white bedding on white bed in white room

Best Inexpensive Bed Sheets—UPDATE!

Let me tell you about my mission to discover the Best Inexpensive bed sheets. It went on for many months. It cost a fortune because as you know when I test products for you I purchase them myself. I do not want to be beholden in any way to a manufacturer, distributor, or company when it comes to determining what I believe is the Best Inexpensive option.

 

white bedding on white bed in white room

Sheet snob

When it comes to bed sheets, I am particular. Call me a sheet snob and you’d have me pegged, which means that my personal standards could be too high to be considered affordable.

It’s not a matter of decor or brand. It’s the way the sheets feel. They should be smooth and wrinkle-free. The sheets need to breathe and not stick to me. But they can’t be slick, slippery, crunchy, or noisy. The weave has to be tight and the sheets can’t feel like sandpaper.

For me, sheets have to fit well, too. The fitted sheet cannot pop off the corners of the mattress; but it can’t be too big, so as to become baggy, which can lead to bunching up. Above all, my sheets must be 100% cotton. Not linen, not microfiber or polyester or any other type of fiber or blend thereof.

Seriously, if the sheets are not right, I don’t sleep well. And by well I mean sound asleep—not tossing, turning, and continuously waking up.

Where did the percale go?

There was a time when decent sheets were common and affordable. I don’t know for certain what’s happened there, but I  blame it on synthetic fibers—microfiber, polyester, lyocell, and their manmade fiber-cousins that are cheap to manufacture.

A close up of a flower

We used to depend on the word “percale” to be the sign of a fine cotton sheet, but truth be told percale has nothing to do with fiber content. Percale refers to a type of tight weave, most often made from cotton, but not necessarily so. I’ve been fooled by “percale” sheets that turn out to be polyester percale or microfiber percale—not the fine cotton percale I remember from childhood.

For my testing,  I’ve purchased contenders from luxury brands to less pricey offerings. Again, let me be perfectly clear that companies did not send me samples of their sheets to test. If that should happen, I would fully disclose that to you.

I can confirm that the word “luxury” on the label together with a big number on the price tag does not necessarily guarantee a joyful outcome.

We’ll start with my pick for Best Inexpensive then I will take you on a  tour of the brands of the most popular brands of bed sheets together with my reviews.

 

Best Inexpensive Luxury Bed Sheets

Long story short, I have found these amazing sheets at a fair price from JCPenney, available both online and in selected JCP stores.

Liz Claiborne 600tc 100% Cotton Sateen Sheet Set is my pick for the Best Inexpensive bed sheets, based on quality, fit, hand (the way the fabric feels to touch), ease of laundering, durability, and of course, price.

These sheets have a velvety, soft hand, which helps to make them wrinkle-resistant. The fitted sheet has elastic all the way around to create a tight fit on mattresses of multiple depths up to 18 inches.

These sheets are smooth, luxurious; not noisy, rough, or any other negative thing on my list of cannot-tolerates. They are well-sized, launder beautifully in hot water and come out of the dryer nearly wrinkle-free. I usually touch them up with the iron, but honestly, I may stop doing that. These are the quality and texture of bed sheets I remember from my childhood.

The current price for Liz Claiborne 600tc 100% Cotton Sateen Sheet Set ranges from $79.99 to $119.99, depending on size. One set in size Cal. King is $199., currently On Sale for $109.99  But wait. The JCPenny site regularly offers discount coupons. I watch this like a hawk and there’s almost always a coupon)

With my online order, I didn’t have to search or inquire. I put one set of Cal King in my cart, clicked through to check out, and immediately, the best coupon and discount were automatically applied and the price dropped to $76.99!

I have checked many times since to see how that discount holds up and have yet to find a time that I would have had to pay full price. I can’t represent the exact discount you’ll get today, but know that these sheet sets are almost always on sale at JCPenny online and discount coupons and codes are readily available.

These sheets—in sizes Full, Queen, King, Calif. King, and Split King—are a great value and do not violate anything on my picky list, exceeding my expectations. Absolutely fantastic!

Best Inexpensive Twin size option: Linden Street 325tc Organic Cotton Sateen Sheet Set.

 

 

 

Boll and Branch

Having heard the radio commercials, I bit the bullet and ordered a basic set (fitted, flat, two pillowcases) in size Cal King from this luxury online bed linen company. Given the price, I assumed that surely, Boll and Branch would be the secret to a consistent good night’s sleep.

After several months of use here’s my review: The sheets are 100% cotton fabric. The weave and “hand” (the way it feels to the touch) are excellent. The sheets come out of the dryer semi-wrinkled—a characteristic of any 100% cotton sheet—and I have an iron. Yes, I do iron sheets.

What I do not like is that Boll and Branch sheets are cut too generously. The fitted sheet is too large to create a nice, tight fit. It’s baggy. And the flat sheet is oversized, which means it hangs almost to the floor. It must be tucked in all the way around for the bed to look well-made during the day. And that price! Seriously? $268 for one set Cal King.

 

Red Land Cotton

Another company with high marks by those who have reviewed its product online, Red Land Cotton, grows and manufactures its luxury cotton bed linens right here in the USA, a feature I like a lot! Red Land Cotton offers sheets in sets, but also individual fitted and flat sheets. The fitted sheets come in a choice of two depths: 14-inches and 16-inches. So many great features!

I was hopeful enough to order a Red Land Cotton Basic Set 16-inch depth, Cal King, in white.

