Missing the soft bed you enjoyed sleeping in on your last vacation? Tired of scratchy, uncomfortable bed sheets that don’t even last long? 

Luckily, you’re at the right place! 

While most people focus on finding the right mattress and pillows, they often tend to ignore bedsheets and opt for the cheapest one they come across.

Unluckily, this is a grave mistake because bedsheets are equally necessary for a good night’s sleep. If you’ve ever slept at a fancy hotel that uses expensive, high-quality sheets, then you can probably relate. In fact, with sheets as soft as those, it’s pretty tough to drag yourself out of bed!   

So, what’s the best material for sheets? 

Here’s everything you should know. 

Best Materials for Bed Sheets: List

  • Polyester
  • Cotton 
  • Upland cotton
  • Pima cotton
  • Supima cotton
  • Egyptian cotton
  • Microcotton 
  • Flannel 
  • Silk
  • Tencel 
  • Bamboo
  • Linen 

Best Materials for Bed Sheets: Comparison Chart





Soft, wrinkle-resistant, washer-friendly, highly affordable, moisture-wicking 

Not breathable, feels wet if sweaty, not eco-friendly, loose strings become micro plastics in the oceans


Soft and breathable, hypoallergenic  

Differ according to the kind of cotton

Upland Cotton

Very breathable, absorbs moisture, not too expensive  

Not too soft, can wear out after long use 

Pima Cotton

Flexible, strong, very soft (almost silk-like), long-lasting

Expensive, requires special care

Supima Cotton

Extremely soft and luxurious 

Significantly expensive than most other fabrics 

Egyptian Cotton

Softer, more flexible, and stronger than regular cotton, breathable, hand-picked

Very costly and rare, might be a knock-off, requires extensive care   


Highly absorbent, very breathable and soft like Pima

Expensive, hard to find


Extremely warm, affordable, soft, comfortable 

Not very breathable, not suitable for use in warm climate 


Exceptionally soft and luxurious, hypoallergenic, breathable

Expensive, demands delicate care


Super soft, comfortable, breathable, moisture-wicking, and durable

Not hypoallergenic, more expensive than cotton, oil stains it.


Soft, moisture-resistant, hypoallergenic, breathable, durable, stretchy, eco-friendly 

Oil stains it, doesn’t retain heat well, has a low wet strength


Very durable, silky, breathable, hypoallergenic

Not wrinkle-resistant, rough texture initially 


You can find polyester bedsheets with different qualities, but what makes them the first choice of many is their affordability. 

If you didn’t know, polyester is made from by-products of petroleum, so the fabric is basically plastic converted to cloth. And considering that it is plastic, you might think that polyester bedsheets will be uncomfortable. But it’s really the opposite! 

Polyester bedsheets are very, very soft and have taken over a big chunk of the bedding market in the last few years. In fact, polyester bedsheets give cotton sheets a good competition!

One unique thing about polyester is that we can make it mimic different kinds of fabric, such as silk, satin, or even velvet! With different techniques and technologies, we can create patterns like a sateen weave so that you get a satiny, lustrous surface.  

The problem with polyester is that since it is a synthetic fiber, it is not really breathable. This means that it will make you feel sticky if you’re very sweaty. However, it is great at wicking moisture, and if we increase the thread count, polyester can feel very soft. Plus, since plastic fibers are not easy to pill or break, polyester sheets are very durable, too! 

Ultimately, the biggest downfall of polyester is the fact it’s not very eco-friendly. Loose threads from this material end up in the ocean as microplastics, which have become a very dangerous thread to our ocean’s ecosystem. So when you decide to buy a set of polyester sheets, be mindful of the eco-impact that sheet will be making and maybe buy a laundry bag to put it in so the loose threads don’t escape. 


Cotton is the favorite fabric for different kinds of bedding, primarily because of its breathability and softness. It is also not too expensive; it’s more affordable than natural fibers such as silk but more expensive than synthetic fibers like polyester.

Generally, all kinds of cotton are highly breathable, but each kind has its own benefits and drawbacks.  

1) Upland Cotton

If you own anything that just says “cotton,” then there’s a high chance that it is made of upland cotton. This kind of cotton is the most affordable and most widely grown kind to date. 

Upland cotton is characterized by short fibers, which means it is less durable and relatively less soft than other luxurious kinds of cotton.  

As is the case with bedsheets, the quality of bedsheets made from upland cotton can also greatly vary. As the thread count increases, so does the sheet’s durability and softness.  

