How to Buy the Right Bed Sheets

Last Updated on June 17, 2024

by Marc Werner, Founder - GhostBed

Bed sheets need regular washing maintenance to upkeep a clean and healthy bed for promoting a wonderful beneficial sleep. Following specific steps will allow for one to be sure that new bedding and existing sheets have been washed and dried properly.

Everyone needs sleep, but even more important is that children need the right amount of mattress hours in order to help them develop and grow mentally and physically. It is vital to get the best mattress for kids, as experts’ state that 40 percent of childhood is spent sleeping.

Different stages of childhood need varying amounts of sleep. Guidelines showcase that as a child grows their sleep pattern will change and adjust. Caregivers should be aware to make sure that a child is getting the proper number of hours sleep that he or she needs. Babies require the most amount of sleep and then the hours drop off from there. In order to get the best sleep possible, it is a must to get the mattress that will best promote a good night’s sleep for your kid.

I. Size of Sheets

II. Cooling Effect

III. Types of Sheets

IV. The Right Sheets for Bed Style

I. Size of Sheets

Bed sheet sizes are generally standard to mattress size but can vary according to fabrics and can shrink or stretch depending on material. When looking for the right size of sheets to fit a bed it is necessary to know the size of your mattress.

A sheet set will include a fitted sheet, a flat sheet, and pillowcases – one pillowcase for twin beds and two pillowcases for larger sized mattresses. For a split king a sheet set will consist of two twin XL fitted sheets, with one flat sheet and two pillowcases.

Fitted sheets are crafted just as the wording implies. This bed sheet is made with mitered corners having elastic in each corner or around the entire perimeter, depending on manufacturer design. The corners are fitted over each corner of mattress as if molding to the bed with the elastic working to hold the fitted sheet in place for comfort as one moves throughout sleep. Flat sheets are just what they sound like as they are a flat piece of fabric made to fit over the fitted bed sheet and under the blanket or comforter. This sheet is usually tucked in at the foot and sides of the bed.

There are commonly six sheet sizes to fit the basic kinds of mattress dimensions:

Twin Twin xl Full Queen King Cal king
Fitted 39” X 75” 39” X 80” 54” X 75” 60” X 80” 76” X 80” 72” X 84”
Flat 66’ X 96” 72” 114” 81” X 96” 90” X 102” 108” X 102” 102” X 110”

Pillowcase sizes can vary as well with the most common fitting the standard pillow. Note that the Euro pillow is usually used for decorative sham purposes.

Standard Super standard Queen King Common euro
Fitted 20” X 26” 20” X 28” 20” X 30” 20” X 36” 26” X 26”

II. Cooling Effect

When seeking the often-elusive perfect sleep it is essential to understand the vital role that bed sheets working to keep one cool can have. Sleeping hot spending the night sweating leads to discomfort and continuous waking. Whether in the heat of summer, ill with a fever, or in the throes of hormonal upheaval – it is most important to purchase sheets that will provide the cooling effect needed to promote a healthy sleep.

The best sheets to promote cooling will be made with pure natural fibers or a blend of proprietary materials specifically crafted for cooling and comfort. To promote cooling the sheets should be designed to keep the sleeper dry by wicking away moisture produced by a sweating body.

III. Types of Sheets

Although modern thinking has convinced consumers that thread count is most important when purchasing bed sheets, this perceived notion is not true. More important than the density of the weave and ply is the quality and type of material used.

Egyptian Cotton

Although Egyptian cotton is known as a luxury sheet fabric it is important to understand that any cotton produced in Egypt can be labeled Egyptian cotton – even the most inferior. True opulent Egyptian cotton sheets are made from extra-long staple (ELS) cotton fibers grown in Egypt. The Egyptian climate is what promotes the growth of the ELS fiber. These are generally highest quality sheets and have a 200-thread count or above.

Pros Cons
Soft and smooth for comfort Can be very expensive
Machine Washable with Minimal Shrinkage Wrinkles easily
Very durable – retaining softness and can last years.
Breathable to regulate body temperature and absorb perspiration.
Pima Cotton

Pima cotton is strong-fine long-staple cotton (LSC) grown mostly in the U.S. in California and Arizona. With Pima cotton being on the costly side it is often blended by some manufacturers with inferior cottons. Be sure to read labeling carefully when purchasing sheets said to be Pima.

