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Do you enjoy crisp, lightweight bedding that sleeps cool and doesn’t drape or cling to the body too closely? If so, you’ll probably enjoy the feel of percale sheets. Percale is a type of weave that produces material with a crisp hand-feel and an airy structure. It is also known as “plain weave.” In addition to sheets, percale is used to construct men’s dress shirts. Percale sheets are normally produced from cotton, but this weave can also be used for other fabrics such as polyester and rayon from bamboo.
A four-piece set of percale sheets and pillowcases can cost anywhere from less than $50 to more than $1,000, but you should be able to find a high-quality collection in the range of $70 to $150. In addition to price, other important factors to consider when choosing a percale sheet set include the fabric’s thread count, the pocket depth of the fitted sheet, care instructions, and the seller’s return policy.
Our best percale sheets guide will cover everything you need to know about this type of bedding, including construction and weave technique, price expectations, pros and cons, and differences between percale and other weave types. First, check out our picks for the best percale sheets sold today. These selections are based on reviews and feedback from verified owners of these sheets, as well as results from our own hands-on testing.
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The Saatva Organic Percale Sheets should feel quite comfortable for anyone who enjoys the crisp, breathable feel of pure cotton. A 200 thread count and percale weave enhance the fiber’s natural qualities to create light, breathable bedding that sleeps cool during hotter times of the year and feels smooth against the skin. The cotton has earned GOTS certification, ensuring it meets the strictest criteria for organically produced textiles.
The set is available in six sizes that correspond to standard mattress dimensions, as well as a split king for couples who use adjustable bases. Twin and twin XL sizes include one pillowcase while larger sizes include two, and all sets come with flat and fitted sheets. You can include two extra pillowcases with your purchase for an added fee. The fitted sheet has a pocket depth of 16 inches that makes it compatible with most mattresses made today.
Three neutral colors are available to complement your bedroom decor. Each item in the set is fully machine-washable. Saatva recommends washing with similar colors in cold water and tumble-drying on a low setting.
The price-point for this collection is very reasonable compared to competing sets made from comparable materials. Saatva also offers free ground shipping anywhere in the contiguous U.S. Your trial period for the sheets spans 45 nights in length, and you’ll receive a 1-year warranty if you decide to keep the set after the trial ends.
Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Quince sheets
Percale sheets can be somewhat expensive, but the Quince Organic Cotton Percale Sheet Set offers high quality without breaking the bank. Each sheet and pillowcase in this collection is composed of long-staple cotton, a material known for natural softness, durability, and breathability. A certification from the Global Organic Textile Standard indicates the cotton has been sustainably grown and cultivated, while the 270 thread count ensures light, airy construction.
Five sizes are available. Twin sets include a flat sheet, fitted sheet, and single pillowcase, while larger sizes feature all of these components along with a second pillowcase. The fitted sheet’s pocket depth makes it compatible with any mattress up to 16 inches thick. “Top” and “bottom” labels help you make the bed without too much fuss.
You can also choose from five neutral colors to complement your bedroom decor. All items in the set can be laundered in your household machines. Simply machine wash in cold water, then tumble dry on low heat or hang to dry. Washing with similar colors is recommended, and you should remove your bedding from the dryer as soon as the cycle is finished to prevent wrinkles.
In addition to affordable pricing for the Organic Percale Sheet Set, Quince offers free ground shipping for all orders in the U.S. The company’s 365-night sleep trial is one of the longest in the online bedding industry.
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The sheets and pillowcases in the Brooklinen Classic Core Sheet Set collection are constructed from long-staple cotton, a material that is more durable than standard cotton. The cotton also has a thread count of 270, which is reasonably high for percale bedding. As a result, this set is comfortable and durable – even after repeated wash cycles.
The Classic Percale Sheet Set is available in a wide range of solid color and pattern options, so you should be able to find a design that matches your decor tastes. The fitted sheet has a pocket depth of 15 inches, meaning the set will be compatible with your mattress as long as it measures no more than 15 inches thick. If you don’t need the flat sheet, Brooklinen also sells the more affordable Classic Starter Set that includes a fitted sheet and two pillowcases. Alternatively, the more expensive Classic Hardcore Set includes the four core components plus a duvet cover and two additional pillowcases.
