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Best Percale Sheets – 2019 Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

Our Research

38
Percale Sheet Sets Considered
20
Hours of Research
2
Sleep Experts Consulted

Quick Overview

When selecting a new sheet set, customer should pay attention to how the fabric is woven; this can help determine how the fabric feels, how much it weighs, how cool/warm it sleeps, and other important buying factors. Percale is one of the most common fabric weaves for sheets and pillowcases. The weave has a tight, one-under-one-over structure that results softer, smoother, and more durable fabric. Percale is also lightweight and breathable, making it ideal for hot sleepers and those who live in warmer climates.

Best Percale Sheets

By definition, percale must have a thread count of at least 180; most percale sheets have thread counts that fall between 200 and 400. Percale sets are usually made from either 100% cotton or a blend of cotton and other materials, such as polyester or rayon. Price-points vary for percale sets. While some high-end collections may be priced at $300 or higher, shoppers can usually find high-quality sheet sets that cost between $70 and $150; cheaper options may also be available through online sellers and retailers.

Read on to learn more about percale sheets and how they differ from other types of bedding. Below you’ll find our picks for the top percale sheet sets sold today. Our choices are based on verified customer and owner experiences, along with intensive product research and analysis.

Our Top 5 Picks

The Best Percale Sheets – Reviewed

Editor's Pick – Brooklinen Classic Core Sheet Set

Editor's Pick – Brooklinen Classic Core Sheet Set

Highlights

  • 100% long staple cotton-percale
  • 1 flat sheet, 1 fitted sheet, 2 pillowcases (all sizes)
  • 15" pocket depth
  • 270 thread count
  • Lifetime satisfaction guarantee
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Editor’s Pick Overview

Our Editor’s Pick for best percale sheets is the Classic Core Sheet Set from Brooklinen, which is a standout collection for several reasons. The flat sheet, fitted sheet, and two pillowcases in this set are made of 100% long staple cotton with a thread count of 270. The material has a crisp hand-feel and is exceptionally lightweight and breathable, making these materials ideal for warm weather (as well as sleepers who run hot). The percale is also OEKO-TEX certified, indicating that harmful chemicals are not used during production.

Customers can choose from six different sizes ranging from Twin to California King. The pillowcases included with each set have envelope closures, which help contain fill and maintain the pillow’s overall shape. Brooklinen also offers 12 different color and pattern options, each with a distinct matte finish. The company also backs the sheet set with a lifetime satisfaction guarantee.

Runner Up – Snowe Percale Sheets

Runner Up – Snowe Percale Sheets

Highlights

  • 100% long staple cotton
  • 1 flat sheet, 1 fitted sheet, 2 pillowcases (all sizes)
  • 17" pocket depth
  • 500 thread count
  • Free shipping and returns
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Runner Up Overview

Our Runner-Up Pick is the Snowe Percale Sheet Set. These materials are woven from premium blended Egyptian cotton with a 500 thread count, ensuring a very crisp feel and a longer-than-average expected lifespan. The fabric is also exceptionally breathable, even by percale standards, making it a great option for those who sleep excessively hot or live in places with extreme climates. It is also OEKO-TEX 100 certified.

Four sizes are available for the set: Full, Queen, King, and California King; each includes two pillowcases, along with flat and fitted sheets. The fitted sheet has a pocket depth of 17″, meaning it is suitable for the vast majority of mattresses sold today. All set components can be washed and dried in conventional machines, making them fairly low maintenance as well. Snowe offers five color options for the Percale Sheets, along with free shipping and hassle-free returns for all orders.

Best Value Percale Sheets – California Design Den Organic Percale Sheets

Best Value Percale Sheets – California Design Den Organic Percale Sheets

Highlights

  • 100% GOTS certified organic cotton
  • 1 flat sheet, 1 fitted sheet, 2 pillowcases (all sizes)
  • 18" pocket depth
  • 300 thread count
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee
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Best Value Overview

A high-quality set of percale sheets doesn’t need to break the bank. Our Best Value pick, the Organic Percale Sheets from California Design Den, are priced at less than $55 in each available size; however, they offer the same crisp hand and exceptional cooling as many higher-cost competitors. Each sheet and pillowcase in the set is made from GOTS certified organic cotton, making the collection a great option for eco-conscious shoppers; additionally, the sheets are manufactured at a facility that has earned the LEED v4 certification. The 300 thread count also ensures good durability and a reasonable product lifespan.

