We Slept on All Kinds of Bedding to Find the 5 Best Egyptian Cotton Sheets
These are reminiscent of a five-star hotel bed.
Published May 25, 2022 8:40 PM
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Looking for the champagne of cotton? Just like its bubbly counterpart, Egyptian cotton is known by name and highly sought after. There’s a good reason it’s used by high-end hotels and interior designers. Grown in the Nile Delta, the resulting cotton is both supersoft and seriously strong. It’s the kind of bedding that will hold up to years of use, age well, and always be the first pick out of the linen closet.
Because it’s such a well-known indicator of quality, imitators abound, so it’s important to find the right sheets. After putting a bunch of brands to the test, we found the best Egyptian cotton sheets for all preferences, whether you are budget shopping, looking for an upgrade, a fan of crisp white sheets, or a color fanatic.
- Best luxe: The Company Store Legends Hotel Egyptian Cotton Sateen Sheet Set
- Best colors: Parachute Percale Sheet Set
- Best budget: Thread Spread Pure Egyptian Cotton Bed Sheets Set
- Best sourcing: Silk & Snow Egyptian Cotton Bed Sheets
- Best stripes: L.L.Bean Premium Egyptian Percale Sheet
Weave: Sateen | Feel: Supersoft and silky, with a slight crispness |Thread count: 600 | Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified: Yes
What we like:
- 90-day return policy allows returns even after regular use, including washing and sleeping on the sheets
- Sold as a set or in individual components
- It’s a pricey collection
- While its pillowcases are side closure, there’s an extra flap to prevent the pillow from slipping out
Why we chose it: This sheet set really does deliver in making home feel a bit more like a luxe hotel room.
While we were initially skeptical of the transformative promise that these sheets “feel like you’re staying at a posh hotel every night,” they were sumptuously soft and yet also had that slight crispness reminiscent of a hotel bed, even after washing. They looked great without ironing or making the bed with hospital corners. There are thoughtful details like a back-closure overlap to keep a pillow from becoming visible and mini pleats on the pillowcases and top sheet that call to mind the detailing on a tuxedo. The matching duvet cover comes in regular sizes plus an oversize version, which is perfect for those sharing space with a covers hog. Add a set of sham covers to finish the look.
Best Colors: Parachute Percale Sheet Set
Weave: Percale | Feel: Crisp, but not stiff or uncomfortable |Thread count: Not specified | Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified: Yes
What we like:
- Extensive size options, including twin XL and California king
- Envelope-closure pillowcases
- Sheet set available with or without a top sheet
Why we chose it: With nine colors to choose from, there’s a perfect shade for every bedroom.
Here’s a thoughtfully curated collection with classic colors and a few earthy options. With white, cream, light gray, and sand, there’s a shade that’ll definitely work with your existing duvet cover or bring in a warm or cool feel to the bedroom. Then there are the rich earth tones like moss, putty, and slate. If you’re seeking colorful cotton sheets, Egyptian cotton is really the way to go, as it’s more porous than standard cotton. “When dyed, Egyptian cotton textiles look more vibrant and resist fading for longer,” Parachute explains. These sheets will look just as bright after many washes as they did on the first day, which is especially important with rich colors, where it’s most noticeable.
Best Budget: Thread Spread Pure Egyptian Cotton Bed Sheets Set
Weave: Sateen | Feel: Leans silky |Thread count: 1,000 | Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified: Yes
What we like:
- Great price point
- Over 18,000 five-star ratings on Amazon
- Thread Spread recommends washing a few times to experience optimal softness
- We couldn’t find out much information about this brand beyond what’s on Amazon
Why we chose it: A budget-friendly option that won’t feel like one on your bed.
Thread Spread is a great way to get durable, long-lasting Egyptian cotton without the sticker shock. Even though this set is an affordable pick, the sheets are still Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified, which means they’ve been tested for harmful substances. These sheets come in a variety of colors and prints including stripes and florals. It’s great to save money on bedding, but not if you’re going to be reminded of that fact upon slipping into bed each night. Once the bed was made with this set and the sheets were in use, we could only notice they were slightly less soft to the touch compared to some of the higher-end options on this list, but it’s still impressive, especially at this price point.
Best Sourcing: Silk & Snow Egyptian Cotton Bed Sheet
Weave: Sateen | Feel: Silky but not excessively so |Thread count: 300 | Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified: Yes
What we like:
- 100-night sleep trial
- Offers a 1-year warranty
- Manufacturers work with the Better Cotton Initiative, “a global not-for-profit organization that devotes itself to the adoption of sustainable cotton farming practices and the social well-being of cotton farmers worldwide.”
- Only available in 5 colors
Why we chose it: Egyptian cotton with serious sourcing details you can feel good about.
As consumers have become more excited by Egyptian cotton, less scrupulous retailers have jumped in to capitalize on the name without putting forth the quality product—whether that means using terms like Egyptian-style cotton or selling cotton from other regions of Egypt that aren’t long staple. Silk & Snow’s sheets are 100 percent long-staple Egyptian cotton, but there’s no need to take the company’s word. The sheets have a Genuine Egyptian Cotton certification from the Cotton Egypt Association.
Silk & Snow is also incredibly transparent about its manufacturing process, not just detailing sourcing (as many brands now do) but also where and how the yarn spinning, textile dyeing, and cutting and sewing happen. We too can certify that while testing, the resulting sheets were buttery soft with a durable weight to them.
