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Are cooling sheets worth it? Experts weigh in — plus 26 options to provide respite during summer heat

From linen to bamboo sets, these options will help you beat the heat.
Kara Birnbaum / TODAY

Getting a good night's sleep is essential to taking care of your mental and physical health — and creating the perfect setting is key.

You can find the perfect mattress and use blackout curtains to achieve total darkness, but finding a solution for overheating can be more difficult, particularly during the summer. Fortunately, swapping your current bedding for cooling bedsheets can help, especially during nationwide heatwaves and record-breaking temperatures like we are experiencing this summer.

Sleep expert and author of "The Mindful Way to a Good Night's Sleep" Tzivia Gover tells Shop TODAY that cool and dark conditions are optimal for getting high-quality rest. "When thinking of the ideal environment to support sleep, think of creating a sleep cave."

What are they? | What to look for | Top-rated picks | Linen sheets | Bamboo sheets | Percale sheets | Tencel sheets | Meet the experts

What are cooling sheets?

Cooling sheets are bedsheets designed to combat overheating while you sleep. The cooling properties can come from thread count, material or the weight of the fabric.

"Even if you're the best sleeper, sleeping in a 100-degree room will disturb your quality of sleep," clinical psychologist Dr. Joshua Tal says.

What should you look for while shopping for cooling bedsheets?

In terms of texture, Dr. Shelby Harris, a licensed clinical psychologist and author of "The Women's Guide to Overcoming Insomnia," explains that something smooth and comfortable is best.

"Higher thread counts are more smooth and comfortable, and they frequently trap less heat," she says. If you don't have a material preference, she advises choosing the option with the highest thread count you can find.

Tal also advises buying sheets that are made with light and breathable materials such as linen, cotton, eucalyptus or bamboo.

Top-rated cooling sheets to shop

HC Collection Soft Cooling Bedding and Pillow Set

Colorways: 13 | Sizes: Twin, full, queen, king, California king

This cooling bedding set has more than 62,000 verified five-star ratings on Amazon and is said to be breathable, soft and fade-resistant. "I have a thicker than normal mattress so I have difficulty finding sheets that stay on the bed and are good quality but not outrageously priced," one reviewer wrote. "These are amazing! They are so soft and stay on the bed. I wish there were more color options. I have already ordered a second set."

Serta Supersoft Cooling Sheet Set

Colorways: Eight | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king

This four-piece set includes a top and fitted sheet and two pillowcases to ensure that you have the basics necessary to have a cool night's sleep. Reviewers love this hypoallergenic sheet set because they're "soft" and "cool to the touch," just as the brand promises.

Sleep Zone Cooling Bed Sheet Set

Colorways: 24 | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king

Stay comfortable throughout the night with this microfiber sheet set with more than 10,000 verified five-star ratings that is made with a moisture-wicking system that dries faster than cotton. The queen-sized set includes two pillowcases, a fitted sheet and a flat sheet.

CGK Unlimited Hotel Luxury Cooling Sheets

Colorways: 45 | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king, split king

This four-piece sheet set includes two pillowcases, a flat sheet and a fitted sheet. The deep pockets keep it secure throughout the night, and the breathable microfiber material is designed to keep you cool. Plus, with 45 color options and over 191,000 five-star ratings, it's hard to argue its quality.

Comfort Spaces Coolmax Moisture-Wicking Sheets

Colorways: Six | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king

Made with polyester and microfiber, these sheets are crafted to wick away moisture from night sweats. The set is machine-washable and has more than 13,000 verified five-star ratings.

Mellanni Bed Sheet Set

Colorways: 40 | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king, split king

Harris stresses the importance of a high thread count, which is why this bestselling, 1,800 thread-count set is a good option. They also come with a lifetime guarantee, meaning you can return them at any time. Each size is available in regular and extra-deep pocket options.

California Design Den Softest 100% Cotton Sheets

Colorways: 33 | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king, split king

Nearly 80,000 verified customers gave these soft, cooling cotton sheets a five-star rating. The 400-thread count sheet set will last you for decades, the brand says. Even better, the brand adds that the material won't trap dirt or particles in its stitches, allowing for a cleaner sleeping environment.

