How to Shop for Sheets that Don't Pill (2024)

by Marc Werner, Founder - GhostBed

Picture yourself crawling into bed after a long hard day. Imagine how good it feels to run your tired feet along your cool, silky sheets as you drift off into dreamland. Heaven. Now imagine the opposite side of the coin: jumping into bed only to feel bumpy, scratchy balls of fibers and lint. Not so nice.

Finding sheets that don't pill can be a challenge. After all, you won't know if they will pill or not until enough time has passed. And though most sheets have the potential to pill over years of use, you can safeguard your feet longer if you follow a few tips.

Here, we'll explain what causes sheet pilling, how to stop it and where to find the best no-pill sheets for your money. Let's dive in!

Overview: How to Shop for Sheets that Don't Pill

Friction, exposure to chemicals and high heat, and the type of fabric itself can contribute to pilling. Looking for durable and high-quality materials is your best bet if you want to ward it off. Supima or Egyptian Cotton are two great options.

How to Shop for Sheets that Don't Pill (1) Shop GhostSheets

Why Are My Sheets Pilling?

Pilling can be the result of several factors, including:

Fabric Type

Pilling is most common in fabrics with shorter, looser fibers. Loose fibers naturally migrate to the surface of a piece of fabric. At the surface, they are subject to abrasion and friction, which causes the fibers to twist together and form small balls or "pills."

Wear and Tear

Have you ever noticed pilling on the underarms of your favorite sweater? This is a perfect example of how friction contributes to fabric pilling, and the same thing can happen with your sheets. When a fabric is snagged, pulled, stretched or rubbed repeatedly, the fibers break down and become weak, which is a perfect recipe for pilling. Paying attention to how you wash your sheets can help reduce pilling, as being too rough with them can contribute to fiber breakdown.

Surprising fact: Spiky body hair acts like a "scouring pad" of sorts on your sheets, which can contribute to pilling. So, if your legs are a little prickly, consider covering them before bedtime to protect your sheets. The same thinking goes for dry, calloused feet!

Chemicals and High Heat

Harsh chemicals and detergents, as well as high-heat ironing or drying, can damage fabric fibers. This is important to remember because brittle, weak fibers cause pilling. Consider switching to a gentle detergent, and line-drying your sheets when you can. If you're using a dryer, choose low heat and a low-tumble cycle to keep your sheets ultra-soft and lint-free.

Dryer Balls

Eco-friendly dryer balls are popular these days, but you may want to ditch them. They tend to beat up your laundry and wear down fabrics much faster than traditional dryer sheets. If you're dead set on using them, opt for the gentler wool balls instead of the extra-abrasive plastic ones.

Does Thread Count Matter When It Comes to Pilling?

Thread count is, for the most part, a marketing tactic that should not influence your buying decision. Instead, pay attention to the specific fabric type. Fabrics made with longer fibers will be your best bet.

Popular long-fiber fabrics include:

  • Egyptian cotton
  • Pima cotton
  • Supima cotton

4 Easy Ways to Prevent & Remove Pilling From Your Sheets

Preventing pilling is easy with a little know-how. Explore our top 4 ways to prevent and remove pilling from your sheets.

1. Change Up Your Washing Routine

How you wash your sheets will largely determine whether they pill or not. We recommend setting the water temperature to medium to cool, and using low heat for the drying cycle. While you're at it, it may be time to reevaluate your laundry detergent and swap it out for something gentler and without bleach to keep those fibers strong. If you iron your sheets, use the lowest setting possible and remember not to let the iron sit too long in one location.

2. Purchase High-Quality Sheets In the First Place

One sure-fire way to prevent bed sheet pilling is to invest in high-quality sheets in the first place. If you find a set of sheets advertised as 100% Egyptian cotton with a 1,000 thread count, stop right there. There's a 99% chance they won't live up to their claims. A great set of bed sheets can vary in price point but shouldn't cost over $300.

3. Replace Your Sheets at the Appropriate Time

Nothing lasts forever, and that's also true when it comes to your sheets. Even the highest quality sheets won't last you a lifetime. Replace them when signs like staining, ripping, fraying and dulling make an appearance.

4. Remove Any Pills That Appear

When all else fails, you can try to remove pilling with various gadgets or even a clean, new razor like the one you use on your face and/or body. While this route doesn't necessarily prevent pilling, it can keep your sheets looking and feeling smoother for longer.

GhostSheets: The Best No-Pill Sheets

Shopping for sheets that will stay pill-free? Our luxurious GhostSheets fit the bill. Crafted with our patent-pending blend of super-soft Supima cotton and cool-to-the-touch TENCEL™ fiber, GhostSheets are designed for comfort and durability.

