This is part 1 of a two part article. If you’re only looking for the percale sheet sets we recommend that are available on Amazon.com then you should skip to the second part which is here. However, if you’re looking for timely, insightful, astute and incredibly well-written shopping advice for Amazon, then read on, dear friend, read on…
Amazon.com. Almighty Amazon. What a great place. So many things under one roof. But in some ways looking for something on Amazon is like looking for a book in a library without a librarian; everything is just put here and there depending on where the last reader wanted to put it. Very little order in the process at all.
What does this have to do with shopping for percale sheets? Plenty if your shopping for said percale sheets on Amazon. Which many people are wont to do since Amazon is so awesome. However, its not surprising if people quickly became frustrated and go elsewhere. Which is really too bad because if you know what you’re looking for (we do) and you do a bit of digging (we did) you can find a number of very promising choices in the depths of the Amazon.com search engine.
Messy, messy and more messy
We’ll tell you what we found, but first we’re going to detail a few things that can help you as you shop, either at Amazon, another online store or even in a real live, honest-to-golly brick and mortar store.
(Psst… wanna just see what we recommend? Go over here. But come back and read this later, okay?)
First up – as best as we can figure (and someone please correct us if we’re wrong) Amazon lets the various sellers add whichever tags (descriptors, keywords, categories, whatever) the sellers wish to use on the item descriptions. For example if I’m selling a mechanical pencil then I would wisely put tags such as “mechanical pencil,” “automatic pencil,” retractable pencil” and various other things. Makes sense.
The problem is when sellers and marketers start to over-do it. Say I’m selling the afore-mentioned mechanical pencil and decide that I want people who are looking for any kind of writing instrument whatsoever to see my fantastic, world-breaking, toe-curling mechanical pencil. So in addition to all the variations of the concept of “mechanical pencil” I also add in tags for “pen” and “ballpoint pen.” “Pencil” of course as well as “wooden pencil.” Heck, I’ll even throw in a tag for “colored pencil” as well, just to keep things fun. Maybe even a “crayon” tag.
A crayon is not a mechanical pencil.
Two problems arise from this. Problem number one: Sellers will often throw in any tags that they think might be slightly related to what they are selling. Because they think “everyone else is doing it” soon enough everyone else is doing it. The result? That’s the second problem. Poor souls such as yourself are awash in a blinding mess of things that aren’t even actually what you are looking for.
Case in point? In preparing for this article we went to Amazon and searched in “Home and Kitchen” for “Percale Sheet Sets”. 24,000 results. Including one item which was described as percale sheets yet had a picture of an electric hot water kettle. Pillowcases – yeah, okay, understandable. Baby crib sets? No, not really. If I was looking for something for the little one, wouldn’t I have searched for “baby percale sheet sets” or even “baby crib sets”?
24,000 results for percale sheet sets and honestly, in our opinion there were maybe 24 actual results of percale sheet sets. When you have a company selling a percale sheet set but said company has an entry in the Amazon search engine for each size and color combination, isn’t that really 1 entry? When sellers have their sateen sheet sets turning up in the search results for percale sheets, (sateen sheets being clearly not percale sheets) shouldn’t Amazon do something about this?
Obviously they haven’t. But we have. We dug through as many Amazon search engine pages as we could stomach and chose what we think represents the best choices for percale sheet sets on Amazon.com. If you want to go read our recommendations right now, they are over here. But before you go, we’d like you to take a look at some of the basic things we realized people might get tripped up on when searching for percale sheets on Amazon or any other website.
So here are, in no particular order, a bunch of things you really need to be aware of and watch out for when shopping for percale sheets on Amazon (or any other website).
- Ignore the places that show super high list prices and then the super low prices that they’re selling at. Is it really possible for a company to sell sheet sets with a list price of 300 dollars for under 40 bucks? or even under 60 bucks? Aren’t they really just selling 60 dollar sheets and then lying about the original price? Do they think people are going to go “WOW! What an amazing offer. How can I not buy it when I’m saving that much money?” Unfortunately people fall for that trick all the time. Is that the kind of place you’re going to trust to make a good quality product?
- Read the reviews with a grain of salt.
- Case in Point #1 – Percale sheets are crisp. Some people who are used to sateen or silk or flannel can interpret this as “rough”. Percale sheets are fantastic because they are durable. They can last years because they don’t get all mushy after a few trips through the washer. Reviewers that say “Sheets are still rough after 20 washings” are actually saying how durable they are. “Washed once with fabric softener and it didn’t change” is a positive for the product, not a negative.
- Case in Point #2 – Percale sheets wrinkle. Knocking percale sheets because they wrinkle is like being angry at the sun for shining – it’s what the sun does. Complaining because you have to iron the sheets is not the fault of the sheets. Besides, ironing actually hastens the sheet’s demise (it breaks down the product sooner).
- If the product never mentions the word “percale” anywhere in it’s product description it more than likely isn’t percale. The whole looks-like-a-duck thing. Only the opposite.
- Ignore the high thread count when searching for percale. 200 plus is fine. Above 600 and it’s either A) not durable, B) not percale or C) not true. Or perhaps D) all of the above.
- Don’t buy the medical or institutional sheets because they’re cheap. Honestly, when has any person ever crawled into bed at a hospital and said to themselves “My, these sheets feel absolutely fantastic! I wish I could have them on my bed at home.” Yeah, the answer is never.
- Check everything before you click “Add to Cart” or buy them. This means the color and size. Often a seller will have one posting with multiple color and size options. Make sure you’re not getting California King when you wanted queen or some dreadful color. Just double check, that’s all.
- Similar to the above point but with benefits; some sellers will have reduced prices on certain colors. Try clicking through the color options to see if any are radically lower than the others. If you can live with the lower priced color you might save yourself a bit of coin.
- Not to belabor this, but make sure of what you are getting. Not about color or size this time, but about the product. For example, when searching for “percale sheet sets” you’ll also find single percale sheets. Great, but some of them are expensive. For example, you can find Calvin Klein and Coyuchi single flat or fitted sheets for over $100 on Amazon here and here. If you’re not careful and assume everything the search results turn up are actually “sheet sets,” you could buy these expecting to get a full sheet set. Quite the disappointment when the package turns up at the door with only one sheet.
- Before buying anything, measure your bed. Measure sheets you have that look nice on your bed. Write these numbers down and refer to them when you are shopping. Why? Manufacturers manufacture things to different sizes and standards and concepts. Simply clicking “buy” won’t magically guarantee the product will fit your bed. Dozens of reviews are negative because the product didn’t fit the person’s bed. Again, not really the fault of the product, is it?
- Check the pocket size of your bed. Check the pocket size. For heaven’s sake – CHECK THE POCKET SIZE!!!
- Shop according to the description of the item itself, not the picture of the item. Just because the picture looks nice and fancy doesn’t mean the product you eventually put on your bed is going to look the same. Sellers use the same pictures for many similar products. Some sellers use pictures of a sheet set when selling only a sheet. They also make mistakes. Don’t get stuck having to return something based on that.
Listen, we’re not trying to ridicule people who buy something that they don’t fully understand or get suckered into thinking what they bought is going to be phenomenal and find out it isn’t as phenomenal as they expected. We’ve all been there before at least once in our lives. We’re simply trying to help you avoid that feeling and the hassle of having to either return something you don’t like or getting stuck with something you don’t like and can’t return it. Information and temperance is the best way.
Now, with the above points in mind, do ya wanna see what percale sheet sets are good options over at Amazon? Do ya? Hunh? Do ya, do ya?
Part 2 of this article is over here. It’s got all the things we found at Amazon that we would consider buying ourselves or for the people we love.