A bed sheet is a flat-woven textile that is used on a bed between the occupant of a bed and the warm blanket above. It is generally a rectangle of broadloomed fabric, meaning it is made without a center seam. Bed sheets have hems at top and bottom. The selvages, or finished edges of the woven sheet as it is made on the loom are used as side seams and thus there is no need for hemming on the sides. Today, the bed sheet comes as part of a set of bed linens that match in color, fabric, and detail and includes the fitted sheet (to cover the mattress), the flat sheet and at least one pillow case.

The bed sheet may be made of a variety of fibers, including linen, cotton, synthetics (often blended with natural fibers such as cotton) and occasionally silk. Bed sheets are made of a wide variety of fabrics. Particularly popular is percale, a closely-woven plain weave of all cotton or cotton-polyester blend that is smooth, cool, and comfortable against the skin. Also of plain weave but more coarsely woven than percale is muslin. In winter months flannel sheets, which are woven with nappy cotton fibers, provides additional warmth. Silky, satiny bed sheets, generally woven of synthetics (silk is very expensive) are a novelty. Linen is also occasionally used for bed sheeting but is not generally commercially available in this country as linen is not processed in the United States. Linen sheeting is either imported from Eastern Europe or Britain.

If cotton is to be spun into yarn in the bed sheet manufactory, 480 lb (217.9 kg) bales are purchased from a cotton producer. This cotton is often referred to as cotton wool because it is fuzzy like wool. It is still dirty and includes twigs, leaves, some seeds, and other debris from harvesting. Other materials used in the weaving process include starches or sizing of some sort that is applied to the cotton threads to make them easier to weave. During the cleaning and bleaching process after the sheet has been woven, caustic chemicals and bleaches including chlorine and/or hydrogen peroxide solutions are used to remove all color before dyeing. Dyeing includes chemically-derived dyes (meaning they are not natural and not found in plants or trees but are created in laboratories) are used for standard coloration and color-fastness.