When people talk about the good old days, they may not automatically think of bed sheets. But for many, most modern-day sheets pale in comparison to your grandmother's cool, crisp linens. And that's why the
best percale sheets are so in demand (and so difficult to find): These are the lightweight, breathable, cooling, old-fashioned sheets that you slept in during summer sleepovers at your grandparents' when you were young.
Referring to the type of weave used in their design, percale cotton sheets are closely woven, flat, and smooth — and pretty much always made from 100 percent cotton. Unlike sateen weave sheets, you should never expect
percale sheets to be soft and satiny — that would defeat their purpose. Instead, these crisp, cooling sheets are ideal for spring, summer, sweaty sleepers, and anyone who simply prefers a lighter, less clingy sheet that stands the test of time.
When it comes to thread count, it's important to forget everything you've been told about needing sheets that boast nothing less than 1,000 threads. Percale sheets typically range between a 200 and 300 thread count, and that number does not affect their quality.
Regardless of your budget, mattress size, and color or fabric preference, the seven choices below are the
best percale sheets you can buy online today. 1 The Overall Best Percale Sheets
With a fair, affordable price tag, a 100 percent cotton percale weave and 200 thread count, and outstanding reviews from more than 5,000 Amazon customers, these are the overall best
percale sheets you can buy. They’re OEKO-TEX certified to ensure they aren’t made with harmful chemicals, and the fitted sheet can fit mattresses up to 16 inches deep. Also, they come in 16 colors and an extensive range of sizes.
Reviewers say these sheets are crisp, cool (and that they stay cool throughout the night), durable, and that they fit well. They’re also very easy to care for, though you may want to run an iron over them if wrinkles bother you. And they get softer and even more comfortable after a few spins in the washing machine.
Helpful Review: “THESE SHEETS ARE AMAZING! Not too thick as to be hot, and not thin like the lower/cheaper thread count! I’ve bought similar sheets at name brand stores, that are comparable yet 3xs the price! I would highly recommend these sheets, & after having them a few months now, I don’t put on my old set when I wash these. I just wash them early in the day so I can put them right back on.” Available sizes: twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king 2 The Most Affordable Sheets In Pretty Prints
It will be difficult to find a set of 100%
cotton percale sheets at this price — with a queen mattress set costing less than $30. The breathable four-piece set includes a fitted sheet designed with all-around elastic, flat sheet, and two pillowcases and is available in 11 colors and prints like paisley and geometric diamonds. They have a 200 thread count, but some reviewers said they favor these over higher count sheets. At this affordable price, these are a great pick for outfitting several rooms in your home at once. This is a popular pick with more than 4,500 reviews. Helpful Review: “I'm not a fan of microfiber. Hard to find good old cotton percale sheets at a reasonable price. I love the feel of crisp sheets! [...] These seem to be well made. I have washed once, minimal wrinkles. [...] Exactly the color & pattern I was looking for (grey Paisley) Very good value!!! Love them!” Available sizes: twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king 3 The Best Deep Pocket Sheets For Bigger Mattresses
A lot of sheets will claim they have deep pockets that fit deeper mattresses, but this quality set of
percale sheets truly lives up to that promise. These 300 thread-count sheets feature pockets that can fit mattresses up to 22 inches deep. They come in nine colors, including ivory, white, and periwinkle. The four-piece set comes with a flat sheet, fitted sheet, and two pillowcases — both the flat sheet and pillowcases feature elegant hemming and piping. Helpful Review: “These are truly your grandmother's sheets: Crisp, tight weave percale. I ordered a second set because they are so nice. Be aware that the over-sized top sheet could be too large if you have a bed spread with bed skirt. Our top sheet is too wide for this arrangement and shows below the bed spread. I just tuck it in, so it is OK.” Available sizes: queen, king, California king, split California king, top split king 4 An Affordable Percale Sheet Set That’s Oeko-Tex Certified
With more than 3,000 reviews, this
percale cotton sheet set combines affordability and quality. The sheets are made with a 300 thread count and come with four pieces: a fitted sheet, two pillowcases, and a flat sheet that has a 6-inch hem. They come in five colors and are described as breathable, crisp, and perfect for warm nights and hot climates. They pass Oeko-Tex standards, as well. Helpful Review: "The fitted sheets have elastic all around, so they stay put, deep pockets. Both sheets have made it through a 70 pound dog trying to dig out the imaginary mice from the mattress. So far [the set] has been washed in the range of 8-10 times without any seams coming apart or fading color. There has been no noticeable shrinkage either." Available sizes: twin, twin XL, full, queen, king 5 A Set Of Percale Sheets That Won’t Need Ironing
Here’s the deal when it comes to
percale cotton sheets: wrinkles are going to happen. Unless you purchase sheets made from a blend of percale cotton and polyester, which means compromising when it comes to that crisp, cool feeling that you get from 100 percent cotton percale, there really is no such thing as wrinkle-resistant percale sheets. But (in case wrinkles are a real pet peeve) one way to get around having to iron your sheets is to opt for a striped set, as the design does a great job of concealing wrinkles. These striped sheets have a 200 thread count and come in 20 colors and prints, including other striped versions and prints. The four-piece set comes with a fitted sheet, flat sheet, and two pillowcases. Helpful Review: “These sheets are crisp and cool and feel wonderful on a warm summer night. I’m not sure what the fuss is about sheets that wrinkle. I don’t think these are overly wrinkly when they come out of the dryer but if I forget and take them out later I suppose you could say they’re wrinkly....There’s definitely very little shrinkage so not much wrestling to get them to go on. Great sheets.” Available sizes: twin, twin XL, full, queen, king 6 An Organic Percale Sheet Set That’s GOTS Certified
These GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified-organic
percale sheets may cost more than most, but reviewers say they're worth every penny and you’ll have them for years to come. These sheets have one of the tightest, crispest weaves around, with a 300 thread count. The four-piece set includes a fitted sheet, flat sheet, and two pillowcases. It comes in recyclable packaging and includes a reusable tote bag, plus the company goes to lengths to procure its cotton straight from farmers in an effort to sustain fair trade. Choose from six colors that include neutrals like ivory and white, as well as lilac and dark blue. Helpful Review: “I love this sheet set. It's soft and comfortable, bonus points for being environmental and giving back to communities in need.” Available sizes: twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king 7 A Luxurious Set Of High Thread-Count Percale Sheets
When you want a one-and-done
percale sheet set pick, this luxurious find is a gem. This set is pricey, for sure, but it’s also designed with a much higher 500 thread count and U.S.-grown pima long-staple cotton that makes them cool but also durable and smooth. The four-piece set includes a fitted sheet, flat sheet, and two pillowcases. They come with a 30-night warranty and the manufacturer says they are never treated with pesticides and chemicals (though it isn’t clear whether they have received Oeko-Tex certification). These come in ivory or white. Helpful Review: “These sheets practically scream quality. They soften with use, have a beefy ‘hand," and it's great to slide into these sheets, whatever the room temperature. These are like the crisp percale sheets of my 1960's childhood, before cotton/polyester sheets and satin stripes/damask came into prominence. If you’re looking for a limp, silky soft sheet that doesn’t wrinkle, I recommend you keep shopping. These wrinkle in the permanent press cycle, but less so with fabric softener and if I take them immediately out of the dryer.” Available sizes: full, queen, king, California king
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This article was originally published on
March 2, 2019