When comparing sheets, I tend to think of hotel sheets as a baseline. You've got your luxurious high-end beds (The W, The Ritz), your comfortable, nicely appointed beds (Marriott, Hilton), and your basic beds (Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn Express). My goal is to nab Ritz-quality bedding at an Econo Lodge price.
What I bought:
- Two Wamsutta Magic Gel Pillows for $18 for the pair from Linens 'n Things. (Click here to see the archived deal; coupons may currently be available.) I'm mildly allergic to feathers and down, so I was intrigued by these "Magic Gel" pillows. I'm glad I bought them. They feel a lot like down pillows, but they're lighter when you pick them up. Unlike real down, they don't have that problem where all of the down goes to one side of the pillow. Their 300-thread-count covers are very soft. And there aren't feathers poking my face. I bought both a Medium and a Firm pillow. I'm a side sleeper, and I highly recommend the Firm one.
- Royal Hotel Premium 1,000-Thread-Count Single-Ply Sheet Set for $55 via an expired $25 off $50 PayPal coupon from SmartBargains.com (no longer available, linked to SmartBargains' replacement product; check for coupons). These have been washed three times so far. As you'd expect from 1,000tc sheets, they're certainly dense, not sheer, and much heavier than most sheets. However, they're still a bit stiff and not particularly soft, which may improve after repeated washings.
- 260-Thread-Count Down Alternative Comforter (paid $30 shipped) from Amazon.com. (Click here to see the archived deal.) This has to be one of the best linens purchases I've ever made. This comforter is very soft. Paired with white pillows and sheets, it looks clean and modern. It's warm, so it might be too much for summer unless you crank up the A/C at night like I do.
How I got them: The Smart Bargains and LNT orders arrived in about a week. I'm an Amazon Prime member, so that came in two days.
The verdict: I spent a total of $103 plus about $17 in shipping, a bargain to outfit a bed. I'm completely satisfied with the pillows and comforter, each of which is as comfortable and soft as linens you'd get in a high-end hotel. The sheets may improve with repeated washings, and at $55, they're certainly inexpensive. But I just stayed in a W Hotel a few weeks ago (cheaply, thank you Priceline.com) and I can say for certain that they're definitely not as good as high-end hotel sheets. Thread-count isn't everything.
dealpad is an ongoing series of product and store reviews by Dan de Grandpre, Chief Dealguy at dealnews. The "dealpad" is Dan's new apartment in NYC, where virtually every item was bought via a deal from dealnews.com.