The 11 Best Percale Sheets of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

These cotton sheets are made for hot sleepers.

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Person's hand pressing into a sheet
Real Simple / Rachel Marek

Percale bed sheets are perfect for hot sleepers thanks to their crisp texture and breathable construction that drapes gently over the body, as opposed to clinging to it. Percale doesn’t refer to a specific fabric, but rather a weave that features a one-thread-over, one-thread-under pattern—although it’s most often produced from cotton. 

Jeffrey Kambak, CEO of U.S. operations at The Trident Group (a textiles manufacturer) and vice president of the Home Fashion Products Association, says percale sheets are experiencing a resurgence in popularity—however, many consumers still don’t know what to look for when shopping for percale. “There's a lot of misinformation out there,” says Kambak. “It’s not all about thread count, it’s much more about the quality of the yarn and how good the company is at finishing the textiles.”

To come up with our recommendations, we tested 52 percale sheets and evaluated them based on quality, texture, breathability, durability, and value. For expert tips and insight on what to look for in percale sheets, we spoke to Kambak as well as textile expert Deborah Young. 

Best Overall Percale Sheets

Lands' End 300 Thread Count Premium Supima Cotton Percale Bed Sheet Set

4.9
Lands' End 300 Thread Count Premium Supima Cotton Percale Bed Sheet Set

Lands' End

Our Ratings
  • Quality
    4.5/5
  • Texture
    5/5
  • Durability
    5/5
  • Value
    5/5
  • Breathability
    5/5
What Stands Out
  • They’re made from premium American-grown Supima cotton.

What Could Be Improved
  • They lack any certifications.

These percale sheets from Lands’ End received high marks across the board in our testing. They’re made from Supima cotton—a type of premium cotton grown exclusively in the western and southwestern U.S. and guaranteed to be extra-long-staple—so they boast the highest quality materials on the market. 

Unlike some of the other percale sheets we evaluated, we didn’t find these to be overly stiff or scratchy. They didn’t have the papery texture we found in some of the other sheets we tested. The 300 thread count falls right in the optimal range for percale, which allows the sheets to breathe without sacrificing softness or durability. The sheets don’t trap hot air underneath, but instead allow for air to flow underneath the gentle slope of the sheets. Their medium weight makes them ideal for couples with different sleeping preferences or for all-season use. 

There was no damage to the sheets post-wash, and they came out of the dryer with very few wrinkles. These sheets grew even softer after laundering, as percale is supposed to do with each wash. Given their performance in our testing and high-quality materials, we’re convinced these sheets will last for years. 

Price at time of publish: $170 for queen

Material: Supima cotton | Thread Count: 300 | Pocket: 16 inches | Size Range: Twin-California king | Certifications: N/A | Return Policy: 90 days

Person making a bed
Real Simple / Rachel Marek

Best Budget Percale Sheets

Better Homes & Gardens Washed Cotton Percale Sheet Set

4.5
Better Homes & Gardens Washed Cotton Percale Sheet Set

Walmart

Our Ratings
  • Quality
    5/5
  • Texture
    3.5/5
  • Durability
    5/5
  • Value
    5/5
  • Breathability
    3.5/5
What Stands Out
  • The fitted sheet comes with straps to keep it firmly in place.

What Could Be Improved
  • They aren’t as soft as higher priced sheet sets.

The Better Homes & Gardens Cotton Percale Sheet Set rivaled much more expensive brands in our testing (Better Homes & Gardens is owned by Real Simple’s parent company, Dotdash Meredith). Its 300 thread count makes it well suited for year-round use, providing just the right balance of breathability and insulation. Although these are not the softest sheets we tested, they grew softer and fit the mattress better after laundering. Plus, they didn't sustain any damage in the washer or dryer. 

The set comes with a flat sheet, a fitted sheet, and two pillowcases. We like that the fitted sheet comes with straps to secure it firmly to the mattress. Beyond the classic white color, this set is also available in a number of earthy tones, including Washed Indigo and Green River, all of which come in twin, full, queen, and king sizes. 

