best in class

The 20 Very Best Bedsheets

Photo: Marcus McDonald
Best bed sheets
Photo: Marcus McDonald
Best bed sheets
Photo: Marcus McDonald

With so many bedding start-ups promising premium-quality, hotel-style sheets at direct-to-consumer prices, it can be hard to know what’s what. And with the rise in popularity of linen sheets, it’s easier than ever to achieve that laid-back, rumpled, yet still intentional look for your bed. To help us wade through the many styles and fabrics out there — a crisp cotton percale, a silky sateen, or something in between — we reached out to 26 design experts and tastemakers for their recommendations on the best bedsheets to buy, from classic white Egyptian cotton to ecofriendly linen to completely bespoke sets. Most of the options on this list are sold in sets that come with a fitted sheet, a flat sheet, and two pillowcases, but we’ve noted if pieces are sold separately. And all prices listed are for queen-size sheets unless otherwise specified.

Best overall cotton percale | Best (less expensive) overall cotton percale | Best customizable cotton percale | Best hotel-style cotton percale | Best overall linen | Best starter linen | Best colorful linen | Softest linen | Best organic linen | Best overall sateen | Best (less expensive) sateen | Best (even less expensive) sateen | Best bamboo | Best (less expensive) bamboo | Best brushed microfiber | Best (luxury) microfiber twill | Best Tencel | Best jersey | Best silk | Best looking

What we’re looking for

Material: The first things you want to think about are what your sheets are made of and, if applicable, how they’re woven. The most popular sheets fall into a few major categories of material, with cotton being the most common. Within cotton, you’ll see percale and sateen sheets, terms that refer to the weave of the cotton, which determines the feel of the bedding. Then there’s linen (which is made of flax), bamboo and other alternative fibers, lyocell, jersey, and silk. The material you choose will also dictate whether the bedding is cooling, durable, or easy to maintain.

Cotton percale: Cotton percale is made of a tight one-over-one-under plain weave that’s crisp, lightweight, and matte in appearance (kind of like your favorite white button-up shirt). It’s highly breathable, too, making it a great choice for those who sleep hot, and it’s usually made from long-staple cotton.

Cotton sateen: Sateen’s three-over-one weave is looser, resulting in a denser feel that drapes well and has a silky sheen. It’s heavier than percale and will sleep slightly warmer.

A note about thread count, which applies only to cotton sheets: Thread count refers to the number of horizontal and vertical threads in a square inch of fabric. The general thinking goes that the higher the thread count, the nicer the sheets, though that isn’t necessarily true. A good thread-count range to look for in percale and sateen sheets is between 200 and 600, but look at the quality of the fibers. Long-staple Egyptian cotton is considered some of the best in the world.

Linen: Linen is made from the flax plant and has a rougher texture than cotton, giving that rumpled, lived-in look that can be quite appealing. It’s more durable than cotton, too, and gets softer with each use. The looser weave is breathable, which makes linen another great option for sweaty sleepers.

Jersey: Another popular cotton bedding type is jersey, which you may associate with college dorms because of its accessible price point and the way it feels like your favorite worn-in T-shirt (and is just as low-maintenance). Jersey fabric is knit instead of woven, often from cotton or cotton blended with synthetic fibers, giving it a soft, stretchy, cozy hand feel.

Alternative fibers: Aside from cotton, a whole crop of sheets is made from alternative fibers — some of which are naturally derived — including lyocell (which goes by the brand name Tencel), bamboo, and microfiber. Lyocell and bamboo are known to be light, crisp, and breathable, making them yet another option for warmer sleepers.

Silk: Then there’s silk, the most expensive bedding out there and the most finicky to maintain. Made from the cocoons of silkworms, silk is lustrous in feel and luxurious to behold, with a beautiful drape, good temperature regulation, and a smooth, no-snag, no-frizz surface.

Color and design: Once you’ve chosen the type of bedding you like, you’ll want to consider the look of your sheets. You can go for classic hotel whites with minimal trim, luxury sheets with piping or options to monogram, say, or a brand that offers a rainbow of colors.

