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Best Cotton Sheets for the Dreamiest Night’s Sleep Possible

Best Cotton Sheets
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Updated December 6, 2023

Maybe you’re tired of tossing and turning each night, or maybe you’ve found the best mattress and are excited to complete your bedroom upgrade. Either way, you know that while a good set of sheets can take sleep from passable to pleasant, the best sheets will help make every sleep a great one.

Of course, “best” is subjective and everyone is looking for something a little bit different. With so many brands and styles of bedding to choose from, it can be overwhelming to know where to start—should you be looking at bamboo sheets, or searching for the best linen bed sheets? If in doubt, we suggest you choose cotton.

As a natural fiber, cotton weaves into breathable fabrics that are soft on the skin while still retaining a crispness. High-quality cotton sheets are known for their durability and should last you a long time, even when used on a nightly basis. Not only that, they come in several variations, from percale, which has the feel of a freshly ironed dress shirt, to sateen, which achieves a smoother, satiny feel. Each weave has its benefits, so you’re sure to find the right fit for your bed.

To help you determine what that is, we’ve put together this guide on the best cotton sheets that will ensure a dreamy night’s sleep.

What to consider when buying cotton sheets

Are you a hot or cold sleeper?

Some people sleep “hot” and want bedding that will keep them cool and ventilated at night, while others want insulation and warmth. Even the most high quality sheets won’t feel comfortable if they’re not designed to regulate temperature in the way you need. By understanding which kind of sleeper you are, you can better identify which kind of sheets you need. Cotton can work for both kinds, depending on the weave: Cotton percale is looser, crisper, and cooler, while cotton sateen will be softer and cozier. Tip: Believe it or not, you can buy temperature-regulating bedding. We’ve rounded up the best cooling sheets, for those who run hot.

How much do you want to spend?

This list includes sheet sets that range from approximately $40 to $400, with many products somewhere in between. A lower budget doesn’t need to mean poor quality sheets, but it will impact which options are worth exploring. In general, high quality fibers command a higher price, but every product on this list is made from 100% cotton, so you can shop with confidence.

Do you want a top sheet?

Top sheets are no longer as ubiquitous as they once were and this is reflected in many of the sheet sets that are being sold today. While some still include a fitted sheet, top sheet, and one or two pillow cases, a growing number of sets have omitted the top sheet as customers increasingly decide they no longer require them. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; if you don’t want a top sheet, you’ll be saving money by purchasing a set that doesn’t include one by default. However, if you do prefer to make your bed with a top sheet, be sure to verify if the basic set includes one, as this could otherwise result in a bad surprise after checkout.

Our top picks for the best cotton sheets

Best value cotton sheets: Brooklinen Classic Percale Core Sheet Set

Brooklinen is a newer brand and a favorite of discerning shoppers, particularly when it comes to its original product, i.e., sheets. (The brand has also made our lists for the best places to buy bedding, best duvet covers, and best bath towels.) The core sheet sets combine premium fibers with tasteful colors, at accessible prices. Although not the cheapest product on the list, the classic percale set is the most affordable core sheet bundle that Brooklinen sells, but it doesn’t compromise on customer satisfaction. These sheets offer the crispness usually associated with quality percale, but also retain a smoothness on the skin. With 18 colorways to choose from, there’s something for every aesthetic and every bedroom—you may even want to buy a few.

Specifications:

  • Materials: 100% long staple cotton
  • Weave: Percale, 270 thread count
  • Color Variations: 18
  • Sizes Available: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
  • Care: Machine wash on cold, tumble dry on low
  • Price on publish: $139 - $209

What we like:

  • Premium grade cotton at a mid-range price
  • 18 colors and patterns to choose from
  • Percale weave is cooling and great for hot sleepers

What we don’t like:

  • May not suit colder climates or cold sleepers
  • Not as soft as the “luxe” sateen set

The bottom line:

Brooklinen’s cotton percale sheets provide hotel-quality crispness and breathability at great value, making them a great choice for those who sleep warm.

