Buying Guides

Bed Linen

Buying the best bedding

Give your bedroom the finishing touch with bedding that suits your sleep as well as your style.

We put a lot of time and care into our bedding; for over a century we've explored the world to source new cottons and discover innovative weaving methods. We're passionate about bringing you the finest quality bed linen, because a good night's sleep is one of life's essentials.

In this guide we'll take you through types of fabric, weaves and finishes to help you choose your perfect bedding


The finer the fibre, the softer the feel – for everything from sheets in soft Egyptian cotton to natural linen duvet covers


Weight can significantly affect how your sheets feel: we cater from super lightweight through to the ultimate in cosy comfort

Thread count

This is the density of threads per square inch: generally, higher thread counts mean a softer and smoother feel. Our bed linen range goes from 200 to 1600 thread count


This important step determines the final texture, colour and softness of the sheet, resulting in a unique handle


Washing bed linen before use is a personal choice. We recommend that you do: it refreshes your linens after manufacture and enhances the feel of the cloth

Measuring up

Our measurements are for UK bed sizes – non-UK mattress sizes may vary slightly from their UK equivalents. Our fitted sheets and valances are unlikely to be suitable for mattresses that vary greatly from these measurements, though our flat sheets are generously sized so may offer a useful alternative

Size of bed linen Flat & fitted sheets to fit mattress
Small Single 75 x 190cm
Single 90 x 190cm
Small Double 120 x 190cm
Double 135 x 190cm
Kingsize 150 x 200cm
Super Kingsize 180 x 200cm
Emperor 200 x 200cm
Standard Fitted Up to a depth of 30cm
Deep Fitted Up to a depth of 36cm
Size of bed linen
Duvet covers to fit duvet size
Single 135 x 200cm

Small Double

200 x 200cm

Double 200 x 200cm


230 x 220cm

Super kingsize

260 x 220cm

Emperor 290 x 235cm

Pillowcases to fit pillow size

Standard: 50 x 75cm

Oxford: 50 x 75cm (excluding border)

Square Oxford: 65 x 65cm (excluding border)

Kingsize: 50 x 90cm

International sizes

Approximate equivalent sizing for non-UK mattresses

Our Single = Twin

Our Double = Full

Our Kingsize = Queen

Our Super Kingsize = King

Fabric types


Best for... efficiency and easy care

  • Made from a blend of durable polyester and soft cotton
  • Comfortable and dries quickly with minimal ironing
Egyptian cotton

Best for... softness and a huge choice of colours

  • Renowned as one of the finest cottons in the world
  • Soft, strong, lightweight, longer lasting
  • Cool in the summer and warm in the winter
  • Our main range Egyptian cotton is grown on the rich land of the Nile delta, woven in plain percale weave with a 200 thread count.
  • We also stock Egyptian cotton bed linen with various thread counts up to 1600
  • Requires minimal ironing
egyptian cotton
Cotton & brushed cotton

Best for... versatility and soft comfort

  • The world’s most widely used natural fibre
  • Versatile
  • Soft and comfortable
  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Brushed cotton is woven from 100% cotton, delicately brushed to achieve a soft and cosy feel
GOTS (organic) cotton

GOTS (the Global Organic Textile Standard) is recognised as the world's highest processing standard for textiles made from certified, organically-produced raw materials. 

  • GOTS assures that throughout the entire supply chain, from organic farm to product packaging, environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing processes and raw materials are used
  • GOTS also ensures that the supply chain reduces waste, energy and water use
  • Currently you can buy GOTS cotton from us in this John Lewis & Partners range
Organic Textile Standard

Best for... anti-allergenic natural luxury

  • Enhanced breathability – cool in summer and warm in winter
  • Pleasant, fresh and cool feeling
  • Natural pH balance and anti-static
  • Regulates your temperature as you sleep
  • Pure linen is bacteria resistant for anti-allergenic properties
  • Twice as durable as cotton

Best for... the feel of silk with the ease of cotton

  • A fine, silky smooth finish, thanks to 1000 fine yarns in every square inch
  • Machine washable for ease and suitable for tumble drying
  • Exceptional strength and quality
  • Luxurious feel with coolness to the fabric
Mulberry Silk

Blissfully smooth and naturally breathable, Mulberry Silk bed linen is renowned for its skin and hair benefits, feeling luxurious and soothing to the touch

  • This 19 momme natural bed linen is hypoallergenic and breathable, made from the highest quality Mulberry silk to a beautifully smooth feel

  • Non-absorbent, silk actively maintains skin and hair moisture levels overnight, to help minimise wrinkles and hair static

“Momme” refers to the weight in lbs of a piece of silk 45 inches x 100 yards in size

Bed Linen Example

Weave & Decoration

Thread count refers to the number of threads in one square inch of fabric. It applies to threads woven vertically – known as the 'warp’ – and threads woven horizontally – known as the ‘weft’.

The feel and quality of bed linen is based on more than thread count: fine, high-quality thread and different weave types create duvet covers, pillowcases and bed sheets that feel softer against the skin. Our bed linen ranges go from 180 to 1600 thread count


Percale weave

A matt finish with exquisite crispness for a fresh and cool feel against your skin

Satin weave

Soft with a subtle sheen and smooth touch: perfect if you love the feel of silky bed linen


Specially woven with two colour threads to create the distinctive chambray look

Brushed cotton

Woven from 100% cotton, delicately brushed to achieve a super soft and cosy feel

Jacquard weave

Created on a jacquard loom, producing a pattern or image through the weave construction itself

Textured weave

A dobby loom can produce decorative patterned weaves, for a touch of textured luxury

Rotary print

Print technology offers vibrant colours and patterns, ensuring that colours last longer


This seersucker bed linen is made by weaving the yarns at different tensions, which creates the signature crimped texture and light, cool feel

Digital print

A specialist technique for photographic images, achieving optimal colour and detail

Finishing touches

Bedspreads, throws and cushions add decorative character to your bed: use them to layer up on warmth and comfort, or to add the finishing touch to your carefully made bed


Great for warmth, it can be fine and lightweight or chunky with a heavier weight. Dry clean to avoid shrinkage


Cashmere is a soft, warm and luxurious natural fibre combed from the underbelly of the cashmere goat


Easy care and often machine washable, acrylic is available in a wide variety of finishes – from fine to chunky


Cotton is cool and lightweight, with natural fibres making it breathable. It's also machine washable


The ‘easy care’ choice for bed linen: polyester dries quickly and keeps its colour and size through washes


Plain bag / standard duvet cover

A plain bag or standard duvet cover encases your duvet, with the seams tucked away

Standard pillowcase

A standard 50x75cm size pillow, also referred to as a housewife pillowcase

Square pillowcase

Also known as 'shams', these large pillows offer support and decoration

Oxford border

A decorative border of fabric at the edge of the standard size seamed pillowcase or duvet cover