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White Sales: How to Choose the Right Bedding

Jan 11 featured image.jpg ONCE UPON A TIME, bed linens came in just one color: white. If you didn’t sew your own sheets or host a quilting bee at home, you brought them at the local shops.

Famously, John Wannamaker – owner of Wannamaker’s department store in Philadelphia – declared in 1878 that January would be the month for a “white sale.” Wannamaker’s started an annual trend of stores selling bed sheets and other linens for a discount, and the idea soon took off around the country. January white sales are still a big deal – even though you can get far more colorful duvet covers these days.

Are White Sales Worth It?

It depends. If you haven’t had new bedding since the ’90s, you should head immediately to a white sale nearest you. Comforter sets and bed sheets can be expensive at full price, so if you need something, it’s always smart to shop the sales.

bedding.jpgIt’s also a good idea to plan ahead: If you’ll be outfitting a nursery or sending a kid off to college this year, stock up on sheets and towels early to save.

If you’re a shopaholic who doesn’t actually need new bed linens, proceed with caution. Remember that you’ll need a place to store your new bedding sets when not in use, so check your linen closet before you shop so you know how much space you can spare.

What to Look for When Shopping for Bed Sheets

To make sure you get exactly what you need, keep the following details in mind as you shop:

    • Color: Unless you’re going for classic white sheets, bring along a paint chip or a throw pillow from your bedroom so you can check the color. Store lights are different from what you have at home, and getting a good match from memory is nearly impossible.
    • Thread Count: The higher the thread count, the more expensive the sheets, so consider your budget as you shop. A high thread count also makes for a much softer sheet, so go for the highest you can afford for a comfortable night’s sleep.
    • Material: Beware synthetic sheets or blends, as they tend not to breathe well – though this may not bother you if you live where it’s cold. To stay cool while you sleep, cotton or bamboo are good choices, while jersey knits and flannels are soft and warm.
What to Look for in Blankets Bed Covers

During a white sale, you can also get a bargain on blankets, duvets and comforters. Here’s what to keep in mind as you shop for your bed’s version of winter layers:

    • Weight: If you like the feel of something heavy and protective on top of you, a down comforter or traditional quilt is a great choice. These actually breathe fairly well if you also like to feel cool under the covers. For a lighter touch, choose a fluffy synthetic comforter instead.
    • Breathability: If you get a little sweaty under the covers, stick with a cotton blanket with an open weave. A knitted wool throw will breathe while providing excellent warmth. If you’re looking for maximum insulation, a fleece blanket or a plug-in heated blanket will work for you.

The bottom line? January white sales are the perfect time to get a deal on all the bedding you need for a comfortable night’s sleep. Select items by feel to maximize your comfort, and you’ll sleep like a baby.

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