The Best Time to Buy Linens

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

Towels
Towels. Bryan Mullennix/Getty Images

Are your linens starting to get a bit threadbare? If you're looking to restock your linen closet on the cheap, the best time to buy is January, February and August. Here's the scoop.

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, place mats and cloth napkins on clearance every February. Wait for the third markdown to save 75% off the original retail.

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're moving or setting up a new household, and stores know this.

What's Included in Linen Sales?

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, place mats, oven mitts and aprons.

How Much Can You Save?

Good quality towels can run $20 a piece, and good quality bedding can cost several hundred dollars. Shop during the linen sales, and you could easily cut these costs in half.

Smart Linen Shopping

If you don't need new towels or sheets immediately, wait for the sales. You'll 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 e-mail coupons regularly.

The quality of bedroom sheets is often judged by thread count, but there are other factors to consider, including the weave and fabric type. When you see a sale price, be sure to look at all of these things, so you can compare prices accurately. Consider starting your linen comparison shopping a couple of weeks early, visiting stores to decide which kinds of sheets and towels you're interested in, so you'll be ready to jump when they go on sale.

Caring for Your Linens

Use these tips to care for your new linens, so they last a long time: