The prices of sheets are all over the board these days, from $20 to $30 for budget brands to hundreds of dollars for luxury linens. But what good are fitted sheets that don't fit after you wash them?
Consumer Reports' testers put a selection of sheet brands, from low-end to high, through the wringer - a year's worth of washing and drying - to see whether they fit ... or failed.
Consumer Reports bought multiple brands of cotton sheets from frugal to fine, then its expert testers put the fitted ones through a strength test, pushing the fabrics and seams to their limit.
Then they checked to see whether the sheets fit foam and spring mattresses of different depths: 8, 10, 14 and 18 inches. And then they washed and dried the sheets. And washed and dried, 25 times, to replicate a year's worth of laundering.
Samples cut from the sheets were measured before and after washing. The results were surprising.
Out of the package, all of the sheets CR tested fit on a regular queen-sized mattress. But after the equivalent of a year's worth of washing, only half of them did.
After 15 washings, testers couldn't get the queen set from Casper Cool Supina for $143 to fit on any of the mattresses. And a set of Amazon Pinzon 400 TC Egyptian Cotton Sateen sheets for $43 were also tough to fit. It took a lot of effort to get the four corners over the edges of any of the mattresses.
What about the expensive sheets?
Porto sheets from the luxury brand Frette for $725 fit all but the thickest mattresses well, with little shrinkage. But CR testers found some sheets were better
for a lot less money.
The queen sheets from Matouk Sierra for $336 fit excellently on all mattress sizes. Although they're pricey, these were the only sheets tested that fit an 18-inch mattress after a year`s worth of washing, and the fabric was strong. So they could save you money over the long run.
The L.L.Bean Pima Percale sheets for $148 fit the mattresses up to 14 inches well, with little shrinkage after 25 washes. They got excellent marks for strength and are a Consumer Reports Best Buy.
Want some good news?
Consumer Reports found that the softness of the sheets - from what you feel in a store to 25 washings later - stayed the same.