The average person sleeps for one-third of their life. Not only does sleep take up a significant portion of your time, but quality sleep is imperative for your overall health. It will very literally improve your mental health, boost your immune system, support a healthy metabolism, increase productivity, and generally determine how you feel during the waking hours. So it goes without saying, we believe a good night’s sleep is worth investing in, and that includes choosing solid bed sheets. While sheets may seem simple and straightforward, there are so many options out there that it can be hard to make an informed decision when it comes to choosing the best sheets for you. So, we’ve created this little guide to help you break down the most important things to consider and provide some of our own picks to get you started.
- <b>Best organic cotton sheets: </b><a href=”https://www.amazon.com/Boll-Branch-Luxury-Certified-Organic/dp/B07DCWN2YD/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ref_=ast_sto_dp&linkCode=ll1&tag=popularscience-best-sheets-pcr-20&linkId=3628f24bf8e2bc6d49171ede1ff7e916&language=en_US” target=_blank>Boll & Branch Luxury Sheet Set </a>
- <b>Best high thread count sheets: </b><a href=”https://www.amazon.com/Brooklinen-Luxe-Piece-Bed-Sheet/dp/B07P83KHYT/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ascsub&cv_ct_cx=sheets&cv_ct_id=amzn1.osa.5db7644b-b5ad-4167-b253-a15b62272b4d.ATVPDKIKX0DER.en_US&cv_ct_pg=search&cv_ct_we=asin&cv_ct_wn=osp-single-source-gl-ranking&dchild=1&keywords=sheets&pd_rd_i=B07P83KHYT&pd_rd_r=f9823dab-1885-4083-8514-c962657b4afb&pd_rd_w=dUcnM&pd_rd_wg=YDqeR&pf_rd_p=5ca5891e-f8d5-441d-985e-3d725696ef70&pf_rd_r=FF50VJYW0YM7FQJRWEFR&qid=1607572791&s=home-garden&sr=1-1-d9dc7690-f7e1-44eb-ad06-aebbef559a37&linkCode=ll1&tag=popularscience-best-sheets-pcr-20&linkId=5ee0f3dbec70483d3fc0546aaf883ed2&language=en_US” target=_blank>Brooklinen Luxe Core Sheet Set</a>
- <b>Best jersey weave sheets:</b> <a href=”https://www.amazon.com/Columbia-Eco-Friendly-Jersey-Performance-4-Piece/dp/B08DL5BN51/ref=as_li_ss_tl?dchild=1&keywords=jersey+sheet&qid=1607574963&refinements=p_36:1253525011&rnid=386465011&s=home-garden&sr=1-8&th=1&linkCode=ll1&tag=popularscience-best-sheets-pcr-20&linkId=deb14d227df2d48a9e2436b7a113698a&language=en_US” target=_blank>Columbia Modal Jersey Sheet Set</a>
- <b>Best sheets for cold sleepers: </b><a href=”https://www.amazon.com/Eddie-Bauer-Flannel-Sheet-Friends/dp/B01GLOYFU4/ref=as_li_ss_tl?crid=3W4PLGAE1ZJDK&dchild=1&keywords=flannel+sheets&qid=1594391583&s=home-garden&sprefix=flannel+,garden,158&sr=1-1&th=1&linkCode=ll1&tag=popularscience-best-sheets-pcr-20&linkId=79f62f028ce113311debd13af5f9659d&language=en_US” target=_blank>Eddie Bauer – Flannel Collection</a>
- <b>Best sheets for hot sleepers:</b> <a href=”https://www.slumbercloud.com/stratus-sheet-set.html” target=_blank>Stratus Cooling Sheet Set</a>
- <b>Best eco-friendly sheets: </b><a href=”https://www.amazon.com/Sheets-Giggles-Eucalyptus-Sustainable-Hypoallergenic/dp/B07PWJ5B8M/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ref_=ast_sto_dp&linkCode=ll1&tag=popularscience-best-sheets-pcr-20&linkId=8aa309415c8823283bf7bd7175403ccb&language=en_US” target=_blank>Sheets & Giggles Eucalyptus Lyocell Sheet Set</a>
- <b>Best budget sheets:</b> <a href=”https://www.amazon.com/Mellanni-Bed-Sheet-Set-Hypoallergenic/dp/B00NLLUP4G/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=popularscience-best-sheets-pcr-20&linkId=7df16feffd07cfb30f38dba1e94fc71c&language=en_US” target=_blank>Mellanni Sheet Set</a>
Things to consider when shopping for the best sheets
When it comes to finding the best bed sheets, there are a few things you’ll want to think about. Consider the composition of the sheets: material, thread count, finish, and dye. You’ll also want to keep in mind the overall temperature of your bedroom, seasonal sets, and eco-friendly manufacturers. More on all the ins and outs of thread counts and all the rest, below.
