We spend an estimated 33% of our lives sleeping so it’s important not only to find the right bedding, but to know which bed linen suits us best. There is a confusing choice of types from Supima to brushed cotton and many and varied thread counts in between. So what does thread count mean? It refers to the amount of horizontal and vertical threads per square inch. Higher thread count linens generally make for denser sheets which are thick but soft and less likely to bobble or wear through. However, it’s arguable whether a higher thread count is a good or necessary thing because the amount of warp and weft threads that will sit smoothly within a square inch is thought to top out at about 750.
Supima is the licensed brand name guaranteed to be made from only from 100% American Pima cotton, which has extra-long fibres. These fibres are used to make a smooth, subtle sheen finished cotton sheet which is not only strong but wonderfully soft. Supima is also a good choice for dyed or patterned bed linen as this type takes and retains colour particularly well. Less than 1 percent of the world’s cotton is able to use this name which gives you a good idea of the high standard needed. A top quality choice would be the 750 Thread Count Luxury Supima® Cotton Sateen Duvet Cover. Slide into this soft, smooth heavenly bedding and wake up feeling like you’ve stayed in a top class hotel!
Egyptian cotton is hand-picked not machine processed (which can put more strain on fibres) resulting in cotton which is straighter and smoother. This in turn makes a yarn that can be more finely spun. Egyptian cotton is also very absorbent which makes for a more restful night’s sleep. Marks and Spencers have a range of Egyptian cotton bedding manufactured with StayNEW™ technology. This helps to keep your linen look better for longer and also minimises the need to iron.
The term Percale refers to a closely woven fabric of the type which is used in the manufacture of many linens. It can be 100% cotton or cotton blended with other fabrics at any ratio. A thread count of higher than 180 can be termed Percale.
Comfortably Cool 200 is an exclusive Marks and Spencer label. This bed linen is made with 78% Tencel, a very breathable fibre that helps to regulate body temperature. It has a 200 thread count and is an ideal choice for those who are inclined to feel too cold or hot at night.
Brushed Cotton is cotton bedding – otherwise known as flannelette - which has been lightly brushed to result in a soft cosy texture. A good choice for children’s beds as it’s so snugly!
Before choosing your bed linen you should be sure of your beds size and also consider mattress height. Some mattresses have a depth of ten inches or more, built in toppers or added toppers. Marks and Spencer have a range of extra deep fitted sheets which will ensure your mattress is fully covered.