Guide to Buying Bed Linen - Choosing Sheet Sets & Quilt Covers
There's nothing like the feel of snuggling into bed for a good night's sleep. Our bedrooms are our sanctuaries, and the right sheet sets, bed linens and quilt covers are the essential components you need to create a calming cocoon. With so many bed linen options to choose from it can sometimes feel like a challenge to decide what is the right bed linen for you and your family. Read on to find out more about all the bed linen types, sizes and materials so you can confidently make informed choices about dressing your bed!
- What is Bed Linen, and what are the Different Types?
- Choosing the Best Bed Linen Fabric
- Guide to Bed Linen & Bedding Sizes
What Is Bed Linen, And What Are The Different Types?
Bedlinen is the name given to anything that dresses your bed or bedding, and can collectively refer to bed sheets, quilt covers and pillowcases. Bedding, on the other hand, refers to items like quilts or duvets, pillows, mattress toppers & underlays and mattress protectors.
Foundation Layer: Start With Sheets
Sheets can be thought of as the basic building blocks for dressing your bed. Fitted sheets cover your mattress, and a top sheet will provide an extra layer between you and your covered quilt. There are few different ways to purchase bed sheets, depending on your needs. If you're looking to add to your existing bed linen, individual sheets including fitted sheets and flat sheets can extend your sets. Sheet sets include a fitted sheet, flat sheet and matching pillowcases. Some people prefer to dress their bed without a top sheet or flat sheet, in which case you can also find fitted sheet sets which include just the pillowcases and fitted sheet.
Add Colour & Texture With Quilt Covers
Your duvet or quilt provides warmth, cosiness and comfort - for tips on finding the perfect quilt you can explore our ultimate quilt & doona buying guide. Regardless of which doona you choose, it will need a cover! Quilt cover sets include both a cover and matching pillowcases, though you can also find separately sold quilt covers and pillowcases so you can mix and match. Quilt covers offer you a great opportunity to style your bedroom by introducing colour, print and texture. The right quilt cover can reinforce your decorating theme and add a luxurious layer to your bed linen. A quilted quilt cover can add a touch of opulence to your bedroom, or choose a crisp white quilt cover that will work with classic and contemporary decorating styles alike.
Rest Easy With The Right Pillowcases
While you can generally find pillow cases included in sheet sets or quilt cover sets, you can also purchase pillowcases individually to cover any extra pillows on your bed. Larger bed sizes can benefit from additional pillows including European pillows, king pillows, queen pillows and bolster pillows - all of which will need specially sized pillowcases! Silk pillowcases can offer great benefits for the health of your hair and skin as well. Explore our pillows buying guide and pillowcases buying guide for everything you need to know when it comes to getting the best support and comfort while you sleep.
Layer Up With Bed Cushions, Coverlet Sets & Bedspreads
When it comes to adding the finishing touches to your bed you can include bed cushions to match your quilt cover, or add another layer of warmth and comfort with a coverlet set. Coverlets are also referred to bedspreads or sometimes comforters, and this type of bed linen can be thought of as an "all-in-one" quilt and quilt cover. The filling is stitched inside the top and bottom layers, often in a quilted design that will add rich texture to your finished bed. They're also a great alternative to a heavier quilt and cover in the warmer months.
Choosing The Best Bed Linen Fabric
The type of material you choose for your bed linen influences everything including aesthetics, comfort and washability. By understanding the properties of different bed linen fabrics you'll be well equipped to choose the best sheet sets and quilt covers for your home. Common fabrics and fibres used for bed linen include cotton, linen, polyester, bamboo and blends like polyester/cotton. Each has unique properties to suit different sleeping styles, seasons, and styling preferences.
Fibre vs Fabric: What's The Difference?
Fibres can be thought of as the building blocks for any textile. For example, cotton, linen and wool are all types of natural fibres. These fibres are twisted into yarns and threads, which are in turn woven or knitted into fabric. Materials or fabrics are the finished, constructed textile. Flannelette, as an example, is a type of fabric construction made from cotton fibres.
Quick Guide To Common Bed Linen Fibres & Blends
Features & Benefits
Cotton is a natural fibre and the most common type used to make bed linen. It's durable, breathable and easy to care for. With a range of different qualities available, it's naturally absorbent and is used in a variety of different fabric constructions including sateen and flannelette.
Natural linen fibres are both strong and durable. Linen has a crisp and lightly crushed look, which can add an effortlessly elegant yet casual look to your bedroom. It's breathable, temperature regulating and will get softer with every wash.
Bamboo can be thought of as a hybrid between a natural and synthetic fibre - the technical name being regenerated cellulose. Pulp from natural bamboo plants is treated and processed to make it into soft fibres that can be woven or knitted. Choose bamboo sheets for bed linen that is super soft to the touch, as well as moisture wicking and breathable.
Polyester is a synthetic fibre, making it an affordable, durable and easy care option for bed linen. It's less breathable and absorbent than natural fibres, so avoid polyester bed linen if you live in hot climates or are a warm sleeper. Cotton is often blended with polyester to increase its durability - in bed linen, poly/cotton sheets and quilt covers are sometimes referred to as cotton rich.
