Consumer Reports: Poor-quality sheets

Consumer Reports: Poor-quality sheets »Play Video

Buying new sheets can be a real numbers game. You see thread counts of 400, 600, even 1000. Do higher counts get you better sheets? Consumer Reports just tested dozens of sheets and found lots of problems.

During the strength test, many easily ripped. And some of the seams on the fitted sheets came apart without much force, including the Tommy Hilfiger T-200.

And testers found fitted sheets that didn't fit. Instead, they popped off the corners. Some flat sheets were so short that they couldn't be tucked in.

Consumer Reports found wrinkle-free sheets that weren't wrinkle-free and sets where the colors were mismatched. Plus when testers washed and dried the sheets, some badly shrank.

And don't rely on how soft sheets feel at the store. Many have been treated with fabric enhancers and softeners. That's why, at Consumer Reports, panelists judge softness only after sheets have been washed five times. And the tests show that higher thread count does not guarantee softer sheets or stronger ones.

In the end, Consumer Reports did find a few queen-size sheets to recommend, including two Best Buys: the L.L.Bean's Pima Cotton Percale for $100 and, from Target, the Home 600 TC for $70. A plus: the Target sheets were among the softest that were tested.

Consumer Reports says that your sheets won't last as long if you use too much chlorine bleach or over-dry them. That can damage the sheet's elastic band.

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