The Best Sheets

best-sheetsWe’ve talked about a lot of lifestyle things over the years on this blog — but we’ve never really talked about the home component! So first up: let’s discuss sheets. Which are your favorite sheets? Do you splurge on 1000-thread count luxury linens like Frette, or do you prefer highly-rated, well-reviewed sheets like L.L. Bean’s? Perhaps more importantly, who do you trust to tell you which sheets are good (particularly when “thread count” is often a work of fiction)? How often do you buy new ones?

For my $.02, I do believe that good sheets are worth the splurge — life is too short to deal with the breaking-in period with scratchy sheets! When we moved my son from the crib to the big boy bed I spent a good amount of money on sheets for him with this in mind. I first spent a lot of time and energy researching the best sheets for my parents’ 30th anniversary back in 2002, which at the time meant trekking to the library to pull an old issue of Consumer Reports, as well as running a few searches on my student Westlaw and Lexis account. My parents had never really had “luxury” sheets, and couldn’t believe how much better the L.L. Bean sheets I wound up getting them were — my whole family has never looked back.

In terms of where to go, readers turned me on to review site The Sweet Home a while ago. It’s great because it’s a free resource, and if you only want to read a paragraph or two you can, but you can also learn a lot more through their extremely detailed reviews. I also trust Consumer Reports and have subscribed (and then cancelled) a zillion times over the years. I don’t own any of their top recommended satin sheets, though — the Wamsutta 1000 — and may have to give them a try.

In terms of how many, how often we buy, etc. — we don’t have a huge linen closet, and I hate to underuse perfectly good sheets, so we only have 2 or 3 sets for each season at any given time… we generally use them until there’s some noticeable problem (a rip, the elastic stops working, etc.).

Ladies, how about you? Which sheets are your favorite? Are there any fancier ones you snap up any time you see them on sale? Those of you who travel often, have you found any must-buy sheets after sleeping on them at fancy hotels?  

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Comments

  1. Dollar for dollar LLBean has the best sheets, in my experience.

  2. I’ve had good luck with Garnet Hill.

    • I love the crispness of percale, not the softness of high thread count sheets.

      GH has great Percale. My duvet is from there, and it replaced my prior duvet from GH that was 15(!) years old. That’s quality–it was washed once every two weeks or so for that many years and finally gave out.

      As a side note, Target also has excellent percale sheets, which you can get online or in store.

    • I really like the Eileen Fisher sateen sheets from Garnet Hill.

      Several months ago, I bought a set of Peacock Alley sateen sheets from Tuesday Morning. Not a fan. They’re fuzzy and just don’t feel great.

      Also not fond of Pottery Barn sheets. The quality has decreased substantially.

  3. I have heard good things about Kirkland sheets (Costco). Anyone have any experience with them?

    • I have some Kirkland 800 thread count sheets from a few years ago. They are smooth as butter, but the color faded VERY quickly. When I bought them they were light green, and now they’re more of a light lemon yellow (normal wash cycles and detergent; none of my other clothes or sheets have shown similar fading using the same washing methods). That said, if you got white or cream ones I bet they’d be just fine, and the texture really is superb.

      • I have found that light green is a particularly difficult color vis a vis fading, in towels and sheets generally. Doesn’t seem to matter which brand.

    • Carrie... :

      I’ve got them. A neutral color (not white). Careful not to bleach, and the color has been fine. Feel good. Good price.

    • We have a number of sets of the Kirkland 540 thread count and love them. One thing to note is it did take about 5 rounds through the washer and dryer for them to soften up, but now they are wonderful!

    • I like the Costco sheets although the quality is not what it used to be. I always get the blue or tan and haven’t had problems with fading colors or anything.

    • My MIL gave us a set of Costco sheets and for whatever reason, they made us super sweaty. They were 100% cotton, but they just didn’t breathe at all.

    • I LOVE the way the costco sheets feel but they always fall apart on me after about 2 years(the elastic sags and the material literally rubs through in some parts). I wash & dry my sheets once or twice a month & have a couple of sets… my parents always get the costco sheets too & haven’t had this issue, so I don’t really know why it happens to us.
      We recently tried the organic sheets from Target (recommended via apartment therapy) and I’m still not sold on the feel but they had cute patterns and my husband (who never notices this stuff) commented that he “likes the new sheets, they feel like they are there for you!” which I found hilarious. If these don’t hold up, I’ll probably just settle for buying new costco sheets every other year.

