My bed throughout college and beyond was a plush, dense jungle of layers and textures that I could get lost in, but that's apparently not how "adults" outfit their beds. I had thought that by giving up my jersey cotton in favor of percale and Egyptian, I would never be satisfied. Man, was I wrong.
Up until last year, I hadn't realized that I had truly been limiting myself in my most sacred space. My skin had become accustomed to densely woven sheets that could handle the intense wash of a commercial machine and had worn themselves into the perfect texture of a vintage t-shirt. But that's not all that's out there, and shouldn't be the gold standard in anyone's mind of softness. So, I grew up.
Finally having sheets that don't pill or stick to my legs in the summer like a damp tank top was eye-opening. I'm here to tell you, it's worth the extra coin and the extra time searching for the brand and fabric you enjoy, rather than quickly finding something at Target and plopping it into your shopping cart.
By now, you've probably been exposed to brands like Brooklinen, Parachute, and Boll & Branch. In the boom of DTC, direct-to-consumer, these bedding brands made millennials feel like they owed it to themselves to splurge on sheets and comforters that would not only last a long time, but didn't involve traditional retail. It was a win-win.
Parachute now offers an expanded, customizable sheet set, perfect for the heathens than don't use top sheets (don't @ me), while Brooklinen and Boll & Branch both just launched a new line of linen sheets. There's also Bear Mattress that has very soft, very durable sateen sheets, if that's something you're into. Plus, their pillow is pretty great.
On the organic front, Alterra Pure does organic, fair-trade percale sheets that promise hotel-quality after two washes, while Ettitude opts for bamboo lyocell sheets for a breathable night's sleep (and bamboo lyocell PJ sets that look crazy comfortable).
The other thing I highly recommend doing is investing in a comforter that you really, really love. A lot of them are over $100, but you won't regret spending the money on something you spend basically half your day underneath. Buffy created my current favorite comforter, but The Company Store and internet mattress darling Casper, who also now makes sheets, produce some really great comforters and duvet inserts as well.
You shouldn't live under the guise that spending money on bedding is a waste of money. Why would you want to sacrifice on the material you rest your head on at the end of a long work day? It's the last thing you feel before falling asleep and the first thing you feel when you wake up, so why not enjoy it?