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:
- 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.
- Breathability: if you want to sleep cool, you need a breathable fabric – 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)
- 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 have cooling and temperature regulating properties – linen, polyester blends, cotton, and bamboo – 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, the performance polyester blends have the most significant ‘cool to the touch,’ effect, but the other fabrics have their benefits as well. Ultimately, it’s all about what you prefer. Linen sheets are also a popular choice. The material is excellent for summer clothing, and that extends to sheets as well.
Here is our rank for cooling fabrics:
- Bamboo – bamboo has two advantages that make it the most cooling fabric. First, bamboo is a natural fiber that is naturally extremely breathable. It also leads in the categories listed above (thermal effusively, conductivity, specific heat, and moisture management – think about how water travels through bamboo)
- Linen – linen is always going to be one of the coolest fabrics – it’s the most breathable for sure, but the moisture management and feel isn’t always the best
- Polyester blends (the blend part is important) – polyester blends, especially those with nylon or spandex are also very cooling sheets because they have the properties listed above. However, they tend not to be quite as breathable as linen or bamboo (though they still breathe).
- Cotton – cotton is a classic material that is going to be soft, breathable, and generally cool
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 generally cooler than a sateen weave (because it is more breathable).
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, bamboo fabrics designed to regulate your temperature perform the best.
All pricing below is for a Queen Size Sheet set with a fitted sheet, top sheet, and two pillowcases.
#1 Best overall cooling sheets: Dosaze ThermaCool Bamboo Sheets, $200
The Dosaze ThermaCool Bamboo sheets are our first pick for so many reasons. They are durable, they fit well, they will never slide around thanks to their stay-fit corners, and they guarantee a perfectly temperature-regulated sleep for the entire night. They are made from a proprietary blend of performance bamboo woven in a sateen weave that is specially designed to regulate your temperature all night. Bamboo fibers are already so breathable that a sateen weave doesn’t impact how hot they are to sleep in. With bamboo sheets, you can have the best breathability and moisture management while maintaining the silky soft feel and sheen that comes with a sateen weave.
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. We tested a number of different bamboo sheets as well (including the Cariloha Resort Sheets and Ettitude Lyocell sheets) and these performed the best, by far.
Furthermore, we it is also true that 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.
- Temperature controlling
- No ironing required
- Luxurious sheen
- Very durable
- Incredibly soft
- Your other sheets will go unused
#2 Best percale cotton sheets: Parachute percale sheets, $209
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.
- Certified Egyptian cotton
- Percale weave
- Temperature regulating
- May be too thin for winter sleeping
#3 Best stretchy sheets: True Temp sheets, $199
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.
- 5 technology
- Secure corners
- Stretchable for a more secure fit
- Fit may be too deep for thinner mattresses
- Not as soft as some people want
#4 Best Tencel sheets: Molecule Percale Performance sheets, $169
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.
- Tencel material
- Temperature regulating
- Not as stretchy as Egyptian cotton, it may not stay as securely fitted
#7 Best linen cooling sheets: Brooklinen Linen Core sheets, $279
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.
- 100% linen
- More expensive than other options
#8 Best moisture-wicking sheets: Wicked Sheets Original sheets, $66
These sheets are made of a silk-weight poly fiber fabric that wicks away six times as much moisture as standard sheets. They will leave you feeling cool and dry throughout the night.
- No choice in fabric colors
- Not as ‘cooling’ as other sheet sets
#9 Best eco-friendly cooling sheets: Linoto Organic Linen sheets, $199
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.
- 100% linen
- No ironing required
- May be rough on sensitive skin
#10 Best lightweight cooling sheets: Slumber Cloud Stratus sheets, $215
Please SHARE this with your friends and family.
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.
- Cooling technology
- The color online may be misleading