New Sheets

drs2January 27, 2008

I have purchased 3 sets of new sheets recently. I hate them all. Thread count makes no difference. Stiff, scratchy, sandpaper like-300, 450 and 600 count, all cotton. I have washed, used fabric softeners, hot, warm water. Nothing works. Never have I had such an issue. What is going on with bedding? Did I miss something during the last 20 years? I just want some soft sheets. Don't even care about wrinkles. Just want some soft sheets that don't pill up. HELP ME!!!!

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Quick, someone recommend using vinegar!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 7:14PM
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Actually, if they're not soft to begin with then not even vinegar will help! I'm not sure where you're getting the sheets but I've never had such a problem. Before I buy sheets though I run my hand in the middle of the package. You can pretty much tell how soft, or not, they are.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 8:33PM
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I did touch all of them and thought they would work. Once washed and on the bed--no way. I brought at Ross and TJMax. There must be more to this than thread count or maybe I need a doctor! I'd better go to Dillards or Penneys.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 9:20PM
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Sateen will be softer but you should wash these on Delicate to help them keep there newness.

Companies now are using different methods to give thread count.Another thing is the difference in the fabric. a lot of it now comes from other places instead of here(in fact most of it)and there IS a difference. Lately we have had a lot from Brazil and it is terrible. Has lots of mill seams, dye streaks,shaded,roll stock sizing way off. Goods start at 90-95" and end up going to 81" roll width. You then have to make allowances for these things. Solid fabric is the worst, anything pattern seems to run more true to size. I am getting a little away from the "hand" of the sheets but it is just a sign of the times. What brand did you buy?? I have been pleased with Wamsutta sateen. Try those and see how you like them.BTW I have been in this business for 31 years so I DO know something about these things.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 10:28PM
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Drs2, whatever you do, do NOT go to Penny's! I have been buying my sheets there for about 15 years. I buy the high thread count sateen cotton sheets. I bought a new set in the fall. They felt nice and soft in the store. I washed them and they lost all their softness, they felt rough. I returned them and bought some I love at Linens and Things. Very soft. They were a lower thread count, 300 I think. I was going to try the Organic Egyptian Cotton (sateen, I don't remember the thread count) but the ones I got were on clearance so they were 1/3 of the price.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 7:56AM
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Change your detergent, try Cheers *True Fit.*
It will give your sheets a better hand than any other detergent on the market and use Downey no scent fabric softener in the washer and Bounce no scent dryer sheet in the dryer.
Also use the Permanent Press Cycle on the washer and low dry temp on the dryer. DO NOT OVERDRY.
Give it a try!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 10:27AM
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I switched to jersey sheets (the "t-shirt" material) years ago. Even sheets over 800 thread count do not compare with the softness of jersey. Plus, they wear like iron...and just get even softer the more they are washed. The best thing about them is they retail for between $20 and $60 for a queen set depending on the quality of jersey you want. They will stand up to the hottest water temperatures as well.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 1:42PM
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Jersey sheets are indeed soft. I find them too thin (or at least the ones I buy) I may be a cheapskate but I now buy only flannel sheets from Target. Every once in a while, they run a "any size" one price sheet set sale (usually it's $14.99 for a fitted sheet, flat sheet and pillow cases). They stock flannel in the winter and jersey in the summer. I sleep on flannel all year round and love it. I find the flannel sheets from Target are even better than Lands End.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 4:54PM
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we never go by the brand when getting sheets,it who is having a sale when we need them, always been soft, just wondering dr2, if you are drying them on the clothes line, which I learned the hard way doesn't let them stay soft.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 8:13PM
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What is different in the way companies are counting the thread count?

