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Looking for high-quality bedding that won't break the bank.
October 13, 2011 2:36 PM   Subscribe

Looking for high-quality bedding that won't break the bank. We've got a new king-sized bed and need to trick it out, but I'm feeling overwhelmed with brand choices.

We need a down comforter, a duvet cover, sheets, and a wool blanket. I'm willing to spend extra for durability and comfort, but can't afford luxury items.

Down comforter: what's a reasonable amount for me to expect to spend? Are Hungarian Goose down feathers really the way to go? I had a down comforter where, after a year, all the feathers ended up in the corners. Will a box stitch (baffle stitch?) truly solve that problem? Any brands you recommend?

Duvet cover: I like a high thread count, but not anything satiny. Simple designs, leaning towards more traditional than modern. Not too feminine. Mostly white with splashes of color sounds good. Must be washable.

Sheets: we've got some L.L.Bean flannel sheets that we lurrrrve, and a set of okay cotton sheets that are good for warmer weather. Any recommendations for brands of cotton sheets, so we can get an extra set?

Wool blanket: Waffled/honeycombed? Suck it up and buy a Pendleton blanket that will last for years? What's not too scratchy and not too lightweight?

Don't want:
- synthetic fabrics
- loud or rustle-y
- shedding feathers
- scratchy wool

Bonus question: should we spring for down pillows? Yeah? Why? What brand?

Thanks for any and all input!
posted by Specklet to Home & Garden (17 answers total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
 
I am not in the US, but for bedding that won't break the bank Ikea is well worth a look - I have a cotton, box stitch down-filled duvet that's great all year round and much cheaper than other places I was looking. I got some great 100% cotton covers and sheets from there as well that still look great 18 months down the track.
posted by ozgirlabroad at 3:00 PM on October 13, 2011


I don't go for specific brands of sheets as much as thread count - I have a set from JCPenney that are 600ct that are pretty awesome, but my mother bought a 600ct set from Sam's that feel just as good. that's as much of a recommendation as I can give.
posted by pupdog at 3:07 PM on October 13, 2011


I forgot to say, I'm in the States.
posted by Specklet at 3:07 PM on October 13, 2011


Lands End has a nice washable Pendleton wool blanket that's under $200. Dunno if that's "breaking the bank", but I've had one for a couple years and it pretty much rules: find it here!
posted by hollisimo at 3:16 PM on October 13, 2011


I'm a bedding snob who thinks that thread count is bullshit, and my current favorite set is Room & Board's percale duvet covers and sheets. I've found decent options at a wide range of prices and our own current stuff ranges from some IKEA to some Sferra, but the R&B is getting the most use, and standing up to it great after about 18 months.

And FWIW our comforter (which we use duvet style inside a cover) is a down blanket from the Woolrich line at Target and I love it so much I used to take it when I traveled for work. We're in LA though, so it is likely not heavy enough for winters in other parts of the US.
posted by crabintheocean at 3:23 PM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


I just kitted out my bed with all this stuff so I'm in a good position to advise on this, assuming your tastes run toward mine! Garnet Hill sheets and duvet covers are fantastic - slightly pricey, but in my opinion reasonable for the quality, especially during their occasional sales. Try their jersey (=t-shirt) sheets: while opinions are sort of polarized on t-shirt sheets, if you like them you'll LOVE Garnet Hill's (and if you like flannel, my hunch is that you'll love them). Their flannel is amazing quality too - Garnet Hill flannel and L.L.Bean flannel are my favorites. Both of these brands, as I understand it, unconditionally guarantee the quality of their goods and will take returns for life I have a Garnet Hill jersey duvet cover and sheets and absolutely no regrets. I have their "city stripe" sheets, which are bright without being too feminine, and a solid navy duvet cover, and love them. They probably have different color options now (they may not have all their fall jersey bedding out yet...) but worth checking out. They wash really well, don't fade, stay brightly colored, silky, and the elastic on the bottom sheet has been fine. Overall, highly recommend!

In terms of a duvet, I just bought what seems to be an excellent one. The brand is Hotel Collection, it's hypoallergenic Hungarian goose down, 700 fill, and the ounces of fill are some of the highest I saw when I was looking (I bought the heavyweight version). I'm always cold and live in Boston/England, and have been very toasty (too toasty?) with the heavyweight one, so YMMV and you may want to buy the medium. It was extremely expensive new - so expensive, in fact, that I didn't buy it new. I bought it on Ebay. It retailed for around $900, and I got it for less than $200 including shipping (was a floor model, so not slept on but dusty etc.). I spent $20 washing it in a commercial washer and dryer at a local laundromat with down soap (e.g. this), and it's as good as new for $700 less than the retail price. I've only had it for a month so can't provide a long-term review, but did lots of research and Hotel Collection generally got very good reviews. So far I'm impressed - it's very warm but not heavy, and no down migration whatsoever. I don't use a wool blanket because I'm plenty warm with this, however Garnet Hill and L.L. Bean probably have good options (or cashmere, if you wanted to go for a more luxury option - possibly on Etsy?).

You didn't mention this, but I love my memory foam topper - so much so that I actually spent half of my suitcase volume lugging it to England. It's very soft, so you should think about whether you prefer a hard or soft mattress, but it has eliminated much shoulder pain for me. I bought Highloft from Overstock, which seemed to be a good discount, but I'm sure you can get it elsewhere. You can buy varying heights (2 inches, 3 inches, 4 inches), depending on how soft you want it. It took me a few nights to get used to it and now we're inseparable.

