Life is too short to sleep on low thread-count sheets.
– Leah Stussy
I came across this thought-provoking quote the other night while looking up quotes for my Tumblr page (where I am collecting sayings I come across or that describe my mood on a particular day) and thought it would make a great topic for a blog post.
This quote addresses the frugal-liver’s age-old dilemma of price versus quality. Oftentimes, we are so used to saving money that we automatically go for what costs the least. But with experience, we learn that there is a price to pay for low-priced things. And that price is quality.
So most of us learn to balance price and quality and learn when it is prudent to pinch pennies, and when it’s not. The question of thread-count, however, had never really crossed my mind. In the past several years, whenever shopping for bed linens, we’ve always stuck to the Mainstay and Martha Stewart section of the department and picked out the most affordable (but attractive) sets.
When we moved to California from Hawaii (where we reluctantly disposed of our 12 year old childhood mattresses), in the name of frugality, instead of buying mattresses we opted for a foam mattress top pad wrapped inside a comforter. This “mattress” was set on top of a pallet we constructed of slats of pine boards spaced 4 inches apart and fitted into our bed frames. We were quite pleased with ourselves for having solved our mattress dilemma for a mere $30 per person.
As you can no doubt guess, this isn’t the most comfortable set up for an optimal night’s sleep. After a while, our “mattresses” began to sink between the slats, which can sometimes make for uncomfortable sleeping. (This arrangement is, however, very convenient if you move a lot as it is light and easily disassembled for DIY moving.) As we have accumulated comforters over the years, I have added an extra layer around my foam pad, and when the slats begin to feel very prominent, I lift up my “mattress” and give it a little fluffing to revive it.
While we never meant for this arrangement to be permanent, we have slept in this fashion for over 5 years now. I have complained more than once about this slightly uncomfortable arrangement over the years and talked of buying a real mattress. But I always come to the same conclusion: that we have done with it for x years and are doing just fine, so why spend all the money and go through the hassle of shopping for, purchasing and arranging delivery of actual mattresses?
I wrote a post several months ago titled Early to bed and early to makes a man [or woman] healthy, wealthy and wise wherein I talked about the effects of a good night’s sleep on one’s productivity and health. So this quote got me thinking that perhaps spending more on higher quality bedding that promotes better rest could enhance and improve one’s quality of life, work and health.
For example, think about the last time you slept in a nice hotel bed with a firm mattress, fluffy pillows and crisp, heavy linens and how relaxing and restful it was to lie and sleep on it. If every night’s sleep at home could be like that, imagine how much better you could feel, and as a result be more productive and feel better throughout the day.
I’m not saying that I’m going right out and buy myself some fancy Cloud 9 (or whatever they’re called) mattress, 900 thread-count sheets and feather pillows. But the next time I shop for bedding, I will consider the possibility that spending a little more for quality might pay for itself by giving me a better night’s sleep so that I can be optimally rested and alert for a good day’s work each day.