Reviews You Can Rely On

Best Fitted Sheets of 2021

Credit: Aaron Rice
By Aaron Rice ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 14, 2021
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
Need to replace a worn-out fitted sheet? Our team researched dozens of the top options for both microfiber and cotton sheets and purchased 10 of the best available to compare side-by-side. Our stay-at-home experts spent a ton of time rolling around to assess next-to-skin comfort and how well these sheets stay put. We put them through the wringer — literally, through multiple wash and dry cycles — to test ease of cleaning and to evaluate durability. Whether you need to change sizes to go with a new mattress, or want to mix-and-match colors, we've put in the sleep time to find you a perfect fit.


1

Best Microfiber Fitted Sheet


COSMOPLUS Micro-Knit


GSM Weight: Not Listed | Pocket Depth: 14 inches
Spandex allows for lots of extra stretch
Thin, yet strong
Well-fitted corners
Lack of sizes offered
Material takes extra drying time

The unique material blend of the COSMOPLUS sheet — it's 6% spandex — is what makes it stand apart from other run-of-the-mill microfiber sheets. The finely brushed, jersey-knit fabric feels extremely soft and does a great job of wicking moisture despite being thicker than a typical microfiber sheet. The corner pockets are constructed so that the stitching ends in a point that draws back from the corner, creating a little indentation instead of an excess "ear" of material bunching out from the edges. As you could probably guess, the spandex helps to ensure this sheet is super stretchy — despite claiming a shallow 14-inch pocket depth, this sheet could almost fit an 18-inch mattress.

The sheet is kind of amorphous due to the "high stretch" elastic band, making it somewhat challenging to locate the four corners when making the bed. The added stretch can make the fit a bit awkward when getting it into place as well. The material tends to bunch up along the edges, and it took us four trips around the bed to straighten everything out. And due to the fabric's thickness, drying the sheet after a wash takes longer than a standard microfiber sheet. Still, the sheet's life span is likely to be longer than other cotton or microfiber styles due to the thickness of the fabric, the highly reinforced seams, and added durability from the spandex.

Material Type (per tags): 94% microfiber / 6% spandex
Sizes Offered: Twin, Full, Queen, King

Health Rating: None

Reinforced seams make this extra-stretchy sheet a durable one that...
Reinforced seams make this extra-stretchy sheet a durable one that will hopefully see years of use across your bed.
Credit: Aaron Rice

2

Best Cotton Fitted Sheet


AmazonBasics Ultra-Soft Cotton


Thread Count: 300 | Pocket Depth: Not listed
Soft percale finish
Stiff and crisp
Thick elastic band
No listed pocket depth
More smooth than soft

The AmazonBasics Ultra-Soft is exactly how we want a cotton sheet to feel. Yes, we know that statement is highly subjective, but just hear us out. Both of our lead testers prefer percale over sateen-woven cotton, but personal preference aside, these sheets are cool, crisp, and comfortable. After the first wash, this 300-thread count option definitely fell on the smooth and stiff side of the feel-spectrum. Through multiple laundering cycles, the fabric began to relax and soften a bit, while still retaining that crisp quality of excellent cotton sheets. This sheet has the thickest elastic band of any we tested, eliminating any worry of it coming undone in the middle of the night.

As this is a cotton sheet, one can expect some wrinkles. Unless you iron these, they just won't reach their ultimate crisp potential. The pockets fit better than many other cotton sheets we've tested, but there is still a bit of extra material that sticks out from the corners. Our main gripe with this sheet is that the pocket depth isn't listed online or on the packaging — how are you expected to know if it will fit your mattress? Fortunately, the deep pockets were well-suited to our 18-inch mattress, so we can confirm that this fitted sheet should accommodate all but the thickest beds.

