The Best Editor-Tested Cotton Percale Sheets You Can Buy Now

updated Jun 12, 2024
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Minimalist bed with white bedding and black and white pillows. Seal in upper left that reads “Apartment Therapy the Best List: 2024 Cotton Percale Sheets”

We all have our checklist of questions that we ask ourselves when it comes to buying sheets:  Are they for hot or cold sleepers? Are they easy to care for or require more maintenance? And so on. For most of us, I’m sure the one aspect that trumps all of them is feel, and whether they’re soft or crisp enough to suit our preferences.

Simple as it sounds, there’s actually a lot that goes into what our sheets feel like, including the material, weave, and thread count. All of those factors play key roles in helping us decide which sheets are right for us. If you’re shopping for cotton sheets — one of the most versatile materials you can buy — there’s a good chance you’re looking for something very specific: cotton percale. It is one of the most common types of bedding in the United States, after all.

Why, you might be wondering? They’re breathable and feel cool to the touch, making them ideal for people who tend to sleep hot or reside where nights are warm. (In fact, many of the sheet sets in our list of The Best Cooling Sheets are cotton percale.) Plus, the smooth crispness of the sheets makes you feel like you’re sleeping in a luxe hotel bed every night.

We tested a slew of cotton percale sheets in a range of price points, thread counts, and even colors to come up with a list of our very favorites. Apartment Therapy editors slept on them for several weeks to determine how comfortable the sheets were and put them through several cycles in the washer and dryer to see if their softness and durability changed over time. Below are our picks for the best cotton percale sheets you can buy right now.

The Best Cotton Percale Sheets

What to Consider Before Buying Cotton Percale Sheets

If you’re researching cotton percale sheets, you’ll want to make sure you understand what exactly that distinction means.

Percale vs. Sateen

Percale and sateen refer to the weave of the fabric. Sleepopolis has a really good explainer about the differences between the two weaves, but the most important thing to know is that the percale weave (threads woven “one-over-one-under” in a uniform pattern) is characterized by a matte finish and crisp feel, while the sateen weave (typically “three-over-one-under”) is recognizable by a shinier finish and silky-smooth feel. The difference in weaves results in percale sheets that are cool to the touch, lightweight, and breathable, while sateen sheets tend to be slightly heavier and warmer.

Percale sheets are also, for lack of a better word, crinkly. They’re so crisp that they can make noise as you move about in them (think of a nicely pressed button-down shirt or fancy hotel sheets). However, high-quality percale sheets get softer as you use and wash them.

Types of Cotton

When it comes to cotton, you’ll see terms like “long-staple” and “Egyptian cotton.” But what do those things mean? Each cotton plant is made up of thousands of tiny fibers, and the quality of those fibers is determined by their length, or “staple.” Short-staple fibers are under 1 1/8 inches long, long-staple fibers are at least 1 1/4 inches long, and extra-long staple are 2 inches and above. The longer the staple, the better the quality and higher the strength. Products made with longer-staple cotton won’t pill or tear as much and they often become softer over time.

Now, let’s take a look at the most popular types of cotton used to make sheets:

American Upland: This is the most common type of cotton produced in the U.S., often used to make flannel, jeans, and sheets. If the brand doesn’t specify, it’s most likely Upland. It’s inexpensive and typically comprised of short-staple fibers.

Pima or Supima: A high-end type of cotton, pima cotton has long-staple fibers and is known for its durability and smooth finish. Supima cotton is the trademarked marketing name for pima cotton, which is produced in the U.S. and has extra-long-staple fibers.

Egyptian: You probably associate Egyptian cotton with luxury — and you’re right. Egyptian cotton is the most well-known extra-long-staple type of cotton and it’s known for its long-lasting quality, soft feel, and accompanying higher price tag.

Thread Count

When shopping for sheets, you’ll notice most brands tout a thread count, which refers to the measure of how many threads are woven into one square inch of fabric. It’s meant to give you an idea of quality, but don’t be fooled — a higher thread count does NOT mean higher quality. Brands tend to inflate thread count numbers to trick consumers, when in reality there’s not much difference between a 400 and 800 thread count. What’s actually much more important is high-quality, longer-staple cotton, woven at a minimum 200 thread count (ideal is anywhere between 200-500) — anything lower will be susceptible to tearing, and anything very high is suspect.


  • OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certifiedProducts are free of harmful synthetics and dyes.
  • Made in Green by OEKO-TEX certifiedMaterials used in products are traceable and have been tested for and are free from harmful substances.
  • GOTS certifiedProducts align with the Global Organic Textile Standard, which defines the worldwide recognized requirements for organic textiles.
  • Cotton LEADS program: A reliable cotton supply chain providing raw material that is responsibly produced and identified.
  • Made Safe certified: Products are nontoxic and made with safe ingredients/materials.
  • Fair Trade certified: Products are created in alignment with the economic standards in place for manufacturers to equitably distribute the benefits of ingredient, material, or product trade.
  • Global Cotton Initiative partnerThe production process uses fewer synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, increases cotton yields, reduces water usage, improves soil health, and applies decent work principles.
  • Climate Neutral certified: Products created by a company that actually offsets more carbon emissions than they generate, making them carbon negative.
  • Cotton Egypt Association certified: The organization uses advanced scientific technology to identify authentic Egyptian cotton and verify its authenticity.

What We Look for in Cotton Percale Sheets

We tested a wide range of cotton percale sheets, judging them on the following criteria:

  • Feel: How do the sheets feel out of the box? Are they lightweight? Are they soft/crisp/smooth? Are they comfortable to sleep on? How crinkly are they?
  • Durability: Do the sheets feel thick enough to prevent shredding? Do they get softer with time and washing? What type of cotton are they made from?
  • Availability: Can the sheets be purchased as a set or only individually? Are there options for removing the top sheet? Are there a variety of color options?

The Best Cotton Percale Sheets

Our editors can’t get enough of Sijo, so it comes as no surprise that this brand topped our list. Designed for hot sleepers — and a must-have for summer — the Organic CrispCool Sheet Set will give your bedroom a high-end feel, and you’ll never want to get out of your bed once you’re in it. The material is organic, crisp, and silky with a 400 thread count that you can’t help but snuggle against. “These sheets are seriously some of the softest I’ve ever felt,” says Haley, who adds that they feel even better over time. “Plus, they fit my bed perfectly and have held up great through every wash.”


  • 100% organic cotton
  • Available in 6 sizes and 5 colors
  • 400 thread count 
  • Fits mattresses up to 16”
  • Includes fitted sheet, optional flat sheet, and 2 pillowcases (1 pillowcase for Twin sets)
  • Machine wash cold on gentle cycle; tumble dry low
  • OEKO-TEX Standard 100 and GOTS certified
  • 7-day trial

Who It’s Best For: Those who want their bedding to be breathable, but still feel super soft and cozy.

Good to Know: Haley says that they don’t stop her from sweating entirely, but the out-of-this-world comfiness makes up for it.

For ultimate temperature control, the Nest Bedding Crinkle Percale Organic Cotton Sheet Set is the way to go. These durable and breathable sheets have a washed look that brings an extra helping of comfort to your bedscape. According to AT social media manager Sam, these are “very soft sheets” and “perfect for sleeping in hot weather.” Made from 100-percent organic cotton, these crinkle-finished sheets were woven to provide optimal airflow sure to keep you cool throughout the night.  They also come in five muted colors perfect for adding an extra cozy vibe to your bedroom.


  • 100% organic cotton
  • Available in 6 sizes and 5 colors
  • 200 thread count 
  • Fits mattresses up to 16″
  • Includes top sheet, fitted sheet, and up to 4 pillowcases (depending on selected sheet size)
  • Machine wash cold with mild detergent; tumble dry low
  • Fair Trade certified
  • 30-night trial

Who It’s Best For: Those who are hot sleepers; those who prefer cotton sheets; those who like the look of “lived in” sheets.

Good to Know: These sheets will get softer after every wash.

Boll & Branch is a mainstay on our Best Lists for a reason — they continuously deliver high-quality, organic products that we love! Their Percale Hemmed Sheets are no exception and even earned a spot on our Best Organic Sheets list. These smooth and crisp sheets are made with a special cooling weave designed to keep your temperature down throughout the night. Combined with the long-staple 100-percent cotton, these sheets are also sure to last a long time. “They’re soft and I don’t get too hot sleeping under them, which has been good for the quickly changing spring weather in Louisiana, but I could easily use them all year round, too,” says tester Hernetta. “They wash well, haven’t shed, and look great!”

Read our full review of the Boll & Branch Percale Hemmed Sheets.


  • 100% organic cotton
  • Available in 7 sizes and 10 colors
  • Fits mattresses up to 17″
  • Includes flat sheet, fitted sheet, and 2 pillowcases (1 pillowcase for Twin sets)
  • Machine wash cold on gentle cycle; tumble dry medium
  • OEKO-TEX 100, GOTS, and Fair Trade-certified

Who It’s Best For: Those who prefer organic bedding; those who prefer cooling sheets.

Good to Know: Boll & Branch offers free shipping and returns, but you can also try these sheets risk-free for 30 nights.

If you ask an AT editor for bedding recommendations, one of the first places you’ll likely be told to look at is Brooklinen. It’s the home of many Best List winners and editor favorites from silk pillowcases to home fragrances. These luxurious percale sheets are made with 100% long-staple organic cotton, have a cozy, lived-in look, and are naturally breathable. All in all, it’s safe to say that they’re a must-have as the weather warms up.

