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How to pick the best bed sheets, according to experts

The right set of bed sheets can have a big impact on your sleep, experts say. Here's how to go about choosing the right sheets for you.
Morning duties. Shop the best bed sheets and best bed sheet sets of 2021 for twin, queen and king size beds. The best bed sheets include cotton sheets, bamboo sheets and more.
Here's what to know before buying bed sheets in 2022 and some of the best options to consider from Brooklinen, Cozy Earth, Amazon Basics and more. svetikd / Getty Images

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Until you’ve slept on great sheets, you may never realize just how integral they are to a good night’s rest. Of course, the type and quality of your mattress matters, too, but quality sheets help your skin thermoregulate your body, explained Dr. Erum Ilyas, a board-certified dermatologist and functional textile expert. “If your bedsheets are not supporting your skin’s ability to do its job, you will find your sleep may not be as restful,” she said.

LEARN MORE Types of sheets and materials

To help you better understand how to choose the best sheets for you, we spoke to experts across different disciplines, from dermatologists to interior designers. Below, you can find their tips on what to look for in a great set of sheets, some of their top picks and some highly rated sheets we chose based on their guidance.

How to shop for bed sheets

Fabric that feels smooth enough to wrap yourself in for eight hours a night isn’t the only priority when shopping for bed sheets. Experts told us to consider the following factors:

  • Material. Different materials suit some people’s sleep needs better than others. Lindsay Stedman, a stylist and former Textile Technologist for Ralph Lauren and Victoria's Secret, told us that sheets made from bamboo, cotton or microfiber are best “if you are looking for sheets that have a cooling effect,” whereas a material like flannel is warmer. Additionally, some sheets might advertise themselves as organic, but that can be misleading. For example, if your goal is to buy organic cotton sheets to avoid added chemicals in the production process, Ilyas suggested looking for undyed organic cotton to meet your goals.“ To be labeled as organic, the only criteria to meet is to utilize USDA certified organic crops in production,” Ilyas explained. “The word organic can still be ascribed to cotton that utilizes certified organic crops even if it has been chemically modified with finishes or dyes.”
  • Thread Count. “Thread count is important,” Stedman told us, but it’s not the end-all-be-all. She noted that high quality materials with high quality weaves — how the individual fibers are brought together — “can still feel great” regardless of the thread count. Conversely, a high thread count may not mean much if the materials are poor and the construction is shoddy.
  • Oeko-TEX certification. The experts we spoke to recommend shopping for sheets with Oeko-TEX certification, which ensures no harmful substances were involved in the manufacturing of a product. “The goal of this certification process is to try to add another level of consumer confidence for a growing concern about textiles, human health and our environment,” Ilyas said. “I consider this one more bonus to look for.”

Top-rated bed sheets to consider

Based on guidance from the experts we consulted, here are some highly rated bed sheets worth considering right now, made from fabrics like cozy flannel to cooling bamboo, as well as some specific recommendations from experts.

PeachSkinSheets Night Sweats Soft Sheet Set

Designed for hot sleepers who sweat at night, these hypoallergenic sheets are known for their temperature control abilities. The brand says these 1500 thread count sheets are also pill- and wrinkle-resistant and antimicrobial and moisture-wicking. Stedman told us that they’re “hands down the best all-around sheets for hot sleepers.” They have a 4.5-star average rating from over 4,800 reviews on Amazon.

Brooklinen Classic Percale Sheet Set

Made with a 270 thread count weave, these Oeko-TEX certified, breathable sheets are available in over a dozen 11 color or print options. Although Brooklinen recommends you line-dry these 100-percent cotton sheets, they can be put in a dryer on low. “These are supersoft,” noted Ilyas. “Percale also carries the cool, crisp feel that is great for hot sleepers.” Stedman agreed, calling the set “the perfect percale sheet if you are after that classic cool and crisp handfeel.” These sheets have a 4.7-star average rating from over 15,000 reviews on Brooklinen.

LuxClub 6-Piece Sheet Set Bamboo Sheets

More than 150,000 reviewers on Amazon have given this set a 4.5-star average rating. The bamboo viscose fabric is blended with microfiber and, according to the brand, is softer than jersey. Due to the percale weave, these wrinkle-free and hypoallergenic sheets also help regulate temperature to keep you cool.

Boll & Branch Flannel Solid Sheet Set

Available in a range of colors and prints, this flannel bedding set is popular among the experts we consulted for its softness and warmth. Its fabric is Fair Trade Certified, GOTS Certified, Oeko-TEX certified and certified organic. It has a 4.9-star average rating from over 1,000 reviews on Boll & Branch.

Cozy Earth Bamboo Sheet Set

These sheets are made from 100% viscose bamboo fabric, which the brand says is “breathable” and “moisture-wicking” to help keep you cool. The set also comes with a 100-night sleep trial plus free shipping and returns. They have a 4.9-star average rating from over 3,400 reviews on Cozy Earth.

Nordstrom 400 Thread Count Organic Cotton Sateen Sheet Set

These 100-percent organic cotton, sateen sheets are Global Organic Textile Standard certified and have a thread count of 400. “These sheets have a luxurious look and feel and cover multiple categories,” said Ilyas. “Breathable, durable, comfortable and look luxurious.” The sheets come in four colors and have a 4.1-star average rating from over 370 reviews on Nordstrom.

Garnet Hill Hemstitched Supima Flannel Bedding

Fuzzy flannel sheets can provide more warmth than other materials, and Garnet Hill calls these sheets their “warmest” and “softest” flannel sheets. Made of 100% Supima cotton, the Oeko-Tex certified sheets have been “brushed multiple times on both sides” for a softer feel, the brand says. You can also add personal monogramming for an extra fee, depending on the size and particular item in your set. The sheets have a 4.8-star average rating from over 490 reviews on Garnet Hill.

