Microfiber Vs. Cotton Sheets: Which Is Better For A Sweaty Sleeper?

If you're a hot sleeper, then summer months, hormonal changes, and sudden heat waves can wreak havoc on your ability to get a comfortable, restful night's sleep. There are few things more disruptive to your rest than waking up every hour or so sweating, trying to kick off your sheets, flip your pillow, crack a window — anything to cool down. While fans or air conditioning can of course help you make your sleeping environment more comfortable, the sheets you sleep in matter a great deal as well, as if you are sleeping in heavy or not-particularly-breathable sheets, you're likely to sweat more (via Medical News Today). 

So if you're a sweaty sleeper, you'll want to consider finding sheets that are made from lighter, breathable, moisture-wicking, or absorbent fabrics. If you do some research on cooling sheets, you'll find several options, but two of the most popular are linen and cotton, and microfiber. Here, we'll compare and contrast the benefits to help you decide which is best to keep you cool at night.  

Which is best for a hot sleeper?

First, it helps to know what exactly "microfiber" even means. Microfiber sheets can be made from a variety of materials, including nylon, polyester, or even wood pulp (via Tuck). These materials are then turned into very thing fibers woven together to create a super-soft and lightweight fabric. Something that makes microfiber sheets stand out is just how thin they are; generally, they measure just 1 denier in diameter. It's that thinness that helps this type of sheet to feel so light. Microfiber is also very durable and less prone to shrinkage and wear through washing than its natural counterpart, cotton. 

Cotton, however, while it can feel a little heavier than microfiber, is still king where it comes to breathability (via Each Night). Sheets that are 100 percent cotton allow air to circulate easily, and this is true no matter the level of body heat or level of pressure applied to the sheets. In other words, even if you are really really hot on a given night and wrapped tightly in the sheets, cotton will still allow air to flow freely through the sheet, cooling you. Further, cotton is also naturally absorbent and dries quickly, so if you do sweat, the sheets will help to wick it away from you, rather than leaving you waking up slick and sticky. 

So, while microfiber can feel lighter, cotton may be the best choice for a sweaty sleeper.