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How to Find a Cool Sheet That Will Get Rid of Night Sweats

Summary: Night sweats are the #1 reason to buy cooling sheets, especially for menopausal women. Identify the right type of cooling sheets for your body type. Natural fabrics, especially cotton, are a safe choice for people with moderate sweating. Some synthetic fabrics are better for people with heavy sweating. Bamboo sheets are also a good choice, despite the hype. Beware of 'superior cotton' and 'performance sheets'. Percale sheets in medium threadcount (200-350) are usually cool, although the two coolest sheets we found after extensive testing don't belong to that category. 

Read on to learn:

Why should you listen to us?

We have sold over 10 million sheets since 1978. Costco, Kohl's,Walmart, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, etc have all sold our sheets. 

We’re America’s largest sheet specialists and sheet geeks.

We test how sheets feel on award-winning equipment. We test how soft, cool, crisp, etc each sheet feels to your touch. Because sheets have hand-enhancers to make them feel good when new, we wash every sheet 10 times and then test it again. Then we select the best performing sheets to sell on our website. 

We have tested 825 top-selling sheets made of almost every type of material and weave. 

Night sweats are the #1 reason to buy cooling sheets

It’s not easy to nail down a perfect temperature range to help you to get to sleep. It differs slightly depending on several factors, including your age and gender. Night sweats are common for both men and women: 41% of people visiting a doctor have had night sweats at least once in the past month. 

Specifically, menopausal women experience the worst kind of night sweats. They have just a few options. Medical treatment choices are expensive and could have dangerous side effects. 

The safest course of action for women in menopause is to make lifestyle changes. This includes using cooling bed sheets.

But there are also other reasons to consider a cooling bed sheet 

  • High internal temperature. The body usually maintains its temperature in a healthy range. But you can have a high internal temperature. This could happen with some illnesses such as diabetes or hyperthyroidism. Or it could happen for no reason. Either way, a high internal temperature disrupts your sleep cycles. This hampers your ability to get high-quality deep sleep. 
  • Memory foam mattresses retain heat they absorb while you sleep. Effective cooling sheets will help dissipate that heat.
  • Humid climate. If you live in a humid climate, you will sweat more.
  • She's hot, he's not. Couples fighting over the AC remote is not uncommon. Reportedly, 25% of married couples argue about temperature control. Are you "thermally incompatible" with your partner? If you sleep hot, the right kind of cooling sheets will stop things from heating up.

  • Night sweats in children. If you are a parent, your child may have night sweats. You may have seen your child drenched in sweat when you check on him at night. The right sheets will make sure your child is well-rested.

Sometimes, changing sheets with the season feels like the right way to welcome a new season. For example, at the start of summer, start using your cooling sheets. Tell yourself that it's officially time to laze in bed with your favorite cold beverage!

Why is it so hard to find a cooling sheet?

Because most of them are not right for you. Each type of cooling sheet works for a specific type of people. 

Everyone’s body is different. Usually when the body gets hot, it sweats to cool down. But sometimes, you could be hot and not sweat much. Or you could have cold sweats without feeling hot. This could be because of hormonal changes, stress, illnesses, etc.

Similarly, there are different types of cooling sheets:

Breathable sheets: They prevent sweat building up by encouraging ventilation.  

Absorbent sheets: if you do perspire, these absorb the sweat. 

Moisture wicking sheets: These sheets pull the sweat from your skin and send it to the outside of the sheets. From there, the sweat evaporates into the air.

No one type of sheet is the best, but each has specific advantages.

How to find a cooling sheet?

There are 2 things that determine how cool a sheet is:

1. Material - what the sheet is made of

2. Construction - how the sheet is made, its threadcount, weave, etc. 

Natural sheets are a safe choice for moderate sweating

Cooling sheets have traditionally been made of natural materials like cotton. They are a safe choice because they have stood the test of time. 

