Decorating With Sheets
Repurposing Old Sheets
I am looking for inexpensive sheets. With weekly washings due to allergies, I need sheets that are going to hold up well. For 400 thread count or better, the cheapest I found is at Kohl's for $50 for the flat/fitted together and another $23 for the pillow cases (just two). I've been scanning rummage sales, but king size sheets do not seem to be in abundance. Any suggestions?
I've done really well buying sheets at thrift shops: Salvation Army, Goodwill, Savers, etc. You have to keep looking, but many really nice sheets do eventually get donated, and you will get the same sheet for $4 that cost $20. Sometimes the set is sold together, and sometimes the pieces are near each other but priced individually. Sometimes you can mix and match, as in a print sheet with a coordinating solid color.
I'll never buy sheets retail again. The price is so dramatically different, and I have found some truly wonderful sheets secondhand. As I say, you have to keep looking; I have turned it into a lunch-hour or on-the-way-home-from-work hobby.
As soon as I read your question about sheets, I immediately went to Ebay and searched for king size sheet sets, which included two pillow cases. I found several over 400 thread count for less than $30.
Go to the website SmartBargains.com. They have awesome deals on sheet sets and you can get high thread count sheet sets, usually above 600 thread count, for about $50. They do have some that cost more, but they always have really good deals, especially if you're not particular about the color. This is the only place that I'll buy sheet sets. I wait until the 1000 thread counts go on sale for $59.99 and buy those for me and for gifts for my best friend.
400 count sheets are not necessary for durability and comfort. I have 200 count sheets that have lasted over 30 years being rotated with several other sets. No, they have not worn thin and are still quite soft and comfortable. The fabric will wear longer if you allow it to rest between uses.
Look for sheets at job lot stores such as Ocean States Job Lot or Odd Lots. Quite often, you will find sets that you like. Buy at least two sets. Watch the clearance shelves at Kohl's and other department stores. During white sale days, typically in February and August, you will find bargains. Many stores now turn over their merchandise every 90 days, so you may find bargains at other times of the year as well.
Barbara in Wallingford, CT
The absolute best place for sheets is the store called Tuesday Mornings. I get all of my sheets there. I even got a Matisse bedspread (retail price $400) from Tuesday Mornings for $17. I waited until it went on the clearance table. That's my best bargain ever. Another place is Linens 'n Things when their sheets go on sale.
Really good sheets are one of those luxuries in life that once you have them, nothing else will do! To my horror, my favorite set recently developed a hole, so I satisfied my beer budget and champagne taste for sheets by shopping for them at Ross, LinenSource.com, and Overstock.com . You can find "perfect" sets as well as sets with very slight irregularities (you'll never notice the irregularity, but you will notice that you saved $200!). Spring is, of course, the perfect season to shop the linen sales at department stores as well. Just be sure to check the labels carefully for the cotton (Egyptian is wonderful) and high thread count.
Jennifer in Rio del Mar, California
In May, I found 400 count king sheets on clearance at Target. They were $11 per sheet. You can get really great deals if you are willing to buy just a top or bottom of a mismatched set. I once got a king flannel for $6 from Mervyns. Also, I use standard pillows rather than king, since the cases are cheaper to purchase. Lastly, you can get some really great quality sheets in the $50 price range on Overstock.com. I just got some incredibly yummy flannel sheets for $50 that were originally $178.
Kohl's is probably a good place to start, but I also frequent TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Ross stores for these sorts of housewares. You are right that king sets are hard to come by. If you live near a large city or plan on visiting one, check the local flea markets. I know it sounds silly, but I've seen 1000 count Egyptian cotton king sets at a Jersey City flea market for $40. You can't always be sure where they came from, but you're going to wash them anyway. They are reputable brand labels. Check out the big cities if you are planning a vacation any time soon or live nearby.
My husband and I enjoy high-thread count sheets, but do not enjoy the full retail price! Using some of the strategies below, we routinely get queen size, 600-thread count (or better) sheets for much less than the price of lower thread count sheets at a standard retail outlet.
We are loyal Tuesday Morning shoppers! We have gotten luxury sheets, some with designer labels, for next to nothing. The selection is often limited, but if you are willing to look at a range of colors, you'll find at least one set. Check back weekly, as their stock changes. Also, if a set you like is still a bit high, keep an eye out. They mark things down each week.
Lisa might also consider trying Gaiam (gaiam.com) for sheets made of fibers that reduce allergens. This might not be a "cheap" solution, but high-quality sheets are worth the extra price. Even Target now has organic and bamboo fiber sheets (though listed at a lower thread count are as soft as higher thread count cotton sheets), which may also help with allergies.
Susan in Dallas, TX
I am a massage therapist and my sheets go through the wash several times a week, sometimes daily. I have several sets of very inexpensive sheets that I bought at the local department store for $5 to $10 per set (singles) and I have a few more expensive sets as well. To be honest, I have found that the more expensive sets are more comfortable and more luxurious feeling, but the cheaper sets actually hold up just as well, sometimes better, to repeated washings (except for the stitching). So go ahead and buy the cheaper sets. Just use a good fabric softener to make the cheaper ones more comfortable and sew up the hems if they come loose.
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