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If you’re on the hunt for a new set of sheets, chances are you’ve come across Tencel. Just what is this, and how does it compare to traditional materials like cotton or linen?
Tencel has been steadily gaining a foothold in the textile market over the last few years. Made from sustainably sourced wood pulp and processed using eco-friendly methods, it excels at wicking moisture to help maintain a neutral temperature as you sleep. Its soft, sleek feel lends itself well to bed sheets.
Tencel definitely qualifies as a luxury bedding product, but many shoppers feel it’s worth the price. Are Tencel sheets right for you? We’ll cover everything you need to know to help you make a decision, including a list of the best Tencel sheets according to our research and testing.
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Shoppers who want supremely soft sheets should consider the Tencel Sheet Set from PlushBeds. True to their name, these sheets feature 100% Tencel lyocell fabric that has a silky-smooth hand-feel. The sateen weave enhances the fabric and gives the set a sleek, luxe look.
Tencel is well-known for its temperature regulating capabilities. Rather than trapping heat, the fabric works to wick moisture away from your body and keep you cool. Tencel also doesn’t require special laundering. PlushBeds has designed this set to stay soft and durable through regular washing. For best results, use your home machine’s gentle cycle then tumble dry and remove promptly to avoid wrinkling.
This set from PlushBeds is compatible with a wide range of mattress heights. The fitted sheet has stretchy elastic that fits mattresses 6 to 22 inches high. The flat sheet is oversized to accommodate taller sleepers if needed. You can purchase this set in six different colorways and nine sizes including split queen, split king, and split California king.
PlushBeds offers free shipping to shoppers living in the contiguous U.S. Though returns are limited to unused sheets, the Tencel Sheet Set is backed with a 5-year warranty.
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GhostBed Luxury Sheets are made from a blend of 60 percent Supima Cotton and 40 percent Tencel. Both materials are highly breathable, making this an attractive choice for hot sleepers.
Supima cotton is a long-staple variety grown in the U.S. It’s considered the best type of cotton for fabrics due to its softness, strength, and breathability. The GhostBed Luxury Sheets manage to capture the advantages of both materials, with the Tencel adding its characteristically silky feel to the classic crispness of the cotton.
The sheets are sold in a choice of gray or white. GhostBed has developed a proprietary GhostGrip elastic on the bottom of the fitted sheet that ensures sheets stay in one place without bunching.
GhostBed offers free shipping but does not accept returns. Each order comes with a flat sheet, a fitted sheet, and two pillowcases (twin and twin XL sets come with just one pillowcase).
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Although Tencel is known for its exceptional cooling, the Buffy Eucalyptus Sheets offer excellent temperature regulation even compared to other bedding sets made from the same material. This can be attributed to the crisp percale weave, which usually offers better breathability than sateen, and a light thread count of 300. The fabric also has moisture-wicking qualities to keep you comfortable and sweat-free when humidity levels rise.
The set is available in six solid color palettes and three stripe patterns, all of which are dyed using natural agents such as gardenia and pomegranate. Additionally, the fabric does not contain any essential oils and is considered safe for any sleeper – including pets – to use. Each component can be laundered in any household machine for easy cleaning. Simply wash in cold water, tumble-dry on a low setting, and avoid placing the items in direct sunlight to prevent the colors from fading.
The fitted sheet’s pocket depth is 12 inches, so the set will be compatible with low- and medium-profile mattresses but those who own a high-profile model may need to look elsewhere. Buffy provides free ground shipping to all 50 states. After placing your order, your credit card won’t be billed until you’ve had the chance to test out the sheets for up to 7 nights, and returns are accepted within 30 days of the original purchase.
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Pure Tencel sheets generally sleep cool due to the above-average breathability of this fabric, but the Casper Hyperlite Sheets take temperature control a step further. The 200 thread count gives each item a lightweight feel while the grid-shaped dobby weave promotes airflow much like percale. This collection is well suited to anyone who runs hot in bed, as well as people who live in hot or humid locations.
You can choose a standard Hyperlite set that includes a flat sheet, fitted sheet, and one to two pillowcases depending on the selected size. Customers can also add a matching duvet cover or purchase individual items. The fitted sheet has a pocket depth of 17 inches, making it compatible with most mattresses sold today including luxury pillow-tops and other high-profile models.
