The Best Cotton Sheets

When most people think of sheets, they’re most likely picturing a set made out of cotton. There’s a reason for the fabric’s popularity. It scores highly in all the areas that make for good bed sheets: softness, durability, comfort, temperature control, breathability, and moisture-wicking abilities. Additionally, they’re all-natural and often organic, so possess hypoallergenic and antibacterial properties lacked by synthetic sheets.

Despite their affordable reputation and versatility, not all cotton sheets are made the same. Factors like the type of cotton and weave count make a big difference in how soft and silky a set of cotton sheets feels, and sleeping in $30 cotton sheets versus luxury 1,000-count cotton sheets can be completely different experiences.

Our Top Picks

Manufacturer Model Features Price
Luxe Core Sheet Set Sateen weave

100% long-staple cotton

OEKO-TEX certified

480 thread count

Lifetime warranty

$149
Solid Hemmed Sheet Set Sateen weave

100% long-staple cotton

Fair-trade, eco-friendly & OEKO-TEX certified

300-thread count

Softens with wash

$240
Percale Sheet Set Percale weave

100% Egyptian cotton

OEKO-TEX certified

90-day trial

$129
Luxury Suite Sheet Set 100% Supima cotton

OEKO-TEX certified

100-day trial

Softens with wash

$149.99

Brooklinen Luxe Core Sheet Set

Why we like it:

  • Sateen weave gives it a silky, shiny finish
  • 100% long-staple cotton adds softness, strength, and durability
  • OKEO-TEX certification ensures a lack of harmful chemicals
  • High 480 thread count makes it exceptionally soft for a cotton sheet
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty

 

Brooklinen logo large

 

Brooklinen Luxe Core Sheet Set

This set by Brooklinen is best for those who prefer their bedding extra silky and shiny, all qualities of the sheets’ sateen weave. The 480 thread count, which is high for a set of cotton sheets, also makes them exceptionally soft, only softening with use, while the 100% long-staple cotton keeps them strong and durable. Additionally, the OKEO-TEX certification makes sure they weren’t manufactured using certain harmful and banned substances. These sheets come in Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, and California King, with 14 color and design options: nine solids in cooler neutrals and five minimalist patterns.

For sheets of their quality and price bracket, they’re on the less expensive side, ranging from $129 (twin) to $169 (king) for a set that includes one fitted sheet, one flat sheet, and two pillowcases. This includes a lifetime warranty, as well as free shipping.

Boll & Branch Solid Hemmed Sheet Set

Why we like it:

  • Sateen weave gives it a silky, shiny finish
  • 100% long-staple cotton adds softness, strength, and durability
  • OEKO-TEX, GOTS, and Fair Trade certificates ensure the fabric is eco-friendly, banned substance-free, and ethically sourced
  • 300-thread count is in the high range for cotton
  • Comes with a 100-day trial

Boll & Branch logo Boll & Branch Solid Hemmed Sheet Set

Another high-rated choice for people who prefer sateen, these 100% organic long-staple cotton sheets by Boll and Branch are similarly strong, durable, and soft, with the ability to soften over time. Their 300 thread count is also in the high range for cotton sheets. They come in more sizes than average—Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, King with standard pillowcases, King with King pillowcases, California King, and Split King—and are available in seven solid neutrals.

What sets them apart is their number of certifications: the OEKO-TEX certification means they weren’t made with bad chemicals, the GOTS certification means they’re eco-friendly, and the Fair Trade certification means the farmers who grew and harvested the cotton make a living wage in return.

This makes them an excellent choice for people who want luxury bedding they can buy ethically. It also means they’re very expensive, ranging from $200 (twin) to $295 (king). That said, the price includes a reusable laundry bag in addition to one flat sheet, one fitted sheet, and two pillowcases (one for Twin and Twin XL). It also includes a 100-day trial, plus free shipping and returns, so you can try them out and easily get a refund if they don’t work out.

