We spend years on our beds. About half our lives are spent lying on them, and we are not just sleeping when we do. We are watching our favorite show on our phones, we're reading our favorite mystery novels, and we're wrestling with the kids and the dog. Having sheets that feel soft to the touch on our bed makes this half of our lives even more delightful. You can get this by adding fabric softener to your wash, but sometimes you run out or just prefer to try something else for the moment. Fortunately, there are ways to naturally soften sheets without running out to the store.
Run it Through the Washer Twice
You might want to throw a new pair of sheets into the washing machine more than once before you put it on your bed for the first time. This will take out the chemical residue that is left in sheets from the manufacturing process so that your sheets soften and start out silky smooth.
Running the sheets through the wash twice at any other time is also a good idea. It will soften the fabric and rinse out the last of any detergent that might stick to it.
Soften Sheets in the Sun
Heat does a number on fabric, and hanging sheets to dry out in the sun reduces the amount of heat the sheets are exposed to.
There are some drawbacks. You might not want to do this if it's humid or you have allergies and there is a high pollen count in your area.
Space might also be a problem unless you are really creative about where you hang your sheets. One way to air dry sheets without the drawbacks is to dry them indoors. You can always spread them between chairs before a window.
Use Epsom Salts to Soften Sheets
Epsom salts are often recommended for soaking aching muscles, and they can also be used to relax fabric so it is luxuriously soft. Put 50 g of Epsom salts in cold water in a tub and then stir the sheets in it for two minutes. Let them soak overnight and then rinse the sheets out. You can then hang them out to dry.
Replacing the 50 g of Epsom Salt with 6 tablespoons of borax will also work.
Give Vinegar and Baking Soda a Try
Few items are more common in a household than baking soda and vinegar. This may be why people find so many uses for it, one of which is softening bed sheets. Put your sheets in the wash with one cup of baking soda and half a cup of vinegar, and then wash for one cycle. Don't add any detergent to the wash though.
Tumble your sheets through the dryer at low temperature or line dry them, and then run them through the wash with your normal detergent.
You will want to do this with only small loads to ensure that all of the sheets get exposed to the baking soda and vinegar. It might also help to soften sheets by starting the wash cycle on hot and then switching it to cold.
Our Recommendations for the Softest Starting Sheets
It helps to start out with high-quality sheets when you want to have soft bedclothes. A high-quality sheet with a high thread count will get softer with every round of washing and won't pill. Thread count refers to the number of horizontal and vertical threads per square inch. A higher thread count is generally going to be softer to the touch, and a good thread count is over 200. The weave and fiber also contribute to how soft they feel. Keep scrolling to see some examples of soft sheets.
Luxe Hardcore Sheet Bundle
People looking for a sheet set with a little heft and luxuriousness may like the Luxe Hardcore Sheet Bundle. It has a 480-thread count and a sateen finish. A sateen finish means that more than one horizontal thread goes over one vertical. The weave gives the material a buttery soft feel, a bit of warmth, and a luminous look. This makes it ideal for the person who sleeps cold and loves silky softness to rest on.
The bundle comes with a core sheet, a duvet cover, and two extra pillowcases that use envelope enclosures to keep the pillows in the case.
Classic Starter Sheet Set
If you tend to overheat at night, the weave you want is Percale. This is the classic weave of one horizontal thread over one vertical thread, and the Classic Starter Sheet set gets its cool and crisp feeling from it. It comes with one fitted sheet and two pillowcases, so you can add to it later for decorative effect.
The material used in these sheets is 100% long-staple cotton, which is a type of fiber that is extra long and produces some of the softest sheets around. These sheets combine their ultra-soft cotton with a 270 thread count that gives it an understated luxuriousness.
The fitted sheets have a label for the long and short sides too, so it will be easy to put them on your bed or to fold them.
Heathered Cashmere Core Sheet Set
A super luxurious material to put on your bed is the Heathered Cashmere blend that is 95% cotton and 5% cashmere. It is cozy from the soft insulating Cashmere wool from Cashmere goats, and it is breathable from cotton. Give it a sturdy diagonal weave and you have a luxurious sheet that is great for the fall.
The Heathered Cashmere Core Sheet Set comes with a flat sheet, a fitted sheet, and two pillowcases. The pillowcases use envelope enclosures so the pillows can't fall out, and the fitted sheets come with labels telling you which end is the short end.