What Are the Best Bed Sheets to Keep You Cool at Night?

Written By Marc Laurance  |  Articles  |  0 Comments

A good night’s sleep is easy to come by for some people, but for most of us, it’s a daily struggle. There are so many factors that can affect your sleep quality starting literally from the moment you wake up each and every morning. Many of these things are out of our control, but among those that we do control, using bed sheets that will keep you cool the whole night will go a long way to ensuring your sleep is comfortable and restful. 

The best bed sheets to keep you cool at night are made from linen, percale, bamboo, or eucalyptus. While cotton is one of the most common materials bed sheets are made from it is not the best at keeping you cool at night and should be avoided on hot nights.

People’s normal body temperature can vary quite a lot, though some people have a wider range than others. While this is completely normal, our level of comfort at different temperatures may not feel normal and can mean the difference between a lovely night’s sleep and a night spent tossing and turning. 

women struggling to sleep

Those of us in the latter group are sometimes called “hot sleepers” meaning that no matter what the temperature around us is, we’re likely to wake up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat. Of course, you could be on the other end of this spectrum where no matter what the temperature is, you’re always cold in bed, but for the purposes of our discussion, we’re more concerned with the “hot sleepers.”

If you count yourself among the “hot sleepers,” you’ve likely already tried some different techniques to improve the quality of your sleep. But if you’re still here and you’re still reading, you probably haven’t exhausted your options and you’re hoping to find a better solution that will improve your comfort and sleep all the way through to morning.

Linen Sheets

Linen is a popular fabric for clothing in warmer climates because of its loose weave and light feel. For the same reason, it is a popular fabric for bed sheets that keep you cool. The breathability when compared to normal cotton makes it a better option to ensure you have ample air flow and evaporation of any accumulated perspiration.

True linen is made from the fibers of flax plants, but there can be linen weave fabrics made from cotton, hemp, and other non-flax alternatives which will still provide some of the same benefits of the flax-based fabric because of the characteristics of the weave.

The expense and difficulty of working with the flax plant to produce linen has pushed production toward these alternatives with a linen weave, so you’re more likely to find these options when looking for bed sheets, though they’re still likely advertised as linen bed sheets. 

Percale Sheets

Similar to linen, percale is a breathable fabric that is ideal for providing a cool night’s sleep. Percale can be made of several different materials including cotton, polyester, or varying blends of these materials that are combed into long strands to ensure a smooth finish. But contrary to the way linen is produced, percale has a tight weave that helps it to more effectively wick moisture away by absorbing it before evaporating.

The minimum 200-thread count of percale fabrics means bed sheets that are durable and soft, while still having a cooling effect that will see you sleep more comfortably through the night and wake up feeling refreshed. As an added benefit, the tight weave helps to reduce dust mite penetration and reduces odors which can become a problem for “hot sleepers” with traditional cotton bed sheets.

Bamboo Sheets

Fabric made from bamboo is often seen as the most sustainable fabric in the world because bamboo is a highly renewable resource due to its abundance and ease of growth. Similarly, flooring, furniture, and other textiles are being developed and produced from bamboo to help reduce the burden on the environment of unsustainable farming for raw materials to produce traditional textiles. But the real magic of bamboo when it comes to bed sheets is in its viscose texture that is simultaneously lightweight and super soft.

Bamboo bed sheets feel like silk against your skin, but the fabric is much more durable than silk making it ideal for the wear and tear that bed sheets endure. In fact, bamboo bed sheets are known to be three times as soft as traditional cotton sheets, so cuddle up in a set of bamboo sheets and see how this natural fiber is ideal for regulating your body temperature and keeping you cool and comfortable throughout the night.

Eucalyptus Sheets

Bed sheets made from the eucalyptus plant are naturally cool to the touch. This specialized fabric makes them more breathable than cotton bed sheets, while being softer than linen bed sheets. They are another sustainable option when compared to bamboo sheets.

A particular advantage of eucalyptus bed sheets is that they get softer every time you wash them, while being durable enough to withstand frequent washing. Their natural temperature regulating properties, consistent softness, excellent durability, and eco-friendliness make these an excellent all around choice for “hot sleepers” to sleep comfortably through the night in absolute bliss. 

Sleep Hygiene

Any time someone has issues sleeping, it can affect their physical health, their mood and emotions, their productivity, and of course their energy levels. Doctors have long told us about the importance of getting sufficient quality sleep at any age level and there are even entire fields of science and medicine that deal specifically with sleep. The term “sleep hygiene” describes the many factors that shape our quality of sleep. It is an all encompassing term that takes into account everything from our daily activities, diet, exercise, and schedule to our bedroom layout, ambient lighting, temperature, and sound, mattress, pillows, and of course our bedsheets. 

So while many people with trouble sleeping may pay a visit to their doctor for answers, if you’re a “hot sleeper,” there may be a simpler solution. Bed sheets made from specific textiles can have a cooling effect and drastically improve your sleep quality, saving you time and money you might’ve otherwise spent going to sleep specialists or on sleep medications. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best material for bed sheets that keep you cool?

There is no single best material for bed sheets that will keep you cool at night. We discussed some of the advantages of the most well-known cooling bed sheets, but they are all effective and what is best for one person may not be best for another. The only way to choose the best is to try them out for yourself and see what characteristics of softness, coolness, comfort, and durability will suit your needs.

Are cooling bed sheets durable?

When compared to cotton bed sheets, most options for cooling bed sheets are equally as durable if not more so. Of course, this requires that you care for them as you would any textile and closely adhere to the directions for care and use that accompany the bed sheets when you purchase them. Pay close attention to what types of detergents they recommend as well as the appropriate water temperature and drying methods for your chosen bed sheets and they will surely last you a long time.

What are the softest bed sheets to sleep on?

Each individual may have different preferences to which sheets they find the softest and most comfortable to sleep on, but some of the most popular options to look into would include three of the materials we’ve talked about already, bamboo, percale and linen. Other materials to consider would be cotton, silk, jersey, flannel and microfiber sheets.

The quality of the fabric and the length of fibers will have a big impact on the softness of a bedsheet. The longer the fibers the more durable they are and less likely to break and irritate you. It’s important to take into account the ply and also the weave when choosing your soft bed sheet, but these factors will depend solely on your preference and opinion of the softest bed sheets.