Nothing is worse than crawling into bed at the end of a long day and getting tangled up in bedding that you hate. Your bed is a haven, and your bedding should be worthy of such a cherished space; with that in mind… how do you know what kind of bedding you need?
WHAT ARE MICROFIBERS?
There are bedding options galore but one of the newest trends in sheeting is microfiber. microfiber sheets are made from, you guessed it, microfibers. A microfiber is a super thin synthetic fiber. In order for a fiber to be considered a microfiber it must be thinner than a denier (a unit of fiber thickness) to put this in perspective you should know that a strand of silk is around 1.25 deniers -- and about ⅕ the diameter of a human hair. These tiny threads, although not significantly strong on their own, are woven together to create a variety of enduring fabrics.
MICROFIBER SHEETS VS. COTTON SHEETS
The bulk of sheets available for purchase today are made of cotton, or a type of cotton weave. Typically you will find a couple of different types of cotton sheeting:
- Egyptian Cotton - Sheets are made from extra long staple cotton. This cotton produces a long thin fiber that makes for a softer feel and less pilling when woven.
- Cotton Sateen - Sheets are woven in a satin weave this weave makes the fabric sumptuously soft and appear to have a slight sheen.
- Cotton Jersey - Sheets are knit rather than woven resulting in a soft t-shirt like fabric that lacks some of the crispness of a woven cotton.
- Percale - Sheets made from a tight cotton weave with a minimum thread count of 200.
The biggest differences between these types of cotton sheets will be determined by the weave used and the thread count. The thread count is the number of horizontal and vertical threads per square inch, generally the higher the thread count the softer your sheets will be. These 800 thread count sheets have 400 horizontal threads woven with 400 vertical threads in every one square inch, and they feel like heaven.
The weave of your sheets will determine their look and durability; for instance the satin weave in sateen sheets makes them appear luminous, but because the weave is looser than say, percale sheets, they are often less durable. It is therefore important, especially in sateen sheets, to make sure that they have a high thread count, like this stunning set.
Microfiber and cotton sheets are fundamentally different -- microfiber sheets are produced from man made microfibers while cotton is woven from natural threads, but they can both yield excellent sheets. If the price of high quality cotton sheets is a concern, microfiber sheets can provide a similar level of luxury for a fraction of the price; these beautiful microfiber sheets will add a classic touch to your bedding without bankrupting you.
Because microfibers can be manufactured there is no cost for growing, harvesting, spinning, and weaving they way there is with cotton so the markup is far less. Microfiber sheets are typically a little thinner but are just as strong if not stronger and more durable than cotton sheets.
Cotton sheets in comparison, tend to be more breathable because they consist of natural fibers; so if you are looking to choose between the cool and crisp feeling of cotton and something that feels a little more snuggly microfiber sheets could be your solution. If you want to get even snugglier try checking out a microfiber blanket, they are so comfortable!
CARE AND MAINTENANCE
Because of the natural fibers of cotton, if you do not purchase a high quality weave or a high enough thread count cotton sheets tend to pill. Microfiber sheets can also pill but this happens less often, to avoid pilling make sure you purchase sheets with a higher denier count as these tend to be better quality.
Both microfiber and cotton sheets can be washed and dried as normal, although cotton tends to take longer as it is a heavier fabric. These fabrics are both color fast and usually wrinkle free although cotton has more of a tendency to shrink so make sure to wash and dry according to your package directions.
No matter which type of sheet you choose make sure that you look at it as an investment and go with a dense denier or high thread count. Look for thick and soft weaves that will last and continue to grow with you, you spend ⅓ of your life in bed, make sure you are comfortable!