married couples have struggled with the question that
characterizes the war between the sexes: the conflict of
cold versus warm feet, of human furnaces versus ice cubes.
What kind of sheets should we buy?
David Haggerty and his wife spent 25 years
fighting over the answer. She wanted flannel, he preferred
cotton. He sweated or she froze and one of them was always
unhappy. Then, late one night, the solution hit him.
"Lying on those fuzzy flannel sheets in a
puddle of sweat one night, I knew there had to be a way to
make us both happy," the Tacoma man said. "Suddenly, it came
to me. What if there was a sheet with a soft seam down the
center attaching cotton together with polar fleece?"
Haggerty went to a fabric store with
measurements from his queen-sized bed and bought enough
fleece and cotton to make a set. He nervously made the bed
up for his wife, Janette.
"She's a tough cookie," Haggerty said. "If I
could convince her, I could convince anyone."
Haggerty's half polar fleece, half cotton
sheets are a new combination, but there are few fabrics that
haven't covered American beds. Cashmere
blankets, satin, silk, velvet, wool ... the list goes on.
The Sleep Products Industry, which monitors
trends for mattress makers, reported that nearly half of all
mattresses purchased were queen and king-sized. Super-sized
isn't limited to fast food.
Sleep Comfort, which manufactures air beds
that can change firmness based on individual tastes, is now
the number five brand in the country. It's closely followed
by TempurPedic, a foam that conforms to the body's shape.
Since its introduction in 1992, TempurPedic has grown its
market share 45 percent, prompting United Sleep Products, an
innerspring manufacturer, to debut its own line of memory
"It's because of Oprah," said Julie Palm,
editor of BedTimes, a magazine produced by the Sleep
Products Industry. "She's convinced us all we need 600-count
Even the hotel and recreational vehicle take
bedding seriously. Ohio-based Hospitality Bedding, one
company that caters to the hotel industry with down and
synthetic comforters, has seen a dramatic rise in demand for
luxury products. The company cited a recent major hotel
survey that found the number one consumer complaint was an
uncomfortable bed. Customers requested sheets with higher
thread counts, puffy pillows, duvets with natural filling
and pillow-top mattresses.
It's a trend upon which Haggerty hopes to
capitalize. He's off to a great start, selling 200 sets of
his sheets before the start of a major marketing campaign.
Other press - including a spot on KING 5's "Evening
Magazine" - are creating a buzz. And if his wife's reaction
is any indication, Split the Sheets is on the rise.
"She loves them," Haggerty said of Jeanette.
"She says she goes to bed every night and gets to sleep with
Reach Melodie Wright at (360) 475-3792 or
How to buy sheets
Split-the-Sheet sets start at $65.95 for
queen-size. For more information, visit
www.splitthesheets.com or call (253) 219-7306.
Search for sound sleep
Milestones in the history of bedding:
— Courtesy of David Haggerty
The Early Days On the ground with leaves,
straw, twigs, animal hides, wool
Neolithic age Archaeologists believe man
first began to weave flax and hemp
Sometime later First simple mattresses,
made with hides or crude fabric, with crude wooden bed
1300s First sheets made of linen
1860s First innerspring mattresses in
Early 1900 Industry sanitary requirements
1913 French scientist, Henri Pieron,
publishes first book that examines sleep from a
1920s Innerspring mattresses become
popular. Dr. Nathaniel Kleitman, the father of American
sleep research, began work in Chicago
1940s Numerous patents for innerspring
1950s Major mattress brands begin to appear
1970s Waterbeds introduced
1990s Growth in specialty bedding and
illustration by Steve Zugschwerdt.
Trying to find your own comfort zone
in a confined space like a bed can be challenging. David
Tacoma, took on the challenge
and came up with his "Split the Sheets" company which offers a
set of sheets that is half polar fleece and half cotton.
Staff photo by Steve Zugschwerdt
The old adage "necessity is the
mother of Invention" certainly was true for David Haggerty who
developed his "split sheet" when he and his wife Jeanette
could not decide between cotton and flannel.
Staff photo by Steve Zugschwerdt
A simple soft seam down the middle
splits the sheets, top and bottom, into half polar fleece and