Price at time of publish: $45 for queen

Material: Cotton | Thread Count: 300 | Pocket: Not listed | Size Range: Twin-king | Certifications: N/A | Return Policy: 90 days

BHG percale sheets

Real Simple / Rachel Marek

Best Splurge Percale Sheets

Pom Pom at Home Cotton Percale Sheet Set

4.8
Pom Pom at Home Cotton Percale Sheet Set

Pom Pom at Home

Our Ratings
  • Quality
    5/5
  • Texture
    5/5
  • Durability
    4.7/5
  • Value
    4/5
  • Breathability
    5/5
What Stands Out
  • These sheets are as soft as percale comes.

What Could Be Improved
  • They only come in white.

Percale can get a bad rap for being scratchy or stiff, but the Pom Pom at Home Cotton Percale Sheet Set puts this reputation to bed. These 300-thread count sheets are as soft as you’ll find for percale, with an extremely smooth feel. They still have the signature crisp, matte feel that we love about percale, but with a softer, more airy finish. 

When we dropped a water droplet on the fabric, it expanded very quickly, which indicates that it’s highly moisture-wicking. After washing, these sheets didn’t sustain any damage or significant shrinkage, nor did they show any signs of wear after we ran a sheet of sandpaper over the top sheet 25 times. The fitted sheet also fit snug to the mattress, never budging when we tossed and turned in it. The foundation stain we applied to it was about 50 percent lighter after we treated it with a stain remover and washed; but the good news is that since it’s white, you can just bleach. Though, keep in mind that white is the only color it comes in. 

Price at time of publish: $322 for queen

Material: Cotton | Thread Count: 300 | Pocket: 15 inches | Size Range: Twin-California king | Certifications: N/A | Return Policy: 30 days

Best Organic Percale Sheets

Pact Cool-Air Percale Sheet Set

4.7
Pact Cool-Air Percale Sheet Set

Pact

Our Ratings
  • Quality
    5/5
  • Texture
    4.5/5
  • Durability
    4.7/5
  • Value
    4/5
  • Breathability
    4.3/5
What Stands Out
  • These sheets have a 60-day trial period.

What Could Be Improved
  • They became noticeably more wrinkled after washing.

Percale sheets are always a great choice for hot sleepers because they breathe well and gently drape over the body, as opposed to clinging to it. But those who suffer from night sweats need sheets that also dry quickly and provide a cooling effect, like these Cool-Air percale sheets from Pact. The droplet of water we applied to the sheet immediately expanded, indicating that these sheets are highly moisture-wicking. 

What’s more, they’re made from Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)-certified organic cotton. The quality of the material and construction was immediately apparent, as these sheets had no loose threading or uneven stitching before or after washing. They also have a soft hand feel that remained just as soft after washing, and when we ran sandpaper over a section of the fabric 25 times, there was no change in texture, nor did any of the color transfer when we rubbed the sheet against a white cloth. Plus, both the oil and coffee stains were removed with one wash, although the foundation was still visible (but we did find this to be the case with many sheets we tested, so it seems to be a tough stain to launder in general). Even muddy dog prints came out in the wash. 

The fitted sheet comes with a wide elastic band that held tightly to the mattress. The sheets have a crisp, button down-like feel, although they became noticeably more wrinkled after washing. Choose from four different neutral and earthy tones, including a deep camel. Should you still be on the fence, Pact offers a 60-day, no-questions-ask trial period. 

Price at time of publish: $200 for queen

Material: Organic cotton | Thread Count: 300 | Pocket: 15 inches | Size Range: Twin-California king | Certifications: GOTS | Return Policy: 60 days

Best Deep-Pocket Percale Sheets

Casaluna Washed Supima Percale Solid Sheet Set

4.6
Casaluna Washed Supima Percale Solid Sheet Set

Target

Our Ratings
  • Quality
    5/5
  • Texture
    4/5
  • Durability
    4.3/5
  • Value
    4/5
  • Breathability
    4.4/5
What Stands Out
  • The fitted sheet fits mattresses up to 18 inches tall and comes with corner straps to keep it in place.

What Could Be Improved
  • Stains did not come out of the fabric well. 

