Life Hacks

According to science, here are the coolest sheets on the market

July 21st, 2021

Do you have trouble sleeping through the night because the bed gets too hot? You’re not alone. In fact, there are enough people who struggle with hot sheets that manufacturers have come up with several solutions. Via a variety of materials as well as technology designed specifically for the task, they have created cooling sheets that keep a consistent temperature throughout the night, allowing you to finally get some truly restful sleep.

To start, let’s go over the basics for the features that create a cool, temperature regulated, sleeping experience in a sheet set:

  • Breathability: if you want to sleep cool, you need a breathable fabric (by far the most important feature of a cooling material) – the tradeoff is often that more breathable fabrics are coarser and thus sometimes don’t feel as soft as less breathable fabrics. This is why linen, for example, feels more rough than silk, but it is much more breathable (hence why we wear it summer)
  • Thermal effusivity, conductivity, and specific heat
    • Thermal effusivity is a measure of how ‘cool’ a material feels. For example, if it is cold outside during winter, and you touch a metal pole, you’ll notice that it feels cooler than wood – this is because it has a higher thermal effusivity
    • Thermal conductivity is a measure of how well a material conducts, or pulls heat, away from your body – thus a material with a higher thermal conductivity will lead to a cooler sleeping experience
    • Specific heat is a measure of how much ‘heat’ a fabric can store – for hot sleepers, you generally want a fabric that has a higher specific heat, so it can store more heat from your body.
  • Moisture management: simply put, moisture-wicking is the process of moving moisture away from your skin (think Lululemon/dry fit clothing). Thus, moisture wicking fabric has two jobs: (1) move moisture from one place to another and (2) dry rapidly so that the sweat doesn’t saturate the fabric. Moisture wicking fabric is generally cooler than moisture absorbing fabric (all things held the same) because it helps water evaporate off our bodies. When we want to stay dry, we often wear moisture wicking clothing (like Lululemon or other athletic wear) instead of fabrics like cotton, which tend to retain a lost of moisture

With these factors in mind, let’s discuss the various materials, their pros and cons, and how they impact your sleep experience.

There are a number of materials that claim to have cooling and temperature regulating properties – linen, bamboo, polyester blends, and cotton – the most important thing to keep in mind is that you are looking for a sheet set that promotes airflow, wicks away moisture, and pulls away body heat. Moisture-wicking fabrics and weaves can help to keep us from overheating as we sleep. In our experience, and according to research across the Internet, linen and bamboo are the coolest fabrics to sleep on because they are the most breathable and have the best moisture management, effect, but the other fabrics have their benefits as well. Ultimately, it’s all about what you prefer. The material is excellent for summer clothing, and that extends to sheets as well.

Here is our rank for the coolest fabrics to sleep on:

  1. Linen – linen is always going to be the coolest fabric – it’s the most breathable (hence why so many people wear it in the summer!). It also absorbs a lot of moisture and cools quickly, keeping you cool and dry. Some people don’t like the slightly coarser feel of linen.
  2. Bamboo – bamboo is the best moisture wicking fabric. It’s also breathable (though not quite as breathable as linen). It’s also incredibly soft, which is why it is such a popular fabric for sheets and even clothes.
  3. Cotton – cotton is a classic material that is going to be soft, breathable, and generally cool. The issue with cotton is that it’s so hit or miss depending on the quality of the cotton you get.
  4. Polyester blends (the blend part is important) – polyester blends, particularly those with spandex and/or nylon are cool – but be careful, there is a lot variability with polyester fabrics, so make sure you find a good one. We’ve found that people either love these fabrics or they hate them – rarely an in between. So if you’re going to get these, look for a brand that has a generous return policy.

Lastly, it’s important to also evaluate the weave and thread count of the sheets you choose – thread counts that are too high (over 400) are going to be warmer because they are less breathable. (Not to mention that high thread counts are usually deceptive, anyways). Finally, it’s important to note that a percale weave is cooler than a sateen weave (because it is more breathable).

Cooling technology

There is an entire science-based around temperature regulation in the bedding industry. The best temperature for sleeping is around 65 degrees, and the aim is to keep sheets at a consistent temperature close to that ideal throughout the entire night. While there are many options to consider, we’ve found that linen-bamboo sheet blends were the most breathable, moisture wicking, and temperature regulating sheets on the market. Not to mention, we love the luxe, incredibly soft feel.