Best value cotton sheets
Brooklinen Classic Percale Core Sheet Set size King in Cream

Brooklinen Classic Percale Core Sheet Set size King in Cream

Best cotton sheets on Amazon: California Design Den Luxury Sateen Sheet Set

There are some real gems among Amazon’s vast selection of bedsheets and the California Design Dex Luxury Sateen Sheet Set is a true diamond. With many sizes available for under $50, these sheets are some of the most affordable options on the market if you’re looking for 100% cotton. California Design Den uses a sateen weave for a softer finish that reviewers love, although it might be missing some of the luxurious quality of higher-end brands. Shoppers can choose from 41 color variations, but double check that the one you like is available in the size you need. Fortunately, every sheet set offers natural temperature regulation and easy laundering, no matter which color you choose.

Specifications:

  • Materials: 100% cotton
  • Weave: Sateen, 400 thread count
  • Color Variations: 41
  • Sizes Available: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split King
  • Care: Machine wash and dry
  • Price on publish: $39.99 - $69.99

What we like:

  • Great low pricing across every size
  • Soft sateen finish and a high thread count
  • Offers a split king size

What we don’t like:

  • Not every color is available in each size
  • Don’t feel quite as luxurious as higher-end brands

The bottom line:

For 100% cotton at low prices, it’s hard to beat these breathable and soft cotton sateen sheets from California Design Den.

Best cotton sheets on Amazo
California Design Den 100% Cotton Sheets Queen Size Bed Set, 400 Thread Count Sateen, Deep Pocket Queen Sheets, Extra Soft 4-Pc Bed Sheets, Wrinkle Resistant, Breathable & Cooling Sheets (White)

California Design Den 100% Cotton Sheets Queen Size Bed Set, 400 Thread Count Sateen, Deep Pocket Queen Sheets, Extra Soft 4-Pc Bed Sheets, Wrinkle Resistant, Breathable & Cooling Sheets (White)

Best Egyptian cotton sheets: Parachute Percale Sheet Set

Egyptian cotton is a prized fiber due to its extra-long length and smaller diameter, which allows for smoother yarn and therefore smoother fabrics. You can really sense the fiber’s unparalleled breathability and moisture-wicking properties in this percale sheet set from Parachute, which uses 100% long-staple Egyptian cotton. (The set also made our list of the best percale sheets you can buy online.) It’s ideal for hot sleepers, warm climates or summertime sleeping and comes in a palette of ten beautifully muted colors, for a really elegant addition to any bedroom. The basic sheet set doesn’t include a top sheet and prices can be a little high when adding one to the bundle, but that makes sense when you’re buying such quality materials.

Specifications:

  • Materials: 100% long-staple Egyptian cotton
  • Weave: Percale, thread count not listed
  • Color Variations: 10
  • Sizes Available: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
  • Care: Machine washable
  • Price on publish: $129 - $169 without top sheet, $189-259 with top sheet

What we like:

  • Made fully from 100% long-staple Egyptian cotton
  • Breathable, lightweight fabric is great for temperature regulation
  • 10 tastefully muted shades to choose from

What we don’t like:

  • Top sheet is only available at an extra cost
  • Higher price points for full set

The bottom line:

You’ll pay a little more for these 100% Egyptian cotton sheets from Parachute, but you’ll be rewarded with best-in-class breathability and smoothness in ten lovely colors.

Best Egyptian cotton sheets
King Percale Sheet Set in Black | Parachute

King Percale Sheet Set in Black | Parachute

Best cotton percale sheets: L.L. Bean Pima Cotton Percale Sheet Set

Supima is an American-grown Pima cotton that is valued for being extra-long, accounting for just 1% of cotton grown in the world. As such, this high end fiber creates premium sheets and this is especially true in the case of the L.L. Bean Pima Cotton Percale Sheet Set. The 280-thread count sheets have a percale weave that creates a crisp, cooling effect balanced with a luxuriously smooth feel on the skin. The nine colors available are not the most modern shades, but they do include classic neutrals and every sheet set features both a flat and fitted sheet. These sheets are a great price for the quality they offer and are sure to keep sleepers cool and comfortable night after night.

