Home / Best Sheets of 2021 / Best Percale Sheets

Best Percale 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

Written by

Daniel Noyed

author

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.

Product Details

Brooklinen Classic Percale Sheets

Best Overall

Brooklinen Classic Percale Sheets

Brooklinen Classic Percale Sheets
Price: $129
Material: 100% Long-Staple Cotton
Weave: Percale
Who it's best for:
  • Shoppers looking for a set with a wide color and pattern selection
  • Any sleeper whose mattress measures up to 15 inches thick
  • Those who want to purchase durable sheets
Highlights:
  • Wide range of color options
  • Light, breathable feel
  • Durable construction
Brooklinen Classic Percale Sheets

SF readers get the best price at Brooklinen

The sheets and pillowcases in the Brooklinen Classic Percale 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 offers great longevity and should hold up well over time – 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.

Quince Organic Percale Luxe Sheet Set

Best Value

Quince Organic Percale Luxe Sheet Set

Quince Organic Percale Luxe Sheet Set
Price: $89
Material: 100% organic extra-long staple cotton
Weave: Percale
Who it's best for:
  • Any sleeper whose mattress measures up to 15 inches thick
  • Hot sleepers
  • Individuals looking for cool sheets made with organic materials
Highlights:
  • 100% certified organic cotton
  • Durable extra-long staple cotton
  • Breathable weave improves cooling
Quince Organic Percale Luxe Sheet Set

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

The Quince Organic Percale Luxe Sheet Set collection is an excellent choice for anyone who sleeps hot at night. They are crafted from breathable, extra-long staple cotton for high-quality softness that will deepen with each wash. The sheets are certified organic by the Global Organic Textile Standard and have been tested and certified by OEKO-TEX to be free of a wide range of harmful chemicals.

Each set of sheets is made with a 400 thread count percale weave, making them durable, crisp, and breathable. The sheets are currently available in three soft, neutral color options that all have a smooth matte finish. The Organic Percale Luxe sheets can be machine washed and dried for easy care. The fitted sheets have a pocket depth of 15 inches, allowing them to accommodate even high-profile beds.

Although the Organic Percale Luxe sheets are made from high-quality organic cotton, they are available at a competitive price-point. Quince offers free shipping on all orders and provides each set of sheets with a 100-night return period.

Saatva Organic Percale Sheet Set

Most Comfortable

Saatva Organic Percale Sheet Set

Saatva Organic Percale Sheet Set
Price: $155
Material: 100% GOTS-certified organic cotton
Weave: Percale
Who it's best for:
  • Hot sleepers
  • People who own mattresses up to 16 inches thick
  • Those who prefer to buy organic products
Highlights:
  • Sustainably made using GOTS-certified organic cotton
  • Initially crisp feel will gradually soften over time
  • Light thread count and percale weave ensure exceptional breathability
Saatva Organic Percale Sheet Set

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

The Saatva Organic Percale Sheet Set 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.

Boll & Branch Percale Hemmed Sheets

Best Luxury

Boll & Branch Percale Hemmed Sheets

Boll & Branch Percale Hemmed Sheets
Price: $240
Material: 100% organic cotton
Weave: Percale
Who it's best for:
  • Any sleeper whose mattress measures up to 17 inches thick
  • Eco-conscious individuals
  • Shoppers with larger budgets
Highlights:
  • 100% organic cotton
  • Sustainably produced
  • Durable design offers long-lasting comfort
Boll & Branch Percale Hemmed Sheets

Get 15% off your first sheet set with code: 15SNOOZE

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.

Tuft & Needle Percale Sheet Set

Best Cooling

Tuft & Needle Percale Sheet Set

Tuft & Needle Percale Sheet Set
Price: $100
Material: Supima Cotton
Weave: Percale
Who it's best for:
  • Hot sleepers
  • Those who want a longer sleep trial and warranty coverage
  • Shoppers whose mattresses measure up to 14 inches thick
Highlights:
  • Extra-long staple cotton with a breathable percale weave
  • Backed by a 100-night sleep trial
  • Durable fabrication softens with each wash
Tuft & Needle Percale Sheet Set

Save 15% sitewide on Tuft & Needle products

The Tuft & Needle Percale Sheet Set has a breathable fabrication that’s particularly suitable for those who sleep hot. The percale weave helps the sheets feel crisp and cool while remaining soft to the touch. The Tuft & Needle Percale Sheet Set features 100% Supima cotton, which has an extra-long staple and is grown in the U.S. Sheets made with long-staple cotton tend to be softer and more durable than those made with short-staple cotton.

The set is available in all six standard mattress sizes, from twin to California king. Tuft & Needle also offers this set in a split king size. The fitted sheet has a 16-inch pocket that can accommodate mattresses up to 14 inches thick.

