- We tested dozens of cotton sheets to find the best ones you can buy in a variety of weaves and price points.
- At the perfect intersection of comfort and value, our pick for best cotton sheets are the 280-thread-count Pima Cotton Percale Sheets from L.L.Bean.
- Crisp, cool, and soft to the touch, they make bedtime an affordable luxury.
Nothing beats the feeling of sliding into a freshly-made bed. Sheets that are breathable and soft to the touch can make the difference between a great night’s sleep and tossing and turning. Cotton is the go-to natural fiber for sheets, a classic material that naturally pulls moisture from your body and feels comfortable against your skin, and it works for all four seasons.
To find the best cotton sheets out there, we scanned buyer reviews and testing results from textile pros, then we put the short list of sheets to put to the test (sleeping on them) to pull together our picks for the best cotton bed sheets you can buy.
Choosing the right cotton sheets for you generally comes down to personal preference, and knowing whether you’re a lover of percale or sateen is a good starting point. The real key is to test the sheets yourself. Sleep in them a few nights, launder them, and repeat. Online-only companies that sell sheets have made generous return policies part of the process to give you the out if you find you don’t like a set of pricey sheets.
Some brands offer other benefits, like deeper pockets (those elastic corners) to accommodate a taller mattress, extra-wide top sheets, or different finishing details that you may find that you like.
Here are the best cotton sheets:
- Best overall: L.L.Bean 280 Thread Count Pima Cotton Percale Sheet Set
- Best sateen sheets: Brooklinen Luxe Core Sheet Set
- Best on a budget: Threshold Performance Sheet Set
- Best luxurious sheets: Snowe Sateen Sheet Set
- Best organic cotton sheets: Boll & Branch Signature Soft Hemmed Sheet Set
- Best percale cotton: Parachute Percale Sheet Set
- Best affordable organic cotton sheets: Saatva Dreams Lofton Organic Sheet Set
Updated on 1/17/2020 by Jen Gushue: Updated pricing, links, and formatting.
The best cotton sheets overall
- L.L. Bean
The 280-thread-count Pima Cotton Percale Sheets from L.L.Bean are crisp, cool, and soft to the touch at a lower price than comparable sheets.
L.L.Bean’s moderately-priced pima cotton sheets receive consistently stellar reviews from buyers and professional testers alike. In fact, they topped our list when we compared sheets of various materials as well.
Made from 100% pima cotton in a percale weave, these sheets feel crisp and clean, but also softer than some other percale sheets. The sheets do well after washing, coming out soft and unwrinkled, and reviewers like the 15-inch pocket, which works with standard 10-inch-deep mattresses without moving out of position.
In our testing, these sheets had a soft hand feel right out of the packaging and they were cool and soft to sleep on. Repeat buyers comment that the sheets get even softer after washing. L.L.Bean’s sheets have been the Wirecutter’s top pick for cotton sheets six years running, both for comfort and for the reasonable pricing
L.L.Bean used a classic hemstitch detail on the flat sheets and the set is available in eight soft colors. You can choose between twin, full, queen, and king sizes. L.L.Bean offers a generous return policy, so you can get a 100% refund if you return them within one year. That way, you can feel comfortable testing them out with little risk.
Pros: Smooth, crisp feel, durability, reasonable price
Cons: Only fit mattresses up to 15 inches thick, no bright colors
The best sateen sheets
The Brooklinen Luxe Core Sheet Set is buttery-soft, and the price tag is more affordable than comparable sheets.
Brooklinen’s Luxe Core Sheet set is buttery-soft from the moment you open the packaging. The brand was launched on Kickstarter in 2014 by husband-and-wife team Vicki and Rich Fulop, and Brooklinen has gained a cult following in the industry for its luxurious and affordable bedding.
The sheets are an ongoing favorite here at Business Insider. Our editors have used the sheets for years and insist that they get even softer with age. Brooklinen’s sheets are also a top pick from Good Housekeeping’s textile labs, which found the sheets to be strong and pill-resistant with multiple washings.
Made of 100% long-staple cotton in a rich sateen weave, the fabric is Oeko-Tex certified and free of harmful chemicals. Heavier and softer than Brooklinen’s classic line, the Luxe sheets feel smooth and cozy. These sheets are a premium offering that comes at a more affordable price than comparable luxury sheets, which can cost as much as $300 to $400.
When I tested them, Brooklinen’s sheets lived up to all the hype. It felt amazing to slip into them on a chilly night. The pillowcases have a pocket to keep them in place, which is a feature I love for tidiness.
