Brooklinen is a direct to consumer sheets and bedding company founded by Vicki and Rich Fulop. The Fulops decided to create the company after trying to buy the sheets they'd slept on (and enjoyed) at a hotel, and finding out that they cost over $800, according to a November 2016 Forbes article.
In the article, Vicki said the couple "began researching the bedding industry and found that it was very opaque and antiquated. Retailers were selling high-end bedding at up to 10x markup, inflating thread counts, and operating on bloated supply chains that added to cost but not quality.”
The brand began with a 2014 Kickstarter campaign, which raised over $236,000 with a staggering 1,733 backers
. Within three years, the company has amassed more than 150,000 customers and $50 million in revenue, according to a March 2017 article
in Fast Company.
How They Deliver Value
Brooklinen has found the sweet spot between high quality sheets and reasonable pricing. They're not the low cost leader or the highest-end premium bedding maker of the No Middleman favorites, but they're the best in the middle, balancing cost with quality. While they began with sheets (still their primary focus), the company has expanded into other bedding products and even candles. With $10 million in recent venture capital funding, Brooklinen is well-positioned to further expand their product lines and categories.
This direct to consumer sheet maker has a detailed description on their website, when it comes to their hyper-focused approach to product quality: from their long-staple cotton fibers and single-ply yarn with less fraying and more smoothness, to their two different weave styles (cooler and warmer).
Products and Pricing
Their core sheet sets contain 1 flat sheet, 1 fitted, 2 pillowcases, and come in four styles: Classic (Percale weave, 270 threadcount, $99 - $139), Luxe (Sateen weave, 480 threadcount, $129+), Twill (similar to flannel, $169+), and Linen ($229+). Bundles with a duvet cover and two extra pillowcases saves 25% over buying separately.
Brooklinen also sells down comforters ($299+) and down alternative (a hypoallergenic microfiber filler) from $179, in addition to blankets, pillows, fabric care products and candles. The direct to consumer bedding maker was offering a $20 gift card for first orders of $200 or more, and it can be applied to any future order of $50 or more.
Service and Shipping
Customer service looks very responsive, with a couple of highlights in particular: their call support is 24/7 (rare to see), and they give an estimate of their current email response time (6 hours, on the day of our review).
Knowing the email response time is a very cool feature, allowing consumers to determine what channel will be the best for them. Additionally, Brooklinen offers online chat support and their Facebook responses normally come within an hour, according to Facebook's measurement.
Their customer service experience was featured in an Adweek article
in October 2018, which praised the brand for quickly replacing a faulty product with no questions asked, showing that "customer obsession and satisfaction is obviously part of the brand’s DNA."
Shipping doesn't appear to be free everyday, but a current promotion offered free shipping for orders of $200 or more, on the day of our review. Otherwise, it depends on your location and (likely) the weight of the sheets. Our test of a $129 order cost $9.99 in shipping, for 2-6 day ground shipping. As we added items, cost of shipping increased, so it's definitely not a flat rate.
Final Thoughts on Brooklinen
Overall, Brooklinen is a No Middleman favorite! They've established a huge base of customers and large social media following, and although they did raise $10 million in venture capital in 2017, there was no mention of expanding into anything beyond direct to consumer channels. We feel it's very likely they'll continue to sell their bedding and other products direct to consumer, avoiding unnecessary middlemen and providing high-quality bedding at a reasonable price.