Bed Linen Guide

Few would deny that at the end of a long, hard day, sliding into a bed fitted with beautifully soft, smooth bed linen, is one of life’s greatest pleasures. After all, we spend nearly a third of our life in bed, so why wouldn’t we want the best?

Yet when it comes to buying new bed linen, where do you begin? From thread counts to fabric, there’s so much to consider. It is difficult to know before you buy what material is going to best suit your ideal sleep experience. When you don't know your bamboo from your cotton, it is easy to feel ovewhelmed.

So, we’ve made it easy for you with a guide to the key things you should look for when you’re in the market for new bed linen.


Cotton is the most common linen material, and is a material we frequently use in our everyday lives. However, it is not as simple as it may initially seem. There are four main points to consider when purchasing cotton sheets:


Cotton has always been a favourite for bed linen because of its softness and breathability, but it can vary greatly in quality. Always look for cotton identified as 100% long-staple cotton, because this produces the softest, smoothest and strongest weave. Sheets made with shorter staple cotton fibres lead to a coarser, weaker, fabric.

Thread Count

Although thread count does matter, it’s not the most important factor when considering which linen to buy. Most experts agree that a higher thread count does not necessarily translate to a softer, or better quality sheet. As long as all the other factors are good, 200–600 is considered to be ideal, but it’s down to personal preference.

Lower-end options are generally lightweight, cool, and crisp. Higher-end sheets are more tightly woven, which means they will be warmer, silkier and softer. Anything below 200 may feel rather rough. Anything above 600 should be viewed with caution. The thread count refers to the amount of woven threads that make up one square inch of sheet fabric, counting both vertical and horizontal threads and there are only so many threads that can fit in that area.


We recommend that you always choose single-ply. Single-ply produces the finest, strongest threads, which in turn produce the softest, longest-lasting sheets. Multi-ply yarns are a group of weaker yarns spun together to create a false strength. Some manufacturers will count each ply in one piece of thread to inflate thread counts. This is how high-number threads like 800 thread count are sometimes achieved. Because these super-high thread-count sheets, often made from inferior shorter, staple cotton, they tend to feel coarser and are not as durable as higher-quality cottons.


The weave of a fabric ultimately affects how it looks and feels and is a matter of personal preference. The best cotton sheets for softness and quality are either percale or sateen. Percale is a one-yarn-over and one-yarn-under weave, which results in a matte finish. The finish leaves cool, crisp feel that improves with every wash. It’s especially perfect for warmer sleepers as its lightweight and breathable. The latter, sateen, is a one-yarn-under and three-yarn-over weave. More thread surface exposed by this weave gives sateen its signature silky-soft feel and luminous sheen. Sateen is naturally wrinkle-resistant, usually more tightly woven and heavier in weight than percale, making it particularly sumptuous and slightly warmer. It’s ideal for year-round comfort and is especially cosy during the winter.

Cotton Bed Linen Brands (Adults):  

Coco & Wolf

Coco & Wolf’s signature, show stopping bedding is hand crafted using Liberty’s inimitable Tana Lawn™ cotton, a modern masterpiece of fabric production that Liberty has been perfecting for over 100 years.


Coze pride themselves on using only the very best premium cotton and distinguish this by following the process from the very beginning, monitoring the seed to sheet journey from start to finish.

Cotton Collective

Cotton Collective make bedding from luxurious cotton fabric and design it with the modern bedroom in mind, to make seamless style simple.

Goss & Genus

Cotton Collective make bedding from luxurious cotton fabric and design it with the modern bedroom in mind, to make seamless style simple.

Cotton Bed Linen Brands (Children): 

Avery Row

Avery Row's organic baby cotbed cotton bedding set is super soft on your little one's skin and looks beautiful in their unique print. Each set comes in its own cloth bag for handy storage or to add as an extra matching accessory in the home. High-quality and super snuggly to keep your babes safe and sound. Sweet dr


A new material to the bed linen market is cotton blended with a revolutionary botanical yarn, Tencel™, which creates a lightweight textile that’s both soft and crisp. By choosing to sleep in Tencel™, you’re opting for one of the world’s most sustainable materials. This luxurious yarn is made from sustainably grown botanicals such as eucalyptus that produce a silky smooth, soft and lightweight texture.

