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So you’ve got yourself a great mattress, the right pillow and all of the best tools to promote a good night of sleep, but you may have overlooked the importance of good sheets. We spoke with textile expert and the founder of AREA, Anki Spets, as well as textile expert Deborah Young about factors such as material and weave to better understand the benefits and drawbacks of different types of sheets. We also scoured the internet looking at numerous products to offer our picks for the best sheets for a wide range of needs.
Best Percale: AREA ANTON Sheet Set
Best Sateen: Brooklinen Luxe Core Sheet Set
Best Organic: Coyuchi 300 Thread Count Organic Percale Sheets
Best Flannel: Saatva Luxury Flannel Sheet Set
Best Jersey Sheets: The Company Store Company Cotton Jersey Knit Sheet Set
Best Budget: Amazon Basics Lightweight Super Soft Easy Care Microfiber Bed Sheet Set
Best For Hot Sleepers: Buffy Breeze Sheet Set
Best Linen: Parachute Linen Sheet Set
Best Pima: L.L. Bean 280-Thread-Count Pima Cotton Percale Sheet Set
Things to consider:
Material: Bed sheets can be made from a plethora of different materials, and they all come with a variety of benefits. Young tells us that traditionally, cotton has been a great choice for sleeping cool because it is a thermoconductor. “It conducts away your body heat,” she says, but she really loves “the new celluloses,” which she identifies as modal, tencel and bamboo, because they “wick better, which means if you wake up in night sweats from a bad dream, they just dry quicker.” Tencel, she says, is one of the greenest fibers, while bamboo is naturally antimicrobial, so it kills odor.
When it comes to finding the sheet material that you like best, Spets says that overall you should “pick the material that appeals to you,” adding that “sometimes it just helps to go to a store, and touch everything since you never know what you may find.”
Weave and thread count: While material is important, the weave used will also determine a lot about a set of sheets. Spets tells us that cotton percale is “lightweight and breathable, which makes it cool to the touch and therefore more comfortable” while sateens “tend to feel softer, but the weaving technique makes the surfaces a bit warmer and clings to the body.” If you are looking for something more warm for the winter months, Spets says that flannel is a good choice because it is made from “brushed cotton, making them warm and cozy”. Additionally, while jersey sheets are knitted and not woven, they are something to look out for if you are interested in the comfortable feel of a t-shirt.
Young tells us that thread count is “the number of threads per inch.” She also says that “higher thread count means it is softer, it shrinks less and it wrinkles less.” While this may sound like a no-brainer, there is a trade-off. Young tells us that when you pack more threads in, “there’s very little airflow.”
Price: Spets tells us that “Fabric quality, design, color and price point are all important factors in choosing a set of sheets.” A good night of sleep shouldn’t be exclusive to only people with loads of disposable income. We made sure to include a variety of price points on our list. While there may be some added benefit and luxury attached to shelling out a few extra hundred bucks on a set of sheets, there is no shortage of reasonably priced products available today thanks to innovative designs. Additionally, be aware that all of our prices listed are for queen size sheet sets.
Best percale sheet set
Material: Organic cotton | Weave: Percale | Sizes: Twin, full, queen, king, California king
Spets recommends AREA’s organic percale sheets because they sleep cool. She likes percale, which she notes is also called plain weave, because it is “lightweight and breathable, which makes it cool to the touch and therefore more comfortable.” The ANTON sheet is dyed in small batches and also comes pre-washed. The set is also available in 8-different earthy tones to provide you with a night of sleep that is as comfortable and stylish. One drawback with these sheets is that they are a bit pricier than other options on the list; but it is important to note that the upfront cost for a product that is well made and will last long makes itself worthwhile in no time.
Pros: Sheet components can be purchased individually, wide variety of color choices, comes pre-washed
Cons: Higher price, Only a 30-day trial
Best sateen sheet set
Material: Cotton | Weave: Sateen | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king
Spets tells us that sateen cottons tend to feel softer, and that is absolutely the case with Brooklinen’s Luxe Core Sheet Set. I own a pair and love how soft they are. That softness is the result of a 480-thread count that provides a finish that is “slightly luminous” and looks great. In addition to comfort, these sheets are a great health option, with an OEKO-TEX Certification for chemical safety. For us though, it’s the attention to detail that separates these sheets with “long” and “short side” labels to help alleviate headaches when making the bed. One thing to be aware of with sateen, according to Spets, is that they can be a bit warmer as a result of the weaving technique. With that said, I haven’t personally experienced this issue with these sheets, but I am not a hot sleeper.
