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    Best Sheets of 2023

    We tested sheets from popular brands—including Target, Brooklinen, and L.L.Bean—to find sets that are as strong as they are soft

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    person in bed
    A good set of sheets lays the foundation for a great night's rest.
    Photo: iStock

    Bedsheets that cover all the bases—and fit securely over all four corners of your mattress—can prove surprisingly tricky to find. Breathability, softness, pocket size, and price are just a few factors worth considering. Add to that the scores of brands to choose from, and a plethora of offerings from each, and it becomes much harder to determine sheets that will be conducive to sleep and stand the test of time.

    At Consumer Reports, we make the selection process easier by testing queen-size bed sheets from popular brands to determine how well they stand up in the areas that matter. Our ratings include a range of fabrics from synthetic to natural, at various prices and varied thread counts. Although the majority of the sheet sets on the market are cotton, not all cotton sets are alike. Our tests prove that, while also busting other sheet-shopping myths.

    More on Sleep

    For instance, though manufacturers may tout the thread count of their sheets (typically ranging anywhere from 200 to 800), that number doesn’t have any impact on quality or longevity. According to CR’s testers, there was no significant correlation between how sheets performed in our tests and thread count. These numbers are measurements of how many threads a fabric has woven together in 1 square inch but are not an indicator of softness or quality. Instead of shopping for a certain thread count, CR members can check out our full ratings to see how all of the sheets we test score on strength and softness.

    Another purchasing point to keep in mind: Pocket-size claims can’t always be trusted. "More than 30 percent of our tested models claimed to fit up to an 18-inch mattress, but their actual pocket depth measurements were short even before washing," says Li Wang, CR’s test project leader for sheets. None of the sheets we tested in our latest batch could actually fit an 18-inch mattress. Our testing also found that cotton sheets might not fit your mattress after a year’s worth of laundering, even if they could initially fit the queen-size mattress depth claimed on their package. And though all but one of the synthetic sheets in our ratings did well in our shrinkage test, man-made fabrics have their fit issues as well. All five scored at or below average in our fit test—and that’s prior to the first wash.

    With this in mind, it’s best to buy a set that is sized 2 to 3 inches more in the pocket than the actual depth of your mattress. And if you find a set that you love, consider buying three—the ideal number of sheet sets you should own for each regularly used bed. That allows you to have one to sleep on, one in the laundry, and one more in the linen closet just in case of an accident.

    Remember, you don’t have to spend a lot to get a good quality set of sheets. CR’s recommended sets range from $19 dollars all the way up to $425. For more shopping advice, learn the 5 things to know before buying sheets and check our sheets buying guide.

    How Consumer Reports Tests Sheets

    We test the most popular size of sheets: queen. And we consider fit to be the most important standard. If a fitted sheet, no matter how soft, shrinks so much that you can’t get it over your mattress, all other attributes are moot. In our tests, we wash fitted sheets according to the manufacturer’s directions 25 times—equivalent to about a year’s worth of washing if you launder your linens every two weeks. After every five washing and drying cycles, our testers put the sheet on an 8-, 10-, 14-, and 18-inch-deep mattress, to see whether the corners and sides still fit and tuck underneath. (A 10-inch mattress is standard.) And we measure exactly how much shrinkage occurred.

    We also use a set of reference sheets as a comparison to determine how much each sheet wrinkles and (with the help of a sensory panel of testers) how soft they feel. Our engineers also assess the strength of the fibers with a machine that clamps both ends of the sheet sample and pulls it with increasing force until it tears.

    In our sheets ratings, you’ll find sets from premium brands like Matouk Sierra and Boll & Branch, as well as budget-friendly retailers like Target and Walmart.

    Top 5 Sheets From CR's Tests

    Our top performers, reviewed here in alphabetical order, come in a range of prices and materials. But they all excel in at least one of our lab tests and get pretty favorable scores in other areas, too.

    CR's Search for the Best Sheets

    From stress tests to sensory panels, our rigorous protocol separates the great from the merely good.

    Headshot of CRO Home Editor Tanya Christian

    Tanya A. Christian

    Tanya Christian joined Consumer Reports as a multimedia content creator in 2021, bringing with her more than a decade of experience in the home and lifestyle space. As a content manager for small kitchen appliances, home remodeling products, and the sleep category, she’s happy to provide readers with recommendations on great design, helpful cooking tools, and smart ways to achieve better sleep. Follow her on Twitter @tanyaachristian.