Do Cooling Sheets Work To Keep You Cool?

Written by
 
Purple Staff
Last Updated
January 31, 2023
|
8
min read

If you get hot at night, you may be looking for different ways to sleep cool.  You probably have heard of cooling mattresses, sheets, pillows, covers, and more.

But do cooling sheets really make a difference? Yes, cooling sheets can help! So, how does this type of sheet actually work and how do they help you sleep at the perfect temperature? In our guide, we'll walk you through cooling sheets and what you need to know

Unlike normal sheets, Purple sheets are designed to adapt to your body and mattress. Allowing you to experience the full comfort of your mattress.  Purple sheets are largely made of Rayon from bamboo viscose. Which is soft, light, and stretchy.

Why Is Staying Cool Important?

Staying cool is important because it has an effect on your sleep quality. Sleep scientists and doctors alike consider 66 and 69.8 degrees Fahrenheit the ideal sleeping temperature. By sleeping within this ideal temperature range, your body is encouraged to release melatonin, the hormone that signals to your body that it's time to sleep.

Excess heat trapped in your bedroom, bedding, and sheet sets can inhibit the release of melatonin. This makes it harder for you to fall asleep, shortening the hours of sleep you get. An overly warm room can also make you sweat more at night, which can disturb your sleep and lead to poor sleep quality.

What Are Cooling Sheets?

Cooling sheets are sheets that help sleepers maintain a lower internal temperature at night. They can be organic sheets or sheets made of synthetic materials. What makes them cooling bedding sheets are their high breathability, moisture-wicking properties, and low heat retention.

How Do Cooling Sheets Work?

Cooling sheets work through a combination of three factors: the type of materials they're made of, their thread count, and their texture. Here's the lowdown on how each property works.

things to look for when understanding if cooling sheets work

 

Type Of Material

The type of fabric is the most important determinant for the coolest sheets. Some materials are more likely to trap heat, such as fleece or flannel. Others are more breathable, such as bamboo and percale sheets. While shopping for bedding options, check the label to see its material composition.

Weave Patterns

While a soft sheet set may feel like a cooler choice, it may actually cling snugly to your body more at night and make you feel warmer. Look for a crisp but lightweight fabric, as this material will have better airflow and reduced heat retention.

Weave styles can also affect the breathability of your bedding. A loose, breathable weave such as percale can help you maintain a cooler body temperature at night.

Thread Counts

The common belief is that high thread count sheets translate to soft sheets and higher-quality bedding. However, this simply isn't the case, especially if you're looking for the coolest sheets. A higher thread count will lead to sheets with a tighter weave, which can reduce breathability.

The optimal thread count will depend on the material used to make high-performance sheets. If you're buying cotton sheets, getting a set with a thread count of 400 to 600 is a safe choice. Bamboo sheets are more breathable at a thread count of 250 to 350.

Benefits Of Cooling Sheets

Sleep experts and doctors alike recommend that people sleep in a dark, cool environment to improve their sleep quality and duration, and cooling sheets can help you create the perfect conditions for restful sleep. 

Here are some of the benefits you can enjoy from switching to a cooling, breathable option for bedding.

Improved Bedtime Comfort

Sleeping on sweat-drenched, overly warm sheets can make it difficult to drift off at night. But with cooling sheets, air circulates better through your bedding, allowing sweat to evaporate. This can make your bed more comfortable to sleep in, especially during warmer months.

Better REM Sleep

Cooling sheets can affect sleep quality as well as how much REM sleep (a.k.a. deep sleep) you get at night. If your sleep environment's heat retention is too high, it can keep melatonin from being released. This also interferes with your body's ability to get REM sleep, the stage which affects your mood management and long-term memory retention. Insufficient REM sleep has also been linked to a weaker immune system.

Promote REM sleep and melatonin release by cooling down your sleep environment. Using a cooling type of fabric for your bedding can keep your body's temperature lower at night, increasing your hours of restful REM sleep.

Management Of Hot Flashes And Night Sweats

Night sweats may be caused by health conditions like hot flashes during menopause and anxiety – this can make sleeping highly uncomfortable. While sleeping on cool, breathable bedding won't treat the cause of your night sweats, it can wick sweat and reduce warmth during bedtime, helping you sleep more soundly.

What Are The Best Cooling Sheets Made Of?

The best cooling sheets are made of different kinds of breathable fabric, each with its own level of temperature regulation and moisture-wicking properties. Here's a quick description of each one.

Cotton

Because of their high breathability and moisture-wicking properties, cotton sheets have long been favored as a natural fabric for staying cool. Air circulates easily through cotton sheets, and their absorbency can prevent tossing and turn at night due to nightly sweating.

Typically made with an interlocking breathable weave, cotton sheets are durable and smooth, too. Plus, they're naturally soft and hypoallergenic, so they're highly recommended for those who suffer from skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis.

