Life Is Too Short to Sleep On Low Thread-Count Sheets


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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.

Overstock.com, Inc.

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.

How about you? What are your thoughts on the quality of sleep and its effects on your productivity? Would you justify spending more on bedding in the hopes of being able to work better and earn more? Or forget it and just stick with the double shot of espresso for breakfast?

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10 thoughts on “Life Is Too Short to Sleep On Low Thread-Count Sheets”

  1. Great article.

    We never subject quality over price. We have tried too many times with failure.

    So when it comes to our sleep, we’ve learned (and yes this was the hard way) to spend for quality not cost.

    A bad nights sleep definitely affects my work performance.

    In my job that is a fatal error.

  2. We just bought a new mattress – a Stearns & Foster. It’s a pillow topper and we added a nice down comforter and high thread count sheets. I’d say I’ve made a few more dollar off productivity as a result. And even if I didn’t there’s nothing like it on a rainy Saturday morning!

  3. Nearly two years into our marriage, and the hubby and I are still sleeping on the old queen mattess I got as a castoff from my folks when I was 16 (I’m 29 now… and it was 15+ when I got it). We’re shored it up as best we can and are saving for the holy grail of mattresses for our 2nd anniversery. Its importent – but other things have come first.

    That being said?

    We have 800 thread count sheets. Even when camping!

    Everyone has a differing set of priorites I suppose.

  4. We spend 1/3 of our life in bed. I say a mattress isn’t something we should be stingy over.

    We did, however, get a 2nd hand high-end mattress to save some money.

  5. Ever since Oprah started singing the virtues of high thread count sheets a few years ago, I’ve never looked back. I can’t imagine sleeping on ordinary…um, scratchy, sheets ever again.

  6. When it comes to bedding I learned long ago that better quality is actually cheaper in the long run. Better quality bedding will hold up better and give much more comfort along the way. Loosing sleep on a lousy mattress and poor quality sheets is just not worth it.

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