Specifications:

  • Materials: 100% long-staple Supima cotton
  • Weave: Percale, 280 thread count
  • Color Variations: 9
  • Sizes Available: Twin, Full, Queen, King, California King
  • Care: Machine wash and dry
  • Price on publish: $129 - $189

What we like:

  • 100% American-grown Supima cotton creates strong, smooth fabric
  • Luxuriously smooth feel and crisp finish
  • Good value for what’s included

What we don’t like:

  • Color range isn’t the most fashionable
  • No Twin XL size option

The bottom line:

For top quality cotton and a crisp yet smooth experience, you can’t go wrong with L.L. Bean’s Cotton Percale Sheet Set made of 100% Supima cotton.

Best cotton percale sheets
280-Thread-Count Pima Cotton Percale Sheet Set White Cal King L.L.Bean

280-Thread-Count Pima Cotton Percale Sheet Set White Cal King L.L.Bean

Best cotton sateen sheets: Lands’ End Premium Supima Cotton Sateen Bed Sheet Set

Lands’ End Premium Supima Cotton Sateen Bed Sheets combine a high thread count of 400 with quality fibers for a truly indulgent bedding set. Using only 100% American-grown Supima cotton for this product, Lands’ End highlights the reduced environmental impact of its manufacturing and the premium texture of its material. The sateen weave also ensures a silkier feel and cozier night’s sleep than a regular cotton or percale style sheet. You will need to pay more for these sheets, but you’ll be rewarded with a machine washable, iron-free set that has a pressed appearance straight from the dryer for at least 30 washes. They’ll last you so long, Lands’ End even provides the option to get them monogrammed for a true luxury experience.

Specifications:

  • Materials: 100% American-grown Supima cotton
  • Weave: Sateen, 400 thread count
  • Color Variations: 11
  • Sizes Available: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split King
  • Care: Machine washable
  • Price on publish: $179.95 - $259.95

What we like:

  • 100% American-grown Supima cotton for a reduced environmental impact
  • Silky-smooth sateen finish
  • Satin-stitched embroidery with monogramming available

What we don’t like:

  • Higher pricing
  • Colors all skew cool-toned or neutral

The bottom line:

Premium fibers and thread count combine to make these luxurious, silky-smooth sateen sheets from Lands’ End, that are worth the higher price tag.

Best cotton sateen sheets
400 Thread Count Premium Supima Cotton No Iron Sateen Bed Sheet Set - Lands' End - Tan - XLT

400 Thread Count Premium Supima Cotton No Iron Sateen Bed Sheet Set - Lands' End - Tan - XLT

Best affordable cotton sheets: Better Homes & Gardens HygroCotton Bed Sheet Set

This sheet set from Better Homes & Gardens uses HygroCotton, a yarn made from 100% cotton fiber that has a hollow core to improve breathability. HygroCotton also softens over time, creating bed sheets that only grow more comfortable as you use them, similar to linen. The result is this sheet set, which balances the freshness of cotton with a cozier feel and comes in a color mix of neutrals, brights, and prints. This is all the more impressive when you consider the affordability of these sheets; a King set includes a fitted sheet, top sheet, and two King pillowcases, yet still comes in at under $65. While not as luxurious or cooling as the percale cotton options on this list, this is a great choice for anyone who doesn’t want to spend too much and values comfort over crispness.

Specifications:

  • Materials: 100% cotton
  • Weave: HygroCotton, 400 thread count
  • Color Variations: 15
  • Sizes Available: Full, Queen, King
  • Care: Machine washable
  • Price on publish: $44.88 - $64.88

What we like:

  • Great low price across the size range
  • Improved breathability and softness from the HygroCotton’s hollow core
  • Color range includes richer shades and a few prints

What we don’t like:

  • No Twin sizing available
  • Not as cooling as more expensive options

The bottom line:

These HygroCotton Bed Sheets from Better Homes & Gardens are breathable, soft and very affordable, making them a great choice for sleepers who don’t need cooling properties.