Silk is a premium natural protein fibre prized for its softness, delicacy and lustre. When it comes to bed linen, silk is predominantly woven with a satin construction and used to make pillowcases. Silk is less absorbent than other fibres, meaning it won't strip moisture from your hair or skin while you sleep.
Different Bed Linen Fabric Constructions
More often than not, the listed material on your quilt cover or sheet set is something other than just "cotton". You might have come across the terms cotton jersey, Egyptian cotton, cotton percale and poly cotton. Each of these bed linen fabric types all contain cotton, but these specific terms offer you more information about the quality of the threads, fibres and how the fabric is constructed.
What is cotton percale?
Percale is a type of weave used for quilt covers and sheet sets. It's what is known as a plain weave, meaning it is constructed with threads using a one over/one under configuration. Cotton percale has a medium weight, and offers a firm and crisp hand feel due to its tight construction. Percale sheets are easy to wash and have a matte finish.
What is sateen?
Sateen is another type of weave and it's constructed with two, three or four threads floating over another. Cotton is often used with sateen constructions, making cotton sateen sheets a common and popular bed linen choice. Sateen sheets and sateen quilt covers have a smooth finish and slightly lustrous sheen, which is less prone to wrinkling than plain or percale constructions.
What is flannelette?
If you're prone to getting cold at night or need cosy bed linen for the winter, then a flannelette sheet set or quilt cover could be the way to go. Flannelette is made from cotton fibres that have been 'fluffed up' to create an extra soft texture. It has a nap (texture and a pile) that helps retain body heat, making flannelette bed linen the perfect choice for the colder months. At Spotlight you can find both flannelette sheets and flannelette quilt covers to best suit your preferences.
What are jersey sheets?
Jersey sheets are a cosy and comfortable alternative to more traditional woven bed linen materials. Jersey is a knitted fabric, meaning it's soft and stretchy without the addition of elastane. Much like cosying up in your favourite t-shirt, jersey bed linen will move with your body while beautifully wrapping around your mattress. Best of all, no ironing is required!
What are the best thread count sheets?
Thread count is another way of offering more information about the fabric used to make your bed linen. Thread count refers to the number of threads per square inch of woven material. Traditionally, many people have thought of high thread count sheets as being the best way to determine bed linen quality.
Thread count is just one of many ways to determine which is the best linen for you and your family. It is an important indicator of quality, as high thread count sheets will typically be crisper, denser and more tightly woven. But it's also just as important to factor in the fibre type that's best for you, and the quality of the fibres themselves.
Guide To Bed Linen & Bedding Sizes
When it comes to finding the right size bedlinen, the easiest guide is to know your mattress size and quilt dimensions. Most of us are familiar with single, double, queen and king bed linen and mattress sizes. These days you can also find king single and super king bed linen, as well as sheets sized in mega queen and mega king. It's important to note that bed linen and mattress sizes do vary internationally - US, EU and UK sizes will be different to Australian sizes. New Zealand sizes are similar to Australian sizes, with a few exceptions.
Use Bed Linen Size
Mattress Size & Dimensions
Quilt & Quilt Cover
92 cm x 188 cm
Single OR Double
92 cm x 203 cm
Single OR Double
107 cm x 203 cm
138 cm x 188 cm
Double OR Queen
153 cm x 203 cm
Queen OR Mega Queen
Queen OR King
183 cm x 203 cm
King OR Mega King
King OR Super King
167 cm x 203 cm
King OR Mega King
King OR Super King
Super King (AU)
203 cm x 203 cm
Super King (NZ)
183 cm x 203 cm
Upgrade Your Quilt & Quilt Cover Size For A Touch Of Luxury
When it comes to finding the right size sheets for your bed, you should always purchase sheets in the same size as your mattress. When it comes to quilts and quilt covers, you can opt to go one size larger for greater coverage and a more opulent look. If you have a double bed, choose a queen size quilt and quilt cover. Likewise, a queen bed looks great with a king size quilt.
What Size Quilt & Quilt Cover For King Single?
King single mattresses in Australia are slightly wider and longer than a single mattress. There are no quilts or quilt covers specifically made in a king single size. Instead, a double quilt and quilt cover will offer great coverage for your king single bed.
King vs Mega King: What's The Difference?
King sheets and mega king sheets are designed to fit a king size mattress. The difference lies in the wall height of the fitted sheet. Most fitted sheets have a depth of around 40 cm, whereas a mega sized sheet has a depth of around 50 cm to accommodate taller mattresses. The same applies for mega queen sheets. Opt for the mega size option if you have a plusher mattress or are using a pillowy mattress topper.
Discover The Best Bed Linen For Every Bed At Spotlight
Whether you're looking for super king bed linen, bamboo sheets, a coverlet or luxury cotton bed linen, Spotlight has you covered! We have a wide range of sheet set sizes and quilt cover sizes to suit every bed, in a great selection of colours, styles and textures to suit your bedroom.
Find out more about creating the ultimate sleeping haven with our informative bedroom buying guides. You can also explore our Decorate blogs for inspiring articles like the best bedding for your style of sleeping and simple guest bedroom ideas for your spare room.