If you’ve ever visited the bedding floor of any major department store, you know the sheer panic that arises from staring at a wall of perfectly packaged sheets with no discernible way to differentiate them. Sure, there are thread counts and brand names and fabric types to help you narrow your decision, but one look at a price tag sends you into another tailspin. So you grab the most expensive (or cheapest?) thing you can find and run away vowing never to return.
Sound familiar? The truth is that most consumers use price as an indicator of quality, but that logic doesn’t always stand up to the bottom-line realities of the bedding industry. And yet, the cult of $800 linens persists. While some heritage brands do indeed rely on the best quality cotton fibers, others are less trustworthy in their pricing structure. Here are all the things you might be paying for when you purchase an expensive set of sheets. We think you’ll agree they’re not all worth it.
A Brick and Mortar Store
Most people don’t realize all of the overhead costs associated with maintaining a physical address or department store square footage, from rent and staffing to utilities and general administrative charges. Elevated pricing and retail markups are also designed to compensate for instances of lesser foot traffic and volume of sales. With fewer overhead costs to consider, direct-to-consumer brands like Brooklinen can offer lower prices that reflect the product itself, not all the add-ons.
What’s in a name? Sometimes many thousands of dollars—and not much else. Many manufacturers pay out of pocket to license a designer name for the very same quality sheets that are often sold as a generic or store brand. In some cases, you’ll fork out up to 10 times as much for brand-name sheets that might normally cost you less than $100.
A Deceptively High Thread Count
Like seemingly everything else in this world, thread counts—or the number of threads that make up a square-inch of sheet—were created as a marketing tool to convey the appearance of luxury. But that number can be manipulated by using more sub-par fabric (like multi-ply yarns strung together to create one weaker thread) or poor production methods. So, although Italian-made 800 thread-count sheets may sound great, it's actually indicating a multi-ply construction (where each ply is counted in a thread, instead of the actual thread), and costing extra hundreds of dollars in tariffs to boot. Meanwhile, a 250-thread-count sheet can be just as supple as you want it to be, so long as the fabric used (long-staple cotton, for example) and weave (say, percale or sateen) are up to snuff.
We’re just saying: Monograms, piping, and other hand-sewn artisanal embroidery will drive up the price of any linen, so if you want to splurge a bit (and potentially custom launder), that’s where to do it. But if what you want is a minimalist set of sheets for everyday use, one that’s bold yet refined and of the highest quality cotton at an affordable value—that’s where we come in. Brooklinen’s luxe yet approachable linen sets are designed for an understated, clean look that lets you mix and match however you'd like. No fuss, no muss.
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