The fitted sheet fits well
Cool to the touch
Pet hair doesn’t stick
Clingy and slippery
Difficult to make the bed
Beyond suffering the relatively harmless embarrassment of waking up in a puddle, overheating during the night can cause you to wake more frequently. This reduces the quality of your sleep and can potentially lead to psychiatric or cognitive disorders. Scary! Mostly, it’s just uncomfortable, though—particularly when you’re trying to fall asleep.
Sleeping between cooling sheets like the SHEEX Experience Sheet Set is a way to stack the odds in your favor. We, the absolute hottest of sleepers, put the fitted sheet, flat sheet, and two pillowcases through five days on a king-sized memory foam mattress to test their performance, plus a couple of washes to test their durability. Read on to see if they’re cool with us.
Fabric Quality: Performance wear for beds
Crispy, cool hotel linens these are not. If you dipped a toe into the t-shirt sheet trend that started in the ’90s (hey, even Oprah loved them back then), then you’ll be familiar with the pros and cons of a knitted sheet: They can be very soft and cozy; their claustrophobic drape ensures that every bit of them will be touching every bit of you at all times.
With the SHEEX performance fabric, multiply these quirks times the sensation of sleeping inside a giant workout shirt. The fabric is a four-way stretch knit made from 86 percent polyester and 14 percent spandex, a combination that is probably going to be pretty polarizing. Some people love slinky, slippery tech fabric against their skin, and this one is indeed cool to the touch. We prefer natural fiber, though, so predominantly polyester sheets are a tough sell for us.
Even on the morning of the last 90-degree day of the year, we awoke dry and comfortable.
The packaging on the SHEEX set says these are four times more breathable than traditional cotton, and the website says they’re two times. However many times it actually is, polyester does not exactly have a reputation for being a “breathable” fabric. Quite the opposite. What it is known for is minimal liquid absorption. Modern poly blends, developed mostly for the activewear industry, will wick perspiration quickly away from the skin’s surface to the surface of the fabric, where it is evaporated, cooling the body. It absorbs minimal liquid in the process, which otherwise would trap heat and moisture against the skin (like cotton does).
Being inside the SHEEX set doesn’t exactly feel airy, but it’s light enough that the sheets aren’t stifling, and even on the morning of the last 90-degree day of the year, we awoke dry and comfortable.
Gauge: Fine, fine
Rather than thread count, knits are measured by gauge. This is the total number of stitches per inch on the horizontal plus the number of rows on the vertical. While the SHEEX sheets don’t mention a specific gauge, they’re lightweight and fine (almost sheer), and we could see the impression of every surface feature of our pillows and mattress.
Softness: Yes, it’s soft, but…
We’d file these sheets under “silky” rather than soft. That’s not really our go-to texture in sheets, and it took some getting used to. By day four we could slip underneath them without getting the willies, and we decided they actually felt nice, but we still prefer natural, woven fibers.
If you have even the slightest hint of a hangnail or a rough heel, these slick sheets will find it.
One disadvantage of slick sheets: If you have even the slightest hint of a hangnail or a rough heel, these sheets will find it. It’s borderline rude.
Fit: Great, if you can keep them on the bed
The 14 percent spandex combined with heavy-duty circumferential elastic guarantees a nice, tight fit for the fitted sheet. The top sheet, at 108 x 102 inches, is not a particularly generous size, but it works, as long as it doesn’t slide off the bed (it will). It’s constructed from three fabric panels pieced together with conspicuous overlock seams—probably a combination of cost efficiency, and width limitations of the loom it was knitted on. We’re not fans of this, aesthetically, but it does make lining the sheet up with the bed easier.
Washing: Be gentle
Something polyester is infamous for? Retaining odors. After four nights, we could easily tell that these sheets and pillows had been slept on. If you have a few particularly sweaty nights, they’re going to smell like a gym bag. Wash them in cold water. Often.
These sheets are wrinkle- and shrink-resistant, and they shouldn’t fade, but you should still treat them with some care. You shouldn’t use fabric softener, bleach, or dryer sheets with them, and they shouldn’t be ironed.
Price: On par for the fabric
Starting at about $140 for a twin XL and going up to about $190 for a California King, this set isn’t exactly inexpensive, but it’s on par with other performance sheets of similar material. It’s worth noting that there are sets of cooling sheets in other fabrications for half that price, though.
Competition: Classic cotton sheets
As any thermonuclear sleeper knows, it’s hard to beat the cooling power of a high-quality, 100 percent cotton sheet. Why mess with perfection? With a thread count of 700, the Fieldcrest Supima Classic set feels luxurious like a hotel sheet, sports a handsome hemstitch detail, and, most importantly, feels like you’re slipping into a cool, cuddly breeze. While the Sheex performance fabric does feel cool to the touch, the result is a bed that’s all slink, zero cozy. We prefer the Fieldcrest set any day, any temperature.
- Product Name SHEEX
- Product Brand Experience Sheet Set
- Price $139.99
- Color Silver, sky blue
- RN Number 141796
- Fabric composition 86% polyester, 14% spandex
- Weave Jersey knit
- Warranty 30-night satisfaction guarantee; 1-year warranty against manufacturer defects
- What’s Included Flat sheet, fitted sheet, two pillowcases
- Dimensions (King) 78 x 80 in. fitted sheet; 108 x 102 in. flat sheet; 20 x 40 in. pillowcases