The Best Sheets for Every Body, Bed, and Budget (2024)

Sweet dreams start with soft sheets. Or, at the very least, great sheets mean I sleep better, whether my dreams are peaceful or a hallucination of failed superpowers and the internet. There’s a lot to navigate when buying sheets for your bed, from understanding percale and sateen to thread counts. But the right set of sheets can make your old bed feel like a hotel, or be the perfect pairing with a brand-new mattress. (Because what’s the point in pairing your new mattress with stale sheets?)

We’ve tested dozens of options to find the best sheets in nearly every style. However, there’s an endless supply of sheets out there, so we’ll keep updating this guide as we test more. All of the prices shown are for queen-size models. Be sure to read our Best Mattresses, Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers, Best Organic Mattresses, and Best Pillows guides for more bedding recommendations.

Updated July 2024: We’ve added new linen and percale top picks, plus several linen, percale, sateen, and bamboo sheets we’ve tested to our other good sections.

Table of Contents

Medea Giordano contributed testing for this guide.

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Linen Sheets

Why buy linen sheets? Linen is a woven fabric made from flax plants. It is a highly breathable material, so it keeps you cool during the summer months, as it doesn’t trap heat. It’s great for people who sleep hot. It’s rougher at first than a simple cotton set, but it should soften up the more it’s washed. Linen is often expensive, but it’s also more durable than cotton, so a good sheet set should last a lot longer. They’re not for everyone, but if you love linen clothing, you’ll probably love linen sheets.

Our Favorite Linen Sheets

I’ve slept on a lot of linen (don’t miss my entire guide to linen sheets), and the Citizenry’s linen sheets are my Goldilocks of linen. They’re lightweight and breathable but still have a nice drape and softness you don’t often find in brand-new linen. It usually takes a little breaking in to get to this stage, but the Citizenry’s sheets feel like you’ve already gotten to wash and soften them up. These sheets are cool enough for warm nights thanks to great airflow, but not so cool that I wouldn’t use them year-round. They’re also OEKO-Tex certified, meaning they’ve been tested for harmful substances and have been deemed harmless.

Citizenry’s linen sheets not only feel fantastic to sleep on but come in lots of colors to go with any color scheme your bedroom might have. Parts of the sheet set (e.g., just the top sheet, pillowcases, etc.) can be purchased individually if something happens to one of your pieces.

The Softest Linen Ever

These sheets are the softest linen I’ve ever tried—so soft that my husband didn’t even realize I had swapped out a soft flannel set for these! They’re super comfortable to sleep on but still have that light linen feel. The Cultiver sheets feel a little silkier (a word I never thought I’d use to describe linen) and drape a little more nicely around my body and on the bed. These sheets are a splurge, but if you want extra soft linen, these are the way to go.

The only thing I didn’t like about them was the overflowing lint tray after drying them. My husband noted that they were “slippery” compared to other sheets we usually slept on, adding to the almost-silky experience of these sheets. But such softness doesn’t come cheap, and these sheets are a splurge. You are able to buy pieces individually if you want to work your way up to a full set, or worry that one piece could get shredded by your cat (though my cat has yet to do any damage to these).

Other Great Linen Sheets

  • Quince Linen Bamboo Sheet Set for $100: These aren’t 100 percent linen, but I love the combination of bamboo softness and linen breathability they offer. They’re a great pick if you want the benefits of linen, but are uncertain about the roughness or texture of standard linen. These are also much more affordable than other linen options. We also like Quince’s European Linen Sheets ($170) if you’re looking for affordable all-linen sheets.
  • Brooklinen Washed Linen Core Sheet Set for $260: WIRED reviewer Medea Giordano says that when she first used these sheets, they felt itchy for the first few minutes, but the feeling disappeared quickly. She says they’re some of the coolest sheets she’s slept on. Our other picks don’t feel quite as itchy at the start, but these are still great linen sheets at a good price.
  • Pottery Barn Belgian Flax Linen Sheet Set for $299: These are my favorite cooling linen sheets, as they have the most breathable weave I’ve slept on. The airflow is great with these sheets, keeping me nice and cool. The initial stiffness of these linen sheets actually helped with that, giving it structure to float above my body versus lying close and holding in heat. These sheets are a little thinner than the Citizenry’s, but not quite as soft.

