What Makes Great Sheets?

What Makes Great Sheets?

The Ultimate Guide to Great Sheets: Three Key Elements

When looking to buy a sheet, there are many different attributes to consider. You could look at thread count, weave, materials, ply, how cooling it is, how soft it is and many more. It's a bit overwhelming, but all you need to consider are three key elements: thread count, fabric and sustainability. 

Thread Count: Does it Matter?

Well, let’s start off with the feature that is at the tip of everyone’s tongue: thread count.

Thread count is often used as one of the deciding factors when it comes to picking luxury sheets. Thread count is simply the number of threads woven into one square inch of the fabric. Nothing more, nothing less.

This is an important factor, of course. But how important? Today's customers have been primed to consider sheets with higher thread counts superior to ones with lower thread counts, but the truth is that the difference is negligible after a certain point. Too high of a thread count could even work against the quality of the final product as by adding too many threads to a single square inch requires you to use extremely fine fibers. As a result, sheets with a T-1000 thread count, for example, may have compromised on quality for the sake of selling it at a higher cost. After testing several different sheets ourselves (like, a lot of sheets), we feel that sweet spot is around T-300 to T-400. 

Fabric: The Fresh Blend™

So if thread count isn't that important, what matters? The fabrics used and the manufacturing process are just as important, if not more, to determine the overall "greatness" of a sheet set. What fibers you choose, and how you blend them together determine the attributes of a sheet. If you want it to be soft, you can look for Egyptian cotton, and if you want it to be cooling, you can look for sheets made out of lyocell. All fabrics have trade-offs and some are better than others. However, one of the ways to get around this is by blending fibers together to get the best out of every fiber. 

At Samba, we use Fresh Blend™ which was designed by blending three fibers (a first in the bedding space and a rarity in the broader textile industry): Viloft®, Viseta® and extra-long staple Supima cotton. You may have heard of Supima before, but probably have not heard anything about Viloft® or Viseta® .

Both Viloft® and Viseta® are highly innovative German-engineered fibers that are derived from cellulose (similar to lyocell but better). Viloft® is the world's first flat cellulosic fiber which means it can trap air within the yarn. This creates a more breathable and moisture-regulating fiber that exhibits cooling and anti-microbial properties. Viseta® is a fiber that was designed to be 50% finer than silk which feels very light and cool when woven into a sheet. 

When Viloft® and Viseta® are combined with Supima cotton, which is known for its extreme softness and comfort, you get a sheet that really is the best of everything. 

Sustainability: Greater for the World

Finally, no great sheet would be great if it harmed the environment. There are a few elements of sustainability that you should consider: the fibers, the manufacturing and the packaging. 

Most fabric used in sheets, whether it is cotton or lyocell, uses a large amount of water and energy. On top of this, there is often irresponsible farming involved. In the case of cotton, polluted water goes into nearby lakes and rivers, and in the case of lyocell, significant destruction of bamboo trees occurs. 

To make sure you are getting products from sustainably sourced fibers, you want to look out for OEKO-TEX® certification and in the case of viscose fibers, the FSC® seal. OEKO-TEX® certifies non-hazardous end-products and all of their components and the FSC® seal guarantees that only wood from sustainably managed plantations is used. In the case of Fresh Blend™, all three of our fibers used, Viloft®, Viseta® and Supima cotton are OEKO-TEX® certified and Viloft® and Viseta® are also FSC® certified.   

While the sustainability of the fibers is important, it also matters where they are put together into the final product. The best guideline for this element is if the manufacturing facility used  is LEED certified. This guarantees the building is efficient, carbon and cost-saving. At samba, our manufacturer is LEED Gold certified, which is the second highest standard of certification. 

Finally, it is important what packaging is used for the product. Often time sheets come wrapped in plastic which is not bio-degradable and terrible for the environment. Or they are shipped in cardboard boxes which are created by chopping down trees and destroying our ecosystem. Nearly all sheets are packaged using one of these two options, but at samba, we we went with a third option. We use sustainable polymailer packaging that 100% recyclable, fully-compostable, and looks pretty great too. 

The Grand Finale

In conclusion, you shouldn't just consider thread count when figuring out the best sheet for you. While it's important, you should also keep in mind the fabric and the sustainability of the product you are buying. If you want to try a sheet that excels at all three of these categories, feel free to head over to our product page here. 

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