Expensive Bedding: Is it Really Worth It?

Whether you’re new to the world of luxury sheets or a fine linen aficionado, One of the questions we get asked most often is whether luxury bedding and / or expensive home linens is really worth the price. The short answer is a resounding “yes” -- but it requires a bit of expert insight.

Of course, we think you cannot put a price on a great night’s sleep. That said, luxury linen is an investment and you deserve to understand precisely why expensive bed sheets are worthwhile. The truth is, with proper care, luxury bed linen will last for years and perhaps decades. Our heirloom quality sheets are made with the finest fabric; sewn with expert workmanship; and designed to grow softer and more beautiful over time. Regular cotton sheets from a department or big box store, on the other hand, can begin to pill and wear within six months, and typically need to be replaced in under a year’s time.

Read on to learn more about the value of luxury bedding. We’ll talk about how the cost of luxury bedding compares to average bedding; discuss factors that make expensive sheets more costly; weigh the pros and cons of luxury bedding; and offer some recommendations for luxury bedding options at both accessible and aspirational price points.

The Cost of Luxury Bedding Compared to Average Bedding

Asking what bedding costs is a bit like asking what a car or house costs. There is no single answer; bedding is available in a range of prices and qualities. To make matters more confusing, a term like “organic bedding” may not mean what it appears if it is not backed up by outside certification (more on that in the next section where we discuss factors that make bedding expensive).

Is luxury bedding worth the money?

For illustrative purposes, we’ve prepared a price comparison of bed sheet sets from department stores/online retailers with items in our inventory at Fine Linen and Bath. These are all Queen sets that include a fitted sheet in a standard mattress depth; a flat sheet; and two queen size or standard pillowcases. Note: the thread counts and materials listed in this table are what is advertised on the department store and retail site; these claims are not verified and should not necessarily be taken at face value. We will discuss these in greater detail later.

Luxury Bedding vs. Bed, Bath and Beyond or Department Store Pricing

 

Department Store or Bed, Bath and Beyond Pricing

Luxury Bedding Pricing

Cotton

$68, mid-level designer brand in department store, 475 thread count sateen sheets

$50, department store house brand 550 thread count sateen sheets, Supima cotton

$350 and up, 100 percent cotton hotel sheet style

The finest Egyptian Giza cotton sheets can cost more than $1,000

Satin vs. Silk

$22 polyester satin or microfiber sheets
(made from petroleum-based polyester, not a natural fiber)

$604 pure silk sheets in 22 momme weight made of genuine mulberry silk, a natural fiber

Other Natural Fibers

$99 - 100% bamboo sheets (online retailer)
$56 - bamboo blend (department store house brand, 70% bamboo/30% cotton blend)

$986 easy care sateen bedding made from wood pulp of beach trees grown in sustainable and managed European forests

As you can see from even a quick glance, the pricing for luxury bedding is significantly higher than bedding purchased from department stores or major online retailers. Read on to learn more about why luxury bedding will -- and should -- cost more.

Factors that Make Bedding Expensive

The two most important factors that make luxury bed linen expensive, and differentiate it from regular bedding, are the quality of the fabric and the craftsmanship. This applies to any sheet, whether it’s made from cotton, silk, or natural fibers such as bamboo.

Fabric Quality

Cotton: Not all cotton is created equal. In fact, there are vast differences in the quality of cotton grown in different regions of the world. Egyptian cotton is widely recognized as the finest on Earth. Thanks to unique geographic and climate conditions, Egyptian cotton fibers (long- and extra-long-staple) are longer, stronger, and more durable; Egyptian cotton fabric grows softer with age and use. Pima cotton, sold under the brand name Supima, is American-grown extra-long-staple cotton that is also of extremely high quality. Genuine high-quality cotton will absolutely cost more. The problem comes in when big-box or department stores misrepresent the quality and origin of their cotton. It is increasingly common to see sheets labeled as Egyptian cotton or Giza cotton (the finest Egyptian cotton) when in reality the cotton was NOT grown in Egypt; this “fake” Egyptian cotton is grown from seeds that were exported from Egypt. The cotton does not benefit from the unique weather and growing practices such as hand-harvesting that make genuine Egyptian cotton so special.

