Yes, the Best Luxury Sheets Are Absolutely Worth the Splurge
From Belgian linen to Italian sateen.
Updated Oct 12, 2018 2:15 AM
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For all types of bedding—cotton, linen, silk—there are luxury varieties. These tend to come from brands that originate in Europe, have a long history and an unparalleled commitment to quality raw materials and craftsmanship, and have a very real impact on your rest. “Luxury bedding can definitely make a difference in how you sleep,” says designer and stylist Colin King.
Now no one needs luxe bedding. You can absolutely find great sheet sets and duvets via Target, Amazon, and popular direct-to-consumer brands. But if you’d like to treat yourself to something special, you might want to invest in a high-end set of sheets to bring a little luxury to your home.
Read on to learn our top picks for the best luxury bedding, from a lavish silk option to a sophisticated printed set.
- Best overall: Sferra Milos Collection
- Best percale: Frette Hotel Classic Sheet Set
- Best sateen: Savoir Dream 650 Bed Linen Set
- Best linen: Libeco Madison Collection
- Best silk: Gingerlily Silk Solid Collection
- Best colors and prints: Matouk Quincy Collection
A Few Things to Keep in Mind
Types of sheets: There are three main types of sheets you’re likely to encounter when shopping for luxury bedding: cotton, linen, and silk. These are made from natural fibers that have been around for centuries and used for bedding purposes for just as long. But if you just search for these materials, you’re likely to find a wide range of prices from a lot of brands. That’s why it’s important to know what to look for.
Material: For cotton, aim for extra-long-staple and genuine Egyptian cotton. These varieties, as opposed to just long staple, are the best. Egyptian cotton is grown in the Nile Valley region and picked by hand to maintain its characteristics; it also resists pilling and is extremely durable. After testing numerous sheet sets and duvets, Domino editors can attest that when you sleep on Egyptian cotton versus other types, you can feel the difference. “Pure Egyptian cotton can be worth the price, as it has an exceptionally soft and crisp feel that is rare in sheet sets,” says Logan Foley, managing editor at the Sleep Foundation. “It will also last longer than Supima cotton options and tends to be more breathable,” she adds.
Cotton is a popular option for many sleepers (and a favorite for hotels!) because it’s durable and easy to care for night after night and wash after wash.
When it comes to linen sheets, which are made from the flax plant, the premier variety comes from Belgium. Flax does best when grown along moving streams of water, such as the River Lys, Foley previously told Domino. Ireland, France, Italy, and China also produce quality flax, but for this list we picked a sumptuous option from Belgium, and the experts are right: It’s something special. Linen also has a lot of great qualities. It regulates temperature, wicks moisture, and is hypoallergenic. Flax is renewable and requires less water and pesticides to grow than cotton does, so it’s considered relatively eco-friendly.
Silk, while not as popular today as cotton or linen, has a long history that originates in China. Made from the cocoon fibers of silkworms—one cocoon contains one thread—silk can be difficult to produce and is therefore pricey, says Foley. For example, she explains, it can take 5,000 cocoons to create one pound of silk, and each cocoon has to be carefully unraveled to maintain the integrity of the thread.
Mulberry silk is the most common type of silk used for bedding and is produced by feeding Bombyx mori silkworms a strict diet of mulberry leaves in a controlled environment. The end result is a fabric that drapes beautifully, regulates temperature even better than linen, and is hypoallergenic. The material’s “hugging” effect traps heat around you when it’s cold, but it is just as excellent at wicking moisture and has a natural “cool” feel, so it also prevents you from getting hot or overheated in warm weather. Silk is reportedly great for skin and hair, and is often recommended by dermatologists and hairstylists to assist in controlling breakouts and frizz.
What further sets all our picks apart, aside from the top-quality raw materials, is the craftsmanship and the heritage of each brand. When you make bedding for more than a century, you tend to learn a thing or two.
Thread count: For cotton bedding, thread count is the number of threads in one square inch of fabric. It’s widely used in marketing to describe the quality of sheets—and sometimes to falsely justify a higher price point. Thread count matters, but it’s just one part of the equation to consider when shopping for good bedding in any price range. The quality of the raw material and the construction are two other factors that actually matter more.
For percale, for example, the ideal thread count is, at minimum, 180, and something around 300 to 400 is more than sufficient. Anything higher will likely impact the crisp and light feel. For sateen, which has a denser weave that hugs your body more, a thread count between 300 and 600 is ideal. In this guide, however, you’ll run across some higher thread counts because these brands are using Egyptian cotton, which is finer and can therefore fit more threads in a square inch, explains Foley.
Linen is measured in grams per square meter (GSM), or the weight (in grams) of a square meter of the fabric. If you do find a thread count on linen sheets, the number will be low. The flax fibers that linen is made from are thicker than cotton fibers, so you can’t pack as many threads in a square inch. Typical or standard weights for linen are about 170 to 190 GSM, and the higher the number, the denser and warmer the fabric. Every gram counts, and you can quite literally feel the difference in weight between 170 GSM and 180 GSM. A GSM of 200 or more, like our pick in this guide, equates to a smoother, heavier, and more substantial fabric. But if you live in a hot environment (we mean hot, not warm) or sleep like an oven, you might want to check out our complete linen bedding guide for a lighter option.
