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What Exactly Are Percale Sheets?

A person places fresh, folded sheets on a bed.
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Bedding is bedding, right? If you’ve ever shopped for sheets, you know that’s not true. From thread counts to materials, there’s a whole world of linens. But one type seems to stand out as of late.

Percale sheets have become popular, but what makes them so cozy and soft?

The unique weave makes a percale sheet, well, a percale sheet. It’s also what makes the linens so popular. They’re made using a vertical and horizontal weave pattern that’s exceptionally tight. In fact, the weave requires a 180 thread minimum going in a single direction per square inch.

100% Organic Cotton Cloud Blue Full-Sheets Set

Percale sheets don't need to be expensive.

In addition to its weave, though, percale gets better with time—yes, really. Because of the weave’s tightness, it’s incredibly durable, and as it is washed, it continues to soften without losing strength. Plus, it can resist pilling (though you might want to opt for sheets with a 400 thread count for best results).

As for care, it’s simple. Percale sheets are typically machine washable with a mild detergent on the gentle cycle. Skip the fabric softener which could affect the fibers. Then, to prevent wrinkling, tumble dry on low or hang to dry.

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Higher thread counts are less inclined to pilling.

The best part of percale sheets, though? The price is right. Affordable options can be as low as $40 for a set, and even the highest quality sheets are just over $100. Given that they can last two years or longer, it’s a great return on investment.

If you’ve been in the market for new bedding but are having trouble deciding on the type to buy, percale sheets might just be the winner.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »
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