One of the most frequently asked questions I get from vacation rental owners is how to create a hotel bed experience and for me it starts with a good mattress followed by good quality linens. Bed linens are a matter of preference and everyone has a different opinion on what they prefer. Personally, I love crispy white linens and I am also looking for affordable and durable sheets.
The first thing you need to determine when purchasing a new set of sheets for your vacation rental is your budget. Keep in mind that the sheets you provide will need to be comfortable, durable, and should be cost effective. I recommend that you keep two sets of sheets for each bed for convenience when cleaning, for guests who want a change of sheets mid-stay or if a set goes mysteriously missing. Do not keep more than two sets of sheets to prevent over use of linens, more work for the cleaners and to limit clutter.
Be mindful of Thread count which is defined by the number of vertical (warp) and horizontal (weft) threads found within a one square inch piece of fabric. The highest thread count you can typically find in a one square inch piece of fabric is around 400 for a single-ply yarn. Over time the focus of consumers has turned to thread count (the assumption has been the higher the thread count the better the sheet) as an indicator of quality so manufactures started to inflate the thread count based on the ply of the yarn used (for example a 400 thread count sheet with a two-ply yarn can be marketed as 800 thread count). Manufactures have been able to market higher thread counts due to yarn ply as there is no oversight or standards so consumers continue to be misled on this issue and this has been recognized by the Federal Trade Commission.
When it comes to ply it is important to know the difference between a single ply and a two ply yarn. A single ply yarn is one individual thread that is used in the weaving process which results in a lighter weight fabric. A two ply yarn results in a heavier weight sheet. Note that ply is important but what is more important than ply is a good quality cotton so look for a cotton with a long staple length.
Consider your fabric options for both a cotton (long or medium staple length - Egyptian or supima) and a cotton blend (cotton/polyester) sheet when purchasing for your vacation rental. In our opinion, the blended sheet provides the best of both worlds when it comes to sheeting for vacation rentals. The cotton is added for its wicking capabilities, softness and cool qualities. The polyester is added for durability, laundering efficiency, and it's resistant to wrinkles and shrinking.
Now choose the weave you like. A percale weave provides a light weight weave that provides a crisp feel and a smooth finish and is the most common. Depending on where your vacation rental is located you may consider a flannel, or sateen.
You will never be misled by thread count again, now it’s time to put your new found knowledge to work. I recommend that you consider a sheet set that has a thread count of 200 or more with a single ply yarn since it results in a lighter weight sheet which will be more efficient when it comes to laundering. A cotton/polyester blend (with a higher percentage of cotton) will provide a more durable sheet and will be resistant to wrinkles and shrinking. Finally choose a weave that makes sense for your location and if you are in doubt go with the percale since it is the most basic. Not every guest will appreciate a flannel or sateen.