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The surprising way your bedding can boost your sleep

Your bedding doesn’t just help pull your room together aesthetically; it can also impact your sleep. And here’s the good news: You don’t need to spend a fortune to get quality sheets. Not sure what to shop for? These four rules will help you find and care for your next set of bed sheets so you can get an optimal amount of zzz’s.

1. Consider Thread Count. You may have heard that the higher the thread count, the softer the sheets. But you really don’t want a thread count of anything more than 400, especially during the summer. A high thread count traps body heat, since it’s difficult for air to go through the weave. Looking for an ideal range? Try a thread count between 200 and 400, which will feel smooth, soft, and breathable—a great combination for a good night’s sleep.

2. Pick Materials Carefully. If you tend to get warm or sweaty at night, look for natural materials (like cotton, bamboo, or linen), as these will help wick away perspiration. 

3. Test It Out. Many stores will have sample sets that are out of their packaging. Notice how the fabric feels against your skin. If it’s itchy or rough in the store, it will be uncomfortable in your bed, too.

4. Wash Wisely. To keep your sheets in tip-top condition, wash them in warm water at least once a week for hygiene purposes and avoid drying them in high heat (unless the care instructions say otherwise). And, while it may seem like a smart idea to use laundry softener to make your sheets even cozier, the chemicals in fabric softeners can actually wear out the material faster.