Each component of the set is fully machine-washable for quick and easy care. Five solid color schemes are available. Customers also select from six sizes that correspond to standard mattress dimensions.
The Hyperlite Sheets are reasonably priced compared to other Tencel sets. Casper also provides free ground shipping throughout the contiguous U.S. and provincial Canada. Your purchase comes with a 30-night sleep trial and a 1-year warranty.
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The Arctic Aire Max Sheet Set from SHEEX is made with 100% Tencel lyocell fabric that’s designed to feel cool to the touch and enhance airflow. Hot sleepers and those who live in warm climates will appreciate this set’s attention to temperature regulation, though it’s also a great fit for those who like supremely soft sheets.
The Tencel fabric has a 300 thread count and sateen weave that provides a subtle sheen and silky hand-feel. In addition to allowing easy air circulation, these sheets also wick moisture effectively, leaving you cool and dry throughout the night.
You can choose between seven different colors and five sizes. Each set includes a fitted sheet, flat sheet, and two pillowcases with the exception of the twin option which has one pillowcase. Corner pocket depths vary between sizes, but each one is designed to fit at least a standard profile mattress. Sizes queen and larger have corner pockets that can fit mattresses up to 18 inches thick.
The Arctic Aire Max Sheet Set is machine-washable and should not be bleached. SHEEX offers free shipping within the contiguous U.S. on orders greater than $150. Returns and exchanges are accepted up to 60 days following delivery.
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Slumber Cloud is a bedding brand best known for using proprietary materials that regulate temperature well and help you sleep cool. The Performance Sheet Set is made from a blend of Outlast viscose and Tencel lyocell, two breathable fabrics with moisture-wicking properties. Outlast is also engineered for proactive thermoregulation by absorbing and releasing heat as your body temperature fluctuates throughout the night. The result is a sheet set that should keep you cool, comfortable, and dry any time of year.
The collection is available in two neutral colors to complement any bedroom decor. Customers also choose from six sizes that correspond with standard mattress dimensions. Twin and twin XL sets include a flat sheet, fitted sheet, and one pillowcase. Larger sizes feature all of these items, plus an additional pillowcase. The fitted sheet’s pocket depth of 15 inches makes the set compatible with most mattresses sold today. Each component can be washed and dried in household machines for quick, easy cleaning.
Slumber Cloud allows customers to test out the sheets for up to 60 nights before deciding to return them. All returns during this period qualify for full refunds, even if the set has been laundered. The Performance Sheet Set also comes with a 180-day warranty. Shipping is free for customers in the contiguous U.S.
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The Eucalypso Eucalyptus Classic Sheet Set uses Tencel lyocell fibers made from organic eucalyptus. These are produced in small batches using a closed-loop process to minimize the impact on the planet. The result is a smooth, breathable fabric with a 600 thread count that wicks moisture away from the body. This helps keep you cool and minimizes sweat and oil build-up as you sleep.
The sheets are available in almost the full gamut of sizes, including twin, full, queen, king, and California king. The deep-pocket fitted sheet is suitable for mattresses up to 18 inches tall. Available colors include white, dark gray, and light blue. Eucalypso Eucalyptus Classic sheets are OEKO-TEX certified against substances at levels that are harmful to humans. The sheets are very durable and get softer over time as they are machine-washed on cold and dried on low heat.
Eucalypso offers free shipping for orders in the contiguous U.S. Sheet sets include a flat sheet, a fitted sheet, and the respective pillowcases. As an added touch, the sheets are delivered in a reusable tote bag and you can use code SLEEPFOUNDATION15 for $15 off your purchase.
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The Olive + Crate Natural Eucalyptus Sheet Set is a prime example of a high-quality bedding collection available at a reasonable price. Each sheet and pillowcase is composed of pure Tencel lyocell in a sateen weave, making this a great set for people with sensitive skin and anyone else who enjoys the feel of soft, smooth bedding.
Thanks to a pocket depth of 17.5 inches, the fitted sheet will be compatible with the vast majority of mattresses sold today. Olive + Crate offers the set in queen, king, and California king sizes. You can also choose from five solid color options.
Each item can be cleaned in your household machines. Simply wash them separately in cold water, then either tumble dry on low or air dry. The sateen weave should help the fabric resist wrinkling. Due to the all-Tencel composition, you may compost your sheets and pillowcases when they reach the end of their lifespan.
