The 5 Best Bed Sheets & Linen UK (The 2021 Expert Buyers Guide)

Last Updated on 6 Jan. 2020

Bed sheets are so often overlooked, when it comes to putting together your perfect night’s sleep.

And until you’ve slept on a luxurious soft sheet, you don’t know what you’re missing out on!

With so many different materials and fibres to choose from, it can be tricky to know what to look for and it can raise a lot of questions. Why is it that Egyptian cotton is better than other types of cotton? What’s the best thread count option to go for?

In this buying guide, I’m going to explain exactly what to look for when you’re buying your next bed sheet set, to ensure that you find exactly what you need. At the end of the article, I’ve reviewed some of my personal favourites to provide you with some solid recommendations.

First, here’s a summary of all the best sheets out there. Just click on the name of any that you’re interested in, and you’ll go to either John Lewis or Amazon where you can order your own!

If you need some more information, though, just keep reading.

Top 5 Best Bed Sheets

1. Top Choice – John Lewis Soft & Silky 800 Thread Count Fitted Bed Sheet

John Lewis & Partners Soft & Silky Egyptian Cotton 800 Thread Count Deep Fitted Sheet, White

Material – 100 % Egyptian Cotton

Thread Count – 800

Max Depth – 36 cm

Tumble Dryer Friendly – Yes

Price & Reviews

John Lewis really hit the nail on the head with their 800 thread count sheet, offering the finest luxury at a great price. This one is cheaper than their 1000 thread count alternative by about £30, which in my opinion makes this the best bed sheet you can buy.

The depth of this sheet means it should fit easily around any mattress you might have, especially since this is a fitted sheet. You won’t find corners popping off while you try to fit the others on!

The quality of this sheet can be felt as soon as you touch it, since it’s so thick and luxurious. You’ll know you’ve made the right choice as soon as you jump into bed. These sheets are cool, silky and comfortable, so you’ll sleep well all night long.

Bottom Line – The ultimate in luxury bedding. The high thread count and deep fit make this the perfect choice in bed sheets.

2. Best Cheap Bed Sheets – John Lewis Perfectly Smooth Egyptian Cotton Fitted Sheet

John Lewis & Partners Crisp and Fresh 200 Thread Count Egyptian Cotton Deep Fitted Sheet, White

Thread Count – 200

Material – Egyptian Cotton

Max Depth – 30cm

Tumble Dryer Friendly – Yes

Price & Reviews

Luxury isn’t the right price point for everyone, so these sheets are an excellent option.

A 200 thread count is at the lower end of the spectrum when it comes to sheets but it’s still very comfortable and well-made.

Make sure that before you buy this sheet you measure how deep your mattress is. A few people have mentioned that this sheet has shrunk slightly after washing, so it doesn’t fit on the mattress well any more. However, there’s a very good chance that these people could be buying the wrong size of sheet for their bed…

While these are Egyptian cotton sheets, it doesn’t say anywhere the percentage of these sheets that’s actually Egyptian cotton, so it’s likely a blend with normal cotton. The sheets are still soft, though. They’re comfortable and have the benefit of not breaking the bank.

They even come in a huge range of colours, so they’ll suit any bedroom decor!

Bottom Line – Comfortable and budget-friendly. These sheets are well-crafted and the range of colours make them very versatile.

3. Best Non-Fitted Bed Sheet – John Lewis 400 Soft And Silky

John Lewis & Partners 400 Thread Count Soft & Silky Egyptian Cotton Flat Sheet, White

Thread Count – 400

Material – Egyptian Cotton

Tumble Dryer Friendly – Yes

Price & Reviews

This is a higher thread count than the last one, so you know that this sheet will be cosy and comfy. The Egyptian cotton is woven using a satin weave – this means that the sheet has a shiny lustre and is incredibly soft on the skin. It also gives the appearance of being very luxurious!

One thing to note is that this is not a fitted sheet – it’s a flat sheet. This might not be a problem for you but I find it a lot harder to make the bed when I don’t have a fitted sheet – hospital corners are not my strong point!

Bottom Line – Luxurious and soft cotton. This is a high-quality, super soft bed sheet that comes in a range of colours. Perfect for a good night’s sleep!

4. Best Cooling Bed Sheet – John Lewis Temperature Balancing Sheets

John Lewis & Partners Specialist Temperature Balancing 400 Thread Count Cotton Deep Fitted Sheet, Cream

Thread Count – 400

Material – Cotton

Max Depth – 36 cm

Tumble Dryer Friendly – Yes

Price & Reviews

These sheets are quite unique and are perfect if you’re the type of person that overheats while you sleep.

John Lewis claims that “Hygro technology” is the key to these. The cotton is spun in such a way that the inside of the sheet is hollow, which traps air inside. This is what helps to regulate your body temperature and keep it at a comfortable level.

You can buy bedding sets that all have the Hygro technology, so you can get yourself a sheet, duvet cover and pillowcases if you’re a really warm sleeper.

Even with the temperature-regulation to one side, these are still high-quality bed sheets. They’re made with 100% cotton and have a 400 thread count, so they’re soft and comfy.

Bottom Line – If you’ve been struggling with your sleep lately, or noticing that you’re awfully sweaty as you sleep… then this is definitely the cotton sheet set for you. They’re a bit more pricey but worth it.

5. Luxury Choice – John Lewis Ultimate Collection 1600

John Lewis & Partners The Ultimate Collection 1600 Thread Count Cotton Deep Fitted Sheet

Thread Count – 1600

Material – Cotton

Max Depth – 36 cm

Tumble Dryer Friendly – Yes

Price & Reviews

If luxury is what you’re hoping for, then these are definitely the the sheets for you. They have a whopping 1600 thread count – the highest that John Lewis offer. You’ve likely heard about 1000 thread count sheets being the measure of high-quality bedding, but these are even better.

