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The Best Percale Sheets

Candace Osmond

There’s nothing like that feeling of falling into bed after a hot summer’s day and feeling the cool, crisp sheets beneath you. The best percale sheets are so comfortable that you don’t even mind curling up with the top sheet over you. In fact, you might even reach for a blanket in the middle of the night. Finding the best percale sheets today requires a bit of digging. Ever since manufacturers have turned wood pulp and polyester into sheet fabric, the once reigning king of cotton sheets has been harder to find.

We’ve put together our top 6 picks of the best percale sheets money can buy, so save yourself the trouble of scouring the internet and simply read through our guide to find the ones you’ll love for years to come. You might be surprised by how great these sheets can be all year-round!

RankProductsHighlights
#1abripedic-bed-sheet-set

Abripedic Bed Sheet Set

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  • Thick, soft, durable and breathable
  • Range of classic color choices to suit any bedroom decor
  • Fully elasticized fitted sheet with deep pockets
  • 1000TC
#2brooklinen-classic-core-sheet-set

Brooklinen Classic Core Sheet Set

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  • 100% long staple cotton
  • Fitted sheet comes with “long” and “short” side labels
  • Variety of classic colors
  • 270TC
#3

Nautica Percale Sheet Set

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  • Moisture-wicking, regulating your body temperature at night
  • Breathable
  • Choice of 20 fun nautical colors and patterns
  • 200TC
#4

Mellanni 100% Cotton Bed Sheet Set

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  • Very affordable for sateen weave cotton sheets
  • Easily machine washable and dryable
  • Luxurious feel
  • 300TC
#5

Pinzon Percale Sheet Set

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  • Great value
  • Full range of sizes
  • Ideal for warmer weather or hot sleepers
  • 300TC
#6mayfair-linen-100-egyptian-cotton-sheets-set

Mayfair Linen 100% Egyptian Cotton Sheets Set

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  • 100% Egyptian cotton
  • Tested for no-pilling, shrinkage or color fading
  • Full variety of sizes
  • 600TC

The Top 6 Best Percale Sheets

1. Editor’s Choice – Abripedic 22″ Deep Pocket 1000TC Sheet Set

abripedic-bed-sheet-set

SPECS

  • Thread count: 1000
  • Material: 100 percent cotton
  • Deep pockets: 22 inches
  • Sizes: Queen, California King
  • Dimensions: 92″ x 102″ (flat sheet, queen)
  • Colors: Gold, ivory, sage, sea (blue), taupe, white

Finding a true percale weave on a set of cotton sheets can be difficult these days, but the Abripedic 22-inch Deep Pocket Sheet Set is the real deal. These sheets are 100 percent cotton, and they have a 1000-thread count. They’re not super soft, but that’s not what you’re looking for when it comes to percale. The large 22-inch pockets mean you can fit the fitted sheet on a mattress that’s up to 22 inches thick, which is quite generous. The top sheet is oversized, which will please you if you prefer a little extra on the sides for tucking all the way in.

You get six colors from which to choose, and they’re all solid colors. There have been no reports of fading or much wear and tear after multiple times of washing. You can expect these sheets to wrinkle, as most cotton sheets will, and there’s nothing added to make them softer or wrinkle-resistant. If you’re used to the softer, thick sheets that come with high thread counts and combed cotton, then this set of sheets may seem a bit thin to you.

Pros

  • Thick, soft, durable and breathable
  • Range of classic color choices to suit any bedroom decor
  • Fully elasticized fitted sheet with deep pockets
  • 1000TC

Cons

  • May wrinkle over time with many washes
  • Not as affordable as other options

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2. Runner-Up – Brooklinen Classic Core Sheet Set

brooklinen-classic-core-sheet-set

SPECS

  • Thread count: 270
  • Material: 100 long staple cotton
  • Deep pockets: 15 inches
  • Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
  • Dimensions: 92″ x 104″ (flat sheet, queen)
  • Colors: Solid white, cream, graphite, window pane, graphite and steel oxford stripe

Another top-rated option for 100% cotton percale sheets is the Classic Core Sheet Set from Brooklinen. There’s a reason this product has been highly-rated by tens of thousands of reviewers. It comes in every size you could possibly need to perfectly fit your mattress, has deep-pocket fitted sheets that can cover up to 15 inches, and Brooklinen offers a full 1-year warranty if you’re not completely happy with the feel of these sheets.

