Buying sheets is no fun—if you care about what you sleep on. (And you should.) You’ve got to find the right fit (because sizes vary around the world), decide the fabric, consider the thread count, know the weave… It all feels like rocket science, but there’s one particular bedding brand that has taken the guesswork out of sheets shopping.
Brooklinen is a New York-based startup that offer high-end, luxury-hotel-worthy sheets for less than what you’d normally pay for. “The cost of luxury linens is nothing less than exorbitant, driven higher by bloated supply chains and expensive designer licensing fees passed on to the consumer,” wrote Fast Company. So co-founders Rich and Vicki Fulop set out to bypass the middleman and bring the manufacturers straight to the consumer.
They started small, with a US$50,000 goal on Kickstarter and just two products—the Core Set containing a fitted sheet, a flat sheet and two pillowcases, and the Hardcore Set, which includes the Core Set plus a duvet cover and two additional pillowcases. Brooklinen proceeded to smash that goal, closing their first fundraising campaign at US$236,888. Today, the Internet-famous company has earned over 30,000 five-star reviews and recently hit $100 million in revenue since its launch in 2015. But despite its runaway success, the brand hasn’t gone overboard with its bedding offerings. There are four fabric options: Classic Percale (‘luxury hotel’ style cotton sheets), Luxe Sateen (Brooklinen’s best seller), Linen (airy and great for summer) and Twill (like your favourite vintage tee). You begin by choosing a fabric, what you want in your set, your preferred colour(s), and the right size. Minimal fuss.
Here’s the thing about thread count: the numbers don’t mean much. Thread count is, simply put, the number of threads woven into one square inch of fabric. So, the higher the thread count, the finer the threads to better fit into a square inch. And that, logically speaking, translates to softer, smoother, and more tightly woven (note: less breathable) sheets. Now the truth is, Vicki Fulop explained, thread count generally maxes out at 500 because there is a finite amount of thread that one can weave into a square inch. “Anything higher is fiction,” she says. What about sheets labelled with thread counts of 800, 1000, and 1200 come about? According to Consumer Reports, “manufacturers use thinner strands of fabric [known as plies] twisted together as if they were one. Then they double, triple, or even quadruple the thread count to make the number more attractive to the consumer.” As a result, sheets may have a rough, coarse feel as fibres tend to poke out of the weave.
In the end, it’s the quality of the thread that matters. Brooklinen uses only single-ply, long-staple cotton fibres for its sheets. Its percale weave (the Classic Collection) has a 270 thread count and feels cool, crisp and soft—which is great for summer months or warmer sleepers. It’s also said to get better with every wash. The sateen (the Luxe Collection) weave, warmer and heavier compared to percale, has a silky-soft feel with a luminous sheen, thanks to the tight 480 thread count.
I was prepping to move into my new apartment when Brooklinen reached out for a review of its products (talk about perfect timing). I chose the all-in and customisable Move-in Bundle, which has everything I needed to overhaul my bed: a flat sheet, a fitted sheet, four pillowcases, a duvet cover, a comforter and two pillows. The sheets, at first touch, are silky soft and sparkly white, just like how they are described on the site. They came out wrinkled after the first wash (Brooklinen doesn’t use any artificial wrinkle-free chemicals on its sheets), but wrinkled less after hanging them to dry in the sun.
I like my bed dressed in neutral, solid hues—particularly in plain white with no frills, patterns or embroidery. Sure, you can find plain white sheets everywhere, but I appreciate how Brooklinen keep its dude-friendly catalogue clean and fuss-free with simple prints (stripe, windowpane, maze and black dash) and muted solids such as white, cream, steel, sky blue, navy, smoke and graphite. This means you can easily mix and match the colours and patterns without having to worry if they go together.
Brooklinen also go the extra mile when it comes to customer service, which makes buying stuff from a site half a world away more reassuring. All of their products come with a lifetime warranty, so if yours ever pill, rip or fray, just drop them a note online and they’ll proceed to facilitate a repair or a replacement free of charge. And you don’t have to wait around for days for a response either. As soon as you enter the website, a chatbox pops up and a real-life support agent will answer to your queries in a matter of minutes.
Did Brooklinen live up to the hype? 100 percent. I slept like a baby the first night with these dream sheets and had to drag myself out of bed in the morning. In fact, these Luxe sheets are one of the comfiest and softest I’ve ever laid on. That said, it can get a little too warm on nights without the AC (get the Classic if you prefer a more breathable fabric or tend to perspire easily). Plus, they do get better (softer, cosier) with age. While they are a tad pricier than what I’d normally pay for, but for better sleep and everything else between the sheets, they’re worth every penny.
For sweet dreams and other ridiculously luxe but well-priced homewares like towels and blankets, visit Brooklinen’s website.