Parachute Makes One of the Best Percale Sheet Sets We’ve Tested, But There’s More to Love
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Updated Jan 3, 2024 3:35 PM
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Reading up on Domino’s shopping guides is like having your own personal product concierge. We do the tedious part—deep-dive research, hands-on testing, and tapping experts for advice—so all you have to do is hit “add to cart.” That’s why we call them Simply the Best.
If you’re looking to upgrade your bedding to something effortlessly chic or want to sleep soundly through seasonal heat waves, why not try a favorite of interior designers? Both classic and cool (literally), percale sheets aren’t just for hot sleepers—they’re also key to nailing that perfectly casual-looking bed. “Think about sliding into a fancy hotel bed,” says interior stylist and author Emily Henderson. “Percale has that perfect amount of silkiness and an awesomely cool feeling.”
Percale bedding crinkles a little and is crisp to the touch, which is why it keeps you comfortable all night long. The light weave encourages exceptional airflow, and after you sleep on a set, chances are you’ll be hard-pressed to go back to anything else. Read on for our picks of the best percale sheets.
- Best overall: Parachute Percale Sheet Set
- Best budget: Linen Home 100 Percent Cotton Percale Sheet Set
- Best long-lasting: Quince Classic Organic Percale Sheet Set
- Best cooling: Nickey Kehoe Cotton Percale Sheet Set
- Best organic: Coyuchi Organic Percale Sheet Set
- Best colors: The Company Store Cotton Percale Sheet Set
- Best splurge: Hawkins New York Essential Percale Sheet Set
Best Overall: Parachute Percale Sheet Set
Trial period: N/A | Feel: Soft | Starting price: $139
What we like:
- Back envelope closures with each pillowcase
- Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified
- Option to bundle with or without a top sheet
- $10 returns (but carbon-neutral!)
Why we chose it: Feels like silk without the fuss for a relaxed but regal look.
We could tell Parachute’s percale sheets were something special right out of the box. While most percale is matte, this set had the subtlest sheen; once unpacked and laundered, the fabric was so soft it almost felt like velvet without the fuzz. And still it managed to be lightweight and supremely breathable—all of the characteristics that make percale magical. Placed on the bed, the sheets looked sumptuous and, like fine linen, had a slightly rumpled, well-worn (and well-loved) look. These sheets are made from genuine Egyptian cotton that’s grown along the Nile River Valley region; like all of Parachute’s textiles, they’re woven at a family-owned factory in northern Portugal that Ariel Kaye, the brand’s founder, handpicked for its commitment to blending traditional weaving techniques with modern technology.
With a choice of six sizes (from twin to California king) and nine neutral hues (plus the seasonal shades), we’re calling it: This is one of the best bundles on the market, period.
Best Budget: Linen Home Cotton Percale Sheet Set
Trial period: N/A | Feel: Stiff | Starting price: $52
What we like:
Why we chose it: Drift off cool as a cucumber knowing that not only are you sleeping on quality sheets, you didn’t break the bank to get them.
If you’re looking to update your bed with percale sheets but don’t want to spend a ton, Linen Home’s set is a great option. Made with 100% long-staple cotton, this four-piece, 200-thread-count pick will give you all the luxuries of percale without breaking the bank. Fifteen-inch-deep pockets will stay put throughout the night, and both the flat sheet and pillowcases have a Z-hem (a lovely decorative touch not usually found at this price point). The sheets are also both Oeko-Tex Standard 100 and Sedex certified, the latter of which affirms that the product is made with fair labor standards and ethically sourced materials. So go ahead and choose one (or two) of the brand’s 16 color options (we have our eye on taupe and sage).
Best Long-Lasting: Quince Classic Organic Percale Sheet Set
Trial period: 365 nights | Feel: Soft | Starting price: $60
What we like:
- Neutral, subdued shades
- Single needle stitch cuff detail
- Affordably priced; opting for the duvet set costs only $30 extra
- Wrinkles easily (but not a problem if you like a relaxed, lived-in look)
Why we chose it: This is long-lasting long-staple cotton.