While you can wash each component of this set in your household machine, Brooklinen recommends line drying these items to preserve their structure. The Classic Core Sheet Set’s price-point is very reasonable compared to other percale collections, especially those made from long-staple cotton. Brooklinen offers free shipping within the contiguous U.S. and accepts used and laundered returns within 365 days of your original purchase.
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Organic cotton is a popular bedding material. It offers the same natural breathability and softness of standard cotton, and is sustainably produced using limited resources. The Boll & Branch Percale Hemmed Sheet Set is a great option if you’re in the market for organic cotton bedding. The material has a crisp hand-feel that will gradually soften over time with subsequent washes. It also offers a fine, lightweight structure without sacrificing durability thanks to a tight percale weave and a generous thread count.
Boll & Branch offers two solid colors and a pinstripe pattern for this collection. Eight sizes are also available. These include the six standard mattress sizes, as well as a split king size for couples who use an adjustable bed base and a king size set with standard size pillowcases. The fitted sheet in the twin size set has a pocket depth of 15 inches, making it compatible with most mattresses sold today, while the larger size fitted sheets have a 17-inch pocket depth for even more reach. Each component of this set can be washed and dried in any household machine. Organic cotton tends to wrinkle a bit, so you may need to iron these items when they are finished drying.
While the Percale Hemmed Sheet Set’s price-point may seem steep at first glance, it’s actually on par with other sheet sets made from high-quality organic cotton. Boll & Branch offers free shipping for U.S. orders and full refunds on returned sheets and pillowcases within 30 days of the original purchase.
Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Silk & Snow sheets
Percale-woven bedding may not feel particularly soft at first, but high-quality cotton percale sheets are designed to soften over time for a lived-in feel akin to a well-worn T-shirt. Each item in the Silk & Snow Percale Sheets collection is made of natural cotton with a 200 thread count. This ensures an exceptionally lightweight feel, making the set ideal for hot and humid nights, and the percale weave adds extra breathability to keep you cool and dry. Over time, the fibers should relax and soften.
Six sizes are available, all of which correspond with standard mattress dimensions. Twin and twin XL size sets include a flat sheet, fitted sheet, and one pillowcase. Larger sets feature all of these elements, as well as a second pillowcase. You can also purchase a duvet cover and pillow shams to coordinate with your bedding. Silk & Snow offers seven neutral color schemes.
The fitted sheet has a pocket depth of 15 inches. This makes the set compatible with many mattresses sold today, but you should measure yours before purchasing the set just in case. Each item in the set is fully machine-washable for quick and easy care. Silk & Snow recommends using wool dryer balls in lieu of fabric softener.
The Percale Sheets are reasonably priced and shipping is free for all customers in the contiguous U.S. and provincial Canada. Your order includes a generous sleep trial that spans 100 nights in length. If you decide to keep the sheets after the trial concludes, you’ll also receive a 1-year warranty against material defects.
Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Pure Parima sheets
The Pure Parima Ultra Percale Sheets feature the luxurious hand-feel and exquisite craftsmanship people love about hotel-style bedding. Each sheet and pillowcase in this collection is composed of extra-long staple Egyptian cotton, a material prized for its exceptional softness and durability. A Cotton Egypt Association certification verifies each fiber has been directly sourced from Egypt’s Nile River Valley, ensuring you’re buying real Egyptian cotton and not a blend containing other fabrics. Single-needle stitching and elegant tonal flange add to the set’s sophisticated look.
The percale weave makes these items feel crisp at first, but the cotton fibers will relax and soften over time. This adds to the material’s natural breathability, making the set particularly well-suited to hot and humid climates. You can wash and dry the sheets and pillowcases in household machines, but Pure Parima recommends doing so sparingly – frequent laundry cycles will cause the fibers to break down more quickly, potentially leading to premature wear and tear.
