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What is a Sheet Set?

A bed with a sheet set on it.
Bed linens.
A sateen sheet.
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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 23 March 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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A sheet set is a package of coordinating sheets which includes a lower fitted sheet, a top flat sheet, and two pillowcases. Sheet sets are packaged for convenience, allowing people to purchase basic bedding in a single package, rather than buying everything individually, and it is sometimes less expensive to buy a sheet set than to buy each item separately. Most department stores carry an array of sheet sets, and they can also be ordered directly through companies which specialize in bedding.

Typically, sheet sets are classified by size, with twin, full, queen, king, and California king being common size options. Some include features like extra-deep fitted sheets for padded mattresses, or unusually large flat sheets to make the sheets lie more securely on the bed. Usually, the outside of the sheet set includes a label which specifies the measurements of the sheets inside, allowing people to determine whether or not the sheets will fit the bed for which they are being purchased.

Along with basic sizing information, the package also specifies the material used to make the sheets, such as cotton, flannel, silk, satin, linen, or a polyester blend. Lightweight cotton and silk are often ideal choices for warm climates, while flannel is desirable in the winter because it is warm and insulating. The mixture of fibers is often an important consideration for people who do not like certain fibers or textures.

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Thread count is also a common detail included on the packaging for a sheet set. The thread count refers to the number of threads in a random sampling of a specific size. The higher the thread count, the better the sheet quality, with high thread counts indicating a very dense weave which will last through years of use, while low thread counts suggest that the weave is much wider, making the sheets scratchy and more prone to tearing.

The sheets and pillowcases in a sheet set can come in a range of patterns and colors, which are designed to coordinate. It is also common for sheet sets to coordinate with duvet covers, quilts, dust ruffles, and other bedding accessories sold by the same store, so that people can buy matching bedding. When selecting a sheet set, people may want to think about the d├ęcor in the room where the sheet set will be used, the colors and patterns of other bedding which will be used on the bed, and personal preferences in terms of texture, color, and fiber.

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Discuss this Article

anon256628
Post 3

Why do they only include a single pillow case in a twin sheet set? No one sleeps with one pillow.

Mor
Post 2

You might not think that thread count can make a difference, but it really does. The feel of the sheets are much smoother, the further up in count you go.

Cotton sheet sets are better in general, but if you get ones with a low thread count they also don't last very long. My sister had a cheap set when she was a student that she didn't bother to throw out for years. In the end it was pilled and so scratchy it was irritating to touch it.

It sounds kind of snobbish and normally I don't put much stock into this kind of thing but it really is so luxurious to sleep in a bed with high count sheets.

pastanaga
Post 1

I've found that often they only include one pillowcase with a sheet set, which can be really annoying.

So, over the years I've built up a little collection of plain colored pillow cases that can be put in with sheet sets without clashing.

If you go with a few classic colors like black, white and red, as well as a few others, like simple stripes or spots, it works well. In fact, in some ways I prefer it, because I think it looks more stylish than a completely matching bed sheet set.

Of course, if you have a bed that can take more than two pillows, you'll need to do this kind of co-ordination anyway.

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