The biggest advantage of natural fabrics is they absorb moisture. But there is a limit to how much sweat they can absorb. Sheets are quite thin and so they can get drenched. 

So they are good for sleepers with light to moderate sweating.

But synthetic sheets are better at handling heavy sweating

Synthetic sheets are usually made of polyester, microfiber or high-tech performance blends. Some ‘experts’ recommend that you avoid synthetic sheets if you are a hot and sweaty sleeper. 

That’s not true.

It's true that synthetic sheets are not good at cooling you down. 

But they can get rid of more sweat than any natural sheet can

This is because natural sheets absorb moisture, but synthetic sheets wick away moisture. Once a natural sheet gets drenched with sweat, it can't absorb any more. But sweat continually evaporates from the outside of a synthetic sheet. So it can continue to wick away more.  

Synthetic sheets are great for sleepers with heavy sweating.

For instance, our No Sweat sheet is the best sheet we've found for dryness after testing over 800 sheets. No Sweat is made of polyester and nylon. It has topped our tests for dryness. It also scores well on coolness and is much smoother than cotton. This works very well for people with extra-sensitive skin. 

Cotton sheets are the most popular natural sheets

You can't go wrong with cotton sheets for coolness. Cotton's two biggest strengths are: it transmits heat well, and it absorbs moisture well. It cools you down better than any other natural material.

It is also more durable and affordable than most alternatives. 

Cotton has 2 drawbacks:

  • Doesn't hold color well. In standard tests called dry crocking tests, cotton generally tends to rub off color. It also becomes stiff and cardboard-y when dyed with dark colors.
  • Wrinkles easily, especially if it's pure cotton. Treatments to reduce wrinkles wash out after a few washes. Pure cotton sheets will wrinkle. 

Be cautious about ‘superior cotton’

There are 3 main kinds of superior cotton used in cooling sheets. Egyptian cotton, Pima cotton and Supima cotton. They are superior to regular cotton because their fibers are extra-long. Sheets made from longer fibers are softer and more durable. 

1. Egyptian cotton is a much-abused term 

Authentic Egyptian cotton was traditionally the gold standard for cotton sheets. It was soft and durable, even if it wrinkled. 

But "Egyptian cotton" has become a much-abused term. A lot of manufacturers claim that their sheets are made of 100% Egyptian cotton. But there is no policing system to check if their claims are real. It's not uncommon to hear complaints from 'Egyptian cotton''s dissatisfied customers

2. Pima cotton can produce some of the coolest sheets

Pima cotton is a high-grade cotton grown in the US, Australia and Peru. Its fibers are finer, smoother and stronger than regular cotton fibers. 

The coolest sheet we have ever found, after testing 825 sheets is Easy Breezy. Woven in Portugal, it is made of 100% pure Pima cotton. It is also the lightest sheet we've ever tested.

What makes Easy Breezy so cool and light?

Easy Breezy is so light because the yarn used is very fine (thin). To create this fine yarn, the mill has to work with very small batches. It has to spin and weave the yarn much slower to create that level of quality.

But Pima carries the same risk as Egyptian cotton. Without testing in a fabric lab, it is hard to tell if a sheet is truly made of Pima. Often manufacturers will label their sheet "Pima cotton sheet" when it only has 30% Pima cotton. 

3. Supima is the best cotton for cooling sheets 

Supima is the best cotton for cooling sheets. It has the longest staple fibers used in sheets, and is 100% grown in America. Supima fibers have fewer loose ends. So they're less likely to form pills (rough little balls on the surface of the sheet). 

The best part about Supima is its reliability. It is tightly regulated from the cotton farm to the finished sheet. 

For example, inspectors regularly visit Supima factories. They make sure Supima is not mixed with other fibers. They also make sure it is not woven on the same machines that weave non-Supima products.

To prevent adulteration, Supima cotton is tagged with DNA markers. A manufacturer cannot make a sheet with 10% Supima and 90% inferior cotton and pass it off as a genuine Supima sheet.