Looking for more linen? Read about every set of linen we’ve tested and our shopping advice in our guide to the best linen sheets.

Percale Sheets

Why buy percale sheets? Percale is a type of cotton weave, not a type of fabric. It’s also referred to as a plain weave. It looks how you might picture a classic weave to look, with an over-under style like a checkerboard. These sheets tend to be crisp, cool, and lightweight, and they make for great cooling sheets. Think of hotel sheets or your favorite button-up shirt. They’re a good middle ground if you sleep hot but don’t want to spring for linen and its higher prices.

Our Favorite Percale Sheets

Target’s in-house brands make great, affordable sheets, including this Casaluna percale set. WIRED reviewer Medea Giordano has been sleeping on them for several years, and they’re her favorite of all the types of percale sheets she’s tried, even those twice the price. They’re crisp without being uncomfortably stiff, and she stays cool all night in them.

These Casaluna sheets have held up through many, many machine washing cycles, and are only getting more lived-in and soft. There are several colors to choose from too. When Giordano upgraded from a queen to a king bed, these were the sheets she repurchased immediately.

Soft, Splurge-Worthy Percale

While Medea is a percale fan, I usually am not. But Pure Parima’s percale sheets are easily my favorite percale to sleep on. They’re better priced than sheets from popular brands, but are made with Egyptian Cotton (certified by the Cotton Egypt Association) which gave it a slightly softer feel without losing the crisp, breathable design that makes percale sheets popular. The extra softness got me, a sateen lover, reaching for percale sheets for the first time, especially on hot summer nights.

Pure Parima’s sheets also have deep pockets and corner straps to make it easy to secure them in place. Each part of the set has a little tag denoting its size so that it’s easy to keep your queen or king set versus your kid’s twin sheets organized without having to triple-check whose pillowcase goes where. They’re Oeko-Tex certified, too.

Other Great Percale Sheets

  • Brooklinen Percale Core Sheet Set for $179: Brooklinen’s crisp percale sheets are everything you want in classic percale: lightweight, crisp, and breathable. There’s also the organic set ($239) which felt slightly softer at first, but after a few washes these sheets feel the same to the touch and to sleep on.
  • Riley Percale Sheet Set for $260: Riley makes nice percale sheets, but they’re pricey—a fitted sheet and pillowcases cost $135 and the flat sheet costs an additional $85. We liked their crispness but were more impressed by the Casaluna ones, and Brooklinen’s are cheaper too for even the organic set.
  • Parachute Percale Sheet Set for $269: WIRED reviewer Julian Chokkattu says these sheets feel rough at first but soften up the more they’re washed. They’ve held up extremely well after years of use, even with a dog sleeping in the same bed.

Looking for more percale or cooling options? We’ve got a whole guide to cooling sheets that includes more picks.

Flannel Sheets

Why buy flannel sheets? Flannel sheets are made of cotton, but the cotton fibers are brushed out to create a fuzzy texture. Those fluffed-out fibers also are what make flannel so warm and cozy to sleep on—the teased layers of cotton do a better job of retaining heat than other styles of cotton sheets, so you’ll stay much warmer sleeping on these than other sheet styles. They’re great for cooler climates.

Our Favorite Flannel Sheets

The Company Store’s flannel sheets initially threw me off with how pink the cream color looked, especially when placed next to other white sheets. But once I saw past that, these sheets felt the softest to the touch compared with the Coyuchi and L.L. Bean flannels I tried (see below). They’re a little stiff initially, but soften up with each wash.

They’re cozy to sleep on and definitely warm—these were the warmest I slept on out of the bunch. If you’re looking for soft and warm at a reasonable price, these sheets deliver.

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