We were surprised by the quality of these sheets from one of Target’s owned brands, Casulana. They are made from Supima cotton, which is American-grown and prized for its softness and durability. The sheets come pre-washed for softness, and shrunk by just 1 percent in both length and width after our first wash. The fitted sheet comes with a wide elastic band and an additional strap at each corner to hold it tight to the mattress, as well as tags labeling the top and bottom. Plus, it has the deepest pockets of any sheets on our list—it’s able to accommodate mattresses up to 18 inches tall. We found them to fit securely to a 15-inch mattress topped with a mattress topper, and after tossing and turning on these sheets, it was clear they weren’t going anywhere. 

The 250 thread count falls right in the optimal range for hot sleepers, allowing for plenty of airflow without compromising softness. We did find that the sheets grew quite wrinkly after the first wash, and the stains did not come out particularly well, with the exception being the coffee stain. When we rubbed the sheets with a piece of sandpaper 25 times, the abraded area faded in color, although it didn’t pill or wear down. It’s also one of just four sheet sets on our list that comes with the Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex certification, meaning it's been tested for harmful substances. Choose from a nice variety of colors, ranging from neutrals to brighter hues, like rose and teal. Given the quality of the materials, we think these sheets are available at a great price point, and the generous 365-day return policy that Target offers for all its owned-brand products only adds to its value. 

Price at time of publish: $95 for queen

Material: Supima cotton | Thread Count: 250 | Pocket: 18 inches | Size Range: Twin/twin XL-California king | Certifications: Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex | Return Policy: 365 days

Best Cooling Percale Sheets

Parachute Percale Sheet Set

4.9
Parachute Percale Sheet Set

Parachute

Our Ratings
  • Quality
    4/5
  • Texture
    4/5
  • Durability
    5/5
  • Value
    4/5
  • Breathability
    4/5
What Stands Out
  • The top sheet is optional.

What Could Be Improved
  • On the flip side, if you do want a top sheet you’ll have to pay $100 extra.

These editor-loved, Egyptian cotton sheets from Parachute are comparable to a button-down shirt in terms of feel, and we love sleeping on them so much that they go right back on the bed after each wash. Prior to use, we immediately noticed that the fabric was cool to the touch, and after five minutes their temperature did not rise at all. After washing, the sheets remained soft and there were no visible signs of wear and tear, and we loved how quickly they dried, even on the low setting. 

They come in eight different earth-inspired colors, including sand, clay, moss, and more. We also like that the pillowcases come with an envelope closure to keep the inner pillow neatly tucked out of sight. Overall, we think the price is fair considering the quality and materials. However, flat sheets are not included in the base price—so if you're pro top sheet, you'll have to add one to your set for an additional fee. We also wish they came with tags labeling the long and short sides, too. 

Price at time of publish: $229 for queen 

Material: Egyptian cotton | Thread Count: Not listed | Pocket: 16 inches | Size Range: Twin-California king | Certifications: Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex | Return Policy: 60 days

best percale sheets
Real Simple / Dera Burreson

Best Heavy Percale Sheets

West Elm 400-Thread-Count Organic Cotton Percale Sheet Set

4.7
West Elm - 400-Thread-Count Organic Cotton Percale Sheet Set

 Courtesy of West Elm

Our Ratings
  • Quality
    4.8/5
  • Texture
    5/5
  • Durability
    4/5
  • Value
    4/5
  • Breathability
    3.8/5
What Stands Out
  • The higher thread count makes these sheets ideal for year-round use.

What Could Be Improved
  • They wrinkle easily. 

If you like the crisp, cool feel of percale but want something that will provide more warmth and insulation in the cooler months, look for sheets with a higher thread count, such as this 400-thread count sheet set from West Elm. We found them to be both breathable and moisture-wicking, though they don't necessarily have the cool-to-the-touch sensation of some other bed sheets we tested. The heavier weight and pleated stitched edges add to their hotel-quality appearance, while the crisp, button down shirt-like feel makes them seem more expensive than they actually are. 