Material Type (per tags): 100% cotton
Sizes Offered: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King

Health Rating: None

Cool, crisp, soft and durable... what more could you want out of a...
Cool, crisp, soft and durable... what more could you want out of a cotton sheet?
Credit: Aaron Rice

3

Best Bang for Your Buck


CGK Unlimited Deep Pocket


GSM Weight: Not Listed | Pocket Depth: Not listed
Lightweight and moisture-wicking
Perfectly rounded corners
Very strong elastic band
No listed pocket depth
Confusing ironing instructions

If you need a replacement fitted sheet for a microfiber set you already own, this one offered from CGK Unlimited is a fantastic value. This same sheet set gained attention in our microfiber sheets review for its breathability, even though it still cannot quite compare to cotton or other cooling sheets. Still, this bottom sheet impresses with its ability to wick away night sweats. The lightweight 100% microfiber is quite soft and supple, with a satiny smooth next-to-skin feel. A noticeably tighter weave (our other sheet set lists the GSM weight at 1800) means that these feel thicker than their weight suggests, making it a great option for the colder months. What impressed us most is just how well this sheet wraps around a mattress. The rounded corners easily fit an 18-inch mattress without issue or any extra material, and a robust elastic holds it tightly in place.

This is one of the few fitted sheets with an exposed elastic, meaning that it isn't fully sewn into the fabric. While our head testers did not personally experience this, there are more than a few customer reviews suggesting that it is ineffective for those who rock-and-roll in their sleep. For all price-conscious products, it's expected that we'll lose out on a few of the thoughtful details that are often coupled with a higher price tag. But we are annoyed that the CGK Unlimited sheet is listed as a "deep pocket" option without any size specifics — fortunately, our testing reveals that it easily fits an 18-inch mattress. But without our testing, a consumer would have to purchase blindly to find out.

Material Type (per tags): 100% microfiber
Sizes Offered: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split King

Health Rating: None

In this case, fit is almost everything, and this sheet has one of...
In this case, fit is almost everything, and this sheet has one of the best fitting corners out of any we tested.
Credit: Aaron Rice

4

A Pocket Depth for Any Mattress


Mellanni Brushed Microfiber 1800


GSM Weight: 1800 | Pocket Depth: 16 inches
Perfect pocket size
Silk-like suppleness
Multiple color options
Thin, relatively loose elastic
Slightly static

Since we were big fans of the Mellanni sheet set during our microfiber sheets review, it doesn't come as a shock that the fitted sheet came with such high scores too. This sheet is light and smooth, and the silk-like feel of the brushed microfiber may even win over skeptics of this material. The tags include the mattress depth and size on them, and those specs are on the nose. The 16-inch pocket ideally fits a 14-inch bed, however if you enjoy a topper or an extra-thick mattress, every size has an option for an "Extra Deep Pocket" that will fit up to 21 inches. Our lead testers only have a 14 inch thick mattress, so it wasn't possible to test the extra-deep style, but since the 16-inch style is so accurate, we feel safe to assume the deep pocket will fit the bill.

However, this sheet's fit is confusing and left us a little puzzled overall. Fitting it over the bed was snug, yet it fit more loosely than we expected once it was on all four corners. The light elastic band is more flexible than others we tested, which ensures it is adjustable to a variety of mattress sizes, but left us concerned that it won't stay snug in the long run. If you are someone who tosses and turns in the night, the band's loose grip might have you fully wrapped up in the sheet by morning. However, if you're more of a still sleeper, this thin fitted sheet's breathability will feel luxurious.

Material Type (per tags): 100% brushed microfiber
Sizes Offered: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King; all sizes are available in an Extra-Deep Pocket version

Health Rating: None

Not the burliest elastic, but the variety of pocket sizes makes it...
Not the burliest elastic, but the variety of pocket sizes makes it easy to properly this sheet size for any mattress.
Credit: Aaron Rice

5

Best for Luxury Bed Sets


Mayfair Linen 100% Egyptian Cotton 800


Thread Count: 800 | Pocket Depth: 18 inches
Super soft, long-staple cotton
Light sateen finish
Pliable and particularly easy to fold
Holds onto wrinkles
Easily stains

In our Egyptian cotton sheets review, the Mayfair Linen grabbed accolades for overall value — in this review, we applaud it for price-point luxury. After sleeping in dozens of sheet sets, our head testers unanimously agree that long-staple cotton is some of the softest fabric out there. Compared side-by-side with the other cotton products we tested, the Mayfair Linen sheets are more pliable, lighter weight, and significantly softer, even after just the first wash. The sateen weave is on the lighter side, so they are not slippery, a quality that only improves the fine finish of this sheet.

