11 Best Bed Sheets for Sensitive Skin
Do you have eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, or just sensitive skin in general? Prevent skin irritation and get a good night's sleep with the best bed sheets for sensitive skin, according to dermatologists.
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Some fabrics are better for sensitive skin
When you’re exhausted after a long day, there’s nothing worse than crawling into bed, onto a set of rough, uncomfortable sheets. You may end up tossing and turning because you just can’t get comfortable. It’s even worse if you have sensitive skin.
“If you already have sensitive skin, anything that comes in contact with it can exacerbate the skin condition,” says Marina Peredo, MD, a board-certified, Manhattan-based dermatologist. “Clothing and bed sheets can make a condition like eczema or dry skin worse because of the material. There are many nerve endings in the skin, so when it comes in contact with something harsh, you will feel it.”
Sensitive skin can mean all different kinds of dermatological issues, too. “People with eczema, psoriasis, ichthyosis (a dry, scaling inherited genetic skin condition), chicken pox, and even sunburns, can be affected by the sheets they choose,” says Dr. Peredo. “These skin conditions cause the skin barrier to be compromised or inflamed which makes the skin more susceptible to irritation and sensitivity. When the fabric comes in contact with a broken skin barrier, it will feel more uncomfortable than when your skin barrier is healthy and intact.”
What is Koebner phenomenon?
The Koebner phenomenon is an issue for those with psoriasis, as well.
“It’s when new psoriatic lesions appear on a previously unaffected area secondary to trauma,” says Hadley King, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and clinical instructor of dermatology at Weill Cornell in New York City. “Any bed sheets rough enough to traumatize the skin from friction could lead to Koebnerization.”
What are the best bed sheets for sensitive skin?
Fabrics like wool, linen, and even flannel can have a negative effect on people with sensitive skin because they are rougher materials. “Any natural fiber is much gentler than synthetic and is better for those with sensitive skin,” says Dr. Peredo.
While it seems all dermatologists agree that lightweight, breathable cotton, silk, or sateen sheets (100 percent cotton sheets with a high thread count) are best for those with sensitive skin, it really comes down to personal comfort.
“Remember that you are sleeping for a third of your day, so nice, comfortable, non-irritating sheets can make a huge difference in the quality of your sleep, which can affect all parts of your life,” says Ronald Moy, MD, a surgeon and dermatologist at Moy Fincher Chipps Facial Plastics and Dermatology in Beverly Hills.
Keeping all this in mind, here are the best bed sheets for sensitive skin, according to dermatologists. (Also, beware of sleeping on cheap bed sheets.)
Brooklinen Luxe Core Sheet Set
$125-$170, depending on size
You’ll get one fitted sheet, one flat sheet, and two pillowcases in this Brooklinen luxe bundle. They’re a 480-count of 100 percent cotton, with a light sheen that will feel smooth against your skin. “Cotton sheets with a high thread count will be gentler on the skin since they are more breathable,” says Dr. Peredo.
Avocado Organic Cotton Sheets
$89-$199, depending on thread count and size
Not only are these Avocado sheets cotton, which Dr. Moy recommends for sensitive skin, but they’re also organic, made with 100 percent GOTS (Global Organic T
Pact Room Service Sheet Set
$100-$210, depending on size
This set of Pact sheets is made out of cotton sateen, which feels silky and cool against the skin—perfect for when you’re trying to get some good shut-eye. They are fair trade certified, too, making them eco-conscious, so you can feel as good about buying them as you will about sleeping on them. (Find out if beauty rest is a real thing.)
FRETTE Hotel Classic Sheet Sets
$225-$490, depending on size
You know that feeling when you crawl into a hotel bed after a long day and fall immediately in love with the incredibly soft sheets? That’s the feeling these Frette cotton percale sheets were created to reenact. You’ll love the embroidered border work, too, and how crisp they look and feel. “If you are looking to splurge on bedding, I would recommend Frette sheets because they have a high thread count and are not irritating at all,” says Dr. Peredo. (Here’s what you need to know about skin and sleep.)
