The Best Cotton Sheets

Want a good pair of cotton sheets that don’t cost a fortune? Everything you want to know can be found in our top picks for best cotton sheets.

By Sheryl Grassie

Cotton sheets can be challenging to buy based solely on the sheer volume of different ones available. Is it possible to get some of the best sheets that meet the criteria of healthy/eco-friendly, comfortable to sleep on, and affordable? Absolutely! We have researched the best cotton sheets that are non-toxic and chemical free, 400 thread count, soft and luxurious, and retail at a reasonable price point.

We have sorted through 100’s of options to bring you some strong contenders. Our top picks are all OEKO-TEX certified against harmful chemicals. They are all made from 100% long staple cotton, 400 thread count fabric that has been sateen woven for that extra soft feeling of the most luxurious sheets. To top it all off, these sheets are not expensive, and, in some cases, they are downright inexpensive. Check out our top four best cotton sheets below.

Our Top Picks for the Best Cotton Sheets

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California Design Den 400 Thread Count 100% Natural Cotton Sheets

California Design Den – 400 Thread Count 100% Cotton Sheet Set

Are you looking for luxurious sheets that are chemical free and manufactured in an eco-friendly manner? California Design Den easily makes it into our top picks for best cotton sheets on these criteria alone. These extra-long staple cotton, sateen weave sheets are 400 thread-count and get softer with use and washings. California Design Den is a socially responsible workplace carrying the “Made in Green” certification from OEKO-TEX which guarantees textiles have been manufactured sustainably in environmentally friendly conditions and socially responsible workplaces. It further carries the distinction of LEED v4 GOLD CERTIFIED for a green healthy building.

The cotton fabric of these sheets is specifically tested against harmful chemicals. Although these are not organic sheets, meaning made with organically grown cotton, they are highly scrutinized for any harmful chemicals from raw product through manufacturing and finishing processes.

The cotton is soft but very durable and does not shrink or pill. The sheets are machine washable in warm water and tumble dry on a medium temperature setting. Shake out and fold straight from the dryer to eliminate wrinkles. The company offers a large selection of sizes, twenty different patterns and colors, and is positively reviewed by a large number of customers. Ranked as their # 9 bestseller in sheets and pillowcases on Amazon and their #1 bestseller in kids’ sheets and pillowcases, California Design offers a money back guarantee on the off chance that you don’t love these natural cotton sheets.

  • Price: $37.99 – $49.99
  • Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Short Queen, Queen, California King, King
  • Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars, 7,559 reviews
Saatvik cotton sheets

Saatvik Home Care – Comfort Cotton Sheet Set

Looking for that extra pair of sheets for the guest room? An inexpensive second set for your bed but want something well-made and toxin free. Saatvik makes it onto the best cotton sheets list for a number of reasons. Although natural sheets generally run more expensive, these have an amazing price point. This Saatvik sheet set is 100% long staple cotton that is a sateen weave for extra softness and has a 400 thread count. They are OEKO-TEX 100 Certified against harmful chemicals and pollutants so you can breathe easy sleeping on these sheets.

The sheet set includes a top sheet, fitted bottom sheet with an 18-inch pocket, and two standard cases. These hotel quality sheets are machine wash in cold water with no bleach and tumble dry. The are breathable, will not pill, shrink, or fade, as they are colorfast. They are scrutinized for any defects and manually inspected. They come in four colors, white, ivory, blue, and gray.

  • Price: $14.99 (for either size)
  • Sizes: Queen, King
  • Rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars, 34 reviews
Five elements cotton sheets

Five Elements – 400-Thread Count 100% Cotton Sheets

“Real Luxury at Affordable Prices” is how Five Elements bills themselves and part of why they made our best cotton sheets list. They use 100% long-staple cotton that is a sateen weave for the softest feel possible, although not flannel, they have the characteristically soft feel of cotton. They are also described as eco-friendly with an OEKO-TEX 100 Certification that insures no harmful chemicals are used in the manufacturing process, so no toxic off-gassing to harm your health. Five Elements further prides themselves on linens that are ethically made in clean modern factories with “Happy Labor Treatment.” Their commitment is for well-made sheets and well-treated employees.

The sheets themselves are super soft deep pocket sheets that can fit up to an 18-inch mattress. They have nice detailing with a 4-inch hem on the cases. The set is a four-piece, with fitted and flat sheets, and two cases. The fabrics is flawless and won’t pill, fade, or become scratchy. They come in four colors; dark gray, light gray, white and royal blue.

  • Price: $34.99 – $39.99 (depending on size)
  • Sizes: Full, Queen, California King, King
  • Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars, 96 reviews
pizuna cotton sheets

Pizuna – 400 Thread Count 100% Long Staple Cotton Sheet Set

Looking for more color selection? These Pizuna sheets come in a nice selection of contemporary colors including earth tones and pastels. From peach (pictured) to colors like sage and stone blue, they offer 24 different colors so you will find what you are looking for.