This sheet is encircled with a full elastic wrap, but the elastic band is on the thin side. It will fully wrap an 18-inch mattress, but it is a tight fit and doesn't fully wrap around the base. After a couple wash cycles and removing and replacing the sheet a few times, the elasticity began to fade, causing the sheet itself to lose a bit of its shape. Often a tight, sateen weave helps repel stains, but our red wine test left this sheet fairly discolored. These sheets certainly have the feel of quality, long-staple cotton, and we'd like to believe that the cotton is 100% Egyptian. However, without (federally-mandated) tags that list fabric type and source, we cannot be 100% certain. Even so, it's tough to argue that the Mayfair Linen is anything but a great value if you need to replace the fitted sheet of your luxury bedspread.

Material Type (per tags): No tags
Sizes Offered: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

Health Rating: None

A slight sateen-weave doesn't do anything to subtract from the...
A slight sateen-weave doesn't do anything to subtract from the luxuriously soft feel of this sheet.
Credit: Aaron Rice

6

Best for Ease of Use


California Design Den 400


Thread Count: 400 | Pocket Depth: 16 inches
OEKO-TEX Made in Green certification
"Head or foot" tags to indicate sides
Comparatively expensive
Thin for a sateen sheet

If you prefer the feel of silk but don't want to splurge for the price, then California Design Den's fitted sheet might just fit the bill. This sheet is made with 100% long-staple cotton — verified on the tags — and sports a heavy sateen finish. This ultra-shiny, super smooth spread has a feel similar to silk (slippery), and although it is slightly thinner than other cotton sheets we've tested, it is not unsubstantial. We immediately fell in love with the thoughtful design points that California Design Den put into this sheet. There are "head" or "foot" tags on the appropriate ends — a great timesaver for bedmaking — and the sheet is stiff enough to easily throw over and stretch across a bed by yourself. For those who are eco-conscious, the OEKO-TEX Made in Green certification claims that this sheet is also produced "under sustainable and socially responsible conditions."

For all of this praise, this option simply fell behind in some crucial aspects. The elastic band is relatively thin and required constant adjustment each morning — and our testers wouldn't self-identify as restless sleepers. It is well-designed and crafted with quality in mind but is therefore more expensive than some other higher-performing models. This sheet is smooth but not as nice and soft to roll around on as some other contenders. Still, while the heavy sateen-weave seems to curtail the inherent softness of long-staple cotton, this sheet does continue to soften through repeated washings. It even includes written instructions on how to launder properly to increase longevity and improve skin feel.

Material Type (per tags): 100% long-staple cotton
Sizes Offered: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

Health Rating: OEKO-TEX Made in Green

A simple tag is worth a thousand words when it comes to bed sheets...
A simple tag is worth a thousand words when it comes to bed sheets, and knowing which side to orient your fitted sheet relieves a surprising amount of frustration when making the bed.
Credit: Aaron Rice

7

Microfiber With the Feel of Cotton


NTBAY Microfiber


GSM Weight: None Listed | Pocket Depth: 15 inches
Very finely brushed microfiber
Easy to wrap around mattress
Band quickly loses elasticity
Easily pills

Many microfiber sheets fall into the same pile when it comes to next-to-skin feel, but the NTBAY fitted sheet is an exception. Even though it is a 100% microfiber product, it almost feels like a very thin cotton sheet with a light sateen weave. Due to a finishing process that applies a very fine brush to the fabric, the sheet is slightly stiff yet incredibly smooth, teetering on the brink of slippery. NTBAY offers this sheet a multitude of bright, deeply saturated colors. Thanks to the uncharacteristically stiff microfiber, this sheet is super easy to stretch over a bed and set into place, a huge plus when considering its utility.

