Sunday, April 20, 2014

Kirkland Signature by Costco is lacking in the bedroom


When I shop at Costco I usually choose Kirkland Signature (KS), (which is Costco’s in-house brand), over “name brand” products because I generally find the KS products to be superior to or just as good as their brand name equivalents AND the KS brand is almost always less expensive. Sadly, this was not the case with my purchase of KS 100% Supima cotton king size sateen sheet set (item #577765).


Initially the KS sheets felt like the same silky soft KS cotton sheets I had come to love, but after a mere two washes (one wash before I put them on the bed and one wash after a week on the bed) I noticed small tears in the fitted sheet even though I had followed the washing directions on the tag, which indicated to wash in warm water (not hot) and to tumble dry on low. Disappointed, I promptly returned them to Costco and purchased the Charisma brand 100% Egyptian cotton king size sheet set (item #440441) as a replacement (which I happily noticed were actually $20 less than the KS brand king size sheet set!)

Comparing the two sheet sets to one another I noticed both the KS and the Charisma are 6-piece sets that include one fitted sheet, one flat sheet, and four king size pillowcases and both sets are 100% cotton. However, the KS is labeled Supima cotton and the Charisma is labeled Egyptian cotton, but what’s the difference between Supima and Egyptian cotton? According to Martha Stewart, Supima is like a brand name for Pima cotton, which is a fine, long-staple of cotton that yields a very soft weave. (‘Staple’ meaning the length of the individual fibers.)  And Egyptian cotton is the finest, longest-staple of all and produces an extremely soft & supple weave. Both sets are also labeled Sateen but what does that mean? Going back to Martha Stewart, Sateen refers to the way the fabric is woven. In Sateen sheets the fabric is woven in a satin weave where warp threads interlace with filling threads and the result is a lustrous, smooth, and durable fabric. My takeaway from Martha’s explanations is that Egyptian trumps Supima and Sateen trumps both Oxford and Percale.

Another difference between the sheet sets is that the KS set touts a 540-thread count versus Charisma’s 400-thread count, but what does thread count really mean? According to How Stuff Works it means the number of threads woven per square inch. For example a 100 warp (lengthwise) threads woven with 100 weft (widthwise) threads produces a thread count of 200. According to Consumer Reports (CR) a thread count of 200 is standard and a thread count of 400 can feel softer but doesn’t guarantee a better sheet. CR also cautions that claimed thread counts higher than 400 are likely to only provide a higher price tag, not a higher quality or noticeably softer sheet.

The last difference I noticed was the price. The KS king sheet set costs $69.99 while the Charisma king sheet set is only $49.99. Both sheets felt silky soft to me from the little samples on the display and having tried both at home they still felt silky soft to sleep on but the Charisma sheets, which have been through four washes now with no signs of tearing, are with out a doubt more durable. To me, paying $20 more for an additional 140-thread count is not worth it when the 540-thread count sheets don’t hold up after two washes.

I have purchased KS brand sheets in the past and I found them to be phenomenal, in fact I still have a queen size KS sheet set that has held up wonderfully over the past several years and are still in regular rotation. Yet, with my recent disappointing purchase of the KS king sheet set that fell well below my quality expectations I suspect that Costco must have switched to a different manufacturer for their sheets since I purchased the KS queen sheet set several years ago.

I guess that just goes to show you that brand loyalties can let you down, even when you’re loyal to the house brand ;)

In other sheet news, a few weeks ago I purchased a flannel king size sheet set (item #676101) at the Mount Vernon VA Costco for the rock bottom price of just $14.97! While I am dismayed that it's mid-April and we’re still using flannel sheets, I am happy to report that the new flannel sheets are warm, soft and holding up well.

It’s worth noting that all three sheet sets fit snuggly on our 14” deep mattress. (The KS and Charisma both claim to fit a mattress up to 17” deep while the flannel claims to fit only up to a 15” deep mattress.)

Note: None of these three items are available on Costco.com.


Until next time,
the Costco Connoisseur

#GoingToAllTheCostcos


P.S. - Selections and prices listed above will vary from different Costco locations.


Follow me on Twitter! @CostcoConoiseur
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31 comments:

  1. I've never tried the KS sheets! Good thing I read this post before I ever bought any. Phew! Please do a post on the Jennifer Adams sheets when there's a trunk show in town. Her sheets are like butter! I've laundered them a thousand times and they're just as fabulous as the day I got them!

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    1. Honeymoon Microfiber 4PC Bed Sheet Set from Bizarkdeal
      These are some great, super soft sheets. I got the twin size and they fit my bed perfectly. I haven't had any problems with the corners popping off like I sometimes do with certain sheets. The set includes a fitted sheet, flat sheet and two pillow cases. They're extremely comfortable and well made. I just cannot keep quiet and do not recommend this product!

