[Cold Comfort] Why Are Bed Sheets Cold?

When slipping into bed, many of us find that the sheets feel cold against our skin. This can be uncomfortable and may even make it difficult to fall asleep. Understanding why bed sheets feel cold can help in finding ways to alleviate this discomfort. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the reasons behind cold bed sheets, the scientific explanations, and the factors contributing to this sensation. We will also delve into the impact of thread count on bed sheet temperature and provide insights to help you enjoy a cozy and comfortable sleep environment.

Quick Answer: Why Are Bed Sheets Cold

The quick answer to why bed sheets feel cold lies in the thermal conductivity of the fabric. When the ambient temperature is lower than our body temperature, the sheets absorb our body heat, making them feel cold to the touch. The type of fabric and the weave of the sheets also play a significant role in their ability to retain heat and impact the overall perceived warmth.

The Science Behind Cold Bed Sheets

The feeling of cold bed sheets is primarily influenced by the principles of heat transfer. When our bodies come into contact with materials that conduct heat more effectively than the surrounding air, such as certain types of fabric, the heat from our bodies transfers to these materials, causing a sensation of coldness. This transfer occurs due to the difference in temperature between our bodies and the surrounding environment.

The thermal conductivity of a material measures its ability to conduct heat. Materials with higher thermal conductivity transfer heat more readily, leading to a perception of coldness when they come into contact with our bodies. In the case of bed sheets, the thermal conductivity of the fabric determines how effectively they absorb and dissipate our body heat, affecting how warm or cold they feel against our skin.

Factors That Contribute To Cold Bed Sheets

Several factors contribute to the perceived coldness of bed sheets. Understanding these factors can help in choosing bed linens that promote warmth and comfort.

Fabric Type

Different fabrics have varying thermal conductivity, influencing how they interact with our body heat. For instance, natural fibers such as cotton and linen have lower thermal conductivity compared to synthetic materials like polyester. This means that natural fibers are better at retaining body heat, making them feel warmer when we lay on them. Understanding the differences in fabric types can guide the selection of sheets to create a more comfortable sleeping environment.


The weave of the fabric also affects its ability to retain heat. Tighter weaves trap more air and create a barrier against heat loss, contributing to a warmer sensation when in contact with the skin. Understanding the impact of weave on the thermal properties of bed sheets assists in choosing the most suitable options to minimize the cold feeling.

Thread Count

Thread count refers to the number of threads woven into one square inch of fabric. While it is often associated with quality, it also plays a role in the thermal properties of bed sheets. Higher thread count fabrics may feel denser and retain heat better, providing a warmer sleeping experience. Understanding the relationship between thread count and perceived warmth is essential when selecting bed linens.

Ambient Temperature

The surrounding room temperature also affects how cold or warm the bed sheets feel. In cooler environments, the temperature difference between our bodies and the sheets is more pronounced, leading to a greater sensation of coldness. Managing the room temperature is an important factor in creating a comfortable sleeping environment, impacting how the bed sheets feel against our skin.

Understanding Thread Count And Its Impact On Bed Sheet Temperature

Thread count is often associated with the quality and perceived luxury of bed sheets. However, it also influences the temperature regulation and comfort level of the bedding.

Thread count is the number of horizontal and vertical threads per square inch of fabric. While higher thread count is often equated with superior quality, it is essential to consider its impact on the thermal properties of bed sheets.

Lower thread count sheets, typically in the range of 200 to 400, have a more breathable and airy feel. This can be desirable in warmer climates or for those who tend to sleep hot. However, these sheets may not retain heat as effectively, leading to a cooler sensation when in contact with the skin.

On the other hand, higher thread count sheets, typically above 400 and up to 1000 or even more, often feel denser and more substantial. The tighter weave can trap more heat and offer a warmer feel against the skin. This can be advantageous in colder climates or for individuals who prefer a cozier sleeping environment.

It is important to note that while thread count plays a role in the thermal properties of bed sheets, it is not the sole determinant of quality. Other factors such as fabric type, weave, and personal preferences also contribute to the overall comfort and satisfaction with the bedding.

Understanding the relationship between thread count and bed sheet temperature assists in making informed choices when selecting bedding that aligns with individual comfort and climate requirements.

