I’ve heard it said that we spend a third of our lives in bed, but if I’m asleep for most of it, do the sheets really matter? In the past, my answer to this question would have been a resounding “no”.
This is not to say that I haven’t experienced some of the finest sheets the world has to offer. As a travel writer I have spent many nights swathed in decadent bedding. As an interiors stylist I have spent countless hours pressing sheets to layer on beds for photo shoots. I know what I’m (allegedly) missing.
Last year, unbeknown to me, my friends planned a bedding intervention, and on my birthday a big white box from Boll & Branch arrived. Inside was a nice-looking, but basic, set of all-white sheets (from $200, including one flat sheet, one fitted sheet and two pillowcases, pictured). I quickly scanned the packaging: certified organic cotton from fair-trade farms, ethically made, paying its workforce a fair wage – it all spoke to my altruistic sensibilities.
But the real moment of truth was the test drive. There’s something about that moment when you first slip into a bed made with freshly laundered linen, even if the sheets aren’t anything special. The first time in my Boll & Branch-dressed bed was positively dreamy. I’m not one to gush, and I generally despise hyperbole, but they are the softest sheets I’ve ever experienced.
And unlike those high-end sheets that are also high maintenance (meaning you have to be very careful what laundry detergent you use, and remember to remove them from the dryer before they’re truly dry and then ironthem on the reverse so they are at their best), these can be washed and dried, no ironing required, and they still feel fantastic. I’m sold. And for those who are a little more adventurous in their bedding, the sheets and duvet covers (from $225) come in a range of plain shades – from grey to navy to beige – with pleated, trimmed or banded edges.