bedlinen Buying Guide

Bed Linen Buying Guide                                               

Waking up in high quality bedlinen is a supremely sumptuous and luxurious experience. The right bedding aids a restful night’s sleep leaving you refreshed and energised in the morning.

There are a lot of misconceptions about what makes quality bed linen so here are our pointers for what to look for:


Quality bed linen starts with quality fabric which means quality yarn.

Natural fibres are important as this will ensure a fabric that is breathable, responding to temperature and humidity and so creating a comfortable environment for the body whatever the season. This could be cotton, linen or micro-modal.

Not all cotton is equal, there are many varying qualities. Egyptian cotton is a unique genus (type) of cotton that grows primarily in Egypt. This is not the same as cotton that just comes from, or has been processed in Egypt as it has a much longer staple (fibre) which ensures a smooth and strong cloth. Buyer beware: A great deal of Egyptian cotton on the market is in fact inferior Asian cotton that has merely been processed in Egypt so check the small print.

Linen has quite a different handle to cotton. It is generally heavier and can be a coarser cloth which is strong, absorbent and will soften over time and with washing.

Micromodal is incredibly absorbent making it particularly good in hot climates or for those who perspire during the night although its softness and silkiness also give it a cosy feel in colder weather. It has a high sheen so is often selected as an alternative to silk which can be difficult to care for.

Thread Count

What is the thread count? is probably the most asked question when buying bed linen. However, the truth is that thread count is only one measure in gauging quality. It will only tell you how many threads are in a square inch (or centimetre) of fabric thus expressing how densely woven the cloth is.

A very high thread count will be produced using twisted yarns which may or not be of a high quality themselves. As such, it is quite possible for a well made 200tc to be better than a cheaper 600tc.


Yarn can be woven into either a percale or sateen finish and it is very much a personal preference as to which you choose. Percale is smooth crisp and cool, whilst sateen has a high sheen and, some think, a warmer touch. Whilst sateen has a beautiful lustre, percale is, undoubtably, stronger and more robust so for hotels or environments where there will be intense laundering this may be preferable.

Finish & Handle

As well as the aesthetic appeal, look at the quality of the finish, the hemming, the quality of the stitching. If you hold it up to the light can see through it? If so, then it’s too thin. How does it feel to the touch?

In the end buying is very much a matter of personnel choice. Trust your own judgement and feel the cloth with your own hands.


We recommend having at least three sets of linen per bed: One on the bed, one in the ash and one in the cupboard. This ensures each set a rest from use and wash. Similarly, we would suggest that sets are washed together (soiled or not) to ensure that colour and brightness stay consistent.

We are always happy to answer any queries you might have or, give advice if you are still unsure what to go for. Please do call us on 01273 681844 or email