  4. Such a personal decision. I’ve slept in the super high thread count sheets at nice hotels, but find them to feel too slippery and limp – I prefer cotton percale at a lower thread count so for the nice, cool, crisp feeling. Current set is nothing fancy – Wamsutta, maybe 300-400 tc from BB&B – but comfy and has held up fine to a year of use, washing every other week (we have two sets).

    • Agreed on the personal decision part. Some of my favorite sheets were Martha Stewart collection from KMart!

      • anon a mouse :

        Funny you say that. My favorite sheets were Martha Stewart for Macy’s, no longer made. I wish I’d bought at least 2 more sets.

        • Same. I used my MS sheets until I ripped a hole in a corner of the fitted sheets that was too big to be ignored.

  5. They aren’t fancy, but I absolutely swear by Comphy Sheets (http://www.comphy.com/). After sleeping on them in a bed and breakfast, we now have them on all of the beds in our home!

  6. Anonymous Associate :

    I usually have a taste for really high end things, but I love Charter Club sheets, particularly the Damask stripe 500 thread count. They are really soft, and seem to last forever.

    • I love Damask. I get them at MACY’s at lunch. But my mom gave me a set of 1000 thread count Egyptian Cotton sheet’s 3 years ago that were TOTALLY wonderful. She got them on LI, and I had to get rid of them, tho b/c my then boyfreind, Alan Sheketovits, stained them with his alchohol habit’s. Cotton sheet’s are the BEST, but they are VERY absorbeant of stain’s and Sheketovits should NOT have done what he did on those sheet’s. FOOEY on him.

      For the HIVE, I also bought a DAMASK Level 5 Goose Down Comforter AFTER I threw Sheketovits out for the winter, and I am alway’s tostey warm with it, even without a MAN with me. It is light and fluffy, and I recomend it to the ENTIRE hive. YAY! Go to Macy’s around Labor Day and it should be on Sale! DOUBEL YAY!!!!!

      • Damask from Macy’s are also my favorite. The whole house is in Damask, except the kids who get Pottery Barn kids sheets. Other kids sheets (aka baby and toddler beds) are just not made as well and tend to shrink.

    • Anonymous :

      I needed to buy sheets for a spare bed that is essentially only to fill a room, and I had a Macy’s gift card, so I bought Charter Club as a no-cash-outlay option. I love them! They’re better than the PB sheets I have on the main bed.

  7. When my son moved into a twin bed, I bought him sheets from Land of Nod. I liked them so much that I bought a set of queen size in white for my own bed. They were soft right out of the package, and feel substantial. I replaced a set of very expensive organic cotton sheets that were always a bit scratchy and wrinkled so badly that they are the only sheets that have ever tempted me to iron my bedding. But I used them until we accidentally tore off the top edging while pulling them up one night.

  8. summer associate :

    I bought a pencil skirt from Ann Taylor. I think I lost weight. It’s kinda lose. I have wide hips and a butt so even if I lose weight in my stomach/waist the skirt will still fit. Is it okay to continue wearing this skirt?

    I won’t be wearing it during the school year anyways – only in the summer.

    • Can you get the waist part tailored?

    • Unless it looks sloppy, sure, why not. I wear skirts that are too big because I can’t afford to get them all tailored yet. My solution is to either wear something long enough that it doesn’t matter or safety pin the sides and wear something looseish on top and long so that you can’t tell.

  9. Really disappointed in the few colors currently offered in the recommended LL Bean sheets.

  10. Any recommended sheets that NOT deep pocket for extra-deep mattresses? I find that many of the sheets for sale these days (like the Wamsutta 1000 linked in the post) are deliberately oversized to fit deep mattresses. I’m hoping to find something to fit my older fashioned mattress better.

    • Try Ikea or possibly supermarkets? Measure the depth of your mattress and have the measurement handy when you go to buy sheets and ask if you can take one out of the packet to measure.

    • I have the opposite problem – I have a hard time finding sheets with deep pockets. I’ve found if there isn’t a specific measurement on the package, the sheets generally don’t have a deep pocket.

