The Best Sheets (2024): Linen, Percale, and Budget Bedding

Quince also has a bamboo linen sheet set, which we also really like. It’s a little cheaper at $100, and feels lighter and silkier while still maintaining some of the weight and stiffness of linen sheets. I found it a little more cooling than heavier linen too.

Other Great Linen Sheets

  • Casaluna Washed Linen Solid Sheet Set for $159: These sheets aren’t soft, but have a weight to them that makes them feel luxurious. They’re warm though—I felt warmer sleeping on these than the ones above and sateen sheets. They’re a great price for linen and a good choice for anyone who wants to be a little cozier when they sleep.
  • Ikea Dytag Linen Duvet Set for $160: Before trying linen sheets, I used a linen duvet cover for years and loved it. Ikea’s duvet sets have served me well—they’re soft and light to the touch and keep me cool while I sleep. Make sure to pair it with the right size comforter or else you might find it won’t stay centered in this lightweight duvet.

Percale Sheets

Why buy percale sheets? Percale is a type of cotton weave, not a type of fabric. It’s also referred to as a plain weave. It looks how you might picture a classic weave to look, with an over-under style like a checkerboard. These sheets tend to be crisp, cool, and lightweight. Think of hotel sheets or your favorite button-up shirt. They’re a good middle ground if you sleep hot but don’t want to spring for linen and its higher prices.

Our Favorite Percale Sheets

Target’s in-house brands make great, affordable sheets, including this Casaluna percale set. WIRED reviewer Medea Giordano has been sleeping on them for several years, and they’re her favorite of all the types of percale sheets she’s tried, even those twice the price. They’re crisp without being uncomfortably stiff, and she stays cool all night in them.

These Casaluna sheets have held up through many, many machine washing cycles, and are only getting more lived-in and soft. There are several colors to choose from too. When Giordano upgraded from a queen to a king bed, these were the sheets she repurchased immediately.

Other Great Percale Sheets

  • Riley Percale Sheet Set for $220: Riley makes nice percale sheets, but they’re pricey—a fitted sheet and pillowcases cost $135 and the flat sheet costs an additional $85. We liked their crispness but were more impressed by the Casaluna ones.
  • Parachute Percale Sheet Set for $229: WIRED reviews editor Julian Chokkattu says these sheets feel rough at first but soften up the more they’re washed. They’ve held up extremely well after years of use, even with a dog sleeping in the same bed.

Flannel Sheets

Why buy flannel sheets? Flannel sheets are made of cotton, but the cotton fibers are brushed out to create a fuzzy texture. Those fluffed-out fibers also are what make flannel so warm and cozy to sleep on—the teased layers of cotton do a better job of retaining heat than other styles of cotton sheets, so you’ll stay much warmer sleeping on these than other sheet styles. They’re great for cooler climates.

Our Favorite Flannel Sheets

The Company Store’s flannel sheets initially threw me off with how pink the cream color looked, especially when placed next to other white sheets. But once I saw past that, these sheets felt the softest to the touch compared to the Coyuchi and L.L. Bean flannels I tried (see below). They’re a little stiff initially, but soften up with each wash.

They’re cozy to sleep on and definitely warm—these were the warmest I slept on out of the bunch. If you’re looking for soft and warm at a reasonable price, these sheets deliver.

Other Great Flannel (Or Similar) Sheets

  • Coyuchi Cloud Brushed Organic Flannel Sheet Set for $268: These sheets are super soft and fantastic to sleep on. They’re warm and cozy, yet a little lighter than the Company Store’s set. But they’re a splurge. If your budget can stretch, these are my favorite flannel sheets.
  • L.L. Bean’s UltraSoft Flannel Sheets for $139: These are definitely soft, but not as soft as our top flannel pick, and they feel lighter too. They’re almost like a warm jersey rather than a flannel. If you’re looking for a light but still soft set of sheets, these are a good choice.
  • Brooklinen’s Heathered Cashmere Sheets for $325: These sheets are a major splurge. They’re 95 percent cotton and 5 percent cashmere wool, giving them a little rougher texture than your usual flannel sheets. I still really liked sleeping on them and found them warm and cozy, but my husband, who favors soft sheets, didn’t care for them.