You’ll always find some reviews that aren’t glowing for anything you buy, and there have been some reports of this sheet set feeling rough on the skin even after several washes, but these comments have been few and far between. One of the key bonuses of this set is that it includes “long” and “short” labels on the fitted sheet, making it quick and stress-free every time you change your sheets.

Pros

  • 100% long staple cotton
  • Fitted sheet comes with “long” and “short” side labels
  • Variety of classic colors
  • 270TC

Cons

  • Some reports of rough feel and not lightweight

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3. Best Cooling Percale Sheets – Nautica Stripe Cotton Percale Sheet Set

SPECS

  • Thread count: 200
  • Material: 100 percent cotton
  • Deep pockets: ~15 inches
  • Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King
  • Dimensions: 90″ x 102″ (flat sheet, queen)
  • Colors: Variety of 20 nautical themed colors and patterns

It’s rare to find percale sheets at all today, but a set of percale sheets with a pattern is almost unheard of. The Nautica Stripe cotton percale sheet set offers more than one pattern and color, though. You get your choice of 20 nautical themed colors and patterns which may feature tiny boats and anchors, great for decking out the kids’ bedrooms. At only 200-thread count, they’re a bit thinner than you might expect, but they don’t pill easily and are quite breathable.

The prints on these sheets are only on one side, so it may bother those who want to show off the top sheet on their bed. Plus, because these are 100 percent cotton, they do wrinkle a bit. They may not be the thick percale you might recall from years ago, but they’re high quality and should keep you from sweating while you sleep. The fully elasticized fitted sheet works well on thicker mattresses, though the deep pockets may not fit the thickest beds.

Pros

  • Moisture-wicking, regulates your body temperature at night
  • Breathable
  • Choice of 20 fun nautical colors and patterns
  • 200TC

Cons

  • Wrinkly
  • Print is only on one side

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4. Best Overall Value – Mellanni 100% Cotton Bed Sheet Set

SPECS

  • Thread count: 300
  • Material: 100 percent cotton
  • Deep pockets: 16 inches
  • Sizes: California King
  • Dimensions: 90″ x 102″ (flat sheet, queen)
  • Colors: Ivory

One of the most popular sets of percale sheets is the Mellanni 100 percent cotton bed sheet set. It’s possible that the cost has something to do with that, as this is one of the most affordable sets of cotton sheets you could hope to find. They only come in one color, ivory, and no current options for twin, full, queen or king-sized beds. The 300-thread count seems accurate, as these sheets are quite breathable but still extremely durable.

The fit is decent with the fitted sheet having elastic all the way around. The flat sheet is no bigger than the standard size, so the fit may not be quite what you want. If you have a lower-profile mattress, it shouldn’t be a big deal. While there have been a few reports of the sheets shrinking and pilling after just one wash, there are far more satisfied customers who have been looking for affordable percale cotton sheets that love the Mellanni brand.

Pros

  • Very affordable for sateen weave cotton sheets
  • Easily machine washable and dryable
  • Luxurious feel
  • 300TC

Cons

  • Only one color and size option (ivory, California King)
  • Color may wash out over time

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5. Best Budget-Friendly – Pinzon 300-Thread-Count Percale Sheet Set

SPECS

  • Thread count: 300
  • Material: 100 percent cotton
  • Deep pockets: ~12 inches
  • Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
  • Dimensions: 100″ x 110″ (flat sheet, queen)
  • Colors: White, ivory, platinum, spa blue, straw

The Pinzon 300-thread count percale sheet set doesn’t include many frills, but it does offer what your sateen combed cotton sheets can’t, which is light and airy comfort. These may feel thicker than some other percale sheets, but that speaks to the durability of these sheets. They also resist pilling as the sheets have a tight weave to them. As long as your mattress isn’t too thick, you should notice a good fit, thanks to the all-around elastic of the fitted sheet.

