A good night’s sleep ascertains how relaxed, fresh, and energetic you feel the next morning. There are different things that determine how well you sleep every night – of which bedsheets play an important role. These sheets come in different sizes, designs, and materials – microfiber is a commonly used material.
Microfiber sheets won’t keep you cool. A microfiber sheet is made using synthetic materials. The fabric is tightly woven, which means the fine threads would prevent your body sweat from being absorbed by the microfiber material, leading to increased body temperature.
If you’d like to learn more about microfiber sheets or why do they even exist when they cannot properly regulate body temperature while you sleep, and how they fare when put up against other commonly used sheet fabrics, keep reading.
What are microfiber sheets?
Microfiber sheets are manufactured using super-thin fibers, aptly called microfibers. They are, therefore, quite cushiony, soft, and lightweight. The materials used to make these fibers are usually synthetic. But some may incorporate natural materials, such as wood pulp. The man-made materials typically used are finely woven polyester and silky material strands.
The strength and softness of a microfiber sheet depend on the quality and quantity of material used to make them. The softer and stronger the sheet, the thicker and denser the strands used are. This increased softness may mean microfiber sheets will be soothing to people with skin issues. However, since microfiber is not “natural,” some may find the sheet doing just the opposite or exacerbating their existing skin conditions.
- Lightweight material
- Washing machine-friendly
- Pretty durable, particularly if it’s a tight weave
- Soft and silky feel
How do microfiber sheets compare to cotton and linen sheets?
Cotton is still the most widely used bed sheet material. One of the reasons cotton is a crowd favorite is it is natural. For what it is, a cotton bed sheet is pretty durable too. With regular use and wash, cotton does compress and become softer. However, it doesn’t lose its integrity too much and, therefore, comes good for long. This durability, however, largely hinges on the fabric’s spin and interwoven threads.
Though cotton is extremely popular, it doesn’t reign supreme in the breathability and comfort areas. Linen rules the roost when it comes to bedsheet breathability. It tends to stay cooler than cotton. More importantly, linen feels and looks good for years together. It’s also fairly durable. Some other natural fabric options for increased breathability are percale and eucalyptus.
Natural is Expensive
Since cotton and linen are natural materials, bed sheets made from them tend to be more comfortable. However, all of this increased comfort comes at a cost. In other words, a microfiber sheet is significantly cheaper compared to cotton and linen sheets.
Cotton and linen are on the expensive side because they are made of natural materials – which are naturally (no pun intended) in limited supply. On the other hand, you can pretty much factory-produce materials needed to make microfiber sheets.
Microfiber is the Durability Champ
As mentioned before, cotton and linen are quite durable. Microfiber sheets, however, hit it out of the park on the durability pitch. Like cotton sheets, thread count determines how far these microfiber sheets go. If the weave is tight, there is just no stopping them. However, if the sheets do not comprise a relatively high thread count, tears and rips are quite possible in only a few months of use.
When made well, microfiber sheets are extremely durable. This increased durability also means they do not fade over time. Cotton and other natural fabrics do not hold dye as efficiently as microfiber. Microfiber has greater resilience and can stay vibrant and bright even after multiple laundry trips.
Therefore, do not cheap out on your purchase if you truly care about bed sheet quality and longevity. If you fancy something that strikes the right balance between quality and price, these luxury queen-size microfiber sheets by Nestl Bedding are worth consideration.
Microfiber is Easier to Maintain
Microfiber sheets are relatively cheaper and also easy to maintain. You need not adhere to special washing instructions or steer clear of regularly used detergents to wash microfiber sheets. Also, you can wash the sheets in a washing machine on a regular cycle. Most importantly, the sheet would keep its size and shape even after having gone through the dryer.
The Feel is Great with Microfiber
Microfiber sheets do lose out to cotton and linen sheets in the breathability department. But they make up for that with their silkiness. In other words, microfiber sheets have a wavy flow. You’ll, in fact, be hard-pressed to crease them. If your partner or kid(s) move around at night, microfiber sheets will facilitate their movements. The silky texture also means you can easily crawl into your microfiber sheets.
Bed sheet fabric and thread count.
Bedsheet fabric, or any other textile for that matter, has a particular “thread count.” The thread count basically denotes the total number of threads woven together for every square inch (6.45 cm) of fabric. To constitute the count, both the widthwise and lengthwise threads are accounted for. For instance, 75 widthwise threads woven with 75 lengthwise threads means the thread count is 150.
A material with a thread count that is 300 or more is considered high quality. These sheets are likely to be soft on your skin and feel more comfortable. They do not easily pill and will stay comfortable over a period of usage. Low thread count, on the other hand, could mean scratchy and coarse fabric.
However, thread count is only one piece of the “fabric quality” puzzle. They do not mean everything – just like how megapixels alone do not determine how well a camera can snap pictures.
But since thread count is such a buzzword and buyers focus more on a fabric’s thread count more than anything else, some manufacturers deceivingly inflate the count to the thousands to entice buyers. They may incorporate added threads called “picks.” Some makers even claim higher thread counts by accounting two thread pieces that have been plied together.
Fabrics that are single-ply have individual threads. Two-ply fabrics comprise two yarn strands twisted together to create a single thread. The point being two-ply fabrics that are supposedly marketed to have a thread count of 400 could actually be having only 200. There are even four-ply threads. Bedsheet fabrics with a thread count of 1,000 are invariably composed of these threads.
A higher thread count achieved through the use of picks obviously doesn’t equate to better quality. As a thumb rule, the highest number of threads one can weave into a square inch fabric is 600. If it’s more than that, then you can safely assume that compromises – or in this case – a lot of twisting and turning has been done.
How do you know if the high thread count is inferior? It’s pretty simple. High thread count and bed sheet prices directly correlate to each other. This means if the count is high and the sheet is relatively inexpensive, it’s a clear indicator that the thread work is of low quality.
When shopping for a bedsheet, never compromise on comfort – irrespective of how fancy the looks are. If you sleep hot and need a bedsheet that works against the heat your body generates, a microfiber sheet is a no-go. Cotton bed sheets or sheets made from any other natural fabric would serve you significantly better.
However, this doesn’t mean microfiber sheets don’t have their place. They, in fact, come in extremely handy during winters or when you’re struggling to stay warm and cozy at night. And if the core temperature of your body is low – thanks to drug or alcohol usage or due to certain health conditions you may have such as low thyroid or diabetes – a microfiber sheet is your friend.