Hotel Quality at Home

Hotel Quality at Home

What’s one thing you do right away when you enter your hotel room for the first time?  I typically throw open the curtain to look at the view, take a peek at the minibar, and then jump on the bed!  I am obsessed with the feel and look of hotel bedding. It’s clean, modern, crisp and so luxurious.  So, when my friends at Thomas Lee Sheets invited me to try a set of their 500 thread count cotton percale sheets I said, “Yes!” I am a professional sleeper so this was my kind of challenge!

Several years ago Mr. Twist and I went shopping for a new mattress. As we walked into the store we both laughed saying, “And, we are not getting the old people adjustable bed!” What did we order? A King-sized adjustable bed.  Why?  The bed comes with two twin XL memory foam mattresses so we can each adjust our sleep position – perfect for Mr. Twist who snores. I toss and turn a lot at night so by having my own mattress he isn’t disturbed by my movement in bed. And memory foam adjusts to the contour of our body; he likes a firm mattress, I prefer a softer bed. We also considered the adjustable bed a good investment as we gracefully age when the time comes when it’s a little difficult to get out of bed. Twin XL means I have to also shop for sheets that will fit our type of bed. Usually, a twin XL set comes with one fitted sheet, one top sheet, and one pillowcase (this always gets on my nerves, do they not think I might sleep with two pillows!).  Thomas Lee Sheets let me select the sheets I needed and I ordered two sets of their luxury percale 100% cotton sheets in King size for split mattress adjustable beds.  While I waited for my order to arrive, I researched their company.

White percale sheets

Two things stood out to me right away: woman-owned and US-made.  Thomas Lee Sheets is a woman-owned, operated, and woman-manufactured company. Owned by Elizabeth Zook, a full-time working mother with three children, Elizabeth leads a dedicated team of operations and marketing professionals all of whom are working mothers. Rounding out the team is Elizabeth’s manufacturing partner, also a woman-owned company, in India that offers free, on-site school and medical care for all employees.

Fifteen years ago, Thomas Lee Sheets began searching for cotton percale sheets like the ones we grew up with; cool, crisp, and the kind that gets softer over time. They couldn’t find any they wanted to put on their beds; too thin, too scratchy, full of chemicals, the list went on and on. Thomas Lee Sheets wasn’t born overnight, and theirs isn’t a story where they had a great idea and six months later their product was on the shelf at a retailer. TLS didn’t want to make sheets that just felt great; they also wanted to make sheets they felt great about making, and thus began Thomas Lee Sheets. First, they found the absolute best US-grown cotton in the Southwestern United States. When they looked for a manufacturing partner, their search took them overseas to India, where they found a woman-owned textile manufacturer who worked with them to create their hand-crafted, small-batch cotton percale. This proved to be a challenge. They were forced to reimagine the textile manufacturing process from start to finish by eliminating harsh chemicals, using wind-power and recycled rainwater, and focusing on quality without compromising their ethical or product standards. Seamstresses are brought in to finish their sheets by hand, making them both luxurious and durable. The result is their signature percale bedding different than anything else you’ve put on your bed because they are.

Okay, so I am sold on the company but how about the sheets?  My box arrived beautifully packaged in clear, zippered pouches. I noticed the feel right away as I tossed them in the washer. They offer a Cotton Percale recipe for washing – machine wash cold using 1/4 the recommended amount of your favorite detergent as too much soap will make your sheets feel scratchy. And rinse in cold water. Tumble dry on low to help the sheets retain their softness and never use fabric softener or bleach as they weaken the cotton fibers.  Remove your sheets immediately and smooth them as you fold. You can iron your sheets (if that’s your thing) while they are still slightly damp. The best part – percale gets softer every time you wash it!

Hop over to my Instagram for a fun reel on how I made my bed with these sheets. I was giddy making my bed because of the luxury quality of my new sheets. Here’s what a noticed:

  1. These are NOT cheap, tiny sheets. The pockets are deep so it was easy to tuck in all four corners. See my mitered corners!  No wrestling with the mattress.
  2. The sheets are generously sized. You know when you try to tuck at the end of the bed negotiating coverage at the top and bottom so your entire body is covered? I had plenty of fabric on all four sides.
  3. The top sheet is King-sized!  No more messing with two different top sheets. I wasn’t expecting this at all. Genius!
  4. Beautiful stitching and large hems are perfect for monogramming the pillowcases.
Thomas Lee Sheets

Okay. So I am super pleased with how lovely my bed looked all made up. But, the real test – how did I sleep?  I took a nice hot shower, put on my favorite jammies, and tucked myself under the covers. I instantly felt like I was in a hotel. The sheets were bright white, soft, crisp, polished, and elegant. I learned in doing my research that percale is a weave, not a fabric, and that weave helps it regulate the temperature at night which is perfect for my post-menopausal body. I sleep with two fans on even in the winter.  I did notice I felt very comfortable all night and I woke up feeling like I was in a five-star resort.

Melissa Austin_weeks

Here’s my final review. If you add up that an average person sleeps for 8 hours in a day, that means that person will sleep for 229,961 hours in their lifetime or basically one-third of their life. That’s like watching Die Hard 105,325 times (source). If I am going to spend one-third of my life sleeping, I am going to do it on sheets that make me feel like I am sleeping in a hotel. Boom. I have worked too hard in my life to waste it on sleeping on the cheap sheets (like watching your favorite team from the cheap seats!). 

Check out their website where they also offer lovely products like duvets, sheet separates, pillowcases, pillows, coverlets, and more. Thomas Lee Sheets are made for people who appreciate the finer things in life. #ThomasLeeForMe.


About Melissa Austin-Weeks

Hospitality is in my DNA. I founded Home with a Twist, a daughter’s twist on her mother’s traditions, in memory of my mother to celebrate her life and the gifts she shared with me. Mother loved to celebrate life’s occasions – big and small.

She taught me how to prepare fabulous food, entertain guests with style and design a traditional home with a pop of color and a splash of animal print. Share my fondness of blending Mother’s mid-century style with a modern spin.

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