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The Best Bedsheets for Hot Sleepers, According to Experts

Photo: Gary John Norman/Getty Images

You know the feeling — flopping about in bed, it’s too hot to sleep through the night, and you realise your bedding itself may be partially to blame. A wet towel or whirring fan could help you drift off, but a set of cooling bedsheets are a much more comfortable and reliable way to set you up for a good rest on a warm night. We spoke to six experts, from sleep doctors and psychologists to authors, about what to look out for when searching for cooling sheets for hot sleepers. But first, some general advice.

“Keeping the bedroom cool in the first place is the most important thing,” says Dr. Lindsay Browning, a sleep expert and psychologist. “If you keep your curtains shut during the daytime, this will stop the sunlight from warming up the bedroom, plus keeping the windows shut will stop any hot air entering the house.” Kate Mikhail, sleep expert and author of Teach Yourself to Sleep, adds, “If you’re struggling to sleep due to the heat, stick out your hands and feet from under your bedding. Exposing your ‘extremities’ brings down your core body temperature,” and that in turn kicks off what she calls “a physiological chain reaction.”

Browning’s last bit of advice is to wash sheets more often in warmer months. “Regularly washing bedding in hot weather will allow air to move through the bedding itself and enable moisture to be more easily absorbed away from the body,” she says. “Sheets that are clogged up with sweat and dead skin cells will not allow such airflow within.” Grim but useful.

Best cooling linen sheets

White Basic Bundle
From £173
From £173

Natural fibres are an ideal place to start. “Linen, cotton, and wool are all effective moisture-wicking materials, with linen being the lightest, making it more suited to warmer months,” says Mikhail. As a bonus, linen sheets are soft as well as breathable, cooling, and lightweight. So if you like to sink into luxuriously smooth bedding, linen sheets will be the option for you. This set from Piglet is a Strategist-tested favourite. Senior editor Ailbhe Malone has three sets from the UK-based brand and finds that all of them get “softer with every wash but still retain their colour, no matter whether I tumble dry it or line dry it.” She also likens them to “sleeping inside a cloud.” The bundle includes a duvet cover, four sets of pillowcases, and both a flat and a fitted sheet, and they are all prewashed for softness, so you won’t have that scratchy initial night’s sleep which usually happens with brand-new sheets.

Best cooling cotton sheets

Like Mikhail, Browning also recommends cotton sheets because they’re “breathable and help to wick away moisture, compared to polyester and other man-made materials.” When we spoke to experts about the best cotton options, four design experts were particularly fond of the range of designs from H&M. They have a lower thread count of 144, but Mikhail advises that this is actually a positive. “While thread count is generally associated with quality, be warned that too high a thread count can trap heat at night, which is the last thing you need if you or your room are running hot,” she says.

Best cooling Tencel sheets

Five experts told our sister site that Tencel, a brand of rayon, is the best breathable, moisture-wicking fabric for particularly sweaty sleepers. Dr. Michael Gelb, a sleep specialist, recommends these Tencel sheets from Sheex in particular. Let’s be frank: These sheets aren’t cheap. But Annie Schlecht, an occupational therapist and certified sleep consultant, says Sheex is the best option for “people who really struggle with night sweats and have tried more organic materials without success.” So if you’re someone who’s tried and hated everything else, this could very well be the final investment you make in solving the issue.

Best cooling bamboo sheets

Like linen and cotton, bamboo is a natural material, and it’s also a sustainable and ecoconscious choice. For influencer Besma Whayeb, “Panda’s Earth collection makes the most of durable linen and soft bamboo in a blend that still reaches a 320 thread count.” As the thread count of good quality bedsheets ranges on average between 300 and 500, 320 is still rather low (as Mikhail advises is best).

Best temperature-regulating cooling sheets

As well as sheets made with natural fibres, Mikhail also brought sheets that use a temperature-regulating system known as Outlast to our attention. “There are also an increasing number of thermo-regulating cooling sheets on the market that use fabric technology to store the heat you give off in the night,” she says. They take in that warmth, “relaying it back to you should your temperature dip later in the night so that you can maintain a consistent temperature and enjoy less restless sleep as a result.” This set, using Outlast technology, is also made from naturally cooling cotton, feels cool to the touch, and comes with a seven-year guarantee. When a sheet can be called “high-performance” for essentially running science experiments while you sleep, it means business.

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The Best Sheets for Hot Sleepers, According to Experts