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The 13 Best Sheets to Buy in 2022

We tested 36 different bed sheet sets to find the best bedding for every type of sleeper, at every budget.

best sheets 2021

Buying decent sheets is confusing, and almost laughably so. What is sateen? Someone told me thread count doesn’t matter anymore — is that true? What in the world do plys mean, and why are there staples in cotton?

All fair questions, and all the result of a decades-long practice by brands bamboozling customers in hopes they’d just buy bedding without thought. Luckily, the reign of the thread-count scammers and quality skimpers is ending. In their place: a wave of direct-to-consumer brands that skip out on distribution and stocking costs in favor of materials and craftsmanship. And with them, mega brands, too, have become at least a bit more honest about their affordable offerings. We tested out 38 different sheet sets to find out which ones do their job the best.

Bed Sheet FAQs

What’s the Best Thread Count?

“Pumped-up numbers with inferior, multi-ply yarn, the [thread count] numbers are often lies to begin with. A higher thread count doesn’t equate to better quality. Stay within the 200- to 300-range and you’ll be good,” said Jimmy McDonald, cofounder of Authenticity50.

Every sheet maker we spoke with echoed a similar sentiment. Thread count just isn’t a good measure of quality as a standalone figure, apart from exposing sellers who are (probably) trying to rip you off. If you see any sheets above with a thread count of 500 or above, regardless of material or weave, feel free to take that as a big red sign that says “bullshit.” There’s only so many threads you can squeeze into a square inch of fabric, so these higher thread counts are either adding plies to their sheet and counting those as double or artificially weaving in more threads, which is only going to make for a hotter, heavier sheet anyway.

What’s the Difference Between Percale and Sateen?

The vast majority of people sleep on percale — it’s crisp, cool and versatile. Its balanced weave allows air to flow through the sheet, and allows the sheet to stack in areas and “float” above the skin, creating more avenues for air to keep you cool.

Sateen isn’t without its own strengths, though. Its predominantly vertical, unbalanced weave gives it less rigidity than percale, allowing it to fall and drape on a bed more attractively than other weaves. It’s a better choice for people with significantly more sensitive skin, as it’s much smoother to the touch than other popular bedding weaves and materials.

Sateen’s downsides pertain to durability and its knack for insulating too much heat. The imbalanced weave of sateen makes it more likely for pilling, sheen loss and tears to occur, so it will typically show wear more quickly. The weave is also responsible for a detracted airflow, meaning you’ll be warmer than you would be under percale.

What Is “Egyptian Cotton,” and Why Does the Type of Cotton Matter?

Egyptian cotton is probably the most famous type of cotton, and rightfully so — real Egyptian cotton is extremely long-staple cotton that can be wound into a long, tight and soft yarn that makes for durable, cozy textiles. Unfortunately, odds are the sheets you bought, even if they say they’re made with Egyptian cotton, aren’t. Truth is, there aren’t many good ways to determine if a set of sheets is using all real Egyptian cotton, as brands often use a trace amount to claim it as a marketing tool.

Supima cotton is an American-grown variety of true Egyptian cotton, and fabric must be certified by the American Supima Association to call itself Supima (find an updated list of brands that use Supima here). Most premium brands will use one version or another of long or extra-long staple cotton, which is a good indicator the company is using quality materials. As noted above, the longer the staple, the greater the fabric’s durability. It’s also useful to check for a GOTS certification to make sure you’re getting sheets made without any toxic materials and in an ecologically-friendly way.

Why Does Linen Feel Scratchy at First?

While all percale and sateen sheets are made from cotton, linen is made from flax, which is a different beast altogether. Where cotton is extracted in a fluffy ball called a boll, the fiber used to make linen is a bast fiber that more resembles what you’d expect from a plant product. Bast fibers are taken from the core of the flax plant, and, as such, are not fluffy or pleasant initially — but their tensile strength is naturally higher than cotton.

The roughness of linen sheets when they ship to your home isn’t indicative of their quality — you have to give linen time to break into its charm. Softer qualities are brought out over time through wash and wear. A good rule of thumb with linen (and all sheets, really) is to give it a good wash right when you get it to start that process.

The Best Bed Sheets of 2022

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Best Overall Sheets
Riley Percale Sheet Set

For sub-$100, the Riley Home Percale Sheets are a steal, especially with their premium features like long-staple combed cotton and an understated baratta stitch. On a humid summer night, these sheets stayed crisp and cool. The sheets are not made of supima, but you’d be forgiven if you thought they were. The range of colors, the smoothness of the sheets and the overall feel-goodness of them make these the best sheets for your money whether you’re a broke college student or a billionaire.

