An important statistic to know: We spend approximately ⅓ of our lives in bed. So the argument in favor of super cozy bedding is strong. But how do you know what will last the wear and tear and weekly wash? Since most of us don’t buy new bed sheets on the reg, we’re not as well-versed in doing so as we are in buying, say, a new pair of jeans. That’s why we delved deeper into the world of bedding with the help of some of the brands making the most covetable options.
To start, it’s not about finding a set with the highest thread count. You should really consider the fabric when shopping for bed sheets. Now, how to choose? You’ll want to think about temperature since research shows your body temp affects how you sleep. Some fabrics are better suited to those who sleep cold and some to those who sleep hot, but more on that later. And, of course, the feel is also important. Do you prefer soft or silky?
If you’re starting from scratch, you should know about Percale and Sateen, the two mainstays of the bedding world. Interestingly, both are cotton — the difference (and effect on temperature) lies in the ways they are woven. But these aren’t only options. Read on to discover the best bed sheets for a comfortable night of sleep.
Percale is one of the two most common options in the bed sheet space, and it’s often likened to the ‘perfect men’s white button-down shirt’ of the bedding world. Pretty good analogy, considering you can almost feel the fabric just by thinking about it, no? It’s also what you’re probably thinking of when you imagine crisp, cool hotel bedding.
If you’re reading this thinking there’s no way you’d ever bother to change your sheets out seasonally, percale is for you as it’s a solid option year-round. Percale is a form of cotton, which, founder of Parachute, Ariel Kaye describes as “crisp and breathable with a simple, matte finish.” She also notes that it will continue to soften as you wash it, so basically, it gets cozier over time.
The other most common fabric you’ll find in bedding is sateen. Though, according to Hill House Home founder Nell Diamond, it’s more popular in Europe than here in the states. Sateen is known for its silky sheen. “Sateen tends to be a little bit more shiny, and it’s a little bit thicker,” Diamond says. As for the feel? It combines the luxurious feel of satin and the soft comfort of cotton.
Linen bed sheets are also having a moment, and for good reason: This versatile fabric has some impressive qualities. First, it’s naturally thermoregulating — aka it will cool you when you’re hot and warm you when you’re cold, which is some impressive magic for a basic fabric. Also nice? Thanks to its evaporating capabilities, it can absorb 20 percent of its weight in moisture (think night sweats) before feeling wet.
Like cotton, linen softens overtime and it’s recommended for people with allergies or sensitive skin. Of course, just like a blouse will, your linen sheets will wrinkle (no point fighting that) so make sure you’re cool with that undone, disheveled look before investing.
When it comes to the best bed sheets, bamboo is growing in popularity for a host of impressive reasons. A newer development, bamboo sheets are super soft and have a lush slip to them. It’s also naturally antimicrobial and moisture-absorbing! Hot tip: Since bamboo fabric wicks away moisture 50 percent faster than cotton, while helping block bacteria growth, you can stretch the time between washing your sheets a little longer!
We like: Ettitude’s Bamboo Lyocell Sheets ($178; ettitude.com). The proprietary fabric from the Australian brand is especially sustainable because bamboo is the planet’s most resource-efficient plant. Ettitude’s bamboo lyocell bed sheets make a great vegan alternative to silk, too, thanks to the smooth slip feel.