Cotton bed sheets are the most common to go to bedding material. Even pillow and bolster cases are mostly made from cotton. There are also different types of cotton out there in the market from Supima, standard cotton, cotton blends to percale. We break them down for you and share how to choose the best cotton bed sheets in Singapore.
100% Egyptian cotton is the best cotton you can find out there. However, the word “Egyptian cotton” has no value as a qualitative guarantee. Egyptian cotton is known for its extra long fibres. But the USA, Peru and India are other countries that also produce sufficiently long cotton fibres. Long cotton fibres product sheets that are smooth, thin, strong and long-lasting. It also doesn’t poke out of the weave. Some brands take advantage of consumers’ confusion regarding long cotton and use it as a marketing ploy to justify the high prices of their product and to name their bed linen product as made from Egyptian cotton. The only way to find out is to ask the store of the origin of the cotton and about the quality of fibres and yarn.
The next best cotton is pima cotton otherwise known as Supima. Pima cotton is soft and less prone to pilling like conventional cotton. Supima cotton is unique for its extra-long staple fibre giving the cotton its premium in strength, softness and colour retention.
Neither percale or sateen is better. It really depends on your taste and your needs. The difference lies in their weave. Percale follows a one-yarn-over and one-yarn under grid pattern. The effect is a cool matte finish without any sheen or luster. The weave makes percale extremely breathable and a very suitable fibre choice for bedding. Percale bed sheets are ideal for hot sleepers.
Sateen on the other hand gives the effect of a soft lustrous sheen. Sateen sheets are woven from combed or long-fibre cotton threads. The long cotton fibres are then mercerized, meaning it is soaked in lye and then in acid to seal the fibres making them more durable, stronger and long lasting compared to untreated cotton. The mercerization also gives the fibre a smoother and more reflective surface and helps it resist mildew making it a good choice for anyone suffering from allergies. Compared to percale, sateen is heavier. If you are unsure whether to go for sateen or percale, ask for a swatch display at the shop for a touch test.
Thread counts are not as important as you think. Although it is the barometer used to find the best quality bed linen, it has also been used as a marketing ploy for sales. It depends on the number of threads woven into a square inch of a fabric. We covered the misconceptions on thread counts. Just remember, the fibre used is more important than the thread count itself to determine the quality of bed sheets.