search
search
Home / Best Sheets of 2022 / Best Cotton Sheets

Best Cotton Sheets

Daniel Noyed

Written by

Daniel Noyed, Certified Sleep Coach

Methodology Icon
Methodology

We personally test every product featured in our reviews and guide to provide accurate, data-driven recommendations. Learn More

Recency Statement Icon

In light of some recent product tests, we've updated this page to include the Peacock Alley Soprano Sheet Set as our best all-season pick. The Saatva Organic Percale Sheet Set remains our best overall pick for cotton sheets.

Sleepfoundation.org is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here

The popularity of cotton sheets can be attributed to several factors. For one, this natural fiber offers great versatility as a bedding material. You can choose between different weaves such as crisp percale or silky-soft sateen, as well as a wide range of fabrics based on thread count, staple (or fiber length), and country of origin. Most cotton sheets are also highly breathable and won’t bottle in heat like polyester and other synthetics. Other perks include above-average durability, wide availability, and easy cleaning. Many cotton sheets are reasonably priced, as well, though the average set of high-quality cotton sheets will cost between $150 and $250.

In our best cotton sheets guide, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of this bedding material and delve into weaves, thread count, and other technical considerations. Directly below, you’ll find our top picks among cotton sheet sets sold today. These selections are based on reviews and ratings we’ve collected from verified owners, as well as our own product research and testing.

The Best Cotton Sheets

Saatva Organic Percale Sheet Set

Best Overall

Saatva Organic Percale Sheet Set

SHOP NOW
Brooklinen Classic Core Sheet Set

Best Value

Brooklinen Classic Core Sheet Set

SHOP NOW
Pure Parima Triple Luxe Sateen Sheet Set

Best Luxury

Pure Parima Triple Luxe Sateen Sheet Set

SHOP NOW
Silk & Snow Egyptian Cotton Sheets

Best Egyptian Cotton

Silk & Snow Egyptian Cotton Sheets

SHOP NOW
Sijo TempTune Cotton Sheet Set

Most Comfortable

Sijo TempTune Cotton Sheet Set

SHOP NOW
GhostBed GhostSheets

Best Cooling

GhostBed GhostSheets

SHOP NOW
Boll & Branch Signature Hemmed Sheets

Softest

Boll & Branch Signature Hemmed Sheets

SHOP NOW
Peacock Alley Soprano Sheet Set

Best All-Season

Peacock Alley Soprano Sheet Set

SHOP NOW
The Company Store Legends Hotel Supima Cotton Sheet Set

Best Hotel-Style

The Company Store Legends Hotel Supima Cotton Sheet Set

SHOP NOW
Avocado Deep Pocket Organic Cotton Sheets

Best Deep-Pocket

Avocado Deep Pocket Organic Cotton Sheets

SHOP NOW

Product Details

Saatva Organic Percale Sheet Set

Best Overall

Saatva Organic Percale Sheet Set

Saatva Organic Percale Sheet Set
Price: $185
Material: 100% GOTS-certified organic cotton
Weave: Percale
Who it's best for:
  • Hot sleepers
  • Those who own mattresses up to 16 inches thick
  • Consumers who prefer buying sustainably and ethically made products
Highlights:
  • Each item produced from GOTS-certified organic cotton in Fair Trade factories
  • Percale weave gives the material a luxuriously crisp feel
  • 45-night sleep trial and 1-year warranty
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Buy more, save more. Get up to $450 off!

The Saatva Organic Percale Sheet Set is a great bedding collection for those who prefer to spend their money on responsibly made products. The cotton used to compose each sheet and pillowcase has received GOTS certification, while the companies factories are Fair Trade certified for fair and ethical treatment of workers. Saatva’s supply chain is completely traceable for added transparency.

The sheets are also supremely breathable thanks to a lightweight 300 thread count that is well suited to hot and humid climates. A percale weave provides a crisp hand-feel that gradually softens over time.

The set is available in three neutral colorways. You may also choose from nine different sizes, including three larger split/flex options for couples who share an adjustable bed base. The fitted sheet’s pocket depth makes it compatible with any mattress measuring up to 16 inches thick. When your bedding needs to be cleaned, each item can be washed and dried in your household machines.

