Ex­perts ex­plain what to look for when shop­ping for a set of soft and cosy bed­sheets

Ottawa Citizen - - HOME LIFE -


Maybe the best test of a bed­sheet’s qual­ity is done at a ho­tel, where sheets are be­ing put through the lit­eral wringer daily.

“We’re flip­ping the sheets ev­ery sin­gle day, so they need to be as soft, sturdy and pris­tine as they were on Day One,” says Ave Bradley, cre­ative direc­tor and se­nior vice pres­i­dent of de­sign for Kimp­ton Ho­tels & Restau­rants. “We also pres­sure-test our linens be­fore they’re rolled out.”

While Kimp­ton uses 300-thread­count Frette linens (and sells them to guests who want to take them home), Bradley uses 100 per cent or­ganic Coyuchi crin­kled per­cale in her guest be­d­room in Los An­ge­les.

Which made us won­der: What do bed­ding ex­perts — de­sign­ers, hos­pi­tal­ity gu­rus — choose for their own beds? Most of the pro­fes­sion­als we spoke to ad­vo­cate for nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als, es­pe­cially linen.

Light­weight linen is nice for warmer cli­mates, while a heav­ier linen is pre­ferred for cooler cli­mates or sea­sons, Bradley ex­plains. Thread count doesn’t mat­ter as much as the ma­te­rial, which should be 100 per cent cot­ton. Note that per­cale sheets are a bit heav­ier than oth­ers, with more tex­ture, a more-re­laxed feel, and a 200-thread count; sateen sheets have a slight sheen to them, with a 300-thread count. Color or no colour is up to you and your be­d­room’s de­sign scheme, so find what you like and sleep easy.

Moorea Seal, a Seat­tle-based re­tailer and au­thor of the 52 Lists project se­ries, is a fan of any ma­te­rial that Nate Berkus de­signs, in­clud­ing the new sateen, 100-per­cent cot­ton Mod­ern Printed Sheet Set in blue stripe by Project 62 + Nate Berkus ($45.99 for queen fit­ted sheet, flat sheet and two pil­low­cases, tar­get.com, ships to Canada).

“They are su­per-soft and cosy and have held up well for be­ing such an af­ford­able set of sheets.”

L.A. de­signer Vanessa Alexan­der uses linen in most of the bed­rooms she de­signs. While a favourite is the lo­cal-to-her high-end Mat­teo brand, she also likes Para­chute’s Linen Sheet Set for a less-ex­pen­sive linen op­tion ($169 for queen fit­ted sheet and two pil­low­cases; $110 for an added top sheet, parachute­home.com, ships to Canada).

The neu­tral colours bone, fog and grey are her usual picks.

Kimp­ton’s Bradley agrees with the linen choice: “Linen to me is a sym­bol of true lux­ury — the finest ho­tels in Europe use linen bed­ding. It’s a fab­ric that will al­ways be chic and never go out of style.”

Sheets are more widely avail­able than they have ever been, with­out even re­quir­ing a trip to the de­part­ment store.

“I think the di­rect-to-con­sumer econ­omy is al­ways great for the cus­tomer, and I love how it has spread into amaz­ing bed­ding com­pa­nies,” says Chris­tiane Lemieux, au­thor of The Finer Things: Time­less Fur­ni­ture, Tex­tiles, and De­tails and CEO of the new tex­tile com­pany the In­side in New York.

Lemieux says some of her favourite sheets are from Brook­li­nen.

“I love that they strip out un­nec­es­sary costs and de­liver real value,” she says.

Brook­li­nen’s Clas­sic Sheets in light­weight cot­ton per­cale come in a va­ri­ety of bun­dles at dif­fer­ent prices ($101 for queen fit­ted sheet and two pil­low­cases; $129 for queen fit­ted sheet, flat sheet and two pil­low­cases, brook­li­nen.com).


Most of the pro­fes­sion­als we spoke to ad­vo­cate for nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als, es­pe­cially linen, like this sheet and pil­low­case set from Para­chute in blush.


Bed­ding com­pany Brook­li­nen strips un­nec­es­sary costs to help con­sumers save money.

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