#1 Best overall cooling sheets: Dosaze ThermaCool Linen-Bamboo Temperature Regulating Sheets – CHECK PRICE

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Dosaze Source: Dosaze

The Dosaze ThermaCool Linen-Bamboo Temperature Regulating sheets are the cream of the crop, the crème de la crème. They are by far the coolest sheets that we tested (not to mention the softest and most comfortable).

Dosaze combined the breathability of linen with the moisture-wicking and soft feel of bamboo to produce the best sheet set that we tested.

After testing this fabric, we found that it has a higher thermal effusivity (cool to the touch sensation), thermal conductivity (ability of material to pull heat away from your body), and specific heat (ability of the material to store heat) than cotton. The science backs up our personal experience sleeping in these sheets.

Furthermore, we it is also true that linen-bamboo is more moisture wicking than cotton and more breathable – it really facilitates a cooling sleep experience and is so luxuriously soft.

If you toss and turn all night because your pillow is always getting hot on one side, then there’s some bonus good news for you: the set comes with pillowcases with the same temperature regulating technology.

Pros:

  • Moisture-wicking
  • Breathable
  • Temperature controlling
  • No ironing required
  • Luxurious sheen
  • Very durable
  • Incredibly soft

Cons:

  • Your other sheets will go unused

#2 Best percale cotton sheets: Parachute percale sheets – CHECK PRICE

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Parachute Source: Parachute

These percale sheets are made with reliable, high quality, and certified Egyptian cotton, making them both luxurious and practical for anyone who has trouble sleeping, especially on hot nights. The secure corners help with bunching, also guaranteeing a comfortable sleep.

Pros:

  • Certified Egyptian cotton
  • Percale weave
  • Temperature regulating
  • Durable
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • May be too thin for winter sleeping (see review below)

#3 Best stretchy sheets: True Temp sheets – CHECK PRICE

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Sleep Number Source: Sleep Number

These comfortable and high-quality sheets come with 37.5 technology specifically designed to make sure that your bedding maintains the same comfortable temperature the entire time you sleep. As a bonus, the corners of the fitted sheets come with a strap that ensures they will stay snug and secure while you rest.

Pros:

  • 5 technology
  • Secure corners
  • Stretchable for a more secure fit

Cons:

  • Fit may be too deep for thinner mattresses
  • Not as soft as some people want – some people do claim that they are scratchy

#4 Best Tencel sheets: Molecule Percale Performance sheets – CHECK PRICE

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On Molecule Source: On Molecule

These wrinkle-resistant sheets are created with Tencel materials to provide reliable temperatures throughout your sleep. The natural fibers also create a smooth surface that offers comfort during you rest.

Pros:

  • Wrinkle-resistant
  • Tencel material
  • Temperature regulating

Cons:

  • Not as stretchy as Egyptian cotton, it may not stay as securely fitted
  • Some do claim that the sheets weren’t as cooling as they claimed

#7 Best linen cooling sheets: Brooklinen Linen Core sheets – CHECK PRICE

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Brook Linen Source: Brook Linen

These 100% linen sheets will not let you down. They are light, cozy, and offer a level of luxury that will leave you in a blissful sleep.

Pros:

  • 100% linen
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable

Cons:

  • More expensive than other options
  • Linen tends to be a bit more scratchy than polyester blends, cotton, and bamboo

#8 Best eco-friendly cooling sheets: Linoto Organic Linen sheets – CHECK PRICE

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Linoto Source: Linoto

These 100% organic linen sheets are eco-friendly and healthy to sleep on. They are handmade with long-staple linen and are guaranteed to stay cool, crisp, and dry.

Pros:

  • 100% linen
  • Organic
  • No ironing required

Cons:

  • May be rough on sensitive skin

#9 Best lightweight cooling sheets: Slumber Cloud Stratus sheets – CHECK PRICE

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sheets

Slumber Cloud Source: Slumber Cloud

These were designed with the same technology that keeps astronaut spacesuit temperatures regulated, so you know they are good. They are breathable and definitely deserving of being on the list.

Pros:

  • Cooling technology
  • Breathable
  • Comfortable

Cons:

  • The color online may be misleading

Sources: Good Housekeeping; Sleep Foundation; Women’s Health Mag; NY Mag

Photo by Burst from Pexels

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