‘I’m a Dermatologist, and These Are the Only Sheets You Should Be Sleeping On’

Photo: Getty Images/Regina Fatkulina
Any type of fabric that comes in contact with our skin can have an impact on its health—and that includes the sheets we're sleeping in every night. For example, if you've got sensitive skin, too much friction from your sheets can cause irritation. Or, if you're a hot sleeper and have sheets that cause you to sweat during the night, that moisture (along with excess oil, dirt, and bacteria) can build up in your linens and lead to an unwanted breakout.

Experts In This Article
  • Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology and associate professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital

With that in mind, keeping your skin healthy requires paying just as much attention to your bedding as you do to the products you're slathering on every morning and night. To help ensure you're sleeping on the most optimal fabric for your skin, we tapped Joshua Zeichner, MD, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City, to break down the best bedding by skin type. Keep reading to shop his picks for yourself.

The best sheets for dry or aging skin

"If you’re concerned about aging skin, I recommend sleeping on silk sheets," says Dr. Zeichner. "Mounting data shows that as your face rubs against your pillows, there are frictional forces at play. The softer the fabric, the less traction between your skin and the pillow itself." Although sleeping on silk won't magically prevent wrinkles from forming, the natural softness of the fabric does help resist chafing and irritation.

Shop the best sheets for dry or aging skin

LilySilk Sheet Set 3
Lilysilk 19MM Sheet Set — $209.00

Made of super high quality mulberry silk, this sheet set has a 400-thread count and is OEKO-TEX Standard-approved for chemical safety. It’s available in 12 colors and comes with one fitted sheet and two standard pillowcases.

The best sheets for acne-prone skin

For those who suffer from acne, anti-microbial sheets may be the best option for keeping breakouts to a minimum. Look for ingredients like silver, which helps protect against bacteria, mildew, and other microbes. At the same time, using sheets that are resistant to benzoyl peroxide (a type of antiseptic that kills acne-causing bacteria) is another way to optimize your skin's health while you sleep.

Shop the best sheets for acne-prone skin

Sijo sheet set
Sijo Eucalyptus Sheet Set — $165.00

Whether you’re a hot sleeper or want to keep bacteria to a minimum, the Sijo Eucalyptus Sheet Set may be calling your name. The Tencel lyocell fabric helps absorb moisture and is soft against the skin. The bedding is hypoallergenic and is pretty cooling thanks to the blend of eucalyptus.

The best sheets for sensitive skin

Now, if you're someone who has eczema or sensitive skin, it's best to opt for soft fabrics and avoid synthetic fibers. Rougher materials, like nylon and certain polyesters, can lead to microscopic trauma to the outer layers of your skin, and subsequently cause inflammation, Dr. Zeichner explains.  "If you have sensitive skin or a condition like eczema, you want to look for the softest fabrics possible," he says. "I usually recommend high thread count cotton or flannel"

Shop the best sheets for sensitive skin

Snowe Percale Sheet Set
Snowe Percale Sheet Set — $158.00

If you really want to feel like you’re sleeping on the clouds, this Snowe sheet set may be worth considering. Unlike regular cotton, the percale cotton they’re made of has a criss-cross weave that makes them crisp and cooling. The set has a higher thread count at 500 and features a super-soft Italian milled percale to help give you a cozy and seamless night’s sleep.

Brooklinen Luxe Core Sheet Set 2
Brooklinen Luxe Core Sheet Set — $169.00

Available in five basic styles, this Brooklinen bedding is one of the brand’s bestsellers for a good reason. Not only is it incredibly soft thanks to the long-staple cotton, but it also has a 480-thread count and a buttery texture that makes it hard to get out of bed. The sheet set includes one flat sheet, one fitted sheet, and two pillowcases.

Pottery Barn Sateen Sheet Set
Pottery Barn 700-Thread-Count Sateen Sheet Set — $229.00

If you’re looking for a high thread count, you can’t go wrong with this Pottery Barn sheet set. It features sateen cotton, which has a heavier and softer feel than your standard cotton sheets because of its intricate weave pattern. The set is also wrinkle-resistant and comes with one flat sheet, one fitted sheet and two pillowcases.

Mellanni Flannel Sheet Set
Mellanni 100% Organic Cotton Flannel Sheet Set — $47.00

When it comes to budget-friendly options that pack a punch, these Mellanni sheets are a safe bet. Flannel is naturally a softer fabric so it can reduce irritation and friction against your skin (which explains why it comes so highly recommended from Dr. Zeichner). This set comes in 10 colors, and has extra-deep pockets to fit bigger mattresses.

LL Bean Ultrasoft Comfort Flannel Sheet Set
L.L.Bean Ultrasoft Comfort Flannel Sheet Set — $109.00

No one does flannel quite like L.L. Bean. In addition to being soft, these linens (which are, of course, made from the fabric) are super durable. They are designed to resist shrinking, fading and pilling, and get softer with time. This set includes one flat sheet, one fitted sheet, and two pillowcases.

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