Pros: 1-year trial, wide range of stylish patterns and designs, available for all major bed sizes
Cons: Sateen can retain heat
Best organic sheet set
Material: Cotton | Weave: Percale | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king
Coyuchi’s 300 Thread Count Organic Percale Sheets are made with 100% organic cotton that is GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified. Additionally, they are Fair Trade Certified, and have the Made Safe seal so you can rest assured that it is free from any toxins that are known to cause harm. But it is not just the certifications for your health that make these great, the 300-thread count makes them as smooth and comfortable as they are breathable. One thing to be aware of with these sheets is that they can take a few washes to get to their optimal comfortability, but they really do get better with time.
Pros: GOTS, Fair Trade and Made Safe, packaging is a reusable bag, can purchase individual pieces of the set
Cons: Can take a few washes to get to ideal comfortability
Best flannel sheet set
Material: Cotton | Weave: Flannel | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king, split king
It should come as no surprise that Saatva made our list as the brand has fully entrenched itself into the sleep product community with its exceptional products. These flannel sheets in particular are made with 100% long-staple cotton which is OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 certified. The sheets are brushed and offer a finish that is velvety, while the yarn dying process keeps them soft. While they are made with cooler sleepers in mind, they are still designed for excellent breathability. In addition to the comfort, Saatva offers 45-day free returns to make sure they are perfect for you, free shipping, and a 1-year warranty to keep you feeling protected. As mentioned above, flannel sheets can be warmer in nature, so if you are someone that sleeps hot, that is worth considering.
Pros: Long-staple cotton, OEKO-TEX Standard 100 Certified, 1-year warranty
Cons: Flannel can be too hot for some
Best jersey sheet set
Material: Cotton | Weave: Jersey | Sizes: twin, twin XL, full, queen, king
If you like the feel of your favorite t-shirt, then you’ll love the feel of this great set of jersey sheets from The Company Store. Made from 100-percent cotton, they provide a feel that is unique and noted for its comfortability. They also don’t have much pilling after multiple washes. Additionally, they are OEKO-TEX certified and The Company Store offers 90-day returns so you’ll have ample time to make sure they are the right choice for you. One thing to be aware of with these jersey sheets is that there may be some mild shrinking after washing and drying.
Pros: 14 color options, customizable with monogram/other details, 90-day returns
Cons: Can shrink after washing, no California king size
Best budget sheet set
Material: Polyester microfiber | Weave: None | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king
Having a comfortable and enjoyable night of sleep shouldn’t have to break the bank. Fortunately, this microfiber sheet set from Amazon Basics offers you the best of both worlds. The polyester microfiber is soft while still offering excellent durability. The deep pocket design means that these are a viable option for mattresses of up to 21-inches of depth and purchasers like the sheets for their softness and ability to avoid wrinkles. One thing to be aware of when purchasing polyester sheets is that they are less breathable than other materials like cotton. That being said, polyester is also known for its moisture wicking ability, which is an added bonus.
Pros: Super affordable, extra deep pocket options available, 22 colors available
Cons: Polyester is not the most breathable, some people experienced pilling
Best sheet set for hot sleepers
Material: Tencel | Weave: Sateen | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king
Buffy’s Breeze Sheet Set is made from tencel, which is known for its breathability and temperature regulation. In addition to its naturally cooling abilities, Young tells us that tencel is very green, and these sheets in particular use 90% less water than cotton and are derived from sustainable wood sources. They are also hypoallergenic and made using skin safe and natural botanical dyes. One thing to be aware of with these sheets is that there are no darker color options should that be your aesthetic. We do love that Buffy offers a 7-night trial before your card is charged as well as a 50-night free return policy with free shipping.
Pros: Eco friendly, 50-night free return policy, naturally cooling
Cons: Lacks darker color options
Best linen sheet set
Material: Flax | Weave: Linen | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king
Spets notes that linen may be heavier as a material, but it is very comfortable. She also notes that it gets better with age, saying, “linen sheets are made of slightly thicker linen yarns that, at first, can have a somewhat more rustic feel, but they get softer with use.” Parachute’s linen sheets are Portuguese made and use European flax to create its incredible feel. They are also antimicrobial, as well as insulating, so they work great in all seasons. One drawback with these sheets is that they are pricey, and a top sheet has to be purchased for additional cost. However, they are well worth the money for the crisp feel that keeps them from overheating.
Pros: OEKO-TEX Standard 100 Certified, 11 color choices, breathable
Cons: Have to purchase a top sheet for additional cost
Best pima sheet set
Material: Cotton | Weave: Pima | Sizes: Twin, full, queen, king, California king
Young tells us that she views pima and Egyptian cotton as the “Cadillac[s] of cotton.” These Pima sheets from L.L. Bean do not disappoint. They are made with 100-percent long-staple Supima cotton, which is considered to be one of the softest and strongest forms of cotton. It’s also known to avoid heavy piling and can withstand a heavy amount of wear overtime.
Pros: 10-percent long-staple Supima, OEKO-TEX Standard 100 Certification, 9 color choices
Cons: Fee to return by mail, elastic not strong enough for some
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