Please Scroll Down For THE REVIEW
But First, A Little Background On The Company
The Green Earth Massage Sheets (GEMS) line has been specifically created for those therapists looking to wash more sheets per load and reduce water usage and dry times.
I first found the GEMS line when looking for a light-weight sheet for another therapist who posted her wish on a massage therapy forum I frequent.
GEMS, launched in 2010 by Pam Flowerday (a bodyworker with a degree in environmental studies), is dedicated to researching fabric specifications in order to arrive at the perfect solution for the buyer. The company’s main concern is to produce a durable microfiber sheet with less slip and higher thread count, while maintaining the conservation benefits of ultra light fabric. As the production process continues, important quality changes are applied when customers give input and newer products present themselves. GEMS actively seeks customer feedback on each product and this information guides the evolution of the sheets.
The sheets will always have much less texture than bulkier fabrics like cotton and flannels.
When we discussed how the sheets hold up with bleaching, Pam was quick to let me know that “The whites are bleachable, and the color sets need color-fast Clorox for esthetician laundering.”
Currently there are 3 color options: White, Chestnut Brown and Sage (today I’ll be reviewing the Sage Green sheet sets).
The Sage sheet sets offer a new fabric with more texture and have a higher denier (larger individual strands) so they have more texture and less slip. If you’ve purchased GEMS in the past, they are as light as the original sheets, but slightly bulkier, which is something that occurs when you use larger fabric strands.
Sage Green sheets have been pre-treated with an eco-friendly stain release agent to minimize problems with staining.
To date, the white sheet sets can be purchased from the GEMS in the original micro-fabric which has a slick feel to it. After the fabric is broken in, the slick feel will diminish somewhat.
The whites are bleachable and this type of sheet is regularly used by estheticians, as they need to be bleachable in order to get the facial products out.
GEMS will be tweaking the specifications of the fabric and moving to a higher thread count with more textured fabric (premium brushed microfiber) in the next production run, to be unveiled in 2013. They will maintain the conservation benefits of ultra-light fabric and eliminate the slippery texture without compromising durability.
To date, the chestnut brown sheet sets can be purchased from the GEMS in the original micro-fabric which has a slick feel to it. After the fabric is broken in the slick feel will diminish somewhat.
Chestnut Brown sheets have not been pre-treated.
GEMS will be tweaking the specifications of the fabric and moving to a higher thread count with more textured fabric (premium brushed microfiber) in the next production run, to be unveiled in 2013. They will maintain the conservation benefits of ultra-light fabric and eliminate the slippery texture without compromising durability and will be pre-treated with an eco-friendly stain release agent to minimize problems with staining.
As I already mentioned, today I am discussing the GEMS (Green Earth Massage Sheets) Sage Green colored sheet sets. I am excited to finally post this review after many months of testing the sheets with a few diligent clients who come into my office every other week or so. My plan was to test the sheets regularly with these particular clients, as they are not new to massage or my office, and are also the type of people to give an open response. Nothing guarded or held-back. I also tested the sheets on a few clients who come in on occasion, to see what their response was. All in all, the feedback was good.
The sage sheets are made of a new micro-fiber fabric, with less slip* and a higher thread count than found in some of the other micro-fiber products.
This new fabric has increased texture (a higher denier / larger individual strands), which helps to decrease slippage some have noted in the original white sheets which were offered by GEMS. They are still as light-weight as the original white sheets, but a little bulkier when folded.
*Slip is noted as how the sheet hangs on (or slip off) the body. Some micro-fiber slips more than others.
The difference between the folded sage microfiber sheet set and a standard cotton set is quite obvious and if you are looking to wash more sheets per load, then this is definitely the way to go.
The comparison of sizes when folded is as follows (with exceptional folding, which was a little better than the photos below):
Microfiber Sheet Set =
- 2¼” depth (when folded and compressed) & 3¼” depth (folded without compression)
x 7¼” wide x 10″ long.
Regular Cotton Sheet Set =
- 3½” depth (when folded and compressed) & 3¾” depth (folded without compression)
x 7¾” ” wide x 11¼” long.
Something I found interesting about these sheets was the client response to the color. There were resounding positive comments regarding the color of the sheets each time someone looked at them. They all liked the sage color.
I have generally preferred a neutral sheet (for ease of bleaching when needed), off-set by a colored blanket. And, I always keep a few sets of colored sheets in case I have a client who does not want a blanket (usually women who are very hot natured or going through menopause). But, after the 100% response for the sage color, it may be something to reconsider.
