Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Holy Sheet!

It may have been mentioned before that I am an unapologetic bed snob.

This is significantly due to the fact that I am someone who needs an average of ten hours of sleep per night to feel really rested. Don’t judge me. I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way.

I also had a particular fondness for the fairy tale of the Princess and the Pea as a child, never really absorbing the lesson embedded in the story, and instead focusing on the sheer delicious idea of a bed made up of that many mattresses all piled high and soft as clouds.

When I was in high school, my grandmother gave me the best, most basic advice anyone ever has…she said, and I quote “You’re going to spend 80% of your life working and sleeping. So get a job that you love, and a really good bed.” One cannot, nay should not ignore advice of such simple perfection. And though she will often protest (with good reason) that I never listened overmuch, when Mom gave lessons on where to be frugal and where to invest in quality, I absorbed her wisdom.

I will, to be honest, often fail to practice said wisdom, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t sink in.

The gist of it is this: it is always about the CPU. Cost. Per. Use.

If you spend $300 on a purse that matches exactly one dress in your closet, which will either be out of fashion (or possibly not fit you) beyond two wearings, then the CPU on that bag is $150. If someone suggested you rent a bag for a night for $150 you might think them insane, and yet, that is essentially what you are doing. By the same token, if you spend $1500 on a classic black cashmere overcoat that you will wear approximately once a day from mid-November thru mid- March for the next ten years, the CPU on that coat is only about $1.50. That makes it a good investment.

I have plenty of sassy shoes that tempted me into a less-than-smart purchase, more than a few items of clothing for which I probably should not have paid retail. But when it comes to my bed, I have invested very wisely. After all, a decent bed should last you 15-20 years of daily use. Good sheets can go 8-10 depending on how many sets you have and how many washings they get. Pillows are good for at least 5 years before they lose their fluff. And anyone who has ever spent a night under Grandma’s quilt or Aunt Joan’s feather duvet knows that blankets sometimes last a lifetime. Those are really good CPU figures.

So I have always bought the best sheets and blankets and pillows I could afford, and my bed is a magical place as a result. I’m a major squish-factor girl (see: Princess and Pea reference above), so atop my box spring and mattress (Serta) I have not one, but two featherbeds (The Company Store). Despite what you might think about sleeping on top of feathers, it isn’t a seasonal thing like down comforters. The air mixed in with the feathers actually keeps you cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. And if you think it wouldn’t be good for your back, think again, those feathers mold and support your body, cradling your every vertebrae, and as you shift, so do they. If you require firmness, you achieve that with the mattress, the featherbeds just add a layer of comfy. And no, two is not the recommended dosage, I’m just a more is more kind of girl in general, and left to my own devices, I would stack ten of them up (see: Princess and Pea reference above) and buy a ladder to get me into bed.

I have a lovely woven cotton blanket for summer, a fluffy fuzzy blanket for spring and fall, and a silk fiber filled comforter (all the warmth for a quarter the thickness of down) for winter. The last one was a gift from Mom and Dad that they brought me from China, and no, I do not call that enabling, I call that love! I used to be a down comforter girl, but silk, oh man!

Pillows are down, and always in abundance.

Sheets, for me, have always had to be 100% cotton (Egyptian preferable) with a decent thread count (350-400 minimum) and a soft silky feel.

Mom and Dad stop reading alert!

Softness in sheets is paramount. For good reason. Your Polymath does not believe in pajamas or night gowns unless she has a houseguest or it is really jaw-droppingly cold, so soft sheets become very essential. And let’s be honest, there isn’t much point to investing in really nice sheets if one is going to go to bed fully dressed. I’m not saying, I’m just saying.

Mom and Dad may now tune back in.

So when I tell you of a new revelation in sheets, you are going to have to believe, I know whereof I speak. And I am here to tell you that there is a sheet revolution going on at my house.

Mom and Sis went recently to a new spa in the area, and were taken by how soft the sheets were on the massage tables. They inquired as to the source, found out that the sheets were available to the general public and came in sizes for regular beds, and ordered some up. The last time I was over at Mom and Dad’s, Mom told me to go feel their new sheets, and I have to say, I was very envious.

And impressed.

Especially when I found out that they were made of….wait for it….100% polyester.

Yep. No cotton in the world has ever felt this soft. I was perplexed. I was shaken to my core. I am a natural fiber girl! But these sheets, yum.

I was waxing poetical about them to Charming Suitor, who is very tolerant of all of my quirks and habits, including my ridiculous poofy bedstravaganza, and bless his heart he jumped right online and ordered us up not only a set of the sheets, but a new duvet for the silk comforter to boot! He really is the dreamiest.

They arrived a week later, rolled into fat sausage shapes and tied with a belt of contrasting fabric, like little presents. We threw them immediately in the wash, and being polyester, they came out of the dryer looking practically ironed.

All I can say about them is that it is by far the softest, most luscious sheet ever.

Charming Suitor just said “Oh, my. I’m in big trouble. We might have to make a more significant investment here.”

Which is actually the best part…they are very reasonably priced! $130 gets you a queen set of fitted sheet, flat sheet and two pillowcases! Not bad at all.

The shipping can be a little dear, but on the day they arrived Charming Suitor got an e-mail announcing a free-shipping special, and when he contacted them to say that the free shipping started the day the sheets arrived, they refunded his shipping cost!

They do not know me, I am not being compensated for this endorsement, and I do not own stock in the company. I just want you all to sleep well.


Meanwhile, if you are in the market for a new mattress set, I have been coveting the Serta Perfect Day Sleeper in the Waking Hours Model. I go to American Mattress periodically to visit it. It is very squishy and very craveworthy, and way out of my price range. But a Princess can dream….