Whether you view making your bed in the morning as a monotonous daily ritual or as one of life's simple pleasures, one thing is certain: finding sheets for your memory foam mattress that fit correctly makes the task a heck of a lot easier. Before unboxing your new mattress and climbing under the covers, there are several sheet options to consider when searching for a cool, comfortable sleep environment.
Microfiber or Synthetic Sheets
If you're in an endless scroll on Amazon for sheets, chances are you've come across the most budget-friendly option—microfiber. Microfiber sheets, made from polyester, nylon polymers or wood pulp, are synthetic. These types of sheets feel very soft because of the tightly woven fibers. In fact, to be considered microfiber, the material must be less than one denier thick. (A denier is a measurement of a fiber's thickness.)
Many people opt to buy microfiber sheets for their foam mattress because they are affordable and wrinkle resistant. In some instances, the tight weave can even repel stains and water. However, if you are prone to sleeping hot, microfiber sheets do not breathe and may cause you to overheat at night.
Like microfiber sheets but on a magnified scale, silk sheets are very sheer and incredibly soft. If you are comparing the two, there is a .25 deniers difference in thickness between the materials. But the similarities stop there.
It's no coincidence that silk sheets symbolize luxury. Buying a set will set you back a few hundred dollars or more. If you want to invest in silk sheets for your memory foam bed, there are a few things to consider—beyond the expense—they are more challenging to care for than microfiber or cotton, and, like microfiber, they trap heat.
If you're shopping for a natural material and want to avoid silk, cotton sheets are your friend. They're easy to care for, affordable and the coolest of the group. The only downside? Some varieties wrinkle easily and may need ironing in between washes if you like the look of a tidy bed.
There are three varieties of cotton sheets on the market: American Upland, Pima, and, the most popular, Egyptian. When reading a cotton sheet label, it's important to understand the length of the individual fibers, defined as staples. American Upland is composed of short or long fibers (aka staples), while Pima is a long staple, and Egyptian is longer still. As you've probably guessed, the longer the staple, the softer the sheet.
What is the best thread count for bed sheets?
First things first: thread count is defined as the number of threads in one square inch of material. Contrary to what you may think, the higher the thread count, the hotter the fabric will feel when you sleep. Why? Because a high thread count means the material is very dense, tightly woven and won't breathe as well. If you stick to a 200 or 300 thread count, you'll have sheets that sleep cool and are still soft.
How deep should your fitted sheets be?
Before buying a microfiber, silk or cotton sheet set, it's important to know how deep the pockets of the fitted sheet need to be in order to fit the mattress and stay in place as you toss and turn. The pocket, or the corner, is what makes a fitted sheet impossible to fold (if you've mastered that skill, we could use your help!). To ensure a snug fit, consider the thickness of your foam mattress. If it's 10 inches or less, you can likely opt for a standard sheet set (8 to 11 inches). If you've purchased a high-density mattress like Muse that is 12 inches thick, stick to deep or extra deep pocket sheets (12 to 18 inches).