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Are you a hot sleeper? This is what you should look for when buying sheets, an expert says

Cooling, breathable fabrics can make all the difference when it comes to a night of sweat-free slumber.

Do you overheat at night? So do I — and as warmer weather approaches, I need answers (and solutions). Sleeping with a fan on, or the AC on full blast, just doesn't cut it sometimes. But there's another major consideration for staying more comfortable: good sheets. Finding the best sheets for hot sleepers should be on your radar, experts say, and it all comes down to cooling, breathable fabrics.

Cooling sheets from Brooklinen
Experts say the type of sheets you sleep on have a huge impact on how comfortably you sleep. (Brooklinen)

Why do some people overheat while they sleep?

Dr. Shelby Harris, director of sleep heath with Sleepopolis, said bedding is often the culprit. "If you are overheating while sleeping, it can be due at least in part to your mattress, sheets or blankets," Harris said. "To remedy this, make sure you're using breathable bedding materials like cotton, and make sure your bedroom temperature stays cool to keep you comfortable as you sleep."

What are the best sheet types and fabrics for hot sleepers?

During cold weather, many sleepers reach for thicker, more insulated bedding like fleece and flannel, but Harris said hot sleepers should generally stay away from these since they're the least breathable fabrics, maintaining heat instead of redistributing it. Instead, Harris recommends opting for more lightweight options, such as cotton and linen. "These both allow air to flow through them and help to keep you cool as you sleep," she said.

Synthetic fabrics are often cheaper, but your budget-friendly bedding may cost you dearly when it comes to quality sleep. Harris advises hot sleepers to "avoid synthetic materials like polyester that may trap heat, and sheets with tight weaves, to prevent overheating during the night."

What should hot sleepers look for when shopping for sheets?

The keyword for sheet shopping is "breathable." The more breathable and lightweight your sheets are, the less likely you will overheat, even on the hottest days.

"Again, if you get hot at night, pick sheets made of light and breathable materials like cotton or linen," Harris continued. "Choose a percale weave for better airflow, and look for sheets that are moisture-wicking to help you stay cool and comfortable."

What are the top sheets for hot sleepers?

Sheets are subjective — what feels great to one shopper may be another's nightmare. But there are plenty of options, from affordable picks to more premium bedding, that can help turn down the temperature for hot sleepers.

Brands including California Design Den and Chateau Home Collection on Amazon have affordable cotton and linen options for queen beds starting as low as $40. If you're looking for that luxury five-star feel — and have more to spend — Brooklinen lives up to the hype, fans say.

The best cooling bed sheets

These crisp percale sheets are a shopper favorite on Amazon. 

"Not as soft as microfiber, but much more breathable," one five-star reviewer wrote. "They are crisp and the stitching is good. For the price, they are excellent."

$40 at Amazon

Got an extra-plush bed? These 100% cotton sheets fit mattresses up to 16 inches deep, and 11,000 five-star reviewers can't get enough of them. 

"Sliding into bed feels like a nightly retreat to a high-end hotel, and the sheets only get softer with each wash," one shopper said. "I've noticed that they keep me cool during warmer nights and provide just the right amount of warmth during colder seasons."

$40 at Amazon
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$43 at Macy's

If you prefer slightly thicker sheets that still maintain their breathability, shoppers say these are the ones to buy. 

"The material is heavier and more durable than other sheets I've purchased," one five-star reviewer wrote. "They're soft. The top sheet is long enough that, when tucked under the mattress at the foot of your bed, it stays in place."

$50 at Amazon

Yep, they're spendy, but these cult-favorite Brooklinen sheets live up to the hype. I've been using them for some time, and as a hot sleeper, I can say they're among the softest, coolest sheets I've slept on.

"Breathable, comfortable and keeps us from overheating!" one five-star reviewer from Texas said. "I couldn't be happier."

$322 at Brooklinen

How else can hot sleepers keep themselves cool at night?

Choosing the right sheets is where comfortable sleep starts, but your overall bedroom environment also plays a huge role. Harris recommends keeping the air moving for better slumber. "Using fans or cooling AC systems in the bedroom can also help circulate the air and make sleep more comfortable for sleepers who tend to get too hot at night," she said. Lightweight, moisture-wicking pajamas and cooling mattress toppers and pillows can also help, she added.

This new release is one of the few pedestal air circulator fans I've found that aren't ridiculously expensive. It has tons of features, including nine speed settings, oscillation and an easy-to-use app that lets me control the fan from my phone.

$135 at Amazon

If you're looking for a tabletop air circulator that fits on a shelf or nightstand, this new release from air conditioner brand Windmill is worth a look. According to the brand, it's 29% more powerful, 25% smaller and 20% quieter than other fans in its category.

"I absolutely love this fan. It's the perfect size, extremely powerful and the quality is amazing," one five-star reviewer wrote. "I had to check if it was on when I first turned it on because it's so quiet."

$79 at Amazon
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$80 at Lowe's$82 at Wayfair

Your pajamas matter too — look for lightweight, moisture-wicking fabrics that won't trap heat against your body. This nightgown is made from bamboo-derived viscose, noted for its cooling properties.

"If you run hot or are in the hot flash stage of your life like me, this is it!" said one happy buyer. "I've been known to step outside naked in panties in 15 degrees to put out the flames shooting from my body. This is it! This is the one we have been looking for! It's so soft and so cool! It breathes!"

$36 at Amazon

If your mattress isn't quite cutting it, a topper can be a budget-friendly fix — and if you sleep hot, look for one designed with cooling materials.

"One of the standout features of this topper is its breathability. The gel infusion not only adds a touch of coolness but also prevents overheating. Living in a warm climate, this was a game-changer for me. I no longer woke up in the middle of the night feeling like I was trapped in a sauna," said a five-star reviewer.

$60 at Amazon
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$70 at Wayfair

The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.