The best bed sheets: the best thread count sheets to buy and how to make your sheets last longer, with recommendations from a bedding expert
We've broken down everything you need to know about bed sheet materials, thread counts and spoke to a bedding expert to get his take on what to look for (and avoid) when shopping for the best bed sheets.
Sleep is a key factor in maintaining a healthy mind and body. On average, adults need around 7-9 hours of sleep a night (though personally, I’d love a solid 15), but it’s not just the amount of sleep that's important, sleep quality is just as essential. Quality sleep requires quality sheets, and when it comes to bed sheets, there’s a lot more to consider than you might think.
Gone are the days when changing the bed was all but an Olympic sport, good elasticity to keep a fitted sheet in place is high on the list of must-haves, along with comfort and durability. From thread counts to material choice, there's a lot to consider when buying bed sheets, and with so many options on the market, it can be hard to know where to start. Well, that’s where we come in.
The Recommended spoke to those in the know to get their take on what makes the best bed sheets.
Jump to the best bed sheets:
- Best hypoallergenic sheets: Sonoro Kate Bed Sheet Set
- Best fitted sheet: RUIKASI Fitted Sheet
- Best value sheets: MOHAP Double Fitted Sheet
- Best sateen bedsheet: California Design Den Bed Sheet
- Best sheet set: RUIKASI bedding set
- Best bamboo bed sheet: Bambaw Bamboo Bed Sheet
- Best cotton bed sheet: Mellanni Cotton Bed Sheet
- Best sustainable bed sheets: Ethical Bedding Bed Sheets
- Best linen bedsheet: Bedfolk Linen Bed Sheet
- Best organic bed sheets: West Elm Organic Bed Sheets
What does thread count mean?
We’ve all heard of thread counts, but what do they actually mean? According to the Sleep Foundation “thread count is a measure of the number of threads woven into one square inch of fabric. Essentially, it’s a measure of how tightly woven a fabric is” and “is used as a rough indicator of the softness and feel of a fabric”. Our expert James commented on thread count, saying, “it’s always assumed that the higher the thread count, the better the quality - but this is wrong."
Thread counts measure the number of threads per square inch, "which speaks more to its thickness and durability”. Sleep Foundation echo this sentiment by pointing out that “thread count is far from the only consideration when it comes to the overall quality of a set of sheets”.
What is a good thread count for sheets?
So, we know it isn’t everything, but what should we be looking for in terms of thread count? Well, the optimal thread count for soft, durable sheets will vary depending on the fabric, Sleep Foundation advise, “at a minimum, look for sheets with an advertised thread count of 200. Anything lower than likely won’t feel as soft and may result in a less comfortable sleeping experience”.
What is the best material for bed sheets?
Bed sheets of different fabrics will have different qualities that suit different tastes and requirements. Our expert James advised us to “pay attention to the material and its properties, this will provide you with a better idea of your needs”.
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- Cotton: Cotton bed sheets are generally the most popular fabric choice as they are widely available, durable and feel soft against the skin. They are more affordable than some materials like silk and are usually easier to look after. The Sleep Foundation recommend looking for cotton sheets with a thread count of between 200-400 for a high-quality product.
- Linen: Linen sheets are a good choice for the warmer months and for those that tend to run hot as they sleep. Linen is generally more breathable than other fabrics and provides a cooler sleep, they do tend to be more expensive than some fabrics such as cotton or polyester, but they have the added benefit of looking very chic and luxurious. The Sleep Foundation suggest a thread count of 80-140 for linen sheets, but note thread count isn't a great indicator of quality in linen products, and high thread counts should be avoided.
- Polyester: Polyester sheets are a popular, more affordable option that is durable and more wrinkle-resistant than other materials such as cotton or linen. They are generally easy to care for, with most products being machine washable. However, synthetic fibres used in polyester sheets can trap heat, so they may not be the best choice for hot sleepers.