Best overall cotton-percale sheets

Photo: Marcus McDonald

Cotton percale | Long-staple cotton | Four colors

If you’re looking for a set of crisp, airy bedding, you can’t go wrong with Snowe’s percale sheets, which are made of long-staple cotton milled in Italy and have a thread count of 500. I personally own and love them, and they’re recommended by Kai Avent-deLeon, the owner of Brooklyn boutique Sincerely, Tommy. “I’ve found that they’re really good quality and decently priced,” she says. “They’re cotton, which is the only material I buy now, and they’re really soft, kind of plush. They’re breathable and low maintenance.” Herman Miller editorial director Kelsey Keith is also a fan of these sheets, adding that they “sleep cool in warm weather and warm in winter months.” I bought a queen set in white in 2018 and adore them for how lightweight and cloudlike they feel. They’ve held up over the years and stay white as long as you’re diligent about laundry. When we moved and upgraded to a king-size bed, I wanted to try a different brand, and I actually regret it because no other sheets I’ve bought have been as nice. These are now used in the guest bedroom and still look fresh. (The brand sent me its percale duvet cover a couple of years ago in slate blue. It stays on our bed all year long and still looks new.) The sheets come in only four standard colors (slate blue, ivory, ash gray, and white), but that’s what makes them a classic choice, in my opinion.

Best (less expensive) overall cotton percale sheets

Cotton percale | GOTS-certified organic cotton | Five colors

For something about a hundred bucks less expensive, consider West Elm’s organic-cotton sheets. Courtney McLeod, the founder and principal designer of New York City–based Right Meets Left Interior Design, says they’re “excellent quality,” as does skin-care executive Rebecca Zhou, who purchased three of its garment-washed percale sets during her last move. “The texture means our bed always looks made but not overly perfect,” she says. They sheets are made from from fabric that is Global Organic Textile Standard certified (GOTS certification is the leading standard for textiles made of organic fibers).

Best customizable cotton-percale sheets

Cotton percale | Long-staple OEKO-TEX cotton | Two colors | Monogrammable

You can’t talk about crisp cotton bedding without mentioning Matouk, a favorite brand among our interior designers for its beautiful, high-quality sheets. All of the percale sheets shown are made of 350-thread-count, long-staple cotton, considered to be among the most premium yarns. They’re also OEKO-TEX certified, meaning they’ve been made without harmful chemicals. If you’re looking for luxury sheets with a plethora of designs, trims, and patterns to choose from, plus the option to monogram, then Matouk is your best bet. “My favorite sheets are Matouk, mostly because everything’s customizable, from the color of the threading to the monogram and the ruffles,” as designer Sasha Bikoff explains. While there are plenty of styles to choose from, interior designers Anne Hepfer and Elizabeth Gill recommend the timeless Sierra hemstitch sheets, which Hepfer says “are a beautiful, classic base that can pair with any bedding.” Matouk sells its sheets and pillowcases separately, but this allows you to mix and match styles, as our designers have noted.

Best hotel-style cotton-percale sheets

Cotton percale | Egyptian long-staple cotton | Embroidered borders in three colors

Of course, you can’t talk fancy sheets without mentioning Frette, which was recommended by two of our experts. It comes as no surprise that Frette’s also happen to be the most recommended sheets by hotel insiders. Says Michael Shome, the visuals director at Architectural Digest, “My absolute favorite sheets are the hotel classic from Frette, which are kind of like the fantasy version of Upper East Side hotel bed linens. They’re Italian made in this Egyptian cotton that’s just the softest and butteriest fabric to laze around in. I love the chic and simple double-line embroidery, too.” Interior designer Ariel Okin also turns to Frette sheets when she’s looking for something classic. According to Frette’s website, its percale sheets have a thread count between 200 and 240.

Best overall linen sheets

Flax linen | OEKO-TEX certified | Ten colors

Linen sheets, made from the natural fiber of the flax plant, are generally more expensive than cotton because of their more involved manufacturing process and durability. They’re said to get better and softer over time, too, making them a nice long-term investment. Top Chef judge Gail Simmons turns to Parachute for her linen sheets in part because they “won’t cost you a crazy amount.” Again, we agree: We called Parachute’s sheets the best all-around option for linen because of their “middle-of-the-road price, the substantial feel of the linen, and the color options” (like the inviting soft-gray hue shown here).

Best starter linen sheets

Flax linen | OEKO-TEX certified | 12 colors

If you’d like to explore linen sheets for the first time, Brooklinen’s Luxe Hardcore set is a good place to start. According to former Strategist senior writer Lauren Levy, “Brooklinen made me fall in love with linen sheets.” She says they’r