You'll never want to leave your bed. Trust me.

By Susan Brickell
October 09, 2018

Having moved about eight times in my life, I've found that an easy way to make a rental space feel fresh and new is by updating your bedding. But after several months, I often find that cheaper sheet sets pill or just don't last.

Over the years, I've tried linens from countless different retailers. So when I was given the opportunity to test a set of organic bed sheets from home textile newcomer Alterra Pure, I jumped at the opportunity. We spend a third of our lives in bed, so investing in sheets that are going to help you get your best sleep is crucial. 

I received the Alterra Pure Organic Cotton Percale Sheet Set in the mail, and even the box that the set comes in gave me a hint at what was to come: quality. (What a chic little box!) I immediately noticed the pretty (yet subtle) red and blue threads that lined the top of the sheet. Nice touch. These babies were super simple, but still looked way more elevated than my basic white bedding.

The one downside was that they felt unusually crunchy, which made me slightly skeptical. Would they feel scratchy like sandpaper, or offer cloud-like comfort?

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When a hotel buys new Percale sheets, they wash and dry their sheets twice before using. The Alterra Pure packaging suggests doing the same; the first wash cleans and tightens the yarns, while the second wash relaxes those same yarns for a coveted heirloom feel. The sheets will continue to soften with each additional wash while retaining their structural integrity. Much like a new pair of jeans, the brand says you'll find them to be a bit stiff at first, but once you wash and use them, they get better with time.

After washing and drying my new sheets and pillowcases twice and making the bed with them, it was time to test them out. Let it be known that I'm a hot sleeper. Some nights I'll wake constantly because I'm overheating. With these, I felt strangely cool and comfortable, and slept through the night without becoming a total sweat factory.

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The reason? Percale is a lightweight, breathable fabric with a crisp, cool feel, making it a particularly great choice for warmer sleepers. This type of fabric is perfect for both summer and winter, when your apartment heat is cranking. By draping a duvet with a heavier insert for winter on top of your sheets, you're guaranteed to stay toasty. Also good: The sheets that were once crunchy like newspaper felt soft against my skin. I was hooked.

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The company, which was launched this year by former executives from Patagonia and Technica, is hoping to bring sustainability and transparency to the home and fabric industry. They've collaborated with farms in India to practice regenerative agriculture, which means that the farms recycle, treat, and reuse water (rainwater to be exact) for production. Alterra also verifies the organic content at the fiber and finished stages, pays fair trade wages, and utilizes an eco-friendly LEED certified factory. 

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One note: If you like a completely wrinkle-free bed, these might not be for you. The company purposefully chose to not use certain chemicals inherent to “wrinkle-free” sheets, keeping the fabric as pure and organic as possible. I took them straight from the dryer to my bed, and they were only a little crinkled, which didn't bother me. They appeared cozy and lived-in. You can also remove your sheets from the dryer when they’re still slightly damp and lay them out flat over the bed for final drying.

My new go-to Alterra Pure Organic Cotton Percale Sheet Set ($125 and up; amazon.com) comes in off-white or pebble gray and in twin, queen, king, and California king sizes. Pair the set with the matching organic cotton duvet cover with its coconut button closures for a clean, sophisticated bed that you'll never want to leave.

 

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