September 26, 2023 8 min read

Whether you’re traveling for a short getaway, a long family vacation, or a business trip, choosing a quality hotel is crucial to ensure that you have a positive experience. Part of what makes your stay comfortable and luxurious is the type of hotel sheets the facility uses. Most of the best hotels all over the world use exceptionally high quality, soft bed sheets to keep guests comfortable, allowing for a great night’s sleep. It’s not surprising that many guests are curious about what type of sheets many hotels use. What makes hotel linens so nice? Read on to learn more about hotel bedding, so you can find the same hotel quality option for your own home.

Hotel Industry Standards

So, what sheets do hotels use? How do they know which type to choose? The vast majority of hotels around the globe follow specific industry standards to ensure that each guest has a pleasant stay, and part of that includes the hotel bed sheets, blankets, and pillows that are used in each room. Luxury hotel sheets are usually crafted from quality materials such as pure linen or Egyptian cotton. Unlike most regular sheets, these sheets are very soft, breathable, and comfortable to ensure a pleasant guest experience, and they also help you sleep more soundly.

Hotel style sheets White hotel collection sheets

And while these hotel quality bed sheets assure comfort, they must also be as durable as possible. That’s because these sheets must be washed quite frequently and done so in industrial laundry equipment. Hotels must be careful to balance comfort with durability to protect their investment. The higher quality the material is, the better it will feel and the longer it will last. Opting for long staple cotton or eco-friendly linen ensures that the sheets remain exceptionally soft without sacrificing durability.

Common Types of Hotel Sheets

Blue aegean cotton sheet set on a bed White hotel sheets

Hotel luxury sheets may vary depending on the company, the hotel’s location, budget, and a wide range of other factors. Here are some of the most common types of hotel sheets you’ll find during your stay along with their characteristics and benefits:

  • Egyptian Cotton Sheets: Egyptian cotton is supremely soft and lightweight, which means that they’re also very breathable for good airflow. This cotton is hand-picked which helps to prevent breaking the delicate cotton fibers. Most Egyptian cotton sheets also have a high thread count which means that there are more threads woven per square inch of fabric, resulting in an extremely soft feel to the touch. This type of cotton is made from extra long staple cotton which also makes it quite durable.
  • Linen sheets: While most hotel sheets are made from high-quality cotton, linen is the only non-cotton option that some hotels may use. This crisp, cool, and luxurious material is usually reserved for a more upscale hotel. Linen is eco-friendly and comes from the flax plant, and it’s breathable, moisture-wicking, and very soft to the touch. It’s also a very low-maintenance material that will last for decades when cared for properly.
  • Percale Sheets: Cotton percale uses a unique over-and-under weave style that produces a nice, tighter weave and a soft, matte finish. This makes cotton percale sheets a popular choice that most luxury hotels use for their guest rooms. The tightly woven material feels similar to a dress shirt but gets softer with each wash, much like linen. Despite being tight, a percale weave is light and airy so it’s also quite comfortable to sleep on.
  • Sateen Sheets: Many luxury hotels use cotton sateen sheets thanks to their sleek, sophisticated sheen. These sheets are extremely beautiful, and they impart a silky smooth feel that’s very nice on the skin. Most cotton sateen weave materials, including hotel bed sheets, are hypoallergenic, wrinkle-resistant, and easy to clean, making them a smart choice for many hotel collection sheets.
  • Microfiber Sheets: Microfiber is constructed from tightly woven synthetic fibers that are extremely durable and soft. They’re also very easy to clean, durable, and retain their color. Brushed microfiber sheets are softer and fluffier than non-brushed microfiber. Instead of using thread count, these sheets are measured in GSM, or grams per square meter, which describes the sheets’ weight or thickness.
Hotel quality sheets

Factors Influencing Hotel Sheet Choices

The hotel industry looks at a variety of factors when determining which types of sheets to use. Here are just some of the most important things that many hotels take into consideration, and how they impact guest satisfaction:

  • Durability: Sheets with superior durability will last much longer through multiple washes. Higher quality materials like linen or Egyptian cotton won’t fade, discolor, or end up with worn threads, which means that they retain their quality over a much longer period of time and with frequent washing.
  • Comfort and softness: These two factors are probably the most important when it comes to what you’ll find in quality hotel rooms. The softer the sheets, the more comfortable they are for guests to sleep on. No one wants to sleep on top of stiff, itchy sheets, which is why hotel style sheets tend to be the softest you’ll ever feel.
  • Ease of maintenance: Hotel bedding must be thoroughly cleaned and dried every day, so ease of maintenance is extremely important. The easier it is to keep sheets clean, the less labor, supplies (like detergents and fabric softeners), and equipment are required.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Most hotels have a budget they must adhere to, and part of that budget includes things like bedding. Choosing sheets that are high in quality but low in price is an important part of the hotel business model. It’s also important to note that larger hotel chains are typically able to purchase sheets in bulk at a discounted price.
  • Hotel Sheet Thread Count: Generally, sheets with a higher thread count feel much softer and more luxurious. Choosing hotel sheets with high thread counts ensures that they are durable and have a premium quality feel. In general, choose sheets that have a thread count of at least 200 per one square inch or higher to ensure that you’re getting the best quality possible for your money. Sheets with lower thread counts don’t tend to feel quite as soft or luxurious.