The Organic Percale Sheet Set is very reasonably priced, and ground shipping is free of charge anywhere in the contiguous U.S. Your purchase is backed by a 45-night sleep trial and a one-year warranty should you decide to keep the set.

Brooklinen Classic Core Sheet Set

Best Value

Brooklinen Classic Core Sheet Set

Brooklinen Classic Core Sheet Set
Price: $169
Material: 100% Long-Staple Cotton
Weave: Percale
Who it's best for:
  • Those who prefer the crisp feel of percale bedding
  • Sleepers whose mattresses measure up to 15 inches thick
  • Shoppers who would like to try out the sheets before committing
Highlights:
  • Long-staple cotton promotes durability
  • Wide range of colors and patterns
  • 365-day return window
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

New Brooklinen Customers can use code HOLIDAY15 to get 15% off their orders

The Brooklinen Classic Core Sheet Set is produced from quality cotton with a tight percale weave. The sheets are designed to feel soft but airy, making them comfortable for all types of sleepers through all four seasons.

The sheet set is composed of long-staple cotton, which is more durable than other cotton varieties. The percale weave gives the sheets a very crisp and lightweight feel. They are also quite breathable – especially during hotter times of the year. The set includes a flat sheet, fitted sheet, and two pillowcases. The fitted sheet has a pocket depth of 15 inches. While this sheet won’t have enough reach for some high-profile mattresses, it will be compatible with most beds sold today. The flat sheet has “long” and “short” labels on the corresponding long and short sides, to help orient the sheet when making the bed.

The set comes in six standard sizes and an impressive range of solid colors and patterns to match your decor tastes. You can wash the sheets in any household machine, then line dry them or place them in a dryer on a low tumble setting. Prices are quite reasonable compared to other high-quality percale sheet sets. Brooklinen issues full refunds for used and washed sheet sets returned within 365 nights of the original purchase.

Pure Parima Triple Luxe Sateen Sheet Set

Best Luxury

Pure Parima Triple Luxe Sateen Sheet Set

Pure Parima Triple Luxe Sateen Sheet Set
Price: $325
Material: 100% Egyptian cotton (700TC)
Weave: Sateen
Who it's best for:
  • Hot sleepers
  • Anyone who owns a queen, king, or California king size mattress up to 17 inches thick
  • Those who want to purchase genuine Egyptian cotton bedding at an approachable price
Highlights:
  • Each item composed of durable, long-staple Egyptian cotton
  • Sateen weave creates a luxuriously soft and smooth feel
  • Authentic construction certified by the Cotton Egypt Association
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Pure Parima sheets

Egyptian cotton is one of the most luxurious bedding materials on the planet – and as such, sheet sets made from this fabric tend to be quite expensive. Pure Parima’s Triple Luxe Sateen Sheet Set might cost more than the average bedding collection, but its sticker price falls well below average for this type of cotton sheet with a generous pocket depth. The fitted sheet’s pocket depth allows you to use it with any mattress up to 17 inches thick, a range that encompasses most models sold today.

Long-staple fibers ensure both excellent longevity and a decadently soft feel, the latter of which is enhanced by the silky-smooth sateen weave. The set is available in queen, king, and California king sizes. Each includes a flat sheet, fitted sheet, and two pillowcases with elegant embroidery.  Corner straps add extra stability and prevent the sheet from coming loose when you and your partner change sleep positions or toss and turn.

You can choose from six colors for the embroidery. A certification from the Cotton Egypt Association ensures all fibers used to construct the set’s components are sourced directly from Egypt. All components are fully machine-washable. Wash the sheets and pillowcases alone in cold water, then line dry or tumble dry on low heat. Shake out each item before drying to minimize wrinkling, and remove promptly from the dryer once the cycle is complete.

Pure Parima offers free ground delivery to all 50 states and reasonable flat-rate shipping for Canadian customers. The company also accepts returns of undamaged bedding within 100 days of receipt.

