Treating yourself to a dreamy set of sheets isn't a self-indulgent waste of cash. Instead, it's an investment in good sleep. Sleeping in quality sheets will keep you cool and comfortable and help you hit that sleep magic number. But contrary to popular belief, a good set of sheets doesn't have a lot to do with high thread count.
There's a lot to think about when choosing the right set of sheets. Thread count is definitely important, but higher doesn't necessarily mean better or softer. If you have sheets with a thread count higher than 400, you will probably be sweating in the summer.
A high thread count traps body heat. The number that will have your sheets feeling smooth, soft, and breathable (the good night sleep trifecta) is between 200 and 400.
The other thing to think about is material. If you tend to sleep hot and wake up sweaty during the summer months, natural materials like cotton or bamboo will help wick away the perspiration.
Some of the most popular types of high-quality, luxurious sheets are percale and satin. But which one is the best to sleep on? Let's take a look at the battle of percale vs. satin sheets.
Percale is a plain-weave fabric that is usually made from cotton, which gives them their signature breathability. A percale weave is lightweight and closely woven for a smooth finish and a crisp, cool feel.
Basically, percale sheets make you feel like you're waking up in a five-star luxury hotel suite every morning. They have that starched, crisp feel against your skin that's also super soft and comfortable.
The one thing to remember about percale sheets is that 100% cotton does have a tendency to wrinkle. To avoid this problem, you'll need to quickly get them out of the dryer and folded, or on the bed right away.
If you don't want to fool with wrinkles, there are percale sheets on the market that do have a touch of wrinkle-resistant fiber, like polyester. But when you want absolute breathable luxury, you'll be hard-pressed to find anything better than Egyptian cotton percale sheets.
We recommend splurging on the high-end Percale Venice Set from Parachute, especially if you find yourself dealing with hot summers. Made from 100% long-staple Egyptian cotton, this set comes with a fitted sheet, two pillowcases, and a duvet cover. You can also add a flat sheet if you prefer. The Parachute Percale Venice Set is available in standard sizes and six neutral color options.
The L.L. Bean Premium Egyptian Percale Sheet Collection also delivers an ultra-luxurious sleep experience. Egyptian long-staple fiber is known as the softest, strongest, and most absorbent cotton option you can find, and that's exactly what these 400-thread count sheets are made of.
This set comes with a flat sheet, a fitted sheet with a 15-inch pocket, and two pillowcases. They are a little pricey, but we promise it's justified. The more you wash them, the softer they get. Also, they're made to last for years with proper care.
Another fantastic percale sheet option is the Brooklinen Classic Core Sheet Set. These 270 thread count sheets are also made from 100% long-staple Egyptian cotton. This cool and crisp material makes them perfect for hot sleepers. It's also quite sturdy, giving these sheets added versatility in the winter.
The Brooklinen Classic Core Sheet Set comes with a flat sheet, a fitted sheet, and two pillowcases with envelope enclosures. The King and California King size sheet sets come with king-sized pillowcases. They are available in a number of neutral colors and a striped or window-pane pattern.
These high-quality sheets have the added bonus of long and short side labels, which is a really nice feature when making the bed.
Satin sheets are usually associated with sexy time because of their silky, smooth finish and shiny, romantic look. However, not all satin sheets are the same because they can be made from any material. The one feature that is non-negotiable, however, is that shine.
Oftentimes, they are made from high thread count synthetic materials like nylon, microfiber, or polyester. However, you can also find satin sheets made from cotton or bamboo. In the most strict sense, satin sheets should be made from silk. That option can be pretty pricey, though.
When it comes to a satin weave, you need "woven" materials instead of "knit" in order to get the desired soft and silky smoothness. When satin sheets aren't made from silk, the top side will be shiny and smooth, but the bottom won't have quite the same smooth, soft feel.
Satin sheets can keep you cool, but that will depend on the type of material. They can also warm you up during the winter and reduce the chances of lines and dry skin.
If you are looking to buy traditional silk satin sheets, expect to drop some cash. Instead of looking for thread count, silk satin sheets are actually measured by weight because silk creates an extremely fine thread.
Low-quality silk weighs about 8mm, and the medium-quality range is between 14 and 16mm. The highest-quality satin silk sheets will weigh around at least 19mm, but can go as high as 30mm.
How you take care of your satin sheets will depend on the material. Some sets should be hand-washed, while others can be washed in a machine. Some have to be dry cleaned, which can be quite an expensive proposition.
You have to avoid hot water and harsh detergents because that can affect sheet texture. Silk satin sheets should be hung on a line away from direct heat to dry. Satin sheets made of nylon or silk must be completely shielded from the sun. For a sunny room, a better option is polyester satin or acetate.
To get that soft hotel sheet feeling like a percale sheet, the best option we found was 100% Natural Bamboo Sheets from California Design Den Store on Amazon. They do have that luxury hotel feel, and this set also has an elasticized deep pocket for a snug fit, which can be difficult with satin sheets. These sheets come in all standard bed sizes and are available in four different colors.
While there are definitely some high-quality choices when it comes to both percale and satin sheets, we prefer percale to get that ultimate, dreamy sleep every night. We do admit that this can be all about personal preference. But, for the smoothest, softest, and most breathable sheets, nothing beats percale in our book.