When it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, comfort is key. And while it’s tempting to blame an overactive furnace or a drafty house, your sheets may be the reason for your tossing and turning. The material type and fabric weave of your bedding can all have a significant impact on the quality of your sleep, so it’s important to do a bit of research before you buy your next set.
The Science of Sleep
One of the most common complaints of restless sleepers is feeling too hot or too cold. The human body works hard to regulate its internal temperature, and even a slight shift can feel drastic. Our overall body temperature naturally decreases slightly at night – just a few degrees – in order to conserve energy and maintain our core temperature to protect our vital organs. Because we expend heat at night, it’s important to choose sheets that don’t trap that heat. When sheets trap body heat at night, it raises our internal temperature, making us sweat and feel uncomfortably warm.
Choosing the Right Fabric
Sheets can be made of either synthetic materials, like polyester, or natural materials, like cotton. The initial softness and cool-to-the-touch of satin or other polyesters can be tempting at first, but that silky quality is the result of petroleum-based man-made materials. Synthetic sheets are less breathable and will quickly cause you to feel overheated as they trap warm air.
Natural fabric, and cotton in particular, makes for a better choice to keep you comfortable all night long. Cotton is the original performance material – absorbent, breathable, and soft, yet durable. Cotton helps keep your temperature regulated by wicking away moisture and allowing air to pass through. A regulated body temperature means you’ll stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter – and well-rested year-round.
Types and Weaves of Cotton
Because it’s such a breathable natural material, cotton is an incredibly popular fabric for sheets. But not all cottons are created equal. A higher-quality cotton, like the proven pure pima cotton in Wamsutta Pimacott sheets, resists fraying and will stay breathable, softer, and stronger for longer. If you’re still searching for the best sheets for sleeping, try testing out different cotton weaves. Cotton is a remarkably versatile fabric, and comes in all sorts of weaves, which describes how the material is spun and woven. It can also help to swap sheets of different weaves with the seasons. You may find that crisp, cool, and ultra-breathable percale cotton is perfect for the hottest of summer nights. Come winter, the cozy, warm, plushness of cotton flannel may be just the ticket. And for year-round luxury, it’s hard to beat the silky-smooth feel of wrinkle-resistant sateen cotton. By sticking to high-quality natural, breathable cotton and exploring different weaves to find the right fit, you’re sure to discover your best night’s sleep.