A Step-By-Step Guide to Buying Linens

As bedding specialists we would argue that choosing your bed linen is as important as choosing your bed. When purchasing bedding it is important to understand some fundamental industry terms, the kinds of material available and how they can affect your sleep and that sizing does matter.

Understanding Types of Bedding – Industry Terminology

When you start to think about bedding the best place to start is with understanding what is considered flat and what is filled. This seems obvious and is obvious, there are no tricks with this but to be absolutely clear here are your lists.

Flat: Flat and fitted sheets, duvet covers, pillowcases, runners and blankets.

Filled: Mattress protectors and toppers, duvets and pillows.

This article is a step-by-step guide to buying flat linens, but if you are interested in knowing more about filled bedding you can find our Guide Here. https://www.visionlinens.com/blog/synthetic-natural-filled-bedding-benefits

Bedding Materials – Natural, blended and synthetic!

What materials are used to make flat and filled bedding?

Flat and filled bedding can be made of natural, synthetic and blended materials, all of which have different properties that can affect your sleep!

Natural Materials


The most popular natural material used in bedding is cotton. It is used to make flat bedding and to encase filled bedding items. Cotton is sustainable and biodegradable which is a great choice for the environment. Cotton is a great choice for bedding, because of its natural wicking, protection from moisture and perspiration to the layman, hypoallergenic, breathability and airflow qualities, and it is soft on the skin.


Linen is a natural material made from the fibres of the flax plant. Linen is renowned because it creases easily, which in terms of bedding may not be what you are looking for, however, if you want that natural, boho chic look Linen bedding is a great choice as you will never need to iron! Linen is a more expensive natural choice of material, however, it is naturally durable and will last longer than other fabrics.

Blended Materials


Polycotton is an affordable blend of polyester and cotton. Durable, long-lasting and easy care the combination of materials makes washing, drying and ironing easier. Polyester is a man-made fibre so does not have the natural breathability of cotton or linen and is not as soft on the skin. Polycotton is more affordable than pure cotton or linen options.

Thread Count – How Do I Choose the Best Bedding?

Almost every flat bedding option available will have a thread count somewhere on the packaging, especially if the product boasts a high thread count! So what does it mean and how does it affect your comfort and sleep?

Thread count is simply the number of threads woven into an area of fabric. The higher the number of threads the more tightly woven the fabric and the more cotton, linen or polycotton it contains. For example, a sheet containing 100 threads lengthwise (warp) and 100 threads widthwise (weft) per inch of fabric would have a thread count of 200. The higher the thread count the softer the fabric.

How high a thread count is good?

Usually the higher the thread count, the higher the price of the bedding, so affordability needs to play a part in the decision-making. Hotels and guesthouses normally choose a thread count of 200 plus, however, a thread count of around 144 would still provide a comfortable feel on your skin and deliver a good night’s sleep.

Choosing the best bedding is a matter of choice. If your budget allows and you want something really luxurious thread counts go as high as 600!

Weave – Percale and Sateen

Percale and sateen are common terms associated with the weave and thread count of flat bedding.


Percale is usually made from cotton and has a minimum thread count of 180 but it can be higher. Percale refers to the way the threads are woven, and for percale, this is a one-over-one under weave. This tight weave is lightweight,  cool, and breathable and has a matt finish. We recommend these for hot sleepers as percale does not trap heat.


Sateen is 100% cotton fibre and average thread counts can range from 250 - 300 Percale weave is one under and three to four over which gives a silky smooth finish and a slight sheen. Sateen sheets trap heat so they are perfect for cold sleepers.

Bed Linen Sizes

Bedding comes in single, 3/4, double, king, and super king sizes. It seems obvious which sizes fit which beds and filled bedding options, however, we work with the hospitality industry and housekeepers will often use one size up to ensure they get the luxurious folds.


Vision Duvet Sizes and Measurements

Duvet Size



Single XL

145 x 217cm

145 x 235 cm


Double XL

213 x 217 cm

215 x 235 cm

King Size

King Size XL

241 x 236 cm

243 x 255 cm

Super King

Super King XL

275 x 236 cm

280 x 255 cm


How to Care For Your Bed Linens

Like all your fabrics, when washing and laundering your bedding, you should always follow the care instructions on the care label.

Wash your bed linen before using it to freshen and remove any treatments and if you have the chance rest it for a few days. Lying bedding flat allows fibres to relax and this will elongate the life cycle.

Never overload your washing machine when washing bedding as it needs room to move in the drum to get rid of stains or odours. Washing at 40˚ kills most bacteria and smells, but if you want to be sure and the care label agrees you can go to a temperature up to 60˚.

If the weather doesn’t allow line drying, tumble dry on a cool setting to protect your linens. If you intend to iron your bedding, remove it from the line or drier when still slightly damp as it will be easier on the iron.


Style of Bedding – Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Oxford Pillowcase?

An Oxford pillow or an Oxford border refers to the sewn border of fabric that runs around the edge of the pillow or duvet cover.

What is a Housewife Pillowcase?

Housewife pillowcases have a sewn edge that meets the edge of the pillow.

What is an envelope-style pillowcase?

Envelope pillowcases feature a panel of fabric that folds over the pillow inside the outer pillowcase. This secures the pillow in place. You can get envelope pillowcases in both Oxford and Housewife designs.

What is a Bag Style Duvet Cover?

A bag-style duvet cover is usually longer than the duvet itself and is designed to tuck under the mattress for a tidy look. Commonly found in hotels they do not have poppers, buttons or zips. Also available are bag-style covers with shoulders, which can be left untucked as the shoulders hold the duvet in place.

Which is best a fitted or flat sheet?

Fitted sheets are made to fit your mattress. Each corner of the sheet contains elastic that can be stretched tightly around your mattress. Fitted sheets are perfect for base sheets.

Flat sheets as the name suggests are pieces of fabric that when laid on a bed lie flat. The flat sheet needs to be tucked under the mattress and the weight of the mattress and sleepers hold the sheet in place. The flat sheet can also be used as a sheet that lies between you and your duvet

Purchasing bedding is an investment in your sleep and your overall health and well-being, click through to our range of hospitality bedding here. https://www.visionlinens.com/bedroom


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