2/15/2013

Less is More

   
                                                             Photo by Aristea Rizakos at MSRPresents.com

I woke up on a recent morning with a strange sensation of something stuck between the toes on my left foot. When I became conscious enough I realized it felt like a thread or string. So I sat up, threw back the covers and realized that sometime during the night I had stuck my foot right through the bottom sheet. There was a tear about a foot long. Now, these sheets weren't particularly old or cheap. So I was quite vexed to find it ruined. (Although, I have a nice collection of window wiping rags now!)

I only keep two sets of sheets for each bed, a set in use and a spare. Since the top sheet and the pillowcases were still in good condition I figured I would just go out and find a fitted replacement sheet for the time being. The sheets are striped and I knew I wouldn't find the same sheet so I went in search of a compatible solid color. Sounded simple enough.

                                                                        King of the Hill Wiki

First dilemma, I live in a town where there are only two places to buy sheets and they both end in "Mart". I know. I usually do my shopping in a larger town about a half hour away, but I didn't have the time nor the desire to go trekking that day. Second dilemma, trying to find sheets sold as separates instead of sets. Mart #1 didn't have any. Mart #2, at first glance, only carried one line that sold separate pieces, and they were the most expensive sheets they stocked. I didn't really want to spend too much to end up with a set of mismatched sheets. Plus they didn't have a color that would work anyway.

Then, as I was turning to leave, a color caught my eye that looked remarkably like what I wanted. It was on the bottom shelf and appeared to be sold in separate pieces. Hallelujah! But, dilemma #3. Upon closer inspection I noticed they were only 200 thread count. Waa waa. Still, the price was right at under $15 for a queen sheet. And since it was just a temporary solution I decided to give it a try. I brought it home, threw it in the washer with some Seventh Generation Free & Clear laundry detergent and white vinegar, which is my standard procedure for new items because I have skin that is very sensitive to sizing and chemicals.
       
     


I remember when 180 thread count sheets were pretty standard. In fact, I don't recall that they even mentioned thread count. Sheets were sheets. They were muslin or percale, usually a blend of cotton and polyester. They seemed to last forever and were wrinkle free. Then 100% cotton sheets started showing up with more and more frequency but for a price. Next the thread count escalation began. Sheets with 300 thread count were considered top of the line! Then 400, 600, 800!  As the thread count went up so did the price. I started thinking that we were being sold a line. I mean, can you really tell the difference between 400 and 800? Enough to pay that difference? Besides, we're mostly unconscious when we are in our beds. I don't think the thread count is going to be keeping anyone awake at night. If it does then you have other issues. 

Long story short, I'm more than happy with the sheet. In fact, I've discovered I rather prefer the lower thread count. The sheets feel more substantial and yes, I can tell the difference, subtle as it is. I kind of like the feel of a bit more texture. Some people are willing to shell out big bucks for linen sheets, to achieve that same feel I'm guessing. I worried that the sheets might not be deep enough for our mattress, as has sometimes been my experience with cheaper sheets. But these fit perfectly! Time will tell how well they hold up. When I'm ready to replace my other set of sheets soon I think I'll go back and buy a set of the same kind. I'd rather use the extra money towards a nice duvet cover or shams anyway, not the sheets that no one sees but my husband and I.  

What's your experience with sheets? Do you prefer higher thread count? How about flannel sheets for those of you in colder climes? Linen vs cotton? Microfiber sheets?

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