Are Expensive Sheets Worth It? They Might Have More Benefits Than You Think
Like many others, I have a giant bundle of assorted fitted sheets, duvet covers, and pillow cases somewhere in my closet — and exactly none of them fall into the expensive bedding category. Though I can't be sure of many of their origins, odds are they're from a Target trip my first week of college, a random Amazon purchase, or that time I had to buy new sheets after my new puppy peed all of over my bed. Even though it clearly hasn't been a priority, owning luxurious bedding has always been something of a goal of mine. When Nollapelli offered to send its $300 sheet set — a set that the brand claims can moderate body temperature and support healthy skin while you sleep — for me to try out, I was all about it.
There is something about crawling into a super fancy set of sheets to end your day that makes you feel like you have your life together. But I won't say I wasn't at least a little skeptical of Nollapelli's price tag and claims. I'd heard about the benefits of silk pillowcases for hair and skin, but a non-silk sheet set that would benefit your entire body seemed like a bit of a stretch. I decided to test out Nollapelli's sheet set for 30 days to see if it really did make a difference, or if I was going to be perfectly happy with sticking with my bundle of old sheets in the closet.
Allison Howard, the founder of Nollapelli, has a chemical engineering background and used her expertise to develop the brand and its products. According to the Nollapelli website, the sheets' fabric is made from "a patent-pending combination of natural and synthetic yarns." It also goes on to explain that each of the yarns was hand-picked based on their unique benefits for both skin and sleep.
This particular combination of natural and synthetic yarns creates two different "faces" of the fabric. The side that touches your skin is "designed to stay dry, cool, and smooth" and the outward-facing side's goal is to "absorb and quickly dissipate any moisture" from the body.
The brand claims that this dual-sided effect allows the sheets to regulate temperature and friction, balance moisture, and "create a better environment for your skin."
According to Dr. Nada Elbuluk, Assistant Professor of Dermatology at USC Keck College of Medicine, there is some evidence that certain materials (Elbuluk notes satin and silk, in particular) "could help prevent formation or deepening of fine lines/wrinkles in facial skin that could occur from remaining in a certain position for hours at a time while sleeping." However, Elbuluk went on to say in an email to Bustle that other behaviors like sun exposure or smoking have a "much more powerful effect" on skin in comparison to sleeping conditions.
Another dermatologist, Dr. Kenneth Howe of Wexler Dermatology, tells me that while the sheets would have benefits for sleep quality, the main "benefit would be primarily one of comfort" rather than "some deep medical effect" that would alter the structure or appearance of the skin.
While the brand's website doesn't expand any further on exactly how the sheets will make you feel, two sleep experts I spoke to confirmed that quality of sheets can certainly have an effect on one's sleep.
"The quality of the bedding we choose is extremely important to create a sleep environment that is conducive to sleep," sleep coach Ingrid Prueher tells me over email. "If our body temperature rises too much or drops significantly our discomfort will have us tossing and turning all night."
Before trying out the Nollapelli sheets, I often struggled with waking up multiple times in the middle of the night — usually because I was too hot or too cold. I also struggled with my skin sometimes looking a little extra creased or wrinkled in the morning (especially around my chest and neck, since I'm a side sleeper). I was curious to see if Nollapelli's unique fabric would change that.
To kick off the 30 days, I swapped out my sheets for the Nollapelli set and two of the Nollapelli pillow cases. We all know that even when it comes to average bedding, there is no better feeling than crawling into a bed with fresh sheets. Getting into bed with the new Nollapelli sheets felt like that but even better.
The sheets are cool to the touch without feeling cold or uncomfortable. And, somehow, at the same time, they kept me warm. It felt like getting into the best hotel bed of all time — except it was my bed, which is always better in my opinion.
As the weeks passed, though, what I really noticed about the sheets is that they appeared to drastically improve my quality of sleep. I woke up less throughout the night during the time I had the sheets on my bed, and when my alarm went off I felt more rested. Even though they felt great, I somehow had an easier time than ever getting out of bed in the morning. They weren't necessarily the softest sheets I've ever felt, but they were certainly the coolest to the touch. Still, though, they managed to seem cozy. After 30 minutes or an hour in bed, my body stayed at the perfect temperature — not too cold, not too hot. Unlike past experiences, I didn't find myself waking up with one leg outside of the covers to try to cool down, or looking for another blanket to pile on top of my duvet.
Now, as for the quality of my skin, I still noticed the usual winter dryness on my arms and legs (though my face did feel slightly less dry than usual). This didn't shock me since I tested the sheets out in February. While I didn't notice a drastic difference when it came to my skin, the improvement in the quality of sleep was good enough to convince me that I couldn't go back to my old sheets anytime soon.
The Final Verdict
Do I think everyone needs to spend $300 (or $325, if you sleep in a king-sized bed) to get a great night's sleep? Probably not, and it's certainly not something that experts say is totally necessary.
"I have found reasonable bedding options that are under $300," Prueher says, explaining outrageously expensive bedding is not necessary for good sleep. And there are indeed temperature-regulating sheet options that are under $300.
However, have I ever slept on a sheet set as nice as Nollapelli's Signature Set? Also no. I probably wouldn't be able to justify dropping $300 every few year (this is the timeframe that's recommended for replacing bedding) on a new set, but it's definitely something I would add to birthday or Christmas lists. It's the perfect balance of luxurious and practical, which is the best kind of gift if you ask me. And if I had some disposable income, I think they would be close to the top of my list in terms of household investments — even if they didn't totally change how my skin felt. And Prueher agrees.
"When we look at our expenses, spending a couple of hundred to attain blissful sleep is absolutely worth the investment," Prueher explains. "Sleep is the foundation of health after all."