Material: 100% long-staple cotton percale

Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

  • Crisp and cool
  • Available in a variety of colors and prints

  • Comes out of the dryer wrinkly
  • Fitted sheet can be too big for some short mattresses
Best Splurge Sheets
Cultiver Linen Sheets

After sleeping on a number of rough and scraggly linen sheets, we found Cultiver's sheets had a shorter break-in period, thanks to a pre-enzyme wash, compared to comparable linen sheets. Cultiver offers its linen sheets in a wide array of muted and understated colors, which is the result of a first-rate dye process. The weaving, sewing and dyeing are all exceptional, a given considering the price point. At $385 for a queen set, they’re certainly an investment, but they're still nowhere near as expensive as other linen sheets that are of a lesser quality.

Material: 100% European flax

Sizes: Twin, Queen, King, California King

  • High-quality sheets better than options double the price
  • Muted colors are brilliantly dyed

  • Sheets bunch up around mattress
Best Budget Sheets
Target Threshold Organic Cotton Solid Sheets

This one wasn’t even close. Target’s hyper-affordable Threshold-branded sheets easily outclassed the likes of Amazon’s best-selling Mellani sheets, the AmazonBasics line itself, two sets of sub-$50 Walmart sheets and two Ikea sets.

Cheap sheets make their cheapness known in a variety of ways — some show lousy stitching and begin to fray after one wash; some arrive with an off-putting chemical smell; others simply feel crappy to lie on. The Threshold sheets set themselves apart by retaining the basic reasons you’d buy a percale set in the first place — they’re crisp, cool, easy-to-clean and reasonably moisture-wicking. And at $59 for a queen and no weird chemical smells, there’s little to no competition at this price point.

Material: 100% organic cotton

Sizes: Twin, Full, Queen, King, California King

  • Soft, crisp and cool
  • Super affordable

  • Limited selection of colors
  • Gets wrinkly
Best Percale Sheets
Boll & Branch Percale Hemmed Sheet Set
Boll and Branch

Though not the sheets that made it famous, Boll & Branch’s percale sheets are stellar. They launched in April of 2018, and out of the mountain of percale sheets I tested, this set stood out for a couple reasons: The sheets are a bit airier than the company’s signature sheets, which are made for a cooler (but still cozy) sleeping experience. The percale sheets are made using a plain weave (one-under, one-over) with the brand’s signature organic long-staple cotton, and utilize two very fine plys (layers) that give structure while maintaining maximum breeziness.

Material: 100% organic cotton

Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split King

  • Accommodates all kinds of sleepers
  • Not as wrinkly as other percale sheets

  • May be too thin for some
  • Oversized fitted sheet bunches up
Best Sateen Sheets
Cuddledown Hotel Sateen Sheet Set

It seems everyone on the internet has crowned Cuddledown’s (try and ignore the name) 400-thread count sateen set the champion of sateen. We should note that sateen is not our favorite bedding material — far from it — but for those who take to the buttery softness, heavier, warmer feel and an admittedly gorgeous sheet drape, Cuddledown is pretty damn great. These sheets are made with length to spare (a feature to accommodate all mattress heights), and they proved themselves to be absurdly wrinkle-resistant. The long-staple cotton used makes for a sheet that won’t wear out as quickly as most sateen sets.

Material: 100% combed cotton sateen

Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

  • Buttery soft and cozy
  • Doesn't get wrinkly

  • Fitted sheet slips off
Best Tencel Sheets
West Elm Tencel Sheet Set
West Elm

West Elm's Tencel sheets are famous on TikTok after one social media user praised its silky smooth texture. Tencel as a fabric is one of the best bedding materials for hot sleepers for its ability to wick away moisture and stay cool to the touch, even in severe heat situations. West Elm's sheets are good for those with sensitive skin, and it lacks the scratchiness of cotton or linen sheets, while also lacking any of the crinkly noises that may arise when you move around in bed.

Material: 100% Tencel Lyocell

Sizes: Full, Queen, King, California King

  • Breathable, and wicks away moisture
  • Richly colored
  • Super soft

  • Oddly shiny
Best Flannel Sheets
L.L. Bean Ultrasoft Comfort Flannel Sheet Set
LL Bean

Cool weather calls for flannel sheets. L.L. Bean makes the best ones you can buy. They're soft, and they'll only get softer with wash and wear. Available in eight colors, the sheets are the perfect way to bring some flair to the bedroom, while keeping you warm when the chill is just unbearable.

