You know the feeling: it’s summertime, your A/C is on full blast, and yet you’re losing out on sleep because you keep waking up covered in sweat. Sleeping hot is a common enough problem that many companies who make bedding, mattresses, and other sleep accessories market plenty of their products with cooling technology. One of the most important ingredients to the “sleep cool formula” are your sheets. Our goal today is to narrow down your search for the most breathable, cooling sheets so you can wake up feeling rested and refreshed!
Research & Resources
To write this article, we…
- Referenced dozens of customer reviews for the most comprehensive information
- Spent over 14 hours writing and revising to create the highest quality content
- Researched over 20 leading brands
Our Editors’ Choice – Amerisleep Cotton Bed Sheets
Our recommendation for the best cooling sheets are the Amerisleep Cotton Bed Sheets. They have a 310 thread count, making them ideal for hot sleepers, and the percale weave ensures breathability and moisture-wicking. The single pick construction results in a tighter weave and a softer feel, and the sheets come with a 5-year limited warranty. These sheets will fit beds up to 18” thick, so they’re incredibly versatile. One set includes 1 fitted sheet, 1 oversized flat sheet, and 2 pillowcases.
|Brand||Features||Cost for Queen-Size Set|
|Editors' Choice: Amerisleep Cotton Bed Sheets|
|Runner-Up: Zoma's Tencel Sheets|
|Best Bamboo: Cariloha Bamboo Resort Bamboo Bed Sheets||$239|
|Best Value: The Purple Sheets||$114|
|Best Eco-Friendly: Saatva Lofton Organic Sheet Set||$195|
|Best Linen: Snowe Linen Sheet Set||$298|
|Best Tencel: Malouf Sleep Tencel Sheets||$207|
|Best Sateen: Brooklinen Luxe Sateen Sheets||$149|
1. Amerisleep Cotton Bed Sheets – Editors’ Choice
Amerisleep’s Cotton Bed Sheets are made with 100% combed percale cotton. If cotton is “combed,” that means the fibers have been specially treated, rendering them much softer. The sheets have a 310 thread count, and Healthy Sleep recommends you choose sheets with a thread count of 300-400 for the best cooling effects.
2. Zoma Tencel Sheets — Runner-Up
Although we really like Amerisleep’s Cotton Percale Sheets, Zoma’s Tencel Sheets are also another hard-to-beat option. We recommend their Tencel sheets because they’re smoother than cotton and super soft, but also cooling and breathable—Tencel makes a great sheet fabric for hot sleepers! Zoma’s Tencel Sheets have a lightweight 300 thread count, convenient elastic edging, are naturally hypoallergenic, and get softer with every wash.
3. Cariloha Bamboo Resort Bamboo Bed Sheets
Bamboo is sought after because it’s extremely eco-friendly and it’s naturally hypoallergenic. The Cariloha brand claims their bamboo sheets are softer than 1,000 thread count sheets made of Egyptian cotton, and they regulate your body temperature, so you’re cool in summer and warm in winter. Bamboo is quite durable and as a result, it’s usually a bit more expensive than other options.
4. The Purple Sheets
Purple makes their sheets from bamboo, and at $114 for a Queen-size set, they’re an excellent value for those wanting the luxury feel of bamboo without the higher price tag. The sheets are also seamless and stretchy. Their heavy-duty elastic keeps the sheets in place, and they sell the sheets in three neutral colors.
5. Saatva Lofton Organic Sheet Set
The Saatva Lofton set is our recommendation if you’re looking for a more environment-friendly option. These sheets are GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified and fair trade manufactured. The sheets themselves can fit mattresses 10-15” thick, and the 300-thread count sateen weave is incredibly cool.
6. Snowe Linen Sheet Set
Linen is a wonderful cooling fabric because it’s naturally thermo-regulative, meaning it keeps you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. This particular brand air washes their linen, mimicking linen that’s been drying in the sun for hundreds of years, making it super soft. While these are a much pricier option, they come with a 90-day trial so you can make sure they’re right for you.
7. Malouf Sleep Tencel Sheets
Tencel is said to wick moisture 50% more effectively than cotton, so it’s perfect for those who don’t just sleep hot but also sweat all night. These sheets have deep pockets and a Universal Fit® design, so you shouldn’t experience your sheets getting yanked and twisted. Malouf Tencel Sheets are manufactured using a closed loop system, so they are sustainable and eco-friendly.
8. Brooklinen Luxe Sateen
The Brooklinen Luxe Sateen sheets are their bestsellers, and with 39,000+ reviews, it’s easy to see why. These sheets have the highest thread count of any in our lineup, but the sateen weave ensures they stay cool and light. They are also OEKO-TEX certified and free of harmful chemicals. The sheets come with a long and short label, so you always know which side is which.
What makes a sheet cool?
To avoid heating up while you sleep, The National Sleep Foundation recommends you stay hydrated during the day, try a cool shower before bed, and make sure your blinds are closed. While these are great suggestions, sleeping with sheets made especially to cool you off may be a more surefire solution to your sweaty sleeping woes.
Many companies say their sheets have cooling abilities, but what exactly does that mean? If you understand the basic components of your sheets and know what to look for, you can easily determine whether or not a sheet will actually cool you off.