Even though we appreciate the difference in this sheet's feel compared to its competitors, the slipperiness made it seem like we could slide right off the bed at any time, particularly when sleeping with clothes on. This is also the only sheet we tested that somehow gained an odor after only a few night's sleep — and on nights that were not even particularly hot or humid. Though the elastic wrap is thick, it already began losing some elasticity after just a few times making and stripping the bed. Most notably — and despite the fine brushing — this bottom sheet began to pill almost immediately. The feel of the NTBAY will likely convert some folks who are opposed to polyester sheets but based on our experience, we remain skeptical of their durability.

Material Type (per tags): 100% microfiber
Sizes Offered: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

Health Rating: None

At first glance, this finely brushed microfiber sheet could pass as...
At first glance, this finely brushed microfiber sheet could pass as a sateen-finished cotton, and comes close to feeling like it when sleeping too.
Credit: Aaron Rice

8

Good for Restless Sleepers


Empyrean Bedding Extra Deep Pocket


GSM Weight: Not Listed | Pocket Depth: 18 inches
Deep pockets
Extra corner straps
Weak elastic
Static buildup

Just like the NTBAY sheets, we were initially excited by the exceptional feel of the Empyrean Bedding Extra Deep Pocket fitted sheet. Unlike other microfiber options, this bottom sheet lay nearly flat across the bed and almost passed for pressed even without ironing (which is not advised due to the polyester, 100% microfiber construction). This sheet specifically advertises deep pockets, and we had absolutely no trouble wrapping it around a thick, 18-inch mattress. This is also the only one we tested that includes supplemental corner straps, a welcome addition for those who tend to toss and turn while looking for that perfect sleeping position.

A weak elastic band may be why the Empyrean Bedding design team decided to include these additional corner straps. The first time spreading this sheet out across our bed, there were audible "pops" as the elastic stretched to fit. Not only does this give us reason to question durability, but it leads us to wonder how it could possibly manage to stretch to fit a 21-inch mattress, as advertised. However, this sheet certainly has advantages for restless sleepers that other competitors in this review cannot quite match.

Material Type (per tags): 100% microfiber
Sizes Offered: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split King

Health Rating: None

Color-coded straps for the head/foot of the bed is a nice touch to...
Color-coded straps for the head/foot of the bed is a nice touch to make things just a bit easier when making the bed.
Credit: Aaron Rice

9

Thin and Breathable


Utopia Bedding Soft Brushed Microfiber


GSM Weight: Not Listed | Pocket Depth: 15 inches
Super thin and lightweight
Deeper pockets than advertised
Too much excess material
Limited colorways

For those of us who sleep hot or simply don't prefer thick sheets, the Utopia Bedding fitted sheet will be a suitable replacement for a heavy bottom sheet. This sheet is appropriately soft but nothing out of the norm for microfiber. It is, however, unbelievably thin. We found that it's not the most effective moisture-wicker, but it offers a level of breathability that was surprising to notice in a bottom sheet, especially a microfiber one.

What surprised us the most is how this sheet ended up fitting our bed. We warn against the advertisement that this sheet only has 15-inch pockets. In fact, for anything but the thickest mattresses, this option will have way too much material. After stretching this over an 18-inch mattress, the edges pulled too far underneath the bed to fit tightly and there was still extra material bunched up in the middle of the bed. This isn't inherently a bad thing, but it is our duty to warn those with more standard-thickness beds before you go and purchase the Utopia Bedding sheet as a replacement.

Material Type (per tags): 100% microfiber
Sizes Offered: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

Health Rating: None

The thin microfiber may not be the best at repelling wrinkles, but...
The thin microfiber may not be the best at repelling wrinkles, but it does a pretty good job of repelling heat.
Credit: Aaron Rice

10

A Sheet for Every Size Bed


Bare Home Premium 1800 Microfiber


GSM Weight: 1800 | Pocket Depth: 15 inches
Crisp for a microfiber sheet
Sized for every possible size/shape of bed
Immediate static buildup
Wonky fit

If you own an irregularly sized bed and have a tough time finding a replacement, Bare Home likely makes this sheet in a size that meets your specific needs. The specialized sizing is especially helpful for those with split-head beds, where a regular Queen or King flat sheet may do the trick, but you need a particularly cut fitted sheet to allow for a full range of motion. Even though they claim a 15-inch pocket depth, it will fit around mattresses slightly larger than that as well.

