We all love a little bit of luxury and when it comes to bedding and we spend a small fortune on Egyptian cotton sheets.
Known for its superior quality, everyone who knows a thing or two about bedding would prefer to have sheets made from Egyptian cotton on their bed.
You can read many posts on the importance of a good night’s sleep (here are 11 reasons to start with) and how your bed and pillows can make a big difference but just remember the feeling you get when you slip into bed, when you have just washed and ironed the sheets and duvet covers.
There is no other feeling like it, the cool crisp cotton is a delight and the texture of the bedding makes you feel like royalty.
What makes a good luxury Egyptian cotton sheet?
Well, making sure that the cotton is grown entirely within Egypt and that the fabric is not a blend of Egyptian cotton and a fabric from another country like China, for example.
Some companies like Belledorm have the seal on the packaging, this is a government approved label that gives the customer a guarantee that the entire product is sourced, manufactured and packaged in Egypt.
This is important as only the genuine cotton grown on the lush banks of the Nile Delta area in upper Egypt give you the lush cotton needed to produce the world’s finest luxury bed linen.
By the way, this article by Consumer is a great guide to some of the pitfalls around buying Egyptian cotton.
You may have heard about long staple fibres, vitally important if you want to produce high thread count yarns as the extra length helps the yarns to bind together more efficiently creating a stronger and more resilient yarn that can be then woven much finer than standard cotton.
The cotton is then woven using state of the art looms in some of the most advanced weaving factories in Alexandria, Egypt.
They produce fabrics starting at 200 Threads per square inch, this is where the fabric criss-crosses itself in a grid pattern 200 times in any given square inch of fabric, this is called the warp and the weft.
This is a minimum weave standard for bed linen made with Egyptian cotton, this thread count is called ‘Percale’. Percale was a term invented in Lancashire in the days of King Cotton to denote superior fabric to the general polycotton fabric that were used at the time. Here’s the Wikipedia entry about Percale for more detail.
They generally had a 150 thread count and lower, some hospital fabric used 120 thread count, this was a heavy fabric that could be washed at extremely high temperatures in order to kill bacteria and germs.
Higher thread counts
Modern luxury bedding uses much higher thread counts, 400 thread count is now the main staple fabric for anyone wanting to sample the delights of superior Egyptian cotton sheets. A soft and cool fabric that is woven uses the finest cotton and has slight sateen finish which makes the bedding look awesome when laid out on the bed.
1000 thread count sheets are now becoming more popular than ever, more customers are now switched on to the benefits of getting the best bedding you can afford.
Cost has dropped quite a lot of this type of bedding as the demand rises but you get a good deal of cotton for your money.
To achieve this technical marvel only the best cotton can be used as the weaving process is very fast and vigorous.
Cheap or inferior quality yarns that can snap or break easily would not stand up to the modern looms that weave the fabric faster than the eye can see, they would break too easily and the whole process would not be cost effective due to time down allowing for the looms to set up again every time the cotton yarns snap.
Some Cotton sheets use two ply technologies to ensure that the yarn is strong enough to withstand the extreme demands of this type of weaving process.
This is not an inferior standard of bedding, just a much stronger and more resilient fabric that ensures the bedding lasts much longer than a single ply yarn would last even in normal use and domestic laundries.
You can find our 1000 thread count Egyptian cotton here.
Leading Egyptian cotton brands
At Bedlinen Direct we only use the best manufacturers for our range of Egyptian cotton sheets such as Peter Reed, Belledorm and Sheridan to name just a few of the best known brands in the UK.
They give us our really wide range of Egyptian cotton sheets.
Buying from companies like these ensures they give you the best quality bedding, as they have a reputation to uphold and they want their loyal customers to come back to them in the years to come.
You don’t buy bedding that often so it is important to know that you are getting a good return on your money.
Cheap cotton sheets are just what they are, cheap, they do not last as long as you would like so you will replace them much sooner and therefore costing you the same in the long run as you would pay for luxury Egyptian cotton sheets.
So you will have not benefited from the initial outlay and you will have suffered by sleeping on low quality and sometimes uncomfortable sheets.
Egyptian cotton versus other bed linen
In our opinion any bedding, duvet covers or fitted sheets made from pure 100% Egyptian cotton is far superior to other makes of luxury bed linen.
Choose wisely and you will reap the benefits, if you can only afford a percale sheet make sure it is manufactured from a reputable brand such as the companies we have mentioned above.
Not all cotton is the same, like buying a car, you can get different trim models depending on the amount of money you want to spend.
Well cotton is just the same, Egyptian cotton is graded depending on the quality of the crop and how lush the cotton buds are before they are sent to market.
The cotton is graded and the cost of the raw depends on a lot of important factors, like crop quality, cotton bud size and area of the country the crop was sourced from.
The cost from average to excellent can vary immensely so when you see Egyptian cotton sheets that are at a bargain price, just have a good think before you buy. Take the above information into account and ask yourself how can these cotton sheets be so cheap?