibre, cotton is best known for being cool, soft and breathable. You can cosy up in the lightweight sheets without overheating and, as they’re made of natural material, you can wash them at a higher temperature.


Cheaper than natural fibres, polyester is man-made and much stronger than cotton. It dries quickly and tends to trap more heat than cotton because it’s synthetic. It also wrinkles less, saving you time and effort when it comes to the ironing. If you have allergies, however, it would be best to opt for natural bed sheets as synthetic ones can be a little irritating.


Lots of bed sheets are made of blended fabrics, which are usually the most inexpensive, durable, and wrinkle-resistant – great if you’ve got kids or want bedding that you don’t need to iron much. The most common mix is polycotton – a combination of cotton and polyester – but you can also find cotton/rayon and cotton/bamboo.

Thread count


In a nutshell, thread count refers to the number of threads in a square inch of fabric – both vertical and horizontal. Generally, the higher the count, the softer and more durable the fabric is, and the better it will wear with time. A count between 200 and 800 is fairly normal, whereas 1200 is particularly luxurious. Thread count shouldn’t be the main factor you look at when buying bed linen but it’s a good thing to bear in mind.

Weaves and finishes

Percale weave

This is a plain weave which gives a matt finish and a crisp, fresh feel. Great for people who get hot when they sleep due to its light feel.

Satin weave

Satin weave produces a very soft, lustrous finish with a silky feel on one side and a matt finish on the other.


Similar to satin weave in appearance and texture, sateen is made of cotton - or sometimes rayon - and is usually a little more durable than satin weave.

Jacquard weave

Made using a special loom, jacquard weave produces woven-in patterns or designs on the end product.