Silk & Snow Egyptian Cotton Sheets

Best Egyptian Cotton

Silk & Snow Egyptian Cotton Sheets

Silk & Snow Egyptian Cotton Sheets
Price: $125
Material: 100% Egyptian long-staple cotton
Weave: Sateen
Who it's best for:
  • Hot sleepers
  • People who own mattresses up to 15 inches thick
  • Shoppers who want to invest in durable sheets with an approachable sticker price
Highlights:
  • Constructed from breathable, long-lasting Egyptian cotton
  • Sateen weave gives each item a gentle hand-feel
  • Available in five neutral colors
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Silk & Snow sheets

Egyptian cotton is prized for its natural longevity and cooling properties. A long-staple variety, the material holds up over time and resists pilling better than other types of cotton. The Silk & Snow Egyptian Cotton Sheets carry a Genuine Egyptian Cotton certification, ensuring each fiber can be directly traced to Egypt. Despite its premium composition, the sheet set carries a below-average price-point that should appeal to shoppers on a budget.

Each item has a sateen weave that creates a luxuriously soft and smooth feel, while a 300 thread count makes the sheets feel lightweight and breathable. The set is sold in five neutral colorways, as well as six sizes that correspond to standard mattress dimensions. The fitted sheet has a pocket depth of 15 inches, so the set will be compatible with most mattresses sold today. You may wash and dry the bedding in your household machines. Silk & Snow recommends using dryer balls instead of dryer sheets.

All customers in the contiguous U.S. and provincial Canada qualify for free ground shipping with their order. Your purchase will include a 100-night sleep trial for testing out the bedding and a 1-year warranty against material and workmanship defects.

Sijo TempTune Cotton Sheet Set

Most Comfortable

Sijo TempTune Cotton Sheet Set

Sijo TempTune Cotton Sheet Set
Price: $225
Material: 80% Supima cotton, 20% Clima PCM fabric
Weave: Sateen
Who it's best for:
  • Those who tend to overheat or sweat while they sleep
  • People who own mattresses up to 16 inches thick
  • Sleepers who want sheets that drape closely to the body
Highlights:
  • PCM-infused fabric provides excellent cooling and heat dissipation
  • Each item composed of luxurious Supima cotton with a silky-soft sateen weave
  • Customers can forgo the flat sheet to reduce their up-front costs
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Sijo sheets

Many sheet sets sleep cool thanks to their fabrication, but the Sijo TempTune Cotton Sheet Set takes temperature control to the next level. Each item in this set is constructed from Supima cotton, a durable material known for its silky-soft feel and natural breathability. The cotton fibers are woven with phase change material designed to capture and release body heat on contact, maintaining a comfortable sleep surface even on exceptionally hot or humid nights.

The set is suitable for chilly nights, as well. Thanks to the sateen weave, the sheets drape closely and insulate your body from the cold. The weave gives each item a smooth hand-feel, so you won’t experience any harsh rubbing against your skin. Full, queen, king, and California king sizes are available. Each set includes two pillowcases, a fitted sheet, and a flat sheet – but if you don’t want the latter component, you can forgo it and decrease the cost of your purchase.

The fitted sheet’s pocket depth of 16 inches makes it compatible with most mattresses made today. Caring for the set is quick and easy, as each item is fully machine-washable. Wash in cold water on a gentle cycle, then tumble dry on low. Avoid washing with garments that feature zippers, as these can tear the cotton. Remove the sheets and pillowcases from the dryer as soon as the cycle is finished to minimize wrinkling.

Standard ground delivery is free of charge for orders of $65 or more, which includes each available size of the TempTune Cotton Sheet Set. Sijo allows returns within 30 days of the delivery date, and return shipping is also free.

GhostBed GhostSheets

Best Cooling

GhostBed GhostSheets

GhostBed GhostSheets
Price: $185
Material: 60% U.S. Supima cotton, 40% Tencel lyocell
Weave: Sateen
Who it's best for:
  • People who sleep hot or reside in warm climates
  • Those who own mattresses up to 15 inches thick
  • Sleepers who frequently change positions or toss and turn
Highlights:
  • Supima cotton blended with Tencel lyocell produces an exceptionally soft and breathable material
  • Sateen weave helps the fabric resist wrinkling
  • 2-inch perimeter banding prevents shifting and slipping
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Get 40% off GhostBed’s Supernatural Bedding Bundle

Cotton is a naturally breathable fabric that is well suited to hot or humid weather, but not all bedding collections are as comfortable when the temperatures drop. The GhostBed GhostSheets are produced from a blend of U.S.-grown Supima cotton and plant-based Tencel lyocell, two materials that regulate temperature quite well and wick moisture away from the body, but a sateen weave and mid-range threat count also make these sheets and pillowcases a good choice for chillier weather when more insulation is needed.

