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The Best Percale Sheets

Updated August 1, 2019

Rank Products Highlights
#1

Abripedic Bed Sheet Set

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  • Good fit
  • Crisp
  • Cool
  • Oversized top sheet
#2

Superior Percale Bed Sheet Set

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  • Good fit
  • Crisp
  • Affordable
  • Cool
  • Saturated color
  • Fully elasticized fitted sheet
#3

Nautica Percale Sheet Set

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  • Good fit
  • Crisp
  • Affordable
  • Cool
  • Fully elasticized fitted sheet
#4

Mellanni 100% Cotton Bed Sheet Set

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  • Good fit
  • Crisp
  • Affordable
  • Cool
  • Fully elasticized fitted sheet
  • Lifetime guarantee
#5

Pinzon Percale Sheet Set

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  • Good fit
  • Crisp
  • Affordable
  • Cool
  • Fully elasticized fitted sheet
  • Oversized flat sheet

There’s nothing like that feeling of falling into bed after a hot summer day and feeling the cool, crispy sheet under you. The best percale sheets are so comfortable, so cool 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.

Save yourself the trouble of scouring the internet for the sheets you want and simply read all about them here and find the ones you’re going to love for years to come. You might be surprised by how great these sheets can be year-round, too.

What’s So Great About Percale?

Percale sheets are not a particular type of fiber or material but rather a type of weave. It is woven one thread over another consistently to create a very tight weave. The result is a sheet that has a matte finish and a crispy feel, for lack of a better term. Go run your hand over your sheets on your bed right now. How does it feel? Is it soft, like petting a furry cat, or does it feel more like you’re stroking a hairless cat? That’s sort of the difference between most sheets made 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 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 sheet set should be. These cool, crisp sheets 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 drink of a cold glass of water. They keep you cool as you sleep. 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 is confusing, some manufacturers don’t disclose everything that coats their sheets, and it seems almost impossible to figure out who’s lying and who’s honest. Here are a few tips to help you wade through the fakery and find the best.

Thread Count

t’s tempting to reach for the 1000-thread count sheets. They have this lure 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. Stick to 300 to 500 thread-count sheets. Percale isn’t going to be whispery soft. They’re meant to be slightly crispy and cold to the touch.

Processing

If your goal is to find sheets that keep you cool 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 going to be warmer, too. And these are more likely to be blended with polyester. Also, pilling is sure to happen sooner.

Wrinkle-free

There are two ways to wrinkle-free sheets. Buy polyester sheets. 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 bust out an iron to get the creases out of your sheets. If you buy percale sheets with a pattern, it can 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 and bleach, maybe some fabric softener, and run the washer. Then dry them completely in the dryer and be done with it. Stop it. Here’s what you should do to keep your percale sheets as cool, crispy, and comfortable as possible – for as long as possible.

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. This is one way to achieve longevity.

Avoid Bleach, Fabric Softener, Dryer Sheets

All the above products can work to weaken the fabric of your sheets. A dryer sheet to avoid static once in a while is fine, but you want to nix the bleach and fabric softener for good.

Tumble Dry Low

Your grandmother likely dried her sheets on the line and in the sun, which contributed to that crispy feeling of percale sheets. Choose a low setting on your dryer and whip those sheets out before they’re totally dry. That will help keep the wrinkles at bay and will extend the life of your sheets.

Top 5 of the Best Percale Sheets Reviews

1. Abripedic 22″ Deep Pocket 300TC Sheet Set

SPECS

  • Thread count: 300
  • Material: 100 percent cotton
  • Deep pockets: 22 inches
  • Sizes: Queen, King, California King, Split-California King, Split-King
  • Dimensions (flat, queen): 96 x 106 inches
  • Colors: Periwinkle, celery, gold, white, gray, ivory, canvas

Finding a true percale weave on a set of cotton sheets can be difficult these days, but Abripedic 22-inch deep pocket sheet set is the real deal. These sheets are 100 percent cotton, and they have a 300-thread count. They are not super soft, but that’s not what you’re looking for when it comes to percale. The 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 to have a little extra on the sides for tucking all the way in.
You get seven colors from which to choose, and they are 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 they are all cotton, and there’s nothing added to the sheets 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

  • Good fit
  • Crisp
  • Cool
  • Oversized top sheet

Cons

  • Wrinkly
  • Seem thin

If you’re looking for that classic percale feel to your sheets, this set might be the right one for you.