Best affordable cotton sheets
Better Homes & Gardens HygroCotton Bed Sheet Set

Better Homes & Gardens HygroCotton Bed Sheet Set

Best cooling cotton sheets: Riley Cotton Percale Sheets

One of the reasons shoppers opt for cotton percale is because they’re looking for sheets that will help them keep cool during the night. We’ve found that Riley Home’s Cotton Percale Sheets are some of the coolest around, thanks to their premium long-staple cotton fibers that mirror an expensive dress shirt. Reminiscent of luxury hotel sheets, this set comes in a limited range of expensive-looking neutrals (although only neutrals) with the option to add a top sheet for an additional price. Even though these sheets are made of high-quality fibers, they are still suitable for machine washing and will even soften over time for a more indulgent, yet still crisp feeling.

Specifications:

  • Materials: 100% long-staple cotton
  • Weave: Percale, thread count not listed
  • Color Variations: 7
  • Sizes Available: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
  • Care: Machine wash on gentle
  • Price on publish: $120+ without top sheet, $190+ with top sheet

What we like:

  • Some of the smoothest percale sheets on the market
  • The 100% Portuguese cotton fabric is particularly cooling and crisp
  • Softens with every wash

What we don’t like:

  • Small and limited color selection
  • Sheet sets only include top sheets for an additional fee

The bottom line:

Hot sleepers will want to head to Riley Home and purchase their Cotton Percale Sheets for their best-in-class cooling effect and luxurious feel.

Best cooling cotton sheets
Riley Cotton Percale Sheets

Riley Cotton Percale Sheets

Best organic cotton sheets: Coyuchi Organic Crinkled Percale Sheets

Coyuchi has managed to retain the lightweight crispness of percale, but enhance the softness of the cotton with its Organic Crinkled Percale Sheets. These sets are all made from 100% organic-certified cotton, as well as being certified by GOTS, Fair Trade, 1% For the Planet, and Made Safe, so customers can feel confident their purchase is as environmentally friendly as possible. The collection includes a range of warm shades that are quite uncommon for bedding, including ginger and hazel tones, so this is a good choice for people whose aesthetic leans warmer. The slightly crinkled effect may not be to everyone’s taste and these sheets begin at a higher price point, but they’re designed to soften over time and become more comfortable with use, which makes them a worthy investment.

Specifications:

  • Materials: 100% organic cotton
  • Weave: Crinkled percale, thread count not listed
  • Color Variations: 9
  • Sizes Available: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
  • Care: Machine washable
  • Price on publish: $168 - $258

What we like:

  • Crinkled percale creates a softer texture than traditional percale
  • Colorways include a range of warm shades
  • Designed to soften and wear better over time

What we don’t like:

  • High price point
  • Not everyone will like the crinkled aesthetic

The bottom line:

Coyuchi Organic Crinkled Percale Sheets enhance the crispness of percale with added softness and organic fibers, for a more expensive choice that will get better with time.

Best organic cotton sheets
Coyuchi Organic Crinkled Percale Sheet Set King Pewter

Coyuchi Organic Crinkled Percale Sheet Set King Pewter

Most durable cotton sheets: Parachute Brushed Cotton Sheet Set

When you’re buying a set of high quality sheets that you plan to use every night, you want to be sure that they’ll last, especially if you’re spending a decent amount. Parachute’s Brushed Cotton Sheet Set balances the best of percale with the best of sateen for a perfect middle option that will stand up over time. The 100% cotton sheets use a regular weave that is then rubbed with metal brushes to fluff the fibers and increase softness, while retaining coolness and breathability. This makes brushed cotton a great choice year-round, so it needs to hold up well. Fortunately, it does: Repeated use doesn’t result in pilling as long as the sheets are treated properly and this is easily done, as Parachute sheets are machine washable.

Specifications:

  • Materials: 100% cotton
  • Weave: Regular, thread count unlisted
  • Color Variations: 7
  • Sizes Available: Full, Queen, King, California King
  • Care: Machine washable
  • Price on publish: $169 - $189 without a top sheet, $269 - $299 with a top sheet

What we like:

  • Durable fabric that’s designed to last
  • A softer iteration of Parachute’s beloved percale sheets
  • A great midpoint between the coolness of percale and warmth of sateen

What we don’t like:

  • No Twin sizes
  • One of the most expensive options on the list, especially with the top sheet

The bottom line:

For the best of percale and sateen weaves and night after night of comfort, opt for Parachute’s durable Brushed Cotton Sheet Set, which balances softness and coolness.