After washing, the GOTS-certified organic cotton shrunk by just 4 percent, although it was noticeably more wrinkled post-wash, especially around the hems. All the stains came out well and the corners still fit snug to the mattress after washing. However, running a piece of sandpaper over a portion of the sheets 25 times did cause a small hole to appear.

Overall, these sheets give the impression of luxury for less, and their higher thread count makes them ideal for all-season use or for couples who sleep at different temperatures. Although, we wish they were available in more color options than just white and gray, and keep in mind that they aren’t available in twin sizes. 

Price at time of publish: $150 for queen 

Material: Organic Cotton | Thread Count: 400 | Pocket: 16 inches | Size Range: Full-California king | Certifications: GOTS | Return Policy: 30 days 

Softest Percale Sheets

Nordstrom at Home Percale Sheet Set

4.9
Nordstrom at Home Percale Sheet Set

Nordstrom

Our Ratings
  • Quality
    5/5
  • Texture
    5/5
  • Durability
    4.6/5
  • Value
    5/5
  • Breathability
    5/5
What Stands Out
  • They’re among the softest we tested and are priced very reasonably.

What Could Be Improved
  • They aren’t as moisture-wicking or stain-resistant as other sheets on our list.

These sheets from Nordstrom’s in-house brand gave us the impression that they had been prewashed because of their exceptionally soft feel and the fact that they only shrank by 1 percent after our first wash. And after washing, they remained just as soft. 

Water was slower to expand when applied to these sheets, which indicates they’re not as moisture-wicking as others on our list. However, they come with a 200 thread count, which allows for lots of airflow, and they keep us cool throughout the night, so sweating hasn’t proven to be an issue. The coffee stain came out completely in the wash, although the oil and foundation stains didn’t come out as successfully. When we ran sandpaper over a portion of the fabric, it didn’t sustain any damage aside from some slight discoloration. Given the quality, we think these sheets are priced very fairly. They also come Standard 100-certified by Oeko-Tex, and are available in four different neutral colors. 

Price at time of publish: $109 for queen

Material: Cotton | Thread Count: 200 | Pocket: 16 inches | Size Range: Queen and king | Certifications: Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex | Return Policy: No time limit

Best Patterned Percale Sheets

Feather & Stitch 100% Cotton Percale Weave Bed Sheets

4.5
Feather & Stitch 100% Cotton Percale Weave Bed Sheets

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Quality
    4.5/5
  • Texture
    5/5
  • Durability
    3/5
  • Value
    5/5
  • Breathability
    5/5
What Stands Out
  • It’s the only sheet set we recommend that offers both solid and patterned options.

What Could Be Improved
  • The fabric did not stand up to repeated abrasion in our testing, so it’s not the most durable.

Patterned bedding gives you the ability to pick up accent colors from the room and incorporate color in smaller measures. This set from Feather & Stitch is available in a variety of solid colors as well as prints, ranging from floral to geometric patterns. We found the sheets to be crisp and breathable and quick to absorb moisture. They’re medium weight, with a thread count of 300. We did notice some loose and entangled threads along the seam, although these were easy enough to trim.  

After washing, the sheets shrank by 4 percent in length and 2 percent in width. We found the texture to remain mostly the same post-wash, although they were a bit more wrinkled by comparison. The sheets come with 16-inch pockets, as well as tags labeling the top, bottom, and sides. The pillow cases also come with envelope closures, too. Where these sheets did not perform as well was in our durability testing. After 25 swaths with sandpaper, several holes appeared in the fabric. However, they’re among the least expensive on our list and will likely still hold up to more gentle use. 

Price at time of publish: $47 for queen

Material: Cotton | Thread Count: 300 | Pocket: 16 inches | Size Range: Twin-king | Certifications: Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex | Return Policy: 30 days

Most Durable Percale Sheets

Saatva Percale Sheet Set

4.8
Our Ratings
  • Quality
    5/5
  • Texture
    5/5
  • Durability
    5/5
  • Value
    5/5
  • Breathability
    4/5
What Stands Out
  • They wash extremely well and come with a 45-day sleep trial.

What Could Be Improved
  • They’re only available in three neutral colors.