The only downsides of Supima is that it is expensive, and has few producers. 

We found two sheets made of Supima that are very cool - Supercale and White Tie. Supercale is a cool & crisp sheet. It feels similar to the best cotton sheets of the 70s and 80s. White Tie is a crisper, high threadcount (more on that later) sheet.

If Supima is superior to Pima, why are our two Supima sheets not as cool as our Pima sheet (Easy Breezy)? 

It goes to show that using the best cotton is not everything. How that cotton is spun and woven to construct the sheet matters.

Percale is usually the best weave for cooling sheets

The two most popular weaves for cotton sheets are percale and sateen. 

Percale is lightweight, crisp and durable

Sateen is soft, smooth and has a lustrous sheen on the surface.

Percale is cooler than sateen because 

  1. it has a looser weave than sateen, thus allowing heat to escape, and 
  2. it creates a crisper sheet that allows easier ventilation than sateen does.

But sateen is dryer than percale because it’s drapier. It sits much closer to your body thus absorbing any excess sweat on the skin.

If you shop for a cooling sheet at a store that only offers these two weaves, percale is a better bet.

But there are other weaves that are sometimes cooler than percale.

Look at the 3 coolest sheets we found after extensive testing:

So looking for percale is a useful rule of thumb, but it’s not definitive.

Just like threadcount.

Medium threadcount sheets are usually best for cooling sheets

High threadcount sheets feel more cozy and luxurious than low threadcount sheets. Often they are more durable. 

There are two issues with high threadcount sheets:

1. It’s hard to find genuine high threadcount sheets.

Threadcount is the number of threads used in one square inch of fabric. To increase the threadcount of a sheet, manufacturers usually have to use finer yarn. This generally makes the sheet higher quality.

So shoppers started looking for high threadcount sheets.

Manufacturers figured this. Some of them started to artificially increase the threadcounts of their sheets

Buying a high threadcount sheet is like a box of chocolates, as Forrest Gump’s mamma would have said.  You never know what you’re gonna get.

2. High threadcount sheets trap heat. 

High threadcount sheets have a tighter weave to pack in all those fine yarns. This tighter weave means the gaps between the yarns are fewer, and smaller so heat isn't allowed to escape but is trapped instead.

Medium threadcount sheets (200-350) are your best bet for cooling sheets.

But just like with the type of cotton and weave used, this is only a rule of thumb. 

Let’s look at the three coolest sheets we found in our testing:

Our 500 threadcount sheets are too high to be considered medium threadcount. But they are much cooler than other sheets.

Beyond cotton, other materials are used to make cooling sheets.

Bamboo sheets are cool, breathable and absorbent 

With bamboo sheets, we need to separate the facts from the hype.

First, the good news.

Bamboo sheets are light, smooth, breathable and antibacterial. They are also cooler to the touch than cotton sheets.

Beyond that, bamboo can absorb 40% more water than cotton. So a bamboo sheet is a great choice to absorb sweat. 

But like with other natural materials, there’s only so much sweat bamboo sheets can absorb. With profuse sweating, bamboo sheets will get drenched and cannot absorb any more.

Bamboo sheets are also very pliable. They drape close to the skin and absorb even more sweat. 

Bamboo sheets are terrific cooling sheets for people who have trouble falling asleep, and who may sweat moderately. 

Despite the bamboo hype.

Bamboo sheets became popular because they were considered quick-drying, soft, anti-microbial and eco-friendly. All of these claims are at least partially false.

Compared to cotton, bamboo sheets are not any more quick-drying or softer. For instance, our Easy Breezy sheets are softer than any bamboo sheet we’ve tested.

Are bamboo sheets anti-microbial and eco-friendly? The FTC found that "bamboo sheets" could be made from any plant or tree. This is because they are made of rayon, a material that can be made from the cellulose of any plant or tree. All rayon sheets are anti-microbial, so are bamboo sheets. 

