Anyone seeking the best sheets for hot sleepers probably knows this tale all too well: You conk out, swaddled in your cozy sheets, at the perfect temperature, imagining all the margaritas you’ll down post-social distancing. And then, at zero-dark-thirty, you jolt awake in a puddle of your own sweat. Because, seemingly overnight, the weather has gotten warmer, but your bed’s still living in mid-February, with a thick down comforter and sheets that breathe only slightly better than latex. Human furnace-types in particular know the sticky hell of spring and summer humidity.
The solution lies in selecting the best bed sheets for all you hot sleepers. At the top of the breeziness chart is linen. Linen sheets are made from flax fibers, which are thicker than cotton. The fabric’s rougher to the touch—though it softens up with every wash—and the loose weave lets all that sleepy body heat escape. The biggest downside? High-quality linen is expensive. But if you’re a hot sleeper, we think they’re worth it.
Breathable cotton sheets can also be a helpful solution for people who tend to get night sweats, allowing for greater airflow so you can moderate your body temperature. Tightly woven percale cotton or the slightly softer finish of a sateen sheet set traps just enough heat that most hot sleepers will stay comfortable in the transition periods between the more extreme seasons, but your mileage may vary when a heatwave strikes.
Next, there are variations of sheets that are billed as having “cooling” or temperature-regulating qualities, including eucalyptus or bamboo sheets (which are also thought to be slightly more eco-friendly than cotton). As a texture bonus, with either of these two you’re likely looking at one of the softest finishes of the bunch, with a silky smooth weave that’s especially comfy if you tend to toss and turn at night.
Below you’ll find the best cooling sheets and assorted blankets that have performed best in our sleep tests (though we’d also suggest perusing our breakdown of the best mattresses to find a cooling mattress that can act as your foundation). Here’s wishing you a cool and comfortable night’s rest.
The Best All-Around Hot Sleeper Sheets: Riley Linen Sheet Set
If linen sheets have turned you off because of their of their slightly Brillo pad-like texture, this is the linen sheet set for you. Riley Home’s set is softer out of the packaging than all of the other linen sheets we’ve tried—and every bit as airy. While sleeping under these sheets during an unseasonably warm spring, our tester never felt the need to pull out his AC unit, even when his radiator mysteriously kicked in for a couple weeks.
A Breezy Option Made with Bamboo: Kassatex Linen Sheet Set
The Kassatex linen sheets are actually a linen blend, made with 40% bamboo. That hybrid is a large part what gives the fabric its ultra-soft feel. If you aren’t a blazing inferno of a sleeper, but still sleep on the warmer side, these sheets offer a good balance of breathability and coziness.
A Cheaper Hybrid Fabric Option: Helix Tencel Sheet Set
If the thought of a wrinkly bed makes you squirm, you should probably avoid linen. While most people can embrace the easy-going, lived-in vibe of having their bed look like a vacation shirt, hospital corner obsessives might find themselves reaching for a steamer when making the bed each morning. The best hot sleeper option we’ve found that doesn’t involve any linen at all are these wrinkle-resistant Tencel sheet sets from Helix. Tencel (otherwise known as lyocell) is a fabric made from the wood pulp of eucalyptus trees. The sheets have the feel of a sateen weave, but are a bit more moisture-wicking. Still not quite as breathable as linen, but a lot cheaper, they’re probably a good compromise if you sleep a little hot but your partner doesn’t.
The Best Budget Option for Hot Sleepers: Target Threshold performance sheet set
We’re sorry to be the bearers of bad news, but no budget set of sheets will get you the breathability of linen sheets. Linen sheets are truly a get-what-you-pay-for proposition. But the 400-thread count cotton Target Threshold sheets are terrific regular sheets if you’re on a budget. So good, in fact, that they make our list of favorite sheets, period. They trap some heat, but if you toss the blanket off of you or just stick one leg out, you’ll be fine.
Five Other Sheet Sets for Hot Sleepers That We Like
Because you might want to explore other options beyond linen—and may be inclined to opt for a budget-friendly pick given these sheets are likely one or maybe two-season sub-ins—we’ve also assembled a small class of honorable mentions in the sweat-wicking, heat-evading sheets category. These are more of our favorite breathable cottons (percale sheet sets and sateen sheet sets, specifically), and cooling eucalyptus and bamboo sets: ones that are soft and breathable, but also have the durability to hold up in the wash without significant pilling or fraying.
