Home experts share their favorite bedroom sheet sets – Lifotravel

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Choosing a set of sheets is a largely subjective decision. Sleeping habits, after all, are about as personal and individualized as it gets.

Even the long-heralded objective measure of sheets — thread count — does not reliably reflect quality these days, says Laura Fenton, author of “The Bunk Bed Book.” Manufacturers sometimes get creative with their counting, she says, to give the appearance of higher-quality material. (An exception: It’s a good measure if the sheets are 100 percent cotton.)

How do you choose what’s right for you, then, whether it’s an inexpensive set you can swap out when you update the look of your bedroom, pricier sheets that will last for years or a particular material that allows you to feel cooler or warmer when you sleep? Start with the material. Sheets made of cotton, a soft and durable natural fiber, are always a safe bet, says Lexie Sachs, executive director of the Textiles, Paper and Apparel Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute in New York. They’re ideal “for those who want a natural, crisp feel,” she says.

We asked Fenton, Sachs and April Gandy, an interior designer in Chicago, to share their favorite sheets. Here are their picks.

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If you’re looking for something thicker, with a silky feel and a loose-knit weave for warmth, consider sheets made with cotton sateen. In the lab’s extensive testing, Brooklinen’s sateen Luxe Core sheet set ($159-$239, brooklinen.com) was the winner in the cotton category. “It feels substantial, really smooth,” Sachs says.

Percale cotton sheets are lighter, crisper and more breathable than sateen. Fenton recommends the solid hemstitched Supima percale sheet set ($59-$69 for a pair of pillowcases; $59-$99 each for top and fitted sheets, garnethill.com). “Garnet Hill’s quality is consistently high, and I like a hemstitch detail better than an embroidered one,” she says, for keeping sheets flat without ironing. (Supima is a brand of Pima cotton, which has long, uniform fibers that make these sheets feel extra luxurious.)

Flannel or brushed-cotton sheets have raised fibers that trap more air and feel warmer. Sachs likes Parachute’s brushed-cotton sheets ($100-$110 for a top sheet; $110-$120 for a fitted sheet; $59-$69 for a pillowcase set; parachutehome.com). “They feel great and they’re not too hot,” she says.

Linen sheets are also gaining in popularity, Sachs says. And although you can find high-quality options from plenty of brands, they can be expensive. Fenton likes H&M’s washed linen fitted sheets for the price ($74.99-$89.99, hm.com). “They usually have a couple neutral options and a couple tasteful colors,” she says. Skip the top sheet, she says, in favor of the linen duvet cover set ($129-$169, hm.com).

Another natural fiber option: hemp. “I predict we’ll be seeing more of it as people get to know it better,” Fenton says. She likes Evenfall’s hemp sheet sets ($370-$440, evenfallhome.com), which she says feel cool and wash and wear “beautifully.” Beware, though, that these sets work better with deeper mattresses, she says. And be leery of sheets marketed as having the natural fibers of bamboo or eucalyptus, Sachs cautions. Often, “there’s no bamboo or eucalyptus within the fabric,” she says.

Gandy prefers microfiber, because sheets made with polyester will be less expensive and softer, and they’ll be more shrink- and wrinkle-resistant than their natural-fiber counterparts. “They’re not super expensive or fancy,” she says. Gandy looks for them on Amazon or from Target. She particularly likes Target’s Room Essentials sheet sets in classic white or fun patterns ($9.50-$22, target.com). “One thing I love about cost-effective sheet sets is that you can play with color and pattern, so you can have some variety,” she says.

And for kids, Fenton recommends just using a fitted sheet and a duvet, so it’s easier to make the bed, including on hard-to-reach bunk beds. She particularly likes Beddy’s zipper all-in-one bedding sets ($149.95-$309.95, beddys.com). They have built-in fitted sheets and zip-on comforters to further streamline the bed-making process.

Lindsey M. Roberts is a freelance writer in North Carolina.

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