What Is The Best Material For Bed Sheets To Keep You Cool?

Bed sheets to keep you cool

Buying bedsheets is actually harder than you’d think, especially when you don’t do it very often and don’t know the differences in material quality. You might find several options like Egyptian Cotton, microfiber, silk, or polyester. While it all sounds pretty fancy, chances are you don’t know what means what. Besides the standard materials, modern cooling sheets are also increasing in popularity. Just like we look for warm, cozy blankets during the winter, we also appreciate cool and comfort sheets during the summer. I don’t know about you, but I think there’s nothing worse than a sticky bed on a hot summer night.  

The best materials for bed sheets to keep you cool are bamboo, cotton, or linen. If the main feature you’re looking for in your bed sheets is breathability for a sweat-free night, you should stick to one of these 3 materials.

When you’re looking for bedding, there are two main things you search for: breathability and comfort. Buying them online should be a pretty straightforward process, but it can be a little challenging since you can’t feel the sheets you’re buying. With that being said, it is definitely possible to make great, valuable, stress-free purchases online when you have the right information. In this guide, we’ll assist you in making an excellent purchase.  First, you’ll find below a table comparing the main materials used for bed sheets. Then, you’ll see a more detailed analysis covering the specific materials.

Table comparing bed sheet materials in terms of breathability, comfort, and price.
Bamboo sheets are usually the most breathable ones, followed by cotton.

Below we’ll cover the following materials in more details:

  1. Bamboo sheets
  2. Cotton
    1. Egyptian Cotton
    2. Organic Cotton
    3. Pima
    4. Supima
    5. Upland
  3. Flannel
  4. Linen
  5. Satin
  6. Silk
  7. Microfiber

Why Do Some Sheets Make You Sweat?

It all comes down to a simple principle: some bedding materials will make you sweat because they trap the heat released by your body throughout the night. Sheets made of thicker fabrics will make you feel hotter than thinner, more breathable ones. 

What Are Cooling Sheets?

Cooling sheets are just sheets made in a way that they will offer both breathability and absorption. Breathability refers to the ability of not trapping the heat released by your body. Absorption refers to the ability of ‘soaking’ up the sweat you produce at night. When bed sheets are made out of materials that provide both breathability and absorption, they will keep you cool at night and therefore are called cooling sheets

Are Higher Thread Count Sheets Hotter?

When browsing for bed sheets, you’ll see that thread count is an important feature that is highly advertised by companies. You’ll find numbers like 200, 400, 800 and so on, and the general perception is that the higher the thread count, the better the sheet. Thread count measures the number of vertical and horizontal threads per square inch. While higher thread count sheets will likely be more comfortable and durable, they will, at least in theory, make you feel hotter. However, it is safe to say that the right choice of materials will be more important than thread count when it comes to breathability. 

Types of Bed Sheet Materials

Cotton Sheets

Cotton is probably the most common material you will find out there. It has been the most popular material for a long time, and it is still very relevant today. The reason for that is it scores highly in comfort, breathability, and durability, while still being generally affordable. Cotton sheets keep you cold and comfortable in the summer while still keeping you warm and cozy in the winter. Nowadays, there are many types of cotton sheets available, so you have multiple options to choose from. Below, we’ll cover the differences between most of them: 

Egyptian cotton

Egyptian Cotton is known as one of the most luxurious bed sheets you can purchase. The material is woven with extremely soft and long staple fibers, making them amazingly smooth, durable, and comfortable. Consequently, it is also one of the most expensive sheets you can buy. If you are allergic to a few things, you do not need to worry either as the material is anti-allergic. When it comes to breathability, Egyptian Cotton is usually ranked very well.  

Organic Cotton

Organic cotton is made out of non-genetically modified plants and without the use of any synthetic pesticides. For that reason, it is one of the top choices when it comes to hypoallergenic sheets. Similarly to Egyptian cotton, Organic cotton provides a nice amount of breathability. 

Pima Cotton

Similarly to Egyptian cotton, Pima cotton is in the more luxurious kind, made out of longer fibers. The main difference is their origin, as Pima cotton is grown in the United States. Pima cotton sheets are expected to be very comfortable and breathable.

Supima Cotton

Supima cotton represents the top 1% cotton grown in the world. Supima is a trademarked name, and it means that it is made out of 100% Pima cotton. Needless to say, Supima cotton also scores very well in comfort and breathability. 

Upland Cotton

Upland cotton is the most common one used in 100% cotton sheets. If no other cotton is specified (Egyptian, Pima, Organic), then chances are the sheet is made out of Upland cotton. It is not as comfortable and smooth as the ones above, but they are usually much more affordable. They should still provide a nice level of breathability.

Bamboo Sheets

Bamboo sheets are made out of a material extracted from bamboo. They have a similar look to silky and satin sheets, but they do have their differences. Since the material from the bamboo is chemically treated, bamboo sheets are not considered very environmentally friendly. In addition to that, they are usually more expensive. However, they rank very well in every aspect: hypoallergenic-ness, comfort, and breathability. Bamboo sheets are a great investment if you are looking for sheets that keep you cool at night.

Flannel Sheets

Flannel sheets are usually made out of a combination of materials, like cotton, polyester, or wool. While they are very durable and have nice patterned designs, they are usually thicker. and better fitted for colder weathers. Flannel sheets are not considered to be very breathable, and consequently not a good fit if you tend to feel hot at night

Linen Sheets

Linen bed sheets are known to be very durable, but still containing some of the other qualities as well. When compared to cotton sheets, linen ones are usually thicker and have somewhat of a ‘granular’ feeling. However, they still rank well when it comes to comfort. In terms of breathability, linen sheets perform well (even though they are thicker), since there is more space between threads. 

Satin Sheets

Satin sheets have a familiar ‘silky’ feeling, just like the silk sheets right below. These sheets also have somewhat of a luxurious aspect to them, and they can be made out of different materials. While they don’t rank highly in terms of durability, satin sheets are cool to the touch and known to be very breathable. 

The difference between satin and silk is that satin refers to a method of weaving that can be used to several fibers, like cotton, linen, polyester or silk. Silk, on the other hand, refers to a specific fiber. In other words, silk fibers can be either turned into satin sheets or not, and satin sheets may be made out of silk or not. 

Silk Sheets

In terms of looks, silk sheets are similar to satin. However, silk sheets do not get stuck to your skin so easily. They are considered to be pretty luxurious. Silk sheets are known to be durable, comfortable and breathable. 

Microfiber Sheets

Microfiber sheets are relatively newer than many of the options mentioned above. They are made out of synthetic fibers, like nylon or polyester. While they are thin, they are pretty durable and they maintain body heat pretty well. The downside of them is that they usually catch a lot of hair from pets. Microfiber sheets are woven with tight threads, so they are not considered to be very breathable when compared to most of the materials above. 

How to Choose Your Breathable Sheets

With these varieties of fabrics available, it all depends upon what you want. Some might value hypoallergenic sheets, some might need to stick within a budget. However, if your main concern is breathability for a sweat-free night, your best bet will be to choose between bamboo, cotton, or linen sheets. So what is important to you?

This list should have provided you with all the information you need in order to make the best purchase. All you need to do is to make a list of your needs and see which of the materials suits your needs the best.

Gui Hadlich

Hi there! I'm Gui. I've had to move 12 times in the last 6 years, and I've learned a thing or two about moving, decorating, and buying and selling furniture. I've started Budget Friendly Furnishing with the intent of helping people furnish their homes in style without having to break the bank!

Recent Posts