Ideas + Advice


Do Cooling Sheets Work?

If you're one of the many hot sleepers struggling to stay cool and comfortable throughout the night, you've likely done everything you can to avoid heavy blankets and sheets that trap in heat. Thankfully today's market for breathable sheets and pillowcases is more expansive than ever, but how do these products actually make a difference?

Why Are Cooling Sheets So Important?

The human body is a temperature-regulating system with overheating being the source of many health issues. At night, the body rests and works to recover from the long day. During this process your body temperature actually drops a couple of degrees as this helps the body both heal and release melatonin, a hormone that promotes falling and staying asleep.

How Do Cooling Bed Sheets Help?

Given that you spend around a third of our life in bed, it should come as no surprise that the quality of sleep you get directly impacts the rest of your health. Sleeping in a cooler environment prevents overheating and your sheet set is part of this sleep hygiene.

Proper Bed Sheets Promote Healthy Weight

The key player in your body's ability to heal overnight is human growth hormone, or HGH. When HGH is released due to a lower body temperature, cortisol levels actually decrease. Cortisol is a chemical that induces stress and is linked directly to appetite. Lack of comfortable and restful sleep can increase cortisol levels and lead to cravings throughout the day.

The Best Cooling Sheets Help Regulate Temperature Cycles for Hot Sleepers

As you go about your day, your internal body temperature begins to rise from exercise, thinking, eating and anything else that requires effort. The closer you get to the end of a 24 hour period, the cooler your body becomes before reaching its coldest point early in the morning. Hot sleepers struggle to keep this cycle consistent but breathable, moisture-wicking bed sheets could be the answer.

Prevent Night Sweats With a Breathable Sheet Set

When your body starts to overheat, it begins sweating to help alleviate the excess heat. If you're trying to fall asleep and your body temp hasn't reduced enough, you'll experience night sweats. On top of making it difficult to stay asleep, night sweats can quickly soil your bed sheets and even leave you feeling dehydrated the next day.

What Are the Best Cooling Sheets Made of?

There's no lack of choice when it comes to finding breathable sheets in your preferred fabric, but knowing which options work best can help you find a perfect match you wouldn't have expected. This is important as no single set of cooling sheets works for every hot sleeper with high-quality offerings promoting different aspects of cooling technology.

Cooling Egyptian and Traditional Cotton Sheets

Cotton is a popular choice for breathable fabric sheets thanks to its variable thread count and loose weave. What this means is that airflow is less restricted by cotton sheets compared to others. The best cotton sheet sets will focus on making both the fitted sheet and flat sheet breathable rather than just the flat sheet. For more durability, try Egyptian cotton which uses longer threads for a longer service life.

Moisture-Wicking Bamboo Sheets

Similar to cotton, bamboo sheets come in a range of thread counts to match the desired amount of airflow. Bamboo wicking sheets help draw moisture away from the body thanks to its natural absorbent abilities. Bamboo sheets are also some of the lightest sheets available to avoid feeling overloaded when falling asleep.

Modern Microfiber Sheets

Microfiber sheets have come a long way since their inception and take breathability to the next level. As part of their namesake, microfiber sheets use extremely thin fibers which leads to larger gaps between threads for air to flow through. This advancement from natural fibers is still progressing so keep an eye out for even more effective microfiber sheets in the future.

Integrated Natural Silver Sheets

The use of metal in bedding and other fabric items is nothing new, but recent research has shown that silver has impressive cooling qualities when woven into a sheet set. Silver sheets even feel cooler to the touch compared to its traditional counterparts. This is especially noticeable if you have a high body heat since the cooling aspect is always welcome.

A Woven Percale Sheet Set

Percale sheets get their name from the percale weave used when making the sheets. Contrary to microfiber sheets, a percale sheet set will be tightly woven to create a sleek and fresh feel. The reason this tight weave still helps to reduce body heat is that the yarn it's spun from is extremely thin and lightweight. This universal breathability is what makes percale sheets one of the most popular choices for cooling bedding.

Custom Sateen Sheets

A more niche choice are sateen sheets as they tend to be heavier than other sheet options meaning more closer contact with your skin. The comfort that weighted sheets can bring to those having trouble sleeping can be hard to overlook, leading to manufacturers finding ways to make the fabric more breathable.

How To Get the Most Out of Your Cooling Sheets

Even the lightest and most breathable sheets won't be enough to keep you cool at night if you don't take time to create a comfortable environment. For example, keeping your curtains closed during the day can reduce the amount of heat transferred from the sun by 45% and keep your room at a comfortable temperature.

Lower body temperature means less trapped heat.

One way you can help your internal temperature is to take a shower right before hopping in bed. The lower your body temp, the less heat you'll trap under the sheets. While a cold shower makes the most sense, a quick warm shower can help those who can't stand the idea of a cold shower. As long as it isn't too hot or long, a warm shower can help lower your body heat by creating moisture that cools when it touches the air.

Lastly, dress for success when bedtime comes around. The ultimate solution is to sleep with nothing on, but not everyone has that luxury due to shared spaces or personal preference. Instead you should focus on loose-fitting and lightweight pajamas that can also absorb any night sweats and keep you cozy.

Overall, there's no lack of cooling sheet options so don't be afraid to dive in headfirst and find the sheet set that truly fits your body's needs.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.