“These are the PERFECT sheets for summer, or for year-round use if you’re a hot sleeper,” says shopping writer Nikol. “The material is durable but very thin and lightweight. It wrinkles easily, but I like this vibe for summer; it makes the sheets look breezy and casual. The breathability is excellent. I got my sheets in white, but they come in other cool colors, like vanilla and warm clay.” Available in six colors (three of which are seasonal), these sheets are the epitome of effortlessly chic.

Read our full review of the Brooklinen Organic Cotton Core Sheets.


  • 100% organic cotton
  • Available in 4 sizes and 6 colors
  • 300 thread count
  • Fits mattresses up to 16″
  • Includes fitted sheet, flat sheet, and 2 pillowcases
  • OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified
  • Machine wash cold; tumble dry low

Who It’s Best For: Those who prefer organic cotton percale sheets; those who want sheets that are suited for any type of sleeper

Good to Know: If you prefer a smoother appearance for your sheets, remove them promptly from the dryer and use a warm iron if necessary.

The Company Store’s Legends Hotel Supima Cotton Percale Sheets will keep you nice and cool throughout the night. Light, crisp, and breathable, these sheets were made with long-staple Supima cotton specifically for warm temperatures. And at a 400 thread count, they’re also super soft and luxurious. “These were really nice!” says Home Projects director Megan. “They’re crisp, hold up to washes, and are soft against the skin. They stayed nice and cool!” These sheets also come in seven different colors, and if you’re on the fence about which one you want, The Company Store even offers a free swatch to help you decide! 


  • 100% Supima cotton
  • Available in 8 sizes and 7 colors
  • 400 thread count 
  • Standard set fits mattresses up to 16″
  • Deep-pocket set fits mattresses up to 20″
  • Includes flat sheet, fitted sheet, and 2 pillowcases (1 pillowcase for Twin set)
  • Machine wash cold on gentle cycle; tumble dry low
  • OEKO-TEX certified

Who It’s Best For: Those who are hot sleepers and/or live in warm environments; those who prefer a higher thread count.

Good to Know: Flat sheets and pillowcases can be monogrammed for a personal touch.

When you think of L.L. Bean, clothing and outdoor gear probably come to mind over sheets. However, the brand’s cotton percale sheets are impressive, according to us and thousands of reviewers. This versatile set is woven from long-staple pima cotton, which gives them an extra-smooth texture. The hemstitched detail and soft hues are the cherry on top, giving them an appearance that’s just as luxe as they feel.

AT’s Creative Studio senior writer Courtney is no stranger to L.L. Bean sheets, so she had a hunch she would love these (and she was right). “They have that fresh, crisp percale feel with just enough softness — none of that scratchy, over-starched texture that some percales can have,” she says. “The weight is cozy and cool (the top sheet and my all-season duvet are great for warm weather). It’s clearly high-quality cotton, with a lovely drape.”


  • 100% Pima cotton
  • Available in 5 sizes and 9 colors
  • 280 thread count 
  • Fits mattresses up to 15”
  • Includes flat sheet, fitted sheet, and 2 pillowcases (1 pillowcase for Twin set)
  • Machine wash; tumble dry

Who It’s Best For: Those who want a set that works for hot and cold sleepers alike; those who want their bedding to work year-round.

Good to Know: “The fitted sheet fits around my deep mattress with slack to spare,” Courtney says.

Egyptian cotton is designed to last longer than other bedding fabrics, and while the price is reflective of that, it’s a long-term investment that’ll pay off. The Pure Parima Ultra Percale Sheets live up to the name of the collection they come from — they really do feel like they’ve come straight from a luxury hotel.

With a matte finish that adds some visual elegance, the material is crisp and durable, thanks to the extra-long Egyptian cotton fibers. The included pillowcases also have hidden envelope closures that keep them extra secure. “I’d never tried percale sheets before,” says Charli, AT’s executive lifestyle director. “As a hot sleeper, the comfort and breathability of this set is now a must for me and a staple in my summer bedding.”


  • 100% Giza Egyptian cotton 
  • Available in 6 sizes and 5 colors
  • Fits mattresses up to  18″ (Twin sets and Full fit up to 17”)
  • Includes flat sheet, fitted sheet, and 2 pillowcases (1 pillowcase for Twin sets)
  • Machine wash according to the Pure Parima Egyptian cotton care guide; tumble dry low (line drying recommended)
  • Cotton Egypt Association (CEA) and OEKO-TEX certified 
  • 100-night trial

Who It’s Best For: Hot sleepers; fans of Egyptian cotton linens; those who want to invest in a long-lasting set.

Good to Know: Egyptian cotton sheets need to be washed alone, without any other types of sheets, to uphold the longevity of the fabric.