Saunas are a fabulous way to relax and get some great health benefits—but no one wants to feel like they’re in one when they go to sleep at night. That’s because there’s nothing worse than waking up from a night of sleep to find yourself in a pool of your own sweat. According to the National Sleep Foundation, sweat is our body’s natural reaction to a raised body temperature. But if a mattress, clothes, or sheets keep you overly warm and don’t “breathe” well, then the sweat won’t evaporate properly – leaving you and any surrounding materials damp.
It’ll come as no surprise then that 86 percent of Americans said that the comfortable feel of bedding and sheets was important to ensure good sleep.
Whether you live in a warm environment or simply want to rotate your sheets seasonally to find the best cooling sheets for summer, it’s important to consider several factors, including material, thread count, color, and weave.
Best Materials for Cooling Sheets
Choosing the best cool sheets has a lot to do with what they’re made of. The National Sleep Foundation recommends selecting “a breathable cotton fabric” to prevent overheating at night. In addition, Tencel (an alternative made from the pulp of eucalyptus trees) and performance polyester are great picks to wick away perspiration at night.
If you’re in search of the best cotton material, Egyptian cotton is upheld as the gold standard, with pima and Supima cotton coming in as close seconds. All of these types of cotton consist of extra-long – or long-staple – fibers, making fabrics soft and breathable. The nice thing about cotton is that it works well in both warm and cold climates and weather, so you don’t necessarily need to purchase a separate pair of sheets for summer and winter.
Some say that natural fibers are better at keeping you dry than synthetic materials because they’re more breathable. One of the best natural fibers is bamboo, one of the most Eco-friendly choices. Bamboo sheets are reportedly three times more absorbent than cotton, plus it dries fast. Another bonus is that bamboo fabric is antimicrobial and anti-fungal.
Best Thread Count for Cooling Sheets
Thread count is another consideration when you’re looking for the best cool sheets. It refers to how many vertical and horizontal threads exist in every square inch of your sheets. Many people assume that a higher thread count is always better – but that’s a bit of a myth. Instead, think of it as a delicate balance between getting sheets with too low of a thread count (which can feel cheap against your skin) and too high of a thread count (which can become rough and lacks breathability).
Because thread count can be manipulated by some companies that use deceptive technologies or techniques, it is not the most reliable indicator of the best cooling sheets. In fact, a thread count in the 270-400 range is ideal when selecting the best cool sheets if you also have chosen the right materials, weave, and color.
Best Weaves for Cooling Sheets
The way sheets are woven can have a huge impact on how they feel against your skin – and how much heat they trap. That’s because sheets that trap heat and are less breathable will leave you damper if you sweat a lot at night. The following weaves work well for cool sheets:
- Percale, a flat weave with a high thread count that results in a cool, crisp fabric
- Sateen, a soft alternative to silk that boasts a matte finish on one side and a shiny finish on the other
- Jersey, a knit fabric that’s made from Egyptian cotton and feels comfortable like a t-shirt
- Satin, a similar weave to sateen but one that is made from a fabric like silk or nylon
When considering the best cooling sheets, stay away from flannel and two-ply weaves. A flannel weave can be great for the winter because of its cozy, heat-absorbent nature—but it’ll cook you alive in the summer.
Best Color for Cooling Sheets
You might not think so, but the color of your sheets can also play a role in keeping you cool at night. Lighter colors reflect heat that comes through your windows, while dark colors absorb it. If you tend to go to sleep shortly after the sun goes down or you sleep during the day this can be a critical factor to keeping your sleeping surface cool.
Cooling Sheets Recommendations
It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking for the best cool sheets for summer or year-round – making sure you’re comfortable and getting a good night’s sleep should be a top priority in your life. That’s why it’s important to do your research to find sheets that will wick away moisture and not absorb it.
At Sleepopolis, I’ve reviewed a whole suite of sheets to take the guesswork out of finding the best cooling sheets. Some of my favorites include Brooklinen’s 100% Egyptian cotton sheets, Malouf’s 100% Tencel sheets, bedface’s 100% cotton sheets, Sheex’s high performance polyester + spandex sheets, and Bedgear’s high performance dri-tec polyester sheets.
If you’re on the hunt for another type of sheet – including the best Egyptian cotton sheets, organic sheets, and more – check out my full list of sheet reviews.