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View Full Version : Has anyone bought bed sheets in the past few years that haven't pilled?


Renee
05-19-2011, 11:36 PM
I don't know what's going on, but this is driving me crazy. The past four sets of sheets I've bought started pilling almost immediately, after just a few washings. I have some 10 year old sheets that are just fine (except the wrong size for our bed) so I know that it isn't just us doing something wrong. I've bought high thread count, low thread count, cheap, and semi-expensive ones, and they're all crap.

Our old sheets that are fine are Wamsutta, but looking online I'm seeing complaints about those pilling now, too.

So, can anyone recommend me some that actually hold up worth a damn? Much obliged.

ZipperJJ
05-19-2011, 11:53 PM
I buy the cheap fitted sheets at Wal-Mart and while I don't wash them weekly (maybe semi-weekly? I dunno, I bought 4 sets!) they have not pilled one bit. I think they're like $5 for double fitted.

The only sheets I have ever had that pilled are ripoff "egyptian cotton" high-thread-count sheets I got from some vendor at a home show.

How often do you wash the sheets? Maybe you need more sheets so you wash them less frequently.

Renee
05-19-2011, 11:58 PM
We wash them about once a week. I just don't get why this was never a problem until the last couple of years.

KneadToKnow
05-19-2011, 11:58 PM
I have a set of purple sheets I bought at Target ca. 2007-08 which have shown no tendency toward pilling at all.

On the other hand, I have a set of flannel sheets I also bought at Target ca. 2007-08 which are pilling like crazy. Of course, I tend to expect that from flannel sheets.

justpassingthrough
05-20-2011, 01:11 AM
Cotton knit jersey sheets. Always soft. Warm in the winter. Lightweight in the summer. I think the most recent set was bought from a catalog company called Garnet Hill, but that was only because Lands End didn't have any available at the time.

Cat Whisperer
05-20-2011, 01:20 AM
I have high thread count sheets from Wal-Mart and some other shop like Bloodbath and Beyond, and they haven't pilled in about seven years. It looks like the damned things are never going to wear out.

Lynn Bodoni
05-20-2011, 01:44 AM
I think that it's poly cotton that pills, or at least, that's what pills around here. It's not just sheets, either, it's clothing as well. I suspect that it's short staple cotton combined with polyester that is the worst offender.

GAH, I hate the pills!

Girl From Mars
05-20-2011, 02:01 AM
We have high thread count 100% cotton sheets, machine washed and line dried once a week. I've had some of these sets over 10 years and others less than a year, and have to say have never noticed pilling. Could it be a factor of polycotton sheets, or high tumble dryer heat?

Farmer Jane
05-20-2011, 02:03 AM
I have a set of purple sheets I bought at Target ca. 2007-08 which have shown no tendency toward pilling at all.



Yup. That. Except I change my sheets once a year (buying new ones -- I was them every week!), but yeah, no pilling issues here.

Apricot
05-20-2011, 02:06 AM
I like Overstock.com because they have lots of reviews. Other people will tell you which sheets got rough after washing, which ones pill, which ones are too big or too small. I've got two fabulous sheet sets from them by poring over the reviews.

SeaDragonTattoo
05-20-2011, 03:28 AM
The sheet set I got from Target last year is fine, no pilling. They're nice and smooth. No idea of the content, sorry can't be soused to go look for a tag! They were about $40 for a queen set, and a nice chocolate shade. I want another set!

Moonlitherial
05-20-2011, 08:48 AM
I love the sheets I buy from Lands end. They're huge, it's the only set of king size sheets I've ever found that are wide enough that you don't run out of sheet as soon as there is an actual person in the bed and we haven't had any pilling at all. I've had the oldest set for 6 months now and they're just a smooth as the day we bought them. I loved them so much I ordered two more sets the next time they went on sale.

These (http://landsend.com/pp/600countUltimateSupimaSheetSetorPillowcase~206782_1782.html?bcc=y&action=order_more&sku_0=::SFR&CM_MERCH=IDX_ForTheHome-_-Bedding-_-AllSheets&origin=index) are the ones we bought. Sad though, looks like they might be discontinuing them, there aren't many options left. Hopefully they're only changing colours.