Quality of cotton fabric

Similarly, thread count can be a source of obfuscation with low- to medium-quality cotton. In recent years, thread count has become shorthand for the quality of cotton fabric, with higher thread count being assumed to be of better quality. But this can be deceptive. Thread count is defined as the number of threads per square inch of a given fabric. It's calculated by adding the number of horizontal threads (the weft) to the number of vertical threads (the warp). If a fabric has 100 horizontal threads and 100 vertical threads, the total thread count is 200. However, the quality of the yarn used is FAR more important than the density of the weave. Lower thread count sheets made of high-quality cotton will be much more comfortable (and valuable) than higher thread-count sheets made from inferior cotton. Thread count can also be artificially inflated when the manufacturer counts the number of plies (or strands) in the thread; a consumer may believe she is purchasing 600-thread count sheets when in reality, the sheets are 300 thread count made with two-ply yarn. This practice is illegal but unfortunately still occurs. Learn more about common thread-count scams here.

Silk: Nothing compares to the smooth, lustrous feel of pure silk bedding. Genuine mulberry silk is a luxury fabric, and should never be confused with satin, which is a petroleum-based artificial fabric made from rayon or polyester. Only silk delivers the well-known beauty and wellness benefits, including keeping hair and skin well moisturized; minimizing tangles and sleep wrinkles; and regulating body temperature in all conditions.

Genuine mulberry silk is a luxury fabric

Do not be fooled into buying satin that is sold as silk. Genuine silk looks and feels different from satin; silk has a luster and a soft feel, while artificial satin is shiny and feels like plastic. Additionally, pure silk will always be labeled with its weight, known as momme. Similar to thread count, momme is an indicator of the density of the weave in silk fabric; the higher the momme count, the more silk is present. Higher momme fabric also uses thicker strands of silk. Choose bedding that is at least 19 momme weight (ideal for anyone new to silk who wants to try it); 22 momme weight silk bedding is heavier, and more expensive, with 30 momme weight representing the ultimate in luxury silk sheets. Most importantly: make sure you are purchasing genuine silk, not artificial satin. You can learn more about how to tell the difference between silk and satin.

Other plant-based fibers: In recent years, bamboo has become quite popular as a sustainable, affordable fiber. However, there are some concerns with bamboo. It has been overfarmed, which has degraded the quality and strength of some bamboo, and is also sometimes produced using a great deal of toxic chemicals and processes that are unfriendly to the environment. Keep this in mind when you’re thinking about buying a low-priced bamboo bed sheet set. At Fine Linen and Bath, we offer sheets made from wood pulp of sustainable, ethically and carefully managed beech forests in Europe. This fabric is of much higher quality than budget bamboo.

Fabric Certification: As we wrap up our discussion of the quality of fabric, we need to touch on fabric certification. You may see terms such as “organic cotton” or “organic bedding” used quite liberally in advertising and marketing materials. The bottom line: look for an independent, outside certification before believing any such claims. For example, organic cotton will frequently be certified by GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard). High-quality silk bedding will be certified as well, frequently by OEKO-TEX. These certifications mean that the manufacturer has paid to have the fabric tested, reviewed, and independently assessed for content and safety. This is a rigorous, extensive process that will add to the price of any luxury bedding. Look for the GOTS or OEKO-TEX logos on the websites and labels of any luxury bed linen that makes claims to be organic, sustainable, or safe.

GOTS and OEKO-TEX certification

Why Quality and Craftsmanship Matters

Quality craftsmanship absolutely contributes to the price of luxury linen. European luxury bedding is not mass produced; most of it is crafted in small factories across Italy, Portugal, and France by textile artisans whose families have proudly mastered this skill over generations. You can see the caliber of workmanship look at the details of these pieces; look for things such as a delicate hemstitch, hand-sewn embroidery, and custom sizes. Where your bedding is made also matters. Supima cotton, for example, can be sent to offshore factories where it is mass produced into sheets; while the cotton is technically of high quality, there is little guarantee regarding the workmanship or quality of the final product. Silk sheets are almost always made in China, which has been the epicenter of sericulture and silk production for centuries. The bottom line: craftsmanship matters, and you will pay more for sheets that are well made.

Textile Craftsmanship

The Pros and Cons of Buying Expensive Bedding

The decision of whether or not to invest in expensive bedding is absolutely personal, and should be made based on your own individual needs. To help you discern the best option, weigh the following pros and cons:

Cons of Expensive Bedding

Luxury bedding is definitely an upfront investment. You will also need to take some special care of your luxury bedding, including using a detergent formulated for fine fabrics such as Luxury All-Purpose Detergent or Luxury Silk, Wool and Cashmere Detergent from Heritage Park Laundry essentials. Buying expensive bedding is also a commitment: you will want to keep it for a long time so you should make a careful choice. Luxury bedding is often made to order and, as such, more difficult to return. (To alleviate any potential uncertainty, take advantage of the Fine Linen and Bath swatch sample program to review complimentary fabric swatches at home prior to purchase). Finally, when you get to the very highest end of luxury sheets, your color options can decline to just a few neutral tones.

