Many sheets out there claim to be the best sheets for sweaty sleepers who often wake up in the middle of the night, drenched in a pool of sweat. The reality is that some materials heat us up during the night and others cool us down. Luckily the difference between them is quite straight forward. After learning a few core truths you’ll be ready to buy just the right sheets for you. The ones that will keep you cool throughout the night. Read on to find out what are truly the best sheets for sweaty sleepers.
If you’re already familiar with different fabrics and how they help with night sweats, you can go ahead and pick your next sheets from our special top selection right here. You will find more great sheets below, but we’ve picked out the best of the best, to make your life even easier.
What Is Sweating?
Let’s start from the beginning. Sweating or perspiration is simply our bodies’ response to body temperature rising. As the heat goes up above the normal temperature threshold, your brain sends signals to the body to revert the changes and to keep the body temperature at optimum level. These signals are sent to sweat glands all over your body. There are around 4 million of them. As a result, your pores will start pushing out excess water. In other words, you start sweating. As this water evaporates off your skin, your body temperature lowers and you cool down.
Sweating can occur in a lot of different situations. During exercising or a nervous situation. It can be a byproduct of hormonal imbalance, or just being in a hot environment. When it comes to sleeping, we’re most interested in the last one – a hot environment.
This does not mean that you have to drop down to a hot savanna and take a nap there. It could well be that your bedroom temperature is higher than 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit (16-20oC), which is considered ideal for sleeping. Or simply that your body heats up while you’re dreaming away. You may want to check whether your blanket is to blame for the extra heat, or whether you can turn down the temperature in your bedroom. But this time we’ll focus on what’s below you. Let’s find the best sheets for sweaty sleepers!
Sheets That Keep You Cool
Imagine that you’re working out. Your heart starts pumping faster, your body heat goes up and you feel a sweat coming on. If your shirt is made out of a water resistant fabric, the sweat has nowhere to go. It will start piling up, eventually sliding and dripping down your skin.
What you want, is a shirt that is either breathable or one that is absorbent. The first kind will let the air move through the shirt without trouble. And the second kind will soak up the excess water from your body. It’s the same with bed sheets. The best sheets for sweaty sleepers are either those that are breathable or those that are absorbent.
You can think of this as a preventative method. Rather than letting your body heat rise to such a high level that triggers sweating in the first place, the heat gets conducted to the sheet. These are the bed sheets that keep you cool at night.
A breathable bed sheet requires a lower thread count. A sheet’s thread count simply refers to the number of horizontal threads (weft) and vertical threads (warp) in one square inch. So forget about the supposed high-end sheets with a maximum thread count. Yes of course, there might be some that are very good quality sheets. But they may not be the best sheets for sweaty sleepers. Instead, aim for a lower thread count. This will allow air to move through the tiny threads, having a cooling effect. Also, go with a natural fabric, like linen, cotton or bamboo. They don’t retain heat the way synthetic fibers (aka microfibers) do.
A good sheet for sweaty sleepers is one that has space between the threads. The higher the thread count, the less room there is between individual threads. And consequently, the less room for air to freely move between the threads.So sheets with a low thread count and loose weave will allow your body to transfer heat into them. In a way, you can think of breathable sheets as bed sheets that don’t make you sweat. They simply won’t let your body heat rise to a level that would activate the sweating process, so they’re great for sweaty sleepers. If you want to know what are the coolest sheets, this is it – breathable sheets. They’re also the best sheets for hot flashes!
Sheets That Wick Away Sweat
A key rule to remember is that natural fibers normally love water and soak it up where ever they can. Synthetic fibers are the opposite – they repel water or they at least try to avoid water.
Sweat resistant sheets will not work for sweaty sleepers. What you want is for the bed sheet to take in the excess water. But you don’t necessarily want it to hold onto that moisture. The sheet should get rid of the moisture and stay dry. So it can be a delicate balance between natural and synthetic fibers that would give you an excellent absorbent sheet. Much like good exercise gear that takes in the sweat from your body and allows it to quickly evaporate from the surface of the fabric.
What Are the Coolest Sheets?
