The Best Time to Buy Linens

When to Stock Up on Bedding, Bath and Kitchen Linens and Towels

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Are your linens looking a bit threadbare? It's easy to ignore the condition of your sheets and towles until you finally see a rip or a badly frayed hem. Then you wonder when the right time to buy will be. If you want to restock your linen closet on the cheap, the best time to buy linens is ... January and August

What Are Linens?

Linens is a term used to cover all daily-use fabric household items, especially found in the bedroom, bath and kitchen.

They are not just items made of linen, which is a specific fiber.

  • In the bedroom, linens include sheets, pillow cases, comforters, blankets, bedspreads, duvets and curtains. These may be sold as matched sets.
  • In the bath, linens include bath towels and washcloths.
  • In the kitchen, linens include dishtowels, washcloths, napkins, tablecloths, table runners, tea towels, placemats, oven mitts, and aprons.

January: White Sale Season

Stores hold white sales in January to encourage shoppers to stock up on towels and bedding. This started in 1878 when the department store John Wanamaker & Co. in Philadelphia discounted white sheets to bring customers into the store in January. White was the only color of sheets that they sold, so this linen sale became known as a white sale. The idea caught on with other stores, and the discounts spread to other bedding, bath towels and kitchen linens of every color.

Household storage items often go on sale in January as well, a perfect complement to buying linens. You'll be able to get a good deal and organize your closets and storage areas after the holidays.

Target Linen Clearance Each February

Target stores put bedding, placemats and cloth napkins on clearance every February.

You will get the best deals if you wait for the third markdown, when you can sometimes get linens at 75% off.

Second Sales Season for Linens: August

Bed and bath items go on sale again in August when college students are shopping for dorm room essentials. August is also a prime season for moving, and retailers try to capture those customers as well. People often don't think about buying linens unless they are moving or setting up a new household.

Smart Linen Shopping

If you don't need new towels or sheets immediately, wait for the sales season. You will be able to compare what different department stores, specialty stores, and big box stores are offering. Look for coupons in addition to posted savings. For example, the Bed, Bath and Beyond chain offers email coupons regularly.

The quality of bedroom sheets is often judged by thread count, but there are other factors to consider, including the weave and the fabric. When you see a sale price, you will want to get all of the details so you can compare prices accurately. You might start your linen comparison shopping a couple of weeks early, visiting the store to decide which kind of sheets and towels you will want when they go on sale in January and February.