Rushgeekgirl
05-20-2011, 09:02 AM
Kmart sheets (2 queen size set pack for 40 dollars) I've had for about five years don't pill, but I don't use a dryer so that could make the difference. They were and still are surprisingly soft and smooth. I know that pilling though. My little girl's character sheet sets get them almost as soon as they get their first washing.

Zsofia
05-20-2011, 09:37 AM
I get mine from Lands End too but have never had a problem pilling with any sheet - are you getting a blend? 100% cotton is the only acceptable sheet.

Paintcharge
05-20-2011, 09:42 AM
I got some bamboo fabric sheets from BB&B and there great.

Rachellelogram
05-20-2011, 10:40 AM
I've never seen jersey sheets (tshirt material) pill. Because tshirts don't pill, at least mine never have. You could maybe give those a try? I got a queen jersey sheet set at meijer for like $15-20

Minnie Luna
05-20-2011, 11:40 AM
The only set of sheets we own that have pilling are the flannel set, all the others are fine.

My sheets are all bought on sale from Macy's when they have them at 50-60% off, I like the Ralph Lauren, but there is another brand they have that is super-soft. All 100% cotton, thread count over 400.

Hello Again
05-20-2011, 12:00 PM
I have 450 TC sheet set from Target (the damask stripe) that was a wedding gift in 2008, still looking perfect. Well, a bit faded, but perfect as far as pilling. Ick! That would drive me nuts.

PunditLisa
05-20-2011, 12:00 PM
No pilling at all. I buy 100% Egyptian or Puma cotton sheets. I am a sheet snob.

lindsaybluth
05-20-2011, 12:22 PM
The sheet set I got from Target last year is fine, no pilling. They're nice and smooth. No idea of the content, sorry can't be soused to go look for a tag! They were about $40 for a queen set, and a nice chocolate shade. I want another set!

The Target Organic Cotton ones have done extremely well; owned them about a year of washing weekly (occasionally use another set). They can't be more than $50 for a queen set either and often go on sale for $10 bucks off. They don't list thread count prominently so I was surprised to see they're only 200 thread count. I think they feel like your average 500-600 thread count you'd find at BB&Beyond, which is what my parents have and I find similar feel to.

I've only heard good things about Target brand sheets (looks like I'm the 3rd in the thread to say so).

Omar Little
05-20-2011, 12:33 PM
100% cotton 500 thread count or higher.

No poly-blends, no low thread count sheets.

Claire Beauchamp
05-20-2011, 12:37 PM
In my experience, pilling is ALWAYS the result of polyester or polyester blend. Get 100% natural fiber and the problem disappears. I don't think thread count matters -- I've never had anything more than 200- or 250-count and I've never had pilling with natural fibers. And, what can matter more than thread count in any regard is ply, which is rarely listed on sheet packaging.

I am on month two of Target organic cotton myself ... I'm a little disappointed about the wrinkling. My previous 100% cotton wrinkled hardly at all. I chose the organic because of color selection to go with new comforter. I go years and years between buying new bedding, so I'm stuck with these for a while. If I had it to do over again, though, I would have gotten my second-choice colors and gone with Target's wrinkle-resistant 100% cotton line.

Skald the Rhymer
05-20-2011, 12:44 PM
I haven't had this problem. But the newest sheets I own are three years old, and they get washed about once a month; we switch the linens every Saturday, but we have several and so everything gets rotated. Maybe it's the frequency of your washing, but I wonder also if it's not also the quality of the sheets you've purchased.

stpauler
05-20-2011, 12:45 PM
The Company Store (http://thecompanystore.com/) has the best flannel sheets (and good other ones) and I've never had a pilling problem. And if you're ever in La Crosse, WI, their outlet store is pretty awesome. I occasionally drive the three hours down there for new stuff.

Elendil's Heir
05-20-2011, 12:49 PM
Another vote for Target and Lands End sheets. We also have some LL Bean flannels that are great.

Renee
05-20-2011, 12:53 PM
The Target Organic Cotton ones have done extremely well; owned them about a year of washing weekly (occasionally use another set). They can't be more than $50 for a queen set either and often go on sale for $10 bucks off. They don't list thread count prominently so I was surprised to see they're only 200 thread count. I think they feel like your average 500-600 thread count you'd find at BB&Beyond, which is what my parents have and I find similar feel to.

I've only heard good things about Target brand sheets (looks like I'm the 3rd in the thread to say so).