Many sweaty sleepers prefer natural fabrics. Not all natural fibers fit into this class, however. The golden trio that will keep you dry at night is linen, cotton, and bamboo. But it’s also worthwhile looking into synthetics or even high-tech sheets. There are many clever products on the market these days. Just be careful, as a lot of the synthetic materials tend to heat up quickly. These are definitely not the type of bed sheets that suit sweaty sleepers, as they do not stay cool.
Linen Bed Sheets
Linen should not need much introduction in the bedding scene. It is the oldest fabric known and is a highly valued textile thanks to its coolness in hot weather. Linen sheets can be considered the ultimate no sweat sheets. Funnily enough, they’re not as popular as they used to be. Which is a shame because this fabric is truly one of the best options available.
Linen is actually made from the fibers of flax, also known as linseed plants. The fibers are found in the stems of the plant. The fibers themselves are very strong, which is a general characteristic of the linen fabric. The tricky part is collecting the fibers, as that’s when there’s a higher possibility of damaging them.
By the way, flax is not only valued for its fibers. It is also cultivated for its nutritious seeds, which are high in omega-3 fats and dietary fiber. The plant is not too picky and can grow in different climates. Although it prefers environments that are cool and damp. The biggest flax production comes from Canada, Kazakhstan, China, Russia and the US.
The reason why linen is considered as one of the best fabrics that keep you cool is because of its ability to wick away water quickly and to release it in a whim. Your sheets will remain dry throughout the night and will have a cool feel to them.
Not only is linen a highly breathable fabric, so one of the best options for sweaty sleepers, it’s also one of the strongest vegetable fibers out there. Funnily enough, linen is stronger wet than dry, which is different from many other fabrics. Wet linen is considered up to 10% stronger than dry linen.
The natural linen color varies from a creamy white to a grayish brown. It is very common to bleach linen to a full white or near white color. Linen fibers take dye well, so you can also find linen sheets in a variety of other colors and you won’t have to worry about it wearing off with time.
As to the softness, linen is a relatively soft material. It has a more authentic feel to it. While there are many other fabrics that exceed the softness of linen at first, linen actually gets softer with use and with every wash. So don’t get discouraged if it seems a little rough coming straight out of the package. A linen sheet that has been generously used and washed can, at one point, feel even as soft as silk.
How to care for linen sheets
Investing in a good linen sheet will give you a companion for decades. But you have do your part as well. Meaning, you have to know how to take care of your linen sheets. The best bet is to always follow the instructions that come along with the product. The manufacturer knows exactly how their specific sheet needs to be treated. But as a general rule of thumb, linen sheets can be machine washed at 40°C on a gentle cycle. Or if your washing machine has a separate linen wash program, go with that. Treat it with the love it deserves.
Best Sheets for Sweaty Sleepers – Linen
Simple & Opulence sheets
These Simple & Opulence sheets are made from Belgian linen. They are light or medium-light weight – a wonderful companion for hot summer nights, especially for sweaty sleepers. As a typical linen sheet, they become softer with every wash and will start to feel their best after around 5 washes. If you really can’t wait to get to that part, you can just keep washing them for a number of times before putting them to use. It’s worth it!
Sizes: Twin, Full, Queen, King
Colors: White, Linen, Purple, Light Grey
Price: From $114
Many consider French linen the best in the world. That’s why Dapu sources their linen from there. It’s naturally grown, processed without chemicals or additives, and harvested in an environmentally friendly manner. So not only will you get quality sheets that don’t harm your skin with chemicals, you’re doing a service for the environment. The quality of these sheets is really second to none. They’re breathable, wick away moisture quickly and last for a long time.
Sizes: Twin, Full, Queen, King
Colors: Light Lilac, Natural Linen, Off White, and more
Price: From $120
S Victory Symbol sheets
We like to think that S in the name stands for sleep. It could well be, because they do bring victory to that sweet slumber time. These sheets are also made from French grown flax, so the quality is absolutely great. There are a few reasons why these sheets stand out from the rest. They come in a lovely package – a linen bag that you can use for other purposes as well. And the color selection is wide, especially for linen sheets.
Sizes: Twin, Full, Queen, King, CalKing
Colors: Caramel, Creamy White, Kahki, Light Green, and more
Price: From $140
Sijo has made quite a name for themselves and have been featured in many magazines, such as Forbes and Vogue. And for good reason. Their linen is sourced from Normandy, France and is highly regarded. Their fabric is quite thick, which makes the sheets more durable. The sheets have also been stonewashed, which adds to their softness. We love that Sijo sells a 3 piece set (fitted sheet and 2 pillowcases) and 4 piece set (the same, with a flat sheet). So you can buy just the set that you need. And if you want a separate flat sheet, they have that as well!