Other reasons they made our best cotton sheets list is they are ethically produced, AZO dye free, and  the company is Business Social Compliance Initiative (BCSI) based. They are also OEKO-TEX 100 certified against harmful chemicals.

Pizuna sheets are made from 100% long-staple 400 thread count cotton with a sateen weave. They are soft and supple and get better with washing. They are hotel quality with the luxury you crave at a price you can afford. They are breathable and wick moisture and fit up to a 15-inch mattress. Machine wash and dry.

  • Price: $35.99 – $56.23
  • Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King
  • Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars, 2,214 reviews

Why Cotton?

In the world of sheets there are many different fabrics, weaves, and finishes to choose from, and all of them have pros and cons. You can choose from silk, bamboo, microfiber, cotton, or polyester. Cotton has been a long-time favorite for a number of reasons which are detailed below.

Related: Polyester vs Cotton Sheets

  • Comfort: Cotton is an extremely comfortable fabric that has a range of finishes and feels. Usually you can find just what you want when it comes to cotton. They can be a percale set with a low thread count for a crisp and cool feel, a soft sateen weave 400 thread count for all year round, or a thick warm flannel to wrap up in on cold nights. Cotton can meet the needs of every season and preference.
  • Dry and Cool: Cotton has properties that make it breathable and a natural wicking action for moisture. These features keep the sleeper both cool and dry enhancing sleep for most people. Especially if you are bothered with night sweats or hot flashes, cotton is a likely choice to help keep you more comfortable.
  • Natural Fiber: Cotton is a natural fiber.  It is grown as a crop and not created in a lab. It can be grown with or without pesticides and comes in organic forms for very healthy and safe to breathe options. You don’t need to worry as much about the chemical content of the fabric or if it is going to cause health problems.
  • Renewable Resource: As we all grow more and more concerned about the environment, the fact that cotton is an easily renewable resource is a factor in how some people shop. Buying cotton, especially cotton that is sustainably grown can be a bonus. Many manufacturers are labeling their products with eco-friendly designations. Read about the companies that produce cotton sheets and know if you are supporting ecological practices.
  • Improves with Age: Cotton, like a fine wine, can improve with age. The fabric actually gets softer and more supple after repeated washings. This process is helped if you keep the chemical content low when washing. This means natural and mild detergents and skip the dryer sheets, use dryer balls instead.
  • Hypoallergenic: Cotton is naturally hypoallergenic and great for allergy sufferers.  It helps in attaining a really good night sleep and is always one of the top choices for people suffering from allergic reactions or skin related conditions like psoriasis or eczema. 
  • Care: Cotton is considered easy care. It can be washed and dried on a regular basis at home and requires very little special handling. It does however tend to wrinkle., and can benefit, like all cotton from being promptly taken out of the dryer and shaken or smoothed before putting it away or on the bed. 

How to Choose the Best Cotton Sheets? 

It helps to sort through a series of criteria so you can pick sheets that will work for you. Consider the following:

  • Size: Check first thing if the manufacturer carries the size you need. Some companies don’t make the less common sizes like Twin XL or California king, and some companies only carry queen and king. If you have a less common bed size, like California king or short queen, check the size offerings before you fall in love with a sheet set that doesn’t come in the size you need.
  • Price: You can spend $10 on a set of sheets or you can spend $1,000. Surprisingly, you can get good sheets at either price point or anywhere in between. Also be aware that more expensive does not mean better. If you are on a tight budget, consider one of our best budget sheets.
  • Returns and Warranty: What if you don’t like the sheets? What if something goes wrong with them. Returns can be a big hassle, so know ahead how the company handles them. What is the warranty? Do you need to decide in the first 30 days, or do you have up to a year or more? Warranties vary so check the warranty and plan to use the sheets right away so you can see if they are going to work.
  • Environmentally Friendly and Ethical: Something to consider is the entire context for how your sheets are made. From the raw materials and how they are grown (with or without pesticide), to how they are harvested (low paid migrant workers or fairly paid employees), to the chemicals used in processing and making the sheets. If you want to make sure your sheets come from an ethical employer, are made under fair working conditions, without chemicals that can cause health issues for you the customer as well as the workers in the chain of production, then read more about the companies producing the sheets.
  • Certifications: To help guide your choice there are many different certifications that can apply to cotton sheets. Fair Trade, Vegan, GOTS, 1 % for the Planet, Fair Trade, Climate Beneficial, MADESAFE, and OEKO-TEX, to name a few. If you have a strong leaning towards a certain aspect of linen production, worker treatment, or chemical load, look at the various certifications that apply to the sheets you are considering.

Summary

Need a new set of sheets but low on funds? The best cotton sheets available in 2020 includes some great buys. Cotton sheets are considered the most popular material for bedding. They feel good on the skin, are easy to care for, wash up nicely, and get softer over time. Cotton sheets are durable, especially if they are high thread count like 400, and they last for years. Do your research and be sure to read the reviews or pick from one of our recommendations for best cotton sheets.


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