The sheets have a 215 thread count and are OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified. Each set includes one fitted sheet, one top sheet, and either one or two pillowcases depending on the size selected. The set is available in five neutral colors. Tuft & Needle recommends machine washing the sheets with cool water.

Tuft & Needle offers customers free shipping to the contiguous U.S. and the set is backed by a 100-night sleep trial. The Tuft & Needle Percale Sheet Set also comes with a 2-year limited warranty.

Parachute Percale Sheets

Best All-Season

Parachute Percale Sheets

Parachute Percale Sheets
Price: $129
Material: 100% long-staple Egyptian cotton
Weave: Percale
Who it's best for:
  • Hot sleepers
  • People who would like to try out sheets before committing
  • Those who prefer softer cotton
Highlights:
  • Durable Egyptian cotton
  • Soft long-staple cotton
  • 60-day trial period
Parachute Percale Sheets

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

Parachute is a high-end bedding and bath retailer that offers sheets in percale, linen, sateen, and brushed cotton fabrics. Among all the sheet options, the percale sheets are the most affordable.

Parachute’s percale sheets are made with 100% long-staple Egyptian cotton. The sheets are cool with a crisp feel, making them well-suited for those who tend to sleep hot at night. Egyptian cotton is known for its durability, so these sheets are a good investment for those looking for a long-lasting sheet set. These sheets are also ideal for shoppers who enjoy cotton with a soft feel, since long-staple cotton is softer than short-staple cotton.

The Percale Sheet Set comes with one fitted sheet and one pillowcase set, with the option to add a top sheet for an additional cost. It is available in eight colors and six standard mattress sizes. The fitted sheet has a pocket depth of 16 inches.

Parachute offers free shipping throughout the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii. The company offers a 60-day trial to allow customers to try out the sheets. Shoppers may return used or unused sheets during this time for a full refund.

Casper Percale Sheets

Best Airflow

Casper Percale Sheets

Casper Percale Sheets
Material: 100% Organic cotton
Weave: Percale
Who it's best for:
  • Hot sleepers
  • People with exceptionally thick mattresses
  • Those who need to purchase individual bedding items as opposed to a full set
Highlights:
  • Each item composed of crisp and breathable organic cotton percale
  • Wide color assortment
  • Choose from multiple bundling and single-item purchase options
Casper Percale Sheets

Save 10% off your cart with code SF10

The Casper Percale Sheets are a standout bedding collection in terms of breathability, even compared to other percale sets. Formed from GOTS-certified organic cotton with a luxuriously crisp feel, each item has a 300 thread count to ensure it feels light and airy without sacrificing insulation during colder times of the year.

Casper offers several purchasing options to appeal to different shoppers based on their individual needs. A complete set includes a flat sheet, fitted sheet, duvet cover, and one to two pillowcases depending on the selected size. You can also choose to forgo the duvet cover and save some money, or buy the duvet cover or pillowcase set separately. Shams are also available as single-purchase items.

A total of eight different solid-color palettes are available. The set is also sold in six sizes that match standard mattress dimensions. The fitted sheet has a pocket depth of 18 inches, so it will work with most mattresses made today – including many high-profile models that require extra reach. All components may be washed and dried at home to save you time and money when they need to be cleaned.

Casper is one of the only online mattress and bedding companies that offers free shipping to both the contiguous U.S. and Canada. Your order is backed by a 30-night sleep trial with free returns, and you’ll also receive a 1-year warranty if you choose to keep the bedding.

Comma Egyptian Cotton Sheet Set

Best Egyptian Cotton

Comma Egyptian Cotton Sheet Set

Comma Egyptian Cotton Sheet Set
Price: $89
Material: 100% Egyptian long-staple cotton (270TC)
Weave: Percale
Who it's best for:
  • Hot sleepers
  • People who own mattresses up to 15 inches thick
  • Value seekers
Highlights:
  • Durable, long-staple Egyptian cotton
  • Excellent value
  • Lightweight and breathable
Comma Egyptian Cotton Sheet Set

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

Egyptian cotton bedding is widely sought after due to its exceptional breathability and durability – but unfortunately for shoppers, the high quality of this material is often reflected by an expensive sticker price. The Comma Egyptian Long-Staple Cotton Sheet Set is a rare exception. The sheets and pillowcases in this collection are constructed from long-staple cotton with a mid-range thread count of 270 and a crisp percale weave. These items are very breathable and lightweight, making the set particularly well suited for hot weather and warm climates.