We even found that it will wrap around an 18-inch mattress, although the fit is somewhat lopsided. Unfortunately, this was also the case on a 12-inch mattress, where one side fit well, but the other was oddly too short. This results in a wonky fit: the corners that are pulled too tight have "ears" that stick out, while on the side that seems to fit better, we were left with extra material bunched up along the sides. The elastic wrap is pretty thin, and we read some very unhappy reviews from other customers who experienced tearing after only a few weeks of use. So while this is a great deal, there may be a few drawbacks to saving an extra few bucks.

Material Type (per tags): 100% polyester
Sizes Offered: Twin, Twin XL, Twin XXL, Full, Full XL, Queen, Split Queen, King, California King, Split Head Flex King, Split King

Health Rating: None

These sheets may not have the highest quality stitching, but the...
These sheets may not have the highest quality stitching, but the variety of sizes make them a great option for those in a bind.
Credit: Aaron Rice

Why You Should Trust Us


We combine the experience of two of our Senior Review Editors, Aaron Rice and Maggie Brandenburg, to tackle this review. Our team resides in the high-desert of the American Southwest (New Mexico and Nevada, respectively), which can be blazingly hot in the summertime, and cold and snowy through the winters. This full-spectrum climate necessitates bed sheets that offer a great night's sleep, regardless of the weather. Both of our editors have worked from home for quite some time, and admit to spending a bit more time in bed than your average worker. Their living conditions and a shared affinity for comfortable bedspreads make them the perfect team to put some of the most highly reviewed bed sheets on the market through a rigorous testing regime.

Before ever diving into a set of sheets, we perform our due diligence of online research, spending hours looking for the best and most popular products on the market. After trimming our selection down to 10 sets, we purchased all of these fitted sheets at retail cost in order to bring you an objectively honest review. We use side-by-side comparison to discover flaws and highlight benefits that may make a certain product the perfect fit for your household. Our team spent a lot of time with these sheets, from sleep-filled nights to days spent scrutinizing every detail and examining every stitch for quality and craftsmanship. Our experts know what to look for and can detect any defects that might affect the lifespan of a bedsheet. The test period may be limited, but we simulate months of use by putting these sheets through multiple wash and dry cycles and noting any significant changes in softness over time. Our reviews are unaffiliated and unbiased, allowing us to offer the most technical review available so that you can better inform your purchasing power.

Side-by-side comparison is key. Here, you can easily tell the...
What's more comforting to climb into after a long day than a freshly...
A fitted sheet is hugely important to a good night's sleep.

Analysis and Test Results


Our expert team developed a test plan that considers a comprehensive and mutually exclusive list of the most important factors for a fitted sheet. We rate each of these sheets relative to one another, taking into account characteristics like skin feel, temperature control, utility, ease of cleaning, and durability. We recognize that not all of these metrics are equally important — for example, how well a sheet fits your bed (utility) is likely much more important than ease of cleaning, but maybe less important than skin feel. We all have personal preferences, and so our testing seeks to break down the nuanced differences through side-by-side comparison. We included a variety of options, testing cotton, microfiber, and Egyptian cotton bottom sheets. This inclusive approach helps you, the reader, to more easily decide which sheet suits the needs of your own bed.

By incorporating 6% spandex into their fabric blend, the COSMOPLUS...
By incorporating 6% spandex into their fabric blend, the COSMOPLUS sheet feels unlike any other microfiber sheet we tested.
Credit: Aaron Rice

Skin Feel


We all prefer slightly different bedsheets, so we understand that ranking something like next-to-skin feel involves a fair amount of subjectivity. Some of us may seek out a super soft, pliable sheet, while others may want theirs to be cool and crisp. We slept on every sheet — both fully clothed and in our birthday suits — in order to judge qualities like softness, smoothness, slipperiness, and pliability. We also put each sheet through multiple wash-and-dry cycles to discover how their feel changes over time. Texture may be a personal preference, but our testing reveals that there are certainly standout sheets.