Hope this helps!
posted by UniversityNomad at 3:24 PM on October 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


One more thing: Garnet Hill has a big variety. My tastes obviously tend towards the "soft" end of the spectrum, so I love their jersey and flannel sheets and duvet covers. But if you like more crisp, I've heard good things about their percale. I loathe percale (too scratchy/firm!) and also loathe wrinkle-resistant sheets (too slick/gummy/non-breathable). GH's colors and patterns often change yearly or seasonally, so if you don't like them this year, you can always wait (alternatively - if you like them, consider buying them, as they may not reappear!). They seem to have a Pendleton washable wool blanket for sale that some people have liked, as well as various other blankets.

I swear, I don't work for Garnet Hill, nor do I have any stock in the company - I'm just super picky about bedding and love their stuff. They've also been very helpful and kind several times in terms of customer service, which goes a long way with me. They're sort of pricey, but I think in this instance you get what you pay for. On the off chance that you live in driving distance of NH, they have an outlet store with some really good deals on bedding (that's how I found Garnet Hill in the first place, actually - we stumbled accidentally on their outlet during a hiking trip in the White Mountains!)
posted by UniversityNomad at 3:37 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


We have gone through several sets of bedding in the last five or six years, and last year bought nice sheets from - of all places- Costco. I think they are Charisma brand. They are much, much more durable than our previous sets. You know how sometimes your sheets shrink and then don't fit on the mattress any more? These don't do that! They are soft, with a fine touch. Love them! So so much better than the various high thread count sets we got from Overstock.com.

As far as a duvet goes, I firmly anti-recommend the warmer ones. When I researched them, I thought, "oh, this one looks great! So much warmer for the same money!" Yeah. I can NOT sleep under it without roasting. I much prefer an ancient lighter weight comforter that doesn't make me wake up tossing and turning every hour.
posted by instamatic at 3:56 PM on October 13, 2011


We just switched to a king size bed, and had to do the full outfitting. I also have chronic insomnia, so I tend to be a little obsessive about my bedding and have a lot of opinions about it.

This can be very very expensive, but if you can swing it, linen sheets are amazing. Soft but not oodgy soft like flannel or some cotton sheets, durable, and they're awesome in both heat and cold.

I'm in the southwest where we don't have much of a bedbug issue, so I actually have bought a lot of my bedding from thrift stores. It took a little getting over the ick factor, but it was definitely worth it. I just wash washables in a couple hot cycles with bleach, and drop any dry cleanables off on my way home. I got a gorgeous, almost pristine Hudson Bay point blanket for $8, some linen bedding, and a whole lot of beautiful vintage embroidered stuff.

I've also heard that Tuesday Morning is a good place for linens if you have one in your area, but I can't personally attest to that.

And IMO, yes. Down or feather pillows are all kinds of worth it. I just got one of these at Target, to replace an ancient one that I finally allowed to retire, and I'm really happy with it, especially for a $25 pillow.
posted by ernielundquist at 4:06 PM on October 13, 2011


I love this Woolrich Down Blanket from Target. There's also a comforter but the blanket is warm enough that I can't imagine needing something heavier, and I'm the kind of person who keeps the thermostat in the 50s at night in the winter to save on my heating bill. I've had the blanket for about five years and never have a problem with feathers coming out, and I've washed it at the laundromat and it comes out looking great. Looks like the king size is sold out online but they always have these in stock in stores.
posted by jabes at 4:38 PM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't have specific brand recommendations, but based on your profile there are several Tuesday Morning discounters in your area. In the past I have gotten excellent (comfortable and long lasting) sheets there as well as other housewares. It can be hard to find a matching set and the selection varies from week to week, but it may be worth a trip.
posted by TedW at 5:23 PM on October 13, 2011


I got some inexpensive bottom sheets at Target (their own in house brand I think) and I have been very pleasantly surprised. They're as soft as any expensive high thread count sheets I've had. I liked the one I bought so much that I went back and bought another. It was around $20 for a queen size bottom sheet (I don't use top sheets).

Also, my mom has an amazing down comforter - really warm, really light - that she got from Costco for under $100. I was bummed about prices of down comforters when I moved back to the states from the UK because they're so much more expensive here, but my mom is always bugging me to go to Costco to get one for a reasonably good price. I think Macy's has really good deals on bedding as well during sales.

I've also used Garnet Hill products and while they are very nice, they are spendy.
posted by triggerfinger at 5:41 PM on October 13, 2011


Just came in to confirm the Woolrich Down Blanket from Target as mentioned above by others - it's light, washable, inexpensive, and plenty warm enough for sleeping under an open window.
posted by henry scobie at 5:54 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Overstock.com has really great prices on bedding. Look for the quality stuff you can afford and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
posted by bendy at 8:42 PM on October 13, 2011


Were you and TheDonF happy with the double sized merino waffle-weave I gave you as a wedding gift? I have a similar blanket I love.
posted by brujita at 9:59 PM on October 13, 2011


I have two sets of these 600 thread count sheets, in the queen size. I really like them, after a wash they softened up a bit, and are still really nice a year later. Long term, i don't know how they will fare, but so far, for the price, I've found them great.
posted by mrzarquon at 12:15 AM on October 14, 2011


Thanks everybody!

And brujita, that blanket is on our bed right now! We love it and have used it basically constantly, but it's just not big enough for a king.
posted by Specklet at 8:55 AM on October 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


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