When it comes to buying bed sheets, there’s more to it than simply choosing the right color to match the rest of your bedding. There are a handful of popular options to be aware of and respective features for each. For example, there’s thread count, seasonal considerations to be mindful of, and breathability. There’s also stretchability since some sheets also stretch a little bit, so they’re not so constricting.
If you’re in the market for new bed sheets, let’s take a look at the popular jersey-knit sheets and see how they compare to other popular types of bed sheets.
Jersey-knit sheets are known for being extremely comfortable and soft. One common way to describe jersey-knit sheets is that they’re like sleeping in a comfy T-shirt. Some, like the ones made by Lands’ End, are made with 100% cotton. Like their name indicates, Jersey-knit sheets are made using a knitting process as opposed to a weaving process. The result is incredible softness and breathability that only a loose-knit can provide, just like your favorite T-shirt. And since they don’t trap heat and stick to you when it’s hot out, they’re great for summertime.
Yes, jersey-knit sheets have a bit of stretch to them, which is especially great for getting fitted sheets onto the mattress and over the mattress pad. Remember that you may find jersey-knit sheets in cotton blends—not just 100% cotton—and different blends will result in different amounts of stretch. Don’t worry about them stretching so much that they become misshaped. However, you may find that they sometimes look a little stretched out in spots if you haven’t washed them recently. This is especially true for kids who toss and turn a lot during their sleep. Although the sheets might look a little stretched out in spots that they tug at, rest assured that those areas will reshape when the sheets are thrown in the wash. Also, buying 100% cotton jersey-knit sheets as opposed to cotton blends should help them maintain their shape better.
Although jersey-knit sheets are very soft, you can’t really compare them to flannel sheets in the softness category. Flannel sheets are basically super soft cotton sheets that have been brushed on both sides to make them extra fluffy and soft. There is a misconception that flannel sheets are only for winter, most likely because they’re so cozy and feel great on the skin when you’re cold. But it’s important to realize that flannel is made of breathable cotton, flannel sheets are also great for the summer months.
Jersey sheets and microfiber sheets are quite different. Microfiber is a type of synthetic fiber made of polyester and nylon. Because they’re synthetic, microfiber sheets aren’t necessarily as breathable as cotton sheets or jersey sheets, but they’re very durable. They’ll trap heat better than cotton as well, making them good choices for wintertime. Since the thread used in microfiber sheets is so fine, it creates a very smooth appearance and feel that makes them easy to slide into if you prefer ultra-smooth sheets.
It’s only natural to wonder how jersey-knit sheets compare to the crème de la crème of sheets: Egyptian cotton. But it's not super easy to find sheets that are authentically Egyptian cotton. For example, they may just be sold in the United States and made in Egypt, which doesn’t necessarily classify them as the luxurious high-thread-count sheets that people think of when they hear the words “Egyptian cotton.” You’ll also pay a hefty price tag for Egyptian cotton sheets, which isn’t necessary considering that there are other options that are just as luxurious. Simply looking for sheets made of long-staple cotton, such as Supima cotton sheets can provide the same softness and durability. Keep in mind that the higher the thread count, the higher the price, however. So if you’re comparing Egyptian cotton sheets to jersey-knit sheets, it’s also important to know that you won’t see a thread count on the jersey sheets since jersey is a knit fabric, not woven.
Jersey sheets are as easy to care for as your favorite T-shirt. Simply machine wash them and throw them in the dryer. Still, it’s important to check the instructions on the label to be sure since different manufacturers might have their own washing requirements. Common instructions, however, are to use cold water and a gentle cycle to avoid pilling and maintain color. And drying them on low heat can aid in prolonging their lifespan.
Overall, jersey-knit sheets are great for all seasons if you prefer the feel of soft cotton and like a little bit of stretchability in your sheets. And they come in so many colors; it’s easy to match them to the rest of your bedding.