This is another satin weave sheet, using 100% cotton. They have a plush, sumptuous feel, which will guarantee you an amazing night’s sleep. However, it’s another flat sheet, which might put you off if you prefer a fitted sheet for the ease it provides when it comes to making your bed.

However, they do come with a hefty price tag. That high thread count comes at a cost. If you have the budget for it, then this is an amazingly luxurious sheet, but it might not suit everyone.

What Thread Count Is Best?

Thread count is an important factor when it comes to buying a bed sheet, so it’s good to know what it actually means!

The thread count refers to the number of strands of fibre per square inch. The more strands of fibre you can wrap or weave together in a square inch, then the smaller the strands must be. The smaller the strands, then the softer the resulting fabric.

You do need to be wary with claims from some companies that they’ve increased their thread count and therefore the quality of their sheet. New manufacturing techniques mean that companies can effectively double weave strands together, which doubles the thread count of a sheet without actually providing increased comfort.

It’s a little like certain “fat-free” foods. They don’t have fat in them, that’s the truth, but the fat is usually replaced with sugar. So they’re fat-free but definitely not good for you!

So if you find a 1000 thread count sheet that seems too cheap to be true, then it probably is. And a 2000 thread count sheet? Nonsense.

The thread count is important but you should look at other aspects of the bed sheets you want to buy too – the highest thread count isn’t everything.

For instance, the main difference between a 1000 thread count and an 800 thread count sheet is the price. The way they feel on the skin isn’t all that different!

The ideal thread counts are between 200-800, with 800 being the most luxurious and 200 being budget-friendly but comfortable. 500 thread count sheets are also common, so you have a big range to choose from without having to spend a lot.

What Should Bed Sheets Be Made Of?

Egyptian Cotton vs Other Cotton

Egyptian cotton is often hailed as being the best. But do you actually know why?

This question is actually easy to answer. Egyptian cotton is often called the best because it is the best! It’s stronger than other cottons, the strands are longer (long-staple cotton) and are generally softer than alternatives. It’s the ideal choice for your bedsheet.

Egyptian cotton is also handpicked, which means the strength of the fibre is maintained. This sometimes gets lost when cotton, even organic cotton, is machine-harvested.

It’s also very absorbent, which means it takes really well to the dyeing process. You end up with really crisp colour, in any shade you want.

If you’re buying Egyptian cotton sheets, go for 100% Egyptian cotton, rather than a blend. The only exception to this would be if you can find a cashmere blend – that would be amazingly soft!

Other Bed Sheet Materials

Linen

Linen is hailed for its hugely breathable nature making it ideal for hot weather. It keeps you cool while wicking moisture away from the body.

The downside is that it’s not a very workable material. It’s very hard to manufacture, which makes it more expensive. However, these can be good to keep in the cupboard for a possible summer heatwave.

Because linen is so light, it’s also quite prone to wrinkling. If you don’t like ironing, you could try to find some wrinkle-resistant sheets, although this has usually been achieved by treating them with chemicals – something to bear in mind.

A lot of people use linen sheets to cover them while they sleep, instead of a duvet. They’re lighter and are usually flat sheets, so you won’t get caught in elasticated fitted corners while you sleep!

Bamboo

Bamboo is another great fibre for controlling your body temperature while you sleep. It’s naturally hypoallergenic and very rarely does it get treated with chemicals. If you’re environmentally conscious, then bamboo sheets are a great, natural choice.

Just make sure that your bamboo is responsibly-sourced and organic, if possible.

Jersey

Jersey is a little strange. It’s made from cotton, the same as a normal cotton sheet, but it feels completely different! Jersey is what T-shirts are usually made out of. It’s very soft but it’s often not very breathable.

The different feel of the fabric comes from the strands being knitted together instead of woven. This results in a tight weave, which is what traps in a lot of heat. This might be bad if you tend to overheat while you sleep but if you find yourself shivering, then this could be perfect for you!

In my personal opinion, nothing really beats a cool, crisp sheet to sleep on, so jersey isn’t the choice for me. I would opt for getting yourself a new duvet if you’re too cold, rather than a jersey sheet. However, it’s up to you!

Cashmere

Sheets that have cashmere in them are usually blended with cotton. This means the sheet is nice and warm, but is still soft and breathable. They’re super comfy and a great choice if you want to hold in more heat.

Cashmere usually comes with a slightly bigger price tag but there’s a big range out there.

Shall We Compare Size?

Deciding what your sheet will be made out of is one thing but don’t forget to make sure you buy the right size for your mattress! There’s nothing worse than trying to put a sheet on the bed that’s just too small to fit.

I’d imagine that you probably know whether your bed is a double or a king size, but this isn’t the only important measurement you need to know. You should also find out how deep your mattress is before buying sheets, especially if you have a mattress topper.

If you find that your current sheet keeps popping off your mattress, chances are that your sheet is too narrow for how deep your mattress is.

Don’t worry about buying a sheet too deep, they usually have stretchy sides which will stop this from being a problem.

Fitting Size Sheet Dimension Single L190 x W90cm Double L190 x W135cm King L200 x W150cm Super King L200 x W180cm Emperor L200 x W200cm

Washing Instructions

This is the last thing to consider when buying your perfect sheet.

I’d personally never opt for sheets that I can’t put in the washing machine but if you can, try to find bed linen that you can also put in the tumble dryer. It’ll make the washing process so much simpler and quicker, since bed sheets can be a pain to get dry since they’re so big.

Just don’t put your sheets in the dryer unless you’re sure they’re suitable, otherwise you’ll end up with much smaller sheets than you put in!

Related Reading

All About Mattress Toppers

Best Mattress Protectors

Why not check out the best mattresses for an upgrade too!

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