Most durable cotton sheets
Cal King Brushed Cotton Sheet Set in Bone | Parachute

Cal King Brushed Cotton Sheet Set in Bone | Parachute

Best soft cotton sheets: Cuddledown Solid Sateen Sheet Se

Cotton doesn’t always need to be crisp–in fact, it can be indulgently soft, as is the case with Cuddledown’s Solid Sateen Sheet Set. Made of 100% cotton which is then combed for extra smoothness, these sheets have a sateen weave which gives a cozier, heavyweight feeling than percale. The result is a deliciously soft fabric that’s perfect for anyone who prefers a silky, warm night’s sleep. Although these sheet sets start at over $200, this includes a top sheet and every product has been shrinkage controlled and made wrinkle-resistant, so that maintenance is minimal once you’ve brought them home. If you become a fan of this style, keep in mind that the large range of 21 block colors has been designed to complement the brand’s printed sateen duvet covers.

Specifications:

  • Materials: 100% long-staple combed cotton
  • Weave: Sateen, 400 thread count
  • Color Variations: 26
  • Sizes Available: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
  • Care: Machine washable
  • Price on publish: $202 - $267

What we like:

  • Super soft sateen finish
  • All sheets have been shrinkage controlled with a wrinkle-resistant finish for easy care
  • Wide color range to complement the printed duvet cover designs

What we don’t like:

  • Starting price is over $200
  • Not as cooling as other cotton options

The bottom line:

For the silkiest of sheets which require the lowest maintenance, choose the Cuddledown Solid Sateen Sheet Set in any of the 21 available shades.

Best soft cotton sheets
Cuddledown Solid Sateen Sheet Se

Cuddledown Solid Sateen Sheet Se

Best high-thread count cotton sheets: The Citizenry Organic Resort Cotton Sheet Set

A high thread count doesn’t guarantee quality, but it is a good way to learn more about bedding. Thread count refers to the tightness of a fabric’s weave, with a higher count meaning a tighter weave and therefore a smoother, more insulating fabric. High thread count sheets are prized for their softness and warmth and The Citizenry’s Organic Resort Cotton Sheet Set is no exception. With a luxurious drape, a soft, but breathable feel and a silky finish that mattifies tastefully over time, it’s no wonder that these sheets are one of the most expensive in this guide. Sets come in a limited range of five neutral colors, but the benefit is that all of The Citizenry’s bedding is designed to mix and match, so if you like these, you’ll be able to overhaul the rest of your bedding in complementary shades. Shopping tip: For more organic options, check out our round up of the best organic sheets.

Specifications:

  • Materials: 100% organic long-staple Turkish cotton
  • Weave: Regular, 400 thread count
  • Color Variations: 5
  • Sizes Available: Full, Queen, King
  • Care: Machine washable
  • Price on publish: $239 - $269

What we like:

  • Sheets drape luxuriously and all colors are designed to mix-and-match
  • Softer than many other cotton options without compromising breathability
  • Unique weave with a silky satin finish that becomes matte over time

What we don’t like:

  • Minimal color options, only neutrals
  • No Twin sizes
  • High starting price point

The bottom line:

Those who want a warm, soft night’s sleep and are willing to spend on hotel quality should look no further than The Citizenry’s Organic Resort Cotton Sheet Set.

Best high-thread count cotton sheets
Organic Resort Cotton Sheet Set - Sand Stripe / Full

Organic Resort Cotton Sheet Set - Sand Stripe / Full

Best cashmere cotton sheets: Brooklinen Heathered Cashmere Core Sheet Set

Cashmere is the ultimate in cozy sweaters, so it makes sense that it would lend itself to wonderfully soft bedding for colder weather. The Brooklinen Heathered Cashmere Core Sheet Set combines Himalayan cashmere with 95% cotton to create balanced bedding that keeps sleepers cozy, but not overheated. The lightweight fabric has an attractive textured finish thanks to the heathering process and is available only in neutral shades. The soft yet breathable material feels expensive–and indeed it is, topping our list with prices beginning at over $300. All the same, those willing to spend on cashmere will know how worthwhile it can be.