You might be surprised at just how big the flat sheet is. This set offers an oversized flat sheet, so you can tuck to your heart’s desire. The stitching on the hems leave a bit more to be desired, though. There were some reports of twists that won’t straighten out. Of course, these are cotton sheets, so wrinkles are inevitable.

Pros

  • Great value
  • Full range of sizes
  • Ideal for warmer weather or hot sleepers
  • 300TC

Cons

  • Some reports of stitching coming out

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6. Best Egyptian Cotton – Mayfair Linen 100% Egyptian Cotton Sheets Set

mayfair-linen-100-egyptian-cotton-sheets-set

SPECS

  • Thread count: 600
  • Material: Natural Egyptian cotton
  • Deep pockets: 15 inches
  • Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split King
  • Dimensions: 90″ x 102″ (flat sheet, queen)
  • Colors: 16 classic colors including white (pictured), ivory, sand, blush, silver

Last but definitely not least, we’ve included a 100% Egyptian cotton option due to popular demand of these percale sheets. This Mayfair Linen set comes in an impressive 600 thread count to offer you that soft and silky-smooth texture when you lay on these sheets. They’ve already been pre-tested for any signs of pilling, fabric shrinkage and color fading so there should be minimal complaints about any of these common issues. You have the option of every bedding size you’ll need so these will be sure to fit any mattress. There’s a wide variety of 16 colors to choose from (including the standard classics such as white, ivory, sand, blush and silver) which should seamlessly match your current bedroom decor.

Some reviewers have mentioned that the colors presented in the images aren’t identical to the sheets in person, which is often common when purchasing any bedding or clothing from an online store. To counteract any issues like this, Mayfair Linen offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee that includes a full refund within 30 days of your purchase.

Pros

  • 100% Egyptian cotton
  • Tested for no-pilling, shrinkage or color fading
  • Full variety of sizes
  • 600TC

Cons

  • Colors may not match images

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Percale Sheets Buyers Guide

What’s So Great About Percale?

Percale sheets are not a particular type of fiber or material but rather a type of weave. It’s woven one thread over another consistently to create a tight weave. The result is a sheet that has a matte finish and an airy feel. If you go run your hand over your bedsheets right now. How do they feel? Are they soft, like petting your cat, or do they feel more like you’re stroking a hairless cat? That’s essentially the difference between most sheets on the market today and percale.

Typically, percale sheets are made from 100 percent cotton. Cotton is one of the best fabrics for this weave, as cotton is quite breathable, so it can handle the tight weave. These sheets won’t cling to your skin or likely heat you up at night the way sateen can. Some percale sheets come in a cotton-polyester blend, and that has two effects. One, the sheets are going to be less wrinkly. Two, they’ll likely be softer. On the other hand, though, they’re likely to be warmer and maybe even softer.

If you opt for 100 percent cotton percale sheets, you might notice that the thread count rarely reaches over 300. Many people buy sheets based on high thread count, but that method is no longer fool-proof. Some manufacturers have stretched the truth and their thread count. Thread count indicates how many threads are in one square inch of the fabric. It used to be that this count was a simple way to know just how much cotton is used, and it indicated that long-staple cotton was being used. If a manufacturer uses double or triple-ply threads, which are actually weaker compared to single-ply, then they might inflate the thread count by claiming a 900-thread count, when in fact a set of sheets is only 300.

Percale sheets must have at least 180-thread count, and the higher the count, the higher quality the set should be. These sheets typically resist pilling, so they should last you several years, as long as you pay attention to the care instructions.

