Finding Bed Sheets That Won't Shrink

Do expensive sheets last longer?

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.

Some other 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.

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