Specifications:

  • Materials: 95% cotton, 5% Himalayan cashmere
  • Weave: Diagonal weave, thread count not listed
  • Color Variations: 4
  • Sizes Available: Full, Queen, King, California King
  • Care: Machine wash on cold
  • Price on publish: $325 - $385

What we like:

  • Perfect balance of lightweight and cozy, great for transitional or cold weather
  • Cashmere fibers and a brushed finish result in extra softness
  • Attractive textured appearance

What we don’t like:

  • No Twin sizes available
  • The most expensive on our list
  • Minimal color options

The bottom line:

Those willing to spend on the Brooklinen Heathered Cashmere Core Sheet Set will be rewarded with a luxurious blend of softness and breathability, perfect for colder weather.

Best cashmere cotton sheets
Brooklinen Heathered Cashmere Core Sheet Set size King in Charcoal

Brooklinen Heathered Cashmere Core Sheet Set size King in Charcoal

How we selected the best cotton sheets

Cotton sheets come in many weaves and styles, all of which we considered when compiling this list. We used a combination of expert recommendations, consumer reviews, and personal opinion to aggregate a guide to the top performers in every category. While not every person values the same qualities in their bedding–some prefer crispness and others softness–we know that there are some universal standards to uphold. We therefore considered several factors including material, weave, price point, color range, performance, durability, and care, to identify the best all around performers.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What's the best thread count for cotton sheets?

Thread count is an important metric, but not the only one to consider when assessing sheets, since a higher count is not always a better quality product. Thread count refers to the number of threads in a single square inch of fabric and therefore the tightness of the weave: A high thread count means a tighter weave that will be smoother and more insulating than a fabric with lower thread count.

As a general rule, look for cotton sheets with a thread count between 200 and 600. More specifically, cotton percale should be between 200-400 and cotton sateen should be 300-600. This will ensure a sufficient weave to create either cooling or silky effects, without any artificial inflation (which is usually achieved by splitting fibers into cheaper, thinner threads). Our guide to the best thread count for sheets goes into more detail about this hot button issue in the bedding realm.

Is it better to have 100% cotton sheets?

Cotton is a natural fiber and is prized for its breathability, durability, and natural softness, which is why it makes such good bedding. As such, when a material is 100% cotton, you can be confident in the quality of the fabric you’re buying. Less than 100% means that the fabric is made from a cotton blend, usually polyester, which could make the sheets more affordable, but will likely result in less breathability and comfort on the skin than 100% cotton.

Depending on your priorities, it may not be critical to have 100% cotton, but we would recommend it as the best quality for cotton bed sheets. If you’re still not sold on cotton, you could try something like bamboo—we’ve compiled our picks for the best bamboo sheets here.

What is the difference between 100% cotton and 100% cotton percale?

When something is listed as 100% cotton, it means that it is made solely from cotton fibers that may be woven in any style. Percale refers to a specific weave of cotton, not a fiber. Therefore, when something is described as “100% cotton percale,” it means that it is made solely from cotton fibers that have then been used in a percale weave.

Percale is a one-over-one-under style of weave, as opposed to sateen’s three-over-one-under weave, and this results in a lightweight, cooling fabric that is well-suited for hot sleepers. This is why some brands like to highlight that their fabric has a percale weave.

What are the softest sheets that don't pill?

As a general rule, pilling is more likely with lower quality fibers. Therefore, look for sheets made from fibers like 100% Egyptian cotton or 100% Pima cotton to be more confident in their pill-resistance. Cotton sateen is a softer finish than percale, so also be sure to opt for sheets with that weave. However, a lot of this will also depend on how well you take care of your sheets, as all cotton is susceptible to pilling over time. Make sure to read the care instructions for your specific purchase and only machine wash and dry at the appropriate settings. For more on this, check out our guide on how often you should wash your sheets.

What kind of cotton are hotel sheets?

Hotels have to accommodate a wide range of sleepers, so they usually have to pick a more middle-ground, high-quality option that will satisfy the largest number of guests. They are also more focused on aesthetics, so they are likely to prioritize sheets with a smooth drape and a crisp finish. As such, many hotels opt for cotton percale made from high quality fibers, that are smooth and comfortable, but also cooling.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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