Bed sheet sets can be a great gift for anyone with a bed (and most of us do have beds, thankfully). However, gifting someone with a new sheet set may not be so simple because there are many factors to consider. When buying bed sheets as a present, you need to think about size, fabric type, quality level, colors, and patterns. This post walks you through 10 questions that help you find the perfect pair of bedsheets to give as a gift.

bed sheet sets

How big is the bed?

When you are buying bed sheets for someone else, you absolutely must know the size of their mattress. If you aren’t sure how big their bed is, look at a sheet set that they already have and check the label or tag. The average-sized American full mattress is 75″ x 54″, but there are also twin, queen and king-sized mattresses. If they have a king-sized bed, make sure it’s a true King and not a California king. Look also to see if they have an extra-deep mattress, which will require sheets with deep pockets. After measuring the bed, use an online guide to determine what size of mattress you need to fit.

What type of fabric will they like?

There are many different types of bed sheet fabrics available today. Cotton is the most common choice for sheets because it’s durable, breathable, cool, and comfortable. But within the “cotton” category, you’ll find many subcategories such as percale, sateen, flannel, Egyptian cotton, pima cotton, and organic versions of all of the above. You’ll also run into blends of cotton, polyester, microfiber, and other fibers. When in doubt, go with percale sheets, the most classic type of sheet.

To decide on the fabric type, your best bet is to casually ask the person you’re buying for what they like. Also look at some of their current sheets as a potential indicator. If they have cotton-polyester blend sheets with an athletic stripe pattern, you have an idea to start with.

Other popular materials for sheets include bamboo, silk, linen and blends of natural fibers. You’ll also find jersey knit sheets, usually in cotton blends, that feel like a big t-shirt. These more unusual choices will probably be more expensive and will make your gift even more special. Note, however, that natural fibers are not wrinkle resistant like some of the blends are. A little polyester can make laundering and folding sheets easier!

What quality level do they prefer?

Sheets are available in a range of qualities, from economy to luxury. Deciding on the level of quality will depend on how much money you want to spend and what you think they’d like. If you’re buying for a younger person who is just starting out in life with a twin bed in a dorm, an expensive set might be wasted when they upgrade to a larger bed. Look for a less expensive set that will get them by in style for a year or two.

If the person you are buying for is the type who prefers name brands like Ralph Lauren, take a look at some sheet sets that will have high thread counts and comfortable materials like cotton or silk. Try to buy reputable brands that offer returns if something does not fit or work well after purchase. For a lower quality set, make sure to look at some reviews online and understand what their needs are before buying. You do not want to buy an uncomfortable or cheap sheet that will be difficult to use in any way. The good news is there are many options for lower priced sheets that are pretty good quality.

Would they like a summer set or something for colder weather?

Another thing to consider when buying bed sheets as a gift is the climate of the area where the person lives. If they live in a warm climate, they might prefer a summer set that’s made from lightweight materials like cotton or bamboo or sheets with moisture wicking properties. If they live in a colder climate, they might want something heavier like flannel or heavy cotton. If the sheets are a Christmas or Hanukkah gift, a warmer weather set is always appropriate (if you live in a cooler climate). Doesn’t everyone like to enjoy their gifts right away?

Hot sleepers might be open to sateen sheets, which are cooling, or cotton weaves that are highly absorbent. Organic cotton is another good choice for temperature regulation as it tends to be thin and light.

Which colors and patterns for bed sheet sets?

Now the fun part! You get to decide what color or pattern your gift recipient might prefer for their new bed sheets. You’ll find every color in the rainbow (how about dusty rose?)and just about any pattern you can imagine. Having a sense of the gift recipient’s style is important here, so once again it’s not a bad idea to get a peek inside their bedroom and assess the theme they already have in place.

Some people prefer to keep things simple with matching sheets while others enjoy mixing patterns and colors. If you’re buying sheets for someone who likes to change things up often, buy two sets of sheets in two different colors or patterns. This will give them the option of having several looks. You can also buy flat sheets and fitted sheets separately to create variety. A solid flat sheet paired with a patterned fitted sheet is a fun way to brighten up a bedroom. Add some ruffled pillow shams!

Should you buy novelty bed sheet sets?

Sheet sets can come in all sorts of fun novelty designs, like cartoon characters, animals, or sports (such as the Pittsburgh Steelers). If the person you’re buying for likes to have a little bit of fun with their bedding, then picking out a set with a playful design could be a great gift idea. Just make sure that they won’t be offended by the set. Another consideration is they might not like the characters as much as you think they do. For example, a child can be in love with SpongeBob one week and despite him the next. A teenage girl might be into florals for a while but then decide she prefers geometrics. People are fickle!

What thread count is best for sheets?

Thread count works by measuring the amount of vertical and horizontal threads in one square inch of fabric. The more threads there are, the higher the thread count. The thread count of sheets is a variable to think about, but don’t get too wrapped up in it as some sheets with lower thread counts are still very comfortable and high-quality. 

Thread counts can range from 80 to over 1000, with the most expensive sheets having a high thread count. A good general rule is that people who like really soft sheets should look for a sheet set with a thread count of 400 or higher.

How can you tell the quality of bed sheet sets?

The quality of sheets depends on a variety of factors. The first thing to consider is the fabric. Sheets sets made of blended fibers tend to be lower-quality whereas one-hundred percent cotton sheets and linen sheets are usually on the higher-end of the quality scale. Within these two ranges are many more options, such as satin weave and polyester sheets with lower thread counts that might not be as long-lasting as the expensive sets. However, even the best bed sheets won’t last forever, so don’t rule out a lower-priced option if you really like them.

You’ll also want to inspect the construction of the sheet set. Are the seams finished well? Is there excessive stitching on the edges? These details can be indicative of a cheaply made set. The “hand” of the sheets, or how they feel when touched, is another consideration. Are they lightweight and delicate or stiff and heavy? A high-quality set should feel strong enough to be pulled tightly into the bed corners and soft against your skin.

Can you return the sheets?

It happens — you buy a gift,  something goes wrong, and the gift must be returned or exchanged. Sheets are one of those items that can be a pain to return because they’re so large and, once unwrapped, might not even fit in the original packaging. If you’re buying sheets as a gift, make sure you know the store’s policy on returns so that if something goes wrong, you won’t be out of luck. Before making your purchase, carefully review the return policy. Try to get a gift receipt and tape it to the outside of the packaging.

Where can I buy good quality sheets online?

Some of the best deals for sheet sets can be found online. You can usually find better prices and more variety when shopping for sheets online, and shipping is easy. At Altmeyer’s, we have  a wide variety of bed sheets and sheet sets, including some that are perfect for gifting. While you’re browsing, also pick up a duvet cover and pair of pillow shams for some of the others on your list. With the holidays coming up, what could be a better gift than something that will make someone’s everyday life just a bit easier?

We hope this post has helped you in your quest to find the perfect set of bed sheets to give as a gift. Post in the comments below if you have any ideas to add. Here’s to a good night’s sleep!