There is no mythical, hallowed set of the best bed sheets for sleeping.
Wait! Don’t close this tab! Allow us to explain.
What we mean is that there is no singular set of sheets that are perfect for anyone and everyone. Some people sleep hot, some people sleep cold. Some people love flannel sheets, other, more reasonable people, think they should be tossed into the back of your hamper and forgotten about. Some people care what their bedsheets look like, others purchase sheets with horrifying faces on them. Whoever you are, we here at GQ have got you covered, though if you're here hoping to find one of those weird quilts made out of T-shirts, we're afraid we can't help you.
If you're in the market for the best bed sheets for a good night's sleep, your timing couldn't be better. We’re in somewhat of a sheets revolution. The era of direct-to consumer goods—where the only thing between you and $5 million venture capital dollars is a Futura logo, a pastel subway ad, and some product reverse-engineered from an insecurity—has sufficiently “disrupted” (ugh) the textile industry. The same kind of manufacturers who make some of our favorite mattresses, toothbrushes, and meal kits are now making some of our favorite sheets.
That’s not to say we only like startup sheets. Some of our favorite sheets makers have been doing this for a long time. But we tend to prefer those that don’t try to trick you with jargon-y specifications like thread count, which is easy to inflate with techniques that don’t result in a softer sheet. We looked for sheets made with many different materials, so that we could have tons of different options for anyone with a bed of any size. Rest assured, any of these sheets we include in this list, even the ones that aren’t our top favorites, will get you help you get the rest you need.
The Best Sateen Sheets
Sateen is an extremely common fabric type for sheets. It’s cotton, but with a silky, more luxe, finish. They’re great for someone that tends to sleep cold. Our favorite sateen sheet set is the Amora set from Cloudten. The company’s sheets don’t come in tons of colors or with particularly fancy stitching, they are made well, and hold up well to a bunch of washes. Wash after wash, they held up as our favorite sateen sheet through many a blind feel test. They’re extremely soft with a light sheen; smooth and silky, but not so much you were sliding around in them or felt like a guy who calls his apartment a “Bachelor Pad.” Plus, the “smoke” color just looks like an instant bedroom upgrade—bold enough to be interesting, but without having to worry if it’ll match any of your other linens. They’re made sustainably, they’re simple, they feel great.
The Best Percale Sheets
Percale is another common sheet fabric type. It’s also cotton, but without the silky finish. They’re a little bit lighter than sateen, often described as “crisp.” If you sleep cold, but you want something more breathable and with a coarse texture that’ll hug you as you sleep, you should try percale. Out of the percale sheets we’ve tested, Snowe’s luxury sheets struck the best balance of lightness, sturdiness, and softness. These have that classic “luxury hotel” feel, like you’re sleeping in a pile of Ralph Lauren oxfords. After a dozen or so washes, they’ll be your favorite sheets, and they’ll stay that way for years to come. They come in a few lovely tinted colors.
The Best Flannel Sheets
139.00, L.L. Bean
L.L. Bean has been in the sheets game for a long time, and most of their sheet sets are excellent. But it’s the company’s flannel sheets that truly shine. Not everyone loves flannel sheets (detractors often point to their lack of breathability), but if you’re in a truly glacial environment (s/o Canada) they can be a godsend. These sheets are cozy and comfortable, really warm, and sturdy enough to last through many a winter. Plus, as you’d expect from the Bean, they come in the flannel-iest patterns known to man, which in itself provides a lot of coziness.
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The Best Patterned Sheet Set
As people lucky enough to have grandparents, we’ve slept on some ugly patterned sheets. We appreciate styling as much as anyone, but have less interest in fringe or doilies. But if you’re looking for a sheet set with patterns a little more interesting than “Smoke” or “Arctic Winter,” there’s a direct-to-consumer company for you: Brooklinen. Their sheets and duvet covers feature a variety of bold but simple patterns that somehow all manage to work with each other. They’re bold, but not overwhelming or kitschy; we like the “Graphite and Steel Oxford Stripe” and “Windowpane” options. They felt a little less smooth than our favorite sateen sheets, but unless you’re doing a blind test, you probably wouldn’t notice. Plus, at $119, they are one of the best deals out there. A stylish man deserves stylish sheets, even if no one ever sees ‘em.
The Best Linen Sheets
Linen sheets stand apart from the rest of the sheets we recommend. Instead of being made of cotton, linen is made of fibers from flax stems. The resulting fibers are thicker and longer than those from cotton, which weave together less tightly than cotton, yielding a more breathable fabric. The problem is that sometimes these sheets are scratchy and a bit unpleasant to sleep on, especially before several washes. After testing linen sheets this summer, we were most enthusiastic about the sheets from Kassatex, which are actually made with a bamboo/linen blend. We found them to be eminently breathable and much smoother than we expected any linen sheet set could be. They’re a bit expensive and only come in King and Queen sizes, but hot sleepers will rejoice come June.
The Best Budget Sheets
All right, alright, we’ll level with you, the rest of the sheets on this list are pretty expensive. Considering that you’ll spend a third of your life cuddled inside of them, we think they’re worth it. Invest in your comfort! But if you’re not at a place to do that right now—or if you need something for your kids who don’t yet appreciate how hard you work—these sheets from Target are actually really great. They aren’t as soft or breathable as some of the more premium options, but they’ve held up well with years of use and washes. They’re the perfect sheets to buy if you’re just starting off on your own. Once you’ve worn them in, they’ll still be great on that guest bed.
7 More Sheet Sets We Love
210.00, 10 Grove
240.00, Boll & Branch
269.00, Restoration Hardware
Originally Appeared on GQ