The 10 Best Cooling Sheets for a Sweat-Free Night, According to Our Tests
To find the best cooling sheets, we tested 34 sheet sets in our Lab and evaluated them on quality, texture, breathability, durability, and value. Our testers gave their honest feedback on a variety of bamboo, percale cotton, and eucalyptus sheets—all of which are known for their cooling properties. For expert tips on what to look for in cooling bed sheets, we tapped Shannon Maher, assistant professor of the Home Products Development department at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
"The combination of the fiber content and weave are the most important factors in contributing to the performance of sheeting," says Maher.
Our top pick is the Olive + Crate Natural Eucalyptus Sheet Set, which seriously impressed our testers with its incredibly soft and cool-to-the-touch feel. Plus, the moisture-wicking sheets have deep pockets that can accommodate a variety of mattress sizes.
Keep reading to learn more about the best cooling sheets, according to our in-depth testing.
Our Top Picks
- Best Overall Cooling Sheets: Olive + Crate Natural Eucalyptus Sheet Set
- Best Budget Cooling Sheets: Bedsure 100-Percent Viscose From Bamboo Sheet Set
- Best Splurge Cooling Sheets: Cozy Earth Bamboo Sheet Set
- Best Linen Cooling Sheets: The Citizenry Stonewashed Linen Sheet Set
- Best Percale Cooling Sheets: Parachute Percale Sheet Set
- Best Bamboo Cooling Sheets: Bampure 100-Percent Organic Bamboo Sheets
- Best Organic Cooling Sheets: Coyuchi Organic Crinkled Percale Sheets
- Best Eucalyptus Cooling Sheets: Nest Bedding Luxury Eucalyptus Tencel Sheet Set
- Best Deep-Pocket Cooling Sheets: Therapedic Tencel Sheet Set
- Best Cooling Sheets With Color Variety: Cosy House Collection Luxury Bed Sheets
Our top pick is the Olive + Crate Natural Eucalyptus Sheet Set because it's made with breathable, moisture-wicking Tencel that feels incredibly soft and breathable. Plus, it features an impressive 17.5-inch pocket depth that will fit most mattresses with ease. For a more affordable option, the Bedsure 100-Percent Viscose From Bamboo Sheet Set is made from breathable bamboo-derived viscose and costs a fraction of the price of its competitors.
Our Testing Process
To find the best cooling bed sheets, we blind-tested 34 sheet sets in our Lab. Before testing, the sheets were removed from the packaging and any visible brand names or logos were covered up with masking tape to eliminate bias.
To evaluate the quality of each bed sheet, our testers visually inspected it for any imperfections, such as loose or uneven threads and flaws in the dye or pattern. We also measured each sheet and compared it to the dimensions provided by the manufacturer. Next, testers used the sheets to make a bed, evaluating the overall feel and construction as they went.
Perhaps the most important test of a cooling bed sheet is its breathability. To evaluate this, our testers wore short-sleeved shirts and laid down on a bed made up with the sheets, noting whether the sheets had a cool-to-the-touch sensation and, if so, whether this lasted after five minutes.
Afterward, our testers washed and dried each sheet according to the manufacturer's instructions to assess its durability. We compared the measurements of the sheets after washing to the original, pre-wash measurements. We then re-made the bed with the sheets and took note of any signs of damage, like pilling or a change in texture.
Finally, our testers received the price of each sheet set and scored its overall value based on their final feelings about the product and the price.
How to Shop for Cooling Sheets Like a Pro
Material is the most important factor to consider when shopping for cooling sheets. Here's a guide to some of the most common types of materials used for cooling sheets:
Cotton: "Cotton is king when it comes to sheeting and is the preferred fiber due to its breathability and easy care," says Maher. Sheets made of natural fibers like cotton are both cooling and affordable, although they don't have the same moisture-wicking properties as synthetic materials. Opt for cotton sheets with a percale weave, as it feels crisp and tends to be more breathable than sateen.
Viscose: Viscose may be derived from any number of trees or plants, most commonly bamboo. The material is made by treating cellulose—the main constituent of plant cell walls—with chemicals to make a fiber that mimics the qualities of many natural fibers. Manufacturers may use the generic term "bamboo" when referring to viscose, however, any raw plant materials are chemically dissolved in the treatment process. Bamboo viscose sheets are effective at drawing heat away from the body and wicking away moisture, making them ideal for hot sleepers.
Tencel/Lyocell: Tencel is a brand name for a type of lyocell, a fiber made from wood pulp—mainly eucalyptus, beech, birch, and spruce. It's similar to viscose because it's another type of "regenerated cellulose." This material is made by dissolving wood pulp in a chemical solvent and pushing it through an extruder to form fibers. However, Tencel is considered the more environmentally friendly option over viscose because 99 percent of the water and solvent are reused and recycled during the treatment process. We like this material because it's moisture-wicking, anti-bacterial, and extremely adept at cooling.
Linen: Linen is a breathable material that comes from flax, and it has a looser weave for maximum airflow. (That's why the material feels light, airy, and perfect for summer.) Just keep in mind that even high-quality linen sheets can feel a little scratchy at first. They typically get softer over time, but they are more wrinkly than cotton sheets.
Polyester: This synthetic fiber is extremely durable and wrinkle-resistant. However, it's more prone to trapping moisture and heat than other fabrics: "Polyester and microfiber are not recommended as they tend to limit airflow and moisture transfer," Maher says. However, you may find sheets that are made with a "performance" blend of polyester and another fabric for more breathability.
