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Sheets

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What's behind our sheet Ratings?

Experts at our National Testing and Research Center tested 20 models in sheets to see which ones perform best.
We look for:
  • Overall score
    Overall score is mostly fit, strength, and shrinkage tests after five wash and dry cycles.
  • Strength
    Strength indicates the tear resistance of fabrics and the sturdiness of seams.
  • Fit
    Fit is the fitted and flat sheets' ability to accommodate mattress height, ranging from 10 to 19-plus inches.
  • Shrinkage
    Shrinkage is measured along length and width.
  • Construction quality
    Construction quality weighs factors including the sheet's coarseness or graininess, type of elastic on fitted sheets, and color variations in a set, and whether wrinkle-free claims are being met.
  • Softness
    Softness reflects judgments of trained sensory panelists
  • Crispness
    Crispness reflects judgments of trained sensory panelists.
  • Claimed thread count
    Claimed thread count is based on manufacturer's information. Fit is the fitted and flat sheets' ability to accommodate mattress height, ranging from 10 to 19-plus inches.

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Recommended sheets

Recommended sheets are standout choices with high scores. They include CR Best Buys, which offer exceptional value. When narrowing your choices, weigh features, price, and attributes that matter to you.
  • Buying Guide
  • Price & Shop
Consider this a wake-up call to bedding makers: Only 4 of 23 sets of queen-size sheets performed well enough for us to recommend, and two of those were expensive enough that we suggest using coupons or waiting until they go on sale before buying. As for the other 19, our tests and reporting revealed a litany of problems: If you're looking for information about sheets, Consumer Reports is your best resource. Consumer Reports’ sheet reviews will give you honest buying advice that you can trust. Use our sheet buying guide to discover which features are most important to consider. We also provide unbiased Ratings and sheet reviews to help you choose the best sheets for your needs.

Sheet buying guide

Consider this a wake-up call to bedding makers: Very few of the queen-size sheets we tested performed well enough for us to recommend, and two of those were expensive enough that we suggest using coupons or waiting until they go on sale before buying. As for the others, our tests and reporting revealed a litany of problems:

  • Some fitted sheets easily ripped or came apart at the seams in our strength tests, and some could tear from just a heavy cat's claws.
  • Other sets had fitted sheets that popped off the corners of mattresses they claimed to fit or flat sheets that fell short on the sides of the bed.
  • Some wrinkle-free sheets didn't live up to their name.
  • One company's sets had mismatched colors.
  • Environmental claims were sometimes dubious. The Federal Trade Commission has told retailers to stop labeling and advertising rayon textiles as eco-friendly bamboo. Once the plant fiber is processed, it's rayon, not bamboo. Plus the processing uses toxic chemicals that emit hazardous air pollutants during manufacturing. Three sheet sets we tested claim to be bamboo but should be labeled as rayon or a rayon/cotton blend.

The sheets in our tests were made of 100 percent cotton, rayon, or a rayon blend with claimed thread counts ranging from 200 to 1,000. Thread count is the number of vertical and horizontal threads per square inch. Our latest tests again confirmed that higher thread count doesn't guarantee better sheets. In fact the top-scoring percale sheets, which had a claimed thread count of only 280, were strong, shrank very little, and easily fit mattresses up to 17 inches high, even after we washed and dried them five times.

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