The Natural Eucalyptus Sheet Set is competitively priced. Olive + Crate also offers free standard shipping throughout the U.S. and Canada, as well as reasonable flat rates for expedited and overnight delivery. Your purchase includes a 60-night trial period, during which you may exchange or return the set if you are not fully satisfied.
Tencel is a trademarked brand name that belongs to the Austrian company Lenzing. It refers to several fabrics that are made from wood pulp, most commonly eucalyptus. The wood pulp is dissolved in solvent and regenerated into a semi-synthetic cellulosic fiber. Currently, Tencel comes in two types, lyocell or modal. While these may also be made by other manufacturers, Lenzing is by far the main producer.
The wood pulp used to make Tencel fabric is harvested from sustainably managed plantations and natural forests. Lenzing goes to great lengths to ensure environmentally friendly production every step of the way. This includes minimizing irrigation and pesticides, reusing the solvents from the manufacturing process, and adding recycled cotton scraps to fabrics made with its Refibra technology. Tencel fabrics are biodegradable under the right conditions.
Suitable for people with sensitive skin, Tencel fabrics have a smooth and slinky feel that many people compare to silk. The fibers are strong and durable, and get progressively softer over time. Tencel is also highly absorbent and quick to dry. Its natural moisture-wicking ability helps prevent bacteria growth and maintain a neutral temperature. Tencel has controllable fibrillation that can be modified to give it specific characteristics. This makes for a versatile material with many uses that range from sportswear to bed sheets.
As with most bed sheet materials, Tencel can take on different properties depending on how it’s manufactured. We’ll go over how Tencel is produced, the advantages and disadvantages, the different types of Tencel, and other considerations to help you narrow down your search.
Many customers agree that it’s worth spending a little more for sheets that promise extra comfort and durability. However, companies sometimes take advantage of this and sell their bed sheets at luxury prices even if they’re not made with the corresponding quality.
Instead of assuming in good faith that a high price-tag always signals a better product, it’s worthwhile taking some time to understand the basics. In the case of Tencel sheets, arming yourself with information about weave, thread count, and other important factors can guide you to make a smarter choice when buying.
Among sheets made of the same fabric, different weaves confer a different feel. The most common weave for Tencel sheets is sateen, which produces delicate sheets with a slight sheen. You may also see twill Tencel sheets, known for their elegant drape, or percale Tencel sheets, with the standard one-up, one-over weave that’s known for being crisp and breathable.
Sheet material, weave, and other characteristics give each sheet set a distinct feel. Tencel sheets are generally silky-smooth and cooling, but when blended with other materials, they can take on extra characteristics such as added crispness or softness.
Not every sheet set comes in all sizes, so it’s important to double-check this before falling in love with a specific brand. Additionally, if you have an extra-thick mattress, it’s a good idea to check the pocket depth on the fitted sheet. Since the material can be a little slippery, some Tencel bed sheet manufacturers add an extra-thick elastic band to the bottom of the fitted sheet to keep it from sliding off the mattress.
Bed sheets come in a large range of prices, from cheap and cheerful sets to high-end luxury designs. Because they are made from natural materials and require a somewhat complex manufacturing process, Tencel sheets tend to be among the more expensive types. Most people buy at least two sets of bed sheets for laundry days, which is something to take into account when setting a budget.
Thread count is one way to get an initial idea of the feel and durability of your bed sheets. As the story goes, the higher the thread count, the better the quality. However, this isn’t always strictly true, as many companies use double-ply and triple-ply weaves to artificially increase the thread count without improving the quality of the sheets. Good-quality Tencel sheets usually have a thread count of about 300.
Design, Color, and Pattern
Many people would argue there’s no point splashing out for expensive bed sheets if they don’t match your room. The options for Tencel sheets are generally limited to solid natural colors, but luckily these tend to pair well with most bedroom color schemes.
Breathable sheets are especially important for people living in warm climates or sleepers who easily overheat at night. Tencel is breathable and moisture-wicking to boot, making it a strong choice for hot sleepers. To maximize these benefits, choose sheets with a percale weave, which does a better job at temperature regulation.
The durability of a sheet set depends largely on its material, fiber length, and weave. Compared with other cellulose fibers, Tencel is generally quite strong and resistant to tearing. It doesn’t pill like cotton, and it is less likely to shrink, especially after the first wash. For maximum durability, choose a weave like percale that’s less vulnerable to snagging.
