What Bed Sheets Don’t Pill (2024)

If you have ever experienced the frustration of finding tiny balls of fabric on your bed sheets, you know what pilling is. Pilling is the result of friction that causes the fibers of the fabric to break and form small knots. Pilling can make your bed sheets look old and worn out, and feel rough and uncomfortable.

Fortunately, there are some types of bed sheets that don’t pill or pill less than others. Here are some factors to consider when choosing bed sheets that don’t pill.

What Bed Sheets Don’t Pill (2)

The type of fabric that your bed sheets are made of can affect how prone they are to pilling. Generally, natural fibers like cotton, linen, silk, and bamboo are less likely to pill than synthetic fibers like polyester, nylon, and acrylic. This is because natural fibers are stronger and more durable than synthetic fibers, and can withstand more washing and wear.

However, not all natural fibers are equal. Some cotton sheets, especially those made of short-staple cotton, can still pill over time. Short-staple cotton has shorter fibers that are more likely to break and form pills. Long-staple cotton, on the other hand, has longer fibers that are smoother and more resistant to pilling. Examples of long-staple cotton include Egyptian cotton, Pima cotton, and Supima cotton.

Linen sheets are also a good choice for avoiding pilling. Linen is made from the flax plant, which has long and strong fibers that create a crisp and breathable fabric. Linen sheets can last for years without pilling or losing their shape.

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Silk sheets are another option for preventing pilling. Silk is a luxurious and smooth fabric that is naturally hypoallergenic and temperature-regulating. Silk sheets are made from long and fine fibers that do not break easily or form pills. However, silk sheets are also more expensive and delicate than other types of bed sheets, and require special care and cleaning.

Bamboo sheets are a newer type of bed sheet that is becoming more popular for its softness and eco-friendliness. Bamboo sheets are made from bamboo pulp that is processed into a viscose or rayon fabric. Bamboo sheets are naturally antibacterial, moisture-wicking, and odor-resistant. Bamboo sheets are also less likely to pill than other types of rayon or synthetic fabrics, because they have longer and smoother fibers.

What Bed Sheets Don’t Pill (4)

The weave of the fabric is another factor that can affect how prone your bed sheets are to pilling. The weave refers to how the threads of the fabric are interlaced together to create different patterns and textures. Some common types of fabric weaves for bed sheets include percale, sateen, flannel, and jersey.

Percale is a type of weave that creates a crisp and matte fabric with a tight and even structure. Percale sheets are durable and breathable, and resist pilling well. Percale sheets have a thread count of at least 180 threads per inch (TPI), which means they have more threads packed together in a smaller space.

Sateen is a type of weave that creates a smooth and shiny fabric with a soft and silky feel. Sateen sheets have a lustrous appearance and drape well over the bed. Sateen sheets have a higher thread count than percale sheets, usually between 300 to 600 TPI. However, sateen sheets are also more prone to pilling than percale sheets, because they have more exposed surface threads that can break and form pills.

Flannel is a type of weave that creates a warm and cozy fabric with a fuzzy texture. Flannel sheets are ideal for colder climates or seasons, as they trap heat well and provide insulation. Flannel sheets have a low thread count, usually between 100 to 200 TPI, but they have a high GSM (grams per square meter), which means they have more weight and thickness. Flannel sheets can pill over time, especially if they are made of low-quality cotton or synthetic fibers.

Jersey is a type of knit fabric that creates a soft and stretchy fabric with a casual look. Jersey sheets are similar to t-shirt material, and have a relaxed and comfortable feel. Jersey sheets do not have a thread count or a GSM, but they have a knit density (stitches per inch), which measures how tightly the fabric is knitted together. Jersey sheets can also pill over time, especially if they are made of low-quality cotton or synthetic fibers.

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The quality of the fabric is the final factor that can affect how prone your bed sheets are to pilling. The quality of the fabric depends on the quality of the raw materials used, the manufacturing process involved, and the finishing techniques applied.

The quality of the raw materials used can determine how strong and smooth the fibers are, which can affect how well they resist pilling. For example, organic cotton is grown without pesticides or chemicals, which can preserve the natural strength and softness of the cotton fibers. Similarly, mulberry silk is produced from silkworms that feed on mulberry leaves only, which results in finer and smoother silk fibers.

