Game of Thrones said it best: “The night is dark and full of terrors.” For many of us, that terror is one highly uncomfortable, slippery mess: night sweats. Especially now, in the midst of summer, night sweats are the bane of existence for many of us. While some may crankily roll out of bed in the middle of the night to crank the ceiling fan on the highest setting and turn down the AC a couple of notches for maximum coolness, the solution might not be as simple as adjusting the temp in your home. The answer is right there in your bed: those sheets you’ve been furiously kicking off your body throughout the night. The solution? You need new cooling bedsheets.
To start, let’s get an idea of what kind of sheets you do have. Are they a high-thread count? Are they black or another dark color? If you answered yes to both, then it’s time you ditch ‘em. For fabric, opt for soft, breathable materials — like bamboo, cotton or polyester — as these types of fabrics are designed to wick away moisture.
When choosing more natural fibers — including Egyptian cotton, pima cotton (a high-quality, durable cotton), supima (similar to pima cotton), bamboo, Tencel (a fiber made from plants and wood) and polyester — look specifically for a lower thread count, somewhere between 200 and 400. Sheets with a high (think 1,500) thread count don’t let air pass as freely, leaving you swimming in your own sweat.
Remember when we asked you what color your sheets are? It actually plays an important role in keeping you dry and cool throughout the night. The darker the sheets, the more it’ll absorb heat and light — so choose light colors.
Finally, let’s take a look at the sheet’s weave. The weaving determines how breathable your sheets are, so look for percale (with a thread count typically at 200), sateen (a looser weave), jersey (a lightweight fabric with some stretch), Egyptian cotton and satin. Now you’re armed with the knowledge to hit the store and find the best cooling sheets, but we’ll make things even easier for you: Here are the best cooling sheets out there to give you sweet (not sweaty) dreams here on out.
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A version of this article was originally published July 2018 and was updated July 2020.