Each set of Organic Percale Sheets includes two pillowcases regardless of the selected size. The fitted sheet has an 18″ pocket depth, which is deeper than most fitted sheets in sets from other brands. Both sheets have indicator tags for the top, bottom, and sides for hassle-free bed making. Customers can choose from three solid-color options. California Design Den backs this set with a full satisfaction guarantee.

Best Luxury Percale Sheets – Boll & Branch Percale Simple Stripe Sheet Set

Best Luxury Percale Sheets – Boll & Branch Percale Simple Stripe Sheet Set

Highlights

  • 100% GOTS certified organic cotton
  • 1 flat sheet, 1 fitted sheet, 1-2 pillowcases (varies by size)
  • 15-17" pocket depth (varies by size)
  • 360 thread count
  • 100-night sleep trial and free returns
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Best Luxury Overview

For shoppers seeking a high-end percale collection, we recommend the Boll & Branch Percale Simple Stripe Sheet Set. Made from GOTS certified organic cotton-percale with a 360 thread count, the sheets and pillowcase(s) in this set offer exceptional smoothness, breathability, and longevity. The cotton is also Fair Trade Certified, indicating it is ethically sourced and produced. Eight different sizes are available, including a King with Standard-size pillowcases for those with different bedding dimensions, as well as a Split King.

The fitted sheet has a 17″ pocket depth and should be compatible with most mattresses sold today. Customers may choose from four pinstripe patterns with different color schemes; Boll & Branch also offers high-quality percale sheets in solid colors. Free ground shipping is available to customers in the U.S. The company also backs the sheet set with a 100-night sleep trial and offers free shipping for all returns.

Best Organic Percale Sheets – Alterra Pure Organic Cotton Sheets

Best Organic Percale Sheets – Alterra Pure Organic Cotton Sheets

Highlights

  • 100% GOTS certified organic cotton
  • 1 flat sheet, 1 fitted sheet, 1-2 pillowcases (varies by size)
  • 15-17" pocket depth (varies by size)
  • 310 thread count
  • 90-day return period
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Best Organic Percale Sheets Overview

Our pick for Best Organic Percale Sheets is this collection from Alterra Pure. The sheets and pillowcase(s) in the collection are woven from GOTS certified organic long staple cotton and manufactured in a LEED-certified facility. The company also guarantees sustainable production and fair wages for all workers. Each component in the set has a 310 thread count and offers strong durability and an enduringly smooth feel. Because organic cotton is typically more breathable than standard cotton, these sheets are also suitable for anyone who sleeps excessively hot.

Customers can choose from four solid-color options, along with six sizes. The pocket depth ranges from 15″ to 17″ (smaller sizes have less depth), but all sizes should be compatible with the bulk of today’s mattresses. Alterra Pure offers free shipping to customers in all 50 states. The company also accepts unopened returns within 90 days of the original purchase.

Buying Guide – How to Choose the Best Percale Sheets

The term ‘percale’ refers to a type of weave used to produce sheets, pillowcases, and other bedding products. The percale weave, known for its tight structure, has an exceptionally smooth feel. Many percale products are made from 100% cotton and considered highly durable; they are also very breathable, making them suitable for those who tend to sleep hot.

This guide discusses common features and characteristics of percale sheets. We’ll also compare percale to other weave types, discuss some pros and cons, and provide information about cleaning and caring for these products. Read on to learn more.

What Are Percale Sheets?

Percale is a simple one-over-one-under weave that structurally resembles a simple basketweave. The result is a matte finish and a smooth, crisp hand-feel on both sides that many compare to men’s dress shirts. Other common attributes for percale sheets and pillowcases include the following:

  • Construction: Percale sheets are typically made from either extra-long staple or long staple cotton fibers, which are softer and smoother than short staple fibers. Extra-long staple cotton refers to luxury fibers, such as Egyptian cotton or Pima cotton. Long staple fibers are more common,and less expensive. In addition to 100% cotton bedding, some percale products contain a blend of cotton and other fibers, such as polyester, rayon, or silk.
  • Thread count: The term thread count, or TC, refers to how many horizontal and vertical yarns are included in a square-inch section of fabric. While there isn’t a maximum thread count for percale sheets, these products must have a thread count of at least 180. The average set of good quality percale sheets has a thread count ranging between 200 and 400.
  • Breathability: Despite the tight weave of percale, these sheets and pillowcases are highly breathable. This characteristic – combined with the crisp hand and lightweight construction – makes percale optimal for sleepers who run hot during warmer times of the year.
  • Wrinkling: Percale sheets made of 100% cotton wrinkle easily. However, some percale products are made of fabric blends that include cotton and more wrinkle-resistant fibers, such as polyester or rayon from bamboo. Certain cleaning and care strategies for percale sheets and pillowcases can help reduce wrinkling (see ‘Percale Sheet Care and Maintenance’ section below).
  • Durability: Pilling is a type of fabric deterioration that results in uneven clumping after repeated washes, which is unsightly and uncomfortable. Because the weave is tighter, percale sheets are less likely to pill after repeated wash cycles than other woven fabrics. Additionally, percale sheets tend to soften with each wash.