The luxuriously smooth weave should also appeal to people with acne, rashes, and other skin sensitivities. Sateen bedding is also more wrinkle-resistant than percale, which can be convenient for those who don’t have time to routinely iron their sheets. Stability is another strength of this set thanks to the fitted sheet with a 2-inch elastic band along the perimeter. A pocket depth of 15 inches makes the sheet compatible with most mattresses sold today and the banding prevents it from slipping off the corners – a constant source of irritation for people who move around a lot while they sleep.

Every component of this set can be washed and dried in household machines, though line drying helps preserve the structure of the fabric over time. GhostBed offers seven sizes for the collection, including a split king option for couples with adjustable beds or bases. You can also choose from two neutral colorways that complement any bedroom decor.

The GhostSheets are reasonably priced and all customers in the contiguous U.S. qualify for free ground shipping, so the set is a good option for shoppers on a budget. You cannot return the sheets and all sales are considered final, but each purchase is backed by a three-year warranty.

Boll & Branch Signature Hemmed Sheets

Softest

Boll & Branch Signature Hemmed Sheets

Boll & Branch Signature Hemmed Sheets
Price: $278
Material: 100% organic long-staple cotton
Weave: Sateen
Who it's best for:
  • Hot sleepers
  • Those who own mattresses up to 17 inches thick
  • Consumers who prefer to buy and use sustainably made products
Highlights:
  • Organic long-staple cotton is naturally breathable and durable
  • Sateen weave enhances the material’s exceptionally soft feel
  • Available in 10 colors and eight sizes
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Enjoy 15% off your first sheet set at Boll & Branch with code 15FINEST

Boll & Branch produces a wide range of bedding items. The Signature Hemmed Sheets are among the brand’s most popular offerings, and this is due in large part to the exceptional softness of each item in the collection. Long-staple cotton with a sateen weave feels smooth and buttery-soft, making the sheets and pillowcases suitable for people with sensitive skin. The set is certified organic to boot, so you can rest easy knowing your bedding has been sustainably produced.

Exquisite stitchwork gives the sheets a luxe, hotel-inspired look. You can choose from 10 solid colors to match your decor. These options include classic neutrals like white and gray, as well as more offbeat selections such as shore, sand, and mist. The set is available in eight sizes, six of which correspond to standard mattress dimensions. You can also choose a king size set with standard size pillowcases, or a split king with two fitted sheets if you and your partner share an adjustable bed.

Each component is fully machine-washable for quick and easy care. The cotton has received certification from the Global Organic Textile Standard, ensuring sustainable growth and cultivation. Boll & Branch is also a Fair Trade certified company, which indicates workers are ethically treated and compensated.

All customers in the U.S. receive free shipping with their purchase. Returns are accepted within 30 days of the delivery date.

Peacock Alley Soprano Sheet Set

Best All-Season

Peacock Alley Soprano Sheet Set

Peacock Alley Soprano Sheet Set
Price: $495
Material: 100% Long-Staple Cotton
Weave: Sateen
Who it's best for:
  • People with sensitive skin
  • Those who own exceptionally thick mattresses
  • Shoppers looking for sheets they can use throughout the year
Highlights:
  • Extra-long staple cotton is exceptionally durable and breathable
  • Sateen weave enhances the fabric’s natural softness
  • Available in six colors and seven sizes
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

SLEEPFOUNDATION Exclusive! Enjoy 10% Off Sitewide with Code SLEEP10 at Peacock Alley!

Cotton has a well-established reputation for breathability, making cotton sheets a popular choice for hotter months, but not all of these sheet sets are as suitable when temperatures drop. Thanks to a mid-range thread count and drapey sateen weave, the Soprano Sheet Set from Peacock Alley walks a fine line between cooling and insulation. The result is bedding you can use to sleep comfortably any time of the year.

Each item in the collection is composed of extra-long staple cotton, a variety known for exceptional durability and resistance tio wear and tear. This type of cotton is also luxuriously soft, and this quality is enhanced by a silky sateen weave. The sheets glide gently across the skin and won’t cause irritation for people with acne, eczema, and other conditions that cause sensitive skin. Even compared to other sateen sheets, our testers found this set very smooth. Satin stitch embroidery adds an elegant touch to the design.