Sheex Performance Sheet Set

Stedman called this Sheex performance set her “go-to for moisture wicking sheets.” She likes them for their soft feel, as well as their breathable and moisture wicking fabric. The polyester and spandex sheet set also comes in 12 colors and has a 4.4-star average rating from over 2,900 reviews on Amazon.

Brooklinen Linen Core Sheet Set

These 100% linen sheets are made from European flax and are Oeko-TEX certified. You can return or exchange the sheets anytime within the first year of purchase — return shipping is free. They also come in more than a dozen colors. “These linen sheets from Brooklinen really hit all the marks,” Stedman said. She went on to tell us that “They are a washed, 100-percent linen that gives it that perfect lived-in feel with little shrinkage after washing, she said. The set has a 4.7-star average rating from over 3,000 reviews on Brooklinen.

Mellanni Bed Sheet Set - Brushed Microfiber 1800 Bedding

These microfiber sheets are made from 100-percent polyester with an 1800 thread count — upwards of 290,000 reviewers on Amazon have given this set a 4.5-star average rating. Available in 42 different colors, this brushed microfiber bedding also comes in 11 size options from Twin XL to Split King. The sheets are machine-washable (cold) and are fade-, stain-, shrink- and wrinkle-resistant for easy care, making them more durable than cotton, according to the brand.

My Sheets Rock The Regulator

This lightweight bedding’s fabric has a soft stretch and also helps reduce humidity by wicking away moisture, according to the brand. The company also offers free shipping and a 90-day free trial with full refund if you don’t end up loving their sheets. They’re available in nine colors and come with a nearly five-star rating from over 2,100 reviews on My Sheets Rock.

Brooklyn Bedding Bamboo Twill Sheets

Made from bamboo twill, these sheets have hypoallergenic properties and promote an antimicrobial sleep environment that’s gentle on sensitive skin, according to the brand. Brooklyn Bedding says the temperature-regulating material is also moisture-wicking to help maintain ideal body temperature and is machine-washable. They’re available in four colors and come with a 30-day free trial. They have a 4.7-star average rating from over 630 reviews on Amazon.

Boll & Branch Signature Hemmed Sheet Set

In this sheet set, the long-staple cotton means “the sheets are incredibly soft but durable,” Stedman told us. Made of 100% cotton, these sheets are Oeko-TEX certified and come in ten colors. They have a 4.8-start average rating from over 10,000 reviews on Boll & Branch.

Types of materials

When you’re looking for a new set of bedsheets, the two main features to consider are the sheet’s fabric and its weave.

Fabric

The fabric refers to a textile’s thread type, be it cotton, linen, bamboo or silk.

Jersey sheets

Jersey sheets are made primarily of 100-percent cotton or cotton blends with synthetic fibers and are knit like T-shirts, Ilyas explained. “The construction of the jersey is knit, not woven, and just like a T-shirt, jersey is soft and breathable,” she said. “It is meant for warmer climates as it keeps your skin a little cooler but they’re not as durable as sateen or percale, given the knit construction.”

Linen sheets

If you aren’t afraid of some extra ironing, linen is a classic, natural bedding option made from flax plant fibers. It is breathable, long-lasting, durable and great for moisture-wicking. Linen is considered a more eco-friendly product given its recyclable and biodegradable qualities, noted Ilyas. “In the medical literature, linen has also been shown to have antimicrobial and wound-healing properties,” she said. “Its lightweight quality also makes it a favorable option for those that tend to get ‘overheated’ at night.”

Flannel sheets

Flannel sheets are the ideal option for cold weather to keep sleepers cozy all night while remaining breathable. Although flannel does not wrinkle easily, its fluffy fibers can easily form into fuzzballs.

Bamboo sheets

Bamboo sheets are soft, durable, breathable and oftentimes more expensive than other materials. This material is available in different weaves like sateen and percale, and is also antibacterial as well as hypoallergenic.

Cotton sheets

Not all cotton sheets are the same, explained Ilyas, as they vary greatly in how they feel against your skin based on their construction, weave and thread count. Each type of cotton — Tencel, Egyptian cotton, Organic cotton, Pima cotton, American Upland — offers a different feel. “Blends with polyester and other materials make these sheets a little more wrinkle-resistant and softer to touch,” Ilyas said.

But before deciding on cotton, she suggests considering your preferences when it comes to warmth overnight. “Many of my patients that struggle with hot flashes in the middle of the night may find cotton sheets more likely to trap in moisture and heat and not love this material,” Ilyas highlighted. “However, many people in cooler and colder climates may prefer these to stay warmer at night.”

Silk sheets

Ilyas explained that compared to other textiles, silk is a fabric that repels moisture and prevents the absorption of droplets, which may be of benefit to those with acne-prone or eczema-prone skin.

Weave

The weave refers to how these fibers are brought together, which impacts how the sheet feels.

Percale sheets

Typically made from 100-percent cotton, percale sheets usually have a matte-like finish since the weave doesn’t take on the shine of sateen or other cotton weaves, explained Ilyas. “Due to the construction, the fabric is lightweight and very breathable,” she said. Percale sheets are a great option for those who sleep hot or live in warmer, more humid environments. “I also have many patients that sleep with a humidifier on for eczema and other skin conditions and tend to find that percale is a good option here too because some patients will feel like their sheets feel damp if they choose a different weave or blend,” Ilyas said.

Sateen sheets

Sateen sheets, unlike Percale, have cotton threads that are tightly woven in the same style as silk, and like silk, have a somewhat shiny appearance. One downside of sateen is that the sheets’ sheen can fade over time with washes.

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