Further, your bamboo sheets are not as sustainable and eco-friendly as they claim to be. This is because manufacturers need harsh chemicals to help convert stiff bamboo stalks into soft silky fibers

Why did bamboo sheets acquire all this hype? Manufacturers love bamboo sheets because bamboo grows very densely and rapidly. So cultivating bamboo is inexpensive. And with its popular reputation of being eco-friendly, they can charge high prices for it.

Bottomline: Compared to cotton, bamboo sheets are more absorbent and anti-microbial. They’re not more quick-drying, softer or more eco-friendly.

The best bamboo sheet we found is Second Skin, after testing over 800 sheets. It tested as being an effective cooling sheet, very soft, and it was the drapiest set of sheets we have ever tested. It’s sourced from a top-notch reliable supplier in China, where a fifth of the world’s bamboo is grown. It also has the Oeko-Tex certification (Certificate Number BWHO-103206). This confirms that the sheets have been tested for the absence of 100 harmful chemicals. This takes care of one of the big issues most bamboo sheets have. That’s why we love recommending Second Skin.

Do you you like bamboo sheets but need an eco-friendlier alternative? Tencel sheets are a good option.

Tencel sheets are an eco-friendlier alternative to bamboo sheets

Tencel sheets are produced similar to bamboo sheets, with two differences: 

A) More sustainable. They are made from eucalyptus trees, which grow easily in areas not friendly to vegetation, and

B) Fewer chemicals. Lenzing Fabrics, an Austrian company produces Tencel. It uses a non-toxic solvent to extract the cellulose from the wood. This solvent is easier to filter and re-use. 

Tencel fibers have all the advantages of bamboo sheets. Plus they are more eco-friendly. Their main drawback is that they are very expensive. Sometimes they are twice the price of a genuine Egyptian cotton sheet.

Linen is a good option, if you like a textured feel:

Linen clothing is a great option for hot & humid climates, or in the summer. 

But surprisingly, linen sheets are not as cool as you would expect. Research shows that cotton is up to 16% cooler than linen. Our tests confirm this result. The average coolness score of linen sheets we tested was 58 (out of 100), while for cotton sheets, it was 73. 

Linen also has a coarse texture prone to extreme wrinkling. This is popular with some people who like the casual lived-in look. For others, it can take some getting used to. 

Linen sheets are more expensive than cotton sheets. But quality linen sheets are more durable. We prefer linen sheets from Belgium, France and Portugal. They shed and shrink less.

Where linen excels is at at absorbing sweat. Its hollow core holds 50% more water than cotton. Linen sheets are therefore good for sleepers who have light to moderate sweating.

If you are looking for linen’s specific texture and feel, go for it. Otherwise, a bamboo sheet is a cooler alternative.

Cotton flannel is good for sweaty sleepers in the winter

Wait.. aren’t flannel sheets supposed to keep you warm in the winter?

That’s true, but some of us have night sweats even during winter. That’s when cotton flannel sheets are a good breathable option.

Flannel sheets are great to keep the bed instantly warm for you in the winter. But they don't have to make you hot and sweaty. A high-quality cotton flannel sheet will keep the bed warm for you all night. But it will absorb moisture and prevent you from overheating. 

Let It Snow is the best cotton flannel sheet we've found in our tests. It has extra-fine yarn that is closely woven. This packs 10% more cotton than other cotton flannel sheets.

Tip: Want a neat trick to stay comfortable in the summer? Place a flannel sheet between your regular top sheet and your blanket or comforter. The cotton flannel will make your whole bed much, much softer -- without warming you up.

Read our guide on flannel sheets for the winter to learn more.

Stay away from silk sheets

Silk is definitely not a good choice if you're looking for cool bed sheets. While having an instant touch that feels cool, silk is finely woven and the fabric tends to trap heat. Fancy winter gloves have liners made of silk!

If you want a cooling sheet that looks and feels like silk, Tencel sheets are probably a good option. 

