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If there’s one thing I love about sleeping, it’s having soft, smooth sheets. It’s just so difficult to pick ones that will feel that way all the time, not just at the store.
Thread count is the number of threads woven into a square inch. It used to be the higher the thread count, the more tightly woven the weave and the softer the sheets. But now it’s mostly a marketing ploy. In order to go higher than 400, manufacturers use a multi-layer weave that results in heavier sheets lacking breathability. For light, soft sheets, find single “ply” construction with a 400 thread count.
For comfort all year round, avoid synthetic fabrics – polyester, acrylic and nylon – they are heavier and less breathable. Natural fibers –cotton, silk, flax, or wool – and synthetic fibers – viscose and rayon – are absorbent and porous, adapting to changes in temperature and humidity. Synthetic fibers have the added benefit of being extremely durable.
Cultivate a weave
There are four types of weaves – plain, twill, sateen and patterned. Used for 80% of fabrics, plain weaves produce strong, even fabric. Twill produces strong fabric with a softer “drape”. Sateen produces smooth, heavier fabric with a higher thread count. Patterned produce fabrics with, you guessed it, a textured pattern. These are the most durable bedding weaves, but may not be the most comfortable.
The other unfortunate issue many have is finding the right fitted sheet. If you have a thicker mattresses, find a fitted sheet with extra deep pockets. Lastly, if your sheet “rides up” on you, find a fitted sheet with elastic all around (instead of just at the corners). This will keep the sheet secure all night long.
We’ve picked out our linens and now that we’ve laundered them a few times, the creases from bunching up that fitted sheet are starting to be permanent. Well, never fear. Your guide to folding a fitted sheet properly so they stay crisp and smooth is here.
While standing, hold the sheet inside-out by the corners of the short edge. Tuck your hands into each of the corners so that your fingertips are on the seam.
Bring your hands together so your fingertips are touching through the sheet. Flip the corner that is on your left hand over the right, so that the sheet corners fold over each other… kind of like they’re “spooning”. Hold the combined corners in your left and put the folded edge taught. Shake the sheet so the whole length of it is folded appropriately.
Tuck your right hand into the combined corners and pick up the other end in your left hand. Tuck your hand into one of the corners and flip it over the combined corners. Shake out the sheet so that there are no wrinkles.
Repeat step 3 for the final corner. The result will be a corner that is inside out.
You can either remain standing and continue folding or lay the sheet out on a flat surface. Laying it out is easier. Straighten the sheet and fold down the elastic edge so it makes a nearly-perfect rectangle.
Fold the sheet in thirds, lengthwise, then fold again in thirds widthwise for the perfect, folded, fitted sheet.
Or, you can just watch this video from Living on a Dime:
Q School is a micro-publication dedicated to helping you get the most out of life. It's like a snack for your mind.
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