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What is the Best Material for Sheets to Keep You Cool?

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night with your entire body sweating? Has thermal discomfort ever interrupted your sleep? Do you sleep with the windows open or your air conditioning turned on? Have you tried everything to stay cool during the night but failed? There are chances that your sheets are the ones to blame but, luckily, that’s a problem that can easily be solved.

Perks of Having Sheets That Stay Cool

Of course, the main benefit of these sheets is to keep you cool, but the situation is way more complex than that. Cooling sheets are beneficial for a number of different reasons:

  • If you live in an area where even winters are warm, you are going to need sheets that can keep the temperature down no matter the seasons.
  • They can wick away moisture (depending on what fabric they’re made from), which can prevent midnight sweats and keep your body under proper thermal comfort.
  • If you find sheets that have cooling and warming properties at the same time, you can use them in the colder seasons as well.
  • Sleeping with the air conditioning on is typically a bad idea (not just because of the high electricity costs, but also because it’s bad for your health), so you want to find other cooling methods, like perhaps a set of cooling sheets.
  • They really aren’t that expensive compared to regular sheets. And if you often find yourself sleeping hot, they are definitely worth the investment.

You may want to read: Sheex Performance Sheets

Choosing the Materials

Naturally, the most important thing that you have to look out for in new sheets that cool is the main fabric used to make them. However, some sheets are always made from a single material, and can often be made from a combination of fabrics, which means that you’re getting the benefits and disadvantages of those types of fabrics.

Because marketing has evolved into a not-so-honest practice, there are chances that you’ll come across sheets that are advertised as having cooling properties, but actually, are nothing of the sort. With that in mind, let’s talk about all the cooling and non-cooling properties of different types of fabrics, which will teach you how to avoid any potential scams:

  • Cotton is, by far, the favorite of the clothing and bedding industry. As far as bed sheets are concerned, Egyptian cotton is a very popular choice. It is soft and can have cooling or warming properties, but this depends on the style of weaving plus the thread count. Cotton sateen sheets are an even better option with its soft features.
  • Silk is the kind of fabric that feels extremely cool to the touch. However, silk also has the property of absorbing heat, and once that heat is trapped, it will create a warm barrier around your body, which is something that you want to avoid if you are a hot sleeper. That would make silk sheets a much better option during the winter because once the fabric has gotten a chance to absorb your body’s heat, you will be kept warm.
  • Bamboo is a fabric that has gained quite a lot of popularity over the last year, mostly because it’s an eco-friendly option to other types of fabrics. However, some people don’t know that the best bamboo sheets are actually more breathable than cotton. It also has plenty of other features worth mentioning, like the fact that it’s durable, soft, and hypoallergenic.
  • Microfiber is very popular because it comes at a really low price. Considering the fact that microfiber is basically a combination of synthetic fibers, it isn’t exactly a champion thanks to its cooling properties. In fact, the main reason why people choose microfiber sheets is that they are the least expensive option. The feeling of microfiber sheets isn’t the worst thing in the world, but if you’ve used silk, or cotton, or bamboo sheets before, you will be able to tell the difference in quality.
  • Tencel is a recyclable fabric that’s made from lyocell or rayon. It is well-known for its breathable properties although, when you first touch it, it feels very much like silk. It’s really good at absorbing moisture, which means that using Tencel sheets made is a good choice.

You may want to read: Best Cooling Sheets

Weave & Thread Count

As mentioned before, the breathability of cotton sheets will depend on the weave and the thread count of the fabric. If you want to have the best cooling sheets, you should look for those with a thread count between 250 and 300, but keep in mind that you should never exceed 500. Also, the fabric itself will tell you a lot about the quality of the sheets, not only the thread count.

Weaving also plays a part in this because the way in which the sheets are stitches will determine how cooling the fabric is. Here is what you should know:

  • Sateen is very similar to satin, but the difference is that sateen derives from cotton while satin derives from silk. It is cool to the touch but is considered heavy by some.
  • Percale is a type of weave that has a crisp matte finish, and it’s known for being breathable and lightweight.
  • Satin sheets are better for summer because they are more cooling compared to the silk sheet.
  • Jersey is a more versatile choice because it’s temperature-regulating: it stays cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

Conclusion: What are the Best Cooling Bed Sheets?

Truth be told, determining what are the best bed sheets to keep you cool is really based on your own individual preferences. There are tons of brands that offer this product, each with their own features. Sheex sheets are one of them. Cotton is typically considered to be a favorite, even if it’s not the most breathable option of all, it is one of the most qualitative choices out there. Plus, people have gotten used to the comfort and softness of cotton clothing, which leads them to choose cotton sheets as well.

It’s important to have a solid pair of cooling sheets in the summer, but make sure that you look for the properties that actually make these sheets breathable, like thread count, fabric, type of weave, and moisture-wicking capabilities.

Photo credit: New Africa/Shutterstock; Olga Nikiforova/Shutterstock

Frequently Asked Questions

Are cooling sheets good for a memory foam mattress?

Because foam mattresses tend to run hot, unless your memory foam mattress has built-in temperature-regulating features, it’s a good idea to get a set of good cooling sheets to cover the mattress. The cooling sheets will provide you with an added layer of protection, especially if you are an extra-hot sleeper.

Which cooling sheets are best for menopause?

Menopause is a fact of life for women and the reality is, for many women, it seems as if no matter what they do, it's tough to beat hot flashes and night sweats. However, investing in cool sheets can make the symptoms easier to manage. As far as the best material to help the side effects of menopause, there are a few good choices. Cool sheets made of polyfiber perform significantly better than cotton and other fabrics in drying quickly and cooling the skin. Linen retains less heat than cotton due to its looser weave while percale, whether made from closely woven cotton or polyester, is cool to the touch. One type of sheet that is not often considered is made from eucalyptus fibers that naturally regulate temperature and are breathable. Finally, sheets made from microfiber will be absorbent and effectively wick away moisture. Which one you choose will depend on a number of factors including price, comfort level and preference.

Are bamboo sheets cooler than cotton sheets?

Bamboo sheets are cool, breathable and absorbent. They are also cooler to the touch than cotton sheets. In fact, on average, bamboo sheets can keep your body temperature about three degrees cooler than cotton bedding would during the night. Beyond that, bamboo can absorb 40 percent more water than cotton, making it a good choice to absorb sweat, although as with other natural materials, there's only so much sweat these sheets can absorb. While bamboo sheets may cool you better than cotton, bamboo tends to shrink at a faster rate than cotton, and when it comes to price, a good organic bamboo sheet tends to be a more expensive option.

Should you get a cooling pillowcase?

If you are a hot sleeper, or it’s the height of summer and you have no air conditioning, nights can get pretty sweaty and uncomfortable. Using sheets made from a cooling fabric is a good way to help your body deal with excess heat and sweat, but you may still feel hot at the back of your neck and hairline. If getting a cool pillow is not an option, then invest in pillowcases that are also made from a cooling fabric. If you want to keep the skin on your face feeling good, a satin pillowcase will keep you cool, and the low-friction fabric will keep your face feeling soft.