- 1 The best percale sheets
- 2 The best sateen sheets
- 3 Cooler, smoother percale
- 4 Lighter and more lustrous sateen
- 5 Warmer, thicker sateen
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L.L.Bean 280-Thread-Count Pima Cotton Percale Sheet Set
The best percale sheets
If you like a cool, crisp feel to your sheets, this is one of the most comfortable percale sets we’ve tried. They’re durable and breathable, and the more you wash them, the softer they get.
JCPenney Home 400 TC Wrinkle Guard Sheet Set
The best sateen sheets
If you prefer silky, smooth, drapey sheets that resist wrinkling, this sateen set feels softer and more luxurious than most pricier sheets we’ve tried.
Percale sheets tend to be cool and crisp, and of the dozens of sets we’ve tried, L.L.Bean’s 280-Thread-Count Pima Cotton Percale Sheet Set are our favorite. They’re soft and breathable, yet more durable than others we’ve tested. We’ve been recommending them since 2014, and while they aren’t the smoothest percale—our upgrade pick from Riley feels a bit silkier—they’re crisp and softer than most percales we’ve slept on. They’re beautifully made, get softer with every wash, and come with a generous one-year return policy. But they’re our only pick that doesn’t come in California king.
Sateen sheets are more silky than percale, with a heavier drape. For the price, we don’t think you can do better than the sateen JCPenney Home 400 TC Wrinkle Guard Sheet Set. They’ve also been our top pick since 2014 (formerly under the old Royal Velvet brand name), and in our tests they’ve consistently outperformed pricier sets in softness, construction, and durability. They’re one of the few sets we’ve tried that are virtually wrinkle-free, making them lower maintenance than percale sheets. They are warmer than percale sheets, though, so if you overheat, they may not be for you.
Riley Percale Sheet Set
Cooler, smoother percale
These sheets are the smoothest percale set we’ve ever tried—they feel like a perfectly crisp button-down. They also feature some of the richest colors we’ve seen.
Cuddledown 400 Thread Count Sateen Sheet Set
Lighter and more lustrous sateen
The Cuddledown sheets are as luxe as others we’ve tried that cost five times the price. They’re one of the softest sets we’ve ever tested, and they’re airier than most other sateens we’ve slept on.
If you prefer percale and don’t mind paying a little more, Riley’s Percale Sheet Set feels like a high-quality shirt and is a little more luxurious than the L.L.Bean sheets. The colors and prints are also more modern. Unlike the L.L.Bean sheets, the Riley sheet set comes in California king and twin XL sizes. We’ve heard some complaints about customer service and delayed shipping from readers (possibly pandemic related), but after talking to the company in November 2020 we think they have resolved the issues.
Of the sateen sheets we’ve tried, the Cuddledown 400 Thread Count Sateen Sheet Set is our absolute favorite. They’ve even outperformed luxury Italian sateen sheets that cost five times the price. In appearance and comfort, these sheets are hard to distinguish from the JCPenney Home sateen sheets, but after several washes they kept their ultrasoft feel a little better, wrinkled even less, and felt more lightweight. They are available in California king as well as twin XL. Cuddledown is our only pick to offer an unconditional guarantee—you can return the sheets at any time.
Threshold 400 Thread Count Performance Sheet Set
Warmer, thicker sateen
High quality at a fantastic price. These sheets wrinkle more and are less breathable than other sateens we’ve tested, but they’re just as soft as some we’ve tested that cost triple.
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In six years of testing, we haven’t found a more affordable set of sheets that feels as comfortable as the Threshold Performance Sheet Set 400 Thread Count (also available in prints). Most inexpensive sets we’ve tried felt too rough to sleep on or showed signs of severe wear after a wash or two, but these sateen sheets from Target are soft and durable (if a little warmer than our other sateen picks). We think they’re an exceptional value.
Source: The NY Times
Keyword: The Best Cotton Sheets