Web site: potterybarnkids.com

No web site has shaken up the baby bedding and décor business in recent years like Pottery Barn Kids (PBK). Their cheerful baby bedding, whimsical accessories and furniture blew past competitors. PBK isn’t cutesy-babyish or overly adult. It’s playful, fun and bright.

PBK’s bedding is 100% cotton, 200-thread count. The sheets have 10” corner pockets . . . and they used to have elastic that went all the way around the edge. We’re disappointed to say that they now only make their crib sheets with elastic on the ends. And that elastic is the source of frustration among some parents we talked to—one PBK customer said she had to exchange several sheets after the elastic popped off or simply wore out after only one washing. By the way, PBK’s spin on why they don’t have elastic all the way around is that it is “for safety purposes.” We disagree—we prefer sheets with all around elastic.

On the plus side, recent parent feedback has consistently praised the softness of PBK sheets. Their “chamois” sheets ($29; polyester fleece) have also come in for great praise. Readers say PBK’s fleece sheets stay softer than fleece sheet brands. Just a side note: on our last visit to the PBK site, we noticed they refer to their chamois sheets as “organic.” They’re made of polyester. How is that organic? Is petroleum (the building block of polyester) technically organic? “I don’t think that word means what you think it means.”–Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride.

Anyway, PBK has quite a few organic cotton baby bedding, over 20 options. All their sets are priced a la carte with prices of sheets ranging from $19 to $25, quilts at $99 to $129, and crib skirts at $59 to $69. Sales are frequent and if you have a Pottery Barn outlet nearby, the prices get even better.

Our only concern: the nagging quality issues give us pause in recommending PBK’s crib bedding. 

Pottery Barn kids has taken a page from Pine Creek and Carousel with their new “Design the Perfect Crib” option. You select a crib color, then a fitted sheet, bumper, quilt and bed skirt. Then Pottery Barn adds it all up for you and lets you buy your choices together with one button. You can even choose a wall paint color. Of course, it’s not as custom as Pine Creek or Carousel, but it is a nice way to look at different pieces and how they work together. And no, there is no discount when you purchase a “set” this way.

Bottom line: it is a mixed bag for PBK: readers love the chamois sheets, but unless you’re buying at outlet prices, forego the bedding sets. Rating: C+