Sateen Sheets

Why buy sateen sheets? Sateen is a cotton weave similar to percale, but it uses a three-over-one thread style weave compared to one-over-one. Those extra threads give it a silkier feel even though it’s still cotton, and it tends to be both cooler and a little heavier. They’re great for summer months if you want something cool to the touch, but they also work for colder months if you aren’t looking for something too heat-trapping like flannel but still want to retain some heat.

Our Favorite Sateen Sheets

I have a few sets of JCPenney’s Wrinkle Guard sateen sheets in my linen closet thanks to my wedding registry. They’re soft and cool to the touch, with the silky finish sateen is known for without being slippery. They drape well on my bed and don’t keep me too warm, but be careful how you fold them as they aren’t completely wrinkle-free.

The craziest thing to me about these sheets is that I can barely tell the difference between them and the Brooklinen Luxe Core Set, which is double the price (also courtesy of my wedding registry). They’re similar and both incredibly comfortable to sleep on, but JCPenney’s sheets are just hard to beat on value.

Other Great Sateen Sheets

  • Brooklinen Luxe Sateen Core Sheet Set for $189: These sheets are similar to JCPenney’s set but more expensive. They’re a touch silkier thanks to a higher thread count—Brooklinen has 480 versus JCPenney’s 400. We explain thread counts further below.
  • Quince Luxury Organic Signature Sateen Sheet Set for $90: We prefer Quince’s linen sheets, but if you want cotton, these are a good choice. Former WIRED reviewer Haley Sprankle raved about these sheets being the perfect combination of light weight and sumptuous. WIRED reviewer Medea Giordano liked these too, though she prefers other materials over sateen. Some people might find sateen hot, but we did not find that to be the case with these.

Silk Sheets and Pillowcases

Why buy silk sheets? Silk stays cool and slick when you need it, so you shouldn’t heat up and stick to your bed in the middle of the night. But it also is capable of insulating you decently well to keep you warm in the winter months. Silk is also better for your beauty rest and the reason why silk scarves, bonnets, and pillowcases are so popular. It absorbs less moisture from your hair and skin, so you stay hydrated and don’t lose all your expensive beauty products to your pillow. It also causes less friction, pulling less at your skin during the night. If you’re a side or stomach sleeper where your face makes direct contact with your pillow, silk is a great option to consider.

If you Google silk sheets, you’ll see results for things like “eucalyptus silk” or “silky tencel.” These might still be comfortable and soft, but they are not real silk. Real silk sheets are categorized by their density and weight, called momme. A higher number equals more threads, a higher density, and more durability. For example, 25-momme sheets are a higher quality and more durable, but also more expensive. The 19-momme sheets we recommend here are a perfectly good set. It’s worth noting that some people find sleeping on a full silk bed to be annoying, with their pillows slipping around and the corners coming untucked, but we didn’t encounter this.

Our Favorite Silk Sheets

Sleeping on these silk sheets feels like true luxury. It’s soft and smooth without being freezing cold. Lilysilk is the only brand of silk sheets we’ve tested, and it’s very expensive to get a full set—you’re looking at nearly $530 for one flat sheet, one fitted sheet, and two pillowcases—but the brand offers each piece individually. WIRED reviewer Medea Giordano tried the fitted sheet with a regular percale top sheet and found it cooling and comfortable. If you can spend a little more, Lilysilk has 22- and 25-momme sets available. You probably don’t need a full set to feel the luxury.

Our Favorite Silk Pillowcase

Switching to a silk pillowcase might make a difference for a lot less money than replacing the whole set. Silk sheets boast benefits for hair and skin, and a pillowcase targets those benefits to your face and hair. While using a silk pillowcase didn’t fix all my hair problems, my hair was certainly softer while I slept on one of these. Of the silk pillowcases I’ve tested, these are my favorites.