- Silk: Silk sheets add a touch of luxury to your bedroom and are unsurprisingly the more expensive sheets on the market. They give a soft, smooth feel and are naturally temperature regulating, plus they're great for your hair and skin. Silk is measured in momme instead of thread count, momme is a measure of weight that looks at the number of pounds per piece of silk measuring 45 inches by 100 yards. The Sleep Foundation advises looking “for silk sheets around the 17-22 momme range.”
- Microfibre: Microfibre sheets are a soft and affordable option though they are not always the most durable. They are widely available and usually machine washable for easy maintenance. Microfibre sheets are measured in grams per square meter (GSM), according to The Sleep Foundation, it’s best to look for microfibre sheets “in the 90-120 GSM range”.
- Bamboo and Eucalyptus: Bamboo and Eucalyptus sheets are made from regeneration cellulose, sometimes referred to as viscose or lyocell or rayon. These sheets are thought to be more sustainable than cotton and are usually super soft and breathable.
Tips from a bedding expert
We did our research and spoke to the pros at Ethical Bedding and heard their thoughts on what goes into creating quality bed sheets. Ethical bedding prioritises environmental sustainability when creating their organic bedding and by both the Bcorportaion and The Vegan Society. Ethical bedding promise to plant a tree for every purchase and is aiming to plant 100,000 trees by 2025.
James Higgins, CEO of Ethical Bedding, told us, “when buying bed sheets, you should consider what is going to be the most comfortable and also durable”. He continued that “organic materials such as linen, hemp and cotton tend to be fairly durable over long periods of time and plenty of washes. James also pointed out what organic really means, telling us that a product should be “95% of the original material to be considered organic”.
James also told us he “recommend[s] buying bed sheets that are ethically produced and made from fabrics such as bamboo and eucalyptus as they have large potential for renewability and don’t require any chemicals, pesticides or fertilisers to grow”. James added that “If you want a luxurious touch, then silk and eucalyptus sheets are super soft fabrics which provide a smooth experience”.
How to make bed sheets last longer
Washing your sheets with hot water might seem like the logical, most hygienic choice, but washing your sheets at too high a temperature can cause the sheets to wear and colours to fade more quickly. Always read the label to see manufacturer recommendations, and don't exceed the temperature stated on the care instructions. If your sheets are tumble drier safe, use a gentle cycle or hang sheets either on a drying rack or outside to help your sheets stand the test of time.
The best bed sheets
Best hypoallergenic sheets: Sonoro Kate Bed Sheet Set
For a comfortable slumber
These hypoallergenic sheets claim to be ultra-thick and resistant to dust mites to help you sleep comfortably through the night.
This bedsheets set comes with two pillowcases, a fitted sheet and a flat sheet, all of which promise to be fade resistant and machine washable for easy maintenance.
Verified Buyer Nikki said, “my first impression was how nicely packaged they were. I washed them immediately and put them on the bed. The elastic is great, it holds them on the bed very well and they are so soft. I'm super happy with these and will buy another set as a backup”.
Best fitted sheet: RUIKASI Fitted Sheet
This super cosy sheet promises to fit any mattress from 6 to 16 inches deep, and the super-soft microfiber material works to provide optimal comfort.
Made with practical, all-around elasticity and super-stretchy corners, this bed sheet promises to make the bed-changing Olympics a distant memory, promising a non-slip design that stays in place.
Verified buyer Karen said, “Lovely and soft on the skin. Great fit, no wrinkles or risk of coming loose in the night. Would buy again thinking of changing all my other bottom sheets”.
Best value sheets: MOHAP Double Fitted Sheet
Made from durable brushed microfibre, these bed sheets are equipped with all-around elastic and a sixteen-inch deep design for a secure, comfortable fit.
This affordable bedsheet promises to deliver on quality without breaking the bank. Machine washable ad tumble dyer safe, these bed sheets promise long-lasting comfort and easy maintenance.
Verified buyer Jamie said these sheets are “super comfortable and fit tightly around the mattress ensuring it stays in position all night. They also feel like they are great quality”.