Long-staple cotton is prized for many reasons. It’s softer, lasts longer, has better color retention, rarely pills, and attracts less lint than regular old cotton. That’s why you see it touted by top bedding brands and can depend on it for a sophisticated and polished look. Quince’s percale sheet set, which is woven from the very same long-staple cotton, checks all of these boxes and then some. In addition to being named the “best cooling percale sheets” by the Sleep Foundation, plenty of happy shoppers can attest to sweat-free sleeps and a soft feel that gets better after washing. “Nice and crisp, and comparable to my more expensive sheets,” one reviewer states. Another also comments on the price point being far lower than the quality, writing, “I am extremely particular about sheets, and these are a better quality than others I paid considerably more for.” And with a free 365-night sleep trial, you know these are built to last.
Best Cooling: Nickey Kehoe Cotton Percale Sheet Set
Trial period: N/A | Feel: Smooth and cool | Starting price: $225
What we like:
- Mixes and matches with other Nickey Kehoe bedding
- Pretty edge detail
- Cooling without being frigid
- Oeko-Tex certified
- Available only in white
- Queen and king sizing only
Why we chose it: Cooling material paired with elegant details from one of our favorite L.A.-based boutiques.
From the moment these sheets arrived on our doorstep, packaged in an extremely giftable box and immediately cool to the touch, we were already enamored. If you aren’t familiar, Nickey Kehoe is a Los Angeles–based design studio and boutique that makes custom furniture and lighting, collects vintage objects, and sells modern accessories. Suffice to say, it’s after our hearts. When the brand debuted Portugal-made, 100% cotton percale sheets in October, we knew we had to try them out. After several sleeps and cycles in the wash, we can confirm they are as comfortable and lightweight as we had hoped. Unlike crinkly percales, Nickey Kehoe’s is smooth and softer than expected; plus it’s one of the most cooling sets we’ve slept on. We haven’t noticed any pilling, and the pockets are deep enough to accommodate a mattress and 3-inch topper. To top it all off, the sweet edge detailing makes a bed look finished even with the simplest color scheme.
Best Organic: Coyuchi Percale Sheet Set
Trial period: 30 nights | Feel: Stiff, smooth | Starting price: $198
What we like:
- Deep pockets (15 inches)
- GOTS, Fair Trade, and Made Safe certified
- 100% plant-based finishing process
- Bonus: Twin set includes a duvet cover
- Can sometimes feel scratchy on sensitive skin
Why we chose it: No one beats Coyuchi when it comes to high sustainability standards.
If you’re looking for a percale option that’s warm but breathable, luxurious but truly sustainable, this is your set. Crafted from 100% organic cotton that’s grown and woven in India, Coyuchi’s staple percale set felt cool and looked even cooler on the bed in the brand’s signature “undyed” color, a soft, pretty beige. The pillowcases and flat sheet have a generous 7-inch hem to help retain shape, and the fabric only got softer after a few washes, while still retaining percale’s characteristic starched texture—the mark of high-end sheets.
The California-based company is one of the only players in the bedding game that’s organic from start to finish and employs textile experts alongside designers. It’s also GOTS certified (a step above Oeko-Tex Standard 100), Fair Trade certified, and Made Safe. Every step of the supply chain is verified and traceable to meet strict ecological and social criteria; no harmful toxins are used, and the people who source and make the products are treated and paid fairly. And even if you don’t love your choice, Coyuchi will clean, repair, or recycle your unwanted linens. Bonus: Each set comes in a reusable organic bag, which also makes a great weekend or beach tote.
Best Colors: The Company Store Percale Sheet Set
Trial period: 90 nights | Feel: Smooth | Starting price: $74
What we like:
- Affordable price point
- 300-thread count
- Elastic, stretchy pockets
- Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified
- Expect shipping delays, as most options are on back order
Why we chose it: Offers a large range of colors, from classic neutrals to saturated blues, greens, and reds.