Sizes: Full, Queen, King, CalKing
Colors: Blush, Dove, Fog, Forest, and more
Price: From $145
Cotton Bed Sheets
Cotton is probably the most widely used of all natural fibers. It has a variety of uses. First and foremost in the textile industry: t-shirts, socks, pants, and underwear, as well as tablecloths, curtains, bedding, towels. I’m sure you own a few of these yourself. Cotton is also used for making tents, army uniforms, fishnets, book binders. In addition to the cotton fibers, we also use cottonseed oil for making soap, margarine, cosmetics, plastics, etc.
You’ve probably seen a picture of a cotton plant, or even the real thing yourself. It grows in a fluffy boll, so it’s easily distinguishable from other plants. Cotton likes warm climates and grows in tropical and subtropical regions. The biggest cotton producers in the world are China, India and the US.
Cotton And Thread Count
Bear in mind that not all cotton is the same. There’s quite a lot of variety when it comes to the quality of cotton. Regardless, cotton is always a very good choice for sweaty sleepers. Even if the quality of the specific cotton type is not the best. It’s still a natural moisture wicking fabric that is great for sweaty sleepers
The different types of cotton are Egyptian cotton, pima cotton (with its trademark name Supima cotton), and American Upland cotton. This last one is usually much lower quality and is often described simply as 100% cotton sheets, without any further specification.
Fiber length aka staple
Egyptian cotton, as well as pima or Supima cotton are considered to be the highest quality cotton available. Some prefer one, some the other. What they both have in common, and what makes them high quality, is the length of the fiber, also known as the staple. They are all either long or extra-long staple cottons.
Overall we can distinguish between 4 groups of cotton staples: short, medium, long, and extra-long. The fiber length is directly connected to the quality of the cotton in many ways. When short fibers are used for spinning a yarn, there are more loose ends that will be sticking out to the surface. You won’t notice them by just looking at the fabric. But you can definitely feel them.
Sheets made from short fiber have more loose ends sticking out, so they feel more rough. Whereas extra-long staple sheets have less loose ends and the overall outcome is smoother, silkier, and feels better against the skin. Short fibers also produce sheets that pill easily and are more prone to tearing.
So the key take-away from this is that if you have the choice between an extra-long staple cotton, like Egyptian cotton, pima cotton and Supima cotton on the one hand, and short staple cotton, like Upland cotton, the first option is by far the better quality one.
Good quality comes with a price
Of course, the downside is that these sheets are more expensive. But paying a higher price really is worth it. First, a high quality sheet will last you longer, as it’s simply stronger. Instead of eventually paying more money for multiple sets of low quality sheets, you can make a smart choice by investing in one high quality sheet.
Second, it feels softer to the touch and is more comfortable. Remember that you’re going to sleep on these sheets every single night. That’s around a third of your life! It is very hard to put a price tag on this. Investing in such a big part of your life is something you should definitely prioritize. Not only if you’re a sweaty sleeper. Sleep is one of the pillars of life and we can all make a change for the better if we have good sheets to sleep on.
Cotton Qualities That Help Sweaty Sleepers
As to its more general characteristics, cotton is a natural water-loving fiber that wicks away moisture. And lucky for us, this does not depend on the fiber length. Even regular upland cotton sheets absorb water. This means that any type of cotton it’s a great choice for sweaty sleepers. It will relieve you from the extra moisture thanks to its moisture wicking quality and breathability and you won’t have to worry about losing sleep over sweating. Cotton sheets will keep your nights cool.
Other great properties of cotton include its natural whiteness and absorbency, which makes it a perfect fabric to dye. This means that you can liven up your bedroom with different colors and patterns. Although many people prefer the natural whiteness of the plant, keeping a more classic approach. Just like linen, cotton is another fabric that becomes stronger when it’s wet. As an extra bonus, as it cannot hold an electric charge, you won’t have to worry about static cling.
