The average American spends approximately 1/3 of his life sleeping and untold hours in bed for reading, cuddling and intimacy. Yet, many fail to make their time in bed the luxurious experience it should be. Quality bed linens improve comfort and create just the right atmosphere for all your bedtime activities. Do yourself a favor and invest in bed linens that make your time in bed a pleasure and that just may improve your sleeping habits, as well.
Choose linens with extra long staple length labeled as ELS. Staple length refers to the length of the individual fibers used to make the cotton. Sea Island, Egyptian and Pima cotton range in staple length from 1 ¼ to 2 inches and provide a smooth luxurious finish to bed linens.
Select linens with a high thread count. Thread count refers to the number of threads interwoven in 1 square inch of fabric. Thread counts above 200 indicate the cotton has been woven with long staple fibers. Fabrics labeled as 100 percent combed are finer and silkier because short fibers have been removed. Keep in mind that higher thread counts feel silky to the skin, but they do not last as long as lower thread count linens.
Consider the fiber source. Cotton may be the most popular fabric for fine linens, but take the time to examine and consider the alternatives. Cotton and synthetic blends last longer, but do not breathe as well as 100 percent cotton. Fabric woven from beech-wood cellulose and bamboo create bed linens that are durable and soft. Beech wood is lightweight and smooth while bamboo is recommended for the sleeper who overheats at night.
Do a touch test to determine the right combination of staple length, thread count and fibers that you prefer. Many retailers provide samples of their fabrics for you to feel and examine. Don't be afraid to rub them on your skin, but do try to limit it to the face and arms. There is plenty of time of the all-over test once you are home. If you are unsure, purchase a small item and reserve larger purchases until you have used and laundered the fabric at home.