Lastly, silk is measured by momme, which is “the weight (in pounds) of silk fabric that is specifically 100 yards long and 45 inches wide,” explains Foley. She says that your best bet here is something between 19 and 25 momme: “This weight allows for a good balance between durability and breathability.”
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Sferra Milos Collection
While sateen—a three- or four-over-one construction—is typically heavier and more clingy than other cotton weaves, we found these sheets to be light as air while still offering comfort and warmth. This simple and classic collection features a subtle sheen, a hemstitch seam, and decorative flange ends—small details that make all the difference in the overall aesthetic and give a bedroom an effortless sophistication.
Founded in 1891, Sferra is headquartered in the Alpine foothills of northern Italy, a region that has been home to family-owned textile mills for more than three centuries. Here, through a blend of art and technology, the company produces covetable linens that have been a favorite for over 100 years. But what we love most about this brand is how it uses subtle, intricate details and tonal appliqués to elevate simple designs and luxurious fabrics for a dreamy sleep, night after night.
Best Percale: Frette Hotel Classic Sheet Set
This Italian brand, founded in 1860, has been outfitting the best hotels, from Ritz-Carltons to the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles—along with royal palaces and even St. Peter’s Basilica—for decades. Its Hotel Classic sheet set lets you take home a bit of that five-star luxury in the form of a 200-thread-count percale weave that’s crafted in Italy.
These sheets are light, airy, and crisp but regal in appearance. The white fabric is embroidered with a distinctive double-line border in three colorways (beige, white, and gray), an unfussy detail that pairs well with white and neutral duvets for a look that reminds us of our favorite hotels. Our set arrived in a chic blue box, and we immediately noticed a smoothness and softness that’s not always found in pecale weaves. We also appreciate that, unlike many other luxury options, this set includes a fitted sheet, a flat sheet, and two pillowcases. This might seem like a small fact, but it makes upgrading your bedroom a little easier on your wallet and gives more room in your budget to splurge on a special duvet or decorative pillows.
Best Sateen: Savoir Dream 650 Bed Linen Set
“They’re timeless and elegant in every way. It’s like sleeping on a cloud,” says Hughes. We can confirm: The slightly shimmering fabric is not only exceptionally soft and luxurious but also has a certain richness and distinct drape that can be seen from afar. The set is available in white with either a plain hem, white piping, or silver/charcoal piping, and the simplicity only adds to the allure. The pillows and duvets are available in Cambridge or Oxford style: The former has a plain hem and the latter has fabric borders (aka a flange) with mitered corners. It comes in seven sizes, from twin XL to U.S. Emperor.
While Savoir is best known for its bespoke high-end mattresses that are handmade in the U.K., the company added bedding to its offerings in order to give shoppers a more affordable introduction to the brand and to complete the sleeping experience. “Linens are an extension of our story,” says Hughes. “Sleeping surface plays an important role in achieving a restful night’s sleep, and all elements of the bed—including the bed linens, mattress, topper, and box spring—play a part.”
Best Linen: Libeco Canal Collection
Founded in 1858 and based today in the Belgium municipality of Meulebeke, the family-owned company has a long history in linen production and a commitment to sustainability. In the past decade, for example, it has become a carbon-neutral company and introduced a GOTS-certified organic line. It has also earned a handful of meaningful certifications—such as Masters of Linen (meaning linen that’s made entirely in Europe) and Belgian Linen (which ensures products are woven in Belgium with European flax yarn)—and is a Belgian Royal Warrant Holder, as it provides materials to the Belgian royal court.
Domino editors guarantee that even true linen connoisseurs won’t be let down by Libeco’s offerings. “Quality-wise, it’s incredible,” says King.
Best Silk: Gingerlily Signature Silk Collection
The brand also offers silk-filled duvet and pillow inserts, which, when combined with the sheets, create the perfect cocoon for ideal sleep, says the company’s founder, Deborah Fiddy. Silk is hypoallergenic, antimicrobial, and resistant to dust mites, a huge plus if you suffer from allergies. It’s also an excellent temperature regulator, so it’s the perfect pick if you sleep with a partner who likes it hot or cold when you like the opposite. Yes, silk can be a little fussy to care for, but Fiddy recommends simply washing your silk items alone on the gentle cycle with a special silk wash (we used a regular natural detergent with excellent results), followed by air-drying. Turning your bedding inside out to wash will also help with reducing friction, and a quick ironing to restore the luster will help keep everything looking new (though we skipped this step and still had shiny sheets).
The only other downside to this bedding? Once you sleep on it, you might not be able to return to anything else. It’s that good.
Best Colors and Prints: Matouk Quincy Collection
Available in three colorways and printed and woven in Italy, the 500-thread-count Egyptian cotton percale sheets added a whimsical design element to our bedroom and also felt wonderful on our skin, somehow managing to be simultaneously light and luxurious. This is undoubtedly due to the company’s famous percale weave, dubbed Luca, which consists of two yarns twisted together to create a single thread prior to weaving, Mistry explains. The result is a crisp percale with an inimitable smoothness. (It’s important to “trust your hand” when shopping for luxury bedding, she adds.)
How We Vetted These Products
Every product in a Domino guide meets these criteria:
- They blend form and function. We believe the best-designed products reflect your personal style and are a joy to use.
- They’re expert approved. In addition to our team of editors, we tap a range of designers, makers, renovators, and all-around knowledgeable people to share their intel.
- They’re endorsed by people who actually own them. We pay close attention to real reviews to know that they pass the test IRL.