As usual, I laundered the sheets before the first use. They came out of the dryer very wrinkled, so out came the ironing board.

After several weeks of use and multiple washes and ironings, both my husband and I found the Red Land Basic sheets to have a stiff, heavy, and almost rough hand. They feel to us as if they’ve been starched, somewhat sandpaper-like, even after being ironed.

Unlike so many folks who have reviewed these sheets with glowing reports at the Red Land Cotton site, I’m not thrilled. These sheets keep me awake. So does the price: $230 for one set Cal King.

Giza Dreams

In anticipation of updating this post, I decided to give a new line of bed sheets—Giza Dream Sheets from MyPillow.com—a trial run. List price for one set Cal King: $219.98.

The pitch is that they are made of 100% Egyptian cotton grown in a specific middle-eastern region known as Giza, and promised: “The most comfortable sheets you will ever own.”

First, I laundered and dried the sheets. They came out seriously wrinkled. I contacted the company, as I was led to believe when I ordered the Giza Dream Sheets, that they were wrinkle-resistant. The response: Cotton sheets wrinkle. If you don’t want wrinkles, get polyester. Try taking them out of the dryer before fully dry.

After two weeks of use and three trips through the laundry, we concluded these sheets are nice and need to be ironed; there is nothing about them that I find to be exceptional or worth the price. I really wanted to love these sheets because I like the pillow guy, Mike Lindell, but not his sheets.

One thing of note is that it seems as if there is always a “deal” to be had from this company but you need a promo code. Sometimes you can find this online, other times in a TV or radio commercial. List price for one set Cal King: $219.98.

Ettitude

In an attempt to make sure I was covering all bases, I crept out of my must-be-100%-cotton mode to see what all the hype is over organic bamboo lyocell.

My research reveals that lyocell is a process that spins rayon thread from wood (in this case bamboo), which is then woven into fabric. I bit the bullet and placed my order for a Signature Sateen Sheet Set, Cal King in white. List price: $198.

The sheets arrived and my first impression was not to be thrilled. The care tag started off with an instruction that the sheets must be washed in cold water only. Bed linens? No way! The tag goes on to say the sheets are prone to pilling, followed by this instruction for how to remove the pilling: “Remove with a fabric shaver or carefully trim with scissors.” Oh, my.

On the first run through the washer and dry, these sheets produced almost more lint than my machine’s lint trap could hold. It was stuffed!

Ettitude sheets feel like polyester. They’re slick and thin. I returned them during my 30-night-free-trial period for a full refund.

Latest update: 8-5-21

 

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  1. Ellen says:

    Hi Mary, Thanks for updating your updates! As JCP is going through lots of changes I wanted to make sure and scoop up another set or two of the 600 TC sateen sheets – thankfully they are still available and have become my favorites.

    Reply
  2. Laura says:

    Do you have any options for those of us who prefer NOT to buy sheet sets? I’ve discovered that getting the top sheet one size bigger works best – no more fighting over who gets the most covers! We also buy comforters one size bigger with the same happy results! Meanwhile I have a hard time finding individually sold sheets that have a pattern.

    Reply
  3. Andy S. says:

    I just ordered the JCPenney Home 300tc Cotton Sheet Set, and when I took them out of the packaging, they were way more stiff than I expected based on your description. Do they soften when washed? I don’t want to wash them and then not be able to return them. I think the best word to describe them is crunchy (or extra crisp if you’re an optimist), which is one of your criteria you were looking to avoid. Are they supposed to be that stiff?

    Reply
  4. ZA says:

    I do not like “brushed” surface sheets. We bought smooth cotton sheets 25 years ago that we cannot find today. No fuzz, no nap, no texture. I looked at the the JCPenney Home 300tc Cotton Sheet Set online. The word “brushed” stops me short! Thanks anyway, Mary.

    Reply
  5. Mrs. Potts says:

    I found the perfect sheets at Target. I bought one set for a blow up mattress and was so pleased that I bought a set for our king bed. I bought the first set because it was cheap and would only be used for grandkids visiting. The words “ultra soft” in the name was not appealing to me. But upon opening the sheets and later laundering them, I realized that the name “ultra soft” in no way applies to these sheets. These sheets are nice crisp sheets that don’t cling to you or bunch up around you. The bottom sheet fits perfectly. The sheets are actually sold individually instead of in a packaged set. The full name of these sheets is Ultra Soft Fitted Sheet 300 Thread Count – Threshold™ and Ultra Soft Flat Sheet 300 Thread Count – Threshold™” and Ultra Soft Solid Pillowcase Set 300 Thread Count – Threshold™.

    Reply
  6. Gina Stevens says:

    Thanks for your update. I just moved and am shopping for sheets. I wondered why the sheet selection that you recommended was so limited at JC Penny’s. I ended up with something else and am not impressed. But, I got my Land’s End towels and love them. Thank-you, Mary.

    Reply
  7. yehudit says:

    I just had an annoying experience–JCPenney does not want my business. I live in Israel, but planned to use my American credit card and have the sheets shipped to a friend who would bring them with her when she visits later this year, to save the (usually astronomic) overseas shipping charges. But I never got that far. The link took me to a message that read “We Are Currently Unable to Provide a Shopping Experience for This Country.”

    Reply
  8. Holly says:

    JC Penney refuses to ship to military assigned to APO, FPO or DPO addresses. Had planned to order sheets and have them sent to my son to forward to me (he lives stateside) … not happening, Penney won’t allow me to even open their website

    Reply
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