Pros Cons
Above average long-staple cotton with great consistency. May be blended with inferior cotton
Very good quality cotton grown in U.S May be noted as Pima but grown outside of U.S.

Supima Cotton

Supima cotton is a trade name for Pima cotton that has been held to certain standards to pass quality ideals for labeling. The purity of Supima can be proven through DNA coding. This is a very high quality LSC cotton that is guaranteed pure by the Supima Association.

Pros Cons
Verified superior cotton by Supima Association More expensive than common cottons
Extra-Long Staple providing strong soft fibers for softness and plushness.
Guaranteed grown in U.S.
Helps allergy sufferers with its natural resistance to dust mites, and mold.
Consistent excellent durability for years of lasting quality.


Tencel (lyocell) fabric is crafted from naturally-repelling-water small fibers that work to reduce shrinkage as well as superior breathability. Tencel works wonderfully for bed sheets when blended with Supima to produce bedding that possess’ superior softness, breathability, and durability.

Pros Cons
Hypoallergenic, reduces bacteria growth Can be more expensive than other materials.
Breathable to regulate body temperature and moisture absorption. Can absorb skin oil when not blended with another material.
Tencel fibers come from sustainable forest plantations.
Soft and silky on skin


As a synthetic fiber, polyester sheets can be durable and are less likely to stain when attacked by most liquids. Polyester is also very easy to care for as it is resistant to wrinkling and shrinking. Being man-made, polyester sheets tend to be less expensive than cotton and other natural fiber bedding. Polyester works best when blended with cotton to provide the qualities of both fabrics.

Pros Cons
Less expensive Wears badly for lesser durability than cotton.
Easy to care for Not breathable nor cooling.
Retains oily stains
Stiffens with age for a rougher texture on skin.

Jersey Knit

Jersey knit sheets are like sleeping in a favorite tee shirt. These sheets are actually-knitted, not woven, from cotton or a cotton blend that allows for the feel of a worn in tee. Jersey knit sheets provide a cozy warmth as they hug the body. Bedding made from jersey knit should weigh between 9 to 14 ounces a yard for sheets that provide long-lasting comfort.

Pros Cons
Cozy for chilly weather May not be as cooling as natural woven alternatives.
Long lasting comfort
Affordably Priced


Satin sheets are showcase a satin sheen that is smooth to the touch. These are considered luxury sheets that can be produced from any one of natural or synthetic fibers of cotton, wool, polyester, silk, acetate, or a blend of different fabrics. Satin sheets provide a cooling feel that works well on heated up nights.

Pros Cons
Depending on fabric these sheets can be very affordably priced. Can be slippery
Very durable. Cool to the touch but if synthetic can run warm.
Satin pillowcases keep hair styles in place


Linen is a relaxed natural fabric perfect for summertime bed sheets. The organic quality of linen makes the sheets very breathable and wicks away moisture for cooler sleeping.

Pros Cons
Very long-lasting durability Can be a bit costly.
Comfortable for sensitive skin Wrinkles easily
Breathable for cooler sleeping
Maintains an optimal temperature for cooler sleep

IV. The Right Sheets for Bed Style

The style of beds can differ and effect sheet choices especially when it comes to buying fitted sheets. A standard mattress can range from 7-14 inches deep, with a deep mattress at around 15-inches high and an extra deep as much as 22-inches high.

One must also factor in pillow tops and extra cushion if adding a plush topper. An adjustable base will also have a huge effect on how sheets will fit and stay on the bed. It is most important to get a well-made deep pocketed fitted sheet with a full elastic band that will keep the fitted sheet securely on mattress even when moving as with an adjustable bed base. Be sure to not get short sheeted by making certain that the flat sheet is large enough to tuck in at the foot and sides of the bed.

The best sheets will be breathable for cooling, durable, soft, and crafted to fit and stay on the mattress to promote the finest sleep possible.

Marc Werner - Founder, GhostBed

Marc Werner

Founder - GhostBed

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Marc has spent the last two decades designing & manufacturing mattresses and other sleep products, drawing on a lifetime of experience working with the material sciences. With several patents to his name, he works closely with the GhostBed team to create products with the perfect balance of comfort & support. Learn More

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