Recently, I decided that 25.5 years old is the age at which a woman deserves a good set of sheets—”good” meaning one that costs more than $ 40 and doesn’t come wrapped in plastic. The ones I own from Amazon and Target are just fine. But my bed—my oasis, my sanctuary, my little slice of heaven—felt deserving of better than fine. I felt deserving of better than fine.
Lucky for me, this is perhaps the best time in recorded history to need good sheets. My daily commute is dotted with advertisements showing impossibly fluffy beds that emanate warmth, even if they’re just photographs. I spend my train ride staring at Brooklinen ads, and then I step out of the subway station and am immediately confronted with signs for Parachute. The bedding all looks equally nice, and I was at a complete loss when it came time to pick.
So I tried them both. Brooklinen and Parachute share a few things in common: Both are direct-to-consumer home brands, sell at similar price points, use organic materials…and make me daydream about crawling back into bed during my commute.
But the bedding feels and looks different. I’ll break down the nitty-gritty details, but the TL;DR is that Parachute doesn’t believe in the top sheet. You can add one to any set, but the default packages come with a fitted sheet, pillowcases, and duvet cover. Parachute sets also cost about $ 150 more, on average, than Brooklinen. And while Parachute only has solid colors, Brooklinen has a few fun prints to make your bed even cuter.
Despite their differences, both brand’s bedding fulfilled my need for grown-up sheets. Mission accomplished.
First Up: A Classic Staple
A quick primer on how sheets are made. There are two common weaves: The first, percale, is a simple stitch pattern associated with a lightweight and crisp feel. If you’ve ever seen bedding that appears perfectly disheveled, with little peaks and folds falling just so, you’re probably looking at percale.
The Classic Hardcore Sheet Bundle costs $ 210 for a queen-size set (the size of my bed) and is crisp to the touch. The fabric is 270 thread count organic cotton, slightly low for what’s considered “good,” but it’s also probably why they’re so airy and breathable. I thought these would be too light for winter, but I was wrong. My room is extremely warm, thanks to my overzealous radiator, and these keep me cool all night long. They are my new staples.
My rating: 5/5
Parachute’s Percale Venice Set costs $ 379 and includes a fitted sheet, duvet cover, and pillowcases, plus the top sheet I added, because I’m not a monster. It also gives you an added feel-good bonus: For each one you buy, Parachute donates a malaria bed net to a country in sub-Saharan Africa. Thread count is not listed, based on the argument that it’s not an ideal way to discern quality—but these feel ever-so-slightly thicker than Brooklinen’s. They’re still extra-soft, drape beautifully on my bed, and keep me from sweating in my super hot room.
My rating: 4.5/5
If you want a classic, all-season percale set, go with Brooklinen. Both sheets feel incredible and get the job done in terms of keeping me cozy and not sweaty. But unless you just really love to spend money, Parachute’s don’t feel $ 169 better.
Next: Shiny, Fancy Sateen
OK, so the other common sheet weave is sateen, which is known for being a little bit heavier, hugging the body more, and being more shiny than matte—not like, face grease-level shine, but not as matte as percale. I was a long-time sateen hater, because I thought (wrongly) that they’d make me too hot. These sets completely turned me. Sateen should be in your regular rotation.
Even though they were super soft right when I opened them, I followed the instructions and washed them before making my bed. Brooklinen’s Luxe Hardcore Bundle is the brand’s best seller, at $ 243 for a queen set, and it lives up to the hype. At 480 thread count, they’re definitely heavier than the percale. I kicked off the duvet the second night I slept under these. But they have other benefits—they feel, essentially, like softened butter. I was also surprised by how much I liked the slightly shinier look. This bedding made my room look fancier.
My rating: 4/5
I once again opted in for the top sheet, which brings Parachute’s Sateen Venice Set to $ 439 for a queen size. That’s a lot more than my old, cheap sateen bedding, which I promptly threw out after sleeping on these for one night. Guys. These are. The softest sheets. I’ve ever felt. Have you ever been outside on a nice day and realized the temperature was so perfect that you couldn’t even feel the air around you? That’s what lying in these feels like. I didn’t wake up sweaty or kick off my comforter. The only bad thing is I never want to leave them.
My rating: 5/5
Even though they cost almost half a month’s rent (in NYC, at least), I can’t recommend Parachute enough. Don’t get me wrong—both brands are amazing and instantly will make your room look more grown-up. Something about the shinier look is just FANCY. But if you want something that feels truly luxurious, Parachute set is your best bet.
Last, But Not Least: Linen
Does anyone really need linen sheets? No. Does that mean you don’t want them? Of course not. Something about the fabric’s slightly undone look—like the bedding equivalent of the perfectly messy bun—is just so appealing. And linen is kind of a super material: It wicks away moisture by retaining more water than traditional cotton can, so they’re a worthy investment if you sweat a lot or have a partner who sweats a lot.
Brooklinen’s Linen Hardcore Bundle costs $ 423 for a queen and is made from 100 percent linen. Though they come pre-washed and dried, I washed them beforehand anyway. I also made sure to fold and get them on my mattress super fast, because the fabric, ICYMI, is prone to wrinkling. The first night, my bed looked dreamy and amazing. These feel really soft, though not as soft as cotton, and definitely keep me cool. But by nights two and three, they were creasing and wrinkling a bit more than I liked, and my fitted sheet was moving around a lot. Also, linen snags more than cotton does. So if you have a pet who likes to sleep with you, think twice about these.
My rating: 3.5/5
At $ 529 for a queen, Parachute’s Linen Venice Set officially costs more than half my rent. But once again, I was blown away. The way I rationalize the steep cost is that I’ll probably only use these in the summer, which will prolong their lifetime. Parachute recommends replacing your bedding when it starts showing signs of aging, like frayed hems or stains, but if that stuff doesn’t bother you, I don’t see why you can’t keep these forever. Out of the box, Parachute’s set was softer than Brooklinen’s. They feel equally cool and airy, and I didn’t wake up with even a drop of sweat on my body. One big plus: Parachute doesn’t get as wrinkly. I also noticed the fitted sheet stayed in place better. I’d still recommend keeping your pet out of these, if only because at this price, wrecking them would be sad.
My rating: 4/5
This is a toss-up. Brooklinen’s linen set is $ 150 cheaper, but the fitted sheet moving around is frustrating. Parachute’s stayed in place better and wrinkled less, but spending more than $ 500 is hard. This is your call, knowing that you probably don’t need them. But I can attest they feel extremely nice and cool.
OK, So: Brooklinen or Parachute?
It really depends on what you’re looking for.
Brooklinen is best for people who want basic, not-too-expensive, but still very good sheets. For percale, Brooklinen is the way to go—there’s no real need to spend Parachute money on such a classic weave. Plus, if you prefer to stock up on several sets, Brooklinen is your friend, since it’s considerably cheaper. You probably won’t miss the extra quality Parachute provides. Finally, Brooklinen feels especially geared toward people like me—twentysomethings in big cities who move around a lot—due to its branding, array of patterns, and reasonable pricing for such high quality.
But having had the luxury of comparing both brands to each other, I can’t deny how luxurious Parachute feels. I felt like a fancy bitch every single night I slept on them. I don’t see the benefit in spending almost $ 400 on the percale set, but sateen is worth the investment. Seriously, softest sheets ever. I’ll sleep in them until they disintegrate into dust, and then buy another set. Parachute is best for people who want their bed to be the nicest place in their home. The solid, muted colors are all very adult-looking and go very well with the mid-century furniture that’s so very en vogue right now.
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