Q. How long should my bed sheets last?
This is a question we’re asked frequently by innkeepers who are attempting to keep their costs to a reasonable minimum, and also by customers who only plan to use their bed sheets at home.
No matter who’s doing the asking, though, it’s a wise question to ask. Because bed sheets—especially well-made and comfortable bed sheets—can be costly. And for both hospitality and home use, most experts recommend having a minimum of three sets of sheeting per bed: one on the bed, one in the wash, and one in the closet. In between each use, we recommend laundering and then storing your linens in a well-ventilated space.
But take heart: With proper care, fine bed linens can last for many years, regardless of whether you’re using them exclusively in the home, or in a busy hotel or inn with a heavy guest turnover.
To ensure that your bed sheets will last as long as possible, alternate the use of each set on a weekly basis for home use. For innkeepers, of course, sheets need to be changed each time a guest checks out and a new guest arrives. Depending on the level of turnover, innkeepers will find that the majority of their sheets need to be replaced much sooner than a homeowner will need to replace hers.
For best results when laundering, use a non-chlorine bleach and a gentle liquid detergent not a fabric softener as it will lessen the life of the fabric and add a substance that does not allow the fabric to breathe. Wash on a gentle cycle with warm water, then tumble dry until slightly damp.
Pro tip: Over drying or drying on too hot a setting is the single biggest factor in reducing the life of your sheets. This is why we suggest taking your sheets out while slightly damp. Once smoothed and folded, most sheeting will be less wrinkled. Again, you can touch up with an iron on the hem of the flat sheet and pillowcase hem.
Q. Which bed sheets last the longest?
This probably won’t come as a big surprise: You get what you pay for where bed sheeting is concerned. When you’re considering new sheets—and assuming you’d like to buy the best—here’s what you’ll want to look out for: the base material of the fabric, the manner in which the fabric was constructed, and the sheets’ thread count.
In terms of the fabric’s base material, you want fibers that are both long and strong. One-hundred percent Egyptian cotton is almost always a good bet, but so too is 100% Pima cotton, which is an American blend. Just make sure you’re buying woven sheets (as opposed to knitted sheets) if you consider high-quality, long lasting sheets a must-have.
Don’t be fooled by packaging that states “feels like cotton” or “600 thread count,” as it most likely is 100% polyester. So please read the packaging carefully for the hidden words.
Thread count, which is nothing more than the number of fibers per square inch of fabric, is easy enough to understand: Good sheets will generally have anywhere between a 200 and 800 thread count, although there certainly are sheets available with thread counts of 1,000 and higher.
Q. What size of bed sheeting should I buy?
On first glance this may seem like a simple enough question to answer, but beware: All mattresses are not created equal!
Before ordering sheets, check the size of your mattress: the width, the depth and the length. If you’re using a featherbed or fiberbed on top of your mattress, don’t forget to measure the mattress with the added product on top.
Also important to remember: Many standard mattresses average 9 to 12 inches deep, while newer mattresses (including pillow top mattresses) are 14 to 16 inches deep and up. These measurements will determine the sheet you should purchase. Ask your InnStyle sales rep for guidance on this issue.
Q. Will my bed sheets shrink?
There’s not much you can do about the fact that anything made of cotton will shrink to some extent after it’s first been washed and dried. That’s why it’s always best to purchase cotton sheets that state the depth, width and length—that way you’ll know for sure that you’re purchasing the correct size sheeting for your mattress.
There are, however, many cotton sheets that have been pre-washed to avoid shrinkage from occurring. Some manufacturers, meanwhile, oversize their sheets to allow for the possibility of shrinkage.
This is why you should always carefully read the labels on any sheets you’re thinking of buying, or ask your sales rep for guidance in purchasing the correct size.
Q. Should I iron my sheets?
Most customers do not iron their sheets. Why? They prefer the comfort of cotton, and don’t mind its slightly wrinkled state. You can help your sheets look as crisp as possible, however, by not over-drying them.
Try rinsing the sheets on a cool setting, and dry on a low setting. Remove the sheets from the dryer promptly—even while slightly damp—and fold them smooth. For most cotton sheets, if you want a non-wrinkled look, you can touch them up with an iron. Most people, however, will do this only on the cuffs of the top sheet and the pillowcase.
Our InnStyle Wrinkle Free Sheets need no ironing if washed and dried properly, in the method mentioned above. This is the reason these sheets are our most popular by far!
Sateen sheets, after their first washing, may lose some of their shine and silkiness due to the construction of sateen weaves. If you lightly iron, this will smooth the fibers and restore the luster and the sheen of the fabric. Our Solid Wrinkle Resistant Sheet Sets need no ironing if washed and dried properly.
Please call us at 1-800-877-4667 or email us at email@example.com with any questions about sheeting, or with any other questions you may have about purchasing or the care of linens.