Parachute Percale Sheet Set

Why we like it:

  • Percale weave keeps the fabric crisp and cool, without softening over time
  • 100% Egyptian cotton is stronger, more durable, and higher-quality
  • OKEO-TEX certification ensures a lack of harmful chemicals
  • Cooling properties make it suitable for people who tend to sleep hot
  • Comes with a 90-day trial

 

 

Parachute Logo Image

Parachute Percale Sheet Set

These sheets by Parachute are ideal for those who prefer their bedding crisp and cool, rather than soft and silky. These qualities are a result of the percale weave, which uses 100% Egyptian cotton so the crispness improves with use. The Egyptian cotton also makes the sheets strong and long-lasting, while the OEKO-TEX certification ensures they weren’t manufactured using banned substances. They come in Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King and Cal King sizes, and customers get to choose from seven solid colors—five neutrals plus a powder blue and blush.

The only drawback is they’re on the pricier side. Whereas most cotton sheet sets will include one flat sheet, one fitted sheet, and two pillowcases, the $100-$149 set doesn’t include a fitted sheet. That addition will tack on an extra $60-90, and this price-tag doesn’t include a warranty.

It does, however, come with a 90-day trial, as well as free shipping and returns, so you can easily get a refund if they’re not what you’re looking for.

Gryphon Luxury Suite Sheet Set

Why we like it:

  • Sateen weave gives it a silky, shiny finish
  • 100% Supima cotton is softer, stronger, more durable, and higher-quality
  • OKEO-TEX certification ensures a lack of harmful chemicals
  • Comes with a 100-day trial

 

Gryphon logo

Gryphon Cotton Sheets

These sheets by Gryphon are another excellent choice for people who prefer sateen sheets that soften over use and are silky but strong and durable, as well as OEKO-TEX certified to ensure a lack of banned substances. They come in Twin, Full, Queen, King, and California King sizes, and are available in seven solid colors, five cool neutrals plus sky blue and blush.

Notably, they’re made out of 100% Supima cotton, which makes them extremely soft and is the same high quality as Egyptian cotton, only at a lower price-point. In fact, these sheets are on the less expensive side for sheets of their caliber, ranging from $129.99 (twin) to $169.99 (king) for a set that includes one fitted sheet, one flat sheet, and two pillowcases.

This includes a 100-day trial, as well as free shipping, so you can easily return them if they don’t work after you try them out.

Cotton Sheets Buyer’s Guide

With cotton being the most popular material for bed sheets, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it can vary widely in feel, comfort, quality, and even price—so much so that a cheap set with a low thread count can feel like a completely different material from a luxury set with a thread count in the thousands. This means you should take your time doing research and weigh all the features of a cotton bed sheet set before making a final purchase. Otherwise, you may end up with something that, while convenient or affordable, doesn’t accommodate all of your needs.

Let's break down all of these considerations, beginning with the different benefits and types of cotton sheets and ending with additional details that will affect your sheets’ comfort, feel, longevity, and price.

What Is Cotton?

Cotton sheets are 100% natural, being woven from the fibers of farmed and harvested cotton plants. They can come in virtually any weave, as well as a wide range of thread-counts. Both of these elements largely dictate their softness, texture, and ability to cool. They also come from cotton plants grown in a variety of places, with sheets woven from long-fibered varieties like Egyptian cotton and Pima cotton being more durable and expensive than those woven from regular short-fibered cotton.

Because cotton sheets come in all sorts of weaves, some have cotton in their names, while others are labeled under their weave. Generally speaking, sheets with “cotton-forward” names (like the ones discussed in this guide) are woven with soft, cooling weaves, like percale and sateen, while those with “weave-forward” names tend to be those of a more distinct weave, like flannel (which is usually discussed separately and compared with flannel woven from other fibers).

Naturally endowed with many benefits, cotton sheets are a low-maintenance and versatile choice that’s suitable for most sleepers with a variety of needs and budgets.

What Are the Benefits of Cotton Sheets?

