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The 10 Very Best Cooling Sheets

Options for anyone who is always chasing the cool side of the pillow.

Photo: Marcus McDonald
Photo: Marcus McDonald

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Sixty-five degrees: That’s the ideal temperature for a good night’s sleep, according to clinical sleep educator Terry Cralle. Certified pediatric and adult sleep consultant Kelly Murray agrees. “Sleeping in sheets that maintain a cool body temperature is imperative for a good night’s sleep, as your body temperature needs to lower by a few degrees to synthesize melatonin,” she says. But cracking the window or kicking a leg out from under the comforter sometimes isn’t enough, especially if you’re someone who runs hot. Which is why swapping in cooling sheets — whether they’re made of a looser-weave fabric that lets air released by your body flow through them more easily or from material that’s known to effectively wick away moisture from sweaty sleepers — can be an effective way to combat overheating and lead to more restful nights. We talked to 13 sleep doctors and experts to hear their recommendations about the crispest, coolest sheets out there.

What we’re looking for


Most of the sleep experts we spoke to agreed that sheets made of natural fibers, like cotton and linen, are your best bet for sweaty sleepers because they’re the most breathable (and therefore cooling). When it comes to cotton, the weave of a fabric matters, too. “Specific weaves like cotton percale tend to be more cooling for hot sleepers than sateen,” according to Dr. Shelby Harris, director of sleep health at Sleepopolis. That’s because percale sheets have a tight one-over, one-under weave, which makes them cooler and more lightweight than sateen options, which have a looser (and more dense) three-over-one weave.

Sheets made from naturally derived fibers (the material is considered to semi-synthetic) can also be cooling. Lyocell, which also goes by brand name Tencel, is a type of rayon made from eucalyptus trees and is considered a semi-synthetic fiber because of how it’s processed (generally speaking, the wood is broken down then dissolved using a chemical process to create a wood pulp, or cellulose, that’s then spun into fibers). The resulting fabric is soft and lightweight, and it’s known to have good temperature- and moisture-regulating properties. Bamboo is another type of rayon as it’s made from bamboo wood and goes through a similar process as lyocell; it is also considered to be soft to the touch and cooling. (Bamboo-derived materials are also considered sustainable, due to the fast-growing nature of the treelike grass.)

Moisture wicking

While all these sheets are breathable, if you’re a sweaty sleeper, you’ll want to look for bedding that not only promotes airflow but absorbs moisture and draws it away from your body. However, as Keith Cushner, executive director of product testing at Sleep Foundation, points out, some sheets that claim to be cooling can be deceiving. “Calling sheets moisture wicking doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be breathable,” he explains, which is why he says you should take careful note of the material of any sheets that promise to cool you down before investing in a pair. (All the options shown below, no matter what material they’re made of, are queen size, unless noted otherwise.)

Best cooling cotton sheets

Material: Organic cotton percale

If breathability is your biggest concern, go for sheets made of a natural fiber like cotton. Within the cotton category, percale was recommended by seven of our panelists including Cralle; Cushner; Dr. Margarita Oks, a pulmonologist at Lenox Hill Hospital; psychotherapist Heather Turgeon, the co-author of The Happy Sleeper; Ben Trapskin, the founder of bedding-review site the Sleep Sherpa; and Harris. “Percale is naturally very crisp,” says Oks, “making it easier and more comfortable for people to sleep.” Cralle notes that the matte finish of percale sheets “is going to be cooler than sateen,” which, as mentioned above, is more dense because of the way it’s woven.

Cushner adds that percale-cotton sheets are the way to go if you’re looking for something that’s both cooling and affordable. In terms of how to choose a percale set, Trapskin says to look for a single-ply thread count — meaning that each thread used in the sheets is made of one strand of yarn rather than two. Trapskin likes this affordable set from Sol Organics. “Organic sheets aren’t treated with harsh pesticides, which can weaken the cotton fibers,” Trapskin says. “These sheets are durable and sustainable from an environmental and economic perspective.”

Best cooling linen sheets

Material: Linen, Oeko-Tex certified

Several of the sleep experts we spoke to suggested linen sheets. According to Dr. Joshua Tal, a psychologist who specializes in sleep disorders, they are very breathable and “pick up cool air.” Oks says that since linen is made of a looser weave than, say, a cotton sheet with a high thread count, it traps less heat. Harris agrees. “I tend to prefer linen sheets because they’re breathable and cooler overall than cotton,” she says. “I also love the crisp, clean look.” Cushner agrees that linen is the most breathable of bedding materials but admits it is often pricier than cotton and can feel a little rougher at first. Brooklinen’s linen sheets, available in 11 colors and patterns, are a favorite of Cushner, Trapskin, and Oks, who says many of her sleep-apnea patients have been happy with these sheets. Former Strategist senior writer Lauren Levy also raved about them, saying, “It won’t feel chilled when you slip into bed, but instead of waking up in a pool of sweat from heat-locking fabrics, you’ll stay fully temperature-controlled throughout the night.”

Best cooling (organic) linen sheets

Material: Organic GOTS-certified linen

Murray recommends linen sheets for hot sleepers because they’re “porous, directing heat away from the body to keep you cool,” she says. She especially likes these from Avocado, because they’re spun from 100 percent GOTS organic certified French linen. “Unlike more traditional linen sheets, which can feel a bit rough, these sheets are garment washed so they are supersoft right out of the box,” she tells us. (They’re also a favorite of interior designer Lauren Ashley Allan, who agrees that they are “breathable, durable, and sustainable” and have a “relaxed, carefree look.”