I also had a client who mentioned she really liked the feel of the sheet when I performed over-the-sheet glute work, compared to the feel of a standard sheet. She said it was softer and allowed her to relax better with the deeper work.
As far as the fit of the cradle cover is concerned, my face cradle has a Tempur-Pedic type of insert along with cushy fleece on top. The GEMS cradle cover fit well over this configuration, the seams stayed intact and were never pushed to their limits. I also tried the cover on a face-cradle without any extra padding and it fit equally well. In the end, I liked it best when I placed on the cradle with extra padding. It seems that the cushy-er you have the cradle, the better the microfiber feels.
The photograph to the left gives you an idea of the layers I have on my face cradle and table.
Face cradle + fleece cover.
Massage table + egg crate, buffer sheet, table warmer and mattress pad.
The cradle cover has been well thought out. By modifying the cover to keep the elastic out of the inner curve, it lays as it should and the client does not have to worry about getting fabric in the way of their breathing zone. This creates a much nicer massage experience for the client, as many times if you have a face cradle cover with elastic all around, it will end up looking like this purple version (see the below pictures for the visual explanation).
ON THE TABLE
The sheets are light enough to allow even the most heat-sensitive client comfortable coverage, and since they are colored, even the women I have tested them with don’t feel like they are too exposed when supine.
The sheets are also a thick enough microfiber that they are manageable when the client is first getting on the table or turning over, even if there is not a blanket on top.
I use a pillow as a bolster (under the knees – client supine / under the shins – client prone), and when I make the table, I normally make it with the sheet over the pillow.
If you use this configuration with the GEMS fitted sheet, you won’t find things to be as roomy as with a standard twin sheet set. This is because these sheets have been cut to find the best mid-range between a wide massage table and the standard smaller esthetician tables. Therefore, you may wish to put your bolsters on top of the bottom sheet.
Of course, I still work with my pillow under the bottom GEMS sheet without a problem, but I can see where some people may not like the “look” as the bottom sheet will be pulled up a bit at the sides of the pillow.
As most anyone reading this blog knows, I am a massage therapist and bodyworker, but other health care practitioners and professionals who may be interested in these sheets are acupuncturists, reflexologists and estheticians to name a few.
Sets can generally be purchased as a fitted and flat sheet (plus or minus the face cradle cover) or two flat sheets. And, if you ask nicely, perhaps you can get two fitted sheets, I don’t know for sure, but if that is what you need, it is worth asking. The company is actually interested in the people who want to use their products.
WASH / DRY
In a medium to large front load washer you can expect to fit approximately 16 sets (so expect a good range to be 12-18 sets, depending on the washer and dryer).
Pam said that for her to dry the 16 set load, you can expect approximately 30 minutes on permanent press cycle (medium heat).
Since I am only testing the one set, I have found that it takes about 6 – 10 minutes (medium heat) to dry them.
I’ve also washed and dried them on “hot”, in an extended wash and extra soak cycle with All Free & Clear detergent and a given amount of OxyClean Free; I have not seen a problem with shrinking or holding stains. But, GEMS states that standard wash and dry procedures dictate medium heat and immediate removal from the dryer, as over-drying can cause scorching & wrinkling of the fabric.
A special note: Synthetic microfiber fabrics do bond with oil. Water dispersible massage products are always a better choice when using any synthetic linens. OxyClean laundry soap by Arm and Hammer and an extra long soak cycle helps release massage product in a warm wash. White vinegar and borax may also be added to boost stain release power in your laundering.
FOR HOME USE – KING / QUEEN
Because I also tested the original “white” GEMS sheets earlier in the year, I am adding this little thought to my review.
Although GEMS has been in the process of tweaking the specifications of the fabric and moving to a higher thread count with more textured fabric (i.e. the Sage Sheet Set), you may want to keep the following in mind: Two of my test clients (at the time we tested the original white set) asked if they could buy the white sheets for home use in both King & Queen size sheet sets with an extra deep (18-24”) pocket for the mattress. Each felt like the bottom sheet was “heavenly”. The top sheet was a little slippery during massage, but the positive comment about the bottom sheet was certainly a recurring theme. Which leads me to this tip:
Tip - If you are looking for a less expensive version of these sheets, seconds, which have a lower thread count and a little more slip (making them less manageable than the preferred version I have reviewed here), can be found under the Micro Light Massage Sheet brand at the following locations:
- Amazon -
- Massage Depot -
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