I Tested 5 Fancy Sheets—and the Best One Wasn't the Most Expensive

Updated 04/18/19
Best Bed Sheets
Brooke Testoni

We spend roughly 33% of our lives sleeping, according to the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research—that’s equivalent to about 26 years. Let that sink in for a moment. Picture everything that happened in 26 years of your life, wiped out in a dreamless sleep (a pretty sobering thought). Fortunately, sleep doesn’t actually work that way, but of course knowing exactly how much of our lives we spend in our bed—whether it’s blissfully passed out or tossing and turning—makes us want our sleeping conditions to be as conducive to a restful slumber as possible.

And aside from choosing the perfect mattress, the most important part of getting that deep, so-good-you-don’t-want-it-to-end sleep is one thing: your sheets.

As someone who just moved coasts and left my old (very basic) sheets behind, I was ready to pull a Beyoncé and say “Upgrade U” to my lackluster sheets of yore. But one question nagged me: Are pricier sheets really that much better? The more I researched, the more I realized higher thread count isn’t necessarily a good indicator of quality—so how was I supposed to know if shelling out $300+ for sheets that I found via a pretty Instagram ad would actually give me the best snooze of my life? I decided that the only way to see if the new crop of buzzy sheets lived up to their hype would be to test them out myself.

As someone who considers sleeping one of her favorite pastimes and most important talents, I was confident I would be up for the task. Armed with five of the best bed sheets from major players and young upstarts alike, I slept my way across them all—and fell for a few along the way.

Keep scrolling to read my reviews and find out which sheet set reigned supreme.

Parachute

Parachute Percale Venice Sheet Set $219
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Included: 1 fitted sheet, 1 duvet cover, 1 pillowcase

First impressions: “The first time I snuggled into these sheets from Parachute, I got flashbacks to my love affair with Flaneur. People often compare Brooklinen and Parachute, but they shouldn’t—the sheets are completely different textures. Parachute has a thicker, crisper feel with more of a matte finish and is much cooler to the touch. I loved the weight of these sheets; they felt comfortable and luxurious and instantly became the sheets I want to sleep in year-round. (I will say that I love sleeping with a top sheet, but the set doesn’t come with it—you’ll have to buy it separately for $60 to $90.) 5/5

Color selection: Parachute offers five shades: white, sand, powder blue, slate gray, and navy. Just the essentials—no patterns, no fuss.4/5

Quality: Of all of the sheets I tested, Parachute blew me away the most in terms of quality and value. There’s honestly not a single negative thing I can say about these sheets. The percale cotton is made in Italy and feels like it should be way more expensive. These are the sheets you want to wake up in on a lazy Sunday morning, then roll around, nap, and live in for the rest of the day. The thickness and weight of them are perfect for every season—no need to swap in anything else. 5/5

Value: If I had to choose one set of sheets of all the ones I tested to sleep in for the rest of my life, these would be it. They’re affordable but don’t sacrifice anything when it comes to quality, texture, or feel. 5/5

Warmth: These made me feel instantly cozy when I slid into bed. One chilly NYC night, my heating went out, but I magically woke up feeling warm and toasty. 5/5

FINAL SCORE: 24/25

Pottery Barn

Pottery Barn Belgian Flax Linen Sheet set $239
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Included: 1 fitted sheet, 1 flat sheet, 2 pillowcases

First impressions: This was the first time I had ever slept in linen sheets, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I think of linen sheets and picture a bed in a room at some far-off tropical locale, windows flung ajar as the warm breeze drifts in—in other words, light sheets you’d want to romp in during warm weather and not exactly the coziest choice for the fast-impending NY winter. Well, turns out I was wrong. These Belgian flax linen sheets were surprisingly soft and incredibly cozy. 5/5

Color selection: I wasn’t crazy about my chosen color—Natural, a yellow-tinged beige—but they come in four other mostly neutral shades for you to choose from. 3/5

Quality: These sheets look slightly flimsy but actually kept me quite warm. They wrinkle easily (which is to be expected with linen) and are softer than I was expecting, considering linen sheets can feel a bit stiffer and not adhere as well to the body. I personally didn’t mind, but those who like crisper linen sheets might say they don’t necessarily feel the most luxurious. 4/5

Value: Though I’d normally balk at spending $200+ on sheets, the texture and quality of these ended up feeling well worth the cost. 5/5

Warmth: They were light but still kept close to my body to keep my temperature regulated and comfortably toasty throughout the night. 5/5

FINAL SCORE: 22/25

Cultiver

Cultiver Linen Sheet Set $365
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Included: 1 fitted sheet, 1 flat sheet, 2 pillowcases