  11. Love love love Sofitel sheets, which DH gave me as a birthday gift several years back (after we stayed at the Philadelphia Sofitel). The huge drawback is that they wore out very quickly — holes and tears. It’s very possible this was b/c we used bleach with them occasionally. If we ever splurge another set — or a set of Frette, which I’ve loved sleeping on at one fancy hotel in CA wine country in particular — I will try to find a gentler way to get the white sheets white again . . . . (Live in an apt. so can’t hang them outside to be bleached by the sun.)

  12. We dropped a massive amount of money at a luxury sheets store a while ago (Yves Delorme), and it was totally worth it. They feel AMAZING, and no, the actual thread count is not that high – the quality of the cotton is way better. I also find that they hold up better (colors etc) to repeated washing.

  13. The best sheet-related tip I have is for those of you with children – a double duvet on a single bed is far warmer and cosier in the winter than a single duvet on the same bed. I’m in college and still doing this quite happily.

    • I do this–queen sized bed, king sized blanket (summer) or down comforter (winter) is the BEST. Especially with a sheet hog (…me) and two small dogs who sleep with us (on top of the sheets, hogging too).

  14. century ride :

    anyone heard anything good about bull and bond? I just heard a radio ad for them on one of my podcasts, and they look tempting.

    I’ve been successful in the past of finding high (500-800) thread count sheets at Marshalls or TJ Maxx for less than $100 for our queen and that’s worked well for us.

    I am considering trying out the LL Bean ones though, because the price point is decent, and I do appreciate their quality and warranty.

  15. Asideralis :

    As soon as my puppy stops teething, I will be getting linen sheets. I just love the feel of high quality linen, and the wrinkled bed look is very appealing to me. It’s a suggestive “come hither”.

    • I LOVE my Restoration Hardware linen sheets (look, feel, etc.) but something huge to consider that will keep me from buying them next time: you can (gently) wash or handwash, but then you have to hang them to dry. The convenience of throwing sheets in the washer and dryer is too much for me to miss.

      • That’s disappointing about the RH sheets! I just wash & dry my WS ones without any problems or shrinkage .

  16. On vacation in Uruguay years ago we were treated to linen sheets. I had never slept better and I had never forgotten about them. They are so expensive though that I put them out of mind for a long time until I found some at the Williams Sonoma home store on a close out. Still expensive but manageable–and they have held up beautifully. Another set of cotton sheets I got at a fancy linen store (Italian, embroidered, beautiful) were $800 marked down to $200. I decided to try them and they have been just ok–thankfully I didn’t spend $800 or I would have been so upset!

  17. Seventh Sister :

    We have these and love them:

    http://www1.bloomingdales.com/shop/product/frette-hotel-bedding?ID=535189

    Strangely enough, the Target ones we have are also very soft. My MIL is always trying to buy us sheets with high thread counts and they are usually dreadful because the quality of the cotton is so low.

  18. I have Peacock Alley bedding that I picked up for a fraction of the cost at Tuesday Morning. (I believe the sheets were originally $350 and I paid $90. The duvet was originally $600 and I paid $125 maybe.) I wish I could say the sheets are the most glorious thing I’ve ever slept on, but they’re nice-standard. …And yet, knowing I’m sleeping on luxury sheets still makes me incredibly happy every night haha. Shallow? Perhaps ;) But when you get a divorce and want all new bedding for your new bachelorette pad, being shallow over fancy bedding is perfectly ok in my book :)

    I’ve had them for 6 months and I wash them weekly and put them right back on the bed. For 25 weeks of hot washing in bleach (I know, I know, you’re not supposed to, but it helps my allergies), they still look as good as new.

    My grandparents have the LL Bean sheets. I’m not sure if they ordered a certain kind or if it’s all of them, but they take the percale part very seriously! Definitely crisp – like Vlasic refrigerated pickles crisp. They’re not scratchy, but they’re definitely more…institutional? than I like in my sheets.

  19. SA-litagor :

    I don’t quite have the budget for pricey sheets yet, but I love a good soft sheet and these are hands down my favorite and they hold up great: Target microfiber sheets. Yes, they are also crazy cheap, which is only a plus in my book:
    http://www.target.com/p/room-essentials-microfiber-sheet-set/-/A-13308280#prodSlot=medium_1_1&term=microfiber+sheets

  20. I have bought multiple sets of these and we LOVE them. They are so soft and have held up nicely to weekly washings for two years now.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0093UR51K?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B0093UR51K&linkCode=xm2&tag=skim1x162456-20

  21. Out of Place Engineer :

    I love percale sheets and will take them any day over sateen. We currently use LL Bean and Pottery Barn and love them both. I am actually really upset because our favorite 10 year old Bean ones just got a rip that I couldn’t repair. They will replace it, but I feel weird about complaining about a sheet we got so much use out of!

