There are lots of things to consider when you buy bed sheets: Are they strong? Will they wrinkle? How easy are they to get on the mattress? But first and foremost, they need to be soft and comfortable if they truly are high quality sheets.

While percale and linen sheets usually feel more crisp, like hotel sheets, they’re not ideal if you’re looking for the softest sheets. These materials make the softest bed sheets:

Be aware that thread count doesn't really matter when it comes to soft sheets: Cotton sateen is the only one from this list that’ll have a valid thread count (i.e. the number of yarns per square inch of fabric). Thread count is not a top priority when you shop for sheets because the fiber content and weave are also important, but a higher thread count can sometimes make sheets softer. (The sweet spot in our test is usually in the 300-500 range.)

The Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab tests sheets for aspects like fabric strength, pilling-resistance, and shrinkage and wrinkles after laundering. We then have at least 30 consumer testers come in and feel the fabrics in a blind comparison to give us feedback on the softness and overall feel.

The picks ahead are all top performers in our evaluations, but were specifically chosen based on the softness ratings. Softness scores from our panel typically average around 3 out of 5 during the tests and some get scores as low as 1, so rest assured that the ratings ahead offer truly outstanding softness: one even has a perfect 5 rating.

Out of the hundreds of sheets we’ve tested in the past several years, this set from Layla is the only one that got a perfect softness score from our panel. All 30 testers said it felt incredibly soft, and though a few called it “flimsy” and wished for a thicker sheet, many said it was as “smooth as butter.” It shrunk in the wash, but the fabric was overall strong and pill-resistant. 

Just keep in mind: these sheets are made of viscose from bamboo, meaning the bamboo plant was chemically processed and there’s nothing “natural” about the finished fiber. Still, if you’re looking for softness, these sheets will certainly deliver.

These best-sellers have over 45,000 five-star reviews on Amazon and they wowed us just as much in our tests. Our panel loved how soft the polyester microfiber felt (some even worried it’d be too soft) and it was both shrink- and pill-resistant. 

The sheets were also generously sized so they can fit tall mattresses and they come in a ton of colors so you can find the perfect set for your bedroom. Not to mention, the $25 price point can’t be beat.

Softness rating: 4.8/5.0 Available sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king and split king

This super smooth set is 100% cotton with a wrinkle-resistant finish that looked noticeably less crumpled than other cotton sheets in our test. Plus, the fabric is certified by Oeko-Tex so you don’t have to worry about unsafe levels of chemicals in the finish. 

Testers especially loved the softness, which it gets from a combing process where shorter fibers that feel scratchy are removed. It wasn’t the strongest fabric, but it was overall durable and it fit our test mattress well with room to spare.

Some soft sheets (i.e. flannel or polyester) can make you feel warmer, but this set is a blend of cotton and Outlast viscose that stores and releases body heat to help keep you at a comfortable temperature all night long. 

It was also a favorite among our testers because of its softness; some even commented that they wanted to keep these sheets for themselves. The fabric had some shrinkage in the wash, but it was strong and fit our sample mattress well.

Tencel lyocell fibers give you the soft feel of rayon, but they’re much less toxic to produce and use a more sustainable process. These sheets are made of 100% Tencel (others with Tencel may use a blend) and they feel silky smooth and have moisture-wicking capabilities to help prevent overheating. 

In Lab tests, the fabric was pill-resistant and had above-average scores for shrinkage and fabric strength. Plus, the set has deep pockets and is available in eight different sizes, so it’ll fit just about any bed.

Softness rating: 4.5/5.0Available sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, split queen, king, California king and split king

These sheets from Marriott let your bed at home feel like a hotel stay. Crisp percale sheets aren’t usually as soft as sateen, but this set uses a percale weave made of a cotton/polyester blend that our panel said felt soft in our test. 

It also didn’t wrinkle as badly as most 100% cotton sheets and the fabric was strong and barely shrunk in the wash. Just note that it only comes in two sizes and it’s pricier than most in our roundup.

L.L.Bean uses a unique manufacturing process to remove loose fibers, creating a smoother fabric. The 100% cotton flannel is perfect for keeping you warm in the winter, but some reviewers even say they use it year round without overheating. 

Our panel rated it softer than other flannel fabrics and though it wasn’t as strong as traditional sheets, it was on par with other flannels. Plus, it comes in lots of colors, patterns, and matching bedding like duvet covers and shams.

Premium cotton, like Egyptian or pima, is usually softer than regular cotton because the fibers are longer so they don’t poke against your skin. The downside is these luxury cotton terms get used a lot, sometimes even when they’re not actually in the fabric. 

These 100% pima cotton sheets are DNA-tested so you know you’re getting the long-staple fibers. On top of feeling luxuriously soft, the sheets were strong and pill-resistant, though they did look wrinkled coming out of the dryer. Still, they barely shrunk and our testers loved the way they felt.

It’s hard to know whether you’ll like sleeping on sheets until you have a chance to try them at home so Parachute offers a 90-day trial period with free returns for any reason, even if they’re used. You can also buy a swatch for $3 ahead of time if you want to feel the fabric before you order the set. 

This 100% Egyptian cotton sateen fabric had a higher softness score than some of its online competitors, and though it looked wrinkled after we washed it, it was virtually pill-free in our tests. You also can choose to buy this set with or without a top sheet.

They may not be the smoothest and they’re pretty pricey, but if you want a sheet set that’s both organic and soft, this is your best bet. It’s GOTS certified so you know the entire manufacturing process (not just the growing of the cotton) is organic and it’s Fair Trade Certified so you know there are ethical standards followed as well. 

The fabric is a 100% cotton sateen that was strong in our test and got above average ratings for softness from consumer testers. The brand also sells organic cotton flannel sheets, which were even softer than this everyday set.

120gsm Recycled Pet Spunbond Nonwovens Fabric

Softest rating: 3.5Available sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king, split king and king with standard cases

Non-Woven Fabric, Pp Non-Woven, Pp Non-Woven Fabric - Yixin,