Bed sheets are the most important part of any bed—yes, even more important than your mattress.
Sure, the right mattress is important because you spend about a third of your life sleeping (which doesn’t include all the time scrolling through TikTok in bed), but the right set of sheets can either send you into perfect slumber or suffocate you like a sauna.
I’m generally a hot sleeper with cold limbs, which basically means I’m very discerning with my sheets. After years of testing bed sheets from big-box stores and direct-to-consumer startups, I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s no one set of perfect sheets. Instead, there are perfect sheets for different scenarios. And before you scoff at having different sheets for different seasons, the idea isn’t all that novel from having different wardrobes for summer and winter.
Here are the best bed sheets for different types of sleepers, seasons, and budgets.
1. The Best Bed Sheets for Hot Sleepers: Riley Percale Sheet Set, $99+
While many hot sleepers I know love linen for their breathability and loose weave, I find them clingy and suffocating—which only makes me more sweaty as I’m trying to sleep. That’s why I prefer percale, a tightly-woven cotton that feels cool and silky (without the shiny look of silk), and stays that way the whole night. Percale is also a popular bedding choice for fancy hotels because it looks sharp and crisp.
I especially love percale sheets from Riley, which come in six sizes ranging from a Twin to a California King and more than a dozen colors and patterns. Each set comes with a fitted sheet, two pillowcases, and the option to add a flat sheet, too. I never use one, so I’m glad that it doesn’t come standard with the set.
There’s tonal stitching so the seams and trim look sharp and finished, and the pillowcases have an envelope closure so your pillow doesn’t show or fall out—simple touches that make my bed look more pulled together than it really is. Even after more than two years of use and repeat washings, the color hasn’t faded, the sheets haven’t shrunk, and the elastic has stretched out. Best of all, the sheets stay crisp and cool to the touch the whole night.
2. The Best Bed Sheets For Cold Sleepers: Brooklinen Heathered Cashmere Core Sheet Set,
Cashmere is my go-to whenever I’m feeling extra chilly and in recent years, Brooklinen’s Heathered Cashmere sheets have become my go-to sheets when temps drop.
Made with five percent cashmere and 95 percent cotton, you get the softness of your fav cold-weather sweater but the ease and washability of a T-shirt. It also means they’re more reasonably-priced than you’d think—though still not “affordable” by any definition.
The sheets themselves are cozy but not suffocating, and haven’t pilled in the two years I’ve been using them. If you choose a set (which I recommend over buying à la carte), you get a flat sheet, fitted sheet, and two pillowcases. If you choose a Hardcore Bundle, you get an extra set of pillows and a duvet cover.
There are Full, Queen, King, and Cali King sizes, and five colors, so your choices are more limited here. However, all the colors are pretty neutral so they’ll match with your current set-up easily.
3. The Best Affordable Bed Sheets: Mellanni Sheet Set, $35.97+
I bought a set of these super-popular Mellani sheets after seeing all the Amazon reviews, and while I had my doubts because reviews can be paid, they’ve lived up to the hype for the past five years. The microfiber is super soft and has gotten even softer after years of washing without any stretching.
Each four-piece set comes with a flat sheet (which I never use), fitted sheet, and two pillowcases. There are more than 40 colors and patterns to choose from—the most I’ve seen from any brand—as well as standard and extra-deep sheets—even for a California King—so you’ll definitely find a set that fits your bedroom.
It’s really hard to beat these prices and there are often extra discounts on Amazon, too. I love my Mellani sheets but there are plenty of customers who mention colors fading or materials stretching, so I’d suggest making use of Amazon Prime’s generous return policy or the brand’s lifetime promise if you’re ever unsatisfied with your sheets.
4. The Best Linen Bed Sheets For Warm Weather: Saatva Linen Sheet Set, $225+
While I don’t like linen sheets during the summer, I find them ideal during the spring when temps can switch between hot and cold in an instant.
Unlike other linen sheets I’ve used, Saatva’s sheets are super soft right out of the box and have gotten softer with each wash. However, they’re on the thin side and have the same tendency to pill and wrinkle easily like all linen—a tradeoff I’ll take given how comfortable the sheets are.
With the set, you’ll get a flat sheet, deep-fitted sheet, and two pillowcases. If you get a Twin or Twin XL set, you’ll only get one pillowcase since these beds can usually only fit one pillow.
Saatva’s linen sheets come in a tightly curated collection of three colors so you’re quite limited, but the neutral shades will complement any bedding. They’re also OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified to be free of harmful chemicals, and made in factories with fair trade guidelines.
5. The Best Cotton Bed Sheets For All Year Round: Gryphon Comfort Washed Sheet Set, $129.99
Gryphon’s 100% Supima cotton sheets feel like sleeping in your favorite vintage T-shirt—without the holes, of course.
The extra-long cotton fibers are durable yet soft and the sheets wash wonderfully. They’re breathable even during the summer so I switch most often between this and my Riley percale sheets. My Gryphon sheets have only faded a bit over the last three years, but it’s only noticeable if I hold up the sheets against the storage bag they came in (which I don’t wash as often).
One of my favorite things about Gryphon’s sheets is the attention to detail. There are tags to indicate the top and bottom on the fitted and flat sheets, and the fitted sheet even has elastic all the way around won’t get pop off your mattress overnight.
There are seven colors in five sizes from Twin to California King, which should give you enough options without feeling overwhelmed. Each set comes with a flat sheet, deep-fitted sheet, and two pillowcases, and comes in a drawstring storage bag—another convenient and thoughtful touch.
This post was updated July 2021 with new bed sheets we’ve tested and loved.
What type of sleeper are you? Let us know in the comments!
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