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Sheet Shop Buying Guide

Sheets & sheets set, including flat & fitted sheets, pillowcases & shams, are some of the most important items you’ll select for your bed.


Selecting your sheets is a big decision, since they will be against your skin each night while you sleep and also have major impact on your bedroom’s home décor scheme. Your sheets and pillowcase & shams require some careful consideration, so have a look at this advice from Sears Canada.

Sheet Basics

Before you set out to purchase sheets for your bed, consider the following helpful information:

  • Both sheets and mattresses come in a variety of depths, so measure the mattress pocket depth before buying sheets.
  • It is recommended that you have 3 sets of sheets for each bed in your home. That way, you can use one set on the bed, have a fresh set in the linen closet, and have one set being laundered at any given time.
  • If you have more than 2 pillows on your bed, look for sheet sets that also offer additional pillowcases that are sold separately, or even open stock sheets that allow you to buy extra pieces as needed.
  • Always follow the care instructions that are printed on the sheet labels for specifics on laundering to get the best results. Also, don’t forget to remove your sheets promptly from the dryer to minimize wrinkles.
  • There are many types and styles of sheets on the market, from jersey to linen and with thread counts ranging from 180 to 1000 or more. Before buying, see what kind of fibre is used, and what the sheets offer in thread count. Longer fibres like Egyptian, Supima and Pima make for a silkier texture while combed cotton, which is made up of shorter fibres, makes a softer overall fabric. Generally, the higher the thread count, the softer and more durable the sheets.  And remember, what feels best next to your skin is what matters the most!

Glossary of Terms

  • Combed Cotton: A standard grade cotton which has been combed to remove short fibres. The longer fibres left behind create a sheet with a softer feel.
  • Cotton: A soft fibre which grows around the seed of a cotton plant and is woven into thread. It is then used to manufacture a soft, breathable fabric. Cotton sheets are thought to be perfect for any season, are durable and withstand repeated washings very well.
  • Cotton/Polyester Blend: A fabric made from a blend of cotton and polyester. The addition of polyester to sheets makes them very easy to care for with less wrinkling.
  • Egyptian Cotton: Known as high-quality cotton, Egyptian cotton is grown alongside the Nile River, and owes its superior durability, luster and silkiness to its extra long fibres.
  • Flannel: A woven fabric usually made of cotton that has been brushed on both sides to give a warm, fleecy texture. It is available in a variety of weights which are measured in grams per square meter (GSM). Keep in mind, the higher the GSM, the heavier and thicker the sheet.
  • Jersey: A soft, stretchy knit fabric that is breathable, wrinkle-free and great for all weather conditions.
  • Mercerized Cotton: A cotton with a high luster and great strength.  It also holds coloured dyes well and experiences minimal shrinkage through washing versus non-mercerized cotton.
  • Percale: A smooth, closely woven fabric made of 100% cotton or a cotton/polyester blend. It is the quintessential sheet fabric known for its cool, crisp feel as well as its durability and ease of care.
  • Pima Cotton: Similar to Egyptian cotton in quality and softness, Pima cotton is made of long fibres and is grown in the southwest United States.
  • Sateen: A smooth cotton fabric with a satin-like finish. Sateen weave uses 4 threads over and 1 thread under technique which places more threads on the surface of the fabric, giving it a slight sheen and a soft, luxurious feel. Sateen is also able to retain coloured dye very well, which allows rich looking printed sheets.
  • Supima Cotton: A quality, American-grown cotton made of extra long fibres. It is known for its softness and comfort.
  • Thread Count: The number of horizontal (weft) and vertical (warp) threads per square inch. In general, sheets with higher thread counts are softer and more durable than lesser thread count sheets.