How to Choose Bed Linens for a Small Space

Monday, September 05, 2016


We recently upgraded to a queen size bed and needed to buy new sheets to fit the larger mattress. Our bedroom can be seen from our living room, so looks were important. For the feel and quality of sheets, we're percale people all the way, and we knew we wanted to buy sheets that would last for years to come. After much deliberation, we settled on School Electric Supply Co.'s Painterly Stripe Sheet Set.

Thinking about my own purchase, I realized that sheets are a big choice in a small space. While it might not seem like your bedding has anything to do with your space optimization, I would argue that it is something that can help improve the feeling of your space, and if carefully considered can save you a storage headache.

PRINT VS. PLAIN
All-white, cotton sheets are classic, and they are relatively easy to care for because you can use bleach and hot water on them, if need be. (Yes, I'm pro bleach, you can read why here.) But learn from my mistake, white sheets with colored embroidered details are not a good idea, as you cannot bleach them and they may become dingy sooner than you might like.

Sheets with an all-over pattern in multiple colors, like a floral, are, in my opinion, what will continue to look the best over many years’ time. I had a set of floral and striped Ralph Lauren sheets that lasted nearly 20 years because the pattern aged gracefully as it faded and any minor stains were hidden by the pattern.

Plain white will make your room feel airy, but a bold pattern with give your room a focal point and make it feel more designed—it’s up to you which you prefer. Personally, I lean more towards the light and airy, but small spaces can accommodate all styles.

QUANTITY
Whatever you choose, if you are short on linen storage, limit yourself to no more than two sets of sheets for each bed in your household: One to dress the bed with and a clean set to have at the ready. No extra just-in-case sheets clogging up your closets and drawers!

PALETTE
I would also suggest trying to limit your bedding color palette for each room/bed, so that the sheet sets can be mixed and matched in a pinch. For example, when we purchase a second set for our bedroom we plan to stick to grey and white. That way, I can easily swap in the duvet cover from one set if there’s an accidental spill or if I'm particularly sweaty one night and want a fresh pillowcases.

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