For sleepers who get hot at night and for those who live in warmer climates, percale sheets are like a long, cold drink of water. Even if you live in a colder climate, percale sheets can be ideal. Throw a comforter on top of your sheets and get cozy. Your body heat will keep you warm, but you’re not likely to overheat either.

How to Spot Fake Percale Sheets

To make it harder to find great sheets, labeling can be confusing as some manufacturers don’t disclose everything that coats their sheets, so here are a few tips to help you wade through and find the best.

Thread Count

It’s tempting to reach for the 1000-thread count sheets as they clearly have a certain allure to them. They might be softer than a baby’s butt, but it’s more likely that they’ve been treated with silicone to feel super soft right out of the packaging. After a few washes, the treatment wears off, and you’re stuck with expensive, rough, and scratchy sheets. The general rule of thumb is that you should typically stick to 300 to 500 thread-count sheets.

Processing

If your goal is to find sheets that prevent you from overheating in the summer, then you want to avoid sheets with labels that claim the cotton is combed or brushed. They’re softer, but they’re also going to make you warmer, too. It’s more likely to be blended with polyester, and pilling is sure to happen sooner.

Wrinkle-free

There are two ways to find yourself some wrinkle-free sheets. Buy polyester sheets, or buy sheets treated with wrinkle reducers. Neither is going to give you the percale feel you’re looking for. Either make peace with having wrinkly sheets, or get out your iron to remove the creases from your sheets. If you buy percale sheets with a pattern, this can also reduce the look of wrinkles.

How to Care for a Set of Percale Sheets

One of the biggest problems with the sheets you currently own might just be how you’re caring for them. It’s easy to just toss the sheets in the washer and choose the hot water setting to kill off whatever’s on there, add some detergent, bleach, maybe some fabric softener, and run the washer. Then you’ll probably dry them completely in the dryer and you’re done. Instead, here’s what you should do to keep your percale sheets as comfortable and durable as possible for as long as you can.

Cool

Choose the cool or cold water setting on your washer for your sheets. Your percale sheets are sturdy, but you want them to last as long as possible, so this is one way to achieve longevity.

Avoid Bleach, Fabric Softener, Dryer Sheets

Bleach, fabric softener and dryer sheets can all work to weaken the fabric of your sheets. A dryer sheet to avoid static in your clothes is fine once in a while, but you want to lose the bleach and fabric softener for good.

Tumble Dry Low

Choose a low setting on your dryer and whip those sheets out before they’re totally dry. This will help keep the wrinkles at bay and will extend the life of your sheets.

Conclusion

Getting that light and airy feel of a percale sheet is like a hot sleeper’s dream. Many simply can’t get a good night’s rest until they have them. Although there aren’t many percale cotton sheets on the market any longer, there are still some out there that fit the bill. While all those listed here are considered the best percale sheets by any hot sleeper’s standards, there’s one set that you might want to buy again and again.

The Abripedic 22″ Deep Pocket 300TC set seems to be the one that meets the needs of most consumers seeking out trustworthy percale sheets. It has deep enough pockets to fit the thickest of mattresses, includes a flat sheet that’s slightly oversized for a better fit and ample room for rolling over and taking the sheet with you. Regardless of whether you choose this set, or another on the list, you’re likely to wake up feeling refreshed after a restful night’s sleep.

Recent Updates

June 17, 2021: Our #2 pick, the SUPERIOR Cotton Percale Deep Pocket Sheet Set has been replaced with the popular Classic Core Sheet Set by Brooklinen due to product unavailability. A sixth product has been added to the list, the Mayfair Linen 100% Egyptian Cotton Sheets Set, due to the popularity of Egyptian Cotton sheets and being a highly-rated Amazon’s Choice product. Additional FAQs have been included: “What’s the best thread count for percale sheets?”, “What’s the difference between percale and sateen?” and “What’s the right way to wash and dry a percale sheet?” based on common consumer queries.