These sheets feel soft and plush, as opposed to the stiff and papery feel of some percale sheets. We particularly appreciated that the fitted sheet comes with tags that indicate which is the long side and which is the short. In our breathability testing, we found the sheets to provide ample airflow. (The percale weave and 200 thread count enhance the natural breathability of the cotton.)

The sheets came out of the dryer with relatively few wrinkles and no damage or shrinking. Given the materials, the price point is very reasonable when compared to the other percale sheets we tested—but be sure to take advantage of the 45-day sleep trial and one-year warranty (which you’ll receive if you decide to keep the sheets after the trial ends). Our one complaint is that the sheets only come in three neutral colors, so if you’re in the market for more brightly colored bedding, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

Price at time of publish: $185 for queen

Material: Cotton | Thread Count: 200 | Pocket: 16 inches | Size Range: Twin-split king | Certifications: N/A | Return Policy: 45 days

Two people making a bed with Saatva organic percale sheets
Real Simple / Rachel Marek

Best Textured Percale Sheets

Coyuchi Organic Crinkled Percale Sheets

4.2
Coyuchi Organic Crinkled Percale Sheets

Coyuchi

Our Ratings
  • Quality
    4/5
  • Texture
    4/5
  • Durability
    4/5
  • Value
    4.5/5
  • Breathability
    4/5
What Stands Out
  • The natural crinkle gives them a relaxed, lived-in appearance.

What Could Be Improved
  • They shrank a fair amount after the first wash.

Coyuchi’s 100-percent organic cotton sheets are GOTS-certified and treated with a plant-based finishing process. They have a natural crinkle that gives them a more relaxed, lived-in appearance, similar to linen—although people who are bothered by wrinkles will probably want to steer clear. The double-stitched seam gives the impression of luxury, and the sheets come in a wide variety of nature-inspired colors, including undyed options for people who want the most natural option.

In terms of breathability, the sheets have a 180 thread count, which allows for plenty of air movement. After months of testing, we can confirm that these sheets are excellent for hot sleepers. We also found these organic sheets to hold up well in the washer and dryer, but they did shrink a bit. Like other percale sheets, these are soft but not silky, and they'll continue to get softer after each wash. 

Price at time of publish: $208 for queen

Material: Organic cotton | Thread Count: 180 | Pocket: 15 inches | Size Range: Twin-California king | Certifications: GOTS, Fair Trade, Made Safe | Return Policy: 30 days

Two people making a bed with Coyuchi organic crinkled percale sheets
Real Simple / Dera Burreson

Final Verdict

Our top pick is the Lands’ End Premium Supima Cotton Percale Bed Sheet Set. We like that it's made from Supima cotton, which is American-grown, extra-long-staple cotton that is considered by some to be the best on the market. We found these sheets to be soft and not overly stiff or scratchy like some percale sheets can be. They didn’t trap hot air underneath either, but gently draped over us as we slept, allowing for lots of air movement. 

For a budget-friendly option, the Better Homes & Gardens Cotton Percale Sheet Set provides the right balance of breathability and insulation, so they can be used year-round. And given the price, you can more easily purchase multiple sets to outfit your whole home.

Our Testing Process

We tested 52 different percale sheets in our Lab and brought the top performers home for long-term testing. In our Lab tests, we began by visually inspecting each sheet to assess its quality, looking for any loose or uneven threads, imperfections in the dye or pattern, or other flaws. We also measured each sheet and compared its dimensions to those provided by the manufacturer. 

We then applied a coffee, oil, and foundation stain to each sheet and laundered it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Afterwards, we rated the durability of the sheets based on whether there was any damage or shrinkage post-wash and noted how well the stains came out. 

To test the moisture-wicking ability of the sheets, we held the fabric taut and applied a drop of water to each sheet, noting how the water moves or expands over the fabric (the quicker it expands over a large area, the quicker it can dry and provide a cooling effect). For sheets any color other than white, we rubbed them over a piece of white test fabric and noted any color transfer that occurred. We repeated this process after dampening the sheets, too. 

