Expensive sheets can be good or bad quality however plausible the packaging or sales blurb. Even buying from a high street retailer doesn’t guarantee high quality sheets. In this 5-minute guide to buying sheets, you’ll find out what to look for and what to ask a retailer so you can enjoy endless luxury sleeps.
First, let’s answer the question. Are expensive sheets worth buying? Yes, but only if they are expertly made. Making the best linen requires artisanry at every stage of its journey to your bed, from growing and procuring the fibre and spinning the yarn to weaving, cutting and sewing. Care and attention in these processes increases the linen’s overall quality and lifespan and inevitably its price.
Questions to ask when buying luxury sheets
Fabric: what’s it made from?
Cotton is an easy winner for bedding. Soft, breathable and easy to wash, it is popular with both homeowners and hotels that need their linen to be luxurious, durable and easy to maintain. However, not all cotton is equal. The most comfortable sheets are made from long staple cotton. This type of natural fibre produces smoother, stronger and more durable sheets than those made from short staple cotton, which tends to be coarser and prone to annoying bobbles.
Ask: does the sheet say it’s made from single ply/long staple cotton?
Thread count: what's right for me?
Retailers and manufacturers often use thread count as a measure of quality. However, yarn quality, fabric construction and finish all matter when it comes to how well your bed linen looks, feels and lasts. The term thread count or ‘tc’ as it is also known refers to the number of horizontal and vertical threads per square inch of fabric. A high ‘tc’ typically creates a softer sheet.
The best thread count sheets vary between 200-600. Go higher and you may find the fabric less breathable and harder to wash. Most luxury 5 star hotel sheets are 300tc or 400tc, providing the perfect balance of luxury and practicality. For the ultimate silky-smooth experience, check out our exquisitely crafted 600 thread count sheets
Ask: What thread count do I really want? Take the steps below to find your results.
What our customers think:
Soft and Strong 400 Thread Count Fitted Sheet: “I am loving the smooth texture of the sheets every night when I crawl into my bed" Sayako O.
Green living: how sustainable is it?
The negative impact of fast fashion applies equally to bed linen. Your sheets need to last. While cotton is a natural, renewable resource that is grown without harmful chemicals, the way it is grown, procured, spun, and sewn into products all have an environment impact.
Tielle are proud members of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), the world’s leading sustainability initiative for cotton. Through this initiative Tielle helps communities survive and thrive, while protecting and restoring the environment. See how else the BCI and Tielle are making a difference around the world.
“By 2030 we aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions per tonne of Better Cotton produced by 50%” Better Cotton CEO, Alan McClay.
Ask: what green measures are the retailer/manufacturer taking in manufacturing sheets?
Flat or fitted: which is best?
This really is a matter of personal preference; the most important thing is it fits. Luxury hotels tend to use flat sheets rather than fitted sheets as they are easier to iron and neatly fold. Housekeepers also don’t need to lift up the mattress to remove a flat sheet. Flat or fitted sheets can be equally luxurious as long as they tick the quality box and the bed is properly made. Learn how to make a hotel bed in this video guide.
What our customers think:
Classic Hotel 300tc Flat Sheet: “The sheets have delivered in terms of high-quality feel and easily fit onto our thicker mattress” Matthew M.
Quality control: Cheap vs expensive sheets
The best way to ensure you’re getting what you pay for is to buy from a reputable linen retailer. You can also get a good indicator of a sheet’s luxury quality by sight and feel. To see for yourself the difference between cheap sheets and 5 star hotel sheets, take these simple steps. It can also be a useful test for finding out if it’s time to upgrade to more comfortable sheets.
Step 1: Hold the linen up to a light source and see how light filters through the weave. Uneven patches of light can suggest poor quality spinning and a weaker linen.
Step 2: Drape the linen across your hand and look across its surface. Hairy or fluffy linen won’t have been ‘singed’, a high-quality finishing process that results in soft, smooth long-lasting sheets.
Step 3: Inspect the linen for stray flecks of coloured thread or yarn. These shouldn’t be present in any high-quality products and can suggest an inferior product.
What our customers think:
Smooth & Silky 600 Thread Count Sheet: “The sheets feel very luxurious, soft and silky” Sally R.
For more advice...
Hear from our experts as they talk about how to choose the right thread count and best bed linen and sheets for your bed. You may also enjoy our ‘anyone can spin a yarn’ article that debunks common myths.