Cotton possesses all the good qualities of its synthetic equivalents, being soft, comfortable, durable, breathable, moisture-wicking, and temperature-controlled, while being as eco-friendly, hypoallergenic, and antibacterial as its natural competitors. On top of that, you can just toss it in the washing machine without worrying about a change in texture or quality. Here are the top five benefits when it comes to cotton sheets.

  • Easily cared for and cleaned: For the most part, cotton sheets require far lower maintenance than sheets made in other fabrics. They can tolerate a lot more washing machine settings than, say, bamboo, and while some care instructions still apply, generally speaking, you’re less likely to have something go wrong when regularly cleaning your cotton sheets.
  • Soft: Cotton is known for its high level of softness, which in many cases only increases with use. High-end cotton sheets, like those made out of Egyptian or pima cotton, are even softer, and can be comparable to silk.
  • Breathable and moisture-wicking: Cotton is naturally breathable and moisture-wicking, which means it will prevent heat from being trapped inside the sheets and draw sweat away from your body, keeping you sleeping cool throughout the night.
  • Lots of variety: Due to the high variability in thread count, weave, and material, cotton sheets come in a wide range of textures and comfort. This means there’s a cotton sheet to accommodate most types of sleepers, and you’re most likely to find a set of sheets in this fabric that fits your budget and needs.
  • Hypoallergenic and antibacterial: Cotton, especially organic cotton, is naturally more hypoallergenic and antimicrobial than a lot of other fabrics. This makes it great for keeping out smells and allergens in your bed.

Types of Cotton Sheets

The best cotton sheets are made out of long fibers, which result in soft and strong fabrics when woven. As you can imagine, length and other attributes of the fibers differ depending on the type of cotton plant and where it’s grown. While regular cotton is certainly reliable for good, solid sheets, higher-quality cotton sheets tend to be made out of either Pima Cotton or Egyptian Cotton. (Of course, the cotton variety alone doesn’t make a set of sheets high-quality, so you should make sure you’re paying for good sheets, instead of ones simply marketed as Egyptian or Pima.)

Egyptian Cotton

Egyptian cotton sheets featuredIf you want premium cotton bed sheets, generally speaking, you’ll want to be looking for Egyptian cotton. Long fibers make it soft, strong, and silky, and it sticks around a lot longer than regular cotton sheets. This also makes it the most expensive type of cotton sheets.

Pima Cotton
Regular Cotton

Cotton Sheets Considerations

While the type of cotton certainly plays a significant part in the feel and quality of cotton sheets, several other factors are important as well. When shopping, you should keep an eye out for the thread count, weave, and cleaning and care instructions, which all directly affect how soft, comfortable, and durable your sheets will be in the long run. The feel of cotton sheets can be wildly different from set to set, and people have different needs when it comes to bedding, so all of these should be considered before purchase according to your unique preferences.

  • Cleaning and Care: While cotton is relatively low-maintenance compared to other types of sheets, you should still make sure you’re purchasing a set that you can regularly clean. Luckily, the texture of cotton doesn’t change as easily as, say, flannel, which pills, and under certain care instructions it even gets softer with use.
  • Thread Count: Although this isn’t always the case, you can generally expect more softness with a higher thread count. A range of 300-500 is good for cotton, with thread counts in the 1000s caused by inflation.
  • Weave: Like with other fabrics, the softness of cotton depends on the thread count, as well as the weave. Common weaves for cotton are percale (more texture, less softness), sateen (less texture, more softness), and twill (texture and softness).
  • Design, Color, Pattern: When shopping for cotton sheets, keep in mind that you’ll have a lot of designs to browse through. Not only is cotton available in classic white and solid colors, but it also comes in all sorts of patterns.
  • Warranty and Returns: Even with a fabric as low-maintenance and reliable as cotton, you’ll still want to make sure the brand you choose has a good warranty and return policies. Cotton, while reasonably long-lasting, can still tear and stain, so make sure you can quickly and easily obtain another from the brand if need be.

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