You might think that the higher the thread count, the better. The truth is, a thread count higher than 400 may not even be necessary. Some companies exaggerate the thread count number, making the sheets seem like high quality even if they are using low-quality materials to create that high thread count. When it comes to cooling, the higher the thread count, the less cooling sheets will be, and the ideal thread count for cooling will depend on the material. Healthy Sleep recommends a thread count of 300-400 for the most cooling benefits.
The material used to make the sheets largely dictates how breathable they will be. Most companies use the same few materials in their sheets, and we’ll break down the most common below:
|Cotton||The most popular choice is Egyptian because of its softness||Depends on the thread count, but usually very breathable and absorbent|
|Tencel||Made of rayon or lyocell. Recyclable, eco-friendly, has a silky feel||Very breathable and moisture wicking|
|Linen||Made from fibers of the flax plant, can be very soft if stonewashed, often a little more expensive||Typically cooler and more absorbent than cotton|
|Microfiber||Synthetic (usually made of a polyester blend), stretchy||Not the most cooling option, not as absorbent or moisture-wicking|
|Bamboo||Eco-friendly, hypoallergenic, durable, often a little more expensive||Very breathable and moisture wicking|
The next thing to consider is the weave. If sheets have a tighter weave and a high thread count, they probably won’t be as cooling. That said, the combination of weave, material, and thread count together will determine how cooling sheets will be.
This weave is smooth like silk but it’s used in cotton sheets. It is heavier than percale, but still quite cooling. This weave is popular because its texture is similar to silk, but it’s much more cost-effective.
A percale weave gives many sheets their “crisp” feel, like an ironed, starchy shirt. Percale is one of the most common weaves in “cooling” sheets because it’s so lightweight.
Jersey is primarily used in clothing, but jersey sheets are becoming popular because they’re soft and stretchy. A jersey weave fabric is more prone to pilling, but it can be cooling in the summer and warm in the winter.
A satin weave is perfect for summer because it’s incredibly smooth and light. It is shiny on one side and matte on the other.
Here we break down our top recommendations based on the material, weave, price, and customer reviews. The “possible cons” come from customer feedback.
Taking Care of Your Sheets
While your sheets should last quite a while, if you suffer from night sweats, menopause, or you’re just sweating constantly, your sheets may break down more quickly. The key is to properly care for and maintain them to ensure they last a long time. Certain fabrics are more durable than others, such as linen or cotton, but you can extend most sheets’ life by investing in gentler detergents.
Try washing sheets by themselves, away from clothing with zippers or fasteners. Bunching your sheets up into a loose ball before you throw them into the washing machine can reduce the chance they get stretched out or pulled by the agitator. Avoid ironing your sheets, since that can wear them down faster as well.
Natural vs. Organic
You’ll often see organic sheets being touted as more breathable than natural or non-organic versions, but there’s not a massive difference in how each one cools. It really just comes down to your personal preferences–if your priority is to be more green, go for organic. If sheets have been labeled as organic, that means they should’ve been manufactured with relatively little or no synthetic materials, pesticides, or fertilizers.
Other types of sheets
You could be looking for something beyond cooling sheets, and there are a few different options available. Keep in mind that some of these are not cooling at all, and others are simply marketing terms.
- Flannel: flannel sheets are used for cooler temperatures to warm you up. Sometimes people switch out their cooling sheets for flannel sheets in the winter.
- Stain-resistant: stain resistant sheets should be made with some kind of repellant fabric, like microfiber. Also, just because sheets are waterproof or liquid-proof does not mean they are stain-resistant.
- Higher thread count sheets: like we mentioned earlier, higher thread count sheets are not necessarily the most cooling. However, if you want a higher thread count sheet, look for Egyptian Cotton since it’s quite breathable.
- Performance sheets: performance sheets are usually made with microfiber or cooling technologies. “Performance” refers to a sheet that does a little “extra”–something beyond just sitting on your bed and covering you up at night.
Return Policies and Warranties
Most sheets should come with a return policy and a warranty–make sure you read the fine print before you make a purchase. Some sheets are quite expensive and being unable to return them could end up being a costly mistake.
Additional Brands to Consider
|PeachSkinSheets||High performance, athletic grade fabric for maximum airflow and wicking, 1500 thread count|
|Sheex||Performance fabric transfers body heat 2x more effectively than traditional cotton sheets, breathes nearly 50% better than traditional cotton|
|Mellanni||100% polyester, brushed microfiber sheets, more durable than cotton|
|Parachute||Percale, linen and sateen options; their percale is guaranteed to keep you cool|
|Comfort Spaces||80% polyester, 20% Coolmax Microfiber construction is moisture-wicking|
|SlumberCloud||Made with NASA-engineered Outlast fibers®, keeps humidity and heat from building up|
Sleeping Cool Doesn’t Have to be Hard!
The ideal room temperature for sleep is 60-67 degrees. If you’re not ready to set your A/C that low, start with cooling bed sheets! Look for sheets that come in neutral colors, since lighter colors reflect heat while darker colors attract them.
If you sleep by a window, use blackout blinds or place your bed away from the light so your bed doesn’t retain any extra heat. Most importantly, if you’re in the market for some new sheets, pay attention to your fabric construction, weave, and thread count to secure a cool, relaxing night’s sleep.
This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.