Luxury Hotels vs. Budget Hotels

It’s important to note that there is a distinct difference between the sheets you’ll find in a luxury hotel versus more budget-friendly accommodations. Most higher quality hotels will opt for higher-end sheets like Egyptian cotton or linen. The reason they choose these materials is that their guests tend to pay more money per overnight stay, so it’s important to make sure that they have the best experience possible. Part of that experience includes even the smallest details, like the type of materials used on hotel beds. Five star hotels guests expect an incredible experience, especially if they paid a hefty price tag for a room.

Fortunately, there are some alternatives that budget hotels may choose for cost efficiency without sacrificing comfort. Microfiber sheets and most standard cotton sheets are soft, breathable, and fairly comfortable. However, they don’t cost nearly as much as Egyptian cotton, percale cotton, sateen, or linen. Sheets made of synthetic materials tend to be the cheapest, but they’re also not nearly as soft or comfortable as natural materials. If you’re staying at a budget hotel, don’t be afraid to ask about things like the sheets’ material content or thread counts to ensure that you’re comfortable.

Sustainability and Eco-Friendly Choices

More hotels than ever are working to focus on sustainability in their industry. Choosing organic, eco-friendly sheets made of safe and natural materials is just one way that the hospitality industry can make a difference. Organic cotton fabrics and linen are two examples of quality, environmentally friendly materials that hotels can use. These quality sheets have a range of great properties like being naturally hypoallergenic, breathable, and sustainable. Hilton Hotels are dedicated to implementing sustainable initiatives which have resulted in a 10 percent reduction in water waste and more. The hotel now uses 94 percent of its energy as green energy, and they also recycle mattresses and donate uneaten food to local food charities.

Hyatt Hotels is one of the first chains to implement sustainable practices. The hotel company uses less water by encouraging guests to reuse towels, and all of their new hotels are working toward LEED certification. Boutique hotel chain Kimpton Hotels only uses recycled paper products throughout every location. The chain also serves locally sourced food and drinks, which in turn supports small businesses and local farmers. Some Kimpton locations even have their own organic gardens. Starwood Hotels, part of the Westin and Sheraton hotel family, is also working toward sustainability. These hotels now only use Energy Star certified appliances and only provide eco-friendly hotel sheets and towels.

Tips for Choosing Hotel-Quality Sheets

If you’re looking for hotel quality sheets so you can replicate the hotel bedding experience at home, there are a few important tips to keep in mind that are similar to what the hotels use as criteria when they choose their own sheets. Remember that the type of sheets you choose should mostly be based on your personal preferences, but here are some quick guidelines to help make the sheet shopping experience easier.

  • Thread count: Remember that the higher thread count per square inch will typically mean that your new sheets are more durable. However, the hotel sheet thread count also depends on the quality of threads that are used to make the sheets. And the higher the thread count doesn’t always mean that your new sheets will be the best option available. Products made with low quality threads or weak threads won’t be durable, regardless of the thread count listed on the package. Ideally, choose bedding made of long or extra long staple fibers so they’re soft, durable, and have a silky smooth touch. Supima cotton is an excellent option if you want comfortable sheets made of long staple fibers that will last.
  • Weave type: It’s also important to look at the weave type when choosing luxury bed sheets. You’ll typically find a percale cotton or sateen cotton weave on a hotel bed, but it could vary depending on what that particular hotel has chosen to use. Read the sheet’s label and description carefully to confirm which type of weave they utilize. Percale sheets are always a great option since they feel crisp and comfortable to the touch. Sateen weave is smooth and supple with a silky feel and a slight sheen.
  • Care instructions: Perhaps one of the most crucial tips for choosing hotel-quality sheets is the care instructions. The easier your new sheets are to clean, the more you’ll enjoy using them on a regular basis. Look for sheets that are machine washable so you don’t need to worry about dry cleaning. Choose materials that won’t shrink or fade after multiple cycles through the washing machine and dryer. Many hotels use white since it never fades, but you can also choose colorful sheets that enhance the look of your bedroom, as long as they remain colorfast over time. Sheets made of linen don’t need extra fabric softener since they only get softer after every single wash, for example.

Final Thoughts on what sheets do hotels use

If you’re searching for the right bedding that reminds you of a high-quality hotel, remember to keep the sheets’ material content, weave type, durability, and thread count in mind. Choosing the highest quality sheets possible will provide you with a comfortable sleep experience, whether you’re staying in a hotel or sleeping in your own bedroom. Keep the tips from this guide in mind, so you can find the ultimate sheets for your sleep experience every single night. You’ll be able to make informed choices when you shop for your next new set of sheets. At Or & Zon, we carry an incredible selection of luxurious, high-quality, sustainable bedding designed to enhance your lifestyle.