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Best Percale Sheets – 2021 Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

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.

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.

The Best Percale Sheets – Reviewed

Best OverallBrooklinen Classic Core Sheet Set

Best Overall – 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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Best OverallBrooklinen Classic Core Sheet Set

Brooklinen.com

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The Classic Core Sheet Set from Brooklinen 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.

Best ValueStandard Textile Classic Cotton Sheets

Best Value – Standard Textile Classic Cotton Sheets

Highlights

  • 100% ring-spun cotton
  • 1 flat sheet, 1 fitted sheet, 1-2 pillowcases (varies by size)
  • 14" pocket depth
  • 7 color options
  • 90-night sleep trial
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Best ValueStandard Textile Classic Cotton Sheets

standardtextilehome.com

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Premium sheet sets can be fairly pricey, but this isn’t always the case. The Classic Cotton Sheets from Standard Textile are a great example of a bedding collection that’s both high-quality and affordable. The sheets and pillowcases are crafted from ring-spun cotton, a material renowned for its natural softness and cooling. A percale weave enhances these qualities, making the fabric lightweight, breathable, and luxuriously smooth.

Sets in full, queen, king, and California king sizes each come with a flat sheet, fitted sheet, and two pillowcases. Twin and twin XL sets include one pillowcase, along with both sheets. The fitted sheet has a pocket depth of 14 inches, making it compatible with virtually any low- or medium-profile mattress sold today. Every component may be washed and dried in household machines. Standard Textile offers seven neutral color palettes for the collection.

In addition to carrying a low sticker price, the Classic Cotton Sheets qualify for free ground shipping anywhere in the contiguous U.S. Each purchase includes a 90-night sleep trial, during which customers can test out the sheets and return them for a full refund if they are not satisfied.

Best Luxury Percale SheetsBoll & 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 Percale SheetsBoll & Branch Percale Simple Stripe Sheet Set

Bollandbranch.com

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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 OrganicSaatva Organic Percale Sheets

Best Organic – Saatva Organic Percale Sheets

Highlights

  • 100% GOTS-certified organic long staple cotton
  • 1 flat sheet, 1 fitted sheet, 1-2 pillowcases (varies by size)
  • 16" pocket depth
  • 200 thread count
  • 45-night sleep trial and 1-year warranty
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Best OrganicSaatva Organic Percale Sheets

saatva.com

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Many sheet sets are advertised as natural or earth-friendly, but not all have the credentials to back up these claims. The Saatva Organic Percale Sheets are the real deal. Every component in this set is crafted from organic cotton that has earned certification from the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), one of the world’s leading authorities for evaluating and recognizing sustainably produced fabrics. The cotton is a long staple variety, which also means the fibers hold up well after repeated washings.

A 200 thread count gives the sheets a light, breathable feel that complements the crisp percale weave. The material should be breathable enough for most hot sleepers and people who reside in warm or humid places. A pocket depth of 16 inches makes the set compatible with most mattresses sold today, including many high-profile models. Customers can choose from three neutral colors and seven different sizes, including a split king for couples who share adjustable beds.

The Organic Percale Sheets carry a very reasonable price-point given the quality and expected longevity of the cotton. Saatva also offers free shipping throughout the contiguous U.S. and backs each purchase with a 45-night sleep trial. Customers who keep the set also receive a one-year warranty.

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.

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

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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