How to Pick the Best Sheets and Towels: Fast Facts to Help You Register

best towels
Coyuchi Mediterranean Turkish Organic Bath Towel

We’re not gonna lie. When it comes to shopping for sheets and towels, more often than not we’ve paid attention to the price rather than the thread count. And sure, the ones we’ve bought will totally do the job. But the minute you’ve slept on a pair of REALLY soft sheets or wrapped yourself in a plush, crazy absorbent towel, it becomes harder to go back. Especially to that scratchy, college era set that have now set up a permanent home on your bed and towel rack. The good news is your wedding registry is the perfect time to upgrade to a pair of luxe linens and towels. But where do you start? And how do you know which sheets and towels are going to be worth adding to your registry?

That’s why we asked our favorite registry experts at Zola, who know everything about anything when it comes to building the perfect wedding registry. From thread counts and fabrics to what exactly makes a high-quality towel, we got the scoop on everything you need to know about finding the perfect set.

Ready to build your dream wedding registry? Sign up for a Zola wedding registry here and get a $50 Zola spending credit!


What does thread count actually mean, and should we care?

By definition, thread count refers to the number of warp and weft per square inch. But what IS warp and weft? Technically it means the lengthwise and horizontal threads that are woven together.

And although, yes, you should care about thread count because that’s what makes a sheet high-end, things like the type of cotton, weave and finish all make a difference as well.

Is there a difference between percale and sateen?

Yes. A percale weave, like this Parachute Percale 4-Piece Sheet Set is cool and crisp, while a sateen, like this Brooklinen Luxe 4-Piece Core Sheet Set is silky and smooth. Totally your preference, but we prefer percale.

best sheets
Parachute Percale 4-Piece Sheet Set

If I’m on the search for super soft sheets, which ones should I add to my wedding registry?

You can’t go wrong with 100% cotton. Try the Under The Canopy Urban Edgelands Organic Sheet Set and Under The Canopy Urban Edgelands Organic Sheet Set. You can also mimic that soft fabric with a microfiber or polyblends sheet set, which are another great option. We like the Malouf Double Brushed 4-Piece Microfiber Sheet Set. If you’re craving a lived-in feeling, go for a linen or linen-blend set.

WGM Says: We LOVE a white linen set – they’re versatile, airy, and definitely cozy. This set is a great option: Nine Space Hampshire Linen Cotton Blend Sheet Set

How many sets do we really need?

How many sets you register for really depends on your home. If it’s just the two of you but you also have a guest room, we recommend registering for 3 sets. This will ensure an extra set for your bedroom when you don’t have time (or are too lazy, let’s be real) to do laundry. For guest rooms, registering for one per should cover your basis. Director of Merchandising Connie Kim says you also don’t have to buy in sets if you don’t want to. You can buy individual fitted sheets, flat sheets, or pillowcases, too, to mix and match.

Sign up for a Zola wedding registry and add these amazing sheet sets to your wedding registry ASAP

best towels
Matouk Milagro Bath Towel


What should we consider first?

Weight. Pros refer to and measure the weight of a towel as “GSM” or “Grams Per Square Meter.” Towels range between 300 and 900 GSM. Higher GSM = heavier, more absorbent towels.

So, which is better? Absorbent or quick-drying?

This is definitely up to you. Some Zola couples find thick, absorbent towels to be extra luxurious. Others just want something lightweight that dries quickly.

Our fave absorbent towels:

Our fave quick-drying towels:

What makes a towel high- quality?

Ever walk through the store and think everything feels soft? It probably does. That’s until it gets tattered, battered and washed a few times. Long-staple cotton is the strongest material. Try a set like the Parachute Classic Towel Collection

Also a great option? Couples love zero-twist towels, because they’re plush and super absorbent, but won’t stay damp for hours. These Matouk Milagro Bath Towels are super luxe .

best towels
Talesma Bellina 6-Piece Towel Set

What does a typical towel set include?

That would be six towels, which includes two bath towels, two washcloths, and two hand towels. It’s a great starter collection and you can easily replenish with individual towels over time. This Welspun Amaze 6-Piece Towel Set is a go-to favorite.

Ready to register? Sign up for a Zola wedding registry and add your favorite towel set.


Once you add those luxe sheets and towels to your Zola wedding registry, make sure to take care of them!  We found this handy article from the Today Show with expert tips from Mary Zeitler of Whirlpool’s Institute of Home Science on just how to wash your sheets. And for towels, there’s a right way too, says Better Homes & Gardens. Here are the basics.

  • Wash before using towels or sheets – this helps rid fabrics of silicone or other production finishes.
  • Wash sheets once a week, and towels every three to four days.
  • Sheets and towels need room in the washer, so don’t try to cram everything in one load.
  • While cotton sheets can be washed on almost any cycle, other materials will have specific directions. Make sure to check the label to see the best directions for your set.
best sheets
Brookelinen Luxe 4-Piece Core Sheet Set
  • Colored towels should be washed with warm water and color-safe bleach
  • White towels are best with hot water and bleach if needed (though be sure to read the directions, as some white towels say no bleach)
  • Light-colored sheets can be washed on warm or cold. if anyone’s been sick in the house, wash on warm to rid of germs.
  • Darker sheets should be washed on cool to avoid fading.
  • Don’t over-wash: If you’re just doing a weekly wash and they aren’t overly dirty, only wash on light soil. This will still get them clean, we promise.
  • Don’t use too much detergent: This might give your towels a stiffer texture.
  • Only use fabric softener every three or four washes to avoid waxy buildup, which might make towels lose quality and absorbency
  • Dry on low heat when possible, since high heat can cause fabrics to wrinkle or shrink and could weaken the materials.

Zola has such a great selection of towels and sheets and a ton of other wedding registry basics (and some not-so basics). Sign up for a Zola registry and get a $50 Zola spending credit!

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