Tencel® Brands:


Undercover is a new bed linen brand that unites quality, design and sustainability. Undercover was founded by Miriam Tyrangiel who was tired of the conventional bedding options on offer. Until now, good quality only seemed to come in plain white cotton while design-forward products tend to sacrifice quality. Undercover is a new approach to home textiles with a bold design philosophy and a dedication to quality and our environment. 


Linen can be perfect if you want that über-chic rumpled look in the bedroom. Unlike with cotton, thread count is not a factor in linen in the same way, because a tightly woven, high thread count linen would feel far too heavy for bed linen. Linen is woven from the flax plant, which grows best in Europe’s temperate climates. Flax from Belgium, France, and Ireland is especially celebrated for its longer fibres which are key for a smoother, softer, and more durable weave. In stonewashing linen, the stones organically abrade the fabric to further loosen the weave and increase flexibility and softness.

Cotton and linen are both ideal fabrics for sleeping in the heat. They are both woven from natural fibres that breathe naturally, which is crucial for keeping cool. Whilst percale which is known for a crisp, cool feel is perfect for hot weather, linen has natural cooling properties. Linen, being more breathable, is moisture-wicking, and more absorbent than cotton. It is also a natural temperature regulator and insulator, keeping one cool in the summer and warm in winter.

Linen Brands:


Bedtime is the Secret Linen Stores favourite time and here's why they would love to make your bed, dress your windows and make you comfy for your home time.

They have been designing and making bed linen and home textiles for over 25 years. When you've slept in fabulous bedding, worn great home clothes, popped your head on a great pillow, you realise just how important bedtime is, and what a difference it can make to a whole third of your life. Once you have dressed yourself and your bed in fabulous quality fabrics, you will never want to go back (or get up).

Piglet in Bed

All Piglet in Bed bedding is made from beautiful, soft European flax linen with natural temperature-regulating properties that will ensure you sleep comfortably, all night long, whatever the season.


Scoom's linen bedding is for all seasons, combining super-soft comfort with laid-back looks. Designed to keep you cosy in the winter and cool in the summer for relaxed luxury all year round.


Bamboo is an increasingly popular fabric in the bed linen market, and there are many reasons for this. This material creates sheets that are as silky-smooth as fine cotton, but are superior in absorption moisture control. Bamboo’s moisture properties help keep excess moisture away from your skin, keeping you sweat and odour-free, even on the hottest night. The cross-section of the bamboo fibre is covered with micro-gaps for better ventilation.

In doing so, the fabric is extremely breathable and thermo-regulating, even more so than cotton. Bamboo is thus able to keep you two degrees cooler in the heat, and is noticeably warmer in the cold. And good news for those with sensitive skin – it also has a natural resistance to allergens and microbes, helping to prevent breakouts.

Bamboo is in itself a very eco-friendly, sustainable plant requiring far less water than cotton. It grows very quickly and does not need much in the way of pesticides or fertilisers. It is also biodegradable. 

Bamboo Bed linen Brands:  


Style meets environmental friendliness in Panda ‘ the brand that’s on a mission to bring ultra silkiness and softness from South-east Asian bamboo fibres to the forefront in a highly sustainable manner. With the Oeko-Tex’ Standard 100 stamp of approval,

Panda’s products ensure reliability, excellent quality and fashion. Panda promises luxury and cleanliness in the most guilt-free way, with a portion of the proceeds going towards the WWF foundation for the protection of wild pandas in dangerous environments.


Aeyla exists to help you break the sleep-stress cycle, with natural solutions for everyday life.


Imagine having silk bedding with all the benefits and none of the drawbacks... Imagine if your bedding was sumptuously soft, giving you the beauty sleep you deserve with glowing skin and healthy hair. Imagine if it was refreshingly cool to the touch and temperature regulating... Imagine no more! Luff's 100% organic bamboo silk is woven using Nanoweave technology for softness and comfort like no other. Cool in the summer, warm in the winter these are the best bed sheets money can buy. Helping our planet never felt so good!

 Wake up Happy!