How to Soften New Sheets

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Learn how to soften new sheets using just two cheap ingredients!

If you’ve just bought a new set of new sheets, you’ll probably want to know how to soften them up a bit. Sheets can be a little stiff at first – yes, even the very good ones.

blue cotton sheets on a bed with a navy comforter - how to soften new sheets

Luckily, it doesn’t take much to soften them up, but it’s important to invest in good quality cotton sheets. Softer sheets will make your bed feel more luxurious and inviting, so follow these steps and enjoy a good night’s sleep.

Related: How to Keep White Bedding White and Bright

My new sheets!

Before we begin, I have to tell you guys about these brand-new washed cotton sheets I was gifted from Revival.

Revival is known for its one-of-a-kind rugs, and I’m so happy that now they’re getting into the bedding and bath world. Their sheets are just as high-quality and beautiful as their rugs.

blue cotton sheets on a bed with a navy comforter and white flowers

Revival’s new, washed percale cotton sheets are made in Turkey in the most beautiful colors. Percale sheets are made with a tight weave, which makes them extra strong and durable. They’re also more breathable than sateen sheets, so they’ll keep you cool and comfortable all night long.

And after sleeping on these sheets for a couple weeks, I can definitely tell you that they are some of the coolest sheets I have ever slept on.

Plus, they get SOFTER with each wash. So, if you’re looking for brand-new, high-quality sheets that will only get better with time, Revival is a good way to go.

revival washed cotton bedding
Revival’s Washed Cotton Sheets

I have them in the color marine, which is gorgeous deep blue. You can check out their other colors here. These sheets are batch dyed, which means they are dyed in a color bath after being woven, and this, in turn, gives them an earthier tone.

These sheets are a perfect 300 thread count. (higher thread count doesn’t mean anything – in fact 300-400 thread count is the sweet spot!) They’re not too heavy, but they’re also not too light. Whether you sleep hot or cold or it’s winter or summer – you’ll be pleased with these sheets.

Check out Revival’s bedding collection right here.

Why do brand new sheets sometimes feel stiff?

A couple of reasons. Mainly, most bed sheets are covered in chemicals during the manufacturing process, which can make them feel stiff. That’s why it’s important to wash sheets before you use them. Eventually, those chemicals fade away.

Another reason is because they’re made of natural fibers like cotton or linen, and these fibers need to be broken in before they’re truly comfortable. Try to invest in garment-washed sheets, like Revival’s Washed Cotton Sheets, for a softer, lived-in look.

Why I don’t use fabric softener on my sheets

I’ve found that fabric softener makes my sheets feel stiffer, not softer. I think it’s because the fabric softener leaves a coating on the sheets that makes them less breathable.

A cheaper (and better in my opinion) method is to use Vinegar. Vinegar is a natural fabric softener that can help to break down the fibers in your sheets. More on that below!

how to soften new sheets – step by step

One of the quickest and easiest ways to soften new sheets is to wash them. This will help to remove any chemicals or finishes that may be causing them to be stiff.

But I’m not talking about a regular wash. The use of these two cheap products will soften up those sheets in no time; Baking soda and vinegar.

Baking soda and Vinegar on a countertop

It’s important to note that too much detergent can cause sheets to feel stiff and scratchy, too. In fact, I discovered a while ago through a random TikTok video that I use WAY too much detergent (I don’t measure and just pour it in the compartment eek.)

sheets in a washing machine with baking soda

It’s really worth the extra effort to measure (or just use half!) of what you typically use to wash your new sheets. Run an extra rinse cycle to make sure all that detergent gets washed away.

pouring vinegar into the fabric softenor dispenser

Here’s how to do it.

  1. load your new sheets in the wash along with a cup of baking soda.
  2. add distilled white vinegar to the fill line in the fabric softener compartment. This will release the vinegar during the rinse cycle of the wash.
  3. Run a warm wash cycle (not HOT).
  4. If desired, you can wash them a second time using a LITTLE BIT of detergent and with an extra rinse cycle. All this washing is softening the fibers and removing the chemicals that were put on during the wash cycle.
  5. We need to dry them. I prefer to throw them in the dryer on a low heat setting with some wool dryer balls. You can also try hanging them outside. The sun and fresh air will help to soften the fabric.
dryer on a low heat

Following these steps, your new sheets will be much softer in no time. Enjoy your good night’s sleep!

xo Karen