    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 12:31AM
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Jerrod: You know that the thread count is the number of horizontal and vertical threads in one square inch of cloth.This is referred to as the weft and warp. Some companies are using thinner thread and twisting these together which makes a 2 ply thread so by doing this they are counting the 2 plys as "doubling" their thread count so if you are buying these that say they are 400 TC but are made using the "twisting" method you really have a 200TC sheet. Since there is no regulations to this companies can do it and get by. So the best sheets are made with 1 ply thread instead of the twisting. The yarn size also affects the feel of the sheets because a larger yarn size will give a better thread.This results in softer sheets whereas a "lessfine" yarn will have the lower count and then a "stiffer" sheet. At one time there was even some sheets that were treated with Teflon-not sure if they still do this, but they were much stiffer even with high 1 ply TC. The fabric reminded me of whne they first came out with "Perma-Press" clothes at Sears. They were always stiff to me and never got any better.
Anyway this is what I meant by the TC method. One way to watch for this is if you see sheets that are 800TC and they are about the same cost as some that are 400TC you can bet the 800 are really 400 just 2 ply twisted(and stiffer).

    Bookmark   January 30, 2008 at 12:54AM
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Wow, ok hope this helps. There is a blog about sheets and one of the articles is titled "The Truth About Thread Count". (Sparky823 sounds like you are right on) link on bottom - Sounds like someone should come up with an awareness website to inform customers about these practices as explained on the blog!

Anyway, I know that the sateen weaves have historically been excellent sheets for me. Egyptian cotton also BUT single ply as I hear is the only way to go! And that is ALL I will buy ever again.

Sorry to say but TJ Maxx & Ross I am sure will have great pricing but I believe they are seconds stores that carry closeouts and stuff that generally does not sell in their original market - for good reason. No one wants them.

We buy cheaper sheets for the guest rooms and spend a small fortune on our sheets for our bed but they are perfect and last forever!

Find you a reputable company online for luxury sheets (pricing will tell you the truth - USUALLY) spend more but get the better sheet.

Sealy is a very reputable and they sell sheets online and also the Hard To Find Sheets website is reputable and carries the super deep pocket and adjustable bed sizes which we must purchase.

Bottom line - spend the money and you will be rewarded with great sleep!

Here is a link that might be useful: The Truth About Thread Count

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 10:12AM
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I am super picky about my sheets and have NOT had success with sheets from target, Kohls, etc. The best sheets Ive bought have been Pottery Barn classic sheets, and the 800ct hotel sheets at Bed Bath And Beyond. They are incredibly soft, easy to wash, and deep enough for my large mattress. They're also not crunchy sounding at night (I hate noisy sheets). I managed to get my PB sheets on clearance (but now that I have experience w/ them would totally pay full price), and usually wait to buy the hotel sheets from BBB when I have a 20% off coupon. I strongly suggest highest thread count you can afford at a store like Bed Bath and Beyond, or Pottery Barn. I imagine that Restoration hardware sheets are nice too.

(BTW, love PB towels too).

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 4:04PM
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I got a set of wonderfully soft and smooth sheets at Costco--their Kirkland Signature line.

The best thing is that if for some reason you don't like them, you can take them back, no questions asked, any time.

Ever since the old-line mills in North Carolina closed down, sheets are mostly imported and of much less consistent quality, in my opinion. Just another reason to buy from a merchant who will allow you to return them, even after they have been washed.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 10:41PM
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I recently got some Wamsutta "Sateen Couture" 500 TC sheets. I'm not satisfied with the softness (or lack thereof) or how badly they wrinkle. They wrinkle so badly (even on the gentle cycle in the dryer) that they're difficult to iron--many of the creases seem permanent.

I have another set of sheets, Wamsutta "Luxury Sateen" 400 TC sheets I got 4 years ago. I have used these as my only sheets over this time, washed (w/ bleach) and dried on high heat weekly, and they are still in PERFECT shape, soft as ever, and do not wrinkle up like the new ones do. I also weighed the sheets, and the "Luxury Sateen" 400 TC(even after all this abuse) weigh about 20% more than the new "Sateen Couture" 500 TC sheets. Crazy. These new sheets were on clearance for 40% off at BB&B. Maybe they're being discontinued because they suck?

