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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.
Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on the Kassatex sheets
Our Editor’s Pick is the Kassatex Lorimer Washed Percale Sheet Set, a sumptuous blend of 60 percent Tencel lyocell and 40 percent long-staple cotton. This blend succeeds in capitalizing on the benefits of both materials, with the smooth Tencel feel complemented by the cotton’s resistance and durability.
The sheets are woven in a durable percale weave with a 300 thread count. Instead of the typical crisp feel of regular percale, the garment-washed finish gives the sheets a softer feel right off the bat. It also helps resist shrinking on the first wash.
Kassatex Lorimer Washed Percale Sheets are available in a rainbow of colors including dolphin gray, coal, ice blue, dusty rose, navy, oatmeal and white. They can be machine-washed in warm water on the gentle cycle and tumble-dried on low to medium heat.
The sheets ship for free and come with a 60-night sleep trial. Each set includes a fitted sheet, a flat sheet, and the corresponding pillowcases. These sheets are OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified, meaning they’ve been manufactured and tested to have no substances that are harmful to humans.
Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on the Hoot sheets
The Hoot Sheet Set is made with Tencel Lyocell that has been produced using Refibra technology, which incorporates a portion of upcycled cotton scraps. The sheets are woven in a single-ply sateen weave with a slight sheen. The elegant white color should fit any aesthetic. Given the below-average price for sheets of this quality, the Hoot Sheet Set represents a versatile sheet set at great value.
The Hoot Sheet Set can be used with mattresses up to 15 inches tall. Hoot sells its sheets in twin, full, queen, and king sizes. They can be machine-washed on cold, although Hoot recommends washing on the gentle cycle and avoiding fabric softeners, bleach, and tumble-drying if possible.
Customers in the contiguous U.S. benefit from free shipping. Hoot provides a 30-night sleep trial with a $6 fee to cover the cost of return shipping. The sheets are OEKO-TEX certified and each set includes one fitted sheet, one flat sheet, and two pillowcases. Hoot is a member of One Percent For The Planet, a group of companies that donate a portion of their sales to environmental nonprofit organizations.
Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on the Eucalypso sheets
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.
Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on the Heavenluxe sheets
Heaven Luxe is a Singapore-based company that focuses on high-end bedding. The flagship Heaven Luxe Sheet Set has the distinctive soft and breathable feel of Tencel Lyocell, sold in an elegant Scandinavian White color that should complement any color scheme.
Heaven Luxe sheets are available in queen, king, single, and super single sizes, with the latter being slightly wider than a regular single sheet set. As with most Tencel bed sheets, they can be machine-washed in cold water and tumble-dried on low. The sheets carry OEKO-TEX certification that certifies them to be free of substances that are harmful to humans. Each set includes one fitted sheet and a set of pillowcases.
Heaven Luxe offers free shipping and a 30-night sleep trial. The sheets are available for purchase from multiple countries, including the U.S. Heaven Luxe donates a percentage of its earnings to charity.
Best Tencel Blend
Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on the GhostBed sheets
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).
Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on the Amerisleep sheets
Hot sleepers should find relief with Amerisleep Tencel Sheets, designed to sleep cool by wicking moisture away from the body. The sheets have a 310 thread count and are made of 100 percent Tencel. Customers can choose from either Pearl or Dove colors.
The fitted sheet can handle mattresses up to 18 inches tall. If you’re one of the many people who are easily frustrated when trying to put on a fitted sheet, you’ll be glad to hear that Amerisleep has included a strategically placed elastic at the top. This makes it a breeze to identify the head vs. feet end of the sheet, and puts an end to your fitted sheets slipping off the mattress.
Amerisleep sells its Tencel Sheets in all six standard mattress sizes as well as split king, which includes a separate sheet for each side of the bed. The sheets can be machine-washed in warm or cold water and tumbled-dried on low. Amerisleep recommends removing the sheets as soon as they’re dry and immediately making the bed to minimize wrinkling.
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.