Available in trendy grey and classic white, GhostSheets make your bed an inviting respite from the troubles of your day. If you're dealing with scratchy, pilling sheets, consider this your reminder to make the upgrade ASAP.

Marc's Tip

Having 1 or 2 backup sets of sheets and pillowcases is a smart move. It'll allow you to rotate between the two, so you always have a clean set waiting. Plus, it'll reduce the wear and tear that contributes to pilling.

How to Shop for Sheets that Don't Pill (2)

Shop Now

How to Shop for Sheets that Don't Pill (2024)

FAQs

How to Shop for Sheets that Don't Pill? ›

Thread Count and Weave Matter

Additionally, percale and sateen weaves are less prone to pilling due to their tight construction and smooth textures. If you are looking for a softer feel, look for a sateen weave for sheets that will last you years and keep you comfortable and warm.

How to buy non-pilling sheets? ›

Thread Count and Weave Matter

Additionally, percale and sateen weaves are less prone to pilling due to their tight construction and smooth textures. If you are looking for a softer feel, look for a sateen weave for sheets that will last you years and keep you comfortable and warm.

What sheets are best to avoid pilling? ›

Natural materials such as cotton, linen, and bamboo are all excellent options as they are less likely to pill than synthetic fibers. Thread count is another important factor to consider – higher thread counts generally translate to stronger and smoother sheets that are less prone to pilling.

What sheet material is least likely to pill? ›

However, some fabrics like linen, long-staple cotton, silk, and Tencel are less likely to pill than others due to their strong and durable fibers.

What is the best fabric for non pilling sheets? ›

The best fabric option for wrinkle-resistant sheets is cotton sateen, ideally woven with extra-durable Supima® cotton fibers for reduced fraying, pilling, tearing, and fading. Cotton sateen is a popular sheet fabric because it resists creases and offers a lustrous drape and buttery soft feel.

Do Egyptian cotton sheets pill? ›

This means you'll most likely save money in the long run with Egyptian cotton sheets since they won't require replacing as often. A huge benefit of Egyptian cotton is that they don't pill! Since they have lower levels of lint, they will stay looking fresh for a while, even after multiple washes.

Do 100 cotton percale sheets pill? ›

The criss-cross pattern of percale sheets creates a tight and dense weave, making them highly durable. Furthermore, the weave makes them resistant to pilling as it minimizes the friction between fibers, keeping the sheets smooth and intact even after multiple washes and prolonged use.

Why do my sheets pill so easily? ›

Rubbing against low-quality materials eventually breaks the fibers down, resulting in pilling all over the fabric. Opting for sheets made of low-quality fabric will definitely cause your bedding to pill much faster than high-quality sheets. Choose something with a high thread count and tightly woven fibers.

What material does not cause pilling? ›

Some of the least likely materials to pill include silk and linen. Some fabric blends may also pill more, especially if the blend is made from one fiber that is stronger than the other. In cotton and polyester blends, the polyester may be more likely to pill and make the pills harder to remove.

What sheets do most hotels use? ›

Most hotels opt for percale sheets with a 500 thread count, knowing they will be more durable and comfortable than those with other weaves. Not only does white make you feel like you are sleeping in a cloud, it always feels fresh and new, regardless of how many times you have washed your sheets.

Why do all my sheets pill? ›

Rubbing against low-quality materials eventually breaks the fibers down, resulting in pilling all over the fabric. Opting for sheets made of low-quality fabric will definitely cause your bedding to pill much faster than high-quality sheets. Choose something with a high thread count and tightly woven fibers.

What material is worst for pilling? ›

Fibers such as wool, cotton, polyester, nylon and acrylic have a tendency to pill the most, but wool pilling diminishes over time as non-tenacious wool fibers work themselves free of the fabric and break away, whereas pilling of synthetic textiles is a more serious problem, because the stronger fibers hold on to the ...

Do all jersey sheets pill? ›

Jersey sheets aren't as durable as other sheet types and they can be prone to pilling. You need to be careful to wash jersey sheets in cold water to prevent the material from shrinking. Jersey sheets are more likely to stretch out over time than woven sheets are.

Are microfiber sheets prone to pilling? ›

We've already mentioned that microfiber bed sheets aren't the most durable. They're good at holding their color in the laundry, but they're prone to pilling. To make them last as long as possible, it's important to wash them on a delicate setting using cold water.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Trent Wehner

Last Updated:

Views: 5921

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (76 voted)

Reviews: 91% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Trent Wehner

Birthday: 1993-03-14

Address: 872 Kevin Squares, New Codyville, AK 01785-0416

Phone: +18698800304764

Job: Senior Farming Developer

Hobby: Paintball, Calligraphy, Hunting, Flying disc, Lapidary, Rafting, Inline skating

Introduction: My name is Trent Wehner, I am a talented, brainy, zealous, light, funny, gleaming, attractive person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.