The best bed sheets: how to choose a bed sheet, linen or cotton, thread count and the best UK sets

Number of threads? Linen or cotton? Expensive or cheap? Choosing a bed sheet doesn’t have to be confusing – we break down the rules for a great and long-lasting bed sheet that’s just right for you

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A great bed sheet is the best place to start for a good night’s sleep sleep.

No one likes it if they’re tossing and turning from overheating from felted bedding, or struggling to control scratchy material that doesn’t fit the bed. So what should you look for for peace of mind? And what kind of price should you pay?

300-400 is just all you need, if the fabric is good

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Robert Lancaster-Gaye, co-founder of Tielle Love Luxury, a company that makes luxury bed sheets and cloud beds for prestigious hotels, including The Savoy.

“Just as a good meal depends on quality ingredients, so good linen depends on the quality of the yarn, the processing and the finish – not just the yarn count. Lancaster-Gaye says:

And if you tend to tilt your head and throw away the covers at night, you may prefer a lower thread count with high-quality cotton.

Cotton is best for comfort, linen for temperature regulation

Lancaster-Gaye recommends 100% cotton – especially “metallic long” cotton, which has longer fibers and tends to give a more luxurious feel – instead of polycotton or polyester. It’s more expensive, but it will last longer and won’t make you sweat at night.

The two top-quality textiles to look for are percale, which is cool and crisp, and sateen, which feels soft and smooth.

Don’t want cotton? Linen is a good alternative for a comfortable, natural look, and bed sheets are warm in winter and cool in summer.

To pick out the best, we looked for fabric that’s easy to tie, good, that fits snugly around the bedding (no spills), as well as fabric – across a variety of price points.

Scooms Duo Egyptian Cotton Pack

Scooms Duo Egyptian Cotton Pack

Don’t sleep on Scooms bedding (or rather, do, but don’t oversleep when you buy it) – they offer great value.

An ideal set for year-round comfort, these sheets offer a restful night’s sleep – they’re so comfortable, managing to be both warm, light and airy at the same time (thank you, 600 Egyptian cotton yarn)

With their (intentionally) rumpled look, they transform a shabby bed into something luxurious and extravagant. Best of all, the texture of these sheets continues to improve after washing, both in terms of comfort and form.

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100% Linen Brisa duvet cover + 2 Double pillowcases, Moss Green

The Made Brisa range embodies convenience and luxury, and their beautiful linens are made in Portugal. With an eco-luxury linen feel and a wide range of colors, we love the chic moss green set.

We also love that these 100% linen sheets are pre-washed, so they’re super soft to the touch. They’re also the exact size you need when you arrive and won’t shrink after a few washes.

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Christy Sateen with white stripes

Christy Sateen with white stripes

A vintage bedspread from heritage brand Christy (most famous for their plush towels). The 400 thread count and sateen weave are crafted to create cool, breathable bed sheets with a hotel-like smooth quality.

Our only catch was the plastic packaging, which gave the fabric a chemical factory odor that needed to be laundered before use – but all of that was forgotten once we packed it up.

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Bedfolk relaxation bouquet

Stylish, comfortable, cool – these are great sheets and worth every penny. But where they really differentiate themselves is in the design of the pillowcase – with an opening in the middle meaning there’s no chance of your pillow being peeped in the night.

Chemical-free, staple-free 100% cotton linens have a natural, comfortable, linen-like look.

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Rise & Fall: Organic Crispy & Cool

We love the Soft & Smooth panels from Rise & Fall for doing what they promise (they’re so soft and fluffy). But Crisp & Cool Organic panels also meet the strict ethical criteria for Global Organic Textile Standard certification (from sustainable sourcing to social responsibility).

With their percale weave, 400 yarn count, and 100% extra-long pin cotton, they still have that luxury hotel bed feel to them. And the pillowcase fits snugly and snaps easily without spilling your sheets.

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Tom & Dicks Portland Bed Linen

Tom & Dicks Portland Bed Linen

There’s so much to love about Tom & Dicks. A sleep quiz on the website will help you choose which fabric works best for you, followed by plastic-free packaging (the sheets come in a reusable tote bag).

We love the cool, natural yet high-quality feel of Portland linens, made from 100% Normandy-grown flax. What’s even better is: 2% of each sale goes to homeless and mental health charities, and you can (for free) return your box, which is filled with sheets and old clothes to donate to the homeless.

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Habitat Washed Mustard Quilt Set

A bright, affordable option (also available in pink, sage green, charcoal, slate gray, and white).

100% cotton, stone-cleaned linens have a vibrant, comfortable look and feel that resembles many similar and more expensive bed linens on the market. Valuable.

Soak & Sleep

While Soak & Sleep offers bed linens with yarn counts that reach as high as 1000 (and matching price tags), we think 100% metallic cotton linens Classic Egypt has a 100% length yarn count woven in absolutely lovely proportions and is less prone to breakage.

These all have the same drawback of needing to be washed thoroughly after being packaged in plastic, but they are still appreciated for their quality and value. They’re cool, breathable, and feel just luxurious enough.

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Emma Bowman

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