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What Are the Softest Sheets?

When it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, most of us want soft, cozy bed sheets that envelop us in a safe cocoon. There’s nothing better than snuggling down into a soft, cozy bed, wrapped in super soft sheets that make us feel pampered and comfy. If you’re looking for the softest sheets ever, we have your guide to choosing the best silky, breathable, and snuggle-worthy bedding that can take your sleep to the next level.

soft sheets on bed

What Are the Softest Sheets? Top 7 Softest Sheets

  1. Bamboo Sheets
  2. Jersey Sheets
  3. Silk Sheets
  4. Cotton Sheets
  5. Linen Sheets
  6. Flannel Sheets
  7. Microfiber Sheets

 Different sleepers often like different types of sheets – some prefer super soft sheets to keep you fresh and cool during the summer, while others prefer sheets that are cozy and warm. No matter how you sleep, there’s not much that can wreck a good night’s sleep like stiff, scratchy, sandpapery bed sheets that just won’t let you get comfortable.  

What Factors Go Into Soft Sheets?

There are plenty of other factors to consider when you’re looking for the softest bed sheets – let’s take a look at a few.

Type of Fabric

Sheets are made from a variety of different materials. In general, higher quality fabrics yield higher quality bed sheets. Every type of fabric used has different qualities that tailor to the preferences of different sleepers. What seems super soft and cozy to you might seem heavy or uncomfortable to someone else.

Length of Fibers

As a general rule, the longer the fibers, the more durable the material and the longer it will last. Even with a high thread count, bed sheets made with shorter fibers will break down more quickly.

Ply

Ply simply describes how many threads are wrapped together into one single thread. A fabric labeled as single-ply uses just one thread, while sheets you see labeled as double-ply are sewn from two pieces of thread twisted together. So, when you think about thread count, an 800-thread-count sheet could be made of either 800 single-ply threads or 400 double-ply threads. It’s reasonable to assume that a double-ply fabric delivers a more durable, heavier sheet, while those made of single-ply are thinner and more delicate. However, some single-ply sheets use strong threads, resulting in softer and more durable sheets. Which feels better is entirely up to you.

Weave

The way the threads of a particular fabric are oriented to one another is its weave. Sheets come in basically two types of weave: either sateen or percale. Sateen weaves feature vertical yarns, which gives it a softer finish, but also one that pills more easily. A sateen weave exposes more thread to the surface of the sheet for a satin-like, smooth feel without a luxury price tag. Typically, a sateen sheet set shows a subtle stripe pattern because of the nature of the weave. Sateen bed sheets run a bit heavier than their percale counterparts, so they’re ideal for winter months – and they’re super soft.

A percale sheet set will have a crisp, sleek finish and a matte look – but the sheets won’t feel scratchy or stiff. For example, cotton percale is tight, plain weave. Because it’s an ultra-smooth weave, percale will continue to soften over time without pilling or weakening. Percale sheets are lightweight, too, so they’re ideal for staying cool on balmy summer nights – especially for those hot sleepers.

You can also find jacquard or damask weaves, both of which provide a more textured feel and aren’t as popular for sheets.

Processing

Generally, the less processed a sheet is, the softer it will be. This includes color processing, as well. Usually, your best bet for the softest sheets is to choose a material that hasn’t been through a dyeing process. This can make it difficult for people who want their sheets to match their décor, but you should test some non-dyed sheets to see how they feel.

Thread Count

The last factor to consider when buying sheets is thread count – which is simply the number of threads, both vertically and horizontally, that appear within one square inch of sheet fabric. If you’re like many of us, you may have been seduced by the idea of thread count as the top indicator of a sheet’s softness. But don’t be fooled. Thread count is one data point to consider about a sheet set, but it isn’t the be-all, end-all that determines a sheet’s softness or comfort. Because of so much variation within the industry in terms of how thread count is reported, a higher thread count does not in any way guarantee a softer sheet.

What Are the Softest Sheets? Top 7 Softest Sheets

Now let’s take a look at each of these types of softest bed sheets in more detail.

Soft white sheets on a bed

1. Bamboo Sheets

Bamboo sheets are the softest of the soft and our very favorite kind of sheet. Bamboo fabric is exceptionally eco-friendly and, in our opinion, the softest and most comfortable bed sheets you can find. To produce them, the fibers of the bamboo plant are mashed into a soft pulp and then dried into threads. These threads are then woven into luxurious fabric that can be made into soft, silky bed sheets that wrap you up in comfort. In fact, it’s hard to find any other fabric on the market that can rival bamboo for softness. Even a lower-thread-count bamboo sheet can feel considerably softer than a luxury, high-thread-count cotton sheet.

As a highly renewable resource, bamboo is gaining popularity as the number one choice for bedding. Bamboo creates a durable, strong fiber with a smooth, soft finish and a plush feel. In terms of pricing, a bamboo sheet set usually costs around the same as a higher quality cotton sheet set. Bamboo sheets are exceptionally good when it comes to breathability, so they are ideal for hot sleepers. In fact, no matter the external temperature, bamboo sheets allow you to sleep cool and cozy, helping sleepers naturally adjust their body temperatures. Bamboo sheets are machine washable and will continue to get softer with repeated washing. They’re a little magical like that.