Best Sheets for Sweaty Sleepers – Cotton
Kotton culture sheets
Let’s kick it off with an affordable Egyptian cotton sheet set from Kotton culture. Their sheets have a whopping 1000 thread count. The high thread count and percale weave ensure that you get a thick, crisp and heavier sheet set. The sheets may feel a bit rough at first, which is absolutely normal for cotton. The more you use and wash them, the softer they become. So give them a few washes before the first use. The fitted sheet has elastic all around and fits mattresses up to 15”. Even if you’re a restless sleeper, the sheet stays in place. If you’re looking for a matching duvet set, you’re in luck, because Kotton culture offers those as well!
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cal King, Custom size
Colors: Gray, Ivory, Navy Blue, Silver, and more
Price: From $72
Peru Pima sheets
Peru Pima offers a really affordable sheet set that is made of quality 100% Peruvian Pima cotton, with a thread count of 415. The sheets have a touch of crispiness that adds character, yet they’re soft. You can also order a set of pillowcases separately! These are top class sheets and you’ll get a nice surprise when seeing how they’re packaged. It’s a truly wonderful combination of a high quality sheet, reasonable price, and great delivery. Peru Pima has really put in the work with their sheets. In addition to this 415 thread count sheet set, they have many others with smaller and higher thread counts. Just click on the Pima cotton link a few rows up to find their other goodies!
Sizes: Twin, Full, Queen, King, Cal King
Colors: White, Ivory, Sky Blue, Burgundy, Slate, Navy Blue, Latte, Nautical Stripe Blue, Nautical Stripe Grey, Pinstripe Grey, Pinstripe White, Shadow Grey, Smoke Grey, Wide Stripe Grey, White Stripe Latte
Price: From $90
Pure Parima sheets
If you’re looking for a softer type of sheet set from Egyptian cotton, these Pure Parima ones are perfect! They’re made with a sateen weave, which gives them more smoothness. The extra long staples ensure the best quality and with a 400 thread count, these sheets breathe very well and will keep you nice and cool while your undercover *wink*. If you’re wondering more about the specifics of the cotton used, it’s Giza cotton, which is a highly valued type of Egyptian cotton. Last but not least, this sheet set comes in beautiful packaging, which also makes it a great gift for someone you value.
Sizes: Twin, Full, Queen, King, CalKing
Colors: Charcoal Grey, Icy Blue, Ivory, Cream, Linen, and more
Price: From $150
Malouf offers one of the highest quality Supima cotton sheets we’ve found. There are so many great things about this sheet set. With extra long staple fibers, the sheets pill less and are soft. And the single ply 600 thread count sateen weave gives you a wonderfully smooth and breathable sheet set. While many manufacturers focus only on a limited number of sizes, you can probably find the one that you’re looking for thanks to Malouf. And if you have a thick mattress, don’t worry. These fitted sheets fit mattresses that are up to 22” deep! If you’re looking for more affordable options, be sure to check out our other picks here > Supima cotton.
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cal King, Split King
Colors: White, Charcoal, Smoke, Flax
Price: From $210
Thomas Lee sheets
We definitely want to include another top notch Pima cotton sheet set in our selection. This one from Thomas Lee is pure luxury. The cotton is fully grown in the US, while the sheets are manufactured in India. They’re more on the heavy side with a 500 thread count. There are a few things that really make these sheets stand out. The thread count and percale weave give them a nice crispiness. The sheets are generously over-sized in the old fashioned way, so they’re sure to fit your mattress. Even if it’s a thick one, like 18”. The whole sheet set is a truly good quality one and the price reflects that.
Sizes: Full, Queen, King, Cal King
Colors: White, Ivory
Price: From $220
Bamboo Bed Sheets
Bamboo bed sheets may not have a familiar ring to them at first. This plant is probably more known in the cooking scene or as a building material. But it is also used for making bed sheets and has become largely popular in the bedding scene. Which is not surprising, as it is a sustainable material. Once you try out bamboo bed sheets, you’ll understand how well kept a secret they are and why they’re considered one of the best sheets for sweaty sleepers.
Bamboo fiber is a cellulose fiber made from the pulp of the bamboo grass. Yes, you read that right. Bamboo is not a wood, it’s a grass. And one that is quick to grow. Bamboo is ready to be harvested in about 5 years. It’s the quickest growing grass and as a result, a great renewable source.