Best Stripes: L.L.Bean Premium Egyptian Percale Sheet
Weave: Percale | Feel: Crisp |Thread count: 400 | Oeko-Tex Standard 100 Certified: Yes
What we like:
- Generous return policy within the first year, and after that, the company allows returns for defective materials or defective craftsmanship
- There’s a coordinating duvet cover for a fully striped look
- Made in Portugal
- Pillowcases are side closure, not envelope
Why we chose it: Old-school stripes never go out of style, and this sheet set is a prime example.
Founded in 1912 by the wonderfully named Leon Leonwood Bean, this Maine-based brand is an American classic. Adding long-staple Egyptian cotton to the mix only makes L.L.Bean’s sheets more appealing, and this is its highest-quality percale. The narrow stripes add visual interest without the intensity of larger stripes for a calming bedroom to unwind. In blue and white, they’re versatile and able to read as traditional, nautical, or playful. They’d be great in a children’s room and a beach house, and these sheets are also ideal for hot sleepers or warm seasons because they’ve got a percale weave. When we gave these a try, they quickly made sleeping in an apartment with mediocre air-conditioning feel a bit more bearable. While a tad stiff out of the box, they softened after the first wash.
Matouk is a third-generation family-run business known for its high-quality linens, often sourced by five-star hotels. We particularly love the Maryam collection, a collaboration with Schumacher featuring an archival print. Kesha Franklin, CEO and principal designer of Halden Interiors, often turns to Matouk for “great-quality materials” and “clean, modern, classic design.”
D. Porthault is known for its prints, and the brand practically invented that granny-chic look that’s currently in style, though a sizable inheritance is probably necessary to afford a couple sets of these sheets.
How We Chose These Products
We researched the industry, looking for well-reviewed and trustworthy brands offering high-quality Egyptian cotton sheets in a variety of weaves. But there’s nothing like actually trying out sheets night after night. So we tested ‘em out in person, assessing softness and breathability, comparing fit on a bed and feel, and making sure the colors look good IRL. The resulting favorites ended up in this roundup.
Our Shopping Checklist
“There are three main factors that go into producing quality sheets: fiber, weave, and thread count,” says Melanie Kaplan, senior merchant product developer at the Company Store. When it comes to Egyptian cotton sheets, the fiber question is answered. “Egyptian cotton is high quality, wears well after washing, and feels good against the skin,” says Franklin. She frequently uses the sheets for clients.
“Percale is made with a balanced weave, meaning it has the same number of threads across as down for a crisp but soft, smooth, and durable product—perfect for hot sleepers and warm nights,” Kaplan says. “A sateen weave has more threads across than down, which gives it a shine and produces a buttery soft, lustrous feel and a bit more weight, making it a great choice for cold sleepers or cooler temps.” Kaplan recommends making a decision based on sleep preferences rather than being guided by just thread count.
Detailing the number of threads in a square inch, a higher thread count means a tighter weave. But “thread count alone is not an indicator of quality,” Kaplan explains, as the thread being used also makes a huge difference, and fiber and weave can’t be discounted. Because people like to know thread count, we’ve included the detail with each of our picks, above, which range from 300 to 1,000 thread count.
Certifications and Key Words
An Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification means the product has been tested for harmful substances. The Cotton Egypt Association offers a Genuine Egyptian Cotton certification, but not all brands seek that out. The right sheets will have both “long staple” and “Egyptian cotton” in the description. “Egyptian-style” sheets are not the same. “Long-staple cotton” does not necessarily mean they’re from Egypt, and if there’s no origin country listed, they probably aren’t from Egypt.
Care and Maintenance
Follow the care instructions on the tag! But generally speaking, Egyptian cotton sheets should be washed in a normal cold cycle. “Always avoid hot temperatures, which can contribute to wrinkles and shrinkage, weaken fibers, and fade colors,” says Kaplan. “Don’t overcrowd the washer and avoid combining your sheets with other laundry like towels.” Silk & Snow recommends using wool dryer balls rather than dryer sheets; Kaplan also suggests forgoing chlorine bleach and fabric softener.
Q: I want Egyptian cotton sheets, so how do I make sure I get the real ones?
With Egyptian cotton, it’s important to make sure you’re actually getting what you’re paying for, and the best way to do that is to source from brands you trust. Third-party certifications also help, like the Genuine Egyptian Cotton certification from the Cotton Egypt Association.
Q: How breathable are Egyptian cotton sheets?
Egyptian cotton is known for its breathability, which means it’s great for hot sleepers and warm climates, but it also works year-round. Choose a percale weave if you’re particularly worried about breathability or tend to sleep hot.
Q: Should I get colorful sheets or stick with classics like white?
This is really about personal preference. “For me, the foundation of the bed should always be neutral,” says Franklin. “I like crisp whites, soft taupes and cool silver-grays.” She adds color and pattern with accent pillows and throws instead. If you get sick of a vivid color or pattern, it’s easier to remove an accent pillow than buy new sheets. But some people love richly hued bedding, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Colorful sheets peeking out beneath a duvet can offer a welcome dose of brightness, tying together a color scheme or adding some in an otherwise muted space.
Q: How can I make my bed feel more hotel-like?
“A great way to create an escape in your bedroom is to bring in a hotel experience by taking the time to dress your bed like a pro,” says Franklin. She recommends watching a quick video tutorial to learn how the experts do it, using tight tucking and (surprisingly) sheets that are just the slightest bit damp post-wash.
The Last Word
Egyptian cotton sheets are a top choice for a reason. They allow you to sleep in a crisp but soft bed, night after night, creating a high-end-hotel–like experience right at home. But unlike at a hotel, there’s no check-out time.
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