Ease of Care
Buying bed sheets that need to be hand-washed or dry cleaned is a major nuisance considering most people wash their sheets every week or two. Tencel sheets do require a bit of delicacy when cleaning. However, if properly treated, they are easy to care for. Pure Tencel sheets can usually be machine-washed and -dried, avoiding hot temperatures and harsh agents like bleach or fabric softener.
There are two types of Tencel fabric, lyocell and modal. Each has particular features that sets it apart.
Tencel Lyocell: Tencel lyocell is the latest-generation Tencel fabric. It’s primarily made of eucalyptus, a fast-growing plant that requires less pesticides and irrigation than cotton. In addition to replacing the corrosive solvent with a non-toxic organic compound, lyocell is also processed using a closed-loop system that recycles the water and recovers 99 percent of the solvent to be used again. It’s the latest generation of rayon, and the most commonly used in bed sheets due to its superior moisture-wicking.
Tencel Modal: Modal was created as an answer to rayon. It has a much higher wet tensile strength, which makes it possible to develop finer fabrics without them tearing as compared with other man-made fabrics. Primarily made from beech wood, Tencel modal is used in many applications that require a sleeker, more lightweight feel, such as lingerie.
Tencel Blends: Tencel is often added to fabric blends to increase softness and durability. In bed sheets, Tencel is most commonly blended with cotton, to give the sheets a slightly crisp feel that retains the breathability of the Tencel.
Tencel is popular with environmentally conscious shoppers who value its soft, slinky feel and excellent temperature control. Do the benefits justify the extra cost? Here’s a quick summary of pros and cons.
Tencel’s eco-friendly credentials are one of the main draws for many shoppers. Due to its breathable, lightweight feel and above-average moisture-wicking capabilities, Tencel is also preferred by hot sleepers and those who live in warm climates. Tencel sheets have a flowy drape and a lustrous appearance that make it an elegant choice. Sleepers with sensitive skin appreciate the fabric’s natural softness and low abrasivity.
The main downside to Tencel is the higher price-point, which may deter shoppers who have a limited budget. While it can be altered to give it different characteristics, Tencel doesn’t usually achieve the sharp, crisp feel of cotton percale, the cozy warmth of flannel, or the comfortable rumpled feel of linen. If you’re not a fan of silky smooth bedsheets, Tencel may not be for you.
Tencel sheets can also be measured by thread count, but it’s not such an accurate gauge of quality for this material. The fibers used to make Tencel are naturally much smoother than cotton, so it’s possible to produce a soft and breathable fabric even with a lower thread count. Most Tencel sheets have a thread count ranging between 270 and 300, although it’s not uncommon for a manufacturer to omit this information as it’s not as relevant.
What is the typical price range for Tencel sheets?
Tencel sheets cost between $100 and $200 on average. The price can vary depending on multiple factors including what kind of Tencel is used and whether it’s blended with other materials, such as cotton. Tencel’s price-point is higher than most polyester sheets and closer to that of good-quality cotton or linen sheets.
How long do Tencel sheets last?
Tencel is generally more durable than other synthetic fabrics, and a good set of Tencel sheets can last for years if properly cared for. As it’s a relatively new material compared to cotton, it remains to be seen if Tencel sheets boast the same long lifespan of high-quality cotton.
How do I wash and care for Tencel sheets?
Most Tencel sheets can be machine-washed in cold water on the gentle cycle. Line-drying is best, although some can be tumble-dried on low heat. Removing the sheets from the dryer as soon as they’re dry and placing them immediately on the bed can help reduce wrinkles. Avoid fabric softeners, bleach, and strong detergent, which can harm the fibers. Most Tencel sheets can be ironed on low heat if absolutely necessary, but as a general rule, keep Tencel away from high temperatures as they can ruin the fibers. Always check care instructions before washing for the first time, especially for Tencel blends.
How do Tencel sheets compare to cotton sheets?
Tencel has a sleeker feel than cotton. Cotton sheets differ significantly in feel according to the weave. For example, cotton flannel has a warm and cozy feel, while cotton percale has a characteristically crisp, cool feel. Both materials are breathable, but as Tencel does a better job of wicking moisture, it’s usually preferred by hot sleepers.
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