The set is available in seven sizes. Twin and twin XL sets include a flat sheet, fitted sheet, and single pillowcase, while larger sizes include all of these components as well as an additional pillow. If you and your partner share an adjustable king size bed, you can also opt for a split king set with two fitted sheets. For an additional charge, you can order monogramming for the flat sheet and pillowcases. Peacock Alley also offers six color options, and matching duvet covers are available to further coordinate your bedding.

The fitted sheet’s perimeter features a 17-inch elastic gusset at each corner, making it compatible with mattresses up to 21 inches thick. This range comprises the vast majority of mattresses sold today. To clean the sheets and pillowcases, simply machine wash in cold water on a gentle cycle and tumble dry on low heat. Remove the bedding promptly when the drying cycle concludes — this helps prevent wrinkles.

The Soprano Sheet Set’s steep sticker price reflects its high-end design, but an above-average lifespan makes this collection a solid long-term investment. Peacock Alley also throws in free ground shipping for all U.S. customers. The company allows returns of non-monogrammed bedding within 60 days of the delivery date.

Avocado Deep Pocket Organic Cotton Sheets

Best Deep-Pocket

Avocado Deep Pocket Organic Cotton Sheets

Avocado Deep Pocket Organic Cotton Sheets
Price: $199
Material: 100% GOTS-certified organic cotton (600TC)
Weave: Sateen
Who it's best for:
  • People with sensitive skin
  • Anyone who owns an exceptionally thick mattress
  • Environmentally conscious shoppers
Highlights:
  • Organic cotton with a sateen weave creates a luxuriously soft hand-feel
  • Generous pocket depth ensures compatibility with virtually any mattress
  • Excellent cooling and temperature control
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Avocado sheets

Most standard sheet sets feature a fitted sheet with a pocket depth of 12 to 14 inches, but many leading mattresses have profiles exceeding this range. Regardless of how thick your mattress is, the Avocado Deep Pocket Organic Cotton Sheets should be a suitable match. The fitted sheet in this collection features elastic corners that can stretch up to 22 inches – one of the most generous pocket depths we’ve encountered in our hands-on product tests.

Furthermore, the sheets and pillowcases in the set are of exceptional quality. Organic cotton with a sateen weave provides a silky-smooth hand-feel that glides across the skin and won’t rub harshly. A certification from the Global Organic Textile Standard also ensures the cotton has been grown and cultivated using sustainable means.

While the 600 thread count is on the larger side, organic cotton is a naturally breathable material. This makes the sheets ideal for year-round use, keeping you cool on hot or humid nights and insulating from the cold when temperatures drop. The set is also easy to clean. Simply machine wash in cool water with mild detergent, then hang to dry or tumble dry on low heat. Removing each item as soon as the drying cycle is finished can help you reduce wrinkles.

Avocado holds carbon negative status. This means more than 100% of emissions the company produces are offset through eco-friendly manufacturing and shipping practices. Customers in the contiguous U.S. qualify for free delivery, and the Deep Pocket Organic Cotton Sheets are backed by a 100-night trial period and 1-year warranty.

The Company Store Legends Hotel Supima Cotton Sheet Set

Best Hotel-Style

The Company Store Legends Hotel Supima Cotton Sheet Set

The Company Store Legends Hotel Supima Cotton Sheet Set
Price: $218
Material: 100% long staple Supima cotton (400TC)
Weave: Percale
Who it's best for:
  • Hot sleepers
  • Anyone with a mattress up to 18 inches thick
  • Those who prefer unconventional colors for their bedding
Highlights:
  • Supima cotton is soft, breathable, and long-lasting
  • Available sizes include “deep pocket” options for tall mattresses
  • Sold in more than a dozen different colors
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on The Company Store sheets

The Legends Hotel Supima Cotton Sheet Set from The Company Store should appeal to a wide range of shoppers. Supima cotton is both soft and durable, ensuring long-lasting comfort and minimal pilling over time. The cotton is also highly breathable, making the set well-suited to hot sleepers and people who are prone to night sweats. A sateen weave enhances the Supima’s silky-smooth feel for a close body drape and good insulation when temperatures drop.

