You may not think of it at first, but high-quality bedding is one of the most important home investments you can make. You use it every single day, and rely on it for a great night’s sleep. But not all bedding is made the same. Different fabrics offer different experiences, and choosing the right one is incredibly important.
Hot sleepers know this all too well. Waking up hot is uncomfortable, to say the least, and can easily disrupt your sleep. That’s why percale sheets, made with a special cooling weave, are loved by hot sleepers everywhere. So what is percale exactly, and is it the right choice for you? Here, our bedding experts share everything you need to know—from look and feel to craftsmanship and care tips.
What Are Percale Sheets?
Percale sheets are made with a special cooling weave, and used for other bedding products like pillowcases and duvet sets. All percale fabrics are made by threading horizontal strands, called weft, over vertical strands, called warp, in a tight one-over-one-under pattern.
This pattern creates sheets that feel crisp, cool-to-the-touch, and breathable to sleep in. And they look as incredible as they feel, bringing a smooth, ultra-refined aesthetic to any bed. It’s no surprise that percale bedding is the top choice for high-end hotels, and loved by those who want to get the five-star look and feel at home.
Materials Used To Make Percale Sheets
Percale sheets can be made from many different materials, like 100% organic cotton, blended cotton, polyester, and rayon. Like all of your home essentials, the material you choose has a massive impact on quality. That’s why our Percale bedding is made with the finest long-staple, 100% organic cotton. It’s the softest, most durable, and is made without any toxins or harsh chemicals.
Why Organic Cotton Percale Is Better
Unlike synthetic materials like polyester, 100% organic cotton is naturally grown, pesticide-free, and isn’t treated with harmful chemicals. Not only is it better for you and the planet, but it gives percale sheets a natural softness you won’t find anywhere else. To confirm your bedding is made from 100% organic cotton, look for a GOTS Certification (The Global Organic Textile Standard) on the label.
Long-Staple Organic Cotton
Long-staple threads are another thing you should look for when shopping for percale sheets. They’re exactly as they sound—stemming from the long-staple fibers harvested from cotton plants, and then spun into weavable threads.
Choosing long-staple threads is important because they’re less likely to snag or come loose than short staple threads, and offer a softer, smoother hand-feel with enhanced durability. Keep in mind that this detail probably won’t be on the label, but rather on the brand’s website or the sheet’s product description.
Blended cotton refers to cotton that’s mixed with other materials, like rayon or polyester. For that reason, cotton blends might not be as soft or durable as long-staple 100% organic cotton.
Additionally, blended cotton sheets may be treated with toxins or harsh chemicals. It’s more difficult to know where the materials came from if they’re synthetic or non-organic. It's important to know exactly what you’re sleeping in, so we always recommend GOTS Certified 100% organic cotton.
The Pros & Cons Of Percale Sheets
Percale sheets are classic for a reason—they look great, feel great, and, if made from high-quality materials, will last for years and years. Here are the main pros and cons of investing in percale sheets.
One of the biggest benefits of percale sheets is how they feel—cool, crisp, and smooth to touch. They’re super breathable to sleep in, and allow hot sleepers to get the rest they need. And since they’re made with a tight weave, the fabric is less likely to snag or tear.
And despite having a luxurious look and feel, they’re not high maintenance. Percale is relatively easy to care for and maintain, compared to other high-end fabrics and weaves.
Percale sheets are naturally cooling, which means they might not be the best choice for colder climates, or those who wake up feeling chilly at night. For those who sleep cool or comfortably, we recommend an all-season fabric made with a sateen weave, like our Signature Sheets.
Percale is also more prone to wrinkling, but you can easily remedy that by shaking them out between washing and drying, and putting them on your bed right after.
How To Care For Percale Sheets
Percale sheets are very easy to care for. For best results, wash them in cold water on a gentle cycle. Be sure to wash them without any other linens or garments, to prevent snags from things like buttons and zippers. Give them a quick shake after washing, then tumble dry on low heat. If there are still a few wrinkles, you can iron them out for an ultra-refined appearance.
How We Perfected Percale Sheets
At Boll & Branch, we create a new generation of luxury Percale. It took over nine months for our product design team to get our Percale sheets exactly right. We adjusted the diameter of the yarn, the thread count, and the number of plys until we finally achieved the perfect result—classically cool, structured, and ultra-refined Percale sheets, in the natural softness of 100% organic cotton.