The manufacturing process involved can determine how well the threads are spun, woven or knitted together, which can affect how tightly or loosely the fabric is constructed. For example, combed cotton is a type of cotton that undergoes an extra step of combing to remove any short or impure fibers, which results in stronger and smoother threads. Similarly, single-ply yarns are yarns that consist of one strand of fiber, which results in finer and lighter threads. Double-ply yarns, on the other hand, are yarns that consist of two strands of fiber twisted together, which results in thicker and heavier threads.

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The finishing techniques applied can determine how well the fabric is treated or coated to enhance its appearance or performance, which can affect how well it resists pilling. For example, mercerized cotton is a type of cotton that undergoes a chemical process to increase its luster, strength, and dye absorption. Similarly, brushed flannel is a type of flannel that undergoes a mechanical process to raise the surface fibers, creating a softer and fuzzier texture.

To summarize, some types of bed sheets that don’t pill or pill less than others include:

  • Long-staple cotton percale sheets
  • Linen sheets
  • Silk sheets
  • Bamboo rayon sheets.

These types of bed sheets have natural fibers that are strong and smooth, and have weaves that are tight and even. They also have high-quality raw materials, manufacturing processes, and finishing techniques that enhance their durability and appearance. By choosing these types of bed sheets, you can enjoy a comfortable and cozy sleep without worrying about pilling.

What Bed Sheets Don’t Pill (2024)


What Bed Sheets Don’t Pill? ›

Though linen is a cellulose fiber and silk is a protein fiber, the two (along with denim, and Pima cotton) tend to pill the least of all. Thankfully, they all feel great on the skin too, and in different ways, can look even better with use.

What sheets are least likely to pill? ›

Bed sheets made from fabrics like Egyptian cotton, Supima, or bamboo have longer fibers that are less prone to breakage and pilling. In addition to the type of fiber used, the thread count and weave of your sheets can also impact their quality and durability.

What is the best sheet fabric that doesn't pill? ›

The best sheets that don't pill

Tightly-woven percale is a favorite fabric for bed sheets because it's crisp, comfortable, and breathable -- and when it's made using long-form cotton, it's incredibly pill-resistant!

How do I make sure my sheets don't pill? ›

Use cold water to wash sheets, as hot water damages the fabric faster. As mentioned, heat causes the fibres to weaken and loosen quickly. Set your washing machine on a gentle cycle setting to prevent the sheets from shrinking and fading in colour. It also keeps those puff balls at bay and makes the fabric lasts longer.

Do 100% polyester sheets pill? ›

Since polyester sheets tend to trap heat, they're not quite as comfortable or as naturally breathable as their cotton counterparts. This material is also prone to pilling so it won't last as long as some other materials.

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 type of cotton does not pill? ›

With most types of cotton, pills, which are tiny balls of tangled fiber, start to appear on clothing after around 10 washes. Pima cotton, however, hardly ever pills due to its long fibers, which means that garments made from this textile stay wearable for years and years.

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 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 ...

Does percale sheets pill? ›

Cotton percale bed sheets tend to have a crisp, matte appearance. Because of their durable construction, percale sheets are fairly resistant to pilling and are usually easy to care for. However, they may be more likely to wrinkle.

What thread count stops pilling? ›

Fabrics with piling grade of 2 and under are with excessive piling issues from day one. Flannel sheets for example usually come with piling grade of 1.5 to 2.5. Percale sheets are usually the best at 4.5 and 600-650 Thread Count are 4.5.

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 pima cotton sheets pill? ›

Pima cotton fibers are also durable, wrinkle-resistant, and less vulnerable to fading and pilling. These make them easy to care for and a good investment if you're looking to buy a softer and more durable cotton bed sheet that will last longer.

What is the difference between 100% cotton and 100% cotton percale? ›

The difference between the two terms is that one refers to the actual material, that is, cotton. Percale is the style or design of weaving that makes the material strong. Percale is not only used as a term for Egyptian cotton. There are other types of cotton that are woven in the same way.

Is it better to have cotton or polyester sheets? ›

Polyester sheets offer a durable and budget-friendly option, making them ideal for those on a tight financial plan. In contrast, cotton sheets, derived from natural fibres, are an excellent choice for individuals with allergies and skin sensitivities, providing a more natural bedding experience.

Does cotton or polyester pill more? ›

It's important to understand that fabrics consist of either long fibers or short fibers and, generally, short fibers — like cotton — are more likely to pill.

Is cotton or polyester more likely to pill? ›

It's important to understand that fabrics consist of either long fibers or short fibers and, generally, short fibers — like cotton — are more likely to pill.

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.

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.

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