Customers can choose from 17 different colors for their set. These include the usual neutrals such as white and grey, as well as more striking choices such as redwood, blue dusk, and wisteria. The set is also sold in six sizes that correspond to standard mattress dimensions. These collections feature a fitted sheet with a 14-inch pocket depth. Those with taller queen, king, or California king sizes should opt for a “deep pocket” set, in which the fitted sheet’s pocket depth measures 18 inches. For an extra fee, you can order monograms for the fitted sheet and pillowcases.

Each component in the set is fully machine-washable. Wash in cold water with like colors on a gentle cycle, then tumble dry on low heat. Do not use bleach with chlorine, and avoid overloading your appliances – this can cause permanent damage to your sheets and also create excessive wrinkling.

The Legends Hotel Supima Cotton Sheet Set is reasonably priced and shipping is free for customers in the contiguous U.S. The Company Store accepts returns for undamaged, non-monogrammed sets within 90 days of the purchase date.

How to Choose Cotton Sheets


New sheets might seem like a fairly straightforward purchase, but considering how often you use them, there are several factors you should consider. Take cotton sheets. In addition to the color and size you choose, you should also look at technical aspects of the fabric such as weave, thread count, staple length, and the fitted sheet’s pocket depth.

In our cotton sheets buying guide, we’ll discuss these and other important considerations to take into account as a first-time buyer. We’ll also look at common cotton types and answer some common questions about cotton bedding items.

What to Consider When Buying Cotton Sheets

There are a few basic considerations when choosing sheets of any material, as well as cotton-specific factors. As you browse sheet sets from different brands and models, watch out for misleading or inaccurate descriptions regarding thread count, quality, country of origin, and whether or not the fabric is organic. Some luxury bedding sets live up to their names and deliver great performance, while others are merely overpriced.

Weave and Knit
The way cotton yarns are woven together can impact durability, breathability, and overall feel, as well as price-point. Percale, which is lightweight and crisp, and sateen, which is smooth and silky-soft, are the two most common weave types. For sheets, jersey is the most common knit. Unlike weaves, which involve several criss-crossing threads, knits consist of single interlaced threads.

Staple
Staple refers to the length of cotton fibers used to produce yarn. Short staple cotton, which measures 1.125 inches or shorter, is susceptible to pilling and other forms of wear and tear after a few years of use. Long-staple fibers measure 1.25 inches long, while extra-long staple (ELS) fibers typically measure up to 2 inches long. These staples are much more durable.

Feel
Each weave is associated with a different feel. For example, percale has a crisp, lightweight structure that makes it breathable and ideal for warmer weather, while sateen has a silkier feel and drapes closer to the body. Some cotton sheets are also treated using techniques such as garment-washing to provide extra softness.

Fit
Before choosing a sheet set, make sure to measure the height of your mattress. Every fitted sheet is designed for mattresses up to a certain thickness; this measurement is known as the pocket depth, or sometimes just depth. Cotton tends to shrink a bit in the wash, so we recommend leaving a few extra inches of leeway between your bed’s profile and the listed pocket depth measurement.

Price
The price of a cotton sheet set may fall below $50 or exceed $500, but based on our research, the average price range for a high-quality cotton set is $150 to $250. Staple can drive up the price-point as can the type of cotton used, since some varieties – such as Egyptian and Pima – are costlier to produce.

Thread Count
Thread count, TC for short, refers to the number of individual threads found in 1 square inch of fabric. These include lengthwise warp threads and crosswise weft threads. Thread count can affect both durability and feel, so many bedding manufacturers will list this detail with other product specs. That said, thread count is a minor consideration compared to other factors. We’ll discuss thread count in-depth later in this guide. Thread count only applies to weaves, not knits.

Design, Color and Pattern
The look of your sheets might seem like a superficial afterthought next to performance and feel, but color and pattern can brighten up your bedroom and complement your existing decor. Keep in mind some brands charge more for eye-catching patterns and vibrant colors than they do for more neutral shades.

Breathability
Cotton offers natural breathability and moisture absorption to help keep you cool at night. How breathable your sheets feel is specifically tied to the staple of the cotton and the weave type. Generally speaking, percale is more breathable than sateen because the former is lighter and crisper, whereas the former drapes closely to the body.

