Funny about Money

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ―Edmund Burke

Where do you buy your sheets?

Couple days ago, I was startled to wake up and find a long, transverse rip up the middle of the bottom sheet on my queen-sized bed.

Day-UM! Those things are expensive! And this is not the time that I can afford to drop another hundred bucks or so on a new set of sheets.

Whoa! Make that $150 to $290. Holy sheet!

Fortunately, I have two extra sets of sheets, so there’s no hurry to run out and drop another wad of dough. Still… Those of you who can remember Back in the Day: can you ever recall a real, made-in-America cotton percale sheet just FALLING APART ON THE BED?  That is freaking amazing.

Now I’ll admit, these sheets are not brand-new. But they’re not ante-Diluvian, either. And they’re not total junk. I’ve been buying sheets at Costco for the past couple of decades, because they seem serviceable and reasonably well made, as products available on the general consumer market go. I’ve also bought Target sheets. But these are not from Target.

The Target sheets did fall apart, but not by simply wearing through in the middle — they were a shade too small for the annoying new extra-thick mattresses, and so eventually the fitted-sheet “pockets” ripped. Those can be mended, though. A flat sheet with a tear up the center cannot be mended.

pillowcaseflowerThe pillowcases on one of the remaining two sets developed strange little holes in them. I thought maybe I forgot to pull a hair clip out before collapsing in exhaustion, but…that doesn’t really seem likely. Nothing will keep you awake more efficiently than a hair clip poking you in the head. I was able to fix those holes by embroidering flowers over them — primitive renditions of flowers, because it was mighty tricky to fill in a quarter-inch-wide hole, but good enough to get a few more months of wear out of them.

And…have you noticed how poorly the pillowcases are made? On one pair I got from Costco, the seams are sewed crooked, so they don’t fit the pillow straight. That’s annoying, but since no one but a couple of dogs shares the bed with me, I just ignore it. On another set, the fabric is fraying through at the seams! Which is weird, because no friction has ever been applied to the seams of the damn pillowcases. They’re just effing falling apart.

I’m thinking about going back to a department store to buy new sheets, that being where I used to buy immortal bedding. But my god: Macy’s is having a close-out on Martha Stewart sheets for 60 bucks PER SHEET, and they’re that icky “sateen” stuff. I do not like sheets that have been chemically treated to feel “soft” — the word I’d use for the feel is “oily.” Is there some REASON we can’t have plain, ordinary, crisp percale cotton sheets? How hard is this?

“Hotel Collection” sheets — a pretty good brand, I’ve found — are $95 a sheet at Macy. The “extra-deep” queen fitted sheet is $117, “marked down” (har har!) from $170. That’s obscene.

Dullard’s sheets seem to be a little cheaper, but their website hangs when you try to get a good look at the offerings. Hm. What are they trying to say to us? Hmmm… $160 for a 450-thread-count set. That’s overkill, really: you do not need a 450 thread count sheet. Most people can’t tell the difference once you reach 300 count.

Welp. Dullard’s price is no worse than Costco’s. I wonder if the quality is any better?

Probably not. The things are all made in China. Ugh!

Have you found a vendor that’s selling sheets made of real, un-gummed-up 100% cotton that don’t fall apart and don’t warp the pillowcases into a funny shape?




Author: funny

This post may be a paid guest contribution.


  1. For what it’s worth, I just got an e-mail that Target has 30% off select bedding and bath stuff for today and tomorrow just in case you were considering giving them another shot.

  2. Soooo in a word….WOW. But DW says that queen size sheets ARE expensive. Word is we used to buy ours at JC Penney and they lasted forever. Last set she bought was at Tuesday Morning BUT wasn’t real happy with the quality. I for one am flabbergasted that a set of sheets can cost $200. Aaaand the Fed says inflation in under control!….My foot!!

    • Bedding has always been expensive. But back in the day, sheets would LAST. And pillowcases fit your pillows, hevvinsake.

      Penney’s used to have some decent sheets, that’s so!

  3. Just F.Y.I. “sateen” is a weave pattern where instead of going over-under-over-under, the threads skip two or three threads in between each over-under cycle. It is smoother feeling than a standard weave, but more robust than a “satin” weave, which is formed by skipping four or five threads. I’ve had good luck with sheets from bed, bath & beyond, generally an entire set for less than $100, but then I prefer sateen sheets.

    • Yeah, you’re right: I mis-scribbled. What I’m thinking about is the fabric that they’ve treated with a chemical to make it feel “soft.” I bought a set once and decided I didn’t care for it much.

  4. I buy either Fieldcrest or Threshold Organic Cotton sheets from Target. One set is still going strong after 4-5 years and the other still looks new after a year.

    • How do you like the organic sheets? I’ve been interested in seeking out bedding that has a little strange chemical treatment. Are they comfortable?

  5. I had the same thing happen to some lovely Egyptian cotton sheets. Went to find a replacement bottom (fitted) sheet at Macy’s, and the assistant told me that high thread-count sheets were prone to this. Evidently each thread is thinner than in a low-count sheet, and exposed to more stress because of the way they are packed in. She recommended not getting anything over 500 count, and sold me a much less expensive sheet than what I had first picked out.

    That said, when I went to get something for the guest room bed, I got Jennifer Lopez (who knew?) sheets at Kohl’s, 600-thread-count. They were pricey but are thick and cool and feel amazing. This was a couple of years ago, so don’t know if what I got is still available.

