It’s a simple fact: the act of reclining in bed at the end of a long day is an infinitely more enjoyable experience when fantastic sheets are involved. While some might assume thread count is the only thing that matters when it comes to the perfect sheets, that’s actually not true. It’s true that it’s important to start with a well-made set of linens, but it’s equally critical to maintain them carefully. So, read on for some expert tips on how to care for your linens.
A Word on Thread Count
Believe it or not, properly cared-for sheets in the 250-350 thread count range typically feel far more luxurious than, say, a 1000-thread count set. That’s because sky-high thread counts are generally just a marketing ploy achieved through technical shortcuts and questionable production practices, resulting in sheets that aren’t nearly so soft once you’ve washed them.
It’s easier than ever to save yourself the trouble of finding this out the hard way: just invest in well-made sheets with a reasonable thread count and follow a few simple rules of thumb.
Let Your Linens Breathe
First things first: air your bed out from time to time. Sheets are subjected to all manner of oils and moisture each night from the hair, skin, and body products we use, not to mention the unpleasant cocktail of sweat, dust particles, and dead skin that naturally accumulates over time. While a well-made bed is certainly lovely to come home to, it’s wise to leave your bed unmade at least once or twice a week and open a window to allow for proper ventilation. Be sure to change your sheets once every week or so: better still, invest in several sets of sheets and keep them on a rotation, lengthening the life of each so you can enjoy them all for years to come.
How to Wash and Dry Sheets Properly
On laundry day, wash your cotton or cotton blend sheets in cold or lukewarm water with a gentle detergent, plus a small amount of fabric softener if you desire. Remove them as soon as the spin cycle is complete to avoid trapping moisture between the sheets’ fibers for too long, which can result in a musty smell that lingers for multiple washes thereafter.
For best results, begin a gentle cycle in the dryer immediately, but with one important caveat. To keep sheets silky-soft and help them last longer overall, never fully dry them in the dryer; instead, let the machine do about 95% of the work with low to medium heat and promptly remove them.
Next, with seams still slightly damp, hang the sheets up to let them finish drying. Allowing cooler air to complete the process gives the fibers a chance to reshape themselves naturally. Again, here’s where that second (or third!) set of sheets comes in handy: you can refresh your bed with fresh linens while the laundry takes its time to dry, and even take a catnap if you’d like.
In the mood to replace or add to your linen collection? If you’ve ever slept on a Westin Heavenly Bed or enjoyed a restorative night’s rest at any Marriott property, you can treat yourself to those very same linens in the comforts of your own home and drift off to sleep in silken luxury each night.