Durability
With proper use and care, the best cotton bed sheets will last anywhere from five to 10 years. Staple and cotton type play important roles with bedding longevity. Over time, you may notice small bumps on the fabric surface. This issue, known as pilling, can occur quickly with less durable types of cotton.

Ease of Care
With few exceptions, cotton sheets can be washed and dried in any household machine. You won’t need to spend time hand washing the bedding or pay dry cleaning expenses to keep your sheets and pillowcases clean. However, you should avoid washing your cotton sheets too frequently, otherwise they may pill and/or deteriorate prematurely.

What Types of Cotton Sheets Are Available?

When selecting new bed sheets, you can choose from a wide range of cotton types. Distinctions between different types include the staple of the cotton, where it is sourced, how it is grown and cultivated, and which weave or knit is used. Some of the most common cotton classifications include the following:

Types of Cotton

  • Regular Cotton: Regular cotton is a catch-all term that refers to non-organic, U.S.-grown cotton. Bedding made from standard cotton may be constructed using any weave or knit, and can carry any thread count.
  • Pima Cotton: Traditionally grown in Peru, Pima cotton is an extra-long staple cotton variety that is now widely cultivated in the United States, as well. Pima is highly regarded for its breathability and moisture absorption, as well as its longevity. Prices for Pima cotton sheets are somewhat high, but still accessible.
  • Egyptian Cotton: Widely considered one of the finest cottons available, Egyptian cotton is another ELS variety known for its crisp, breathable construction. Pure Egyptian cotton can be quite pricey, but many bedding sets advertised as Egyptian cotton are actually fabric blends.
  • Organic Cotton: Organic cotton must meet certain requirements concerning its growth and cultivation. The plants cannot be grown using GMO seeds and farmers must avoid using chemical pesticides and fertilizers. The true hallmark of organic cotton is certification from the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), or another certifying agency that holds farmers and manufacturers to strict criteria.

Weaves

  • Percale: Each weave is characterized by the configuration of lengthwise warp and widthwise weft threads. For percale, also known as plain weave, the warp and weft threads float over and under one another to create an even grid shape. This design renders breathable fabric with a crisp texture that gradually softens over time.
  • Sateen: In a sateen weave, the warp and weft threads will float over and under each other at irregular intervals. This gives the fabric a smoother texture than percale and also makes the fabric feel initially softer and drapier.
  • Twill: Twill is distinguished by its diagonal weave. The weft will float over multiple warp threads on the same line, slightly alternating between rows to create a zig-zagging pattern. Twill is often used for denim, furniture upholstery, and other heartier fabrics, and sheets made of twill are somewhat rare.
  • Jersey: Technically jersey is a knit, not a weave. Individual cotton yarns are interlaced to construct this material, which is frequently used to make sheets as well as T-shirts and other soft garments.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Cotton Sheets?

A natural fiber, cotton offers breathability and moisture absorption that helps it stand out from polyester and other synthetics. Cotton sheets are also widely available, and shoppers can choose from many different types and varieties. However, these sheets can be somewhat expensive and they also suffer from certain structural shortcomings. Pros and cons of cotton sheets are listed below.

Pros Cons
  • Cotton sheets are naturally breathable and absorbent, making them ideal for warmer climates.
  • Cotton is a very versatile fabric. Each weave, staple, and type offers a unique texture and feel.
  • Unlike synthetic fabrics, which wear out and become less comfortable over time, cotton will become softer as it ages.
  • People with certain allergies and sensitivities will feel more comfortable sleeping on cotton because it is a natural fiber.
  • Most cotton bed sheets can be washed and dried in household machines, which saves you time and money when cleaning these items.
  • Cotton is reasonably durable, but its lifespan tends to be a bit shorter than synthetic and blended fabrics. Also keep in mind your cotton sheets will probably shrink in the laundry; pre-shrunk bedding is available if you’d like to avoid this issue.
  • Sheets and pillowcases made from cotton are prone to heavy wrinkling. This is particularly true of percale.
  • The price range for cotton bedding is quite wide, but expect to pay at least $150 for a high-quality cotton set in a queen size or larger.

Who Is Best Suited to Cotton Sheets?

