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The best percale sheets are those with certifications that guarantee they are made with organic fabric and do not emit harmful gasses. Other top considerations include the thread count and easy care instructions.

This article discusses the different types of percale bedding and how they differ from other sheets. It also provides suggestions for the best percale sheets.

Percale refers to the type of weave a sheet features rather than its material. The sheets typically include the following characteristics:

  • crisp feel
  • smooth, matte finish
  • easy to care for
  • durable

These sheets are also highly breathable, making them a good choice for people who get too warm as they sleep. Most percale varieties have a thread count of at least 200, meaning the weave is relatively tight.

Is it sustainable?

Percale sheets consisting of cotton or bamboo are somewhat sustainable. Growing bamboo may be less harmful to the environment than growing cotton. However, manufacturers use chemical agents to process bamboo into a fabric, which may cause more environmental damage.

There are different kinds of cotton percale sheets. The longer the fiber length, or “staple,” the softer the feel of the fabric. Pima cotton is a long-staple fabric, while Egyptian cotton is the longest-staple variety of all cotton fabrics.

Percale sheets vary in thread count. They also differ in material, as manufacturers may construct them from the following:

  • cotton
  • polyester
  • lyocell, consisting of wood cellulose and synthetic material
  • rayon, which comes from plants
  • bamboo, which comes from the bamboo plant
  • combinations of any of the above

Aside from percale, other weaves include:

  • Sateen: These are heavy with a subtle shine and silky feel.
  • Flannel: These are soft and consist of cotton.
  • Jersey knit: These are stretchy and hold heat. They comprise cotton or a combination of cotton and synthetic material.

Percale and sateen are the two most common types of sheets.

While percale is thin and lightweight, sateen is heavier. For this reason, percale sheets are suitable for warmer months or those who get too warm during sleep. In contrast, sateen sheets are more appropriate for colder months or for individuals who feel colder as they sleep.

Additionally, percale sheets are more durable but tend to wrinkle, while sateen sheets can snag or pill but are naturally wrinkle-resistant. And although percale is not as soft as sateen, it does soften over time.

Below are some eco-friendly certifications for a person to consider when choosing a textile product:

  • Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS): This certification indicates at least 95% of the materials in the sheets are organic. It prohibits the use of certain harmful chemicals, even in the 5% nonorganic portion.
  • Oeko-Tex Standard 100: This sets limits on harmful emissions, such as formaldehyde, and bans the use of certain substances, including flame-retardant materials.
  • Oeko-Tex Standard 1000: In addition to the above certification standards, this one includes other requirements, such as the prohibition of the use of environmentally damaging chemicals.
  • USDA Organic: This is the primary certification that a product is organic.
  • Fair Trade: A scheme that helps certify that people in low income countries have access to safe working conditions and receive fair compensation.

Below is a selection of percale sheets that a person may consider.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based.

Brooklinen Classic Core Sheet Set

This Brooklinen sheet set is 100% percale long-staple cotton.

Sizes range from twin to California king, and it comes in a range of 12 colors that include neutrals and bright colors.

Care instructions say to wash the sheets on a cool or warm cycle for best results, then either line dry or tumble dry on low heat.

Other features include:

  • 270-thread count
  • Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification
  • returns or exchanges within 365 days

Egyptian Long-Staple Cotton Sheet Set

This sheet set from Comma is 100% percale Egyptian cotton.

A person may choose from king or queen size sheets in white, ivory, or grey.

The sheets are machine washable, while other features include:

  • 270-thread count
  • Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification
  • free shipping
  • 30-day return policy

Pima Cotton Percale Sheet Set

This sheet set from L.L.Bean comprises 100% Pima cotton.

Sizes range from twin to California King, and the nine color choices include neutrals and soft pastels.

The washing instructions advise to machine wash and dry.

Other features include:

  • 280-thread count
  • Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification
  • refundable within 1 year of purchase

Percale Venice Set

The Parachute sheet set consists of 100% long-staple Egyptian cotton.

Sizes range from twin to California king, with a choice of eight neutral color options. Care instructions advise to machine wash on cold and tumble dry on low.

Instead of a top and fitted sheet, this set includes a fitted sheet, duvet cover, and pillowcase set. However, customers may opt to add a top sheet to their order if they wish.

Other features include:

  • return and refund within 60 days
  • made in Portugal
  • suitable for hot sleepers, according to the company
  • Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification

Percale Hemmed Sheet Set

This Boll & Branch sheet set is organic cotton and features a matte finish.

Sizes range from twin to split king, and the eight color choices include soft neutrals.

Care instructions advise washing on a cold, gentle cycle and then tumble dry on low.

Other features include:

  • 360-thread count
  • Oeko-Tex Standard 100
  • Fair Trade-certified
  • GOTS-certified
  • free shipping
  • free returns
  • 30-night risk-free trial

Sleep is vital for physical and mental health, reports the National Institutes of Health (NIH). With sufficient good quality sleep, people can generally focus better and have faster reflexes than those who do not get adequate sleep.

Individuals need 7–8 hours of sleep per night, adds the NIH. Insufficient sleep may decrease productivity and negatively affect mood. It may also increase the risk of:

  • traffic accidents
  • obesity
  • heart disease
  • infections

For better sleep, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends:

  • getting enough natural light exposure earlier in the day
  • exercising regularly
  • avoiding artificial light a few hours before bedtime
  • avoiding eating and drinking a few hours before bedtime
  • keeping a regular sleep schedule
  • sleeping in a dark, cool, and quiet place

A person shopping for the best percale sheets may wish to choose among those with a high thread count because they tend to be smoother and more durable. Some individuals may also prefer sheets comprising natural fabrics.

Getting enough good quality sleep is vital for health. There are various things a person can do to improve their slumber. However, if people tend to feel hot as they sleep, percale sheets may help them feel more comfortable, as they are typically more cooling than sheets consisting of other materials.