Next, we used the sheets to make the bed in our Lab—including the fitted sheet, flat sheet (when applicable), and pillowcases—evaluating how secure they felt to the bed and how easy they were to slide over the mattress or pillows. During this portion of the testing, we also evaluated the texture of the sheets, like whether they felt smooth, soft, crisp, or scratchy—bearing in mind that percale is meant to have a crisp, matte-like finish (not a silky or satin-like finish). We also tossed from side to side to mimic a restless sleeper and noted whether the fitted sheet stayed secure to the mattress. 

Once the bed was made, we laid on the sheets for five minutes to assess their breathability, wearing short-sleeved shirts so we could experience the feel of the sheets on bare skin. We took note of any immediate cooling sensation, and after five minutes, recorded whether the sheets felt warmer or maintained any cooling sensation. 

To further test for durability, we ran a piece of sandpaper over a 5-inch section of the sheet 25 times and compared the quality of the abraded area against the area that had not been sanded. Once testing was complete, we scored the overall value of each sheet based on price and performance. We brought home the top-performing sheet sets and provided feedback as to how well they held up over time. We will continue to test the sheets over a longer period of time and update this piece with new insights as we have them. 

Person turning down a Brielle Home Tencel Lyocell Sateen flat sheet
Real Simple / Dera Burreson

How to Shop for Percale Sheets Like a Pro

Type of Cotton

Percale is a type of weave—not a fabric. You can find percale sheets made from fabrics other than cotton, such as polyester or viscose from bamboo, but the vast majority are cotton sheets. However, not all cotton is the same. Here are a few of the most common terms you may hear thrown around about the types of cotton used in bed sheets. 

Long-Staple Cotton vs. Extra-Long-Staple Cotton: Most bedding is going to be made with long- or extra-long-staple cotton (short-staple cotton is generally reserved for items such as clothing, cotton pads, etc.). Long-staple cotton, by definition, has fibers that measure about 1.25 inches in length, creating a softer, more durable fabric. Extra-long-staple (ELS) cotton has fibers that measure about 2 inches in length, making it more desirable. 

The three most sought-after types of ELS cotton are Egyptian, Pima, and Supima (the latter is a trademarked brand of American-grown Pima cotton). “The best cotton for sheets is Supima cotton,” says Jeffrey Kambak, CEO of U.S. operations at The Trident Group (a textiles manufacturer) and vice president of the Home Fashion Products Association. “Supima cotton is guaranteed to be grown in the U.S.; it’s also guaranteed to be ELS, which is an extra-long staple. Some Egyptian cotton is ELS, but not all.” The Lands’ End Premium Supima Cotton Percale Bed Sheet Set, our best overall pick, is one of only two on our list made from Supima cotton, the other being the Casaluna Washed Supima Percale Sheet Set

Organic Cotton: Many sheets are labeled “organic,” but this only means they were made with some percentage of organically grown cotton. And just because the cotton was organically grown doesn’t mean the sheets themselves are organic. For 100 percent cotton bed sheets sourced and processed without pesticides or herbicides, look for the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certification—more on this below. 

Cotton Blends: Most percale sheets are made with 100 percent cotton, although you can find some cotton-synthetic fiber blends (one of the most common pairs is cotton and polyester). This can help to bring down the cost of the sheets, but at the sacrifice of the durability and feel. All of the percale sheets on our list are made with 100 percent cotton. 

Person pulling a Kassatex Salerna Percale fitted sheet over the corner of a mattress
Real Simple / Dera Burreson

Thread Count

It’s a common misconception that thread count is an indication of quality, but this is not the case. Thread count is simply an indication of the number of threads in a square inch of fabric.

“​​The higher the thread count, the more densely packed the yarns are, and the sheet tends to get really heavy and not breathe very well. You want some air to be able to pass through,” says Kambak, who suggests a thread count of 200-250 for percale: “I am a fan of lower thread count percales because they do what percale is supposed to do, which is breathe.” Textile expert Deborah Young agrees: “A hot sleeper wants [sheets] to be more permeable with more airflow, so a lower count will work better for them.”