Weave refers to how the material is constructed, and it can have a large effect on the overall feel and breathability of a sheet set.
Percale: Percale is generally considered the best weave for cooling bed sheets. It features a simple one-thread-over, one-thread-under pattern that gives the sheets a crisp, cool feel. Most percale sheets are cotton, but they may also use a blend of cotton and synthetic materials.
Sateen: Sateen weaves usually use a one-thread-under and three-or-four-threads-over pattern, resulting in a fabric that's silky smooth with a slight sheen. Sheets with a sateen weave may be made with cotton, viscose, Tencel lyocell, or polyester. However, sateen tends to be heavier and less breathable than percale. "Sateen (not satin) weaves provide a softer hand, but they tend to have a warmer hand," Maher says. "The exception would be a sateen with a material content of Tencel/lyocell or modal—these would feel cooler to the touch than a cotton sateen."
Twill: A twill weave makes a sturdier, more durable fabric—it's most commonly associated with denim, after all—but it's also heavier and less breathable than percale and sateen.
If you're constantly fighting with your fitted sheet to stay put, you might want to consider the pocket depth of the sheets you're using. To figure out how thick your mattress is, measure it from bottom to top—and if you use a mattress topper, include it in your measurement. If it's greater than 12 inches, consider looking for sheet sets with deep pockets.
Technically, the pocket depth corresponds with the maximum mattress height the fitted sheet can accommodate. So, a sheet with a 12-inch pocket depth should fit mattresses up to 12 inches tall. However, you'll generally want to give yourself a little leeway to ensure your sheets don't slide up the corners of your mattress. You can do this by subtracting two inches from the pocket depth to determine if it will fit your mattress comfortably. For example, if the pocket depth is 15 inches, it will most comfortably fit a mattress that's 13 inches high or less.
Contrary to popular belief, a higher thread count is not necessarily better, especially when it comes to cooling bed sheets. "The material and weave are more important," says Maher. "Higher thread counts can create a denser fabric which would feel heavier and restrict the airflow or moisture transfer, but consumers should focus more on the fiber content listed on the packaging and care label."
Thread count refers to the number of threads per square inch of fabric. "The basic plain weave of percale is a 200 thread count, so it is naturally lighter in feel and weight," says Maher. "A sateen weave starts at a 300 thread count and goes up from there. While thread count does affect the performance of sheeting, a high thread count does not necessitate quality." Ideally, a thread count between 200 and 400 is best for hot sleepers.
Because purchasing sheets is a personal choice, many brands offer free trial periods so you can make sure you continue to like them over time. These trial periods could range anywhere from 30 to 100 days, and you'll typically be able to return the sheets for a refund within this window.
More Cooling Bed Sheets to Consider
Brooklinen Classic Core Sheet Set: Our testers found these Brooklinen sheets to be very good quality—they felt crisp and had no negative aspects—but wished they came at a more affordable price.
Linenwalas 100-Percent Tencel Lyocell Bed Sheets: The Tencel fabric on these sheets maintained their cooling properties and soft feel, and we love the price compared to similar sets. This set is comparable to some of the other Tencel sheets we tested, so it's a good backup in case those are sold out.
Buffy Eucalyptus Sheet Set: We found these eucalyptus sheets to be very soft and breathable during our testing. They're super lightweight, but our tester was concerned about how they'd hold up over time due to the thinness.
The Company Store Company Cotton Rayon Made From Bamboo Sateen Sheet Set: Our testers described these bamboo-derived sheets as "hotel-quality," thanks to their luxurious feel and cooling abilities. They did fray a bit after washing, but not significantly.
Questions You Might Ask
Who should buy cooling sheets?
Of course, cooling bed sheets are ideal for people who tend to sleep hot, but they can also be a great solution for people living in warmer climates, particularly during the summer months. They're also excellent for people with hyperhidrosis or anyone prone to night sweats because they tend to be more moisture-wicking than traditional sheets.
Are there more ways to keep cool at night?
You can find more cooling bedding options such as mattresses, pillows, mattress toppers, blankets, comforters, and more. Using a quiet fan (such as a tower fan) can also help to keep your room at a more comfortable temperature while you sleep. And hot sleepers can't go wrong with wearing cooling, breathable pajamas to bed.
Should you wash new sheets before using them?
This is an age-old question that is hotly debated. If you have sensitive skin, we do suggest washing new sheets before you use them, as there can be chemical remnants on the fabric that can irritate your skin. But for most people, using new sheets without washing them won't cause any adverse reactions.
How often should you change your sheets?
Wondering how often you really need to change your sheets? The answer comes down to your sweat level, whether you share a bed (if so, sheets will get twice the wear), whether you snack in bed, etc. Hot sleepers or people prone to night sweats will probably want to clean their sheets more often, about once a week or more. Don't forget to wash your pillowcases, too!
Take Our Word for It
This article was written by Melanie Fincher, associate commerce editor for Real Simple with nearly three years of experience writing product reviews and lifestyle content. To compile this list, we tested 34 cooling sheets in our Lab and evaluated them based on quality, texture, breathability, durability, and value. Melanie also spent hours researching what to consider when shopping for cooling sheets. For expert tips on what to look for in cooling bed sheets, we spoke to Shannon Maher, assistant professor of the Home Products Development department at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
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