What material will work best for you?
Just like pillowcases, comforters, weighted blankets, and more, the material is going to be the main priority when it comes to getting the right sheets. When it comes to wrapping your body up at night, you need to be surrounded by something soft and comfy. It will probably come as no shock that your sheet’s overall feel is determined by the material it’s made out of; we want to break down all of the options.
First and foremost, we must discuss cotton. One of the most popular bed linen materials on the market, cotton, is breathable, helpful for temperature regulation, and easy to wash. Organic cotton is excellent for all skin types, and has the bonus feature of putting fewer pesticides into the environment during production. There is also Egyptian cotton, which can be fairly pricey, but it is unparalleled when it comes to durability and softness. Pima cotton is another great option for higher-end comfort. But beware sellers that advertise Egyptian or Pima cotton for low prices! Many companies will advertise their sheets as made with these materials, but the real deal usually can’t be found for under several hundred dollars per set. That said, there are cotton blend options available at a lower price point.
Other fabric options include bamboo, linen, silk, and Tencel. Bamboo fabrics are durable, hypoallergenic, breathable, and machine washable. They are also odor resistant and get increasingly softer over time. Linen sheets are technically made from flax; they are breathable, durable, and can feel very lightly quilted. Silk is often categorized as slippery, luxurious, and romantic. It isn’t the most durable fabric, but it is certainly special. Tencel is made from the wood pulp of eucalyptus and is an environmentally friendly option. We’ll go into greater detail about eco-friendly products later, so look out for more examples.
Then there’s flannel. Flannel is a low maintenance fabric made from a mixture of cotton and wool. Not necessarily what you want to swaddle yourself in during the summer months, but perfect for those cold, winter nights. We will talk more about weather/temperature specific sheets below.
Best organic cotton sheets: Boll & Branch Luxury Sheet Set
These organic cotton sheets are made from 100 percent certified organic cotton with a super soft 300 thread count and percale weave. You’ll read more about this later, but with a solid, stellar material, a 300 thread count is all you’ll need to sleep comfortably and peacefully. Boll & Branch sticks with neutral colors and has options in all standard bed sizes, except twin. These luxury sheets are also fair trade certified, which means farmers and other workers get paid two to three times the industry standard.
What’s the right thread count for you?
Thread count is something we hear a lot about but often don’t know what it means. The thread count is the number of threads woven into one square inch of fabric. In a sheet, threads are woven into vertical strands referred to as the warp weave and horizontal strands referred to as the weft weave. Adding the warp and weft yarn gives you the total thread count. Thread count does not always determine the softness of a sheet, but points towards the overall quality, especially when it comes to cotton.
A sheet with a thread count under 200 will probably be rough because it is loosely woven together. So if you like a soft feel, look for something within the 200 to 400 range. Sheets between 300-400 will be a bit more luxurious. Every so often, a sheet made of authentic, 100% Pima cotton will have a thread count of 500. Like the promise of pure Egyptian cotton, it is easy for companies to inflate their thread count to an absurd number. They do this by associating the thread count to the ply of the sheet. Some brands will combine two or three strands into a single yarn; rather than counting the number of yarns in the weave, they double or even triple those numbers. Often this is because the material itself is not strong enough to be suitable for single-ply construction. We suggest staying away from sheets that boast of thread counts in the thousands.