    • That’s interesting to know. I don’t _think_ these were especially high thread-count — I normally don’t buy them, for the reasons you describe, and then some.

      Hmm… There’s a Kohl’s at Desert Ridge mall…just had a shooting there the other day, so that may not be well advised. But there’s one on 19th Avenue…looks like it’s about on Bell Road. I may check that out!

  6. I bought a set of store brand sheets at Target in January of last year and I’m very pleased with them. The bottom sheet has reinforced corners with extra elastic and fit better than any bottom sheet I’ve ever owned. They were also marked down for clearance, but I think they were originally around $60 for a set of full-size sheets. I can’t imagine paying for queen-sized sheets!
    Also found a very durable set of sheets at Tuesday Morning earlier this year, in February. Can’t remember the brand but the material just feels thicker than normal. The label does say made in India. If you can, avoid sheets made in China.
    We sell a lot of Peacock Alley sheets at a fairly good price and several customers rave about how soft and comfortable they are. Also, check out the clearance section at Tue. Morning for sheets. Disclaimer – I work at Tue. Morning as well as shop there.

    • There’s a Tuesday Morning right around the corner from here…I didn’t even know what it was! I’ll have to go in there and check it out! Thanks for the clue!

  7. TJ Maxx or Marshalls.

    • Hmmm…. they closed the Marshall’s that used to be near the university…but I think there’s one in a discount shopping center where my favorite Michael’s lurks. Will check it out.

  8. Hi – two comments: Consider LL Bean for percale sheets. They usually have 10% during a holiday weekend (maybe Columbus Day) and free shipping. They may offer sheet sets and extra pillow cases. I am partial to white sheets with their colored pillowcases…think buoys, starfish, etc.

    Last week I was in Tucson and remembered your posting about Talavera pots. I went to Mexican Pottery on Oracle and bought two beautiful pots and so did my sister. We carefully packed them and put them in the container we were using to move our Mother’s things to the east coast. The container is being delivered on Saturday and I am very excited to bring them home. Keeping my fingers crossed they arrive all in one piece.

  9. One more thing: you can repair your sheets by putting a piece of fabric on the wrong side and zig zag stitch the split closed. If the split is too wide for a single zig zag, consider a double side-by-side zig zag stitch. However long they last, you can feel righteous that you repaired the sheet. If that fails or when they finally give up the ghost, crochet a rug from sheet strips.

    • That doesn’t sound very comfortable. This tear was right under where I lay when I’m sleeping.

      LOL! My mother used to be able to crochet rugs!! Had one of hers for years.

  10. The last time I bought sheets was 8 years ago. Got the bundle from Target that felt softest. I remember it being something like $60-70 at the time with pillowcases. They’re still going strong, but that is to be expected since I sleep on a blanket (a soft $20 throw) on top of the sheets.

  11. After some thought, I recall something crazy. At “estate sales & auctions” I seem to recall bed linens going for “a song”. The last estate sale I went to there was a huge pile of bedding, a stack like 4 foot high by 6 foot long by 2-3 foot deep, …$5. That seemed reasonable to me… it looks like that was a “steal”….

    • Dunno about sleeping on somebody else’s sheets. There’s a bit of a yuck factor there. Most hotels and motels have laundromats that supply near-boiling hot water. But a home washer? Not so much…,

    • Plus of course there’s the bedbug issue. 😀 Did you read how some Walmart here in lovely Phoenix found hordes of bedbugs living in one of its padded wheelchair/shopping carts?

  12. Hmmm…Didn’t read about the bedbugs at Walmart…One more thing to worry about. As for sleeping on “used sheets”….with sheets going for $200 a set, I’m willing to take that “ride down crazy lane”. That is buy the pick up truck load of sheets… for $5 and tell/ask DW to “fire up” the Maytag on sanitize, add a cup of bleach and let her rip. I heard a similar “observation” about buying “used clothes” from Goodwill when I began buying $2-4 shorts to work on rentals. I’ve been using Goodwill work clothes for right around 5 years now and not a “malady” yet…..Maybe I’m just lucky….

    • I’ve bought second-hand clothing at My Sister’s Closet, and SDXB buys his stuff exclusively at thrift stores — so far never had a bedbug. Goodwill may wash them, but My Sister’s doesn’t.

  13. I’m with jestjack – I buy my sheets at thrift stores/Goodwill. I don’t like to buy sets of sheets – I want a queen fitted sheet, and a king size flat sheet – and sets don’t DO that.

    I’ve picked up a dozen or so nearly new, *expensive* brand, gorgeous sheets over the last few years – and paid 2-3$ a pop. I hate the new microfiber crap – I like 100% cotton percale, with high thread count – but I’m not willing to spend $100 on a bedsheet 🙂

    I have never had any issues – the stuff at Goodwill is laundered, and I give it a good check before I buy for any holes, wear or thin spots – the ones I’ve picked up are honestly, as good as new, as far as I can tell.

    • Hm! I’ll have to look into that!

      I’m with you: just HATE fitted top sheets!!! Also that microfiber stuff…what is with that?

      Also learned to buy a king-sized light blanket (summertime fare): it’s a lot less skimpy than the queen-size.

  14. I’ve had good luck with the organic cotton sheets from Target. However my favorite set is made of 100% linen. While it was on sale at West Elm (online), it was still a splurge buy. But real linen is soooo nice. I noticed last week that target is now selling a linen/cotton blend that looks tempting.