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Best Bedsheets based on Fabric for Skincare

Updated: Nov 16, 2023

Remember that most of your skin comes into contact with fabric at some point during the day or night- whether it be your clothes or bed sheets. Choosing the right textiles is part of our skincare routine to reduce friction and irritation while gaining comfort. Read more...



Bedsheets skincare

Photo: Wix

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What is the best overall type of bedsheet fabric for your skincare routine for the least amount of money and why?

Percale is a type of textile weave that affects the way the fabric feels. Most percale tends to be 100% cotton although there are some that are cotton blends. The weave reminds me of an Oxford shirt- a crisscross weave that gives the textile a crisp look and feel. Percale usually has a matte-like finish since it does not take on the shine of sateen or other cotton weaves. Due to the construction, the fabric is lightweight and very breathable which can benefit many skincare routines. Warmer climates and months and/or humid environments may be ideal for these. These sheets are also durable through multiple washes.

What is the softest fabric for bedsheets, and what makes it so soft?

Sateen has that classic luxurious look and feel while still being made of primarily cotton. The difference with sateen is in how the cotton is prepared as well as the weave. The cotton tends to be mercerized which is a finishing treatment that improves the strength of the cotton fibers. The weave is still a crisscross weave however instead of taking on the checkerboard look of Percale, Sateen can have multiple, often three or four, yarns cross over for each one that crosses under. The weave is tight. This leaves more yarns exposed to feel softer and smoother. This also leaves more yarn exposed to give it a sheen and silky look. Sateen is tightly woven giving it warmth for cooler climates.

What are the best bedsheets for warm sleepers looking to cool off?

Linen is made from flax plant fibers. It has a high tendency to crease or wrinkle, however, it may be treated with added finishes to improve its appearance. Linen is considered an eco-friendly product given its recyclable and biodegradable quality. In the medical literature, linen has been shown to have antimicrobial and wound-healing properties. Its lightweight quality makes it a favorable option for those who tend to get “overheated” at night. It is also highly durable given the high tensile strength of the flax plant fibers.

Which bedsheets are best for cool sleepers looking to warm up?

Flannel sheets can be cotton, cotton blends, wool, or made of other synthetics. Flannel is known for its warmth and soft feel. Although it is considered breathable, it is not the choice for those who struggle with hot flashes or get too warm at night Flannel tends to be loosely woven while still offering warmth. The final textile is brushed to lift the fibers of the textile to add a fuzziness or softness when felt. The loose weave offers the benefit of breathability and even moisture wicking while still offering warmth.

What's the best luxury bedsheet fabric, and why is it so expensive?

Sateen is the most common variety of sheets to be found in hotels, especially high-end hotels. The luxurious feel, silky look, durability, and breathability all factor in here. Oftentimes, Egyptian cotton is used as it is a high-quality long staple cotton fiber. This means the fibers can be as long as 2 inches making them more durable and less likely to pile. Piling is what makes textiles look worn or older. Fuzzballs form when loose fibers clump together.

What are the best bedsheets for allergy sufferers?

Percale- I have many patients who sleep with a humidifier on for eczema and other skin conditions. I tend to find that percale is a good option here because some patients will feel like their sheets feel damp if they choose a different weave or blend. The dampness can serve as a breeding ground for bacteria and mold that can aggravate allergies.

Silk is a textile with some interesting properties. It is considered hydrophobic compared to other textiles in that it repels and prevents the absorption of droplets. It has good breathability and can be cleaned easily. Silk has been studied if, when treated with antimicrobials, can reduce inflammation in the skin including acne. Studies looking at how much bacteria colonizes silk compared to cotton for coliform bacteria (from the colon) have been unclear in that although some show bacteria are less likely to colonize silk compared to cotton, it is not certain if this is a property of the silk itself or other aspects to its production. What does this mean when it comes to your skin? Seeking silk sheets may be of benefit to acne-prone or eczema-prone skin. The other category of patients that can consider this material would be those with a tendency towards sweat acne or folliculitis.

What's the overall best all-season textile for bedsheets?

I tend to recommend Percale given its durability and breathability.

Does thread count for bedsheets actually matter? Why or why not?

For years, before I studied textiles, I remember thinking the thread count was an important indicator to quality. Thread count references the concentration of fibers per square inch; I.e., the number of yarns or threads per square inch. If there are more yarns per square inch, then it stands to reason that the textile is softer and perhaps more durable. Given the different types of weave and fiber processing, the thread count is not necessarily as important as it once was to find a soft durable sheet. Often higher thread counts come at a much higher cost without necessarily achieving the look and feel you may be looking for. Once I discovered Sateen sheets, I stopped looking at thread counts as the weave gave me a better sense of what I was seeking.

Fiber refers to the actual composition of the textile. Cotton, linen, bamboo, silk, polyester, and microfiber are examples of fiber. Weave refers to how these fibers are brought together to construct the final textile. Woven, knit, and tightness of the weave are examples of how the weave impacts the final feel of the textile.

Bedsheets Skincare


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