Considering that we spend up to a third of our lives lying in bed, sheets and bedding don’t seem to be very common topics to talk about, or to spend too much time on, at least not compared to the attention paid to personal items such as clothes or shoes or digital devices, and to the myriad other issues that grab our eyeballs and brains everyday.
Our beds are our most intimate places, where important and impactful things happen — we change into clean bedclothes and crawl in to bed to rest our bodies with sleep, to connect with our partner, perhaps conceive a child (or birth one), to heal our bodies and minds. With that in mind, perhaps its time to rethink how we approach the subject of bedding. I used to not think about it at all, until our first child was born. And then, with her co-sleeping with us, we became rather picky about the materials that were closest to us all night long — the mattress, sheets, pillows, blankets, and sleepwear — because we wanted to provide the most healthful (or the least harmful, depending on your perspective) sleeping and living environment for our infant.
We were already sleeping on a cotton and wool futon mattress, so until it was time to replace that we focused on always getting 100% cotton sheets (thin for the summer, and flannel for the winter), cotton and wool blankets or down comforters, and sleepwear that didn’t come full of fire retardants or odor reducers other questionable additives. At one point, we gave up all of our pillows in favor of handsewn pillows stuffed with buckwheat hulls (which are really great if you like them and no good at all if you don’t), with the intention of trying to keep our bedroom and home as free from environmental ills as possible.
When it comes to sheets, it took me some time to see the value of high thread-count sheets, and that paying a little bit more for something that not only lasted longer, but also just plain felt better on my skin while sleeping, was a worthy investment. With the higher prices of organic cotton or linen bedding, we’ve tried them but then ended up settling instead for sticking with high thread-count cotton sheets, and if we could find them ethically made as well, then that was a plus. However, after growing up with cheap sheets, sometimes slick or threadbare, sleeping in higher quality sheets was kind of a gamechanger, because instead of feeling like I’m pulling on a comfortable old t-shirt (feels comforting, but don’t look too closely at the frays and stains please), it now feels like I’m climbing into a luxurious healing cocoon.
That may sound a bit exaggerated, which it is, but essentially upgrading our sheets made for a big improvement in sleep quality. With a latex foam topper on our futon, we get great firm support and yet soft cradling of the body, while we are wrapped in cotton sheets that are not only soft to the touch but which also breathe well in all seasons, and it’s topped off with a vintage cotton quilt to add a bit of weight and some warmth. With a highly malleable buckwheat hull pillow beneath my head, I’m all set for a quick drop-off into slumberland, ready to rest and recharge the body and mind for another day. That wasn’t the case for me before having a family, and I had some really crappy sleep habits, some of which was due to not having a bed and bedding that felt comforting and nurturing to my body (such as a thin sleeping bag on the floor for long periods). It’s one of those things that make me think, “If I had only known then what I know now about sleep…” And we ended up choosing a latex mattress for our teenager for the same reason.
All of that is a really long way of introducing some great 400 thread-count cotton sheets from California Design Den, which sent them to me to review. While I’m not normally in the habit of reviewing sheets and bedding, in this case I said yes because I was curious to see if the quality was as good as it seemed, considering the relatively low cost of them.
I got a queen set of these sheets, and right out of the package they were soft and obviously well-made, based just on initial look and feel. We’ve had them for about a month now (not a month continuously on the bed 😉 ) and are super happy with them. Although there are higher thread-count sheets available, the difference between these 400 thread-count sheets and some of our other sheets is noticeable and alone well worth the change to new sheets.
In addition, although this set isn’t made from organically grown cotton, these California Design Den sheets are certified as complying with STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX, which ensures they are free of harmful chemicals, as well as being ethically made in the company’s factory in India (which is also LEED V4 Gold Certified). And at a price point well under $50 ($39 on Amazon right now), these sheets are a great value, in my opinion. They offer a comfortable feel to the body, while the company’s ethical promises offer a feel-good to the mind, and they don’t break the bank. Learn more at California Design Den.
[I did receive the item for free for review, but all opinions here are my own.]