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How to Pick the Perfect Sheets

One of the things that’s paramount to getting a good night’s sleep is having sheets that feel luxurious and comfortable against your skin. Warm flannel in the winter can help you feel cozy, while cool cotton sheets in the summer can help you cool off after a long day. Picking the perfect sheets is a simple operation, particularly if you know a little about thread count and material, in addition to how to fold and take care of sheets properly. With an arsenal of styles, colors and types of sheets at your disposal, west elm offers you many choices when it comes to outfitting your bedroom, no matter the season.


One of the main attributes that affect longevity and comfort when it comes to sheets is the thread count. It’s a common misconception that a high thread count is better when it comes to sheets, however, a medium to high thread count is a solid choice. If multiple yarns or materials are used within the weave, this can sometimes inflate the thread count, which makes the sheet unstable. A comfortable sheet usually falls within the 200- to 800-thread-count range. In addition to the thread count, material has a lot to do with the comfort level of the sheets.


Because of its softness and longevity, cotton, particularly organic cotton, has become a top choice for consumers. Cotton offers the feeling of crisp coolness in summer, whereas cotton flannel sheets can provide warmth in winter. Some materials, such as polyester, may be soft but don’t have the capability to flow with the temperature changes. Our organic cotton is always sourced fairly, eco-friendly and undeniably soft. Other materials that are comfortable next to bare skin include silk, Belgian flax and Jacquard. Jacquard refers more to the weave style and the loom the sheets are created on. Jacquard is often cotton but could be silk, linen or a blend of materials.


How you fold your sheets can help extend their longevity. Because of how often bedding is washed and dried, in time it has a tendency to pill or wear out. However, folding and storing sheets well has a positive effect on their condition. Folding your top sheet is a simple process. Just pull both corners, fold the sheet into a rectangle, and then fold it again into a square. Place folded sheets on top of each other, keeping top sheets with top sheets, fitted sheets with fitted sheets and pillowcases with pillowcases. A fitted sheet proves more difficult to fold for some people. If a fitted sheet is stored in wrinkled condition every time, in weeks and months those wrinkles will become semi-permanent, putting wear on the sheet. To fold a fitted sheet, fold the sheet in half and tuck the rounded corners to create a pocket on each side. This pocket will create a 90-degree corner. Once you have the corner, fold the fitted sheet regularly, folding it over until it has a neat square shape.


Making your bed every day and keeping your sheets smoothed out also extends their life - and a made bed is a terrific way to start the day. A bed typically begins with a bed skirt and mattress pad, although those are both optional. Next, the fitted sheet goes over the mattress or mattress and pad. The flat or top sheet then goes on top of the fitted sheet, although this is optional as well. Next, add layer, depth and warmth to the bed with a comforter with your favorite duvet cover, a large blanket or a quilt. Lastly, complete the bed with shams or pillows, along with decorative pillows to add a little character.

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