How to Choose the Best Material for Bed Sheets

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Girl on bed sheets

When it comes to choosing bed sheets, finding the right material is crucial: Different fabrics offer different benefits in terms of softness, comfort, breathability, and temperature control. Consider how fiber, weave, and thread count can influence the feel of a fabric when deciding which is best for you. Whether you're looking for bedding to suit your sleeping preferences or simply want options that offer easy care, use this guide to learn how to choose bed sheet fabric.

Choose Your Sheet Fabric Based on Sleep Temperature

Each fabric type offers different benefits—some are cool and lightweight, perfect for hot sleepers, and others provide extra warmth for people who tend to sleep cold. To find the best bed sheet fabric for your preferred sleep temperature, consider how the material is made.

woman asleep under fitted sheets

To produce material, fibers are twisted together to create threads which are then woven into fabric. Different weaving techniques create distinctive fabric types, from percale and sateen to elegant jacquard weaves with varying levels of warmth.


Thread count measures the density of a fabric—the number of threads per square inch—and can be an excellent way to cater your sheets to your preferences, whether you’re a hot or cold sleeper. The higher the thread count, the heavier—and warmer—the material. If you find yourself throwing off the covers at night, you might appreciate the lower thread count that makes for cool, breathable bed sheets. But if you are a cold sleeper who tends to need layers to sleep comfortably, you may find that heavier, higher thread count sheets are best for your rest.

Thread count isn’t the only factor when determining which sheets are coolest or warmest: different fabrics offer distinct benefits—from style to feel to breathability—so explore our favorite bed sheet materials to find the type that suits your preferences.

 

When determining which sheets are coolest for hot sleepers or warm weather, breathable natural fibers are an ideal choice. Even better, these popular warm-weather sheet fabrics pair well with a lightweight cotton quilt or coverlet so hot sleepers can layer to stay comfortable, even when cooler sleeping temperatures arrive.

Consider these fabric options for hot sleepers or summer nights:

Sheet Fabric
Feel
Top Benefits
Linen Lightweight and smooth Breathable and moisture-wicking
Cotton Percale Smooth and crisp Provides ample airflow
Supima® Cotton Rich and smooth Breathable and durable
TENCEL™ Lyocell Ultra-soft Cool and moisture-wicking
Rayon Made From Bamboo Soft and smooth Naturally hypoallergenic and breathable

Heavier materials and fabrics with a higher thread count—like cotton flannel, jersey knit, and sateen—make the warmest sheets for winter weather. Cold sleepers often prefer to snuggle up under warm, soft sheets layered with our incredibly cozy down comforters.

For the comfiest winter sleeping conditions, consider these sheet fabric options:

Sheet Fabric
Feel
Top Benefits
Cotton Sateen Buttery soft Heavy and warm
Egyptian Cotton Crisp and smooth Great year-round option
Cotton Jersey Knit T-shirt soft Breathable, yet retains heat well
Cotton Flannel Incredibly fuzzy Insulating, without added bulk

Best Easy-Care Fabrics for Sheet

Knowing how to wash, dry, and store your sheets is important, but some of these materials make bedding care even easier. When choosing the best sheet fabric for you, consider easy-care fabric options that make laundry day simpler and keep your bed looking neat and inviting.

kid sleeping on sheets with pet

Opt for Wrinkle-Resistant Sheet Fabrics

With proper care and occasional ironing, many sheets can be wrinkle-free, but our wrinkle-resistant options make it even easier to enjoy smooth sheets—with little or no ironing required. The best fabric option for wrinkle-resistant sheets is cotton sateen, ideally woven with extra-durable Supima® cotton fibers for reduced fraying, pilling, tearing, and fading. Cotton sateen is a popular sheet fabric because it resists creases and offers a lustrous drape and buttery soft feel.

Choose Pill-Resistant Materials for the Smoothest Sheets

Pilling—when shabby little balls of fiber pop up all over your sheets—occurs when loose, torn, or frayed fibers rub against each other, and is especially common when low-quality materials are laundered and used regularly. High-quality sheet fabrics are made with long-staple cotton fibers, so they resist pilling, and stay soft wash after wash.

Consider these favorite options that resist pilling and offer just-right comfort:

  • Cotton percale’s durable, one-over-one weave leaves fewer threads exposed, reducing the possiblity of pilling.
  • Cotton flannel’s soft surface is known for pilling, but our flannel sheets and bedding are designed to resist pilling after a few wash cycles—and they’re brushed extra-soft for unbeatable comfort
  • Egyptian cotton sheets are made from extra-long staple fibers for stability and pill-free softness

Sheets are an essential part of your sleep, so choose the fabric wisely. Find the right material and thread count to fit your lifestyle and personal preferences, and opt for high-quality sheets for long-lasting performance. For more information on how to choose bedding you’ll love, explore the expert tips in our bedding buying guides.