Understanding why bed sheets feel cold involves delving into the science of heat transfer and the thermal properties of fabrics. Factors such as fabric type, weave, thread count, and ambient temperature all contribute to the perceived warmth or coldness of bed sheets. In selecting bed linens, it is essential to consider these factors to create a comfortable and cozy sleep environment.

By considering the thermal conductivity of fabrics, the impact of weave and thread count, and managing room temperature, individuals can choose bed sheets that promote warmth and contribute to a restful and comfortable night's sleep. Making informed decisions about bedding and creating a sleep environment that aligns with personal preferences and comfort is crucial in enhancing the overall sleep experience.

Fabric Materials That Make Sheets Feel Colder

Have you ever climbed into bed and immediately been struck by the chilly feeling of your bed sheets? It’s a common occurrence, but have you ever wondered why some bed sheets feel colder than others? There are several factors that contribute to this sensation, including the fabric materials used, the weather and climate, and the role of insulation.

The type of fabric used in bed sheets plays a significant role in how cold or warm they feel to the touch. Different fabrics have varying levels of breathability, heat retention, and moisture-wicking properties, which can affect how cool or warm they feel against your skin.

  1. Cotton: Cotton is a popular choice for bed sheets due to its breathability and softness. However, cotton alone may not provide enough warmth during colder months. In fact, cotton sheets can feel cool when first getting into bed. This is because cotton is a natural fiber that is known for its ability to absorb and release moisture, which can make the sheets feel cool to the touch. However, cotton can also retain body heat which can help to keep you warm throughout the night.

  2. Linen: Linen is a fabric derived from the flax plant. It is known for its breathability and moisture-wicking properties, making it a popular choice for warmer climates. While linen can feel cool to the touch, it also has the ability to regulate body temperature, making it suitable for both warm and cool nights. Linen bed sheets feel crisp and cool against the skin, bringing a fresh sensation to your sleep.

  3. Bamboo: Bamboo bed sheets have gained popularity in recent years due to their softness and eco-friendly properties. Bamboo fabric is smooth, lightweight, and has excellent moisture-wicking properties, making it feel cool against the skin. Bamboo sheets are particularly suitable for hot climates or those who tend to sleep hot. However, their cooling effect may also make them feel colder than other materials in colder weather.

  4. Microfiber: Microfiber bed sheets are made from synthetic fibers that are finer than silk. They are known for their durability and wrinkle-resistant properties. However, microfiber sheets may not be the best choice if you prefer warmth. Although microfiber sheets can feel soft and smooth to the touch, they have a tendency to trap heat, which can make them feel warmer in hot weather, but colder in colder weather.

  5. Flannel: Flannel is a cotton fabric that has been brushed to create a fuzzy texture. Flannel bed sheets are highly insulating and are particularly popular during the winter months. The brushed surface of flannel traps air and provides warmth, making it feel cozy and comforting. Flannel sheets are an excellent choice for those who live in colder climates or prefer a warmer sleeping environment.

RELATED:  Can I Use Fabric Softener On My Bed Sheets?

How Weather And Climate Affect Bed Sheet Temperature

The weather and climate in which you live can have a significant impact on the temperature of your bed sheets. The external temperature, humidity levels, and insulation in your bed all play a role in determining how cold or warm your sheets feel.

  1. External Temperature: When the external temperature is cold, such as during winter, your bed sheets are more likely to feel cold. This is because they are exposed to the cold air in your room, which can quickly lower their temperature. In contrast, during warm weather, your sheets may feel cooler initially but can gradually warm up as they absorb and release your body heat.

  2. Humidity Levels: Humidity levels also influence the temperature of your bed sheets. In humid environments, moisture tends to cling to fabric, making it feel cooler to the touch. High humidity can make your sheets feel damp and chilly. On the other hand, low humidity levels can cause fabrics to become dry and static, which can create a colder sensation against the skin.

  3. Insulation: The level of insulation in your bed also affects how cold or warm your sheets feel. Mattresses, mattress toppers, and blankets can provide additional layers of insulation, helping to trap body heat and keep you warm. Thicker and more insulating materials, such as feather-filled duvets or woolen blankets, can make your sheets feel warmer, especially during colder nights.

