Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Post Is The Sheet(s)!

Remember a while back when I did a post about trying to find good sheets? It was like two years ago, so I guess that means only my sister was reading my blog then. But anyway, I had this fantastic sheet set, which I loved. It was smooth and crisp, cool and soft. And, surprisingly, it was only 180 thread-count. Eventually, though, the pillow cases ripped. Then the bottom sheet ripped. And I went in search of new sheets. But try as I might, I could not find sheets that were as smooth and cool as those 180 thread count Target sheets. I kept buying higher thread counts--200, 300, 400, 600. But they all seemed rough and scratchy against my face. I tried Pima, Egyptian, sateen, damask....nothing seemed to make a difference. Some seemed softER but not soft, not silky smooth.

And no one seemed to be able to tell me how to get those truly smooth, soft sheets like the ones you'd find on your grandma's guest bed.

UNTIL YESTERDAY. Fed up on fighting over the one good pillowcase we have that meets our strict smoothness specifications, Big Daddy and I decided to do some research online. Or, rather, he fell asleep on the good pillowcase while I did the research online. And I think I finally found the answer!


100% cotton percale. It's all about the weave. Not the thread count, not the type of cotton, and not the treatment of the cloth (although all of these do contribute to some extent). Mostly it's about the weave. Percale is weaving one thread over one, then under one. Sateen is weaving one thread over four threads then under one. Sateen sheets are by far the most common now. They have a lusterousness (according to the experts) and feel soft to the touch, but they have a warmness to them. If you want crisp, cool, smooth sheets, you want percale. And if you get a higher thread count percale, it will be more durable (unlike the 180 ones I had that only lasted a few years). And if you can get them with a "clean finish" or "pure finish" it means they haven't been treated with chemicals to make the wrinkle-resistant or color-fade resistant. It also means they will feel smoother sooner.

Some people like really soft sheets. But "soft" is a subjective word. New flannel is soft. Jersey is soft (think your brand new Hollister t-shirt). But neither of those are smooth or cool. They have a warmth to them. What I want is crisp and cool. Percale.

I think.

So after spending hours online trying to find percale sheets (which are surprisingly hard to find!), I finally found a couple of stores that carry them. Then I had to try to find them in a color that remotely matched my bedding (which I would classify as butter yellow/pale gold). No luck. Ivory was as close as I could come. And considering how many different shades of tan, beige, gold, mustard, yellow, and cream I've already bought in my quest for the perfect pillowcase, I am going to take a risk. I'm going to order these sheets and see if they meet my high expectations.

Stay tuned!

And, please, if you believein God at all, PRAY FOR THESE SHEETS!

Special thanks to EllenWarren for her article "Are Cool, Crisp Sheets Only a Dream?" It saved my sanity.


just call me jo said...

Good luck with the sheets. My mom used to get percale. I just can't usually afford them (or I just never searched as well as you did.) Let me know if they are the ones. The price was right.

Kristina P. said...

How expensive are they? I know people are very particular about their sheets. I don't care. But maybe that's because I haven't experienced good sheets!

Tiffany said...

I'll be anxious for your review!

CaraDee said...

Maybe you should talk to a doctor about what is wrong with your face... lol. Silly girl. This is where you and I differ. I guess we've found the only place we differ? Well, except for the other place *cough cough*

And I am NOT praying for your sheets. I'm sorry.

Just SO said...

Good luck. It used to be that percale was all that you could find. I wonder why they changed? Let me know if they are good and crisp and cool. I need some cool ones for summer.

Mrs. O said...

This explains a lot - I'm a fan of the cool, soft sheet too and sateen is just too warm (thought it was all in my head).

Can't wait to hear how they work out.

Najma said...

You must do a second post when you get your new sheets and try them out! I too have a hard time finding sheets I like. :)

Sara said...

I was wondering why my new sheets were scratching my face? I might have to order some too. Thanks for doing all that work and sharing it.

kado! said...

can't wait to hear about them.

did you check Overstock.com? I always find great sheet prices on there and the shipping is like $2.

i hate looking for new fort building supplies...or...ummm... sheets!

Chelsea said...

Well that is good to know! I have a similar story, my favorite sheets were a wedding gift and I have no idea how to find more of them - the tag says they're from JC Penney but the line has been discontinued. They have a soft, cool feeling. I bet they're percale too!

Lia said...

It can be a nightmare and ruin a good nights sleep if the sheets are all wrong, poor you babe.
If these sheets work out for you, save up and buy some more to shove in the back of a cupboard. That way you will have another set to fall back on next time this happens.

Can't believe that you have had such a hard time over there finding them.
We don't seem to have that problem here and they are easy to find here. What I have trouble getting is the size of sheets we need for our bed as we have what's called a superking size bed which is almost the size of your Californian king bed. By this countries standards it's a huge bed, so not many places stock the right size sheets which is so annoying and the colour range is poor in this size sheets. Lucky for me I love cool,crisp,soft white sheets.

Fingers crossed these are the softest sheets in the world.

much love

Suzie said...

I love new and wonderful sheets.
In fact I want to marry them.

I'll be watching for your review!!!

Chelsea said...

Oh, and BTW I love the title of this post! :D

Christie said...

I just bought some Egyptian cotton percale sheets for Bryn's bed from Kohls - they were ridiculously on sale. I love them so much that I don't even mind when she wants to sleep with me.

Cook Family said...

I love soft sheets too! We have had 2 sets of Ralph Lauren sheets. They don't feel very soft in the beginning, but as they get worn in a little, they become very soft. They have both since gotten holes and had to be retired.

Mia said...

I love the sheets we buy from Costco, but I am quite certain I am not as particular about cool and crisp. I am anxious to hear how you like/dislike them.

Chelsea said...

I just found percale sheets on JCPenney.com! Yay! They don't have many color choices though.