Bed Sheets

Seems like a trivial subject, bed sheets. However, if you have shopped for sheets recently, you know it is no trivial thing.

When I was first married, it was a simple enough thing to shop for sheets. There were two kinds of sheets, muslin and percale. Muslin was soft and inexpensive and percale was smooth and required no ironing. Percale was a little more expensive, but worth the difference.

Today it is an entirely different story. I guess somewhere they may sell muslin sheets, but I don’t know where. I have seen percale sheets in a few places, but you have to really look to find them. The big thing in sheets today is ‘thread count’. The higher the thread count, the more expensive the sheet. According to one website, thread count refers to the number of horizontal and vertical threads in one square inch of fabric.

Theoretically, the higher the thread count the softer the sheets. Sounds good, eh? Really soft sheets! But there is a huge drawback here, they wrinkle. They wrinkle a lot! Wrinkled sheets look terrible! And they cost a lot of money. A really big lot of money!

Now I don’t know about most folks, but this old woman is not about to iron sheets! And IF I were foolish enough to pay the high price for these high thread count sheets (I have seen over $400), I would expect them to change the bed when dirty, throw themselves in the washer and dryer, press themselves and make the bed. Since I know they won’t do any of that, I ain’t buying these suckers! So there.

A Consumer Reports issue some time back reported anything over 400 thread count is a waste of money and 200 thread count will last just as well and provide all the comfort needed. Good Old Consumer Reports, I will follow their advice and I won’t sleep on wrinkled sheets. I will also have more money to spend on other things, like software. I do have my priorities straight!



  1. Gosh, if only I had read this before I bought the new 500 thread count shar-pei of sheets and then thought to ask Martha what to do about it.

    If ironing wasn’t enough of a real pain, the smell of starch in lieu of delightful laundry fragrances is a decided turnoff.

  2. I recently decided to splurge on some sheeting when I came across sheets that are made of wood! I guess it has no thread count but it feels so silky! I found this website ( that sent me a swatch and once I got it I was instantly sold! So I’ve had them for couple months now and I wont sleep on anything else! The best part is that they don’t require ironing! They were a little pricey but it was worth every penny!

  3. I’m on a grand hunt for muslin sheets. I have a set that is at least 25 years old and they are the softest thing to ever touch your body!!! Problem is, they are finally starting to wear out and I’m desperate to replace them. If anyone knows where you still CAN buy these suckers, please let me know.

  4. Comforter Covers says:

    Bed sheet do tend to last very long periods of time. Mines is at least 12 years old.

  5. I found a wholesale website that sells 180-tc muslin sheets. Problem is, the minimum order is 2 dozen (pillowcases: six dozen!) and I only need a couple of sets! Vermont Country Store used to offer them and don’t any more. I have thought about buying them and selling the extras on ebay, but my husband will kill me if I go into the mail-order business!

  6. I have to get new sheets. I don’t want to get new sheets, but my sheets are showing their age. I agree with the person who wrote about muslin being soft. My mother’s and grandmother’s muslin sheets just kept getting softer and softer every year. There was no ironing because they hung them on the line and they were beyond wrinkles, they were just too limp to wrinkle after all those washings. There was nothing better than to get into a freshly washed bed with those sheets. Just such a soft smooth feel. I’ve bought the Egyptian cotton sheets for our King sized bed and was not impressed. They got a hole before they were a year old, and once you mend that spot you can always feel it. So I’m thinking of percale. With a King size bed it’s going to be a big investment whatever I choose. I just hope I can find something before too long, my husband even commented on how they were looking! My sheets have a print and next time I will be getting a solid color as the print started to fade after the first couple of years of being washed so often, and now after 15 years they just look…old.

  7. Yea! I found muslin sheets! I’ve been looking for years ever since My Mom’s old sheets wore out. Would you believe Penney’s is selling new “old” muslin sheets? True I just ordered a flat full size – pricey but they must have found a stash somewhere. On their web site. It’s a lot easier to find the kid prints and garish flowers than a plain or a stripe. Check through Google for Antique Muslin sheets too – they are still out there. Also K-Mart has new sets for an unbelievable 2010 price – lots of colors and all the sizes. Ladies I think they finally heard us 🙂

  8. doug evans says:

    I just stumbled on this doing a google search. Here is a web address and a phone # to order any thing bedding related even those hard to find sheets ya’ll are talking about. My daughter owns the business so ask for Marysa and tell her DAD said to give ya’ll a good price. or 800-781-2466

  9. I like to keep our bedding simple so that it’s not a hassle to toss the sheets in the dryer for 5 minutes every day. This means not using a bunch of pillows and extra frilly stuff. It also gives us that fresh dryer sheet smell every day. =)

  10. Here’s the skinny. Muslin is just percale woven loosely. Hence it feels softer and drapes better than percale. Percale tends to be “crisper”, which some people prefer. They are both a simple 1 over 1 weave. There are many weaves that are more durable such as denim. These other weaves are constructed by skipping over threads before weaving under in each direction, where the thread will lie flat on the surface for a small distance. Typically they can be made with one thread skipping over 4 threads and under two, This makes the top surface mainly composed of flat threads and disperses the wear over an area of flat threads rather than “bent” threads. This also allows the material to be heavier and also allows a finer thread to be used without loosing durability. These weaves are also smoother than the simple 1 over 1 weave. This fabric is known as sateen because it looks like satin but is made from cotton. Other fibers can also be used, which are more durable and softer than cotton including bamboo fiber and birch fiber. (Yes from the tree). As far as ironing is concerned regular elastic sheets tend to wander around and after the elastic dies from dryer heat they are all over the place, bunching up and becoming very uncomfortable. The new thing is the drawstring sheet, ( where the sheet is mechanically tightened by the drawstring. Since it stays tight it is always smooth under the sleeper. This eliminates the need for ironing!

  11. To all the readers.I would recommend these 500 thread count bed sheets there 100% bamboo.I have never slept on anyting like this before.Thank you sleepsosoft.

  12. Thank God. Finally the information I have been looking for. I’m gonna get Muslin sheets. Thanks to the person that clarified that Muslin is just Percale woven lightly.

  13. I’ve tried every sheet known to man– muslin, percale, Egyptian cotten, brushed silk, satin, and flannel, but my favorite are the jersey sheets. They’re so soft, like sleeping in your best old t-shirt from college. They’re a PAIN to put on the bed, but worth the effort once you snuggle down in them. Two places you can find them is and Bed, Bath, & Beyond.