The Role Of Insulation In Keeping Bed Sheets Warm

Insulation plays a crucial role in keeping your bed sheets warm. It helps to trap body heat and creates a barrier between you and the cold air in your room. Here are some factors that contribute to the insulation properties of your bed:

  1. Mattress: The type and thickness of your mattress can impact the level of insulation it provides. Memory foam mattresses, for example, are known for their ability to contour to your body, creating a snug fit and trapping body heat. Thicker mattresses also offer more insulation compared to thinner ones.

  2. Mattress Toppers: Mattress toppers are an additional layer of padding that can provide extra insulation and comfort. Toppers made from materials such as memory foam, down feathers, or wool can help to retain body heat and keep your bed sheets warmer.

  3. Blankets and Duvets: The type and thickness of blankets or duvets you use can significantly affect the warmth of your bed sheets. Natural materials like wool and down feathers are excellent insulators and can keep you warm during cold nights. Thicker blankets or duvets have a higher insulation capacity than thinner ones.

  4. Pillows: Although pillows don’t directly affect the temperature of your bed sheets, they play a role in overall insulation. Pillows made from materials like memory foam or down feathers can help keep your head warm and contribute to an overall cozy feeling.

The feeling of cold bed sheets can be influenced by various factors, including the fabric materials used, the weather and climate, and the level of insulation in your bed. Fabrics like cotton, linen, and bamboo can offer coolness to the touch, while flannel provides warmth and insulation. External temperature and humidity levels can also affect the perceived coldness of your sheets. Lastly, the level of insulation provided by your mattress, mattress toppers, blankets, and duvets plays a significant role in keeping your bed sheets warm. By considering these factors, you can create a cozy and comfortable sleeping environment that suits your preferences and the conditions around you.

How Laundering And Care Techniques Can Affect Bed Sheet Temperature

Being cold at night can be very uncomfortable and can disrupt your sleep. One factor that may contribute to this coldness is the bed sheets you use. While the primary purpose of bed sheets is to provide comfort and hygiene, their temperature can significantly affect your sleeping experience.

The way you launder and care for your bed sheets can have a significant impact on their temperature. Here are some factors to consider:

1. Water Temperature

When washing your bed sheets, the water temperature you choose can affect their fabric structure and subsequent warmth. Warm or hot water can cause the fibers to shrink and tighten, resulting in a denser fabric. This denseness can reduce the airflow between the fibers, making the sheets feel cooler to the touch. On the other hand, cold water laundering allows the fibers to remain more relaxed, which can contribute to a softer and warmer feel.

RELATED:  How Do I Prevent My Bed Sheets From Feeling Stiff?

2. Detergent Choice

The type of detergent you use plays a role in maintaining the temperature of your bed sheets. Some detergents contain enzymes and bleaches that can affect the structure of the fabric, potentially making it feel colder. Opting for milder detergents that are free from harsh chemicals can help preserve the fabric’s natural warmth.

3. Fabric Softeners

Fabric softeners can make your bed sheets feel fluffy and pleasant, but they can also impact their temperature. These products often contain waxes or silicone compounds that coat the fibers, creating a layer of insulation. While this insulation can provide warmth, it can also trap heat during warmer nights. Therefore, it is advisable to use fabric softeners moderately or choose alternatives such as dryer balls or vinegar during laundering to maintain an ideal temperature balance.

4. Drying Techniques

The drying process also affects the temperature of bed sheets. High heat settings can cause the fibers to contract, resulting in a denser fabric that feels cooler to the touch. On the other hand, line drying or using lower heat settings can preserve the loftiness of the fabric, providing a warmer sensation. Additionally, allowing bed sheets to partially air dry before transferring them to the dryer can prevent excessive heat exposure, minimizing the chances of cooling down the fabric.

5. Ironing

Ironing bed sheets can enhance their appearance and remove wrinkles, but it can also have an impact on their temperature. Ironing can compress the fibers, reducing the air pockets within the fabric and potentially making it feel cooler. However, the effect of ironing on temperature is minimal, and it may not be a significant factor in the overall warmth of the bed sheets.

Choosing The Right Bed Sheets To Combat Coldness

The choice of fabric and its insulating properties plays a crucial role in combating the coldness of bed sheets. When selecting bed sheets, keep the following points in mind:

1. Natural Fabrics

Natural fibers such as cotton, linen, and wool are excellent choices for colder climates. These materials provide insulation by trapping body heat and maintaining a warm layer of air between the fibers. Cotton, in particular, is highly breathable, allowing moisture to escape while retaining warmth.