You can choose from five sizes for your set. Twin sizes include a flat sheet, fitted sheet, and single pillow case. The full, queen, king, and California king options feature all of these elements, as well as a second pillowcase. The fitted sheet’s pocket depth makes it compatible with the vast majority of mattresses sold today, including high-profile models too thick for standard-pocket sheets. The set is also available in four colors.
The Ultra Percale Sheets are affordably priced compared to other Egyptian cotton collections of this caliber, and Pure Parima ships for free to all 50 states. All purchases are backed by a 100-night trial period, during which you may return the sheets for a full refund as long as each item is in like-new condition.
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Percale sheets are usually quite breathable, and the Homebird Percale Fitted Sheet Set is no exception. The fitted sheet and pillowcases are made from long-staple cotton, a material touted for its durability and breathability. A GOTS certification backs the materials, ensuring they were grown using environmentally friendly means without the use of pesticides or growth modifiers.
The sheets are pre-washed for a gentle feel when new, and they should soften more over time. Each set includes a fitted sheet and two pillowcases. The fitted sheet has a 16-inch deep pocket that is compatible with most mattresses. The longer and shorter sides of the sheet are labeled to make changing sheets quick and easy. Customers can choose between full, queen, and king sizes, as well as eight color options.
Each item in the set is washable in household machines. Wash in cold water on a gentle cycle, and tumble dry on the lowest setting. Remove the set from the dryer immediately to prevent wrinkling. Homebird ships free to customers in all 50 states, as well as Canadian provinces and territories. Percale Fitted Sheet Set purchases come with a 45-night sleep trial.
Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Standard Textile sheets
The Standard Textile Percale Sheet Set is made with high-quality cotton that feels luxuriously soft against the skin while keeping the crisp look that percale sheets are known for. These sheets are breathable enough for summer months while insulating cozy warmth in winter months.
The sheet set is composed of 100% Supima cotton, which is an extra-long staple cotton variety known for its durability and softness. The percale weave gives the sheets a lightweight feel and a more structured appearance than sheets with a sateen weave, which drape more closely to the body. People who tend to sweat or run hot at night will appreciate the airy quality of these sheets.
The set is available in twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, and California king sizes. Shoppers can pick from seven color options, including several attractive striped patterns. Each set comes with a flat sheet, fitted sheet, and two pillowcases (twin and twin XL sets include just one pillowcase). The fitted sheet can accommodate beds up to 16 inches thick, so this set should be compatible with most beds on the market. The sheets come with “foot of bed” labels to enable easier orientation when making the bed.
Standard Textile offers a 90-night sleep trial with this sheet set. Customers may return the sheets for a full refund within this timeframe. Shipping is free to the contiguous U.S.
Some consumers mistake “cotton percale” for a specific variety of cotton. In fact, the term percale refers to a type of weave used to make bedding, garments, and other products. Percale is also known as plain weave. Most percale sheets are made from cotton, but this weave can also be used with polyester, rayon from bamboo, microfiber, and other synthetic fabrics.
Each woven fabric consists of vertical threads known as warps and horizontal threads known as wefts. For percale, the wefts pass – or “float” – over the warps in a one-by-one pattern, forming a grid shape that leaves the material with a crisp hand-feel that will gradually soften over time. Percale’s tight structure requires fewer threads than other weaves, so its thread counts are generally lower and the fabric is relatively lightweight. This sets percale apart from other weaving techniques such as sateen and twill.
The minimum thread count for percale is 180, but most percale sets fall in the 200 to 300 thread count range. The average set of percale cotton sheets will cost between $70 and $150, but some high-quality sets have lower sticker prices. In the guide below, we’ll discuss how percale is made, key differences between percale and sateen, and what to look for when shopping for a new percale sheet set.
