Sheets! Sheets! Sheets!
I don't know about you but one thing I find myself cutting down on when I have a full schedule (which seems to be all the time) is sleep. When I do get to finally crawl into bed after a long day I like nothing better than the feel of good quality linens.
In an effort to make our rest time more enjoyable we recently moved up to a king size bed. This required us to buy all new sheets to fit our spacious upgrade. The previous queen size sheets had been accumulated over years as a couple and the thought of having to replace our bed linens in one go caused a shudder in both me and my wallet. I thought this is a good time to do some research and make sure my money will be well spent and if you read to the end of the post I'll share some of the great deals I was able to find.
Cotton is King
When selecting bed sheets, cotton is king (and queen and twin). Cotton keeps cool and the fibres wick moisture away from your skin. While polyester may be more durable cotton will release stains more easily.
These benefits are present in all cotton sheets but longer fibre (or long-staple) cotton is noticeably softer. The surface won't pill and lint like one woven from shorter fibres. Egyptian cotton is generally agreed to be the longest staple and the best in the world. "Pima" and "Supima" all denote excellent long fibres of high quality.
If a label says simply, "100 percent cotton", you can assume it is American upland cotton, a rougher, less expensive variety.
Thread count & weave
Recently, everyone has been obsessed with thread count. While this too can denote a quality sheet, a lower thread count with higher quality cotton may in fact feel softer and more luxurious to the touch. I've been very satisfied with thread counts in the 600 - 800 range but these have been a splurge. I've seen thread counts at 1200 and even higher but be prepared to pay the price. I believe counts of 300 and less can also get the job done.
The weave affects the way a sheet feels, the way it looks, its longevity, and its price. Basic plain weaves, which are woven from an equal number of vertical and horizontal yarns, are least expensive and may not rate a mention on the label. Percale is an upscale plain weave with a thread count of 180 or higher and is known for its longevity and crisp feel. Sateen weaves have more vertical than horizontal yarns. The higher proportion of vertical threads results in an extremely soft fabric, but one that is more apt to pill and tear than a plain weave. Intricate weaves, such as jacquards and damasks feel textured, with a pattern alternating from satiny soft to coarser and nubby. They can be as durable as plain weaves, but they are made on special looms and are considerably more expensive.
When buying quality sheets the prices you come across can vary widely. I've seen sheets from luxury speciality stores at $700 for one fitted king. Paying several thousand dollars for a sheet set is not something I would entertain. You can still get great sheets for a good price if you look out for sales and invest in items that will last and bring you years of comfort.
A great Canadian brand that has consistently exceeded my expectations is Gluckstein Home. His linens are of excellent quality that you can feel instantly (don't be afraid to open a package to feel the softness of the product).
My favourite retailer for linen sales is Hudson's Bay. They have a wide selection and their sales often result in savings of 50% or more. On a recent trip to I sourced out a Hugo Boss king set for $65. I didn't even know Hugo Boss made sheets! On the same trip I found a bright green Lacoste set ($40) that would be a great complement to my grey set of.... you guessed it, Gluckstein Home (600 thread count at $89).
Now, I'll leave the link to the bedding section for the Bay below but I recommend going in from time to time. The best deals are ones that are not advertised and that include a further discount on the already discounted merchandise.
Good luck and sleep well!
An Urban Dad