The term “percale” refers to the type of weave used to make sheets, not the material that is used. Percale sheets are best known for being soft and crisp and is often the sheet of choice used in hotels.
The best percale sheets are usually:
- Made of cotton,
- Have a high thread count,
- And easy to follow care instructions.
The exact sheets that you choose will depend on your personal preference.
In this post, we cover everything you need to know about buying the right cotton percale bed sheets, how to take care of your new sheets, and review some of our favorite percale sets to simplify the buying process for you.
What are Percale Sheets?
Percale bed sheets are made using a plain, tight one thread over and one thread under weave that makes them both soft and durable.
These sheets generally have a matte finish, lay smooth on the bed, and are resistant to pilling. They are lightweight and breathable – perfect for summer months and people who live in warmer climates.
What to Consider Before Buying Percale Cotton Sheets?
Before buying a new set of percale sheets it’s important to know what to look for and what you should avoid.
Most percale sheet sets use 100% cotton fabric. However, manufacturers sometimes use a blend of cotton and other materials, like polyester, silk, and bamboo rayon.
Sheet sets with blended materials are cost effective and have unique benefits. For example, cotton-polyester blends are durable and wrinkle-resistant. Bamboo sheets have moisture-wicking properties.
The term “thread count” refers to the number of threads per square inch in a fabric.
The thread count for percale sheets starts at 200, although some say 180. Generally, a thread count of 200 and 600 is good and durable. Sets with high thread counts (800 to 1,000+) are not necessarily better.
Types of Percale Sheets
- Extra-long staple cotton: sheets made using Pima or Egyptian cotton, have longer, therefore stronger (and softer) fibers but are more expensive.
- Organic cotton: organic cotton sheets are grown with less water and pesticides, which is better for the Earth, and don’t go through chemical manufacturing processes that make sheets weaker.
- Blended percale: blended percale sheets are usually made using cotton and polyester, which are still soft and cost less than 100% cotton.
Ease of Care
It’s important to read the care instructions before buying a sheet set, because if you don’t follow the instructions your sheets won’t last or stay soft.
Percale sheets should be washed in cold or warm water and well rinsed because soap residue leaves them feeling scratchy. To prevent shrinking, avoid using heat to dry.
Customer Service and Warranty
Buying sheets online can be a gamble (or a godsend). Check out the reviews and buy from a reputable company, ideally one with years in the business to back them up.
Pay attention to warranty information and whether the company is known for quality customer service just in case you are not satisfied.
Who Should Buy Percale?
Percale sheets are perfect for hot sleepers since they are breathable and moisture wicking. These sheets usually carried in 5-star hotels, so if you love crisp hotel sheets, they might be right for you.
Investing in a quality set of percale sheets promises durable cotton sheets you will love more and more over time.
Best Cotton Percale Sheets Reviews
1. Best Overall: Amerisleep
Why You’ll Like Them: These 100% long-staple Percale cotton have deep pockets to fit any mattress up to 18 inches.
Amerisleep’s percale cotton bed sheet set has a thread count of 300 and are made of 100 percent long-staple cotton. You will love this set’s low wrinkle design and the sheets’ cool, crisp feel. This set comes in a wide range of sizes, from Twin to California or Split King and in colors dark gray and light gray, and, either plain or striped.
One of the only downsides to this sheet set is that it’s a little noisy when you move around so might not be ideal for exceptionally light sleepers. If you’re on the fence about making a purchase, the company offers a one-year limited warranty to give customers piece of mind.
Because these sheets are extra breathable, they can even help counteract the warmth of memory foam mattresses. Satisfied customers have shared that these sheets are comfortable, soft, sleep cool, and are nice and durable.
Pros: cool in warmer climates, wrinkle resistant, 1 year limited warranty, fit mattresses up to 18 inches thick
2. Best Egyptian Cotton Percale Sheets: Plushbeds
Why You’ll Like Them: Expertly woven luxury Egyptian cotton sheets made by Italian artisans.
These 400 thread count luxury sheets are made by a company that works where linen making has been a part of the culture for centuries. That expertise, along with luxurious and superior Egyptian cotton makes this set the company’s best on offer.
This sheet set is available in a range of sizes from Twin to King, with two color options: White and Ivory. The set includes a fitted sheet, sheet, and two pillowcases for all sets aside from Twin sizes, which includes only one pillowcase.
One big benefit of these sheets is the fitted sheet’s extra big pocket, which fits mattresses from 6 to 22 inches deep. The company offers an impressive ten-year warranty which covers materials and workmanship. Customers love that these are exceptionally soft sheets made to last a lifetime.
Pros: very deep pockets, drawn thread hemstitching, easy to care for
Cons: high price tag
3. Best Organic Cotton Percale Sheets: Coyuchi
Why You’ll Like Them: Organic cotton percale sheets are good for the environment, and for people with sensitive skin/allergies!
Coyouchi 300 thread count sheets are GOTS certified, fair trade, and made safe certified. These organic cotton percale sheets are cool, crisp, and breathable. The tightly woven fibers make sure these sheets stand the test of time.