Customers can choose from queen or king sizes, as well as three neutral color options. The fitted sheet has a pocket depth of 15 inches, so the collection will be compatible with most mattresses sold today. Each component can be washed and dried in household machines, and the material – while initially crisp – will soften with subsequent laundry cycles. Every set includes a flat sheet, fitted sheet, and two corresponding pillowcases.

In addition to affordable pricing for the sheet set, Comma also provides free ground delivery anywhere in the contiguous U.S. Unused and unwashed bedding may be returned for a full refund within 30 days of your original order.

Standard Textile Percale Sheet Set

Best Deep Pocket Sheets

Standard Textile Percale Sheet Set

Standard Textile Percale Sheet Set
Price: $129
Material: 100% Supima cotton
Weave: Percale
Who it's best for:
  • Hot sleepers
  • People who own mattresses up to 16 inches thick
  • Shoppers seeking long-lasting sheets at a reasonable price-point
Highlights:
  • Made of durable, extra-long staple Supima cotton
  • Seven color/pattern options
  • OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certification
Standard Textile Percale Sheet Set

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

Most bedding sets sold today are designed for mattresses with standard profiles, so those who own exceptionally tall beds may have a hard time finding suitable sheets. The Standard Textile Percale Sheet Set includes a fitted sheet with a pocket depth of 16 inches, making this collection compatible with the majority of mattresses sold today – including many luxury pillow-tops and other thicker-than-average models.

The items in this set are made of 100% Supima cotton, an extra-long staple variety renowned for its durability and excellent cooling performance. A percale weave gives the sheets and pillowcases a crisp hand-feel that gradually softens over time.

The Standard Textile Percale Sheet Set can be washed and dried in home machines for quick, convenient care. It is available in six sizes that correspond to standard mattress dimensions, as well as seven patterns and solid colors to match your decor style. The set has an OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certification, indicating none of the items contain harmful chemicals.

The sticker price for this set is below-average for bedding of this material and construction quality. Standard Textile also provides free ground shipping anywhere in the contiguous United States. The sheet set comes with a 100-night sleep trial and full refunds, minus return shipping charges.

What Are Percale Sheets?


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.

Percale vs. Sateen

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.

Percale Sateen
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.

How to Choose Percale Sheets

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.

What to Consider When Buying Percale Sheets

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.

Weave
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.

Feel
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.

Fit
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.

Price
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.

Thread Count
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.

Breathability
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.

Durability
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.

What Types of Percale Sheets Are Available?

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.

  • Standard: “Staple” refers to the length of cotton fibers used to produce the fabric, and is a good indicator of overall quality and longevity. Standard cotton has a staple length of 1.125 inches or shorter. This material is more susceptible to early pilling and wear, but sets made of standard cotton are often easy on the wallet.
  • Long-Staple Cotton: By definition, long-staple cotton measures about 1.25 inches in length. While this may seem like a slight advantage, long-staple cotton is considerably softer and more durable than standard cotton.
  • Extra-long Staple Cotton: ELS for short, extra-long staple cotton can measure up to 2 inches in length. Two of the most sought after cotton types, Egyptian and Pima, are ELS varieties.
  • Blended Percale: In most cases, blended percale refers to a blend of cotton and polyester. This material is not as strong or durable as pure cotton percale, but it is affordable and feels quite soft.
  • Organic Cotton: In order to earn the “organic” certification, cotton must be grown without GMO seeds, chemical fertilizers, or pesticides. Prominent certifying organizations for organic cotton include the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Global Organic Textile Standard.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Percale Sheets?

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.

Pros Cons
  • Due to its tighter weave and lower thread count, percale sheets tend to be very lightweight and breathable. Cotton percale is also absorbent and will wick moisture away from the skin.
  • Percale sheets and pillowcases feel crisp at first but soften over time, striking a fine balance between smooth and scratchy.
  • Percale’s tight weave structure makes the material quite durable, especially compared to sateen. The fabric shouldn’t pill too much or attract lint during cleanings.
  • Percale is a low-maintenance material. For most sets, you’ll be able to wash and dry each component at home without spot cleaning or dry cleaning. However, you may wish to line dry the items to minimize wear and tear.
  • The composition of percale makes the material wrinkle easily. Some brands discourage ironing percale sheets, which means you may need to smooth them by hand.
  • Some sleepers find percale too coarse and scratchy. This is particularly common with sheet sets made from low-grade cotton, cotton blends, and synthetic fabrics like polyester.
  • While percale is quite breathable and well suited to warm weather, the fabric is a bit too thin and lightweight to insulate you from the cold. You may want to consider a heavier sheet set for the winter months.

Who Is Best Suited to Percale Sheets?

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.

What Is the Ideal Thread Count for Percale Sheets?

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.

More Frequently Asked Questions About Percale Sheets

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.