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17 Colorful Upgrades for Your Bed and Bath

Jun 17, 2023Jun 17, 2023

Refresh your space with these CR-approved picks

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If your bedroom or bath is in need of a little sprucing up, there are a handful of swaps that can go a long way. Take a break from tradition with patterned bed sheets, cheeky bath mats, and bedside accessories that might just help you get a better night’s sleep.

To get you started, we compiled a list of staples that either impressed in our labs or got the seal of approval from CR’s editors in their homes.

Brooklinen Luxe Core Sheet (Queen) - Contour Flow in Raindrop

There’s a reason Brooklinen is an internet sensation. Our tests find that its Luxe Core sheets have an excellent fit on mattress depths of 14 inches or less. And when it comes to shrinkage, consumers can rest assured that they won’t experience much of it. What’s even better, Luxe Core sheets are the softest cotton sheets in our ratings, according to our sensory test, and at a cost of under $200, they fall in the middle of the pack for pricing. When you’re making the bed, these sheets take out the guesswork. There are labels along each side that read "short side" and "long side," so you’re never confused.

The set includes one flat sheet, a fitted sheet, and two pillowcases. The sheet set is available in 17 colorways, including Lemongrass, Graphite, and White for those who prefer a neutral option.

L.L. Bean Pima Cotton Percale Sheet Set - 280 Thread Count (Queen)

L.L.Bean’s Pima Percale sheet set will stand up to pulling, prodding, and movement, as evidenced by its top-tier performance in our strength test. Testers note that the thread that makes up the material is consistent throughout, allowing the sheets to hold up well when stretched in either direction. If you’re annoyed by bumps or bunching fabric, these sheets may be a tad frustrating, but conversely, you can expect them to have a pretty similar fit with very little shrinkage after a year of washing.

This sheet set is available in nine colorways, including Lake, White, and Vapor Gray.

Cold Picnic Cliffside Bathmat

Not all bath mats are created equal, and this organic cotton version from Cold Picnic is proof. The thick and comfy landing pad is made up of plush cotton loops and features a cheeky pattern in bursts of colors. It fell in the middle of the road for absorbency and took about 14 hours to dry completely.

Frontgate Resort Collection Skid-Resistant Bath Rug (21" x 34")

This plush, cotton bath mat is a prime option for those who want to step onto a cloud after getting out of the bath or shower. At 21x34 inches, it’s one of the largest mats we evaluated, and therefore is better suited for a larger space.

This mat comes in a variety of sizes and 24 different colors, including Ivory, a cool-toned mauve called Clay, and an oceany blue called, fittingly, Aegean.

Parachute Classic Turkish Cotton Towels

The Parachute Classic Turkish Cotton Towel is fluffy, soft, and substantial without being suffocating. It landed squarely in the middle of the pack in our absorbency evaluation, but when toweling off after a shower, evaluators mentioned how gentle it felt on the skin, and how it seemed to dry us off well despite its silky feel. The Parachute towel comes in a limited selection of muted hues, including an icy blueish white, a stony gray, and a dark charcoal gray. It has a cushiony, tightly woven loop pile and commendable absorbency.

Available in nine colors and a variety of sizes, including bath sheets, hand towels, and more.

Frontgate Resort Collection Bath Towels

With a smooth, fine pile and a wide dobby border, the Frontgate Resort Collection bath towel (sold in a pack of one) conveys ultimate luxury at a reasonable price. The towels use high-quality, combed, long-staple Turkish cotton, so it’s both soft and durable. We also found them to be very absorbent in a recent evaluation where it was the perfect middle ground: neither thick nor thin, neither budget-oriented nor ultra-pricey. Bonus for the fact that it comes in a wide array of colors to boot.

Available in 27 colors and four sizes, including washcloths.

For more options: The Best Bath Towels

Gravity Blanket - Twin (15 lb.)

The Gravity blanket comes with its own matching “micro-plush” duvet cover. It indeed felt soft to the touch, according to a staffer who tried it at home—similar to velour. She also noted that its system of ties, buttons, and a zipper keeps the comforter particularly secure. Gravity says the cover is machine-washable in cold water and can be tumble-dried on low. The inner weighted blanket, which includes glass beads, is hand-wash and air-dry only (though we did run it through one wash cycle because it seems unwieldy to hand-wash something so large and heavy—it turned out fine).

Available in seven colorways, including Navy and Oat, as well as three sizes.

Luna Weighted Blanket - Queen (15 lb.)

The cover of the Luna weighted blanket is cotton, and it’s filled with glass beads. It doesn’t come with a duvet cover, but you have several colors and materials to choose from if you’d like to buy one separately. Luna says you can wash the blanket in cold water on the gentle setting and hang it to dry or tumble-dry on low heat. A staffer who tried the Luna weighted blanket found it to be a solid choice for a budget-friendly price, but the material didn’t look and feel as smooth and sleek as the pricier options that were tried.