PeachSkinSheets Night Sweats Soft Sheet Set

Colorways: 24 | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king, split king

These sheets are made with a polyester-microfiber material that's designed to wick away moisture and increase airflow. They're also lightweight — a characteristic Tal recommends paying attention to when buying cooling sheets — and gentle enough for sensitive skin, according to the brand.

Somé Continuous Cooling Performance Sheets

Colorways: One | Sizes: Queen and king

This set touts the ability to keep you cool all night long with the temperature-regulating technology embedded within its proprietary Xirotex fabrics. According to the brand, it works by regulating temperature before the first sign of perspiration and stops cooling at optimal temperature in order to ensure a better sleep experience.

Shop TODAY SEO writer Jannely Espinal says there's "magic in these sheets" and calls them the most comfortable sheets she's sleep on. "I live in a pre-war building where the heater is super warm and wake up drenched in sweat. Lately, I've felt fresh and dry since sleeping on my Somé sheets. Even though I wear long sleeve pajamas, my sheets keep me warm yet cool," she raves.

Best linen sheet sets, according to shoppers

Target Casaluna Full Linen Blend Sheet Set

Colorways: Eight | Sizes: Full, queen, king, California king

Add a fun pattern to your bedspread with this linen sheet set from Target's in-house brand, Casaluna. This woven linen blend promises to be breathable and not trap in heat, making it perfect for sweltering summer nights.

Not only do reviewers love these because they're "seriously the softest sheets ever," but because they are "gorgeous" and really do keep them cool throughout the night.

Dapu Pure Stone Washed Linen Sheet Set

Colorways: 14 | Sizes: Twin, full, queen, king

These fast-drying linen sheets are stone-washed for a softer feel. Tal says that linen is a good option because it's lightweight and can absorb excess moisture.

"Sturdy, long lasting, easy to clean and COOL. I run real hot so having sheets that allow for good heat transfer are a huge get," one verified shopper said about these linen sheets.

Brooklinen Linen Core Sheet Set

Colorways: 15 | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king

Linen is the perfect lightweight material for everything during warmer temperatures, including sheets. Each piece of the set is said to be individually washed and dyed, giving it an element of uniqueness and individuality.

Best bamboo sheet sets, according to shoppers

LuxClub Bamboo Sheet Set

Colorways: 35 | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king, split king

"Bamboo is another good choice for many as it is hypoallergenic, eco-friendly and cool to the touch," Harris explains.

This affordable option from Amazon is made from a bamboo and rayon blend. They're made to be wrinkle-resistant, moisture-wicking and have almost 126,000 verified five-star ratings.

JCPenney Woverly Bamboo Sheet Set

Colorways: Five | Sizes: Twin, full, queen, king

Affordable, lightweight and comfortable, this sheet set from JCPenney is available in five colors that will match any bedroom set and promises to provide a night's sleep free of sweat and tossing and turning.

Cosy House Collection Luxury Bamboo Sheets

Colorways: 13 | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king, split king

Are you looking for affordable, customer-approved bamboo cooling sheets? Well, stop your scrolling, because this set is a great find. It comes with two pillowcases, a top sheet and a fitted sheet so you can truly embrace the silky soft feel the brand promises.

Quince Bamboo Sheet Set

Colorways: Eight | Sizes: Twin, full, queen, king, California king

With an almost perfect average rating from almost 800 shoppers, this hypoallergenic set touts the ability to stay cool to the touch. "I let these sit in my cart because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to spend that much money on sheets. Order them don’t wait!" encouraged one five-star reviewer. "They are so soft and comfortable. My husband and I sleep hot and these are cooling."

Nest Bedding 100% Bamboo Luxury Bed Set

Colorways: Five | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king

Side effects of using these bamboo sheets include sleeping in and waking up refreshed, according to Nest Bedding. Queen-sized sets come with four pillowcases, a fitted sheet and a top sheet.

