Even though you sleep on them every night, it’s hard to know what constitutes a good bedsheet. Is thread count really the be-all and end-all when it comes to comfort? Should you opt for cotton percale, linen, or silk when choosing the right set? And is it worth spending more for luxury, hotel-quality sheets, when a decent set can cost as much as a stay at the Pellicano? We asked 12 design experts and people with particularly good taste for their own recommendations to try and make your decision a little easier. Here’s their pick of the best bedsheets to buy, from the best silk, cotton percale, and linen ranges, to eco-friendly offerings and sheets that won’t punish you if you don’t have time for ironing.
Best all-around bedsheets
Two of our experts highlighted Marks & Spencer’s bedding as a staple. “They offer great designs and incredible quality at an excellent price point,” says design consultant Melanie Lissack, owner of Melanie Lissack Interiors. “They offer on-trend designs, they wash well, and you won’t get a higher thread count for a lower price anywhere else.” According to Emma Hopkinson, better known as interiors influencer the Crap Flat, M&S’s strongest offering is their innovative Tencel blend bedding. “It’s a natural fibre made from eucalyptus trees,” she explains. “It’s designed to be durable and cooling, and it feels like silk on the skin.” And you can sleep easy knowing that Tencel is sustainable — it’s made from regenerated wood cellulose.
Two of our experts called out Zara as an impressive high-street retailer, although at a slightly higher price point than M&S. “I get all my fitted sheets from Zara Home — they have a selection of really beautiful colours, which I love to mix and match with my duvets,“says fashion influencer Camille Charriere. “I wash all my linen at the end of the week and actually find that these ones are softer after a few washes.” According to Lim, the key when it comes to finding the right Zara sheet is trying before buying. “Buy multiple options and see them in real life, returning the unsuitable ones,” she says. “Of course, if you’re lucky enough to have a Zara Home store near you, it’s much easier to do in person.” While you might not be able to sleep in them, taking them out of the packet and testing how they feel against your skin will work wonders in finding the right sheets for you.
Best (more expensive) all-around sheets
Three of our experts recommend heritage Italian brand Frette, famous for high-end, monogrammed linen. “They provide sheets to the world’s finest hotels, including Claridges and The Peninsula,” says Teo van den Broeke, style and grooming director of British GQ. “This means that they don’t come cheap, but they’re totally worth it.” For their Ultimate sheet set, high-grade Giza 45 Egyptian cotton provides an eye-watering 1,000 thread count — in the fabric world, anything above 200 is generally well-regarded. But even on the (relatively) cheaper end of the spectrum, Frette sheets use sumptuous extra-long staple cotton for both texture and durability, the latter of which has helped them build a loyal customer base including over 1,000 luxury hotels worldwide. In the words of jewellery designer Peony Lim, it’s “cost per sleep” that you’re going for when you buy from Frette. “My family have had sets that have lasted 25 years and are still going strong,” she says. “So, although expensive, they’re well worth the investment.”
Best linen sheets
When it comes to pure luxury, you’ll be hard-pressed to do better than Italian manufacturer Once Milano. That’s why they count British TV broadcaster Laura Jackson among their advocates. “All of Once Milano’s products are hand-cut, sewn and dyed by skilled craftsmen in the Veneto region of Italy,” she says. Everything is made from 100 percent crushed Italian linen, and can be tumble-dried at low temperatures. Best of all, if promptly removed from the machine, they require no ironing whatsoever.
Best (less expensive) linen sheets
For luxurious linens that don’t come at an Italian artisan’s price, look to Sweden. That’s according to model, author and activist Naomi Shimada, who swears by Ikea’s Puderviva range. “I love sleeping in linen sheets, but I’ve often struggled to find linen sheets in fun colors that don’t break the bank,” she says. After sticking to white for some time, Ikea has recently branched out onto the colour spectrum — Shimad likes the yellow set. “They’re so fun and practical, and they get softer with each wash,” she says. “Besides, there’s nothing like getting into bed and feeling your face hitting that cold side of the pillow provided by linen.”
If you don’t want to waste money and time on luxury sheets, H&M’s minimalist options are worth exploring. They come recommended by two of our experts — including Hopkinson, who’s a fan of their all-around ease. “Their duvet set comes with handy poppers at the bottom so it’s easy to change the bed,” she says. “And linen only ever looks better with age, even when you don’t iron it.”
Best sheets for mixing and matching
Kate Watson-Smyth, author of interiors bible Mad About the House, likes La Redoute. “They have a huge range of affordable bedding, the only downside being that there’s a lot to wade through,” she says. “But if you can spare the time, you will find some treasures — not to mention that there’s often a sale on.” While Watson-Smyth is a fan of the Blanched Ruched duvet set, she also recommends the Monille sheets for “a touch of Hoxton Hotel chic.”
Best eco-friendly sheets
Bamboo might not sound like the most comfortable fabric choice when it comes to bedding, but eco-influencer Besma Whayeb, founder of sustainable living blog Curiously Conscious, begs to differ. “Panda’s Earth Collection makes the most of durable linen and soft bamboo, in a blend that still reaches a 320 thread count.” Whayeb also praises the extensive range of “muted neutral colours,” as well as the company’s commitment to making all orders plastic free.
Best (less expensive) eco-friendly sheets
Whayeb also favours an option from Ikea, who are surprisingly switched-on for such a huge retailer. “Although they’re a homeware giant, it’s clear they’re working to be more sustainable,” Whayeb says, highlighting the company’s commitment to “implementing circular processes” and using more sustainable materials. She’s a fan of their Nattjasmin sheets, which are not only affordable but sustainable, too. “They’re made from sustainably grown cotton and tree-based lyocell, which has been processed without bleaching,” Whayeb explains.
Best sheets for constant washing
For those with a busy lifestyle, sheets which can be washed time and time again while still holding their own are a precious resource — especially when they come without a hefty price tag. Look no further than Matalan, who Merrett says offer a budget option which stands up to more expensive options. “They do the cutest prints and they’re super affordable,” she says. “I’ve had plenty of sets of their bedding in both my own home and my Airbnb apartment, and the fabric quality is brilliant — as is the print quality, even after plenty of washes. For the price, it’s phenomenal.”
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