Like percale, sateen is a weave commonly used for sheets and pillowcases. In the table below, we’ll outline the key differences between these two weave types.
|Weave||The weft floats over and under one warp at a time to create a tight, grid-shaped pattern.||The weft thread floats under three warp threads for each one it floats over, resulting in a looser weave.|
|Material||The percale weave can be used for cotton, as well as synthetic fabrics like polyester and rayon from bamboo.||Sateen is primarily used for cotton, as well, but may also be used with polyester and rayon from bamboo.|
|Feel||The tight weave gives percale an initially crisp feel that many compare to men’s shirting material, but it will soften with use. Percale is also very lightweight and breathable since it requires fewer threads.||Sateen is smooth and silky-soft when new. Over time, sateen will become softer and drapier. Since the thread count is higher, sateen is usually heavier than percale and also not as breathable.|
|Thread Count||The minimum thread count for percale is 180, but the optimal range for this material is 200 to 300.||The ideal thread count for sateen sheets is 300 to 600. The looser weave requires more threads to hold the fabric together.|
|Price Range||The average percale sheet set costs between $70 and $150.||Similarly, the average sateen sheet set costs between $50 and $150.|
|Who They’re Good For||Percale sheets are best suited to people who prefer crisp, lightweight bedding. They also offer above-average breathability.||Sateen sheets are ideal for sleepers who enjoy soft, drapey bedding. The loose weave gives sateen a smooth feel, but the material is not as breathable as percale.|
Buying new sheets might seem like a straightforward purchase, but there are a few factors to consider before deciding which set is right for you. These include feel, thread count, pocket depth of the fitted sheet, and ease of care. In the next section, we’ll explain what each factor entails and how to evaluate different sheet sets based on these criteria.
From misleadingly high thread counts to claims of sheets that “never wear out,” dubious assertions and exaggerations can be common in the bedding industry. Rather than relying on brand marketers to guide your purchasing decision, we recommend evaluating each set using the following criteria. This will help you distinguish high-quality sheet sets from their lower-quality competitors.
All percale sheets are woven with the weft threads floating over the warp threads in a tight, one-by-one pattern. Unless this technique is used, then the sheets should not be considered percale. Keep in mind that some brands prefer the more traditional “plain weave” label, which is synonymous with percale.
You’ll notice a crisp texture with new percale sheets. This can be attributed to how tightly the threads are woven together. Don’t worry if they feel too rough at first – the sheets and pillowcases will soften with subsequent washes. Percale is also relatively lightweight since fewer threads are required during the weaving process.
Before you begin sheet shopping, take a moment to measure how thick your mattress is. Every fitted sheet is designed for mattresses up to a certain height, as indicated by its “pocket depth” measurement. Most fitted sheets have a pocket depth of at least 14 inches, making them compatible with most mattresses sold today, but we recommend checking anyway. The deepest pocket percale sheets will be compatible with mattresses measuring at least 18 inches thick.
The average percale sheet set costs between $70 and $150. You may be able to find a high-quality set for less, but many of these items are made from fabric blends, not pure cotton. On the other hand, a luxury sheet set can easily run you $500 or more. These include items produced from pure Egyptian cotton, Pima cotton, and other high-end fabrics.
Technically, the fabric must have a thread count of 180 to be considered percale. When judging a fabric by quality a thread count of 200 to 300 is a good benchmark for percale sheets and pillowcases. Thread count is not necessarily an indicator of quality, especially if the number seems unusually high.
Design, Color, and Pattern
This factor is purely aesthetic, but still important to many consumers. Percale sheets are available in a wide range of designs, including neutral and earth tones, bright shades, and multi-colored patterns. Depending on the brand, you may need to pay more for certain colors and patterns, such as “limited edition” styles.
Percale is typically quite breathable. This can be attributed to its weaving technique, which requires fewer threads and creates a fabric that allows air to pass through more easily. Many sleepers prefer percale bedding for summer months and hotter climates. Cotton percale is especially well suited to warm weather thanks to its moisture-wicking properties.
Cotton percale tends to be more durable than percale produced from other fibers. However, the material will still break down over time. Pilling, or the appearance of small bumps of cotton on the fabric’s surface, is a common sign of wear. As your sheet set nears the end of its lifespan, you may also notice rips and tears developing, and the fitted sheet’s elasticated corners may lose some of their stretch.