Cariloha Resort Bamboo Bed Sheets

Colorways: Eight | Sizes: Queen, king, California king, split king

According to this brand, these sheets carry thermal-regulating properties that help to keep you cooler during the summer.

"I was always a loyal Egyptian Cotton customer thinking those sheets were the most luxurious on the market until discovering Cariloha! They live up to every claim — soft, smooth, silky, thermo-regulating and rich!" one shopper raved.

Best percale sheet sets, according to shoppers

Pottery Barn 400-Thread-Count Organic Percale Sheet Set

Colorways: Five | Sizes: Twin/twin XL, full, queen, king, California king

Designed to give you the crisp, clean experience of sleeping in a hotel bed while at home, Pottery Barn's organic percale sheet set is responsibly made and invitingly soft, according to the brand.

Parachute Percale Sheet Set

Colorways: Nine | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king

"If you want cotton, a percale weave works best," says Harris.

While some cotton has a dense composition, this Parachute bedsheet set has a lightweight, durable and crisp finish. "So soft, my cat made an "0" face when she landed on the bed," wrote one five-star reviewer.

L.L. Bean Blueberry Percale Sheet Set

Colorways: One | Sizes: Twin, Full, Queen, King

Channel your inner coastal grandmother with these sweet sheets from L.L. Bean. Decorated with blueberries, this set that perfectly complements blue accents in any beach-themed room. Made with 100% cotton percale, this set includes one fitted and top sheet, as well as two pillowcases. (Note: the twin size only includes one pillow case.)

Reviewers love this sheet set not only for its "charming" fruity design, but because they're "cool, crisp, wash well [and] retain their colors."

Brooklinen Classic Core Sheet Set

Colorways: 13 | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king

Tal also suggests looking for percale because of its breathability. Brooklinen's classic sheet set features a percale weave made from lightweight, long-staple cotton. 75% of the set's 16,000+ reviewers have given it a perfect five-star rating.

Best Tencel sheet sets, according to shoppers

Nest Bedding Tencel Lyocell Sheet Set

Colorways: Five | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king

"Tencel — a fiber derived from eucalyptus trees — has great moisture-wicking abilities and is gaining popularity," says Harris. While it has a lower thread count, Tencel is still soft to the touch and incredibly beneficial if you deal with night sweats.

According to Nest Bedding, its Tencel sheet set wicks away moisture 50% more effectively than cotton for all-night comfort. One recent five-star reviewer called them the "best sheets they own" and said, "I want to replace all my sheet sets with these."

West Elm Silky Tencel Sheet Set

Colorways: Eight | Sizes: Full, queen, king, California king

These hypoallergenic and breathable sheets are perfect for sensitive skin during any season. The set is suitable for mattresses up to 16 inches deep and, according to the brand, naturally smooth so you don't have to worry about excess wrinkling.

Pottery Barn Teen Tencel Sheet Set

Colorways: Two | Sizes: Twin/twin XL, queen, king

Made with eucalyptus-based fibers and materials, this four-piece sheet set (note: the twin/twin XL sets are three pieces) was also made with no harmful chemicals, ensuring high-quality sheets, according to the brand. With promises to be extremely comfortable and soft, these sheets are available in two neutral colors — white and grey — meaning they match perfectly with a fun duvet cover or comforter over top.

Slumber Cloud Performance Sheet Set

Colorways: Four | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king

Slumber Cloud combines viscose fibers and tencel to create a sheet set that the brand says is more breathable than cotton and as soft as silk. In fact, the company promises that you'll get "your most comfortable slumber" when you have these on your bed.

Meet the experts

  • Tzia Gover is an author and Certified Dreamwork Professional from the Institute for Dream Studies in Charleston, South Carolina.
  • Dr. Joshua Tal, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist with his own private practice in New York City.
  • Dr. Shelby Harris, PsyD, DBSM, is a New York-based board-certified doctor who treats a wide variety of sleep disorders like insomnia and narcolepsy.