See, we have an organic cotton set from target, have had them about 4 months, and they're starting to pill a little, too. Not as bad as the ones we got from Kohls (which I just returned yesterday, they were intolerable.)

The two sets I bought off overstock before that, both supposedly high thread count, 100% cotton and well-reviewed both pilled badly almost immediately, plus had weird color bleeding issues. I would say it must be something we're doing, except our older sheets have been washed and dried half a million times and are fine.

I'm not sure about jersey sheets, they just seem so unluxurious.

I think I'm going to go buy the nicest sheets that walmart has and keep the packaging, and if they pill I'll just return them. I think Target isn't as good about returns as walmart. I'm not sure about TJ Maxx, has anyone tried to return something obviously used after a few months to them? I buy practically all my clothes there, but I've never tried to return something used.

Surly Chick
05-20-2011, 01:06 PM
You need to buy percale sheets, not sateen (percale is a type of weave). Percale never pills and comes in 100% cotton, high thread counts. It's the only thing I buy. Make sure the pack actually says percale. Bed, Bath and Beyond in Portsmouth has some nice ones at reasonable prices.

Surly (Who is pretending that she doesn't know Renee in real life.)

Cat Whisperer
05-20-2011, 01:45 PM
Our sheets are poly cotton blends - still no pilling. I think it must be you, Renee. :)

I've thought about trying jersey sheets, but I've had lots of t-shirts that have pilled - they seem like a bad bet to me.

Lightnin'
05-20-2011, 01:50 PM
I got some bamboo fabric sheets from BB&B and there great.

I've fallen in love with our bamboo sheets. Incredibly soft, don't pill, and they're also a cooler fabric. I just wish they didn't wrinkle as soon as the drier turns off.

KneadToKnow
05-20-2011, 02:19 PM
I am a sheet snob.

Please don't take this personally, but I laugh now when I hear someone describe themselves this way.

I dated a girl for a while who was very snobby about sheets, to the point that she turned her nose up at the sheets I had at the time and bought me a set of "excellent" sheets with some absurdly high thread count.

Well, the "excellent" sheets she bought me literally gave me rug-burns. They were horrible. I got rid of them almost as fast as I got rid of her.

Moonlitherial
05-20-2011, 02:25 PM
No pilling at all. I buy 100% Egyptian or Puma cotton sheets. I am a sheet snob.

Please don't take this personally, but I laugh now when I hear someone describe themselves this way.

I dated a girl for a while who was very snobby about sheets, to the point that she turned her nose up at the sheets I had at the time and bought me a set of "excellent" sheets with some absurdly high thread count.

Well, the "excellent" sheets she bought me literally gave me rug-burns. They were horrible. I got rid of them almost as fast as I got rid of her.

A way to get the most benefit from expensive sheets without spending a lot of money - buy super high thread count pillow cases. *note* this is less dramatic if you sleep nude :)

Ellen Cherry
05-20-2011, 02:54 PM
I have a 600-thread count 100% cotton set from Marshall's that are thick and unbelievably soft. And no pills. They were about $100 for the king size, about half off the department store retail price. I love them deeply and vowed to never buy low thread counts again.

However, the sheets that came with my "bed in a bag" comforter set from BB&Beyond are really just as nice. Maybe a little thinner, but the quality is high. I haven't seen any pilling in sheets since I got some years ago as a shower gift. I think they were 140 thread count and they went straight from feeling like sleeping under a tarp to more pills than a damn pharmacy.

Both sets are about seven years old and have been in continual use.

KneadToKnow
05-20-2011, 04:37 PM
The Truth about Thread Count (http://hardtofindsheets.com/wordpress/2007/10/22/bed-sheets-the-truth-about-thread-count.htm)

FWIW

kapri
05-20-2011, 04:54 PM
I'm finding this is a problem too! I bought a nice set, really high thread count (600 or something and all cotton--although I did buy them at Ross, so . . .) and they started pilling almost immediately. This wasn't a problem in the past, and now I want to buy another set but eye all of them suspiciously. I used to think high thread count meant no pilling, but not anymore. Not anymore.

Mahaloth
05-20-2011, 09:52 PM
What is "pilling"?

ataraxy22
05-20-2011, 10:01 PM
Just use a fabric shaver to get rid of the pills.