With nearly 20 colorways to choose from, the Company Store’s percale sheet set offers the unique opportunity to mix and match bold and neutral shades that will complement any decor or mood. Each set comes with the usual suspects—a flat sheet, fitted sheet, and pillowcases—as well as a duvet cover and shams. It ticks all of the boxes of a good percale, washes well (no color fading!), and feels soft and cozy with little to no heft or weight. Made from combed cotton (a technique that removes impurities and short fibers from the crop, creating a softer raw material), these sheets are an excellent choice for those who want to have fun with their interiors but also invest in quality bedding that’ll last a long time.
Best Splurge: Hawkins New York Essential Percale Sheet Set
Trial period: N/A | Feel: Light and soft | Starting price: $248
What we like:
- 6 pastel color choices
- Deep pockets and extra fabric
- 1-year warranty
- Maybe too oversize for some
Why we chose it: Go all in on sheets that are whisper quiet when you slip into them.
When Hawkins New York launched percale in February, we quickly fell for the soft, subdued color palette that matches its silky yet crisp feel. Made from 100% GOTS-certified cotton with a 300-thread count, the Essential set comes in queen or king sizing with a fitted sheet, flat sheet, and two pillowcases. The brand promises that this set won’t make that signature “swishy” sound when you slip into bed, and extra fabric means you’ll have plenty of wiggle room to stretch over mattresses of all heights, especially those with a pillow top. While definitely on the pricey side, it’s an investment worth making, as a couple reviewers over on the brand’s site can confirm. “If you are a fine linens snob, welcome to your new obsession,” one comment reads, adding these are a “10/10.” Another shares, “Refined and soft—lasting luxury quality wash after wash. These sheets are like slipping into bed at a 5-star hotel, and they demand a ‘Privacy Please’ card, because you won’t want to get out of bed to leave them.” Sound like a dream? It does to us, too.
More Percale Sheets We Love
Snowe’s Percale Sheet Set is the perfect balance of crisp and smooth, which our managing shopping editor (and hot sleeper), Samantha Weiss-Hills, confirms is cooling. (The set comes in a range of essential colors, too.) And while it’s sometimes hard to justify spending more than $100 on sheets when there are so many affordable options out there, Matteo has earned a reputation for its attention to detail. The sheets are cut and sewn right in the company’s L.A. factory by longtime artisans. Writer Sade Strehlke found the Tru Set, in particular, to have the “truest” percale feel, with a crispness and slight crunch that makes it an excellent pick for hot sleepers.
Looking for an iconic pattern? Give Schoolhouse’s Portugal-made percale a try. It comes in two variations of gingham that reviewers rave aren’t just for looks. “Crisp, wonderful-quality cotton, my favorite!,” one shopper shares. Tuft & Needle’s set comes with a 100-night sleep trial, and if you bundle it with a duvet cover and duvet insert, your cart is eligible for a 15% discount with the code PERCALE15.
How We Chose These Products
Let’s face it: The world of bedding is super-saturated and overwhelming. At Domino, we prioritize bedding brands that balance style, high-quality manufacturing, and eco-conscious attributes. That’s why all our picks for the best percale sheets are made from 100% cotton: It’s breathable and soft and will last longer if cared for properly compared to other materials, namely blends and synthetic fibers. Our editors and writers conduct hands-on testing whenever possible, and we tap industry experts for their input, dig into brand stats, and conduct independent research. The thing is, there’s really no shortcut to finding your ideal sheets, especially if you’re looking to stay cool all night long. You just have to try them.
