Over the years, I have spent way too much in an attempt to furnish bedrooms and bathrooms with high-quality towels and bedding. What I have discovered through a lot of trial and error is that a high price does not always guarantee great results.
Today I want to tell you about my picks for the best inexpensive bath towels, mattress pad and down (the real deal) comforter. For links to all the products mentioned here, visit http://www.everydaycheapskate.com/besttowels.
TOWELS. I'm sure you won't be surprised to learn that when it comes to towels, my husband and I are both very picky. They can't be too thin, but they can't be too thick, either. Towels need to be 100 percent cotton, which is highly absorbent. We're not into bath sheets, preferring our bath towels to be somewhere around 30 inches by 56 inches. They need to be soft and able to handle hot washes and vinegar rinses in the laundry. And they must be durable — long-lasting without falling apart.
My pick for best inexpensive bath towels is Lands' End's 100 percent Supima combed cotton towels, hand towels and washcloths. These are amazing towels — often on sale, with discount codes quite plentiful. They do not shrink, launder beautifully and look gorgeous hanging in the bathroom. These towels come singly or in sets and in a choice of 15 colors, including white. Price for a six-piece set: about $75.
MATTRESS PAD. I want mattress pads to fit well — like a fitted sheet, with elastic all the way around that hugs the mattress tightly — and be able to accommodate the mattress plus a topper, if that ever were to become necessary. They need to be soft and quilted to hold the filling in place so they don't get all bunchy.
Hanna Kay's extra-deep hypoallergenic quilted mattress pads are fabulous and come with a 10-year warranty. I have these on all of the beds in our home. Our guests routinely compliment us on the very comfortable beds and how well they sleep here. Great sheets plus a great mattress pad and luxury down comforter come together to offer wonderful, restful sleep! Price: $25-$30.
DOWN COMFORTER. Pacific Coast makes the best real down comforters, in my opinion, and it does this right in the USA. I love that. Over the years, we've tested several weights and found that we prefer the lightweight option, which has a thread count of 300 and a fill power of 550. This down comforter is well-constructed, so the down stays well-distributed without allowing the soft, fluffy down to escape. The nature of authentic down is that it keeps you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Aah, pure luxury! Price: $130-$190.
Mary invites questions, comments and tips at [email protected], or c/o Everyday Cheapskate, 12340 Seal Beach Blvd., Suite B-416, Seal Beach, CA 90740. This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of www.DebtProofLiving.com, a personal finance member website and the author of "Debt-Proof Living," released in 2014. To find out more about Mary and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.