All things considered - you can’t go wrong with a typical set of cotton sheets. Apart from being highly breathable, cotton also gets softer with each wash and absorbs moisture. Not to mention, you can easily find a nice set within $100!

However, upland cotton has its drawbacks. It can pill or wear out after prolonged use. Plus, it is not as silky soft as luxury cotton. Instead, it has a slightly crisp feel to it.  

2) Pima Cotton

Pima is characterized by long staples that ensure very soft fibers and give the material its flexibility and strength. In fact, Pima cotton is so soft that you might wonder if you’re touching silk when you feel it for the first time!

Interestingly, this kind of cotton originated in Peru and today, most global production takes place there.  

Pima cotton also lasts longer than regular cotton, provided that you care for it properly. This kind of cotton is more durable because Pima cotton’s fibers are twice as long as regular cotton fibers. 

However, Pima cotton is almost as expensive as Egyptian cotton. Plus, if you want it to last you for a while, you have to provide it gentle care and air dry it. 

3) Supima® Cotton

You can think of Supima cotton as the enhanced version of Pima cotton. This kind of cotton is characterized by far softer and longer fibers. In fact, it is considered the rarest form of cotton throughout the world and is grown only by a handful of licensed companies in America. 

Given its very high cost (even twice as much as Pima cotton), Supima cotton is mostly used for high-end clothing rather than bedding. But if you do manage to buy luxurious Supima cotton sheets, you’re in for a treat! It is dramatically softer than normal cotton and can last longer than other types if you care for it properly.  

To put it into perspective, Supima cotton bedding costs as much as bedding made of pure silk. 

4) Egyptian Cotton

Egyptian cotton gets its signature characteristics because of where it grows as well as the harvesting process. Egypt’s climate is dry and hot, which is the perfect temperature for cotton to grow. In addition, Egyptian cotton is only hand-picked to maintain the softness of its long and fluffy fibers. As a result, Egyptian cotton is very soft and flexible. 

However, you have to be careful when buying Egyptian bedding. Since the material is quite expensive and relatively rare, many dishonest brands sell cheaper and poor-quality kinds of cotton and label them as Egyptian cotton. 

The cost of Egyptian cotton bedding varies according to the thread count and whether it is blended with a cheaper kind of cotton. 

Just like Supima and Pima sheets, Egyptian cotton also demands careful washing. You should only wash these sheets with cold water and air-dry them or set the dryer on the low setting to prevent shrinking. With the right care, your Egyptian cotton sheets can last for years.    

5) MicroCotton®

This is another long-staple cotton harvested in India and is further processed to make it more absorbent. The fibers are subjected to an advanced spinning process to make them up to 250% more absorbent than upland cotton. 

MicroCotton fibers are longer than upland cotton fibers, and the material is as rare as Supima cotton. This is why you’ll hardly find bedding made of MicroCotton on sale.

However, if you’re a victim of night sweats, you should really work on finding a good set of MicroCotton sheets. Trust us; you’ll thank yourself! These sheets will keep you comfortable and dry throughout the night. 

However, since MicroCotton bedding is limited, you will have to dig deep into your pockets to find a good set. 


Flannel bedding is the warmest option available. Usually, flannel sheets are sold as two kinds of fabric: synthetic and cheap micro flannel or brushed cotton. 

Both types of fabric are very warm and fuzzy because of napping, a manufacturing process that rolls the fabric over steel cylinders. As a result of this process, small fibers break loose and come up to the surface to form a raised, velvety nap that traps body heat so that you stay warm and toasty throughout the night.

To make things clearer, let’s see how the two kinds of fabric differ. Micro flannel is essentially polyester, which means it is pretty affordable and warm but not breathable. Meanwhile, cotton flannel is breathable but has a scratchy feel. 

Regardless of the kind of flannel you go for, you need to remember that the weight is more important than the thread count. So, for instance, a 5 oz flannel sheet will ensure toasty warmth and sufficient thickness for the bed. 

You can wash flannel sheets in a regular wash cycle, but they tend to pill or mat after multiple washes.   


Silk sheets are the most luxurious option, but they come at a pretty high price. Since silk sheets feature low heat conduction, they provide warmth in the winters and cooling relief in the sweltering summers. The glossy, lightweight, and strong fabric has a glossy sheen and is very nice to look at. 

Silk sheets are also highly breathable, and you can easily wash them at home with cold water. Plus, silk sheets get softer with each wash. 

An important thing to remember when buying silk sheets is the momme count. The momme count describes the silk’s thickness and weight, which determines the sheet’s softness and durability. A momme count of 19-33 is great if you want high-quality silk sheets.