Best sateen bed sheet: California Design Den Bed Sheet
For a luxurious feel
Made with 100% natural cotton, these super smooth bed sheets are crafted with a silky sateen weave for a luxurious feel and breathable comfort.
Free from over 300 harmful chemicals and equipped with all-around elastic for a secure fit, these bedsheets work to prioritise your health and comfort.
Verified buyer Hannah said, “these sheets are great, my guests are happy with them, they wash well and dry pretty much crease-free, so are easy care. Definitely recommend!”.
Best sheet set: RUIKASI bedding set
For easy maintenance
Ultra-soft and wrinkle-resistant, this bed sheet set promises comfort and easy maintenance.
Designed with an all-around elasticated fit, this bed sheet set promises to stay in place all night long, and the high-density durable fabric is hypoallergenic for a comfortable night’s sleep.
Verified buyer Harriet said, “this bedding is so soft, I love it. Looks great and feels good quality. Impressed that it comes with a deeper sheet as I normally struggle to get one that covers my mattress”.
Best bamboo bed sheet: Bambaw Bamboo Bed Sheet
Natural, cooling comfort
James named bamboo sheets as a great ethical and sustainable option. Made with 100% bamboo rayon, these bedsheets promise to keep you cool and comfortable with a hypoallergenic, breathable design.
A great natural option, these bamboo bed sheets are free from harmful chemicals, and the super-soft feel prioritises comfort for quality sleep.
Verified buyer Nikki said, “This has got to be one of the best sheets I have EVER bought. Feels so silky soft yet isn’t cold when you get into bed ( a bonus for anyone who feels the cold) I will never buy anything else but bamboo now”.
Best cotton bed sheet: Mellanni Cotton Bed Sheet
100% quality cotton
Made with 100% organic cotton, these 400 thread count bed sheets promise a silky, smooth feel and superior comfort.
These cotton bedsheets promise to be naturally breathable and cooling, and the stretchy design promises to comfortably fit mattresses that are up to sixteen inches deep.
Verified buyer Sharon said, “These sheets are very well made and generous in size. They are lightweight but cosy. Some sheets are soft out of the package but aren't once the sizing has been washed out. Not these! Still soft after the first wash”.
Best sustainable bed sheets: Ethical Bedding Bed Sheets
Soft yet strong
Made with 100% eucalyptus fibre, these quality sheets are naturally hypoallergenic and are created with the planet in mind.
Woven exclusively from earth-friendly fibres, these bed sheets are deeper than average and promise to securely fit even the thickest of mattresses for a comfortable night's sleep.
Verified buyer Melanie said, “Very happy with this fitted sheet. Lovely quality, a nice smooth and silky feel to it. Very comfortable and fits very well even though we have a deep mattress”.
Best linen bed sheets: Bedfolk Linen Bed Sheet
Woven from high-quality French and Belgian flax, these linen bedsheets claim to get softer with use and provide long-lasting quality, comfortable sleep.
Claiming to be entirely free of harmful chemicals and synthetics, these linen bed sheets come in both fitted and flat sheets and are machine washable and tumble drier safe for easy maintenance.
Truster customers say these sheets are a “brilliant quality product that feels soft and comfortable” and that they “look forward to getting into bed every night now to relax and unwind”.
Best organic bed sheets: West Elm Organic Bed Sheets
Ethical everyday luxury
Fairtrade certified and made with 100% organic cotton, these bedsheets work to bring a touch of luxury into your everyday.
Certified to the Global Organic Textile Standard, these cotton bed sheets work to provide quality products that stand the test of time (and the washing machine) with durable 400 thread count designs.
If you would like to read more expert-recommended round-ups, check out our Household page, where you’ll find more home recommendations, including the best weighted blankets, the best hooded blankets and the best alarm clocks.
Isobel Nutbrown is a Staff Writer at The Recommended and works with leading industry experts to help readers make informed decisions and shop smarter online.