Bedding product shoppers often choose between percale and sateen, other common weave type. The table below breaks down key similarities and differences between the percale and sateen weaves.

Attribute Percale Weave Sateen Weave
Weave Structure One-under-one-over Two-, three-, or four-under-one-over
Material Construction Extra-long staple or long staple fibers 100% cotton or a blend of cotton and wrinkle-resistant fabric (i.e., polyester or rayon) Long staple fibers 100% cotton or a blend of cotton and rayon
Typical Thread Count 200 to 400 300 to 500
Feel More susceptible to wrinkling, especially in sheets with higher thread counts Less susceptible to wrinkling regardless of thread count
Breathability More breathable; better suited for hotter/warmer weather Less breathable; better suited for colder/cooler weather
Breathability More breathable; better suited for hotter/warmer weather Less breathable; better suited for colder/cooler weather
Durability Less likely to pill More likely to pill
Average Price Range $70 to $150 $50 to $150

For more information about similarities and differences between these two weaves, please check out our Percale vs. Sateen guide.

Pros and Cons of Percale

  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Durable construction
  • Easy to clean
  • Reasonable price-point

Cons

  • Susceptible to wrinkling
  • Less insulation for colder temperatures

Pros of Percale

Advantages of using percale sheets include the following:

  • Exceptionally cool: Percale sheets are particularly suitable for hot sleepers and/or those who live in warmer climates. They are lightweight and breathable, and should not trap too much heat. Many sleepers also prefer the crisp feel of percale during hot times of the year; sateen, by comparison, can cling to the skin and cause discomfort during the night.
  • Strong durability: Percale bedding products tend to have longer lifespans than other types of sheets and pillowcases. The tight weave holds together, even after repeated washes, allowing the fabric to soften without pilling or deteriorating excessively.
  • Low maintenance: Unless the care tag explicitly says otherwise, percale sheets can be washed and dried in conventional machines. Spot cleaning and/or dry cleaning is not needed unless the percale contains a cotton blend with silk or other fabrics that should not be machine-washed.
  • Relatively inexpensive: Price-points for high-quality percale sheets vary by brand and set. Sheets and pillowcases made from luxury cotton, such as extra-long staple varieties like Egyptian or Pima cotton, are usually the most expensive; expect to pay at least $250 for one of these sets. Long staple percale is much more affordable, on average; these sheet sets typically cost between $70 and $150, though shoppers may track down high-quality sets for $50 or less.

Cons of Percale

There are two notable disadvantages of using percale sheets:

  • Prone to wrinkling: Percale weaves yield crisp, lightweight fabric that tends to become wrinkled after washing. Although this does not affect the feel or breathability of the sheets, it can give them an unsightly appearance. To remove or reduce wrinkles, percale bedding owners can iron their sheets; another strategy is to remove them from the dryer as soon as the cycle is complete and immediately make the bed.
  • Not suitable for some climates: As we’ve discussed, percale sheets are lightweight and breathable, and should not trap too much heat. The flipside to this is that percale bedding may be too cool during colder times of the year. Additionally, those who tend to sleep cool may find that percale sheets do not provide enough warmth and insulation.

Types of Percale Sheets

Most percale sheets are made from 100% long staple cotton. Long staple cotton is very soft and smooth compared to short staple cotton, and is less susceptible to pilling after repeated washes. It is also fairly durable. In addition to 100% long staple cotton, customers may also choose from the following percale options.

