When the weather heats up, many of us find sleeping more difficult. A number of sleep-factors come into play as temperatures rise, but common culprits of a bad night’s sleep include the heat itself and accompanying humidity. The reason is fairly simple according to scientists and researchers: our body temperature naturally goes down at night, triggering the release of hormones that help us go to sleep and stay asleep. In the morning, our body temperature goes up again, signaling it’s time to wake up. Voila! When it’s hot at night, we don’t get that natural temperature decrease telling our body it’s time to sleep, so we don’t go to sleep as well and we don’t sleep as deeply or for as long. Basically, hot weather short circuits the sleeping process.
To help combat hot weather, researchers recommend sleeping in a cool room. In addition to relying on fans and air conditioning, sheets that keep you cool will help us maintain that perfect temperature for going to sleep faster and staying asleep through the night. Here are our recommendations for the two best kinds of sheets for hot weather and best bedding for hot sleepers, regardless of the weather.
100% Cotton Percale Sheets
If you like sheets that are softly crisp like a well-loved button down shirt, then we recommend 100% cotton percale sheets to keep you cool and dry at night. Cotton bedding wicks away moisture where it quickly evaporates for a cooling effect. When combined with the breathability of a percale weave, the cooling effect is intensified. For optimal breathable sheets, look for percale sheets with these four factors:
- Made with 100% cotton, being sure to avoid sheets with man-made fibers that can retain water and heat.
- Made from long staple cotton, which means the cotton fibers are long and fine, resulting in sheets that are both softly crisp and long-lasting, making them the perfect sheets for summer and other seasons of the year.
- Woven from Supima cotton, which is grown in the American southwest and is far superior to Egyptian cotton in both softness and strength.
- 500 thread count for really breathable sheets that are comfortable against your skin. Lower thread count cotton sheets are often rough to the touch because they are woven from overly-thick cotton threads. With higher thread count sheets, the threads can be so thin they lack the strength and durability of a really fine set of percale sheets.
100% Bamboo Sheets
If you like sheets that are soft to the touch and light as a feather, then we recommend 100% bamboo sheets to keep you cool at night. Bamboo sheets are supple, airy and breathable, so they are cool to the touch all night long. Plus, bamboo naturally resists odors and is hypoallergenic, so it’s also great for people with allergies and other sensitivities. To get the most of bamboo’s cooling properties, look for bamboo sheets with these three factors:
- 100% bamboo, which is sometimes referred to as Rayon or Viscose from bamboo. Don’t worry, while theses terms raise the specter of polyester (yuck!) they are really just names for the thread or yarn made from bamboo fibers.
- 250 thread count – bamboo fibers are naturally soft and fine, so the thread count is not as important as with cotton sheets where 500 thread count is a must.
- Made with extra-long staple yarn for bamboo sheets that are silky soft and yet durable.
When the weather gets hot or if you are a naturally warm sleeper, either percale cotton sheets or bamboo sheets will help keep you cool and sleeping all night long, just pick the feel that’s right for you.