However, like other materials, silk also comes with its fair share of problems. Apart from being very costly, the process of producing silk is often slammed by animal rights advocates because it kills the pupae responsible for creating the thread cocoons.    


Tencel is a proprietary fabric made using cellulose present in eucalyptus wood pulp. While it is a completely natural fabric, many people believe it is synthetic because transforming the wood pulp into a bedsheet is a very complicated process and involves complex manufacturing technology.

Out of all the materials, Tencel is one of the softest, smoothest, and most comfortable. It’s generally going to be smoother, more breathable, and more moisture wicking than cotton. The quality of the material is also more reliably great when compared to cotton, but that reliability means the sheets are more expensive. Now, thanks to its high wet strength, with proper care, these sheets should last the lifetime of your mattress, bed, and maybe even your marriage. 


Bamboo is one of the softest materials for bedding. It features temperature-regulating and moisture-wicking capabilities and has a soft, silky, and light weave, which makes the fabric highly breathable. 

The best thing about bamboo is that it is eco-friendly to produce. Manufacturing other fabrics involves a lot of water and, often, dangerous chemicals, but that is not the case with bamboo. Plus, bamboo sheets are great for people with sensitive skin as they are hypoallergenic.

You need to be careful when washing bamboo sheets, but your sheets can last you for up to 6 years with proper care. If you’re a person who knows how to take good care of your bed sheets, then Bamboo sheets will give you the best value for your money. If following the instructions is too much effort then we would say avoid Bamboo based sheets for now.  


Linen is made from natural plant-grown fibers. Linen sheets usually cost a little more than $100 and are highly breathable. Compared to cotton sheets, they also have a thicker weave. Linen sheets last longer than almost all-natural fabrics, and they get softer with each wash. They are also hypoallergenic and breathable. 

However, these sheets are not wrinkle-resistant. So even if you wash them very carefully, you’ll see wrinkles and creases. They also have a rough texture, and you will have to wash them at least a few times to get a soft sleeping surface. 

Antibacterial Additives

Antimicrobial bedding helps slow down and, in some cases, even stop the spread of germs. Antibacterial treatments usually have odor-destroying and germ-killing properties that prevent the spread of bacteria-borne skin problems and infections. 

Apart from infection control, these sheets also protect the user from acne-causing bacteria, mold and mildew, fungus, and odor. They can also withstand peroxide and bleach, making them versatile.  

Antimicrobial sheets are also self-sanitizing, so they tend to stay fresh for longer and don’t need to be washed very frequently. Some antibacterial treatments include:


Copper has remarkable antimicrobial properties that make it ideal for use, particularly in hospital beds. It prevents fungal and bacterial growth on the fabric's surface, which means copper sheets stay clean and smell good for a longer time and ensure the comfort and health of the people who sleep on them. As far as antibacterial agents go, copper is the best-in-class because it offers benefits that go outside of the hygiene benefits. 


Silver strands are also woven into antimicrobial linens to stop the spread of diseases and prevent bacterial growth. These strands are even finer than hair. 

Silver carries a positive charge, while bacteria carry a negative charge. Silver attracts the bacteria, which breaks the bacteria's cell wall and destroys the organisms before they get the chance to multiply. 


Charcoal is also used for antibacterial treatments. It not only makes the fabric silky-soft, but it also fights bacteria and ensures that the sheets stay fresh and good-smelling for longer.  

Cooling Treatments

Some sheets come with additional cooling technology that draws away heat from the body. In some cases, the cooling technology used releases heat to help maintain the body temperature in case it drops.  

Other Additives & Chemicals

Before being made into sheets, fabric fibers are washed, bleached, dyed, sized, and treated with detergents, brighteners, and other additives. Some common chemicals and additives used for the purpose are: 


Sheets labeled as ‘no iron’ or ‘wrinkle-free’ usually have a formaldehyde finish. This is especially true in the case of cotton sheets. However, formaldehyde can cause sneezing, runny nose, sore throat, blocked sinuses, and teary eyes. Studies suggest that the chemical can also cause cancer.


Cotton is a heavily sprayed, pesticide-rich crop. While some chemicals wash out from cotton sheets, they aren’t 100% pure. So, when you sleep on cotton sheets, you expose yourself to toxic chemicals.

When choosing cotton bedsheets, opt for 100% GOTS-certified organic sheets. Such sheets help you avoid the effects of toxic fabric treatments and pesticides. 