There are around 1,500 different species of bamboo that grow around the world. They mostly grow in warm and moist tropical climates, or warm temperate climates. But there are also other bamboo species that can survive more extreme conditions. Some tolerate temperatures below -20°C in the Himalayas and Andes.
Different types of bamboo fabric
There are different ways to create bamboo fiber from the bamboo pulp. This is one of the ways to distinguish between bamboo fabrics:
- the mechanical process is a laborious but an environmentally friendly one. The outcome is not as soft as with other processes and the fabric tends to require a bit more care.
- the chemical process includes a few different options:
- bamboo viscose aka bamboo rayon – although this is the most common process, unfortunately it is not an ecofriendly approach. The process uses harmful chemicals. However, the end result is soft and silky. And the price is more affordable.
- bamboo lyocell – this is also a chemical process but it’s considered to be the most environmentally friendly way of processing bamboo fibers. The chemicals involved are non-toxic and they are used in a closed loop container, which means they can be recycled. Bamboo lyocell sheets are even smoother and silkier than bamboo viscose.
What Are Bamboo Sheets Like?
As to the qualities of bamboo sheets, you’re in for a couple of surprises. First off, what you may not know is that bamboo sheets are actually really soft, even silky. Which is not a characteristic that would first come to mind when thinking of the bamboo plant. But the sheets themselves are truly something different. They’re smoother and softer than cotton sheets. Except for maybe the truly high quality Egyptian or pima cotton sheets that are made from extra-long fibers.
Wicks away moisture
What’s most important for sweaty sleepers is that bamboo is a hygroscopic fabric. This means that it will wick away the water from its surroundings. It has very high absorbency, so it easily takes in the excess water that we sweat out during the night. And it also releases it super quickly, so the bamboo sheet itself does not stay damp or start sticking to your skin. This is a truly special property among bedding fabrics and the reason why bamboo sheets can be considered the best sheets for sweaty sleepers.
A big plus of the bamboo sheet is that it is hypoallergenic. So it works very well for sweaty sleepers with skin conditions, such as eczema. It also has a odor absorbing qualities. Not only will it keep you dry during the night, you won’t have to worry about a sweaty odor in your bedroom. As we already mentioned, bamboo sheets are extremely soft and smooth. They have a natural sheen and a luxurious feel to them.
You can find different bamboo sheets out there. Some are made only from bamboo fibers, but there are also bamboo blends with cotton or microfibers. A full bamboo sheet will cost a bit more, also depending on the manufacturing method. Blends are often a good substitute, as they retain some of the superior qualities of the bamboo fiber but are more affordable. What we suggest is to go for a bamboo-cotton blend, rather than a bamboo-microfiber blend. Just to keep the fabric a natural one and healthier for your skin.
Best Sheets for Sweaty Sleepers – Bamboo
Taft’s Home sheets
These sheets from Taft’s Home are made from Moso bamboo that grows in China. However, the sheets are designed in Texas. This is one of the most affordable bamboo sheet sets that is really good quality. The sheets are soft, breathable, cooling and fit mattresses up to 17”. We love that Taft’s Home offers also duvet sets to match their bamboo sheets. It’s a great way to bring together your bedroom style, so be sure to check the duvet cover sets our as well!
Sizes: Twin, Full, Queen, King, CalKing
Colors: Sky Blue, Slate Blue, Navy Blue, and more
Price: From $70
The Bampure sheet set is made from 100% organic bamboo, sourced from China. We added them to our selection for a few reasons. They’re super soft, wick moisture well and keep you cool. But what makes them special is that they come with more pillowcases. Normally a twin sheet set has just 1 pillowcase, but Bampure gives you 2! And for other sizes, the norm is generally 2 pillowcases, but with Bampure you get 4. We love this, because for some reason, we always fall short of pillowcases ourselves.
Sizes: Twin, Full, Queen, King, CalKing
Colors: Stone Gray, White, Navy Blue, and more
Price: From $80
Pure Bamboo sheets
Pure Bamboo really excels at quality. Their sheets are 100% organic bamboo and tested against 100 different chemicals, to make sure they’re super safe to use. They are! These sheets are very smooth and soft and most importantly will keep you cool during the night! They definitely deserve a spot in our list of best sheets for sweaty sleepers. In addition to all that, Pure Bamboo also offers a variety of colors, so you might find more than one that fits your bedroom.