Quince makes my favorite silk pillowcase. It’s a great value at $40, and it has a better weight for that price than other brands. Quince’s silk pillowcase is 22-momme, where others usually have a 19-momme for that price, and that heavier weight makes it slightly thicker and softer to the touch. It has a zipper enclosure which I liked, since it kept the pillowcase looking polished, and I didn’t have to worry about my pillow wiggling its way out of the case while I tossed and turned in the night. Sleep Number’s Silk Pillowcase felt very similar to it and also has a zipper enclosure, but it costs $10 more and is a slightly lighter weight (21-momme).

Other Silk (or Similar) Pillowcases We Like

  • LilySilk 19-Momme Silk Pillowcase for $40: This is the same price as the Quince pillowcase, but a lighter weight, though it’s barely noticeable side by side. If you prefer no zipper, though, this is the silk pillowcase for you. It does have a few colors and prints that Quince doesn’t, so you might want to peruse the two brands and choose based on your color preference.
  • Silken Pure Silk Envelope Pillowcase for $78: This pillowcase is a splurge, but the Silken Pure is noticeably higher-end. Medea found it’s not as slippery as other, cheaper pillowcases, but is super cooling on your skin. She says it’s held up great in the wash too. She does find she has to adjust it in the morning, since it doesn’t have a zipper enclosure.
  • Kitsch Satin Pillowcase for $19: This pillowcase is satin, not silk, but Medea says it’s better than similarly priced silk options. If you’re not looking to spend more than $20 to $25, she says to choose this one over the cheap silk pillowcases you’ll find on Amazon.

Organic Sheets

Why buy organic sheets? If you’re buying an organic mattress, you probably want to pair it with organic sheets. Otherwise, nonorganic sheets can bring the chemicals and materials you avoided—including anything from formaldehyde and TCEP (a flame retardant) to phthalates—right back into your life. Even if you have a regular mattress, you can still benefit from choosing sheets that are made of natural, organic materials.

Our Favorite Organic Sheets

WIRED reviewer Scott Gilbertson tests organic bedding, and these are the best organic cotton sheets he’s tried. They’re soft but not overly silky, which is a feeling he doesn’t care for (if you do, check out the Avocado sheets below). The Brooklinen organic cotton sheets are made from Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)-certified organic cotton. They’re also Oeko-Tex certified, which means they’re tested for and do not contain any known toxic chemicals.

The 300 thread count makes this plenty crisp and soft but not so tight that you end up sleeping hot. These are a great choice for summer or if, like Scott, you sleep on the warm side even in winter.

Other Great Organic Sheets

  • Avocado Organic Cotton Sheets for $229: These 600-count sheets are like sleeping on silk or satin and are 100 percent GOTS-certified organic cotton from India. The only potential issue here is that, because they are such a dense weave, they sleep a little warmer than what you might be used to. There’s also a 400-count version we haven’t tested.
  • Avocado Organic Linen Sheets for $499: These linen sheets are some of the heaviest Scott has tried and will likely last you many years, thanks to the heavy weight. They’ll get softer with every wash, but they are initially rougher than other styles of sheets.

Alternative Materials

Why buy bamboo or eucalyptus sheets? Companies are making sheets from other materials now too, like bamboo and eucalyptus. The latter usually takes less water than cotton and less harsh chemicals than bamboo to produce sheets. Because bamboo plants grow so quickly, it’s thought to be an eco-friendly resource we can use without depleting the planet. However, it’s not a perfect solution. The process of turning bamboo into fabric uses harsh chemicals, which can actually add to air and water pollution. Bamboo viscose is slightly better than bamboo rayon.

A Eucalyptus Sheet

We were already fans of Buffy’s enormous Wiggle Pllow, and now we’re happy to have tried the company’s sheets too. They’re light and airy and yet feel warm, like you’re cozy under your favorite blanket, without making you hot and sweaty. WIRED reviewer Medea Giordano says her husband struggles with waking up sweaty on materials like percale, even when they feel cool to the touch, but he commented on how nice he felt sleeping in these. She did, however, note that they slid up the side of her mattress more than some other sheets.

The fabric uses a sateen weave but is actually Tencel lyocell, which is made from sustainable wood sources—in this case, eucalyptus—and it’s biodegradable.