Pros of Expensive Bedding

The pros to purchasing expensive, high-quality linen is that you are getting bedding that will surround you in total comfort and luxury and remain in timeless style. This is heirloom linen that is made to last, with unparalleled workmanship from the finest textile artisans on earth. You KNOW you have purchased the absolute best that money can buy.

Is Expensive Bedding Worth It?

The Pros of Expensive Bedding

The Cons of Expensive Bedding

Total comfort and luxury, timeless style

Up-front cost

Heirloom linen made to last

Need to take special care of luxury bedding

Fine workmanship and craftsmanship

Bedding custom made so it is harder to return

You know you are getting the very best on Earth

Color options may decrease with at the very highest end

Best Luxury Bedding: Attainable and Aspirational

As you begin to consider your options for luxury bed linen, take a moment to review our curated list of cotton percale, cotton sateen, silk, and wood pulp bedding recommendations. Some of these are accessible, others are aspirational “dream” bedding. In all cases, we hope to inspire you with ideas for creating your perfect bed. Of course, our design team is always available to offer personalized recommendations, guidance, and suggestions.

Peacock Alley Lyric Percale luxury bedding

The Peacock Alley Lyric sheets and duvets are 100% extra -long-staple cotton. Lyric is an extremely smooth, crisp, beautiful sheeting collection.

Peacock Alley Lyric sheets

Check Prices

The Peacock Alley Lyric sheets are available in the colors Ivory, White, Platinum. A queen sheet set costs $770.

SFERRA Giza 45 Percale luxury bedding

The SFERRA Giza 45 Percale bedding is made with the softest, smoothest and longest staple cotton grown in the fertile valley of the river Nile. Woven to the ultimate luxury and stunningly smooth finish by master craftsmen in Italy.

SFERRA Giza 45 Percale bedding

Check Prices

The SFERRA’s Giza 45 Percale sheets are available in the colors White, Ivory, Tin. A queen sheet set costs $1,470.

Matouk Nocturne Hemstitch Sateen

The Matouk's Nocturne Hemstitch bedding is a delicate hemstitch that frames this signature sateen sheeting for an effect that is luminous and sophisticated, but never stuffy. Made of 600 thread count. Oeko-Tex certified. Egyptian cotton, this is the bedding of your dreams.

Matouk Nocturne Hemstitch Sateen sheets

Check Prices

The Matouk Nocturne Hemstitch Sateen sheets are available in the colors White, Pool, Bone, Silver, Ivory. A queen sheet set costs $657.

SFERRA Giza Sateen

The SFERRA Giza 45 Sateen bedding is made with the softest, smoothest and longest staple cotton grown in the fertile valley of the river Nile. Woven by Italy’s master craftsmen to a stunningly smooth finish in 700 thread count.

SFERRA Giza 45 Sateen sheets

Check Prices

The SFERRA Giza Sateen sheets are available in the colors White, Ivory, and Tin. A queen sheet set costs $1,845.

Mulberry Park Silks Sheets

The Mulberry Park Silks 22 momme signature sheet set is made of pure grade 6A Mulberry Silk. All Mulberry Park Silks products are OEKO-TEX Certified (Standard 100) to be free of chemicals and colored with environmentally friendly dyes.

Mulberry Park Silks sheets

Check Prices

The Mulberry Park Silks sheets are available in the colors Steel Blue, Gunmetal, Ivory, Rose Quartz, Sand, Silver, White. A queen sheet set costs $604. Also available in 19 momme silk sheets in Black, Ivory, and White for $446 and 30 momme silk sheets in Ivory for $793.

SDH Legna Classic Bedding

The SDH Legna Classic bedding collection has the smooth and supple feel of silk combined with the easy-care of cotton. The fiber for this bedding comes from the wood pulp of beech trees grown in managed European forests, which are known for sustainability and environmental guidelines. Luxuriously soft Legna bedding has true and lasting beauty.

SDH Legna Classic sheets

Check Prices

The SDH Legna Classic Bedding sheets are available in thirteen designer colors. A queen sheet set costs $986.

An in-store shopping experience delivered to you online

When you’re ready to invest in luxury linen, you can count At Fine Linen and Bath to deliver a concierge luxury linen shopping experience with online convenience. When you need answers, consultation, or help to narrow your choices, our team of expert design consultants is here to assist. We offer individualized recommendations, personal consultation, and even complimentary swatch samples for your review. We'll help you make the right buying decisions for your style, budget, and design goals. Please connect with us online or -- even better -- give us a call at (866) 352-4522. We would love to get to know you!