  • Extra-long staple cotton: Bedding products made from extra-long staple cotton (such as Egyptian or Pima cotton) are even softer, smoother, and more durable. They also tend to be much pricier. Expect to pay at least $250 for an Egyptian cotton-percale sheet set, and at least $150 for a Pima cotton-percale set. Additionally, keep in mind that the material must be made entirely from Egyptian cotton in order to be labeled and sold as such; in recent years, some prominent brands have come under fire for selling ‘Egyptian cotton’ made from a blend of Egyptian fibers and fibers sourced from elsewhere. Blended Egyptian cotton is usually cheaper than authentic Egyptian cotton; if the price-point seems low, then the product is probably inauthentic.
  • Organic cotton: Organic cotton tends to be more expensive than non-organic cotton; organic brands must spend more money to ensure their products are responsibly and sustainably sourced, and these expenses are often reflected in higher price-points. Some brands tout ‘organic fibers’ or ‘natural cotton’ in their sheets, implying an organic product. However, the product should be certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) in order to be considered truly organic. Brands that have earned GOTS certification will normally display this on product pages and elsewhere on their website; customers who are unsure should reach out to the company’s customer support staff.
  • Blended percale: Percale sheets may be made from blends of cotton and other fabrics, including natural fibers like silk and/or synthetics like polyester and rayon. Blended percale products are often cheaper than 100% cotton products, and they may be less prone to wrinkling. However, 100% cotton percale sheets tend to be more breathable and less likely to pill.

Apart from material construction, another important consideration is thread count – though this is not as crucial as some brands suggest. Generally speaking, higher thread counts translate to better quality and a longer product lifespan. However, the benefits are somewhat questionable once certain thread count benchmarks are reached. In other words, the differences between 300 thread count and 500 thread count percale sheets are, in all likelihood, fairly negotiable.

Percale sheets, by definition, must have a thread count of at least 180. High-quality percale sheet sets with thread counts of 200 to 400 are widely available.

Sizing and Fit Considerations

Although availability varies by brand, most sheet sets are available in sizes that correspond to the six standard mattress dimensions.

  • Twin (39W” x 75L”)
  • Twin XL (39W” x 80L”)
  • Full/Double (54W” x 75L”)
  • Queen (60W” x 80L”)
  • King (76W” x 80L”)
  • California King (72W”x 84L”)

Additionally, some brands offer specialty sizes for sheet sets, such as Full XL (54W” x 80L”) or Short Queen (60W” x 75L”). In most cases, a Twin or Twin XL sheet set will include a flat sheet, fitted sheet, and one pillowcase; larger sizes will include two pillowcases, along with the flat and fitted sheets.

It’s important to note that the flat sheet’s dimensions will be wider and longer than the mattress; for example, a flat sheet in a Queen-size sheet set often measures about 95W” x 110L”. This allows the sheet to fit over the mattress surface and drape over all four edges. The fitted sheet’s dimensions should match the mattress more closely, since this component has elasticated edges that fit over the bed’s corners. Cotton-percale sheets will most likely shrink to a degree after the first wash.

Speaking of fitted sheets, customers should also check the pocket depth for the set they’d like to buy. Pocket depth refers to the maximum thickness of any mattress or bed that can be used with the fitted sheet. Mattresses sold today usually measure 15″ or less, while the average fitted sheet has a pocket depth of about 13″ to 15″, so most sheet sets are suitable for most beds. However, some fitted sheets have much lower pocket depths and may not be compatible with high-profile mattresses.

Lastly, customers should check the sheet set’s pillowcase measurements. Generally speaking, larger-size sheet sets have larger pillows. This may be problematic for sleepers who have a larger mattress and smaller pillows. In these instances, purchasing individual sheet set components may be the best option (see the ‘How to Choose a Percale Sheet Set’ section below for more information).