Lynn Bodoni
05-21-2011, 12:37 AM
Pilling is when the loose ends of fibers roll together on a fabric's surface, making a lot of tiny balls or pills on it. When sheets do it, they become quite uncomfortable. On a garment, the pills are usually just extremely unattractive.

While it's possible to get rid of the pills with a fabric or even a body shaver, this weakens the material considerably.

No umlaut for U
05-22-2011, 12:20 PM
Must second the polyester problem. I'm one of those people who'll buy extra bottom sheets on clearance, since the bottom sheets wear out so much faster. Sometimes all I'll notice is "pretty color: must buy," and not the fiber content. I've never had an old-fashioned, non-blend, non-permapress sheet pill.

MeanOldLady
05-22-2011, 12:39 PM
What they said. The second-to-last bedsheets I bought from Target did not pill in three years. They bleed like all hell, and the colors actually bled on my wall (gah!), but they did not pill.

Maastricht
05-22-2011, 12:58 PM
I heard, but I donīt know it it is true, that washing sheets together with towels will cause the towels to roughen up the other laundry. A good terrycloth towel does scratch oneīs skin, so maybe there is some truth to it. Most people will wash sheets and towels together, as they are both white.

You could try washing your sheets separately and see if that helps.

kapri
05-22-2011, 01:16 PM
I buy only 100% cotton sheets and don't wash them with anything but sheets and they still pill. I can relate, Renee.

TruCelt
05-22-2011, 01:19 PM
I've had good luck with Target Shabby Chic 100% cotton. Cheap, smooth and comfy. I do miss the higher threadcounts, but that's not in the cards for the next couple of years.

gotpasswords
05-23-2011, 02:17 PM
We've had a set of sheets from BBBY on the bed for almost a solid year with weekly washing and they've not pilled a bit. We went to get more last week as we were tired of the color, but sadly, that particular brand had been discontinued, so no point in trying to recall what kind they were other than they're in the 400-count range. We got another of their many house-brands and have our fingers crossed.

There's been a huge crisis in the cotton world with entire countries' production being wiped out due to floods or draughts. For the past year or so, the mass clothing industry (eg: everyday brands like Hanes, Wrangler, Levi, Fruit of the Loom) has been valiantly trying to keep prices down. Unfortunately, if the price of raw cotton has doubled, about all they can do is use less (lighter-weight fabrics) or use a lesser grade of fiber. Undoubtedly, this contributes to products just not wearing and lasting as well as they used to.

lindsaybluth
05-23-2011, 08:17 PM
See, we have an organic cotton set from target, have had them about 4 months, and they're starting to pill a little, too. Not as bad as the ones we got from Kohls (which I just returned yesterday, they were intolerable.).

Huh, that's so strange. I'm sorry they didn't work out for you. I'm also surprised - I'm like a *magnet* for pilling sheets, so I thought for once I had the answer!

I wanted to give you a recommendation from my mother, the ultimate sheet snob (what she pays for sheets is literally unprintable) but she has so many good sets - 7, 8 maybe? - that they never get enough use for me to say they don't pill. None of them pill, but when you only use a set 6 times a year it's not like real usage for everyone else!

Oh - Renee - are you washing your towels with your sheets? If so, that's a big no no....wash your sheets alone or with plain tshirts and the like.

ETA: Just echoed/confirmed what Maatricht said.

Magiver
05-23-2011, 08:41 PM
Does the type of wash machine matter? Do the new side loaders pill the sheets like the old top loader with rotating paddle?

Renee
05-23-2011, 08:55 PM
We haven't been washing towels with the sheets, and our washer and dryer are the fancy-pants front loading type, only about a year old, so I don't think it's that. I ended up buying some percale weave sheets from Wal-Mart today (because I was there, they said "percale" on them, they're a cute print, and I know Wal-mart won't give me any shit about taking them back if they fall apart). I've kept the receipt and the packaging, I'll report back in a few months and let you all know how it goes. I appreciate all the input, thank you!

lindsaybluth
05-23-2011, 10:01 PM
Does the type of wash machine matter? Do the new side loaders pill the sheets like the old top loader with rotating paddle?

Can't say I've noticed a difference personally...I use an old top loader 90% of the time but perhaps someone can jump in with the experience of front loader exclusively.

I'll report back in a few months and let you all know how it goes. I appreciate all the input, thank you!

Yay :) I love hearing the "results" from threads.

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