Microfiber vs. Cotton vs. Egyptian Cotton


There are pros and cons to each fabric type, so here are a few things to consider:

Microfiber
  • These sheets are easy to care for, quick to dry, and tend to repel stains, but can shrink and fade if dried on too high of a heat setting.
  • High-quality microfiber is typically more durable than cotton, but its thin nature can make it prone to tearing on sharp edges.
  • The extremely fine weave is super-soft and tends to repel airborne allergens, like dust mites.

Cotton
  • As a natural fiber, cotton is much more breathable than microfiber but tends to absorb moisture more readily.
  • When laundered correctly, these sheets tend to get softer over time without losing color.
  • Cotton sheets often have a much longer lifespan than microfiber sheets, thanks to remarkable durability through laundering and the ability to be repurposed once they are retired from a bedspread.

Egyptian Cotton
  • All around similar to cotton, but more care is often required
  • Egyptian cotton is special for its long staple — the length of a cotton fiber — which results in a finer yarn that normally equates to softer sheets.

Sometimes, it's right to trust what you read. Cotton sheets will...
Sometimes, it's right to trust what you read. Cotton sheets will continue to grow softer over time, and some even suggest a first wash with white vinegar to help soften the natural fibers off-the-bat.
Credit: Aaron Rice

Out of the package, it is tough to compare anything against microfiber options like the Mellanni, whose fine weave has an unbelievably soft feel in your fingers that translates to the bed. But there is something special about the jersey material of the COSMOPLUS. The microfiber/spandex blend is not only super soft, but it doesn't have any of the chamois feeling of many lower-quality microfiber sheets. Of the cotton sheets, it is tough to beat the long-staple fibers of the Mayfair Linen. Its thin, pliable nature is not only unbelievably smooth but tends to soften over time. While the California Design Den sheet is also made of 100% long-staple cotton, the heavy sateen-weave detracts slightly from the softness, leaving it more silky-smooth (read: slippery) than anything.

The Mellanni sheet is exceptionally soft, even for a microfiber...
The Mellanni sheet is exceptionally soft, even for a microfiber sheet. We were fortunate to test a full set in our Microfiber Sheet review, and can vouch for these sheets all-around.
Credit: Aaron Rice

Temperature Control


While it may not be quite as important (or apparent), temperature management plays just as crucial of a role for the fitted sheet you're sleeping on top of as it does for the flat sheet that you pull over yourself. We tended to hone our focus on moisture-wicking ability rather than breathability, as no one wants to wake up in a puddle after a hot summer night.

GSM vs. Thread Count


A major misconception, directed by bedsheet marketing, is that all bed sheets are judged solely on thread count. In fact, this metric only applies to cotton sheets. Thread count is the number of threads woven into a square inch of fabric.

But this same weaving process does not directly translate to synthetic microfibers since polyester fibers can be made so thin that thread count no longer becomes a useful measurement. The numbers you see, like 1500 and 1800, are misinterpreted as thread count but are actually the GSM weight of a fabric. GSM stands for Grams per Square Meter and, like thread count, is a way to measure the thickness of a material. Though the two are related, they are not interchangeable terms.

Looking through the Mayfair Linen sheets, you can pick out the...
Looking through the Mayfair Linen sheets, you can pick out the long-staple cotton fibers that are both softer, and more breathable thanks to their length.
Credit: Aaron Rice

Generally, microfiber sheets have the upper-hand when it comes to moisture management. But we were happily surprised to find that some of the cotton options — particularly the California Design Den and Mayfair Linen sheets — fared almost equally as well as microfiber sheets like the CGK Unlimited. The long-staple cotton fibers of both of those sheets allow for an incredibly fine weave that enables them to whisk away moisture better than your standard cotton sheet. But for those who prefer a crisp, cool sheet, the AmazonBasics Ultra-Soft Cotton is top-notch.

