Your bed sheets could be ruining your sleep, says expert

How to pick the right bedding for your sleep style

Woman wrapped up in white sheets, sleep & wellness tips
(Image credit: Elvira Gibadullina / Pexels)

If you find it hard to get to sleep or you feel uncomfortable during the night, your bed sheets could be to blame.

Sleep affects many aspects of your wellbeing, including brain function, growth, hormone balance and your physical, mental and emotional health. If you want to power through your days feeling happy, motivated and at the top of your game, it’s vital that you’re getting the best sleep possible every night.

One of the main ways to ensure you’re getting great sleep is to invest in your sleep set-up. Having the best mattress supports your body, reduces aches and pains, and creates a cosy environment, so you look forward to getting into bed every night. But, it turns out your choice of bedding also plays a big part in your overall sleep quality and duration.

According to James Higgins, sleep expert and CEO of Ethical Bedding, your bed sheets can make or break your sleep, so you need to choose the best sheets for your sleeping style. We spoke to James Higgins about the importance of bedding materials for your sleeping patterns and how they affect your ability to get a good night’s sleep.

For light sleepers: Eucalyptus sheets

Light sleepers can find it hard to get through a night without being woken up by light, noise or touch. The rustling or feel of your bed sheets can also disrupt your sleep and make you feel uncomfortable, so choosing bedding that makes minimal noise and feels nice on the body is very important. Higgins recommends eucalyptus sheets to minimise these sleep interruptions. “Eucalyptus bedding is very soft, naturally hypoallergenic whilst also being temperature regulating and breathable, ensuring you stay comfortable all year round. Fabrics like polyester are not recommended as it has a rougher texture and stiffer make up which can irritate the skin,” says James.

For hot sleepers: Bamboo sheets

For hot sleepers who find themselves restlessly pulling off the sheets or sweating uncontrollably, there are certain bedding materials that you should avoid. “If you’re a hot sleeper, you’ll want to avoid flannel, fleece or cotton-sateen as these materials tend to retain heat for long periods of time and aren’t ideal for those who like to stay cool,” says Higgins. His recommendation is bamboo sheets which are breathable, cool to the touch and “pull the moisture away from the body into the fibres of your bedding so you stay cool throughout the night.”

The best sheets for your sleep style

(Image credit: Ethical Bedding)

For cold sleepers: Cotton sheets

If you tend to feel the chill and constantly wish you had thicker pyjamas, you should get a duvet with a higher tog rating (see our duvet size guide for more advice) and use fabrics that retain heat. “Heavy weight cotton or fleece are your best options if you’re a naturally cold sleeper. These materials are great for retaining heat and moisture, but you should stay away from linen as it contains a loose knit weave which allows large spaces for air to flow through,” suggests Higgins.

For restless sleepers: Silk sheets

Restless sleepers tend to toss and turn and wake up multiple times throughout the night. While there are many reasons behind restless sleeping, including stress, bad digestion and insomnia, the feel of your bed sheets on your skin could also be the reason. Picking the right bed sheets can minimise these disruptions and make you feel more comfortable. Higgins recommends silk bedding for restless sleepers as “it’s lightweight, hypoallergenic and calming so it avoids irritating the skin. The temperature regulating properties of silk also mean you don’t have to worry about being too hot or cold throughout the year.”

For animal loving sleepers: Microfiber sheets

If you share your bed with your pet, you should pick bedding that pet hair won’t stick to, to avoid allergic reactions and itchy skin and eyes. The best fabric for this is microfiber, a “tightly woven and silky material that only requires a simple shake of the sheets for animal hair to slip right off,” says Higgins. Flannel is the main material to avoid if your pet sleeps on your bed as it’s extremely clingy and can build-up a lot of pet and human hair that’s hard to remove.

Bethan Girdler-Maslen
Home Editor

Beth is Home Editor for T3, looking after style, living and wellness. From the comfiest mattresses to what strange things you can cook in an air fryer, Beth covers sleep, yoga, smart home, coffee machines, grooming tools, fragrances, gardening and much more. If it's something that goes in your house, chances are Beth knows about it and has the latest reviews and recommendations! She's also in the know about the latest deals and discount codes from top brands and retailers.

Having always been passionate about writing, she’s written for websites, newspapers and magazines on a variety of topics, from jewellery and culture, to food and telecoms. You can find her work across numerous sites, including Wedding Ideas Magazine, Health & Wellbeing, The Bristol Post, Fashion & Style Directory, TechRadar, CreativeBloq and more. In her spare time, Beth enjoys running, reading, baking and attempting craft projects that will probably end in disaster!