Best high thread count sheets: Brooklinen Luxe Core Sheet Set
These high thread count sheets from Brooklinen are perfect for, dare we say, all sleepers (but don’t come for us if you’re one of the few who prefer crisper, stiffer bedding). Made from 100 percent long-staple cotton, these sheets boast an honest and impressive 480 thread count and a sateen weave. Despite all the luxurious feel, they are machine-washable. The set comes in all standard bed sizes, including twin XL and California king. It’s available in cream, white, graphite, as well as two patterns: windowpane and striped.
What’s the best weave and finish for you?
Along with material and thread count, you can consider weave. The weave is essentially describing the way the material is woven. The most popular weave is called percale. A percale weave is super durable and made using a criss-cross, over-under pattern. Sateen, not to be confused with satin, is another popular weave. It’s woven on a Jacquard loom, allowing for intricate, creative patterns when it comes to layering the weft and warp strands. Sateen woven fabrics tend to be silky and smooth, which also makes them more delicate. Jersey knit weaves feel like well-worn, comfortable t-shirts. Jersey is knitted rather than woven; it’s stretchy, soft, and inexpensive but prone to pilling. A twill weave has a pattern of diagonal, ribbed lines. Twill weaves tend to be a tad rougher and are more commonly found in thin blankets as an added layer.
Some sheets will also have a special finish. The finish will be more aligned with your aesthetic rather than overall quality, but just as important. The most popular finish is dye, which of course, changes the color of the original material. Another popular finish is printing. Rather than weaving a pattern or design into the sheet, the detail is printed onto the sheet once the weave is complete. A waffle finish will create a honeycomb-like texture, and a seersucker finish will result in a puckered texture that often includes stripes. Ultimately, the right finish for you is totally up to personal preference, though we always love a pleasing pattern.
Best jersey weave sheets: Columbia Modal Jersey Sheet Set
Since we’ve already included a percale pick and sateen pick in this story, we wanted to give you our recommendation for a jersey weave. Columbia’s jersey sheets are made from super-soft 100 percent modal jersey with Omni-wick, moisture-wicking technology to keep you dry yet insulated. The sets are available in five neutral colors as well as all bed sizes. They are machine-washable, wrinkle-resistant, and carefully knit.
Do you sleep cold or hot?
Depending on where you live, your overall temperature, or your partner’s personal preferences (we’re looking at all the people who leave their fans on in the middle of winter), you might want to consider sheet sets for specific climates, natural or man made.
If you tend to get chilly at night, or you just can’t seem to keep out the cold, a flannel or fleece sheet might be a good option for you. Now, these are not for those who just need a little extra warmth. Flannel and fleece not only retain heat, but they also generate it, keeping you perfectly insulated. Both flannel and fleece are super soft, though they have a slight tendency to pill the more you sleep on them. Keep in mind, the more you sweat, the more you’ll want to pop your sheets in the wash to keep your bed and body clean.
If summer has rolled around and you need help keeping cool at night—or you naturally sleep very hot—look for sheets made from Tencel, linen, or a percale cotton weave. Tencel, in particular, is moisture-wicking, which will aid sweaty sleepers. Some sheets have integrated cooling technologies to store heat and maintain body temperature throughout the night. Look for models made with Outlast, a Certified Space Technology, to monitor, absorb, and release heat.
Best sheets for cold sleepers: Eddie Bauer – Flannel Collection
We love a pattern, and these flannel sheets from Eddie Bauer will look super sweet and cozy in any room. EB has several different patterns for their flannel sets, but our personal favorite is “Bear Family;” we encourage you to check out the others. This set comes with a fitted sheet, flat sheet, and two pillowcases for twin, twin XL, full, queen, and king size beds. Each set is machine-washable and made out of 100% cotton flannel, pre-shrunk, and brushed to add softness and elasticity.
