Is there anything better at bedtime than getting under the covers and lying down on clean, soft sheets? Lots of us don’t think so, which is why, when shopping for new sheets, softness is high on our list of wants.
But with an ever-increasing number of different options available, how can you find the softest bedsheets? What is the softest material for sheets?
Usually the softest sheets are those made using natural fabrics, that have a thread count of between 300 and 500 and, once you have bought them, are properly cared for.
This still leaves a lot of sheet options to choose from though, which is why in order to get the best soft sheets for you, we’ll have to dig a little deeper…
Best Softest Sheets: Our Recommendation
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How to Choose the Softest Sheets
There are a number of factors to keep in mind if you are shopping for soft sheets, including all the following:
Step 1: Fabric Choice
As we mentioned, all-natural fabrics tend to be the softest sheets, and as a plus they are usually among the most durable as well, which is good news as they will rarely be the cheapest options.
However, there are lots of them to choose from, so these are some of the best.
Organic Long Staple Cotton
More commonly referred to as Egyptian cotton, pima or Supima (the brand name for US grown long staple cotton) cotton sheets are among some of the best you can buy in general, as they are soft, long-lasting and relatively easy to care for.
Organic cotton is cotton that has been grown without pesticides, which means it’s better for the environment and better for your skin.
If you want the softest organic cotton sheets, then opt for a sateen, rather than a percale weave. While a percale weave tends to sleep marginally cooler, a sateen weave is silkier and softer, and will get even softer after a few washes.
Linen bedding has been around for centuries, and while it might start out slightly coarser than organic cotton right out of the package, it softens up beautifully after just a single wash and keeps getting softer with every subsequent trip to the washing machine.
People love linen sheets because they are as light as they are soft, and they have a unique appearance that is often both stylish and slightly vintage.
For hot sleepers, they are a fantastic choice for summer sleeping and if you choose organic linen you’ll be protecting the environment as well.
Silk sheets are associated with luxury and glamour, and while they look crisp when properly laundered, higher thread count silk is actually super soft.
The downside of silk sheets is that they’re often harder to care for than cotton or linen bedsheets, so aren’t always suitable for long term daily use if you don’t have the time for the extra care.
Microfiber is not a natural material, but it is often used as a substitute for one, and a good thread count microfiber sheet can feel as soft as your favorite t-shirt and just as comfy while costing considerably less than some other options.
It’s also very easy to care for, making it an excellent choice for college kids and other very busy folks who don’t have the time or resources to do much more than throw their sheets in the washer and dryer once in a while.
Step 2: Check The Thread Count
If you’ve spent any time researching your sheet buying options, then you will have noticed that thread count is mentioned over and over again.
The term “thread count” simply describes the quantity of horizontal and vertical threads used to weave a square inch of fabric. And there has long been a myth that the softest sheets have the highest thread counts, and you may see some brands that boast 1,000 thread count, and their marketing implies that this high number will offer a much softer sheet.
However, as bedding and textile experts will tell you, that’s not the case.
Once you get past a certain thread count – which is usually agreed by them to be between 300 and 500 – any advantage to adding even more threads is lost and may even lessen the sheet’s durability.
So while a 400 thread count sheet will certainly be softer than a 100 thread count cousin, it will also be just as soft as a 1,000 thread count peer, and maybe last a little longer too.
How to Make Sheets Softer
When you buy sheets, they will almost always come with an instruction to wash them before you put them on your bed for the first time. That’s because even the most expensive sheets can be a little stiff before that first wash, and if a manufacturer is promising soft sheets, they don’t want you to feel that even once.
You can add a simple tweak to that first wash that will make your sheets even softer, though. When washing them for the first time, add a cup of household baking soda and a half cup of white vinegar to the wash water.
Both ingredients are safe for use on all fabrics and will help ensure that your soft sheets are even softer, right from that first night!