Sizes: Twin, Full, Queen, King, Split King, CalKing
Colors: Black, Ivory, Sand Sea Glass, and more
Price: From $90
Dreamfit offers an interesting set that is actually a mix of bamboo and cotton. With 70% bamboo, you get all the benefits of this fabric. The softness, smoothness and coolness. The remaining 30% is extra long staple cotton. Which adds the strength of cotton in the mix as well. The sheets are more on the expensive side, but if you can afford them, you’ll be sleeping in luxury.
Sizes: Queen, King, CalKing,
Colors: Blue, Ecry, Gray, Sand, White
Price: From $190
High-Tech Bed Sheets
High-tech sheets are named that way because they include some type of smart technology that improve their quality. And the result should be the perfect choice for sweaty sleepers. This smart technology is often a special chemical finish, or some particles that claim to give the sheets extra power.
The first kind, the chemical finish, tends to wear off with washing. So the high-tech sheets are great in the beginning but they lose their special touch with every wash. The second kind, using particles, normally has a longer lasting effect, as the particles are permanent. The slight downside is that your body is usually in contact with a specific and quite limited part of the sheet. And the particles in these areas will eventually heat up faster.
The only way to really know whether a high-tech bed sheet really fits your needs is by trying it out. There are a lot of different high-tech sheets on the market and some of them are honestly rubbish. We’ve brought out the ones that have been tried and tested and are simply more promising for sweaty sleepers.
Best Sheets for Sweaty Sleepers – High-Tech
SHEEX is a quite well-known brand in the bedding world. Their Original Performance sheet set is made from 87% polyester and 13% spandex. They claim to be the best sheets for sweaty sleepers for 2 reasons. The sheets transfer body heat 2 times more efficiently than a traditional cotton sheet. The SHEEX sheets also breathe about 50% better than traditional cotton sheets. Both are great qualities to look for when you struggle with night sweats or are just in a hot climate. The polyester and spandex mix makes the sheets silky and also stretchy. Although they are microfiber, you’ll be pleasantly surprised as to their cooling effect and how well they suit sweaty sleepers.
Sizes: Twin/Twin XL, Full, Queen, Split King, King/CalKing
Colors: Black, Ecru, Navy, Forest, Lavender, and more
Price: From $142
DreamFit’s sheet set is made from 30% Supima cotton and 70% MicroTENCEL™. Supima cotton is considered one of the highest quality cotton. It’s solely grown in the USA and only a limited set of manufacturers and retailers can sell their products under this trademark. MicroTENCEL also has a variety of benefits. It has a fine texture and is soft. It’s able to wick away around half as much moisture as cotton and is naturally hygienic and inhibits bacterial growth. This is a perfect combination for sweaty sleepers. The set comes in beautiful earthly colors and has a subtle yet sophisticated pattern.
Sizes: Queen, King, CalKing, Split Cal King
Colors: White, Ivory, Green, Grey, Tan
Price: From $220
What should sweaty sleepers stay away from?
If a fabric does not breathe well or does not wick moisture, sweaty sleepers should keep their distance. It will not keep you dry and you will have a bad time rolling around in your own sweat. Of natural fabrics, silk sheets will not give you the comfort of a dry night’s sleep. They’re luxurious and smooth, feel cool to the touch and definitely serve their purpose on a steamy night with your partner. But for an everyday recovering sleep it’s best to keep them in the closet waiting for a more special evening.
Microfiber sheets that contain polyester or polyamides such as nylon, do wick moisture, can have a soft touch and for some an appealing glare but they are not breathable. Don’t be tricked by the promise that these sheets are the ones that will keep you cool at night. They work well for some people but if you tend to be more on the sweaty side, it’s best to avoid them. If you want to find out more about how microfiber sheets compare to cotton, definitely check out our article on Microfiber sheets vs cotton.
You should also be aware of most high-tech sheets. More often than not the chemicals used in the sheets are lost in the washing process and the sheets lose their initial potential after a short time. They’re not the best sheets to keep you cool or dry at night. But some of them can pleasantly surprise you. The best way to know is to try them out yourself because they do suit some people very well.