Synthetic sheets are best to help profuse sweating 

Polyester sheets are not very good at conducting heat. Especially when woven tightly, they trap heat from escaping.

But they are very good at wicking away sweat to the outside of the sheet from where it can dry away. Because the sweat evaporates and dries up, the sheet can continue to wick away more sweat. That’s why polyester sheets are the best cooling sheets if you sweat profusely at night.

Polyester sheets are also very durable, inexpensive and dye well. They are usually blended with other materials where the polyester lends its strength.

For instance, our No Sweat sheets are the driest set of sheets we’ve tested. It cools effectively. It is a blend of polyester and nylon.

Microfiber sheets are okay for tight budgets

Microfiber sheets are synthetic sheets made of polyester and other synthetic materials. Microfiber sheets have many advantages over other fabrics:

  • Inexpensive compared to most fabrics
  • Wick moisture well
  • Hold color well even when dyed or printed with the darkest of colors
  • Can be washed and dried without a lot of precautions
  • Don't wrinkle easily, unlike cotton

Microfiber doesn't absorb but simply wicks moisture away

Microfiber sheets are stretchy. Some people don't like them because they feel the sheets are too clingy. Others appreciate the low prices, rich colors and low maintenance of microfiber sheets. The weight of microfiber sheets is a good guide to their quality. Be wary of inexpensive microfiber sheets as these are generally too thin and will not last. 

Performance sheets are not that great at cooling you down

We see a lot of sheets being sold nowadays that claim to be all about performance. Do these high-tech sheets work as well as they claim?

Take Sheex for instance. Their TV commercials are gorgeous to look at, and they claim to make cool sheets. But when tested, their sheets have very average scores on coolness (53 on a scale of 100).

Why are Sheex sheets so ineffective at cooling? For one, they are knitted, not woven. You’ll see knits most often in your cozy old t-shirts. They are stretchy, pliable and clingy. They sit close to your skin and reduce ventilation. So while they are soft, they are not ideal for making cooling sheets. 

Further, Sheex is made of polyester (87%) and spandex (13%). This makes it more likely to wick away sweat, rather than cool you down.

Like other knitted sheets, Sheex sheets are good at keeping you dry, not at keeping you cool.

High-tech fabrics work well if they have permanent treatments

There are other performance sheets made of high-tech fabrics.

For instance, Nano-tex says it uses nanotechnology to "transform the molecular structure of fabrics". It also supposedly has an "advanced moisture-wicking system." claims to balance skin temperature using embedded microcapsules. These "absorb heat and prevent moisture from even making an appearance". 

Do high-tech sheets work? Some high tech sheets perform very well before their first wash. But after a few washes, the chemical finish wears out and the sheets lose their coolness. This is why some customers leave rave reviews after their first night on those sheets. But a couple of months and a few washes later, they are disillusioned.

Look for high-tech treatments that are permanent. These treatments make mechanical enhancements to the yarn such as introducing heat-absorbing particles. So they don't wash out.

Even so, keep your expectations low with high-tech sheets. They can absorb only a tiny amount of heat. The parts of the sheet in contact with your skin gets heated up quickly. We have never found a high-tech sheet that is cool enough to win our tests.

The only way to decide if a high tech sheet is cool is by testing it after many washes, which is what we do.

The best cooling sheets we have found:

  • Easy Breezy: Our coolest sheets. Exceptionally breathable, and weigh half as much as  sheets with the same threadcount. Made in Portugal from Pima cotton.
  • White Tie: Crisp, full-bodied sheets. Made in India from Supima, the best cotton for sheets because of smoothness and durability. 
  • Supercale: Outstanding combination of cooling and crispness. Easy to maintain sheets. Made from Supima in Italy.
  • Second Skin: Cool-to-the-touch bamboo sheets. Very drapey. Made in China from bamboo rayon/viscose.
  • No Sweat: Our best sheet for dryness. Best for profuse sweating. Blend of polyester and nylon. Very smooth and hypoallergenic.