A. Cotton

Cotton bed sheets are popular due to their softness, breathability, and ability to regulate temperature. They are suitable for individuals who prefer a cool and crisp feel during warmer seasons and provide enough warmth during cooler nights.

B. Linen

Linen bed sheets are made from flax fibers and possess excellent insulating properties. They have natural moisture-wicking abilities, which help in regulating body temperature and keeping you warm in colder climates. Linen sheets are also highly durable and become softer with each wash.

C. Wool

Wool fabric is an excellent choice for those seeking warmth, especially during the winter months. It has natural temperature-regulating properties and can provide excellent insulation. Wool bed sheets are soft, hypoallergenic, and can wick away moisture, making them a cozy option for cold nights.

2. Synthetic Fabrics

Synthetic fabrics are less breathable than natural fibers but can still offer warmth and comfort. They are often blended with natural materials to enhance their insulating properties. Popular synthetic fabrics for bed sheets include polyester and microfiber.

A. Polyester

Polyester bed sheets are known for their durability, wrinkle resistance, and affordability. While they may not provide the same breathability as natural fibers, polyester sheets can still retain some warmth and are suitable for individuals who prefer a smoother, silkier feel.

B. Microfiber

Microfiber bed sheets are made from extremely fine synthetic fibers, which give them a soft and luxurious texture. They are known for their durability, wrinkle resistance, and ability to retain warmth. Microfiber sheets are a good option for those seeking warmth without the bulk of heavier fabrics.

3. Thread Count

Thread count refers to the number of threads per square inch of fabric and is often associated with the quality and comfort of bed sheets. In terms of warmth, a higher thread count does not necessarily equate to more insulation. Extremely high thread counts can result in a dense fabric, which may feel cooler to the touch. Instead, focus on selecting bed sheets with a medium thread count (around 300-500) to strike a balance between breathability and warmth.

Does Bed Sheet Color Affect Temperature

Bed sheet color may have a subtle effect on temperature perception. Darker colors tend to absorb more heat from the environment and can feel slightly warmer to the touch. On the other hand, lighter colors reflect more light and heat, giving a cooler sensation. However, the impact of color on sheet temperature is generally minimal and may not significantly affect your overall comfort while sleeping. Personal preferences for colors should not be overshadowed by concerns about temperature, as other factors such as fabric choice and care techniques have more substantial effects.

Cold bed sheets can be uncomfortable and impact your sleep quality. The temperature of bed sheets can be influenced by laundering and care techniques such as water temperature, detergent choice, fabric softeners, drying techniques, and ironing. Choosing the right fabrics, such as natural fibers like cotton, linen, and wool, can provide insulation and enhance warmth. Synthetic materials like polyester and microfiber can also retain heat and offer comfort. Although color may have a mild impact on temperature perception, it is not a significant factor in overall warmth. By understanding these factors and making informed choices, you can ensure that your bed sheets contribute to a cozy and comfortable sleep environment.

Alternative Options For Warming Up Cold Bed Sheets

There is nothing like getting into a warm and cozy bed on a cold winter night. However, sometimes we find that the bed sheets are cold, which can be an unpleasant surprise. The question is, why are bed sheets cold? There are a few reasons why this happens.

Firstly, bed sheets are in direct contact with the air in the room, which can often be colder than the temperature in your bed. This makes your bed sheets feel cold, even if you have been warming up your bed with blankets or a hot water bottle.

Secondly, the type of fabric your bed sheets are made of can also contribute to the sensation of coldness. Certain fabrics, such as cotton, can feel colder to the touch because they are more breathable and do not retain as much heat as other materials.

If you find that your bed sheets are cold to the touch, there are a few alternative options for warming them up.

RELATED:  [Polyester Prospects] Are Bed Sheets Polyester?

One option is to use an electric blanket or mattress pad. These devices can be placed underneath your bed sheets and will warm up your bed before you get in it. Some electric blankets even have dual temperature controls, so you and your partner can adjust the temperature to your individual preferences.

Another option is to use a hot water bottle or heat pad. These can be placed in your bed before you get in it, and can provide a warm and cozy sensation. However, it is important to be careful with these devices and not to overheat them or leave them unattended.