Material: 100% brushed cotton flannel

Sizes: Twin, Full, Queen, King, California King

  • Incredibly soft, and will soften more with subsequent washings
  • Not too light or heavy
  • Shrink resistant

  • May start pilling
Best Affordable Linen Sheets
Brooklinen Linen Core Sheet Set

Linen sheets are notoriously expensive, so “affordable” is relative here. Starting at $269, Brooklinen’s set is as airy as you’d want it to be, but the weave isn’t too loose either, as was common in testing cheaper linens. When compared with the other linen sheets we tested, the Brooklinen set was significantly softer from the get-go (other than Parachute’s garment-dyed set). The low cost, less aggressively-textured feel and a great variety of colors make Brooklinen’s set a rock-solid linen starter set.

Material: 100% European flax

Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

  • Softer from the get-go
  • Cool for hot sleepers

  • Slightly thin
Best Affordable Sateen Sheets
Target Threshold Performance Sheet Set

Similar to the budget percale category, there isn’t much competition here. Target’s sateen offering blew other similarly-price sateen sheets out of the water in softness and looks. In fact, apart from a bit less natural wrinkle resistance, they were on par with the Cuddledown sheets. The biggest marks against them pertains to breathability, where they’re easily eclipsed by more premium options. But for less than $50 for a set, not everything can be perfect.

Material: 100% cotton sateen

Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

  • Excellent value
  • Soft against the skin

  • Not particularly breathable
  • Wrinkly
Best Sheets for Hot Sleepers
Buffy Eucalyptus Sheet Set

Hot sleepers are a common breed, and they'll be happy to know that the solution to their problem is Buffy's Eucalyptus Sheet Set. Eucalyptus might not be the first material that comes to mind when it comes to bedding, but you may be more familiar with Tencel, the name brand of lyocell. These sheets are made of lyocell, which is derived from eucalyptus, and it's incredible at keeping sleepers cool at night, while also being completely biodegradable (these sheets are even dyed with natural materials). Get these sheets if you're sick and tired of sweating through your current sheets at night.

Material: 100% lyocell

Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

  • Incredibly cooling
  • Available in a variety of colors and patterns
  • Dyed with natural materials

  • Thin material
Best Sheets on Amazon
Peru Pima Percale Sheet Set

Frankly, buying sheets on Amazon is annoyingly tedious. The all-caps descriptions are fluffy, figuratively speaking, and there’s virtually no way to reprimand brands that try to bullshit you. The “Pima” cotton these sheets are made from is not Supima-certified, but it is extra-long-staple cotton nonetheless — and for a really, really solid price at that. Peru Pima has been making these sheets for quite some time, too, and has its own website that’s manned by people who respond to customer service requests. These sound like low bars to hop, but Amazon may very well be the biggest remaining offender in the old bedding-misinformation scheme.

Material: 100% cotton

Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

  • Good value
  • Durable and soft

  • Not Supima
Best-Looking Sheets
Coyuchi Organic Crinkled Percale Sheets

Like a well-plated dish can make food taste better, a bed that calls us to it makes sleep better. Coyuchi’s crinkled percale product uses a proprietary low-thread-count weave to create these lightweight, “worn in” sheets. The lower thread count makes them exceptionally airy, yet still heavier on the body — almost like a linen sheet might feel. Pair the sheets and pillowcases with Coyuchi’s traditional percale duvet cover for the coziest, most-photogenic bed imaginable.

Material: 100% organic cotton

Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

  • Perfectly broken in
  • Available in beautiful colors

  • A little thin
Best Eco-Friendly Sheets
Pact Room Service Cotton Sateen Sheet Set

Pact's sheets are supremely comfortable and cooling, yes, but it's what goes on behind the scenes that truly push this bedding into best-of territory. Pact is a partner with Fair Trade, which ensures its producers work in safe conditions, while providing opportunities for workers to enrich their lives; the cotton is certified organic by the Global Organic Textile Standard; and the cotton uses 81% less water than standard cotton while being treated with zero toxins. Even the plastic bags that the sheets come in are 100 percent biodegradable.

Material: 100% organic cotton sateen

Sizes: Twin, Full, Queen, King, California King

  • Sustainably made and ethically sourced
  • Comfortable and soft

  • Can be oversized for thinner mattresses
  • Some reviewers complain of pilling
The 10 Best Pillows to Sleep Better Tonight and Every Night
pluto pillows

You snooze, you win.


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