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Good bed sheets don't have to cost a lot, but that doesn't mean you should choose blindly

Comfortable bed sheets are key to a good night's sleep, but sheets that feel heavenly to one person can be torture for another. Quality sheets are available for a reasonable price, but shoppers should still do their homework to ensure they buy the best type of bed sheets for their taste and lifestyle.

Fabric type is one of the most obvious ways to narrow the search, but if you don't have a strong fabric preference, the best way to choose sheets that are right for you is to consider their "feel:" crisp and cool, soft and smooth, or warm and cozy.

Percale sheets are ideal for those who want a crisp, cool feel. Percale refers to a common type of weave used in cotton or cotton-blend sheets. Woven like a basket with one thread over and one thread under, percale sheets are very breathable and often lighter in weight than other sheets. Many users describe them as "crisp," but percale may not feel soft or warm enough for some. Prices vary widely depending on fiber type and thread count. A 200-thread-count regular cotton queen set may cost $50 to $80 while pricier, higher-quality Pima or Egyptian cotton versions can range from $200 to more than $500 depending on thread count.

Sateen is a good bet for those who want soft, smooth sheets. Sateen is another common weave often used in cotton sheets. Woven with four threads over one thread, sateen sheets are slightly thicker and have a unique luster. They're known for a soft, smooth feel, but some users find them too warm or "slippery," and they can be less durable than percale sheets. Again, prices vary depending on fiber and thread count. A 200-thread-count regular cotton queen set commonly costs $50 to $80 while Pima cotton can sell for more than $200. High-thread-count Egyptian cotton luxury sheet sets can fetch up to $1,000 at high-end retailers.

Flannel sheets are best for those who want warm, cozy bedding without adding bulk. Today's flannel sheets are usually made of cotton, although some may also use wool or synthetic fibers. The weave has a raised surface known as nap that makes the sheets soft and fuzzy. Flannel can be ideal for frostier climates or those who get cold easily, but it may not be best for those who sleep hot. The sheets may also shed and pill more easily than others. Flannel is typically less expensive than other types of bedding, with mid-quality queen sets available for $50 to $80. Higher-end sets can retail for up to $200.

ConsumerSearch.com analyzes expert and customer reviews to evaluate the comfort, style and durability of popular bed sheets. The result is our picks for the bed sheets to ease you into a good night's sleep and keep you comfortable while you snooze.

Elsewhere in this report

Best Percale Sheets
What are the best percale bed sheets? Experts and users say L.L.Bean and Garnet Hill make the best percale bed sheets.

Best Sateen Sheets
What are the best sateen sheets? Critics and consumers pick L.L.Bean and budget-friendly Pinzon sheet sets as the best sateen bed sheets.

Best Flannel Sheets
What are the best flannel sheets? Those from Amazon.com's Pinzon collection and JCPenney get top scores, owners and experts say.

Buying Guide
What should you look for in a bed sheet set? ConsumerSearch.com offers tips based on what reviewers say is important in the best bed sheets.

Our Sources
Links to the expert and user reviews we used to select the top bed sheets, along with our assessment of each reviewer's expertise, credibility and helpfulness.

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