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How to choose linen that makes your bed feel like a hotel bed:

Author imageThe Mattress Warehouse

Linen and pillows in your home

Every woman wants a home with beautiful linen that is soft, inviting, and cosy in the winter while cool in the summer. With the confusing array of cheap linen available at retailers like Mr Price Home, and the extremely expensive linen at Boardmans, how do you know what is true quality? You want sheets and pillow cases that make your home feel like a 5 star hotel, not a tacky motel. What is your measure of quality? Just because something is expensive doesn’t make it true quality.


How to recognise quality linen:

The quality of linen all boils down to thread count. Thread count (TC) is how many threads are woven into the sheet lengthways and breadthways per square inch. Theoretically, the higher the thread count, the better quality of the sheet, because the sheet is more durable and the material the sheet is made of (especially cotton) softens with use, making the sheet more and more pleasant to sleep with the longer you use it. However, a lot of linen manufacturers have exploited this by making sheets with impossibly high thread counts – after all, how many threads can you cram into a square inch (about 6cm2)? 300? Easily, 500? Still possible. 1000? Now that seems a bit over the top. They do this simply to up the thread count (and price) of the sheet, pillow, or piece of linen, but not improve the quality whatsoever (in fact they make the sheet rougher and less likely to age well).

thread count

A high quality, durable and soft sheet will be between 100 and 500 thread count, made from either cotton, satin or other polyester fabrics. Cotton is the most popular because it’s affordable, but cool and breathable in summer and warm in winter. It can also be weaved in various different feels, so it’s very versatile.  Cotton can also be used to make flannel sheets, which are warmer for winter sleeping. Polyester is also nice because it’s easy to dye and it dries and washes very quickly. However, it’s not as breathable as cotton. WunderSheet is a sheet brand that makes sheets specifically for hotels and bed and breakfasts, made from cotton, without a higher thread count than 500. If a 5-star hotel knows all they need is 500 thread count sheets, why should you need more to get that soft, crisp hotel feel? The Bed Company sells WunderSheet to the everyday woman who wants the hospitality industry touch in her home, with a sheet that fits perfectly to her mattress in the stylish colours of white (best because it doesn’t have colourant chemicals in the fabric), chocolate brown and tan. Buy them online with no fuss!

chocolate coloured sheets

The same applies for pillow cases: a quality pillow case will have between 300 and 400 thread count. Lower thread counts can be used for pillows that will be abused (camping) but nothing higher is needed. Pillow cases are an overlooked element in most homes, but what many of us forget is that a pillow case is in direct contact with our face (the most vulnerable area of the human body) for up to 8 hours a day. If this fabric is rough, stores oils and bacteria, or is simply dirty, it can vastly affect the quality of your sleep, skin, and hair.

soft sheets

While your pillow should be the right height to cushion your head without angling your neck up or down to ensure good sleep, your pillow case is important too. A popular fabric for pillow cases to minimise acne is silk, because it is hypoallergenic and doesn’t store facial oil. It also apparently helps for bed-head, because it doesn’t build up static electricity against your hair, but a silk pillow case is quite expensive. Polyester dries quickly and is easy to wash, which are a plus in a pillow case, since most pillow cases should be washed at least once a week to remove oil, hair and dead skin build up and discourage bacteria and dust mites from taking up residence in your pillow. Again, flannel is good for winter pillow covers because it is a warmer fabric, but if you are constantly turning your pillow over for the cool side, don’t use flannel, or use a very thin flannel pillow case. A quality pillow isn’t so dependent on thread count as much as fabric and the pillow inside it.


For pillows that will support your head (like only memory foam can), quality linen (between 200 and 500 TC) and great pillow cases, consult your sleep experts: The Mattress Warehouse. Buy the linen simply with no fuss online here, or call us on 0861 007 000.

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