IT IS SAID that we spend approximately 33% of our lives asleep. As I get older, this is a percentage I try to increase, which means taking every opportunity to optimize my sleep situation. A new bed, purring sound machines, down comforters and weighted blankets, high-end memory foam mattresses, satin sleep masks, a cool mist vaporizer parked bedside — all of this slumber-themed ephemera sets the stage, but it’s all for naught without the perfect linens. While there is no shortage of options (percales, sateens, and cottons with impossibly high thread counts), a set of sheets from Pratesi — long considered the gold standard of luxury linens — is basically the ultimate purchase when it comes to setting the stage for a perfect night’s sleep.
Founded in 1906, the first Pratesi boutique opened in the seaside town of Forte dei Marmi, near Tuscany. By the 1940s the Italian linen makers had expanded to a flagship store in Milan and, not long after, they went global. Pratesi would eventually become the standard-bearer for luxury bedding, outfitting rooms in the world’s finest hotels and catering to a devoted coterie of celebrity clients. My favorites are from Pratesi’s Tre Righe collection, which was originally commissioned for Coco Chanel’s Paris apartment in 1927. The hand-hewn sheets and pillowcases are characterized by their signature embroidery — three crisp lines along the perimeter of the bedding — and are famous for the incredible soft Egyptian cotton percale from which they are made, known as Angel Luxe.
For the novice linens shopper, the price of Pratesi sheets might seem exorbitant. Even I, an obsessive sheet collector, spent years ogling Pratesi bedding before eventually taking the plunge. After all, a sheet, no matter how perfectly made, is still just a sheet, right? How nice can a set of sheets actually be? These questions quickly evaporated from my mind after tucking myself into them. It was much like sitting behind the wheel of a luxury sports car for the first time: the difference between my day-to-day experience and this was immediately clear. I pulled the blankets up to my neck and prepared to drift off, finally understanding what all the fuss was about.
T. Cole Rachel Writer
T. Cole Rachel is the deputy editor of Departures. A Brooklyn-based writer, editor, and teacher with over 20 years of experience working in print and digital media, his writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Interview, and the Creative Independent.
Leandro Farina Photographer
Leandro Farina is a British photographer and director. He has worked extensively in the fields of still life and interiors, contributing to some of the world’s most prominent magazines and brands.
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