Pick the Best Sheets for Summer: Materials, Weave, and Beyond

| Updated:
White sheets behind Chloe floral sham | Peacock Alley

Summer is on its way, and with it soaring temperatures during the day and sticky, humid, and warm nights. Since the ideal temperature for sleep is somewhere in the mid-60’s, it’s no wonder that those hot summer nights are a time when many tend to lose sleep. And is there anything worse than waking up sweaty?

Fortunately, there are things you can do to sleep easier even in warm climates or without air conditioning:

  1. Keep the air moving in your bedroom. Whether you simply turn on the ceiling fan or purchase a standing or box fan, air circulation is a must.
  2. Prevent heat from building up in your bedroom during the day. This means keeping shades or blinds closed, and close the windows if it’s warmer outside than in.
  3. Stay hydrated, inside and out. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water during the day, and consider cooling down with a dip in the pool, a cool shower, or just a spritz from a light mister before bed.
  4. Choose loose, lightweight, breathable sleepwear. Natural fibers like cotton are best.
  5. Change your sheets!

That’s right, one of the best ways to get better sleep in the hot summer months is to change your sheets! We don’t mean just wash them and put them back on the bed. We find it’s best to have a cooler set of sheets for the summertime. You want something with a lighter weave and breathable fibers.


  • Cotton There’s a reason cotton bed sheets are the standard for luxury bedding. It’s simply the best sleep experience on the market. And we think cotton is king especially when it comes to summer sheets. It’s extremely breathable and helps to wick moisture away from the skin, so you never wake up feeling sticky or clammy.
  • Linen While linen is currently fashionable for summer sheeting, many don’t like its rougher texture. But does it sleep cooler? Not necessarily. While linen is slightly better at wicking away moisture, good quality cotton sheets are still the cooler, more breathable option. And unless you like the wrinkled look, be prepared to do a lot of ironing if you opt for linen.
  • Silk Many people equate silk sheets with the ultimate luxury bedding experience, but they’re not necessarily a good pick if you’re wanting something that keeps you cool at night. While they probably feel cool to the touch at first, silk sheets tend to have a much tighter weave that traps heat against your skin.
  • Bamboo The only option that comes close to cotton for cooler sleep is good quality bamboo. It’s naturally breathable and also wicks away moisture well for a less-sweaty experience. So if you have a choice between cheap cotton sheets or bamboo, pick the bamboo. But if you can afford to splurge on high-quality luxury cotton, we’re sure your skin will thank you!
  • Man-Made Fibers While man-made fibers may be easier to care for and wrinkle resistant, they’re simply not breathable. Even a 90/10 blend of natural and artificial fibers is likely to sleep significantly warmer than 100% natural cotton. Do yourself a favor – ditch the polyester and poly-blends.


  • Sateen Sheets We love the silky smooth feel of a sateen weave just as much as anyone, but this one isn’t a great pick for summertime. Because the weave is more dense, the fabric becomes less breathable and sleeps hotter. Best to stow away your favorite sateen sheets until the delightfully cool weather of fall, and opt for a looser weave for the summer months.
  • Percale Sheets If you’re looking for a cotton weave that breathes easy for a cooler sleep experience, it’s hard to beat a good quality percale. The one-over, one-under construction makes for a lightweight cloth, perfect for those warm and humid summer nights. Even better, percale has the added plus of getting softer with each wash and tends to last longer than even the highest quality sateen.

Other Factors

  • Color While you might not think so, the color of your sheets actually matters when you’re aiming for the coolest sleep experience possible. Darker colors absorb the sun’s warmth during the day, and can hold it in for hours until you’re ready to climb into bed. Stick with lighter colors for a cooler sleep. In fact, summer is the perfect time for the all white bed!
  • Thread Count While the trend in thread counts these days is “the higher the better,” thread count isn't indicative of quality. Many super-high thread counts are artificially inflated by use of multi-ply yarns. They’re heavier, less breathable, and more prone to pilling. Instead of thread count, focus on the quality of the cotton. A cheap set of short-staple 400 thread count sheets and a luxurious 400 thread count long staple cotton offer two wholly different sleeping experiences.
  • The Right Fit Be sure to opt for fitted sheets (or bottom sheets as some people call them) with a deep enough pocket to accommodate your mattress. Otherwise they could slip off the corners and get tangled around you as you sleep. While this isn’t fun in any climate, in hotter months it can cause them to bunch up and trap heat against your body. So you’ll wake up sweaty, tangled, and not feeling well-rested or ready to face the day. At Peacock Alley, we only carry deep pocket sheets so you can rest assured your fitted sheet fits up to a 17" mattress gusset.
  • Avoid “treated” finishes While wrinkle resistant or stain resistant finishes may seem like a good idea at first, they often cause your sheets to be less breathable and therefore less comfortable in the summer heat. Not only that, the chemicals used in the treatment can be a true nightmare for those with sensitive skin. We recommend you stay away and instead fold your sheets as soon as they’re finished drying, smoothing out the wrinkles by hand as you go.
  • Proper Care Proper care for your bed linens means more than just extending their life. Over drying, washing your sheets with other rougher fabrics, and the use of harsh cleaners can all cause pilling in natural threads. This decreases breathability as well as comfort, leading to poor quality sleep. It’s important to take care of your sheets so that they can take good care of you!

Our Favorites

  • Lyric Percale Sheet Set If you want a classic but high-quality set of summer sheets, our Lyric set might just fit the bill. Imported from Italy, and adorned with a delicate double row of hemstitching for that special touch, these sheets are made from extra long-staple cotton for a durable but luxuriously soft feel. And their simple, chic style is designed to go well with just about any bedroom decor.
  • Boutique Embroidered Percale Sheet Set Looking for a small burst of color in your sheeting? Why not choose one of the delightful embroidered accent colors available on our Boutique Embroidered sheeting? It’s a delightfully personal touch added to luxe, soft, and crisp percale sheets, imported from Portugal.
  • Mandalay Linen Cuff Sheet Set What about adding a little texture to your bedding? The linen cuffs on our white cotton Mandalay sheet set add an extra special touch. They’re available in several colors, and made right here in the USA. It’s a perfect way to incorporate the look of high quality linen bedding, while still sleeping on some of the softest cotton available.

Our Favorite Summer Sheets

Back to blog