Shoppers who prioritize crispness over softness should take a close look at L.L.Bean's 280-Thread-Count Pima Cotton Percale Sheets. Reviewers say the cotton has a cool, substantial feel, and the sheets' durability and deep pockets also earn praise. However, some complain that the sheets aren't soft enough, especially when new, and others say they wrinkle easily in the dryer. The high price may also be a turnoff.
Crisp, but softness takes time. L.L.Bean's 280-Thread-Count Pima Cotton Percale Sheets are made of 280-thread-count Pima cotton. Although experts give the sheets only an average rating for softness, most owners find the sheets soft and many say they become softer after repeated washings. The sheets fare better in crispness, with critics rating them very good and users praising their cool feel.
Good fit, but prone to wrinkling. These percale sheets come in 10 colors, including neutrals and muted pastels plus windowpane and floral patterns, although a few owners complain that the colors aren't true to what's shown on the L.L.Bean website. The flat sheets and pillowcases are hemstitched. The fitted sheet has 15-inch pockets, and nearly all users say the depth is generous enough to accommodate most mattresses with room to spare. Experts agree, giving fit an above-average rating. However, several reviewers warn that the sheets wrinkle easily in the dryer. The flat sheet, fitted sheet and pillowcases must be purchased separately.
Built for the long haul. Experts give L.L.Bean's 280-Thread-Count Pima Cotton Percale Sheets above-average ratings for strength, saying they resist tears and have sturdy steams, and praise their construction quality and minimal shrinkage. Most reviewers are pleased with durability, saying the fabric feels substantial and the sheets hold up well after several trips through the washer and dryer. However, a few owners complain of rips and unusual wear after limited use.
ConsumerReports.org editors test 20 sheet sets, including sateen, percale, and rayon or twill weave sheets. The ratings are reliable and unbiased, covering strength, construction, fit, softness, shrinkage and crispness. However, a couple of discontinued sheet sets are listed and it's unclear when tests were performed.
Review: Sheet Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not dated
Customers give these percale sheets 4 stars out of 5 after more than 80 reviews, calling them cool, crisp and soft. Most say the material feels substantial and durable, although some complain that the sheets wrinkle easily and others say they feel rougher than expected.
Review: 280-Thread-Count Pima Cotton Percale Sheet, Flat, Contributors to L.L.Bean.com, As of July 2013
3. The Huffington Post
This comprehensive buying guide explains exactly what to look for in bed sheets. Wong recommends L.L.Bean's percale sheets as an "excellent option for every day," saying they'll get softer as time goes on. The sheets aren't compared to others, however, and no cons are posted.
Review: Finding the Best Sheets for Your Budget: A Buying Guide, Dickson Wong, Oct. 11, 2012