    Bookmark   April 23, 2008 at 9:54AM
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Bed Bath & Beyond has Pure Beech sheet sets. It is the only thing that I'll buy for our bed ever again. We love them.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2008 at 10:46PM
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I found some great sheets at Costco -- called Simple Luxury and their least expensive. That was not my goal (least expensive) -- but like you I'd tried the 400 and 600 t.c. and not comfortable and wrinkles galore. The "Simple Luxury" brand are 300 count, 60% cotton, 40% polyester -- soft, comfortable, not wrinkly and not "noisy" - you know, turning over in bed and the sheet make so much noise you hope you don't wake up your DH! Anyway - I took a chance that worked out when I got them since I thought paying something like $37 for king size might not work -- they are wonderful! I know you've invested alot in your other good luck with getting somthing to work with them - or head to Costco!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 10:59AM
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I have some Wamsutta Elite Sateen and they too are flawless and have had them about 5-6 years. No wrinkles and very smooth. If you will notice on the care tag they were made in USA or at least mine are. You will not find that today. Everything for Springs/Wamsutta is from Portugal/Hondurus/Brazil/Mexico/China now as are all the other textile companies goods also.
When made here they were made out of fabric that was woven in the Carolinas, but now that it is all imported the quality has dropped.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 10:56PM
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Boy this is exactly my problem!! I washed (without detergent just vinegar and Downey) a set of new sheets to put on the bed in the guest room. They are TERRIBLE in spite of the high TC. They feel and sound like tin foil. I took them to the dry cleaners to see if they could get the wrinkles out. Yes, but it would cost $25.

I have see and felt the sheets at Costco many times. Sounds like I am going to have to cut my losses and go to Costco.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 11:50PM
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Frette white sheets, the best. Made in Italy. Like staying in a luxury spa.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 7:51AM
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A couple of things...I usually only buy QVC's Northern Nights sheets. They are amazingly soft and tend to wear well. My only complaint is that the wrinkle -- some more than others. I have read through a lot of the feedback on here and have some ideas about how to wash/dry them so I'll try that.

But, Northern Nights can't be beat ... any of the bedding line: blankets, down comforters, sheets, pillows.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 1:03AM
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I agree about QVC's Northern Nights. They are the only brand of sheets that I buy anymore. LOVE their down products also. I also have a feather bed that is heavenly.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 7:10AM
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My wife recently picked up a few flannel sheet sets at Target for $20 each. Their labels say made in Turkey, and they seem nice enough. I look forward to sleeping in them tomorrow night when temperatures return to more seasonal levels and hope they will hold together for more than just this winter.

I noticed something about these sheets that seemed worth reporting here. All initially had sort of a chemical, solvent, or petroleum odor. I couldn't help but wonder whether it was like what some people here describe as the smell of items that have been washed using Charlie's Soap.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2008 at 11:43PM
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I too have been disappointed with sheets in recent years, even those with high thread counts.

A couple months ago, I was in BJ's, a local warehouse store, and saw they had a special on sheets which were 'guaranteed' to be soft. The thread count was at least 500 (maybe 600), and I bought a Queen-size set for less than $40. If I had that to do over, I'd have bought more than one set, as they sold like hotcakes.

(At about that same time, I saw 300-count sheet sets - same size - at Walmart *on clearance* which cost more.)