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2. Superior Percale 300 Thread Count 100% Cotton, Deep Pocket, 4-Piece Queen Bed Sheet Set

SPECS

  • Thread count: 300
  • Material: 100 percent cotton
  • Deep pockets: 18 inches
  • Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split King
  • Dimensions (flat, queen): 90 x 102 inches
  • Colors: Burgundy, grey, ivory, lilac, navy blue, sage, tan, white

Crisp but soft and cool describe the Superior Percale 300-thread count sheet set. These sheets come in all the sizes you’d expect for bedding, and they’re offered at an affordable price for a 100 percent cotton. The softness comes after several instances of washing, but they don’t ever get to a butter-like softness. You should expect these sheets to wrinkle a bit, but that’s the nature of cotton sheets.
The fully elasticized fitted sheet keeps a snug hug on your mattress, but you may run into fit issues if your sheets shrink – and there are definitely reports of shrinkage. Oddly, there are also reports of stretching out of the fabric. The elastic seems to stay taut, though. You get your choice of eight colors, and all the colors are highly saturated and unlikely to fade. The top sheet is standard size, so it might not be big enough for you. Some buyers mentioned thinning of the sheets after several washes, but they may not have followed the care instructions exactly.

Pros

  • Good fit
  • Crisp
  • Affordable
  • Cool
  • Saturated color
  • Fully elasticized fitted sheet

Cons

  • Stretches, shrinks
  • Seem thin

If you’re looking for an affordable set of sheets with that crisp, cool feeling, then these could be ideal for you.

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3. Nautica Stripe Cotton Percale Sheet Set

SPECS

  • Thread count: 200
  • Material: 100 percent cotton
  • Deep pockets: ~13 inches
  • Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King
  • Dimensions (flat, queen): 90 x 102 inches
  • Colors: Burgundy, Coleridge red stripe, Audley, cadet, charcoal stripe, white

It’s rare to find percale sheets at all today, but a set of percale sheets with a pattern? That’s almost unheard of. The Nautica Stripe cotton percale sheet set offers more than one pattern and color, though. You get your choice of red stripe, charcoal stripe, Audley, which features tiny boats and blue stripes, white, and a grey color. These are 100 percent cotton and come with that crispy feel you want. At only 200-thread count, they are a bit thinner than you might expect, but they do not pill easily, and they’re 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 recall from yesteryear, but they are high quality, cool, and crisp, and it 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

  • Good fit
  • Crisp
  • Affordable
  • Cool
  • Fully elasticized fitted sheet

Cons

  • Wrinkly
  • Print is only one side

If you want a set of percale sheets that are super breathable and come in patterns, then these are the sheets you may want to consider.

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4. Mellanni 100% Cotton Bed Sheet Set

SPECS

  • Thread count: 300
  • Material: 100 percent cotton
  • Deep pockets: 16 inches
  • Sizes: Full, Queen, King, California King
  • Dimensions (flat, queen): 90 x 102 inches
  • Colors: White, ivory, grey, light grey

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 four colors, and no fit options for twin-sized beds. The 300-thread count seems accurate, as these sheets are quite breathable and have that tell-tale percale crispy and cool feeling to them.
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 it may not be quite what you want in the fit arena. Plus, there are several reports of the sheets shrinking after just one wash. If you have a lower-profile mattress, that shouldn’t be a big deal. Also, there have been reports of pilling shortly after a single wash. On the other hand, there are far more satisfied customers who have been looking for affordable percale cotton sheets.

Pros

  • Good fit
  • Crisp
  • Affordable
  • Cool
  • Fully elasticized fitted sheet
  • Lifetime guarantee

Cons

  • Color may wash out
  • Pilling may happen

If you need a set of percale cotton sheets that are super affordable, then you might want to try out these popular sheets.

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5. 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 (flat, queen): 100 x 110 inches
  • 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 cannot: crisp, cool comfort. These may feel thicker than some other percale sheets, but that seems to lend to these sheets durability. They’re still going to feel cold when you hop into bed. They resist pilling, as the sheets have a tight weave to them. And 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 of sheets offers an oversized flat sheet, so you can tuck to your heart’s desire. The stitching on the hems leaves a bit more to be desired, though. There were some reports of twists that won’t straighten out. And, of course, these are cotton sheets, so wrinkles are going to happen. You also may notice more lint clinging to these sheets than other percale sheets, but it’s a mystery as to why.

Pros

  • Good fit
  • Crisp
  • Affordable
  • Cool
  • Fully elasticized fitted sheet
  • Oversized flat sheet

Cons

  • Wrinkly
  • Stitching a bit off

If your percale sheets must have an oversized top sheet and be super affordable, then these may work well for you.

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Conclusion

Getting that crisp, cool feel of a percale sheet is like a hot sleeper’s white whale. You simply cannot rest well until you get 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 sweaty sleeper’s standards, there’s one set that you might want to buy again and again.

The Abripedic 22″ Deep Pocket 300TC sheet set seems to be the set that pleases most of the people most of the time. It has deep enough pockets to fit the thickest of mattresses. Plus, it 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, though, or another on the list, you’re likely to wake up refreshed and not soaking in sweat.