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  2. Thanks for your comment! It really is a shame that the KS sheets have gone down in quality because they used to be great, but I am happy to report that the Charisma King sheet set I purchased to replace the KS King set are holding up wonderfully and seem to get softer and softer with each wash.
    According to Jennifer Adams website she has a road show this weekend at the Leesburg warehouse in Northern VA and I plan to make a trip out there to check out her products so stay tuned for a future post.

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  3. I bought a set of Kirkland sheets in 2009 which were THE BEST SHEETS I HAVE EVER OWNED. Since losing the sheets in a move, I have longed to sleep on those same sheets again, suffering serious sheet obsession and Sarah Mclaughlin eyes, and I'm so sad they're not producing the same sheet of the same quality anymore. Are the Charisma sheets just as comfortable as the 2009 Kirkland sheets?

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  4. Thanks for your comment! Sorry you lost your sheets in a move, that is so frustrating. I'm afraid neither the new KS sheets or the Charisma sheets feel exactly the same as the older KS sheets, which as you know felt quite silky. The Charisma sheets are close though so you may want to give them a try, just keep all of the packaging and your receipt and if they don't meet your standards you can return them to Costco. For an even silkier feel that might be even closer to what the older KS sheets felt like I think you might like the Jennifer Adams sheets. You can buy them on Costco.com (http://www.costco.com/Jennifer-Adams-Home-Eternal-Collection.product.100032221.html) or wait for them to come to a warehouse near you (http://www.jenniferadamshome.com/Articles.asp?ID=252). They are more expensive though ($99 for a King set) and they are made of microfiber instead of a natural fiber like cotton. But they can be returned too if you don't care for them. Good luck!

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  5. I've been desperately looking for a king size version of the Charism NON SATEEN sheets. I'm just not a fan of the silky feel of sateen and I loved the crispness of a tick cotton, like those sheets. I can find a few queen sets, but not King. :(
    Bonus though, I found your blog when I was searching for them. :)

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    1. I hope you are able to find Non-Sateen sheets that you are looking for. Unfortunately as far as I am aware the only cotton sheets sold by Costco (in store or in warehouse) all have the popular sateen weave. Perhaps try L.L.Bean who also have highly rated bedding and a wonderful return policy if you are not satisfied. Good luck!

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  6. From: a fellow Costco member from San Francisco

    Would you please tell me your long-term experience with the Charisma sheet set. I'm looking to buy a queen sheet set at costco.com or in the store, but I'm unsure whether to get the Charisma, Kirkland, or Veratex brand. The Charisma brand, as recommended by you over the Kirkland brand, have a lot of bad reviews on costco.com. Are you still enjoying the Charisma sheet set. Reviewers complained about rips, holes and quick wear-and-tear of the Charisma fitted sheet. Should I buy this brand any way because of the good return policy and cheap price ($40 queen set)?

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    1. Hi, thanks for your comment! Yes I have been very pleased with my Charisma sheet sets over the years. I have one very old set (at least 8 years old) that has developed some small holes/rips in the pillowcases where the tags are located but they are still perfectly usable and wonderfully soft from all the washings over the years. My newer Charisma set is holding up just fine and I have no complaints. As I mentioned in the post above I used to have a set of Kirkland Signature sheets I purchased many years ago that I adored, however I personally would not buy any of the current KS sheets due their poor quality. I have not tried Veratex sheets so unfortunately I cannot provide you with any feedback on that particular brand, aside from the fact that they appear to be very pricey from what I can see on costco.com. Have you tried sheets from the Jennifer Adams Eternal collection? (You can buy them on costco.com or at roadshows in warehouses.) I have a set of Jennifer Adams sheets and they are extremely durable and about half the price of the Veratex brand.
      I have four different sets of what I like to call "everyday sheets," (i.e. non-flannel/winter sheets) two Charisma, one Jennifer Adams, and one set from Vice Merchants and I rotate through those 4 sets using a different set each week. Four sets may be excessive but I think having at least more than one set and rotating them is key to making any set of sheets last.
      I hope this answers your questions and remember any brand that you buy from Costco or costco.com can be returned if you are not satisfied (just remember to hang on to your receipt)!
      Good luck :)

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    2. I've owned my Kirkland brand 540 thread count sheets (same as in picture posted) for about 10 years now. I was them at least twice a month, in various types of machines (front loaders, laundromats, top loaders) and they are still going strong. So it's possible you got the lemon of the bunch? I LOVE my sheets, they have kept me warm in the winter (after heating them up with a little body heat), and cool in the summer. Also, thankfully for Costco members, they offer a 100% money back guarantee for most purchases. Hopefully you'll give them another chance and see how awesome they are. Sorry you got a bad set! :(

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    3. Hi, thanks for your comment! I LOVE my old set of KS brand sheets, they are just the best! But they are starting to show some wear so I may try the KS again to see if they have improved since the last time I tried the "newer version" (which I did return for a full refund after they tore). Thanks for reading my blog!