Dyes and color fasteners

Most bed sheets use dyes and color fasteners to give the sheets their bright, beautiful colors. However, they interfere with your respiratory system, fertility, hormones, and even the immune system. They also increase the chance of liver, bladder, and kidney cancer.

When choosing bed sheets, go for naturally-dyed alternatives. They are not only safer but also eco-friendly and highly biodegradable. 


Chlorine-based chemicals are usually used to bleach conventional white sheets. However, such chemicals are quite toxic and sleeping on bleached sheets irritates the skin. Particularly in summers, when your pores are more open, there’s a high chance of these toxins getting absorbed into the skin and causing harm.   

What Does Thread Count Mean - and Does It Matter?

Apart from the material, another important factor that you need to take care of when buying bed sheets is the thread count.

Thread count refers to the vertical and horizontal threads for every square inch of the fabric. Generally, a higher thread count means a more comfortable and softer sheet. 

However, companies often manipulate the numbers and market a high thread count for average-quality sheets that aren’t very comfortable.  

A thread count between 200 and 800 is good enough, but you should also remember to take into account the weave and material to find the ideal bedsheet.  

Does Weave Type Matter?

When looking for bedsheets, you will also come across weave type. While it can make a small difference, the weave type is not as important as the thread count. 

Common weave types include: 

  • Sateen: Ensures lustrous and soft sheets but is not really durable 
  • Combed: As the name suggests, in this kind of weave, the cotton is combed to get rid of short fibers. As a result, only long fibers are left behind that ensure a durable and soft material that’s similar to Egyptian or Pima cotton. 
  • Percale: This is the standard weave that produces a durable and soft sheet with a minimum 180 thread count. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Sheet Materials

What material is the healthiest for bedsheets? 

Both cotton and bamboo are considered healthy options because they are breathable and don’t involve toxic chemicals in the manufacturing process. You can also determine if a material is healthy by checking whether the natural fibers are produced via an eco-friendly process. 

For instance, bamboo has an eco-friendly production process, is breathable, and has antimicrobial properties. Organic cotton is also more eco-friendly than cotton, but some people argue that producing cotton involves a lot of water.  

All in all, to get a healthy night’s sleep, the best option is bamboo because it offers the most health benefits. Plus, it has an exceptionally soft weave and regulates temperature. 

What is the best material to stay warm throughout the night?

If you want to stay toasty and warm throughout the night, consider getting microfiber or flannel sheets. Flannel has a brushed nap that traps many tiny air pockets full of body heat, making it a great option for chilly climates and cold weather.  

If it’s not too chilly, then you should go for polyester or microfiber sheets. Both materials trap heat and feature a soft, smooth weave. 

What is the best material to stay cool?

To stay cool throughout the night, you should go for a breathable material like Bamboo or Tencel. To be able to keep you cool, the sheet should have great breathability and moisture-wicking capabilities. 

If you struggle with night sweats then microfiber and polyester sheets are also very good at wicking away moisture, but they’re not super breathable and depending on how they're made, they can get sticky and seal in heat. 

What is the most durable fabric?

Microfiber, polyester, and polycotton are the most durable options. However, the strength of the material also depends on the sheet’s GSM or thread count. Higher GSM or thread count means a thicker and denser weave that can easily handle years of washing.

Generally, man-made fabrics tend to last longer compared to natural fabrics and come with innovative features like moisture-wicking capabilities. In most cases, man-made fabrics are also wrinkle-, pilling-, and stain-resistant and are easy to care for.

What is the most comfortable material for bedsheets?

Bamboo and cotton are considered the most comfortable material for bedding because they're relatively affordable, breathable, soft, and durable. However, there’s no doubt that the most luxurious material is silk, followed by Tencel and then Supima or Egyptian cotton. Poly-cotton is also a relatively cheaper but highly comfortable option.  

With that being said, it’s important to mention here that we just can’t claim one material as the most comfortable, especially because everyone has their own needs and preferences. So, for instance, if you often suffer from allergies, it’s best to go for a hypoallergenic material instead of one that’s very soft. 

Similarly, if you often experience night sweats, then you should go for a breathable material rather than the softest one. 

Conclusion: What Is the Best Material for Sheets?

If you want the absolute best material and can afford to shell out a good amount of money, we suggest you go for silk, Egyptian/Supima Cotton, or Tencel. All of these options are very soft, moisture-absorbing, and highly comfortable. They are also suitable for use throughout the year. 

However, if you’re more environmentally conscious and have sensitive skin, we recommend that you go for bamboo, tencel, or organic cotton sheets. 

And if you’re on a budget, then polyester sheets will be fine, too!