A Bamboo Sheet

While WIRED reviewer Medea Giordano says she prefers the crispness of percale, these Luxome sheets made from bamboo viscose are the softest bedding she’s ever slept in. They’re silky and drape well, but have deep pockets and elastic straps to keep them on your mattress all night. They’ve held up in the wash too. We were nervous they’d get pilly like some similar cheap soft sheets we’ve tried from Bed Bath and Beyond (RIP) but that hasn’t been the case.

A Bamboo Linen Sheet

Quince’s bamboo linen sheets are well priced for linen. They have a slightly softer, silkier feel compared to regular linen but still maintain some of the weight and stiffness you’d expect with linen sheets. It’s made with 70 percent bamboo rayon (less ideal than bamboo viscose) and 30 percent linen. These are a little more cooling to sleep on compared to other linen sheets too.

Best Budget Sheets

On a tight budget? Some of our favorite sheets are surprisingly cheap compared to other similar sets, but they cover a range of sheet styles.

Our Favorite Budget Sheets

When I upgraded my mattress after moving across California, I popped into Target to grab its cheapest queen sheet set off the shelf and promptly left the store. Target’s Room Essentials set is made with a plain cotton weave, and I didn’t expect them to hold up for long, especially with my claw-happy cat in the house.

It’s been four years and I still use these sheets. They’re soft and light after years of use and feel a bit like a favorite T-shirt I’ve worn in the perfect amount. My husband, much to my ire, calls these “the nice sheets” even though we have actual nice sheets. They’re affordable and are comfortable to sleep on.

Other Great Budget Sheets

  • Bedsure Bamboo Cooling Sheet Set for $60: We tried a few sets of cheap, highly-rated sheets from Amazon in hopes of finding a great pair well under the $100 mark. This $60 set from Bedsure was the best one. They’re made from bamboo rayon, and while they aren’t as silky and cool as the Luxome sheets above, they’re a close second. Luxome’s sheets are made from bamboo viscose, which is better for the environment.
  • JCPenney’s Wrinkle Guard sateen sheets for $90: You might think 90 bucks isn’t cheap. You’re not wrong. But compared to other, similar sateen sheets, this price is fantastic and well worth the small splurge compared to trendier brands.

Avoid These Cheap Sheets

Oh how we wanted $20 sheets to be the unexpected hero of our testing, but alas, this Amazon Basics Microfiber set is a failure. They feel (and sound!) kind of like those paper robes you have to wear at the doctor’s office. We hardly lasted a night sleeping on these.

Do You Need a Top Sheet?

To sleep with a top sheet or not to sleep with a top sheet has been a matter of debate in the past few years, with some opting to speak for a generation. WIRED is divided on this issue, though most of the Gear team seems to go without. I start out the night with a top sheet but usually find it bunched up in the morning. WIRED reviewer Medea Giordano is passionate about always sleeping with one (“This millennial has not killed the top sheet industry,” she says).

Do whatever keeps you comfortable. Many companies now offer the option to forgo a top sheet altogether while purchasing a set. If you think you don’t like a top sheet because you get too hot, you might just need to find a cooler material.

What Does Thread Count Actually Mean?

Thread count is the number of threads you’ll find in one square inch of a sheet’s fabric. The thread count can range pretty widely on sheets, and some brands like Parachute claim it doesn’t matter. You also might see some styles of sheets won’t call out thread counts at all—silk uses a different system, called momme, which focuses on the weight of the silk, and flannel sheets usually list the ounces of weight of the flannel.

Ultimately, higher thread counts mean literally more thread—it’s a denser weave and weight that can also feel heavy if you’re used to lighter weaves and lower thread counts. Some equate thread count with quality or softness, but you shouldn’t treat it as the ultimate rule of how good a set of sheets will be. You can use thread count to understand two things: texture (higher thread counts usually mean a smoother feel) and warmth (more threads will retain more heat). If you want lighter sheets, lower thread counts could actually be better for you, but higher thread counts can mean a smoother feel or warmer layers if you’re a cold sleeper. Even if you like a toasty bed, you never need as high as 800 and 1,000 thread counts, so don’t splurge for super high numbers.

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