So what exactly is percale anyway, if it can be made from so many different materials? The key is how the thread is woven, typically in a one-over-one weave. This results in a fresh matte sheet that’s cool to the touch (not unlike the texture of an oxford shirt) and moisture wicking. “Think of percale as a screen in a window: The air is able to transfer across with little resistance,” explains Erum Ilyas, M.D., of Schweiger Dermatology Group, who recommends percale sheets to patients who suffer from night sweats, skin irritation, and breakouts.
If you want something that has a light and airy look and feel, percale is probably the right option for you. “It’s a classic in the realm of clean, crisp summer beds,” says King. If you want a heavier drape at night, maybe choose a silky sateen or knit jersey weave instead.
The raw materials and processing techniques that are used to create percale sheets have a big impact on how they feel. You definitely don’t have to spend a fortune to get nice percale sheets, but there’s a noticeable difference when they’re constructed from cotton (a natural material) versus polyester (a synthetic material), as cotton is far more breathable, durable, and sustainable.
In fact, the quality of the materials (and how the sheets are made) is more important than the thread count when it comes to picking out the best percale sheets. Eileen Mockus, CEO of organic bedding brand Coyuchi, says that rather than look at thread count, buyers should consider the fiber content (natural versus synthetic materials) and how the sheets feel.
Maintenance and Care
Always read and follow the care instructions on any bedding or garments you invest in. That said, most people make the same three mistakes when it comes to washing cotton sheets: using hot water, adding fabric softener, and pouring too much detergent into the washing machine.
First, start with about a third or a fourth of the amount of detergent you’d normally use—and make sure it’s a gentle or plant-based option (such as the formula by Grove Collaborative). This is because, as Ilyas explains, bedsheets can easily become tangled inside the drum of the machine, making it hard for all of the suds to fully rinse off, which can cause skin irritation. Then make sure your water temperature is set to cold or warm. “Over time, hot water can aggravate and break down the fibers of the sheets. Laundering without heat helps them stay like new longer,” adds Mockus.
Q: What is thread count, and is there a good number for percale sheets?
Thread count refers to the number of threads per square inch in a fabric. It’s one metric—but not the only metric—for judging a sheet’s value. For percale sheets, you want to look for a minimum thread count of 180. Anything over a thread count of 300 is rare for percale and generally means that a brand has “folded the thread over itself to create a two-ply weave,” explains Logan Foley, managing editor at the Sleep Foundation. “This doesn’t create a higher-quality fabric, as it’s still the same number of threads.”
Q: Can I toss my percale sheets in the dryer?
Line drying is almost universally recommended, but using the gentle cycle on your dryer with low heat will work, too. If you do hang your sheets to dry outside, the sun will naturally bleach them, which is handy since you shouldn’t actually bleach your sheets. Dryer sheets and fabric softeners will break down the integrity of your bedding, so it’s best to stay away from them, too. Percale can get wrinkly, so some suggest ironing directly on your bed with high heat and steam when they’re just out of the dryer and slightly damp. (Sheets in a hotel are typically ironed.)
All of that said, the weave of percale sheets is incredibly strong, making them an ideal pick if you’re like Henderson and don’t want to fuss with your bedding too much: “I look at the label to make sure there are no big no-no’s and then throw them into the washing machine and dryer,” she says. Just make sure to dial down the heat.
Q: I’ve seen the Standard 100 label on a lot of sheets; what does it mean?
We mention Oeko-Tex quite a bit when it comes to bedding because its Standard 100 certification is an easy way to know whether or not a product has been treated with harmful chemicals or synthetic substances during the manufacturing process. According to Kaye, it’s one of the highest textile standards out there.
The Last Word
All percale bedding, due to its weave, will feel cool and maybe even make a subtle but audible “crunch” sound. (If you don’t like that, might we point you in the direction of Hawkins New York’s latest bedding offering?) But the very best percale sheets will always be made from cool, crisp cotton that feels weightless, embracing you lightly while preserving pockets of air in the bed to keep you cool and comfortable. As interior stylist Colin King so aptly summarizes, percale takes on “a very natural kind of luxury.”