First impressions: I directly followed my Pottery Barn trial with chic Aussie linen brand Cultiver. These linen sheets definitely feel luxurious—they’re what you’d want to cuddle up in if you checked into a five-star hotel in the Bahamas. They were definitely stiffer, or rather slightly thicker-feeling than the Pottery Barn sheets, but still surprisingly comfortable. I took such a liking to them I slept in them two weeks longer than I was supposed to. 5/5

Color selection: Cultiver wins all-around for its curated shade selection. From rosy blush to pale sage, the line manages to carry every color you’d actually want to have in your bedroom and none that you wouldn’t (check out the brand’s Instagram for serious #bedroomgoals). 5/5

Quality: There’s something about the texture of these sheets—they feel slightly cool to the touch but soften and meld to your body after just a few minutes. Then, it sort of feels like you’re sleeping on a light, fluffy cloud. Since they are linen, they wrinkled even after I laid them out flat to air-dry, but I didn’t end up minding the artfully rumpled look. Though linen devotees swear they sleep in them year-round, I’d probably want something a little softer and warmer for the colder months. Quality-wise, however, I was blown away by the material.

I never thought I’d be #teamlinen, but here we are. 4/5

Value: They’re pricey, but if you’re a linen-sheet lover, you’ll find them well worth the cost. Plus, the color selection can’t be beat. 4/5

Warmth: My body temperature veers hot, and these sheets helped me sleep more comfortably through the night than others did. 5/5

FINAL SCORE: 23/25

Flaneur

Flaneur Sheet Set $400
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Included: 1 fitted sheet, 1 flat sheet, 2 pillowcases

First impressions: My dream sheets are the super-crisp cotton variety you’d find at a hotel like The Waldorf—ones that have been bleached and starched within an inch of their life but soften around you when they come in contact with body heat. Honestly, these sheets from Flaneur are better. They’re thick but not heavy and crinkle in the most indulgent, luxurious way. They’re the kind of sheets that make a soft noise when you slide into them, like a wafer-thin sheet of paper being crumpled in your fist.

The first night I slept in these luxurious sheets, I knew I was hooked. 5/5

Color selection: Flaneur is known for its wide variety of sheet shades, with almost every color imaginable. The best part? Every single set is dyed by hand, one at a time, by a father-son business in Los Angeles. The colors are richer than you’d ever imagine, and the deep gray shade I selected didn’t fade in the slightest after a second wash. 5/5

Quality: I was blown away. If you like a crisp, cool sheet like I do, you’ll love the texture, weight, and quality of these. The customization aspect—you’re getting one-of-a-kind sheets in shades you won’t find anywhere else—makes them truly outstanding. 5/5

Value: While $400 for sheets is slightly cringe-worthy—especially if you’re also looking for a duvet cover, which will set you back another $360—if you’re willing to splurge and are looking for exceptional sheets in unique colors, it just might be worth biting the bullet. 4/5

Warmth: I found myself looking forward to going to bed (well, more so than I normally do) just so I could slide underneath these sheets. They’re the crispest of all the ones I tried but still somehow soft. They will keep you warm—they’re perfect for fall, winter, and even spring, but I might switch to something a bit lighter for summer. 5/5

FINAL SCORE: 24/25

Brooklinen

Brooklinen Luxe Hardcore Sheet Bundle $219
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Included: 1 flat sheet, 1 fitted sheet, 4 pillowcases, 1 duvet cover

First impressions: I’d been reading about Brooklinen online and almost purchased a set for myself right when I moved to New York based on the value and reviews, so I was excited to try them out finally. First thing I noticed: These sheets are thin and soft. In fact, they have a slight sheen to them when you hold them up to the light; though they’re 100% cotton, they have a sateen weave. I personally prefer sheets that are a bit stiffer and “crunchier” so was slightly surprised by how shiny and light these sheets were.

 3/5

Color selection: These sheets come in really pretty neutral shades as well as a sky blue and navy. There are also some stripe and dot patterns you can choose from, all against a white background. 5/5

Quality: Like I mentioned before, I prefer a crisper, crunchier sheet—the kind that crackles slightly when you slide into it. These sheets certainly felt durable but a bit thin compared to some of the others that I tried during this experiment. If you like a silky-soft sateen weave, you’ll love these. 4/5

Value: Personal preference aside, I could tell these were extremely well-made sheets that ranged on the cheaper side of the luxury sheet spectrum. 5/5

Warmth: Though these sheets kept me warm for the most part, I found myself reaching for my cashmere throw to layer on top when the New York winter chill set in. 4/5

FINAL SCORE: 21/25

Now that you have an idea of which sheets you’ll want to invest in, check out our reviews of the best direct-to-consumer mattresses.

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