Wharf Sheets

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Eli & Elm Profile

Eli & Elm entered the bedding world in January 2019 with a goal to create high quality bedding for the average sleep enthusiast. Based in New Haven, CT, their name is an homage to Eli Whitney—the inventor of the cotton gin; and Elm City—the home of Whitney before its name was changed to New Haven. Three Connecticut men were inspired by Eli Whitney’s innovation with the plant, so they took to improving the world of cotton bedding, with aspiring dreams to make the bed a better place for sleep. There hasn’t been much innovation in the textile industry, so Eli & Elm made it their mission to create luxurious and durable sheets for affordable prices. Their work with researchers and engineers has paved the way for eco-friendly advancements in the field while also focusing their resources on making fair trade products that are ethically sound.

I received the Eli & Elm Whitney and Wharf collection together in a box that weighed a (figurative) ton. The construction of the product’s box is the same as the Whitney Collection, and similar to Layla’s, but instead it’s white with black edging and “BAMBOO.” printed across the top—split across two lines. As I mentioned in the Whitney Collection review, I’m a big fan of Eli & Elm’s minimalist, sans serif design language, almost as much as I like Layla’s.

The sheets didn’t feel very impressive prior to being washed, but after a cold wash and a low heat tumble dry, they exhibited that signature feel and heft of bamboo sheets.

The pockets shrunk a little, but not enough to cause a problem. For all I’m concerned, the construction looks impressive, clean, and durable, giving the Wharf Collection an early lead.

Wharf Collection Construction

Eli & Elm’s bamboo sheet set is great on so many levels, but the pattern is… not what I expected. Every time I walk into my bedroom in my flannel pants and waffle-weave shirt, I can’t help but feel a bit… out of place. The gray and white pin-striped sheets transport me to a bachelor pad in a Manhattan high rise; the kind where titanium and brushed steel objects outnumber those made of any other material. These look like the sheets you would find on the bed of a yuppie with a suit collection.

There are all kinds of people out there with different bedding preferences, but I don’t know why Eli & Elm chose this as one of three options for their bamboo Wharf Collection. On one had you’ve got the Whitney collection which comes in just white, so it can go with anything. On the other hand, the Wharf Collection features three patterns: white, gray and white pinstripes, and “Window Payne” (big white and blue gingham).

The gray is sure to clash with just about everything that isn’t on a grayscale gradient and looks extremely out of place with wood—it’s more suited for metal tones. The Window Payne design is a great alternative to white, especially if you’re going for a New England theme (aka nautical everything). To me it seems like a very random collection of patterns; while most companies keep it simple and safe with solid colors (with the occasional collection of similar inoffensive patterns), Eli & Elm chose two very different patterns, for two very different kinds of people… and white.

Wharf Collection Findings

I used Layla’s weighted blanket alongside the Wharf Collection and the combination was fantastic. While the bamboo fabric offered a cool, silky-smooth sleeping experience, the weighted blanket was just warm and dense enough that the sheets provided a comfortable and soft pressure that made drifting off to sleep easy. So what makes the Eli & Elm sheets stand out from other bamboo sheets, like those at Layla? Apart from the designs and colors, not much. The Layla bamboo sheets are my favorite sheets so far, which meant that these had a high standard to live up—they did, but they didn’t go much further.

My excitement behind the Layla set may have been partially driven by first impressions with bamboo sheets, but I won’t know for sure until I try another set. When it comes down to it, Eli & Elm’s set costs $120-$150, which makes them some of the best, and least expensive sheets I’ve tried so far. What I really love about these Eli & Elm sheets is that they make accessible the luxurious feel, unbelievably soft texture, and fantastic sleep benefits of a set of sheets $50 more expensive! With that in mind however, the Layla set offers a 120-night trial period, while Eli & Elm only offers 45, and to some that may be a deal-breaker (depending on how picky you are).

Wharf Collection Recommendation

Overall, I think the Wharf Collection is a great set of sheets that comes at a great price, from a great company, but I think it’s a toss up between the two bamboo options—there just isn’t a lot that sets them apart. Eli & Elm’s set may be cheaper, but it’s not by a lot; and Layla offers only solid colors—no patterns. I think they’re both fantastic choices and I don’t think you will regret buying one over the other. When it comes down to the question of “bamboo or not,” I still have concerns regarding material sourcing—you can read all about the environmental impact of viscose bamboo fabrication, here. On Eli & Elm’s website, they say that being “100% Viscose, [their] eco-friendly bamboo sheets are made without any harmful pesticides and woven into a silky-soft finish,” but that’s not the issue with viscose bamboo materials. In general, bamboo grows so quickly and vigorously that it’s not often seen as a pest target, thus not requiring pesticides; but I digress.

Shop the Wharf Collection

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