Available in twelve neutral-toned colors and simple patterns, these sheets will work in just about any space. They’re available in twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, and California king sizes. And Brooklinen offers a 60-day no-questions-asked return policy, so you can feel confident in a sight-unseen purchase.
Pros: Super soft, lots of color and pattern options,
Cons: Shorter mattress depth
The best cotton sheets on a budget
The Threshold Performance Sheet Set is way cheaper than most brands without losing out on comfort.
At a fraction of the price of other sateen sheets, the Threshold Performance Sheet Sets are a bargain price for 100% cotton sheets that don’t sacrifice comfort. The 16-inch deep pocket on the fitted sheet has two layers of elastic to create a patented “stretch and fit to hold” performance that keeps the fitted sheet in place for mattresses of various depths.
These sheets are also Oeko-Tex certified to be free of harmful chemicals. Target sells the sheets in tons of solid colors, so they’re a great option for people who like to coordinate sheets to their decor. To the touch, the Threshold sheets feel crisper than other sateen sheets, making them a good compromise for couples with different sleep preferences.
These sheets can be returned in-store or online for up to a year after purchase, though you may have trouble if the packaging is opened. They are available in twin, full, queen, and king sizes. Threshold’s sheets are also the top budget pick at Wirecutter, where testers found the sheets to be just as durable as pricier brands, but slightly more wrinkle-prone and less breathable.
Pros: Available in 21 colors, well-priced, 16-inch pocket depth
Cons: Slightly less soft and breathable than other brands
The best luxurious sheets
The Snowe Sateen Sheet Sets are the silkiest we tested and well-priced for truly luxurious sheets.
For a sumptuous-feeling sheet with a silky texture, consider Snowe’s Sateen Sheet set. These 400-thread-count sheets are made in Portugal from 100% long-staple cotton, and they are Oeko-Tex certified to be free of harmful chemicals. At under $200 for a queen, the sheets fit in between the mid-priced and luxury space for sateen sheets.
To the touch, these sheets are soft and smooth, with none of the itchiness that some feel with sateen sheets. The sheets are generously sized, too. A 17-inch pocket depth can work for thicker mattresses, and the oversized 100 by 112-inch flat sheet gives you plenty of space to tuck in, fold over and generally not fight with your partner compared to the standard 90 by 106-inch flat sheet.
Snowe’s sheet sets come with a 90-day satisfaction guarantee, so you have plenty of time to try them out, wash them, and see how you like them. The sheets are available in four neutral colors and in full, queen or king sizes (no twin). The brand is a top Wirecutter pick for its percale sheets, as well.
Pros: Soft, luxurious, extra-large top sheet, 17-inch deep mattress pocket
Cons: On the pricey side, limited color options, no twin-sized option
The best organic cotton sheets
- Boll and Branch
If organic cotton and Fair Trade standards are important to you, the Boll & Branch Signature Soft Solid Hemmed Sheet Sets will help you sleep easy.
Boll & Branch’s sateen sheets are made from 300-thread-count long-staple organic cotton, which makes them an unusual find since only 2% of the world’s cotton is considered organic. Beyond that, they’re both GOTS certified (which means the whole manufacturing process is considered organic) and Fair Trade certified, which means they hit standards for ethical wages and working conditions.
If that alone doesn’t make you feel good about the sheets, the quality of the fabric will convince you. We found them to be super soft and silky to the touch.
Boll & Branch’s sheets were also top pick at the Good Housekeeping textile labs, where testers found that the sheets keep their generous sizing even after washing. Although they’re more expensive than other sheets, they’re a luxury that’s worth it.
The sheets are available in several tasteful colors and have a 17-inch deep pocket to accommodate taller mattresses. Boll & Branch sells the sheets in twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king, and split king sizes. These sheets can be returned for free for a full refund within 30 days.
Pros: Super-soft, organic, good color range, 17-inch-deep pocket, more size options
Cons: Slightly less soft and breathable than other brands
The best luxurious percale cotton sheets
The Parachute Percale Sheet Set offers understated luxury in a crisp, soft sheet.
While still crisp and cool to sleep in, Parachute’s percale sheets were the softest straight out of the packaging. Crafted from 100% long-staple Egyptian cotton, the sheets are made in a family-owned factory in Portugal and are Oeko-Tex certified as well.