Other Important Considerations for Choosing a Percale Sheet Set

Color and Pattern Most percale sheet sets are available in multiple color schemes, including white and off-white, subtle tones, and more vibrant shades. Some brands offer multicolored patterns, as well. Color and pattern selection is entirely subjective; it has no bearing on overall sheet quality, and customers should make their choice based on personal preference and existing bedroom decor. However, keep in mind that brighter colors and patterns are more likely to fade and lose their luster with repeated washes. This is not as much of an issue with whites and paler shades.
Full Set or Individual Components? The price of a sheet set is typically lower than the overall cost of purchasing the flat sheet, fitted sheet, and pillowcase(s) individually. Brands use this price structure to incentivize customers into spending more money on the entire set. However, customers may prefer to purchase individual sheet and/or pillowcase components if:
  • They sleep on a larger mattress with smaller pillows, or they sleep on a smaller mattress with larger pillows; in these cases, the sheet and pillowcase dimensions may not completely match the existing bedding.
  • They already have one or more of the sheet set's components and don't mind the appearance of mismatched bedding.
  • Their mattress is too thick for the fitted sheet's pocket depth, but they want to purchase the flat sheet and/or pillowcase(s).
  • They have a limited shopping budget.
Keep in mind that, in some cases, purchasing the sheet set will be cheaper than buying all of the desired components individually.
Online Seller or Brick-and-Mortar Store? Although online shopping is widespread, many consumers still prefer to make major purchases at brick-and-mortar stores. Online and brick-and-mortar shopping each carry distinct advantages and disadvantages, such as the following:
  • Cost: Exclusively online sellers often charge less for percale sheets and other products because the companies have fewer overhead costs. Brick-and-mortar companies may charge more for percale sheets to offset overhead costs, including those associated with operating physical stores.
  • Product testing: When buying online, customers do not always get the opportunity to physically handle the percale sheets before purchasing them. Some online brands offer sleep trials, which allow customers to test out sheets at home and return them within a certain time frame if they are not satisfied; other brands only accept returns if the sheets have not been used, laundered and/or removed from their packaging. Although brick-and-mortar sellers rarely let customers test sheets by sleeping on them, buyers may be able to open the packaging and feel the fabric.
  • Sales pressure: Online shopping does not involve any salespeople working on commission. As a result, customers can browse different products without feeling pressured to make a purchase. Many brands offer live customer service via web chat for those who have product-related questions. Sales pressure is a common complaint associated with brick-and-mortar shopping; sales staff may follow customers around the store, which can make them feel like they need to purchase sheets before weighing all of the important factors.
  • Shipping/Delivery Costs: Although online customers usually need to wait a few days for their sheets to arrive, most brands offer free standard shipping anywhere in the contiguous U.S. (and, in some cases, to all 50 states). Shipping is usually not needed for brick-and-mortar shoppers, since sheet sets are compact enough to fit into most vehicles. However, if delivery is needed, brick-and-mortar sellers often charge delivery fees.
  • Convenience: Aside from delivery wait times, online shopping is fairly convenient and hassle-free. Visiting a brick-and-mortar store can be inconvenient by comparison – especially if a long drive is required – but the upside is that customers can take the sheets home and sleep on them the same night.
Sleep Trial and Warranty Many brands selling percale sheets offer a sleep trial built into the company's return policy. As part of the sleep trial, customers may sleep on the sheets for a certain length of time (typically 60 to 90 nights for sheets). If the customer is dissatisfied with the sheets before the trial expires, then they may return the sheets for a full refund or exchange them for another set at no extra charge, minus upgrade costs. For customers who have never tried percale sheets, sleep trials can be a very strong perk. However, some brands do not offer a sleep trial. Instead, they will only accept returns if the sheets have not been removed from their packaging, used, or laundered. This is disadvantageous for customers who wish to test out the sheets, but it can be helpful if they decide they don't want the sheets after all. Most return periods of this nature span 30 days or less. Warranty coverage varies by brand. Some companies offer warranties for percale sheets lasting anywhere from one to five years; warranties exceeding five years in length are very rare. If the sheets prove to be defective due to material construction flaws, then owners covered under warranty may return or replace the sheets at no extra cost. However, a large number of bedding brands do not offer any sort of warranty coverage for sheets.

Percale Sheet Care and Maintenance

When cleaning and caring for percale sheets, here are a few guidelines to follow:

  • Washing: Most percale sheets should be machine-washed on a gentle cycle. Warm water is preferable because it kills more germs and bacteria than cold water. Wash sheets together, but make sure to separate them from articles of clothing and other washables with zippers, buttons, and other components that can cause ripping or tearing. Keep in mind that percale sheets are likely to shrink after their first wash, but should maintain the same dimensions with subsequent cycles.
  • Drying: Place percale sheets in a dryer and tumble dry them on low. As with washing, be sure to dry the sheets alone. When the drying cycle is complete, remove the sheets immediately and place them on the bed; this will help reduce wrinkling. If wrinkles occur anyway, ironing can help flatten them out.
  • Rotation and cleaning frequency: To keep the bed hygienic, swap out the sheets and pillowcases every two weeks or as needed. Washing percale bedding on a regular basis helps sanitize the material and reduce germs; it also refreshes the percale and removes unwanted smells. However, excessive washing will lead to deterioration – especially with blended percale.
  • Storage: When not in use, keep percale bedding in a cool, dry place such as a linen closet. This ensures the sheets and pillowcases won’t come into contact with too much moisture; this can cause mold to build up.

Keep in mind that washing/drying percale sheets may make them ineligible for return or exchange. Additionally, most sheet warranties do not cover damages that occur during laundering or normal color fading that occurs over time.

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