Available in various colors and patterns—including dark gray and terracotta—as well as six different weight configurations.

For more options: The Lowdown on 5 Weighted Blankets

Slip Sleep Mask

Is there anything more luxurious than snoozing with a soft, silk mask? Crafted from delicate silk, the Slip sleep mask comes in a variety of colors, including black, gold, and pink marble. It has a scrunchy backstrap that stretches rather than adjusts, which allows for a more seamless look.

Lunya Washable Silk Sleep Mask

Little says luxury quite like a silk sleep mask, and one that can double as an eye pillow is even better. In an evaluation of the best sleep masks, our reviewers found this option from Lunya to be comfortable and warm to wear. It has a wide, scrunchy backstrap, fits over the ears, and can even muffle some sounds. This Lunya sleep mask is available in six colors.

For more options: The Best Sleep Masks

Mulberry Silk Pillowcase

“I bought this when a dermatologist I interviewed told me that cotton pillowcases are thirsty and drink up everything, including the cream I spend way too much on for my face,” says Joanne Chen, CR’s deputy home editor, who has spent 15 years digging into health trends, including the quest for better sleep. And while less expensive satin or silk pillowcases are available, Chen knew she had to splurge on this one the moment she saw it.

“I love fluffing up my pillow (I have the CR Recommended Sleep Number ComfortFit Ultimate) each night before bed, admiring the swirls of stars, which never fail to put me in a more blissful state.”

This silk pillowcase is available in six colors—such as Mint and Carbon ($50.15)—and in two sizes.

Ugg Fluff Yeah Slippers

These almost comically fluffy and soft slippers are made with real sheepskin, and turned out to be a surprise fave among CR staffers during our Outside the Labs roundup of popular slippers. A multimedia content creator, Angela Lashbrook, said the Ugg Fluff Yeahs felt “like wearing clouds on my feet.” It’s worth noting that with a 1.5-inch angled platform, they might not be a good choice for those with mobility concerns.

Crocs Classic Lined Clogs

These slippers are made with ethylene-vinyl acetate foam, a form of plastic that softens and molds to your feet with time, and they are lined with faux fur. These clogs, as Crocs calls them, feel stable and secure, with a thick, textured sole that doesn’t slip and provides ample distance and insulation from frigid floors in the winter. They’re also machine washable (in cold water only), though we haven’t tried washing these shoes ourselves.

Glerups Shoe With Leather Sole

The Glerups were an overall top-tier pick for CR’s entire team of slipper evaluators. The felted wool upper is warm, breathable, and not at all itchy. “Feels like I’m wearing nothing at all,” said Perry Santanachote, a writer and one of four evaluators. “They’re super-light and easy to move around in.”

For more options: We Tried Ugg Fluff Yeahs and 7 Other Popular Slippers—Here’s What We Loved (and Loathed)

iHome Zenergy Sunrise Bedside Therapy Machine

The iHome Zenergy Sunrise Bedside Therapy Machine (iZBT3) feels more like a great sound machine than a true sunrise alarm clock, thanks, in part, to its Bluetooth speaker.

Press snooze, and you’ll temporarily halt the sound and the light at the same time. This wake-up light’s best assets are, in fact, its sleep offerings, complete with 15 soothing tones (from melodies to nature sounds) and a guided breathing exercise. The iZBT3 also offers a sunset mode.

JALL Wake Up Light Sunrise Alarm Clock

The JALL Wake Up Light Sunrise Alarm Clock has two independent alarms (so you can set them for different times depending on your routine), seven alarm tones (including “wind bells” and birds chirping), an FM radio, and a fall-asleep mode that simulates a sunset (though no white-noise option). It was relatively easy to set up and use. According to the manufacturer, it emits a maximum light intensity of 240 lux. Tapping the snooze button will temporarily shut off both the light and the sound.

Philips SmartSleep Wake-up Light

With the Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light, you can wake up to one of five nature sounds or an FM radio. According to the manufacturer’s description, the clock glows with red, orange, and yellow colors that ultimately brighten to a maximum intensity of 300 lux (a measure of illuminance an object produces). You can adjust brightness levels according to your preference.

Pressing snooze will temporarily shut off the sound alarm but not the light, which may keep you from falling back asleep (a good thing, if you truly want to wake up). The SmartSleep is pretty easy to set up and use, receiving high marks in both categories. Those needing help winding down at bedtime will also find the Philips wake-up light worth it for its simulated sunset feature.

For more options: The Best Sunrise Alarm Clocks

Anna Kocharian

Anna Kocharian is a shopping editor at Consumer Reports who focuses on home, organization, and the consumer marketplace. She previously covered interior design, product reviews, and market trends as the digital editor of Domino. Anna has over a decade of experience in lifestyle journalism and has written extensively on the subject matter for publications including Apartment Therapy, Food52, and more. She currently resides in New York City.

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