Every parent wants the best for their little one, and with how sensitive a baby’s skin can be, we want to make sure they’re sleeping on the highest quality, softest, and most breathable sheets possible. However, not all crib sheets are created equal, and there are distinctions between which types of crib sheets will be made out of the most breathable fabrics.
According to our research, the top crib sheet materials for the softest, most breathable crib sheets are those made of 100% cotton, rayon bamboo, linen, and nylon-polyester blend fabrics.
Crib sheets made of these types of fabric will be cooling, easy to dry, and best of all, quite breathable and good for your baby’s sensitive skin.
If you’re interested in learning more about what makes these fabrics so perfect as crib sheets for keeping your baby cool and comfortable during sleep and nap time, keep reading for all the details on these fantastic crib sheet materials.
The Best Crib Sheet Materials for Breathability
As mentioned before, not all crib sheets are made equal. There are certain materials that are better as crib sheet fabrics for their breathability and agreeability with sensitive skin.
In our opinion, the best four materials for crib sheet breathability are cotton, bamboo rayon, linen, and polyester-nylon. Let’s take a deep dive into each material to find out why each of these is so great for these reasons.
100% Cotton Crib Sheets
If you can get your hands on some high-quality, 100% cotton crib sheets, you’ve just secured one of the best crib sheet materials for breathability and cooling effects. Cotton, especially lightweight cotton, is one of the most breathable types of fabrics around. This means that it encourages airflow unlike any other type of fabric.
While some types of fabrics repel moisture, leaving it to stay sticky on your skin, 100% cotton blends will absorb the moisture instead, adding to your baby’s comfort level. The best news about this? If your baby is comfortable, that means less waking up in the middle of the night to comfort them- sounds like a worthy investment to me.
There are some caveats to be aware of when purchasing cotton crib sheets, however. Do not purchase heavy-weight cotton sheets – these are far less breathable than their lightweight counterparts. Most cheap cotton sheets are made of heavier cotton, so splurge a little on cotton crib sheets if you can.
You also want to avoid certain cotton blends. The biggest one to try and avoid is a cotton-spandex blend, which constrains the skin and doesn’t allow for any breathability/permeability. Stick to 100% cotton if you’re seeking cooling effects.
The bottom line? Cotton crib sheets are a fantastic (if not the best choice) for breathability in crib sheets. If you do go for cotton crib sheets, however, make sure you go for high-quality, 100% lightweight cotton blends for the best breathability effect.
Bamboo Rayon Crib Sheets
Bamboo rayon fabric, also known as bamboo viscose fabric, is a type of fabric made out of, well, bamboo and rayon! This fabric is another contender for the most breathable crib sheet fabrics for a number of reasons.
Bamboo rayon crib sheets thermoregulate naturally. There’s no artificial manufacturing that goes into making these babies extremely great for regulating body temperature while your child sleeps – it’s what this type of fabric does best all on its’ own.
Not only that, but they’re also naturally moisture-wicking, meaning the material draws moisture into and out of the fabric, which allows it to evaporate quicker. Most workout clothes are moisture-wicking to help sweaty fitness freaks stay dry, and these types of crib sheets will have a similar effect naturally.
If your baby has sensitive skin or allergies, this is the choice for you. Bamboo rayon crib sheets are also hypoallergenic, so they’re safe for even the most sensitive of babies to sleep on.
That said, the manufacturing process for making bamboo rayon crib sheets can be very polluting to the environment, so if you choose this route, seek out companies with an expressed dedication to sustainably producing their products.
Overall, we like bamboo rayon for the great benefits it provides naturally, without the worry of synthetic production methods affecting your child’s sensitive skin.
Linen Crib Sheets
Linen sheets are extremely popular, and yet, linen sheets are both thicker and heavier than cotton sheets. That would make you think that they’re far less breathable than cotton, right? Wrong!
Linen sheets are actually surprisingly breathable, thanks to their fibers that are both wide and long. This makes linen sheets a favorite choice for many people that live in naturally warmer climates that seek cooling effects during their sleeping hours and makes them a great choice for you, who is seeking a comfortable sleeping experience for your little one.
Thanks to their fibers, linen crib sheets are made to keep your baby cool throughout the night. They’re permeable, so air flows through them quite easily. Many consumers report a cooling sensation when they sleep on sheets made of linen.
Like bamboo rayon material too, linen crib sheets are also moisture-wicking, so they’ll help sweat and other forms of the moisture evaporate to keep your baby comfortable during all hours of the night- a good deal for you and them.
Another great benefit of linen sheets is that they’re naturally antibacterial, so they’ll keep your little one safe from harmful pathogens that may build up more easily in other types of dirty sheets.
Linen sheets are a fantastic choice for parents who want to provide their child with a sleeping experience that is both comfortable and clean, thanks to their breathability and antibacterial properties.
Nylon-Polyester Blend Crib Sheets
Hold up – we know nylon isn’t breathable. In fact, nylon may be the least breathable fabric out there. However, if nylon is combined with lightweight and permeable polyester, this is where the magic really happens.
Nylon-polyester blend sheets are another fantastic choice for those looking to keep their baby cool. This particular blend allows consumers to reap the best parts of both nylon and polyester without sacrificing quality.
Polyester is a more breathable type of material than nylon, which makes this blend a better choice for breathability than plain, 100% nylon crib sheets. Polyester dries very quickly and is extremely lightweight and soft, allowing for the perfect comfort level for your baby while they sleep.
Nylon, on the other hand, boasts a number of benefits as well. As far as safety goes, nylon does not catch fire – it melts instead, so parents worried about fire hazards can rest just as easy as their children will sleeping on these sheets! It’s also an extremely durable fabric and stretches well with little resistance.
We like nylon-polyester fabrics because the combination of these two materials in one creates a unique blend that boasts the best parts of each material, providing an experience of comfort and pleasantness for you and your baby. Try to find nylon-polyester blends that are polyester dominant for the best breathability effect.
Crib Sheet Materials to Avoid for Breathability
Now that we’ve taken a deep dive into what makes each of these materials a great choice for crib sheet breathability, let’s take a quick look at a couple of fabrics you should avoid if you’re seeking out breathable fabrics for your child’s crib.
Flannel Crib Sheets
Yes, flannel. Don’t get me wrong, flannel has its benefits. It is a great material for the winter months. Most flannel fabrics are soft, thick, warm, and yet, most of them are not very breathable at all. The majority of flannel materials may be the least breathable type out of all crib sheet fabrics.
You’ll notice we’re saying a lot of “most” here, though. That’s because if you can get your hands on some cotton flannel, it will keep the softness and warming effects without making your baby extremely hot and sweaty throughout the night. This makes it a good choice for parents wanting breathability in the winter, but it’s best to avoid flannel altogether in particularly warm climates.
100% Nylon Crib Sheets
You should 100% be avoiding 100% nylon crib sheets. While the polyester-nylon blend works for breathability thanks to polyester’s permeable fabric, 100% nylon crib sheets are perhaps the worst choice for crib sheet breathability.
Nylon is a synthetic material that was designed specifically for water-resistance. That makes it great for a lot of other purposes but makes it really bad at breathability. It does a pretty poor job of absorbing, so heat and sweat are more easily trapped inside the sheets, making for a pretty uncomfortable experience for your child.
If you want the safety features of nylon without discomfort, stick to the polyester-nylon blends to reap the benefits of nylon without sacrificing breathability. Otherwise, make sure you steer clear of 100% nylon fabrics to avoid waking up in the middle of the night to calm down your uncomfortable child. It’s best to avoid that scenario altogether.