Not all cotton sheets are equal in quality – the type of cotton used will make a difference. Long-staple cotton bedding like long-staple Egyptian cotton sheets or Supima cotton will be cooler, more durable, and softer than short-staple cotton.

Bamboo

Bamboo is another natural breathable and moisture-wicking option for cooling bed sheet materials. Apart from its excellent ventilation, it's also very soft, lightweight, durable, and flexible. Bamboo sheets even have natural hypoallergenic and antimicrobial properties, making them a great bedding choice for sweaty sleepers with sensitive skin.

Microfibers

Microfiber sheets have thin, small fibers that can make them feel like silk on your skin. They're typically absorbent and wrinkle- and stain-resistant, making them a highly durable bedding choice for sweaty sleepers.

These synthetic sheets are very breathable and often made from a weave of different kinds of synthetic fabrics such as nylon and polyester. However, some types of these high-tech sheets are made with a combination of natural wood pulp and polyester. Check the labels before purchasing microfiber bedding to find out their material composition.

Sateen

Smooth sateen-weave sheets are made of cotton or rayon, but they have an unbelievably luxurious feel akin to silk sheets. Though not as cooling for hot sleepers as percale, their looser weave still makes them fairly breathable bedding material.

Sateen drapes very well and resists wrinkling. Its glossy material has made it one of the most popular choices for aesthetic bedrooms, especially for hotel accommodations. Note that this material is more prone to snagging than other types of sheets, so you need to take care with washing sheets made of sateen.

Natural Silver

Some manufacturers have woven natural silver into their bedding, resulting in high-tech sheets that are cool to the touch – even at room temperature. Apart from lowering your internal temperature at night, natural silver sheets can prevent body odor and bacterial growth.

Percale

Percale-style sheets are a special type of cotton-weave sheets that give sleepers a feeling akin to sleeping on crisp linen. Percale-weave sheets have tighter, flatter weave styles than sateen-weave sheets, so they're not as smooth.

However, percale sheets are much cooler and breathable and have the additional benefit of not pilling easily. Plus, lightweight percale bed sheet materials even get softer with every wash.

Read our guide on the best sheets for cooling.

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Cooling Sheets

With proper care, you can extend your cooling sheets' lifespan and rest on cozy, breathable sleep products for years to come. Here are some tips for maintaining common types of cooling sheets.

Keep Your Natural Or Synthetic Sheets Clean

You should wash your sheets at least once a week to keep dust, dead skin cells, and body fluids from building up in the fabric. Note that if you spill something on your sheets, you should wash them immediately to keep liquids from seeping into the fabric and your mattress.

Make sure your sheets are completely dry, whether through the dryer or exposure to sunlight, before storing them to prevent mildew.

Follow Your Sheets' Care Instructions

Different types of fabric will have different recommended wash settings on their care tags. Follow your sheets' care instructions, especially regarding water temperature and what type of detergent to use, if specified.

If there are no specific instructions, it's best to avoid the hot cycle on your washing machine as this can break down your sheets' fibers. Using cool or warm water on a gentle cycle will prevent shrinkage and keep them soft and breathable.

Avoid Using Chlorine Bleach

While traditional chlorinated bleach may brighten your cooling sheets, it can also weaken the fabric and make it more prone to rips and tears. Brighten your sheets by using oxygen bleach instead, also called non-chlorine bleach.

You can also use a pre-laundry soak made with a bucket of water and half a cup of white vinegar. Simply soak your cooling sheets in this mixture for one hour before washing them as recommended.

Replace Your Sheets Every Two To Three Years

Your bedsheets have direct contact with your skin, which means they have to be washed more often and will break down more quickly compared to your other bedding. Bed sheets should be replaced every two to three years if you use them every day.

If a sheet set is used only seasonally (such as in the winter) or switched every other week, its fabric can last twice as long. Note that linens have a longer lifespan of three to five years. 

Read our article on how to sleep when it's too hot.

Stay Cool With Purple Sheets

Sleeping on cooling sheets can help you rest at a comfortable temperature, making your sleep more restful. There are many cooling synthetic and natural sheets to choose from depending on your budget, preferred feel, and sleeping needs.

Purple sheets are designed to adapt to your body and mattress. So you can get the most comfort out of your mattress. The material is breathable and stretchy so you can sleep cool all night.

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Do Cooling Sheets Work FAQs

What are the best sheets for hot sleepers?

The best sheets for hot sleepers are those made of breathable and moisture-wicking materials. Hot sleepers should consider sleeping on cooling sheets made of materials like cotton, bamboo, and microfibers. 

What material sheets are best for cooling?

With varying factors of material, thread count, etc. It is hard to say one or the other is the best material for cooling. Cotton, bamboo, or breathable synthetic microfibers tend to be lightweight.

Sources

Sources: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6491889/

Sources: https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/melatonin-what-you-need-to-know

Sources: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3427038/