Ease of Care
Most percale sheets and pillowcases can be washed and dried in any household machine. However, you should not wash them too frequently because laundering breaks down the fabric and causes wear and tear. To preserve the material and extend your set’s lifespan, consider line-drying your percale sheets and pillowcases instead of drying them in a machine.
While percale sheet sets made from synthetic fibers like polyester and rayon are widely available and – in most cases – relatively affordable, cotton percale sets generally offer higher quality, better durability, and more consistent temperature control.
As you browse different sheet sets, you’ll notice terms like “long-staple,” “Pima cotton,” and “blended percale.” While similar in structure, each type of percale offers distinct pros and cons for sleepers. Below, we’ve highlighted four of the most common percale categories.
While many sleepers love percale sheets for their crisp hand-feel and consistent breathability, the material is also susceptible to heavy wrinkling and may be too lightweight for cold weather. The table below summarizes some of percale’s most notable pros and cons.
Percale sheets are optimal for people who want a crisp hand-feel from their bedding that will become softer over time. The fabric will never drape closely to the skin like sateen due to its tighter weave, nor will it feel as smooth, but many sleepers prefer the gentle texture of used percale to the body-hugging clinginess of sateen.
Hot sleepers should also consider a percale sheet set, especially if they find sateen excessively warm. As the percale technique incorporates a lower amount of threads, air will pass through the material more easily. If you are an exceptionally hot sleeper, you should definitely pick cotton percale over blended or synthetic percale. Cotton offers natural breathability and absorbency, so you can stay cool and dry during the night.
Lastly, percale sheets are a solid investment because the material offers better longevity than sateen. Percale won’t pill as easily, either. If you’re in the market for a cotton sheet set that will deliver high value over time, percale is your best bet – especially long-staple and extra-long staple cotton varieties.
At minimum, percale sheets and pillowcases must have a thread count of 180, but the ideal thread range for this material is 200 to 300. If the yarns are exceptionally dense or the cotton staples are longer, then the thread count may be higher. Comparatively, sateen’s looser weave requires more threads to hold together, so this material’s ideal thread count range is 300 to 600.
The term thread count refers to the number of horizontal weft and vertical warp threads found in one square inch of fabric. Thread count can help you evaluate the weight, breathability, and longevity of a sheet set. However, many bedding manufacturers exaggerate both the thread counts of their products and the importance of thread count as an indicator of overall quality.
For example, some percale sheets are made by twisting – or “plying” – two or more yarns together for each warp and weft thread. Some brands that produce two-ply sheets will double their advertised thread count. If you see a set of percale sheets with a thread count of 400 or higher, then chances are the items are made of two-ply material. Thread counts of 600 or higher may indicate three or more plies. While higher thread counts often drive up the sticker price of sheets, percale with two or more plies is not necessarily of better quality or more comfortable than single-ply material. Even the best Egyptian cotton percale sheets carry a relatively modest thread count unless the manufacturer has inflated the number.
What is the typical price range for percale sheets?
For a high-quality cotton percale sheet set with a thread count of 200 to 300, expect to pay between $70 and $150. You may find more affordable cotton percale sets, but lower prices often indicate blended or synthetic percale. Sheet sets that cost more than $150 are often made from premium materials such as organic cotton, long-staple cotton, or extra-long staple varieties such as Egyptian or Pima cotton. However, higher thread counts can also make sheet sets more expensive – and as we’ve already discussed, thread count may not indicate better quality.
How long do percale sheets last?
A high-quality percale sheet set should last at least five years. That said, many factors will affect the durability of your percale bedding, such as the type of fibers used, the staple length if the sheets are pure cotton, and how frequently you launder these items. Percale resists pilling better than sateen, so your sheets and pillowcases shouldn’t become too bumpy over time.
How do I wash and care for percale sheets?
Unless the care tag says differently, your percale sheets and pillowcases can be washed and dried in any household machine. You should wash them with like colors, especially if you choose a white set. Percale is prone to heavy wrinkling, so you may need to smooth the sheets by hand after removing them from the dryer; many brands discourage ironing the wrinkles. Additionally, you should wash your percale bedding items sparingly in order to preserve their structure and extend their lifespan.
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