  22. We started buying bamboo sheets right after we got married (~a decade ago) and haven’t bought any other sheets since. They’re very soft. I always hated the initial coolness of percale followed by the inevitable warming up to your body temp. It’s distracting! So I like that you don’t have that with bamboo. The temperature of the sheets against your body/face feels constant. The downside is that they are slippery (can be challenging for LGPs) and not very durable. We replace ours every other year. We just get one set, though, so they get taken off the bed, washed and immediately put back on.

  23. Caution re Sweet Home :

    First, never knew that I wasn’t the only one who thought deeply about what kind of sheets I wanted. God, I hope Kate posts on towels next cause that one is really troubling me.

    Second, be careful on following recommendations from Sweet Home. They praised this very expensive new model coffee maker ($250) and swore it was best thing since sliced bread. It was so leaps and bounds better than anything else, they said, that they had to rush to post their review immediately. Anyway, bought it and it has troubling design flaws that drive me nuts. Not all the liquid pours out because the lip of the pot catches some and holds it back. Now that the coffee maker has been on the market for a while when you go to Amazon and even their own site there are scathing reviews in the comments about how horrible the coffee maker is (doesn’t keep coffee hot, cord too short, spills, and my issue mentioned above). Someone said I wonder how much the site got paid by the coffee company to post that review. Anyway, ever since then, I’ve been very skeptical about what Sweet Home recommends, especially because I would never normally spend $250 on a coffee maker.

    • I highly recommend the fanciest towels at Target – I think they’re Fieldcrest. They’re very plain – no embroidery, no stripes, no deep borders – but that’s okay with me. I’ve had some for about a year and they’re great. I bought Frontgate towels a few years ago because they had really pretty colors and… they’re supposed to be great? Maybe Consumer Reports rated them highly? But they were horrible – really wide borders (the part near the hem that’s a different weave, to create visual interest) that shrunk very differently from the towels themselves, so I ended up with severely ruffled towels. Ruffled potato chips? Yay! Ruffled towels? Fiery hate.

      I also bought a couple of Kenneth Cole Reaction towels at Bed, Bath and Beyond, and I’ve been pretty happy with those, but I haven’t used them enough to rave about them the way I do about the Target towels.

    • Anonymous :

      LL Bean Textured Cotton Towels. Dry so quickly but are so good. They are thin, so I was initially skeptical, but after four months am a complete convert. The colors don’t look good online but are very nice in person. I am never going back.

  24. Tinkerbell :

    Okay but where are the websites where we can get good quality bedsheets in exciting colors?

  25. We have had lots of success buying high thread sheets from Overstock.com. My absolute favorite sheets were purchased more than 10 years ago from Smartbargains.com. These are faded a bit (mistakenly asked Husband to do laundry one night i was working late) but still going strong.

  26. Philanthropy Girl :

    Does anyone else have trouble finding sheets to properly fit a deeper mattress? I have a pillowtop that is deep, but not extraordinarily so. Its measurements fall within the the standard “deep-pocket” fitted sheet dimensions. I’ve purchased multiple sets all appropriately sized and none of them seem to fit properly – either they are baggy and come off the mattress at night, or they rip because they’re too small.

    Any suggestions for reasonably priced brands that actually fit a deeper mattress?

  27. This is what I have on my bed: Gaiam organic cottage stripe duvet and blue- love it so much. Perfect fit in my lakehouse cottage-style house. http://www.amazon.com/Gaiam-Organic-Duvet-Cottage-Stripe/dp/B004FKTKAM

    For backup sheets/guest room, I have the Costco Kirkland cotton high thread count white. I’d prefer organic but they are very nice and crisp and were about $60 dollars.

    Random, was about to get rid of old sheets this week, and getting my roof done, the bag of old sheets has come in handy as dust-catchers laid all over the house. Keeping them for future such occasions!

  28. Emily Matthews :

    I’ve heard good things about Cloud Nine: http://www.getcloudnine.com They have some quality sheets. Looks to be all organic and I like that they are made in the US too.

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