Bamboo sheets are also naturally hypoallergenic, making them ideal for sleepers with sensitive skin. And when you consider they’re also naturally stain-resistant, it’s clear that bamboo sheets are your best bet, not only for ultimate softness but for overall quality and value.

2. Jersey Sheets

Jersey sheets are quite soft and may feel like your favorite old t-shirt. A cotton-knit blend, these sheets are usually on the less expensive end of the spectrum. They are often overlooked as being too inexpensive or just for college students in their dorm rooms — but they’re warm, smooth, and soft, even after multiple washes. They can be a good choice for sleepers who like lots of stretch in their sheets and who are looking for economical options.

Jersey sheets differ from most other materials presented here because the jersey fabric is knit, rather than woven — which means it’s made from one long piece of thread. Knit fabrics are highly stretchable and flexible, so they’re great for adapting to your mattress size if they need to stretch a bit.

3. Silk Sheets

Silk sheets are soft, but they aren’t for everyone. Silk is a natural fiber with a soft, shiny, and decadent finish. And we’re talking real silk — not those imitation silk sheets made from polyester that often see on store shelves. Those knockoffs are slippery and kind of tacky, but real silk sheets give you lots of softness and no sliding around the bed while you’re trying to sleep. There are several different types of silk. Most notable, perhaps, is Mulberry silk, which is produced by silkworms that have eaten nothing their whole lives except for mulberry leaves. Sounds fancy, right?

Genuine silk sheets can be pricey. They typically range from $100 to $500, depending on the type, brand and mattress dimensions. In most cases, silk sheets need to be dry cleaned, so buyer beware. If you’re in the market for luxurious, silky sheets and are ready to invest a lot of money and time keeping them clean, these sheets might be your best option.

4. Cotton Sheets

Cotton has long been a popular choice for bed sheets. As you continue to wash it, cotton will usually become softer over time. When shopping for bed sheets, you’ll see cotton in many different types. Remember not to focus too much on thread count, but instead, to look at the quality of the cotton used.

Egyptian cotton sheets are highly absorbent and breathable, often is touted as the premier level of cotton. But true Egyptian cotton can be hard to find and is often sold from unreliable sources, so be careful. Pima cotton is known to be long-lasting and durable. Organic cotton, which is grown without herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers, is a nice option to pair with your hypoallergenic mattress if you have sensitive skin — and it’s typically more environmentally-friendly than other cotton options. Supima cotton is a long staple cotton with long, smooth, soft weaves. Similarly, Turkish cotton features long staple cotton fibers that give it a luxuriously soft feel.

Look for 100 percent cotton whenever possible because of its moisture-wicking qualities. When it comes to cotton sheets, the type you prefer may depend on how you sleep. Hot sleepers will want to go for something lighter and more breathable, while colder sleepers may prefer a heavier feel.

5. Linen Sheets

Linen is a natural fiber and one of the oldest fabrics in the world. Its fiber is strong and durable, and over time it breaks into a cool, luxurious feel. Linen has long been considered a more decadent alternative to cotton sheets. Lower quality linen might feel a bit stiff and scratchy to some users, but high-quality linen should feel crisp and textured, but not rough. Sometimes, linen fabric is even air-whipped in order to deliver ultimate softness. Linen is also highly breathable, so linen sheets are great for summer. Linen bed sheets can be a bit pricey, so just know that if you’re going for the more luxurious, higher-quality linen, you’ll need to budget accordingly. This bed sheet can be a good choice for discriminating sleepers with traditional tastes.

6. Flannel Sheets

There’s not much that feels better on a cold winter night than crawling into a soft, warm, flannel cocoon. Flannel can be so soft and cozy that you’d swear it almost feels like velvet. While originally made from carded wool or worsted yarn, the flannel used to make bed sheets today is typically either 100-percent cotton or a cotton-polyester blend. Flannel sheets have a brushed nap, usually on both sides, that makes them extremely soft to the touch. But unless your climate is extremely cold, flannel sheets can feel stuffy and hot. They’re not especially breathable, so they’re ideal for people who get cold at night and aren’t worried about becoming overheated as they sleep.

7. Microfiber Sheets

Microfiber sheets are typically made from synthetic fabrics like polyester and nylon. They are finely woven and double brushed, which gives them a warm, smooth, and soft finish. Microfiber threads are ultra-thin. In fact, they’re thinner than a single strand of silk, though also durable and extremely strong. The fabric is brushed for ultimate softness and resists pilling. The microfiber weave is also lightweight and moisture-wicking. Microfiber sheets are often cost-effective and versatile, so they’re great for sleepers who are looking for value and don’t insist on natural fabrics.

What Are the Softest Bed Sheets?

Your bed sheets play a vital role in getting a good night’s sleep, yet we often overlook their importance — except to make sure they look good and match our overall bedroom decorating scheme. But if you sleep on stiff, itchy sheets, you can almost certainly count on having a poor night’s sleep.

Ultimately, what feels the softest to you is largely a matter of personal preference. However, some sheets are naturally softer than others, which is why many people prefer bamboo sheets. There’s nothing better than climbing into bed at night and wrapping up in the bedding equivalent of a light, fluffy, gossamer cloud. Follow the advice presented here to help you get a great night’s sleep, cocooned in the pillowy embrace of comfortable, soft sheets.

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