Instead of the classic standard pillowcase, this sheet set offers a pocket-style pillowcase with no overhanging edges for a clean and simple look. For the 40% of sleepers out there who don’t use a top sheet, the sets can be bought for less without a flat sheet.
These sheets are available in both light and dark colors and you can return them with free shipping for a full refund within 60 days. Parachute sells the sheets in twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, and California king sizes.
The Good Housekeeping textile labs found these to be pill-resistant, strong, and shrink-resistant in its tests and chose them as a favorite percale sheet.
Pros: Super-soft, pocket-style pillow covers, available without a flat sheet, many size options
Cons: On the pricey side, limited color options
The best organic cotton sheets
The Saatva Dreams Lofton Organic Sheets feel luxurious, are organic and fair trade certified, and will have you feeling like you’re sleeping in a 5-star hotel.
Saatva, a company known for its luxury hybrid mattresses, has recently come out with a line of premium bedding called Saatva Dreams, which includes sheets and pillows. I tested the for myself to see if they lived up to the promises of comfort, breathability, and quality. I’m happy to say I wasn’t disappointed.
These are considered luxury sheets, and that experience begins from the moment you unbox them. They’re thoughtfully packaged in a canvas bag nestled in a white box, finished off with a blue bow – making them perfect to give as a gift as well. I especially like that these sheets are 100% organic and Fair Trade, so there’s no need to worry about any insecticides or pesticides, and the factory workers making them are fairly compensated.
Each sheet set comes with two pillowcases, one fitted sheet, and one flat sheet and is available in three neutral colors: white, ivory, and gray. The fitted sheet features deeper pockets that can be used with mattresses that are up to 15 inches deep.
I liked that these sheets were comfortable right out of the package thanks to the sateen weave, and they’ve only gotten softer with each wash. Along with being comfortable, they wash and dry extremely well.
Putting them back on the mattress after washing is also made easier thanks to the tag that labels the foot/head of the sheets so you can put them on the right way the first time around. I also found that they live up to the promise of sleeping cool. This is likely thanks to the 300-thread count and single ply thread that allows for a light-feeling sheet that’s breathable.
Even though they’re expensive, considering the organic cotton used and the fact that these sheets are sustainably made does help justify the price. The luxurious feel doesn’t hurt, either. These sheets exemplify the saying “you get what you pay for” and in this case, you won’t be disappointed.
Other reviewers were equally as impressed as I was with the Lofton Organic Sheet Set. The Sleep Sherpa describes these as “an excellent sheet for day to day use as they are durable and will hold up to regular wear and tear.”
Shipping is free, and if for some reason you do find that these sheets aren’t right for you, there is a 45-day return policy for extra peace of mind. – Kylie Joyner
Pros: Soft and comfortable, durable, breathable, made from organic cotton, Fair Trade certified
A word on weave and the different types of cotton
- Boll and Branch
The different kinds of cotton
Cotton is a fabric made from the fibers that surround the seed of a cotton plant. Depending on the variety of plant and where it’s grown, those fibers can either be long (“long-staple”) or short. The longer the better, in terms of softness, because the ends of shorter fibers can stick out of the fabric and make it less comfortable.
Egyptian cotton is the gold standard because of its long, thin, and durable fibers. Just be sure to check the packaging to be certain that the sheets are made of 100% Egyptian cotton, as some “Egyptian cotton” only has a small percentage in the blend. Pima cotton (sometimes known by the brand Supima) is second-softest.
Most other cotton is American upland cotton, which has shorter, weaker fibers than the other two, though it’s still comfortable for many people. “While Egyptian cotton is associated with finer fabrics, it really depends how the sheeting is made,” says Kristie Rhodes, manager of product development at Cotton Incorporated.
What do the weaves mean
There are two basic cotton weaves: Percale and sateen. Percale is a basic weave, with an equal number of threads running vertically and horizontally, that gives sheets a crisp, cool feel. Sateen is a heavier weave, with more threads running vertically than horizontally, that can give sheets a smoother, softer finish. For most people, it comes down to personal preference.
Beyond that, you’ve probably heard the term “thread count” bounced around as a measure of quality. That refers to the number of threads woven into a square inch of fabric, and in general, the more threads, the softer it will feel. The textile labs at Good Housekeeping have found that the sweet spot is between 300 to 500 thread-count, though you can find comfortable sheets at lower thread counts.
Rhodes warns that sometimes super-high counts are artificially inflated, by counting a two-ply yarn as two threads to double the count. Rhodes says that a too-high thread count can actually be less comfortable and feel “over-constructed.”
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