Parachute’s linen sheets have a similar heft and soft feel to the Riley set seen above, but at a very reasonable price point. They also come in a range of attractive colors, from stony neutrals to warmed-up earth tones and cool blues.
10 Grove makes some of our favorite crisp, breathable sheets for summer. They have a nice hotel quality to them, with tasteful details like the delicate hem-stitching seen here. The extra-long staple Egyptian cotton sheets come in both sateen and percale weaves, and each is hand-crafted in Texas. A full “a little something extra” set gets you a flat sheet, fitted sheet, and pillowcases.
And if you want the bamboo coolness without the Kassatex price, consider Layla’s 100% bamboo viscose sheets, which feel a bit like you’re sleeping on silk. They’re especially comfortable for restless sleepers who tend to move around at night, with a moisture-wicking finish. They also come with an unusually long five-year warranty if you notice any fraying or wear over time.
We’ve deemed Casper’s weightless cotton sheet sets one of our favorite cooling, non-linen options before. And though the wonderfully soft sheets have now sold out, the next best thing is Casper’s new hyperlite set, which comes in cooling Tencel lyocell. The thick elastic band on them makes it easy to wrangle a fitted sheet onto your bed from the dryer, and the deep pockets fit securely.
Peru Pima’s sateen sheets aren’t exactly the softest sheets on the planet, but they still round out our curated list of the best sheets because they’re a solid, durable pick for the price. Their temperature-regulating promises hold up on the sateen weave, and even on the slightly cheaper Pima cotton ones, too.
Six Warm-Weather Friendly Blankets to Consider
The thing about being a hot sleeper, or trying to fall asleep when it’s hot outside, is that sometimes you get cold because you’ve shed all your covers to combat heat. The irony! All hot sleepers develop their own coping mechanisms here, and for some that might include blanket that’s friendlier to warm temperatures. Also, a bed just looks a little weird with only a top sheet, right? Here are a few warm weather blankets in a breathable fabric, ones that we consider the coolest for warm nights.
You’ve already embraced linen sheets, why not pile the linen high by adding a blanket? This Brooklinen quilt retains the airiness of linen, but also feels soft and worn-in right out of the box. Think of it as a lightweight spring sweater for sleeping.
Our top-rated down comforter, but in the lightweight density, is perfect for anyone who sleeps hot but still wants to feel like they’re being swaddled in a cloud.
When you’re ready to join the heavy sleeper club, this soft weighted blanket from Bearaby has literal holes in it to prevent you from overheating.
Most weighted blankets are simply too heavy for warm weather, and never really achieve the right balance of weight and breathability. But Baloo’s blankets and comforters are slightly different, with a lightweight quilted cotton cover and fill that’s strewn with cool glass beads—which are evenly distributed so they don’t feel oppressively heavy If you’re especially worried about weight, though, we’d recommend draping the 12-pound throw option over yourself in summer.
Nothing beats the airiness of a linen quilt, but this Tuft & Needle one comes pretty close—combining a summery blend of linen and cotton, in a similar diamond-stitched style to the Brooklinen. Our tester appreciated just how light it felt on hot summer nights, more like a thin blanket than a quilt, and the fact that the texture gets softer with every wash: It’s one of the lightest-weight quilts we’ve ever slept under.
Besides the duvet or comforter itself, a cool-to-the-touch cover like this Buffy one goes a long way for preventing overheating at night. It’s hypoallergenic for people with sensitive skin, and woven from Oeko-tex certified natural fibers that are sourced from eucalyptus. Importantly, it’s also machine-washable so you can keep it fresh from season to season.
Instead of Cooling Your Apartment, Try Cooling Your Bed
We don’t have flying cars or actual robot maids (robot vaccums don’t yet come with cool accents like Rosie), but using the BedJet feels like a taste of the future. The device is basically a centralized heating and cooling unit for your bed, allowing you to regulate the temperature of its surface. It’s very expensive and also an electricity drain, so we don’t recommend it as a first option for hot sleepers—especially not in the heat waves we’re seeing these days. Think of this as the last resort, Hail Mary option when new sheets or a better AC, or simply sleeping naked, aren’t doing the trick. We’ve also tried and can recommend the very similar Ooler bed cooling system.