Best sheets for hot sleepers: Stratus Cooling Sheet Set
The Stratus Cooling Sheet Set from Slumbercloud is top of the line when it comes to keeping you cool at night. Using the Outlast technology we mentioned above, these sheets prevent overheating and regulate your temperature using breathable Outlast viscose and premium cotton. Made with a sateen weave and a 300 thread count, it comes in all the standard bed sizes and six bold yet straightforward colors.
Do you want your sheets to be eco-friendly?
Sustainable, eco-friendly sheets are a great way to get some shut-eye, knowing you’re doing good things for your body and your planet. First things first, look for brands that are certified B Corporations. The companies are guaranteed to report their social and environmental impact, which is then reviewed by a neutral third party. You can also look for fabrics that are certified Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX® and meet the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) requirements. These fabrics have been tested for harmful substances at all stages of processing. Thirdly, you can look for companies that are certified by Green America. This certification means the business is committed to social change.
Once you find a company you stand by, you can do a deeper dive into eco-friendly materials. Certified organic cotton must be grown and constructed without additional, harmful chemicals or genetic modifications. Organically grown eucalyptus can be even more environmentally friendly than organic cotton. It requires significantly less water to grow and doesn’t need to be uprooted when harvested, so it continues to grow without replanting. Tencel fabrics are made from natural, recyclable materials, which means the Tencel itself is recyclable, which means less waste and a smaller environmental impact. Finally, think about sheets that have gone through a natural dye process, forgoing bleach and other chemicals.
Best organic sheets: Sheets & Giggles Eucalyptus Lyocell Sheet Set
These organic sheets from the punnily named Sheets & Giggles are made from renewable grown eucalyptus trees on a biodiverse farm. The manufacturing process uses 96% less water than standard cotton sheets, plus a new tree is planted with every order. The company is OEKO-TEX, vegan cruelty-free, and FKT certified, as well as ZDHC certified, which means there is no wastewater runoff during manufacturing. The 400 thread count sheets come in standard sizes, with the exclusion of twin, and can be purchased in four colors: white, purple, blue, and grey.
FAQ: people also ask
How do I pick a sheet that I know will fit my mattress height?
When searching the stores or scrolling the internet, look for each sheet’s pocket depth. This is especially important if you have any additional padding or protection on your mattress. Deep pockets will result in a comfortable fit that won’t pop over the corners as you roll over at night.
What is included in a bed sheet set?
Typically, a sheet set will include one fitted sheet, one top sheet, and one (for a twin) or two (for queen and king sets) pillowcases. If you’re looking for even more bedding, most companies will also sell duvet covers, comforters, shams, and throws separately.
How many sets of sheets do I need?
You can never have too many! Okay, maybe you can, but that is truly up to you. You’ll most likely want to have at least two sets for each bed in your home to ensure you’re not sheetless if the laundry gets backed up. It is generally recommended you wash your sheets every two weeks.
Best budget sheets: What you get for under $50
There are plenty of options for more budget-friendly sheets. However, you might need to sacrifice premium materials, maximum durability, or cooling technologies, but you will undoubtedly find something you love. If you’re looking for something under $50, it’s always a good idea to do a touch test before fully sleeping on them to avoid scratchy materials keeping you up at night. For a more budget-friendly heat, check out these sheets from Mellanni, which, despite the relatively audacious thread count, has more than enough reviews to back it up.
A final word on shopping for the best sheets
You spent so much time in your bed, not only sleeping but cuddling up, watching movies, reading books, and drafting that last email before you sign off for the day. Make sure you take a moment to consider the best sheets before deciding what kind of bedding you want to spend all that time in and on. You’ll thank yourself when you crawl into bed after a long day and instantly feel comfortable enough to drift off to sleep. Continue to keep in mind the kind of material, temperature, weave, and overall design that will keep you happy for many nights to come.