Finally, you can try preheating your bed with a hair dryer. This method involves blowing warm air over your bed sheets to warm them up before you get in bed. While it is a simple and effective method, it can be time-consuming and may not be a practical solution for everyone.

Tips For Keeping Your Bed Sheets Warm During Winter Months

If you are looking for ways to keep your bed sheets warm during the winter months, here are a few tips to consider:

Layer Your Bedding

One of the easiest ways to keep your bed warm is to layer your bedding. Adding extra blankets, comforters, or a down duvet can create a barrier of warmth that will keep you cozy all night long.

Use Flannel Sheets

Flannel sheets are a popular choice during the winter months because they are soft, warm, and cozy. They are made from a brushed cotton material that traps heat and creates a warm, snuggly feel.

Invest In Warm Pajamas

Wearing warm pajamas can help keep your body heat close to your skin and prevent heat loss. Look for pajamas made from natural fibers, such as wool or silk, which are excellent insulators.

Close Your Windows And Doors

If the air in your bedroom is too cold, it can make your bed sheets feel cold as well. Make sure your windows and doors are closed to prevent drafts and keep the warm air inside.

Use A Humidifier

During the winter months, the air in your home can become dry and uncomfortable. Using a humidifier can add moisture to the air, which can help keep you and your bed sheets feeling warmer.

The Importance Of Finding The Perfect Bed Sheet Temperature For A Good Night’s Sleep

Finding the perfect bed sheet temperature can make all the difference when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep.

According to sleep experts, the ideal temperature for sleeping is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature range allows your body to cool down and fall asleep more easily. However, if your bed sheets are too cold, it can keep you awake and prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep.

On the other hand, if your bed sheets are too warm, it can also disrupt your sleep. When your body overheats, it can cause sweating, restlessness, and discomfort. This is why it is important to find the perfect temperature for your bed sheets that will keep you warm and comfortable without making you too hot or too cold.


In conclusion, there are a few reasons why bed sheets can feel cold, including the air temperature in your room and the type of fabric your sheets are made of. However, there are many ways to warm up your bed sheets, such as using electric blankets or hot water bottles, layering your bedding, and investing in flannel sheets and warm pajamas.

Finding the perfect bed sheet temperature for a good night’s sleep is also important, as it can help you fall asleep more easily and prevent disturbances during the night. By following these tips and tricks, you can create a warm and cozy sleeping environment that will help you get the restful sleep you need.


Why Are My Bed Sheets Cold?

There are a few possible reasons for this. One common reason is that your room temperature may be too low. Another possibility is that your sheets are made of a material that tends to feel colder against the skin, such as satin or silk. Additionally, if your sheets have a high thread count, they may trap more cold air and feel colder to the touch.

Can The Fabric Of My Sheets Affect Their Temperature?

Yes, the type of fabric used to make your sheets can have a significant impact on their perceived temperature. Some materials, such as cotton, are known for being breathable and regulating temperature, while others, like polyester, may retain heat and feel warmer to the touch. Satin and silk sheets, although luxurious, tend to feel cooler due to their smooth, slippery texture.

Can The Type Of Mattress Also Contribute To Cold Bed Sheets?

Absolutely. While we often focus on the sheets when it comes to our sleeping experience, the type of mattress we have can play a role as well. Memory foam mattresses, for example, are known for retaining heat, which can make your sheets feel colder. Additionally, if your mattress is too small for your bed frame, it may leave gaps that can cause air to flow underneath and cool down your sheets.

Why Do My Sheets Feel Colder In The Winter?

As the weather gets colder outside, the temperature in our homes also drops. This decrease in temperature can affect the temperature of our sheets as well. Furthermore, the natural body heat we produce while sleeping can escape through the cooler sheets, making them feel even colder. It is also recommended to use thicker and warmer sheets during the winter months to combat this issue.

How Can I Make My Bed Sheets Feel Warmer?

You can try a few methods to make your bed sheets feel warmer. Firstly, you can adjust the thermostat in your room to a higher temperature. You can also layer additional blankets or comforters on top of your sheets to trap warm air. Another option is to switch to flannel or fleece sheets, which are known for their warmth and softness. Heated blankets or mattress pads are also popular choices to keep you warm during the colder months.

Bestvaluehunt.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.