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  7. Approximately, 4 years ago, I have purchased the Charisma 100% Egyptian Cotton sheet set from Costco. I love these sheets and decided to buy an additional pair last week. I washed them before I place them on the bed and when I went to sleep on them, I wasn't happy with the feel of them. Not like the ones I previousley purchased. I ended up returning the two pair I hadn't opened and asked if I could return the onces I had open and washed. Costco said I could return the opened one.
    What a dissappointment. Finally found ones I liked, now I have to go searching again.
    This is like buying a new mattress. "they just don't make them like the used to"!
    Thanks for listening!

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    1. Thanks for your comment and good luck with your search!

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  8. I just went onto Costco.com to purchase Twin sheets in the KS 540 thread count. They do not carry them. I found your post of KS vs. Charisma. Too bad! As I type, my new set of Queen size KS 540s are in the washer for the first time. Will I be returning them? Time will tell.

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    1. Thanks for your comment! Hopefully they have switched to a better manufacturer for the KS sheets and they work out for you, but if not thank goodness for Costco's generous return policy. Good luck :)

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  9. Took me time to read all the comments, but I really enjoyed the article. It proved to be Very helpful to me and I am sure to all the commenters here! It’s always nice when you can not only be informed, but also entertained!
    mattress that is cool

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    1. Thanks for your comment! Glad I could be informative and entertaining :)

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  10. Great post.I read your blog very mindfully.It is very informative . Thanks for sharing. http://www.linendrawer.co.za/bed-linen/egyptian-cotton-ranges

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  11. Glad I decided to read this blog. thought it was me I purchased the double fitted sheets 10 years ago and loved its feel well two years ago I purchased a second one only to find very soon after it had a rip I had believed this to be the original. a purchased a replacement last year well that has only been used since Christmas and now also has a rip they are washed at low temp and dried on an airer. now I will return it shame the feel is great

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    1. thanks for your comment! It is disappointing when a beloved product is changed so that it is no longer as fabulous as it once was. Hopefully Costco will take note of the number of returns they are getting and go back to better quality sheets.

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  12. Costco shocked me by not accepting a return on my KS sheets with a huge ripped area in the fitted sheet. They said we purchased three years ago, so were not returnable! very upset as I have sheets from JCPenney that are ten years old and still fine. I thought Costco would accept returns except for a 90 day policy on electronics.

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    1. Wow that does not sound consistent with Costcos Return Policy which i have linked here:
      https://customerservice.costco.com/system/templates/selfservice/costco_en_us/#!portal/200500000001002/article/200500000040287/Costco-Return-Policy
      Costco states they guarantee the satisfaction on every product they sell with only a few exceptions (see link above for full list of exceptions), but sheets do not all into any of those exceptions...
      If I were you I would go back and ask to speak to a manager or try a different Costco. You could also leave a messages on Costcos Facebook page explaining your situation - I have had great experience getting questions answered and issues resolved by communicating with Costco through their Facebook page. Good Luck!

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  13. Choosing a fabric with best patterns is a good idea for decorating our bedroom. A lot of decorating ideas for the bedroom can be got from online images and photos.

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  14. 2 years later have they changed the product or is it the same? You're the Connoisseur....how bout an update?

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  15. I loved loved loved my KS sheets in the past. I bought a king size bed recently and went to Costco and picked up 2 sets. Within 3 days the first set pilled...EVERYWHERE! I put the second set on hoping it was just a bad set. Nope. These pilled too! I seriously am so upset about it. I can't find sheets that are as silky and durable as the old KS sheets! Why would they change?!?!?!

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  16. As Kirkland Signature is now, according Costco connection, guaranteed 100% Pimacott as proven by tagging the US picked crops with SignatureDNA, I suspect EVERY sheet to be highly recommended from now on, as customers know what is on the label is 100% what they buy...

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    1. Thanks for the update! I actually need some new sheets so I will give Kirkland Signature another try and post my updated review of them :)

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  17. Hi Costco Connoisseur. Have you recently tried the KS sheets? If so, what do you think of them?

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  18. Any update on the KS sheets. I'm looking to buy new, loved the old KS sheets, but am hesitant to buy after reading they are not like they used to be. Mind you that's the same with anything.

    Thanks

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  19. Have returned two sets of Charisma Costco sheets, the fitted sheet in both sets started shredding, each sets was about 2-3 years old Will never buy Costco sheets again, they do refund, no questions asked, but I have never had that issue with much older, and less expensive, sheets.

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  20. My KS 540 TC have also gotten tears. Although I have had them for a couple of years, I feel like they should hold up longer than that. I love everything about Costco and think their quality is great! I am both surprised and disappointed in their sheets. I still have the packaging so I am folding them up and taking them back in hopes they will let me refund or exchange.

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