Explain This Label: Sheets

Thread counts and weave options decoded

PIMA It comes from the same cotton plant species as Egyptian cotton and is the next longest cotton fiber after Egyptian. This means that it can be woven into fabric that's quite durable and strong, but also soft to the touch.

SATEEN This type of weave creates a fabric with a distinctive, super-shiny look and a smooth feel. It can be made from cotton or other fibers. Some sateen sheets are "calendared," meaning they are pressed between rollers for a glossy appearance, which fades with washing.

PERCALE This tight weave is made from lightweight fibers. Most percale sheets contain both cotton and polyester; 100 percent pima or Egyptian cotton percales are preferable.

EGYPTIAN The cotton grown in Egypt has the longest, finest fibers of any type of cotton. These can be woven together into a super-strong and very soft fabric.

ORGANIC It's grown using environmentally friendly methods, meaning no chemicals, and no pesticides. Organic cotton sheets have the same softness as those made of chemically treated cotton.

LINEN Pure linen sheets are generally the most expensive option. They are usually made from flax, not cotton, and get softer with washing. Just like linen clothing, they quickly absorb and release sweat, keeping you dry and comfortable.

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