This sheet set includes a flat sheet, fitted sheet that is up to 15 inches deep, and two pillowcases (one for Twin size). There is an elegant 7-inch hem on the flat sheet and pillowcases. These sheets come in sizes from Twin to California King with four color options: White, Natural, Pewter (pictured above), and Stone Blue.
You’ll love that the fitted sheet on this set comes with a full elastic band to keep it securely fitted to your mattress.
Pros: safe sheets made without harmful chemicals, comes with a reusable organic cloth bag, machine washable
Cons: more complex to care for
4. Best Crinkled Percale Sheets: Coyuchi
Why You’ll Like Them: Organic percale sheets that are perfectly broken in and soft right out of the box.
Coyuchi’s organic crinkled sheet set is made from loomed pure organic cotton. To get the crinkled effect they use varying tension on the yarn and prewash the sheets. The result is a rumpled effect that is breathable and comfortable for all seasons.
These sheets come in sizes ranging from Twin to California King. There is a choice of seven colors: Alpine White, Blush, Pewter, Natural, Misty Ocean, Ginger, or Moonlight Blue and the set includes a flat sheet, fitted sheet, and two pillowcases (one pillowcase for Twin sets).
The cotton used is woven in India and is fair trade certified. Organic sheets are great for the environment and safe for the whole family. The only downside is you need to avoid using certain things like whiteners, fabric softeners, and dryer sheets when washing them.
Pros: affordable, relaxed organic percale sheets
Cons: more complex to care for
5. Best Floral and Prints Sheets: Laura Ashley
Why You’ll Like Them: A nice stripe and floral pattern for people who prefer more decorative sheets.
Laura Ashley Home’s 6-piece percale weave sheet set is made using 100% cotton sateen. The cotton is long staple and 300 thread count, making the sheets both silky soft and durable.
This sheet set includes a fully elasticized fitted sheet that fits mattresses up to 18 inches, a flat sheet, and two pillowcase pairs. The set comes in either Queen or King size and there is a selection of 5 floral patterns for the flat sheet and either striped or polka dots for the fitted sheet.
Satisfied customers like the cool, crisp feeling of these sheets which wash with minimal wrinkles. If you’re looking for percale sheets with a more retro/vintage vibe this is the set for you.
Pros: machine washable, extra pillowcases
Cons: a little thin
6. Best Percale Sheets on Amazon: Peru Pima
Why You’ll Like Them: Silky soft, bright, and durable sheets made with extra-long staple Pima Cotton.
Peru Pima’s 415 thread count percale sheet set is made using 100% hand harvested Peruvian Pima Cotton. The percale weave used makes a matte finished product that is highly resistant to pilling, crisp, and cool to the touch.
This sheet set comes with a fully elasticized fitted sheet, flat sheet, and two pillowcases. The fitted sheet fits mattresses up to 15 inches deep. Sizes range from Twin to California King and the company offers an impressive 15 options of colors and stripe patterns.
Made by a family company in Peru with generations of experience, these sheets are OEKO TEX Certified free from harmful chemicals. The company also offers a 30-day warranty, with get a full refund if you aren’t satisfied.
Pros: heavy but cool, durable, socially responsible company
Cons: wrinkle after washing
How to Care for Percale Sheets?
When washing use cool to medium water. Load the machine halfway with water first and don’t put detergent directly on your sheets to avoid discoloration. Only wash one set of sheets and ensure they are not wadded up before putting them in, so they agitate easier.
For clean sheets that last longer, use less detergent and avoid ones with brighteners which are hard on cotton. Don’t use fabric softener because it coats fibers and makes your sheets absorb more oils and debris.
Instead, add half a cup of baking soda into the wash weekly to keep your sheets bright and smelling fresh.
When drying percale cotton sheets, use a cool to medium dryer temperature. Make sure the sheets are not wadded up for easier tumbling and faster drying. Avoid dryer sheets, because like fabric softener this coats your sheets in chemicals.
Don’t let your sheets sit in the dryer when the cycle is complete, or they will wrinkle! Take them out slightly damp, fold and put them away or set them back up on your bed.
What is the Best Material for Sheets to Keep You Cool?
Because of the over/under percale weave and the natural lightness and coolness of cotton fabric, cotton percale sheets are one of the best to keep you cool. These sheets stay cool no matter what season or climate you live in and are great for warm sleepers since they are naturally moisture wicking.
Cotton percale mixed with bamboo fibers can be even more naturally cooling.
Another great fabric option for warm sleepers are Tencel sheets, which are made from the wood cellulose of eucalyptus trees. The materials used to make these sheets are naturally cooling, and Tencel is super absorbent so it wicks away your sweat at night.
Most Tencel sheets are made using a silky sateen weave and are naturally hypoallergenic.
Depending on your preference, you might enjoy linen sheets better than cotton. They’re heavier and thicker than cotton sheets but are still very breathable and cool, making them ideal for all seasons.
Linen is another fabric that naturally wicks away moisture, is quite durable, and is a good investment because these sheets improve with time.
If crisp percale isn’t your style that doesn’t mean cotton sheets aren’t for you. Cotton sheets are available in a variety of weaves, and you have options from 100% cotton to blended cotton as well as organic cottons, each with different pros/cons and price points.
All forms of cotton sheets are relatively lightweight, breathable, and moisture wicking.
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