Shopping Guide

RL Tips: Choosing Bed Linens

Interior designer Vera Villarosa gives helpful tips about bed sheets, thread counts, and bedding materials


To make the bedroom perfect for a well-deserved rest and relaxation, the bed must look inviting, too. Take note of the following tips when choosing the right bedding materials so you can enjoy your private space to the fullest.

Read the original article ("Fab Fabrics”) in the September 2013 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App now! Log on to for more details. 

Keep these tips in mind:

1. Take note of the size.

“Make sure you know the size of the mattress before going out to buy bed sheets,” says Vera. If you’re not sure of the mattress size, use a tape measure to check before you head out to buy things. Also take note that when buying bed linen, English-branded linens have standards that are a bit different from American brands, as follows:


  • Single: 3ft x 6ft 3”, 90 x 190cm
  • Double: 4ft 6” x 6ft 3”, 135 x 190cm
  • King: 5ft x 6ft 6”, 150 x 200cm
  • Superking: 6ft x 6ft 6”, 180 x 200cm
  • Emperor: 6ft 6” x 6ft 6”, 200 x 200cm 


  • Twin: 39” x 75” (or 99 x 190 cm)
  • X-Long Twin: 39” x 80”(99 x 203 cm)
  • Full/Double: 54” x 75” (137 x 190 cm)
  • Queen: 60” x 80” (or 153 x 203 cm)
  • King: 76” x 80” (or 198 x 203 cm)
  • California King: 72” x 84” (or 182 x 213 cm)

Learn more about choosing the right mattress here.

2. Match your sheets with your room color.

Don’t buy on impulse. Don’t get a bed linen just because the prints look good on the store rack. Try to imagine how the sheets would look inside your room. Heavily printed sheets can match a simple, neutral-tone room, while plain or muted ones are better with colorful interiors.

3. Get the right thread count.

Read the labels for the number of thread count. Thread count means the number of threads woven together in a square inch. The higher the thread count, the softer the fabric. “You will normally find bed linen in the 200 range, quality sheets can go from 250 to more than 300,” says Vera. If you want a silky feel to your sheets, buy ones with a 400-thread count. 

4. Touch the sheets.

“Touch the bed sheets before buying them. Try to scratch the sheet with your fingernail and notice if it will fuzz. If so, it’s a low-quality sheet. You can also hold it up to the light and you will notice that light will not shine through a high-thread-count sheet.”

5. Take note of the material and choose the right one.

Cotton is considered as the go-to material as it is easy to care for all year round. But there are other types of fabrics that are used, too. Luxury, prime linen like Sea Side Cotton and Egyptian cotton are known to be silky–soft; while organic cotton and bamboo, both grown without pesticides, are eco-friendly materials.


Building 101: Mattress Sizes

How do you choose the right mattress?

Bed Linen 101

How to Fold a Fitted Sheet

For more tips and guides, click here.


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