Published on February 9, 2019

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photography by aaron bengochea

The search for the perfect bedsheet can feel a lot like a Goldilocks scenario: When testing out new options that promise your best night of rest yet, it’s unfortunately easy to find yourself still waking up in the middle of the night to either toss your duvet aside or pull on another quilt. What’s lauded as the best might not be the best for you, and that’s why it’s important to take into consideration what kind of sleeper you are when choosing your sheets.

There’s no shortage of direct-to-consumer bed linens made with quality in mind, but frankly, it can still be tricky to narrow down the selection to your perfect match. To put the issue to rest, we talked to three different bedding brands about their recommendations that will help you sleep tight, whether you prefer life on the cool side of the pillow or you’re most likely to be found under a pile of blankets. Read on to find the sheets that are just right for you.

If You’re a Hot Sleeper, Try… Percale Sheets

Ever find yourself going to bed totally tucked-in only to wriggle your feet out from under the blankets and eventually cast aside your duvet? You might be a warm sleeper. No worries, though, the solution is fairly easy. “I recommend our cool, crisp percale for those who get hot at night,” says Ariel Kaye, founder and CEO of Parachute Home. “It’s extremely breathable.”

When buying cotton sheets, the two most common options you’ll find are percale and sateen: The difference lies in how the cotton is woven. “Percale is the result of a one-over, one-under weave, which allows air to pass through freely,” says Snowe cofounder Andrés Modak. “We’ve had customers tell us again and again, it feels like hotel sheets—cooling, crisp, and almost like a freshly pressed Oxford shirt. Sateen’s four-over, one-under weave makes it extra plush—if percale feels like an Oxford, sateen feels like your favorite T-shirt.

If You’re a Cold Sleeper, Try… Sateen Sheets

The lustrous, almost silk-like quality of sateen sheets might make them seem like the ideal choice for someone who tends to get hot in the night, but the opposite is true. “For those who get cold at night, I suggest sateen because the weave is a little tighter,” says Kaye. The resulting feeling is a bit cozier than percale, and as a bonus, sateen is more wrinkle-resistant.

Of course, this all also depends on how hot or cold your home is. “I’ve spoken to customers who love their sateen but swap in percale when they have overnight guests because it’s so crisp, airy, and hotel-like,” says Snowe cofounder Rachel Cohen. Then, there are people who sleep hot but still prefer sateen because they’ve got their air conditioning cranked up all night and crave the cozy feel in contrast. The right sheets paired with your ideal thermostat settings can work together to give you a satisfying night’s rest.

If You’re Really Cold, Try… Flannel Sheets

Sometimes, a little extra comfort is required, especially in chilly winter months. “For people who always feel cold, flannel is the best option,” says Boll & Branch cofounder Missy Tannen. “The fuzzy nature keeps you super cozy, and the extra weight of the fabric is very soothing.” If you don’t quite need a weighted blanket but want a top sheet that feels like it’s actually doing something, flannel can be a great option.

Admittedly, though, not all flannel is made equally, and lower-end options can pill easily, so if you’re hoping to have sheets that last a long time, it’s worthwhile to invest in a quality set. “Our flannel fabric has been designed to be breathable and pill-resistant,” adds Tannen.

If You Can’t Decide… You Have a Few Options

If you can’t quite categorize what kind of sleeper you are or you find that your preferences shift as the seasons change (and you don’t want to shell out for several different sets of sheets), there are a few ways you can optimize your bedspread.

First, take a keen look at your thermostat: “Many of us keep our homes around 70 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year, relying on heat to keep us warm in the winter months and air conditioning in the summer months,” says Tannen. If your home’s temperature is well regulated, your optimal sheets should feel right all year long, but if you live in an apartment where you can’t take full control of your home temperature or try not to overuse your heating and AC, flannel or sateen paired with an extra quilt can offer maximum coziness in winter, while percale will feel totally crisp in the summer.

Linen sheets can also offer another flexible alternative. “Historically, linen sheets provide a breezier, sturdier option that makes it great for warm and cool nights,” says Cohen, also noting their durability—a set she owns has held up as her standard of softness decades after it was originally purchased in Italy.

Linen is a stronger and more durable alternative to cotton,” explains Kaye. “While often associated with summer, linen actually works all year whether you sleep hot or cold. Its hollow fibers give it a natural ability to absorb moisture from the air and release it again as humidity levels shift, so it keeps you cool in summer and warm in winter.”

When it comes to your sleep habits and preferences, nobody knows your preferences better than you, so if it takes a few tries before you land on your “just right,” that’s totally fine. With generous return policies, these brands make it easier for you to end up with your perfect match and the sleep you’ve been dreaming of.

More sleep tips:

I Was a Linen Bedding Skeptic—Until I Tried These Sheets

The Magical Mineral That Can Improve Your Sleep and Energy

I Tried 5 Hacks to Become a Morning Person—This One Actually Worked

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