Best cooling lyocell sheets

Material: Eucalyptus lyocell 

Eucalyptus, or lyocell, is another naturally cool fiber to look for in a set of sheets, according to Oks, who says, “It generally has some natural temperature-regulating properties.” While she notes that the cooling effect of eucalyptus sheets has not been scientifically proven, the fact that it’s a “very breathable” fiber is one reason why she says it feels “so nice on somebody’s skin when they’re sweating at night.” Oks told us her patients are fans of the brand Sheets & Giggles, which specializes in eucalyptus sheets. (If you want to try a eucalyptus-based comforter, former Strategist writer Lori Keong wrote that sleeping under Buffy’s was like “being cocooned in a cold compress.”)

Best cooling Tencel sheets

Material: Tencel lyocell | Moisture wicking: Yes

For sweaty sleepers who want something breathable that’s also moisture wicking, Harris, Cralle, Tal, Cushner, and Trapskin suggest sheets made of Tencel, a brand of lyocell. The fabric is “better at absorbing moisture than most other fibers, making it great for sweaty sleepers,” according to Trapskin, who adds that Tencel is “naturally wrinkle resistant and a sustainable material.” Dr. Michael Gelb, a sleep specialist, recommends these Tencel sheets from Sheex. Annie Schlecht, an occupational therapist and certified sleep consultant, loves Sheex for “people who really struggle with night sweats and have tried more organic materials without success.”

Best cooling Tencel-cotton-blend sheets

Material: Tencel-cotton blend, 300 thread count | Moisture wicking: Yes

If you want to try Tencel sheets at an even lower price point, Trapskin recommends these from Molecule. The sheets are made of a Tencel-cotton blend, which, thanks to the cotton, “will give the sheets a more familiar feel.” Trapskin says Molecule sheets nail the perfect blend — and the brand makes a cooling mattress if sheets alone aren’t doing the job.

Best cooling bamboo sheets

Material: Bamboo viscose | Moisture wicking: Yes

Like lyocell, bamboo sheets get high marks from sleep doctors. Tal likes how they’re both lightweight and soft, and Harris is a fan because bamboo is “hypoallergenic, ecofriendly, and cool to the touch.” Anishka Clarke, a co-owner of Ishka Designs, told us these 100 percent bamboo-rayon sheets are “softer than you’d imagine. Supersoft. Like, baby soft on your skin” and extremely durable — generally lasting twice as long as cotton.

Best (less expensive) cooling bamboo sheets

Material: Bamboo rayon | Moisture-Wicking: Yes

Airbnb host Brandon Lee, who identifies as a hot sleeper, uses these more affordable — and “extremely breathable” — 100 percent bamboo-rayon sheets. He says the fabric “outperforms almost every other bedsheet fabric I’ve tried including linen, cotton, and Egyptian silk.” Bamboo rayon, he adds, is “not only softer and more lightweight” than other fabrics but moisture wicking too.

Best cooling bamboo-lyocell sheets

Material: Bamboo lyocell

While the two sheets above are made from bamboo viscose, these Ettitude ones are made from bamboo lyocell. Also derived from bamboo, these are spun in a similar but different, close-looped manufacturing process that requires less water and fewer chemicals, making them a slightly more ecoconscious choice. They’re recommended by Strategist contributor and self-proclaimed “sweaty person” Jolie de Feis, who wrote that they’re “softer and stronger” than bamboo viscose as well as noticeably different in “quality, feel, and performance” than the Tencel sheets she’s tried in the past. “As someone who has frequently slept on a towel to avoid changing my sheets multiple times per week, I am genuinely astonished every morning when I wake up sweat free,” she wrote. Not only are they cooling, they also feel “luxurious,” according to de Feis, and come in a range of pleasing colors and patterns.

Best silver-infused cooling sheets

Material: Ionic silver yarn, Supima cotton | Moisture wicking: Yes

These sheets from Silvon are woven with Supima cotton and silver fiber, which is known to have antibacterial properties. While the sheets are designed to help prevent acne breakouts, the silver infusion, along with the crisp blend of Supima cotton, has the added benefit of being naturally thermoregulating, which Strategist deals editor Sam Daly, who lives in Austin, Texas, appreciates. While Daly wouldn’t call herself a hot sleeper, living in Texas “activated” her hot-sleeper tendencies. “I have linen sheets in my lineup and, while those are very nice, they don’t compare to Silvon’s,” she says. “These sheets are so smooth without being slick — a quality in cooling bedding that I can’t stand.” And unlike her linen set, these are moisture wicking as well. “It’s very humid here, and the sheets help with that too. Sometimes linen can feel like it’s just soaking up dampness,” says Daly. “Silvon’s feel more breathable.” They’ve become her go-to sheets and go right back on her bed after doing the laundry. “They’ve been through the washing machine plenty of times with no discernible frays or fading.”

Some more cooling bedding we've written about

Our experts

• Anishka Clarke, co-owner of Ishka Designs
Terry Cralle, clinical sleep educator
• Keith Cushner, executive director of product testing at Sleep Foundation
• Sam Daly, Strategist deals editor
Dr. Michael Gelb, sleep specialist
Dr. Michael Grandner, director of the sleep and health research program at the University of Arizona
Dr. Shelby Harris, director of sleep health at Sleepopolis
Brandon Lee, Airbnb host
Kelly Murray, certified sleep consultant
Dr. Margarita Oks, pulmonologist
Annie Schlecht, occupational therapist and certified sleep consultant
Dr. Joshua Tal, sleep-disorder psychologist
• Ben Trapskin, founder of the Sleep Sherpa
• Heather Turgeon, psychotherapist and author of The Happy Sleeper

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The 10 Very Best Cooling Sheets