Can Night Sweat Cause Acne? Get The Right Sheets For Optimal Comfort and Sleep

Dandruff, oils and grime oh my! Sometimes, taking time to get your laundry cleaned is nearly impossible. You're busy, we understand, but that acne doesn't discriminate. We all know that sleeping on dirty pillow cases, and blankets can cause acne. That mixed in with sweat, aka, sweat acne, can cause breakouts and not only on the face. That stew of bodily fluids and dirt is gross to say the least. If not your dirty bedding, the lack of sleep can cause breakouts in its sted. A study conducted by Mattress Advisor found that, "the average person changes sheets roughly every 24 days." That's plenty of time for your dirty sheets to accumulate dead skin cells, oils, bacteria, and sweat, causing acne. We can't account for everyone's hygiene, but we can get those pesky night sweats under control, at least those caused by overheating.

Have you ever kicked your partner out of bed because they turned up the heat or AC like an Eskimo in the heart of a blizzard, or a bedouin in the peak heat in the Sahara desert? Well, that might be because of the bedding your sharing. When considering the best way to make your bed as cozy as possible, there are four components to consider. Fitted sheet, flat sheet (top), pillowcase, and blanket.

Does Fitted Sheets, Flat Sheets, Blankets, and Pillow Covers Really Matter?

The fitted sheet is the base layer you'll put on top of your mattress. It usually has elastic bands that hug your mattress so that it doesn't fall off while sleeping. The flat sheet or the top is another layer that you can either sleep on top of or use as another blanket. It's for those nights when you want a little more warmth. For me, this should go on top of your main blanket, since it blocks the heat from the blanket from being as effective. (this can control how much Infrared radiation is reflected back at you.) These two layers are not just decorative, but also for warmth. No matter how thick your mattress is, the air underneath will seep in throughout the night.

The Topper Of All Toppers

Optionally, for an even cozier night sleep, a topper is a great option if you and your partner's body temperatures differ. I'm a hot sleeper so all those extra layers are not necessary for me. But, if you walk up in the middle of the night shivering, a topper would be a great option before investing in another blanket. These can run up to $100s of dollars, so it might be better to understand why you're getting so cold even though you're covered up in a warm blanket. I would highly recommend Alki Twilight Thermal Mattress Topper or something similar. It comes in various sizes, and is just a great way to get that little extra warmth. I stress tested this during a camping trip in late October. Putting it on top of a cot, underneath the insulated sleeping pad. To the end of a long story, it worked, and this was in the elements. Imagine using it in your house, it'll work better.

While we aren't exactly focusing on the thread count or types of sheets, and its material, it is important for a good night's sleep which might just be the reason for your breakouts! Another reason why the type of sheets you choose is important is due to backne (back acne). Certain fabrics such as cotton can be a breeding ground for bacteria, and sweat. In particular, since it traps heat, sweat glands may produce more sebum due to irritation. So, what type of sheets are worth buying? Look for sheets that are ultra-breathable and hypoallergenic.

What's thread count?

Before we move on, let's talk about thread count, fabric quality and material. Since it is important to prevent bacne. So, what exactly is the thread count? Is it really the end all sheet quality measurement? Not exactly, there are other factors, one of which is the material of the fabric. So, to avoid sounding overly simplistic, I'll leave it at this, not all fabrics have the same properties, and the thread counts can differ. Usually, the higher the thread count, the softer and comfortable the sheet. For instance, a high quality thread count for cotton sheets ranges from 200-400, Egyptian Cotton 300-400, Percale Weave 300-400, Sateen Weave 300-600, Bamboo 300-500, and Linen Sheets 80-140 count. But, keep in mind that linen thread count is not really a factor. Fabrics that are not measured by thread count include but are not limited to, Silk Sheets, Microfiber Sheets, Flannel Sheets, and Jersey Sheets.

Breathability & Hypoallergenic Sheets

Higher thread count can hinder airflow and breathability. If you happen to be a sweaty sleeper, higher thread count might not be the best option, even though it might be hypoallergenic. A breathable fabric tends to have a lower thread count, but that doesn't mean that it is lower quality. A natural material such as bamboo or silk is hypoallergenic and breathable. But, they tend to be on the pricier side.

Maybe it isn't necessarily the fabric itself that is making you breakout in hives, that might seem like pimples. With sensitive skin, even certain dryer sheets can cause a major problem with its harmful chemicals. Personally, I don't like to use fabric softeners, but in lieu of fabric sheets, I use wool dryer balls, it's an affordable option compared to dryer sheets, and lasts for quite a while.

The Pillow Cover

Your head loses 45% of heat.  That's a lot and a cool pillow case will help any sleeper fall asleep faster and deeper.  Satin pillowcases are made of polyester, providing much of the cooling properties of silk.  But, to keep your head from getting too hot, there are pillows with patented air flow directional pathways.  Which will keep your head at a comfortable temperature longer.  

The Blanket: Quilted Vs Duvet Cover Vs Comforter

Before going down the rabbit hole of blankets, let's get some definitions cleared up. So, what is a comforter? In layman terms, a comforter is a stylish blanket with the designs and stitching right on it. It can be left as is. While, a Duvet Cover is, as the name implies, a cover for a duvet. Usually, it has a pleasing pattern without the stitching, since it will be stuffed with the duvet lining, which will give it a puffed look. The duvet is usually a plain white blanket with stitching so that the stuffing is evenly distributed. A quilt, on the other hand, is a thin blanket that can be layered. It usually has stitching and designs on it. It can be relatively thick or thin, lined with batting. But, it will not be as warm or plush as the above.

The Quilt

A quilt is very versatile, and meant for breathability in mind. It is also great for people who are leaning towards hot sleepers. While you can put it into the washer, it will shrink over time, and if you don't mind layering. Note that it is relatively light, and usually not very tall. But, if you can find one to your specifications, get it.

The Duvet Cover

This is my favorite out of all the above. Why? First, I don't have to stick with one design, and second, it is a lot easier to wash. While putting it back on is the hard part, it is warm, slightly heavy, and plush. This is for those who lean toward the colder sleeping spectrum. It comes in various sizes, and can be made of any sheet, bamboo sheets, sateen sheets, silk, and natural fibers. However, I haven't come across that many materials.

The Comforter

This can be light to heavy, and usually has patterns, and stitching. This blanket can be for both people sweating at night to those who get colder. With the various weights, stuffing, and external materials, it can be great for any person's beauty sleep.


It isn't always easy to regulate body heat, especially when sleeping with your partner. This is why one should also consider not just what you wear on top, but also, what you sleep on. Here are some options that can level up you and your partner's sleep to prevent acne.


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