Nest Bedding Authentic Egyptian Cotton Sheet Set
$179-$219, depending on size
You’re paying for the Certified Oeko Tex (verifies it’s free from harmful chemicals and safe for human use) and Cotton Egypt Association (Accredited Gold Seal) approvals with this Nest Bedding sheet set. The 310 thread count and single luxury ply make for a soft hand that’s easy to fall asleep on, without any irritation. “I wanted some healthy organic sheets, so visited Nest. I got exactly what I wanted! The Egyptian cotton is extremely light and soft. Love them!” writes one reviewer.
Boll & Branch Embroidered Sheet Set
$220-$310, depending on size
This four-piece Boll & Brand sheet set includes a fitted and top sheet, along with two pillowcases. You’ll appreciate how airy and breathable this set is, especially if you’re a person who gets hot and sweaty at night. “Breathability of bedding is an important factor for facilitating skin temperature regulation, which has been shown to affect sleep quality,” says Dr. King. They’re made out of 100 percent organic cotton, too.
THXSILK 3 Piece 100 Percent Silk Sheet Set
$175-$230, depending on size
If you want your sheets to feel silky against your skin, why not buy some silk sheets? This set comes with one fitted sheet and two pillowcases, all made out of 100 percent silk. “I love silk sheets because not only are they good for people with sensitive skin, they also help keep hair healthy, and they can also reduce sleep marks,” says Dr. Peredo. Choose from 10 different colors.
Cotton Candy Linens Sam Sheet Set
You can be sure no harmful chemicals were used in the production of these 100 percent long staple Egyptian cotton sheets, thanks to the OEKO-TEX certification they have. “I also recommend buying cotton or silk sateen sheets and avoiding anything that has wool in it,” says Dr. Moy. You’ll enjoy the slight worn-in, washed look that these sheets have, which gives you all the cozy vibes, but isn’t overdone to the point where the sheets look old or dirty.
AiMay 6 Piece Silk Satin Bed Sheet Set
You can’t beat the price of this AiMay six-piece silk satin set. For just $37, you’ll get an incredibly soft, cool to touch flat sheet, fitted sheet, and four pillowcases. Bonus: They’re hypoallergenic. “For those prone to allergies, eczema, or asthma worsened by dust mites, hypoallergenic bedding—and dust mite covers—are recommended,” says Dr. King. (Check out these hypoallergenic pillows that allergists trust.)
Mayfair Linen 100% Egyptian Cotton Sheets
No matter what color your bedroom walls are, you’ll find sheets to fit here, thanks to this Mayfair Linen set that comes in 20 different colors. They’re 100 percent Egyptian cotton, 800 thread count, and extremely lightweight. “Using lightweight sheets, a humidifier, and keeping the air temperature on the cooler side is best for people with sensitive skin,” says Dr. Peredo. (Here’s why you shouldn’t sleep with makeup.)
Garnet Hill Wrinkle-Resistant Solid Sateen Bedding
$44-$454, depending on size and what you choose (fitted, flat, pillowcases) to include in set
Even if you aren’t able to fold this bedding right away after laundering, no worries—it’s wrinkle-resistant, so it won’t look messy and creased. “It is also important to note that the detergent you use can also have an effect on the skin,” says Dr. Peredo. “Using gentle formulas and skipping out on fabric softeners, which often use fragrance, is recommended.” Build your Garnet Hill set and choose whether you want a flat sheet, a fitted sheet, pillowcases, or all of the above. There are eight colors to choose from, too. (Next, read what happens when you don’t get enough sleep.)
- Marina Peredo, MD, board-certified, Manhattan-based dermatologist
- Hadley King, MD, board-certified dermatologist and clinical instructor of dermatology at Weill Cornell in New York City
- Ronald Moy, MD, surgeon and dermatologist at Moy Fincher Chipps Facial Plastics and Dermatology in Beverly Hills
- Global Organization Textile Standard