The percale sheets on our list range from 180 to 400 thread count. According to Kambak, the quality of the cotton and how well the company finishes the material are more important factors than thread count. 

Pocket Depth

As with all bed sheets, you’ll need to consider the pocket depth when purchasing percale sheets. Pocket depth refers to the maximum mattress height a fitted sheet can accommodate. A 12-inch pocket depth will technically fit a 12-inch mattress, but we suggest purchasing a fitted sheet with a pocket depth that’s at least two inches more than your mattress height, to be sure it’ll stay put throughout the night. And remember to include your mattress topper when you measure your mattress height. We found the Casaluna Washed Supima Percale Sheet Set to be best for extra-thick mattresses, as it can fit mattresses up to 18 inches tall.

Product Certifications

When bed sheets are made, they are processed with chemicals, which can leave residual harmful substances on your sheets. Look for the Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex label, which ensures that the product has been tested and proven safe from these substances.

For organic bedding, the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certification is the best way to verify that sheets are 100 percent organic, as many manufacturers make unfounded organic claims.

Return Policy

Sheets are a deeply personal choice and can have a profound impact on the quality of your sleep, which is why many companies offer trial periods so you can actually sleep on their bedding. These can range from 30 to 100 days, and you can usually return the sheets for a full refund during this period.

More Percale Sheets to Consider

Lacoste Cotton Percale Sheet Set: These 220-thread count sheets are very breathable and have a crisp, smooth hand feel. However, they had some loose threading that made us unsure of their longevity. 

West Elm Organic Washed Cotton Percale Sheet Set: This is another great organic option for the price, and the 200 thread count makes the sheets breathable and cool to the touch. Plus, they became even softer after the first wash. However, we found the pillowcases a bit small, and wish there was more fabric or an envelope closure.

Person putting a West Elm Organic Washed Cotton Percale pillowcase on a pillow
Real Simple / Rachel Marek

Questions You Might Ask

What is percale?

Percale is a type of weave that uses a one-thread-over, one-thread-under pattern. The resulting sheet has a crisp, matte finish that's cool-to-the-touch and highly breathable.

What's the difference between percale and sateen?

Percale and sateen are the two most common weaves for bed sheets. While a percale weave uses a one-thread-over, one-thread-under pattern, in a sateen weave, “three or four yarns will go over the top of one,” says Kambak. “So [sateen] is a softer fabric, but doesn’t breathe as well, and it’s also not as durable.”

Percale also tends to drape the body, as opposed to sateen, which tends to cling to or lie heavier on the body. Percale sheets create a gentle slope that allows for more air movement underneath and “a more gentle sleeping experience,” according to Kambak. Sateen sheets also have more of a sheen and a silk-like texture, as opposed to the crisp, matte feel of percale.

How do you wash percale sheets?

Always refer to the manufacturer’s specific care instructions, but in general, you can wash percale sheets in cold or warm water with a mild detergent and dry them on low heat. Remove them from the dryer immediately to prevent wrinkles. Young suggests using a fabric softener every third wash to soften, reduce static, and deodorize. Overusing fabric softener and bleach can put a strain on the fibers over time.

Take Our Word for It

This article was written by Melanie Fincher, associate commerce editor for Real Simple with four years of experience writing product reviews and lifestyle content. To compile this list, we tested 52 percale sheets and evaluated them based on quality, texture, breathability, durability, and value. For tips on what to consider when shopping for percale sheets, we spoke to Jeffrey Kambak, CEO of U.S. operations at The Trident Group (a textiles manufacturer) and vice president of the Home Fashion Products Association, as well as Deborah Young, a textile expert.

What Is Real Simple Selects?

Next to each product on this list, you may have noticed a Real Simple Selects seal of approval. Any product appearing alongside that seal has been vetted by our team—put through tests and graded on its performance to earn a spot on our list. Although we buy most of the products we test, sometimes we do get samples from companies if purchasing a product ourselves isn't an option. All products go through the same rigorous process, whether they are purchased or sent by the company.

Love our recommendations? Check out more products that have earned the Real Simple Selects, from humidifiers to cordless vacuums.

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