We Tried The Cheapest Sheets At Target. Here's How It Went

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A good set of sheets is comfortable, soft, breathable, and makes you want to curl up in bed after a long day. According to Abode Living, thread count, which most consumers look for when buying sheets, isn't necessarily the end-all-be-all when it comes to a quality set. Yet a lot of luxury brands in the marketplace try to make that exact connection, and at a high price point. 

But do you really need to spend upwards of $100 on sheets? It depends; taste, décor, personal style, and brand loyalty all play a part. To that end, we decided to get a solid answer to that question, and found the cheapest bed sheets available at one of our favorite retail stores: Target. We wanted to see if the linens could hold a candle to the more expensive options, or if we even noticed a difference. When looking through the Room Essentials collection and seeing the options of jersey, easy clean, microfiber, and cotton, we ultimately decided to go with the Microfiber Solid Sheet Set in Gray. At $22 for a king-sized set, we were ready to test it out. 

Room Essentials sheet set overview

The Room Essentials collection features household products like linens, towels, and furniture, ideal for the college student or young professional. The brand states that the price point is low without sacrificing quality, which is why it's so popular not only with students, but families as well. Being a family of four with children, we had high hopes these sheets would be good enough to use as an extra set for guests, kids, or even us when needed. The over 4,000 reviews raved about how soft and durable they were, with most customers buying them for a kid's space or a dorm room.

The set came with a fitted sheet, flat sheet, and two pillowcases. According to the Target website, the sheets are benzoyl peroxide-resistant and certified standard 100 by OEKO-TEX guidelines, which are the main selling points. We liked that the color options are solids, with linens in pink, gray, white, mint, and sapphire blue. In addition to the brushed microfiber material, the sheets also have a full perimeter elastic so they doesn't slip off the mattress easily; and with the bonus travel bag included, the $22 price point seems pretty good.

How we tested the sheets

We wanted to test the Room Essentials sheets in a way that would really give us a good idea if they would work for guests, kids, and especially us. Logically, we decided to do so on our bed — which is king-sized — and a bed that not only we sleep in, but the kids do as well. As the favorite in the home, if the linens were good enough for us, they most certainly would be appropriate for anyone else living in or visiting our house.

Before putting the linens on our bed, we made sure to clean them; washing and drying the sheets on regular heat was intentional, as we wanted to see how they would hold up without any special care. Then we made the bed with the newly-clean sheets and slept in them to see how they would do during the night and day following. We figured if they were successful at giving us a good nights rest, then the brand would work for our queen air mattress, guest bed, and kids' twin beds.

Did the set exceed expectations?

There are certain specs to look for when buying new sheets, according to Sleep Advisor, which include texture, fabric material, thread count, and various certifications. We were happy to see that the fabric was certified OEKO-TEX, which means a product is made in a way that is eco-friendly and socially responsible. 

According to the reviews at Target, customers liked how soft the Room Essential sheets were, and we definitely agree; they were super soft when we first took them out of the package, as well as when we put on the bed and slept on that night after being washed. They continued to hold onto that quality in the days following, which was a pleasant surprise. 

We also liked that there was no slippage on the fitted sheet, an annoyance that many cheaper linens have. The color was a nice gray, which is a pretty neutral and wasn't too dark or too light, so it matched with the rest of our bedroom colors. 

How could the sheets be improved?

While the Room Essentials sheets were super soft, we did notice that they wrinkled quite a bit, both when taken out of the dryer quickly, as well as days after being put on the bed. This was disappointing, as we hoped that the linens would either release a bit after some stretching and wear, but that was not the case. According to The Good Sheet there are ways to reduce wrinkling, including using low temperatures when washing and drying, which we did not do. A wrinkle-free feature would be nice to add to these sheets since they already have a green certification. 

While we did appreciate that the sheets did not slip off the mattress, we did notice that they were significantly looser in the days after putting them on; that means that although the fitted sheet didn't come off, it was slipping. We had to constantly re-adjust the fitted sheet to be a bit tighter on the corners — a minor annoyance, but still worth considering. 

The final verdict

Overall, we would definitely recommend the Room Essentials Microfiber Sheet Set to anyone looking for an extra set to keep and rotate in when needed. At a $22 price-point, the quality is decent, the fabric is durable, and the materials are eco-friendly. We also love the neutral colors the set comes in, and feel confident they would match most room designs. This is also a great set for kids transitioning to "big kid" beds while they move away from patterned, kid-friendly designs. 

While we do recommend this set as a viable option for your home, we wouldn't say they should be your only one. We still use our more expensive, high-thread count sheets as our primary set, but love that we also have this option for travel, guests, and even an air mattress. According to GhostBed, the ideal rule is to have three sets of sheets for each bed (used, washed, ready-to-use). These may have just solved that problem without costing you more than a pillow.