Before snuggling up for a cozy winter night's sleep, it's essential that you have the right bedding on hand to get you through this chilly season. Warm sheets will play a critical role in allowing you to catch those precious Zzzs in peace. After all, we all know how unpleasant it can be to wake up in the night freezing cold, whether in your own home or while staying at a friend or relative's house, due to bedding that isn't up to par.
To ensure that you and all of your winter guests are nice and toasty at night, we've rounded up key information to keep in mind when shopping for winter sheets.
Meet the Expert
Before You Buy
Staying warm while clocking your nightly eight hours of Zzzs will make chilly winter nights feel less brutal. There's nothing like ending a long day and climbing into a warm, cozy bed, after all. Of course, if you've been finding yourself shivering in the night, you can first try to layer in some throw blankets or upgrade your comforter or duvet cover to a more seasonally appropriate option.
That said, some people prefer to sleep with as few layers on top of them as possible, so focusing solely on sheets may be a priority. And those who have recently relocated to a cold climate from a warmer one may not own any suitable sheets for chilly nights. Therefore, many will wish to invest in at least one pair of winter sheets to make the season feel more bearable.
Thread count will frequently vary from one sheet set to another. "When shopping for winter sheets, find a set with a thread count of 300 in either cotton, flannel or percale to ensure optimal softness without feeling heavy," advises Jenny Reimold, an interior stylist and HomeGoods style expert. She adds, "Although higher thread counts like 800 or above are sometimes perceived as luxurious, they can tend to feel heavy and coarse.”
Generally, there is no "one size fits all" approach with regard to fabric; what is comfortable to one person may not be appealing to another. Below, you will find more information about common fabric types for winter sheets. You will want to think carefully about the material you select, as you —and perhaps your partner—will be using your sheets every night.
Sheets come in many different colors and patterns, so you will have many options to choose from with regard to design. Perhaps you're eyeing a plain white or off-white set to complement your comforter or duvet cover. Or maybe you'd prefer a festive plaid that will help you embrace the spirit of the season. Not every retailer will offer both solid and printed sheet sets, so you may need to adjust your search accordingly based on your personal aesthetic.
Sheets are made from many fabric types, and you will want to determine which material most appeals to you. Below is further information about common types of materials for winter sheets in particular.
Ariel Kaye, the founder and CEO of Parachute Home, notes that both percale and sateen sheets—which are among the brand's popular offerings—are both made from cotton. Sateen, however, "has a tighter, four-over-one-under weave, resulting in a warmer feel that works well for winter," Kaye explains. Sateen sheets feel smooth to the touch but are not silky. Breathable percale should be saved for the summer.
For those who may prefer to sleep a bit cooler, even in the winter, Kaye also suggests Parachute's brushed cotton sheets. Additionally, this fabric can be ideal for those who like their sheet sets to feel cozy and familiar. "The brushed texture of the fabric gives it an ultra-soft, lived-in texture, making it our top choice for cozying up," she says.
Flannel is generally what comes to mind when we think of warm, seasonal sheets. Picture your favorite flannel button down and imagine sleeping atop of it! Made from cotton, flannel sheets often feature fun patterns and designs, with options that will appeal to both kids and adults.
Linen sheets are firmer to the touch and are often creased in appearance. Those who like their bed to appear nice and crisp may be deterred by this more casual look, while others may enjoy the more rumpled, well-loved aesthetic. Linen sheets are breathable but are less smooth than cotton options, though multiple washes will make them softer.
Sheets greatly vary in terms of cost, with inexpensive sets starting at $15 to $25, depending on bed size. If you're looking for this type of deal, you're best off visiting a discount retailer—and there you may encounter additional markdowns. Of course, the larger your mattress, the more you will need to spend on sheets, with twin sizes often running at least $20 less than king sets.
Note that some sheet sets will also include two standard-sized pillowcases, whereas others will simply consist of a fitted sheet and a top sheet. At HomeGoods, for example, "You can get an affordable 300 to 500 thread count set that typically includes a flat and fitted sheet, and two pillowcases in sizes ranging from king to twin," Reimold explains.
Sheets from independent brands often run within the $100 to $200 range, while ultra-luxurious options will cost even more. Many online retailers offering products in the $100 to $200 range offer discount codes or special offers by signing up for company emails, so if you're considering making a purchase, it is worthwhile to look into these perks first.
How to Choose
Before purchasing a new set of winter sheets, you will want to consider the below questions with regard to both your sleep style and your lifestyle.
Do You Like to Sleep Cold or Hot?
Whether or not you prefer a warm sleeping environment or a slightly cooler one will shape your sheet preferences greatly. Pay close consideration to the sheet types outlined above in order to determine which fabric best matches your body's needs and preferences.
Who Will Be Using The Sheets?
If you live alone, you have the opportunity to cater to your preferences and your preferences only, with regard to everything from sheet material to color or pattern. If you live with a partner, you will of course want to ensure that they also approve of these factors, given that their sleep is just as valuable as yours!
How Many Pairs Do You Need?
If you live in a home with a washer and dryer, you may be happy to purchase one quality sheet set that you can launder as often as you wish. If you live in an apartment and share a communal washer and dryer with neighbors or roommates—or are in a major city and send your clothes and linens out to be serviced—you may want to stock up on multiple sheet sets in case you are unable to attend to your laundry for a few days. Even those who have their own washer and dryer at home may feel most comfortable having at least two pairs on hand in the event of an emergency—no one wants to doze off atop wet sheets following a water spill.
After taking these considerations into account, the number and types of sheet sets you intend to buy will most likely be dependent on your budget, as well as the storage space you have available. If you frequently host friends and relatives in the winter, you will want to purchase at least one set to be used in the guest room, too.
How Well Do You Care for Your Bedding?
If you have a tendency to snack and drink coffee in bed (or have a partner who does), you may not wish to spend a pretty penny on sheets that could easily become discolored or spilled on. On the other hand, if you keep your sleep area pristine, you may wish to invest more on your bedding, knowing that it will be cared for and enjoyed for years to come.
Where to Shop
Generally, even when shopping in-store, sheets are wrapped up in plastic packaging, so you cannot feel them before heading to the checkout line. Of course, more luxury brands may have fabric samples on hand for you to touch before making a purchase, but most of the time, the experience of buying sheets online versus in-store will not differ too much. Either way, though, you will want to confirm the store's return policy with regard to linens such as these, should you open a bedding set and find that it isn't what you were expecting. And given that you can't simply test sheets out for a night and then bring them back, you will want to do as much research as possible about fabric type ahead of time, regardless.
How many pairs of winter sheets should I buy?
This will depend on how frequently you prefer to wash your sheets as well as how much storage space you have on hand. For most people, owning two seasonally appropriate sheet sets is enough. That way, if your sheets suffer a spill or need to be changed at the last minute, you'll have another pair readily accessible.
How much money should I spend on sheets?
There is no right answer when it comes to pricing, given that individual budgets vary. Comfort and functionality is most important than price, though more expensive does not always equal better. Many consumers have found affordable sheets that meet their needs and aesthetic.
How can I make my sheets feel softer?
There are a variety of hacks for creating softer sheets. These include using fabric softener, washing your sheets twice in a row, or tossing sheets in the dryer alongside one cup of baking soda and half a cup of vinegar.