The COSMOPLUS sheet certainly stands out compared to other...
The COSMOPLUS sheet certainly stands out compared to other microfiber sheets, and does a great job of wicking away moisture thanks to its blended fabric.
Credit: Aaron Rice

Utility


While many bed sheets are judged on comfort, fitted sheets specifically must be judged on utility. The most obvious question to ask before buying a new one is likely, "will this fit my bed?" The second (and maybe slightly less obvious) question is, "will this sheet stay on my bed?" No worries, because our team put in the work. We aggressively rolled around at night to see how these sheets shifted (or if they came completely undone.) We also considered different pocket depths and how these accommodate various mattress thicknesses, and just how easy it was to stretch each new fitted sheet across a bed without a helper.

Please, Measure Your Bed


Undoubtedly, a "standard" fitted sheet will have some variability between manufacturers, and even though a Queen-size sheet should always measure 60 x 80 inches on the surface, the pocket depth is going to vary significantly. It is important to keep in mind that older mattresses tend to compress over time and that a topper adds an extra inch or two. To ensure that your new sheet will fit, it is wise to measure your bed and then err on the side of caution by adding 1-2 inches to that measurement.

The Empyrean Bedding sheet will reach around an 18-inch sheet, but...
However, the Empyrean Bedding fitted sheet is the only one we tested...

A fitted sheet has one very important and obvious role: to properly fit a mattress. One of the best products we tested, thanks to a stitch that allows the pockets to round the corners comfortably, is the CGK Unlimited. Similarly, the COSMOPLUS sheet is stitched so that the corner is set back from the corner of the mattress, resulting in a perfectly rounded fit without any extra material protruding. The main difference between these two is that the elastic band is not fully sewn into the CGK sheet and is exposed in a way that could slide up beds covered with mattress protectors. The AmazonBasics sheet has the thickest elastic band, with a full-wrap that is easily an inch thicker than most other sheets. Although the Empyrean Bedding sheet is the only one in our review with extra elastic straps on the corners, they were flimsy and seem to have the potential for breaking.

The CGK Unlimited Sheet has a particularly strong elastic band, but...
The AmazonBasics sheet has by far the burliest elastic band of any...

As mentioned above, it is paramount that you find a fitted sheet that matches your mattress's depth. With the increased popularity of mattress toppers, the average bed thickness seems to be increasing all the time. Therefore, we will split our recommendations at the 16-inch mark. For those with a "standard" size mattress (16 inches or less), we recommend turning your attention to the cotton California Design Den or the NTBAY microfiber sheets. For those with a thick mattress (more than 16 inches), we recommend the COSMOPLUS microfiber or AmazonBasics cotton sheets. However, the Mellanni sheet wins out on both sides of this delineation, offering accurately sized options in both 16-inch and 21-inch pocket depths.

Head/foot, or Length tags (like this one shown on the COSMOPLUS...
Head/foot, or Length tags (like this one shown on the COSMOPLUS sheet) are particularly handy when making the bed.
Credit: Aaron Rice

Ease of Cleaning


Even if you don't have to make a trip to the laundromat, it can still take a good chunk out of your day to wash and dry bed sheets. Bottom sheets are on the front-line of bed cleanliness — since we spend the entire night laying directly on top of them, they inevitably end up dirtier than a top sheet. There are a few major considerations to factor into the choice between microfiber and cotton sheets. Microfiber sheets are particularly adept at repelling stains and particulates and will dry quickly, but these 100% polyester sheets should not be ironed. Cotton, on the other hand, can always be ironed to crisp perfection if you're so inclined, and it tends to have a longer lifetime. However, they will easily absorb stains and sweat.

Textile Testing Standards


Textile production, whether it uses cotton or microfiber, tends to be a chemically-laden process. To ensure that chemicals don't follow you into your bedroom, manufacturers can opt into additional post-production testing to certify that those harmful chemicals have been removed before the sheets are spread across your mattress. The OEKO-TEX Made in Green certification exceeds their Standard 100 certification — which verifies that all components are chemical-free — by additionally noting that the fabrics have been "manufactured using sustainable processes under socially responsible working conditions." Only the California Design Den carries this certificate.