Cotton offers several characteristics that give it universal appeal as a bedding material. If you prefer your sheets crisp and lightweight, then you’ll probably feel quite comfortable with a cotton percale set. Alternatively, sateen sheets are more suitable if you like a soft, draping feel. Hot sleepers are also well-suited to cotton sheets due to the material’s natural breathability and moisture-wicking properties.

If you need more warmth and insulation while you’re sleeping, consider cotton flannel sheets. Flannel is derived from cotton percale or twill that is “napped,” or drawn out on both sides to create a plusher texture. Sheets made from flannel offer the breathability of cotton, but they also provide a warmer, cozier feel when the temperatures are low. For maximum insulation, wool flannel is a bit warmer than cotton.

If you enjoy the feel of cotton but would rather not spend $150 or more for a sheet set, then a polyester or rayon set might be within your budget. These synthetic fabrics are quite soft. Additionally, rayon is fairly breathable, especially varieties that integrate plant-based materials such as rayon from bamboo.

What Is the Ideal Thread Count for Cotton Sheets?

The ideal thread count for cotton sheets varies by weave and type, but 200 is a good benchmark. As mentioned above, thread count refers to the total number of threads found in a square-inch section of fabric.

Low thread counts may indicate cotton of lesser quality, but a higher thread count does not necessarily mean the material is superior. In fact, excessive thread counts can mean the fabric feels bulky and traps in body heat. A high thread count can also indicate misleading information from the manufacturer. For example, manufacturers often use “two-ply” threads consisting of two intertwined strands. Some brands will include both plies when measuring thread count, which essentially doubles the number without substantially improving the quality of the fabric.

For these reasons, each weave and cotton type has an ideal thread count range. These ranges vary due in part to how the fabric is constructed. Percale has a tighter weave that consists of fewer threads, so its ideal thread count range will be lower than that of sateen, which has a looser weave. Ranges for different cotton weaves and types are listed below:

  • Pima Cotton: 200-400 TC
  • Egyptian Cotton: 300-400 TC
  • Percale: 200-300 TC
  • Sateen: 300-600 TC
  • Twill: 200-500 TC

Regarding cotton jersey, this material is a knit, not a weave. Thread count is not an accurate representation of its quality. Like other knits, jersey is evaluated in weight instead. An ideal weight for jersey is 5 to 10 ounces per yard, depending on whether the material is single- or double-layered.

More Frequently Asked Questions About Cotton Sheets

What is the typical price range for cotton sheets?

The average set of high-quality cotton sheets costs between $150 and $250. You’ll pay more for certain materials, such as pure Pima or Egyptian cotton. Organic cotton also tends to carry a higher sticker price than regular upland cotton.

How long do cotton sheets last?

The average cotton sheet will last at least three to five years – possibly longer if you wash them infrequently – but the expected lifespan of a cotton set depends on the material, weave, and staple. Pilling, fraying, and ripping are common wear and tear issues you’ll encounter as the sheets age.

How do I wash and care for cotton sheets?

Most cotton sheets can be laundered at home using a conventional washing machine and dryer. Always refer to specific care instructions on the product tag for recommended water temperature, detergent, and dryer settings. We suggest washing the sheets somewhat infrequently to preserve their shape and structure. You may want to purchase more than one set in order to necessitate fewer laundry cycles.

Are organic cotton sheets worth the price?

Organic cotton sheets are a good investment if you value breathability and durability from your bedding. You should also consider organic sheets if you consider sustainable farming and manufacturing to be important product qualities. Remember: in order to actually be considered organic cotton, the material must be certified by the GOTS, USDA, or another preeminent certifying organization.

Are Egyptian cotton sheets worth the price?

Egyptian cotton offers a crisp, lightweight, and breathable feel that many sleepers consider well worth the investment. Sticker price is the biggest downside to this material. A set of pure Egyptian cotton sheets will typically cost at least $400. You may encounter cheaper Egyptian cotton sets, but there’s a chance these items are produced from a blend of Egyptian and regular cotton.

Still have questions?

Our product experts have extensive experience testing just about every sleep product on the market. Send an email to [email protected] or call us at (877) 672-8966 with your questions and we’ll help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

  • Was this article helpful?
  • YesNo

About Our Editorial Team

author
Daniel Noyed

Certified Sleep Coach

Danny is a Certified Sleep Science Coach with an in-depth knowledge of sleep health. He has tested hundreds of mattresses and sleep products.