I have never experienced softer sheets! They are 100% cotton, and the name on them is Living Home ("luxury" is below that in smaller letters). I think that's BJ's 'brand' name.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2008 at 6:00PM
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Dd has reminded me that the sheet set I just mentioned has an 800-thread count; she was with me when I bought them. No wonder they're so soft! I sure wish I'd bought more than one set.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2008 at 1:14AM
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Life is too short for low-count sheets I always say! The best bang for buck on sheets is Marshalls or TJ Maxx. They have millions of packages of unique brands you've never heard of. Each one is different. The last set I bought were 800-count. I forgot the price, but they were the same price as 600-count at Walmart. Man, are they nice! Look at it this way. The extra $20 will pay for itself, because your sheets will last sooo much longer. The low-count sheets will be full of holes and burrs in no time.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2008 at 7:38PM
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I have gotten the 400 and 450 sheet sets from Target. The 400 count set is wonderfully soft - the 450 count set is just okay - I do agree that TJ Maxx/Home Goods stores have a wide variety of sheets and some are wonderfully soft - but you really do have to check them out, if you can, before you purchase. As said above, not all sheet counts are the same! The higher end stores have not let me down yet - but they can be cost prohibitive sometime..... Good luck - there is nothing like wonderfully soft sheets to relax and sleep on!

    Bookmark   December 3, 2008 at 8:29PM
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Please make sure to scroll back to the post made by Sparky823 dated Jan 30, 2008.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2008 at 12:21AM
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My apologies. Sometimes my fingers get ahead of my brain. That shows how important it is to read through all the posts first. Who knew buying sheets could be this complicated? It shows how anytime you have a numbers war, people are going to find a way to manipulate the numbers. Like the megapixel war with digital cameras. Or in the 80's when Little Caesar's pizza opened and referred to their 14" pizza as a Large. Domino's and everybody else were forced to start calling their 14" Medium a Large. Now it's all screwy. A Large isn't a Large any more. All it takes is one company to get that ball rolling. Then everybody is forced to follow suit if they want to compete. Of course, the authentic pizza joints stood their ground. So we'll probably see the same thing happen here. The budget brands will do everything they can to work the loophole. While a few noble companies will still do the right thing - and hopefully not go bankrupt for their efforts.

I wonder. If a sheet is using twisted threads instead of single-ply, could you see that with a magnifying glass?

    Bookmark   December 4, 2008 at 9:26AM
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I guess I'm the odd duck out there. I've always liked a sheet that was crisp. The last set I had was 400tc I believe from Dansk. I also believe they were damesk cotton. Hefty sheets. When lined dried, very crisp and wonderful. On black friday I went to Sears and got two sets of 310tc sheets that were on sale for $50. Was more worried about them fitting my deep mattress, but they did and they are sateen 100% cotton. I really don't care for sateen cotton as they pill easily, and are super soft, (which I don't care for), but for the price I couldn't resist. Even if they only last 6 mos, I will have gotten my money out of them.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2008 at 9:47AM
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No apologies needed. Just wanted to make sure everyone scrolled back to prior posts that talked about what we may actually be getting with high thread count. I don't know if you could see it with a magnifying glass but I do know that I have one set of 600 thread count sheets that feels like bouncing around on cardboard, while another 400 set feels like heaven - both from the same online store.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2008 at 1:18PM
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Our 1020 count Sferra's feel heavenly (especially when ironed), but give me flannel for those cold winter nights.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 4:55PM
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I really think people forget the importance of proper care for sheets. Especially when someone has nice, luxury sheets. You should not use fabric softener because it makes cotton brittle, or dry on too hot of settings. And fabric detergent should really be kept to a minimum. They are simple rules to follow, but no one does it!!! Here are some great directions for cotton luxury sheets at Thomas Lee sheets -

Here is a link that might be useful: Thomas Lee

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 4:36PM
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ellie, how kind of you to provide that link. Thank you very much.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 9:11PM
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Feeling a sample of sheets in a store can be very misleading. Most (all?) fabrics are "finished" with chemicals that wash out in the laundry. Several months ago, I purchased a quilters' cotton that had a wonderful, yummy, silky "hand" to it. I pre-washed it in warm water in order to pre-shrink, before sewing up my project. What came out was horrible and scratchy. I was really glad I didn't buy more of the stuff than what I had. It was not cheap fabric, either. (Moda quilting cotton)

Sheets are no exception. Fabric is one big chemical bath. The quality of the "gray goods" is what makes the difference.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 8:35PM
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