Considering ethical standards, the California Design Den sheet rises...
Considering ethical standards, the California Design Den sheet rises above the rest with its additional OEKO-TEX certification.
Credit: Aaron Rice

In terms of ease of cleaning, we found no significant difference between all of the microfiber sheets we tested. All of them can be machine washed on cold and dried on a low setting with minimal worry of them losing color saturation or shape in the immediate future. We go all out on stain testing by dumping red wine directly onto the bedsheet and then laundering without any pre-wash stain treatment. Of course, there is some influence of sheet color, but the thin weave of the Mayfair Linen sheet was discolored more noticeably than the slightly thicker, significantly heavier sateen-finished California Design Den sheet. Among the microfiber sheets, it is worth noting that the NTBAY is the only one with a noticeably foul odor after our limited testing period. It's likely that this sheet is not as moisture-wicking as the other microfiber options in our test fleet.

How to Avoid Wrinkled Sheets


For any of these options, cotton or microfiber, the best way to avoid a wrinkly sheet is to take it immediately from the dryer and put it directly on your bed. However, for those without a washer and dryer in their house, this obviously isn't possible.

If you simply cannot live without pressed sheets, we suggest focusing your attention on the cotton sheets in this review since they can all be pressed. But even some of the microfiber sheets we tested can be cool-ironed, specifically the Utopia Bedding and NTBAY sheets, whereas the rest cannot.

Just like most sheets, the NTBAY sheet will hold onto wrinkles...
But post-ironing, the NTBAY sheets will look almost crisp laid...

Durability


As previously noted, fitted sheets tend to be on the front-line of your bedding — not only do they get dirty faster, but due to constant contact with the sheet, they tend to wear through more quickly as well. If you are already replacing an old, ratty sheet, it's important that the next one you purchase better stands the test of time.

Loose stitches, especially on elastic, like these ones found on the...
Loose stitches, especially on elastic, like these ones found on the Empyrean Bedding sheet give us reason to question the durability of a sheet.
Credit: Aaron Rice

Unsurprisingly, the highest-scoring sheets are also those that we deemed to have the best shot at a long lifetime of gracing your bed. Though by itself, spandex can be fairly prone to tearing, the polyurethane fibers seem to increase the overall durability and longevity when woven into another material. The 94% microfiber/6% spandex blend material of the COSMOPLUS is our top choice for a microfiber sheet. Reinforced stitching (and the fact that we found very few customer complaints in our research) only helped support durability claims. The same findings apply to the AmazonBasics cotton sheet, which sports all-around quality stitching and an extra thick elastic band.

In order to maintain a product's longevity, bed sheets, and...
Cotton sheets are a little more forgivable when it comes to washing...

The Environmental Impacts of Microfiber vs. Cotton


Microfiber is a poly-synthetic fiber — meaning that it is derived from a petroleum-based product. In the case of most bed sheets, they are 100% polyester microfiber. The main difference between regular polyester and polyester microfiber is that microfiber has a denier rating of less than one. Synthetic production is a big part of why these sheets are cheaper than a naturally grown fiber like cotton, but these savings upfront don't come without hidden, external costs.

Cotton, the fluffy fiber that we all know and love, has long been used to produce textiles from our t-shirts to our bedsheets. But it is also not without fault. Organically produced cotton makes up less than 1% of the global cotton trade, and conventional cotton production sprays up to 16% of insecticides over only 3% of the world's farmland. Additionally, a bit of a "black market" has developed around Egyptian cotton trade, specifically. By working to eliminate fake products that drive down fair prices, the Cotton Egypt Association (CEA) seeks to promote better health and welfare for Egyptian cotton growers. Purchasing power can have a real impact, so it is important to consider and check product sourcing before buying.

Conclusion


If you need to replace your fitted sheet, ensure that you get one that not only fits your bed but hopefully lasts longer than your previous one. We combined comprehensive analysis with real-world testing — which was much more than just sleeping — to help you find a quality product that is hopefully the ideal fit for your mattress.

A perfectly fit sheet is a simple, yet beautiful thing. Make sure...
A perfectly fit sheet is a simple, yet beautiful thing. Make sure your next sheet fits as nicely as the COSMOPLUS sheet does.
Credit: Aaron Rice

Aaron Rice