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What is Better Microfiber or Cotton Sheets?

Ever wondered why hotel bedsheets are somehow better than your regular sheets? Good bed sheets are the key to enjoying quality and comfortable sleep.

Besides the comfort, such sheets protect your mattress from moisture, wear, and stains. Like most people, you probably have invested in a quality mattress, so partnering it with quality bed sheets is a good idea.

This post explores microfiber vs cotton sheets. What is healthier, microfiber or cotton? Are hotel sheets microfiber or cotton? What are microfiber sheets made of? Read on to learn more.

The material of your bed sheets can make or break the quality and comfort of your sleep. For this reason, you should be keen about the bed sheet material you choose. Cotton or microfiber bed sheets? What are the differences, and which is better? Read on to get a deeper insight into this subject.

What is the Difference Between Cotton and Microfiber?

The primary difference between cotton and microfiber stems from the substance. While microfiber is inorganically engineered by blending synthetic materials such as wood pulp or polyester, cotton is a natural fiber sourced from the cotton plant. Both materials are widely used in the textile industry, from clothing manufacture to bed sheet production.

What is Cotton/Cotton Bed Sheet?

Cotton is a natural fiber sourced from the cotton plant under different growing conditions. Its production entails twisting its fibers to create a long, continuous yarn. Its usage dates back to the 5th millennium B.C., but the rise of the industrial revolution promoted its fame in the textile industry.

Cotton is famous for its durability, softness, breathability, and ability to absorb liquids and hold dyes well. It also has high claims for versatility and viability in the textile industry.

Cotton production has developed over the years, which explains the numerous genomes available today. Here are the most popular types:

1. Pima cotton

Pima cotton is characterized by long fibers that promote its softness and durability. The longer fibers on the Pima cotton provide a higher thread count, thus more cotton per square inch of fabric, which leads to extra softness. It is an excellent material for making cotton bed sheets as it is resistant to tearing, wrinkling, piling, fraying, and fading.

2. Egyptian cotton

This version of cotton is derived from a similar genus as Pima cotton but sourced from cotton plants grown in South America and Egypt. It is extra-long staple cotton popular for its durability and softness, so it is an incredible option for cotton bed sheets. Like Pima, Egyptian cotton is also extra soft thanks to its higher thread count, which results in more cotton per square inch.

3. Upland cotton

It is the most highly produced cotton genome globally, characterized by short fibers. It is the most affordable cotton option, making it ideal for users looking for affordable cotton sheets.

4. Organic cotton

Organic cotton encompasses any cotton genome that is grown without chemicals from non-genetically engineered plants. It is perfect for buyers looking for eco-friendly cotton bed sheets. Besides, sheets made of 100% organic cotton, such as percale and sateen, remain the most coveted option in the market.

Cotton is woven using various techniques to achieve the desired durability or softness. When shopping for cotton bed sheets, look out for the following:

  • Percale

This technique refers to closely woven and plain-weave fabric famous for its immense softness, durability, and crispness. It is the best fabric for making bedding.

  • Sateen

Sateen refers to cotton fabric made with a satin weave characterized by a soft and lustrous feel.

Besides the origin and weave of cotton fiber, the cotton thread count per inch also determines a fabric’s quality. Cotton’s higher thread count means more softness – between 200 and 400. Anything under 180 has a rough texture that may not offer desirable comfort for your bed sheets.

The way a cotton fabric is treated also determines its durability. For this reason, natural and organic cotton offers greater longevity than their chemically treated counterparts.

Pros of Cotton Sheets

  • It comes in great varieties
  • Affordable and luxurious
  • Natural fabric
  • Perfect for people with allergies
  • Low maintenance
  • Durable
  • Breathable and moisture-resistant

Cons of Cotton Sheets

  • Possibility for inflated thread counts
  • Some variations are costly

What is Microfiber?

Unlike cotton, microfiber is an artificial, synthetic material produced via chemical procedures. It is made of nylon polymers, polyester, and wood pulp and is famous for its excellent durability, softness, and resistance to wrinkling and shrinking.

Microfiber production was invented as a cost-effective alternative to the costly natural fibers without compromising attractive features like water and stain resistance, softness, and sleek feel.

Are microfiber sheets good for skin?

The quality and durability of a microfiber bed sheet depends on its weave. Finely woven fibers make a microfiber bed sheet one of the best bedroom accessories, which are less likely to shrink or wrinkle than cotton and other all-natural fabrics.

Microfiber sheet set: Source: Amazon

A flat weave makes the sheet durable and resistant to stains and moisture, while a waffle weave means the sheet traps heat and is an excellent absorbent. For this reason, you should avoid the latter when choosing a microfiber bed sheet.

Microfiber bed sheet is an excellent choice for people looking for a smooth and soft option for the skin at an affordable rate. These sheets are perfect for kids – flat weave in case of accidents – and for adults, we prefer a velvety texture.

Microfiber Sheets Pros and Cons

Microfiber sheets have their share of pros and cons:

Pros of microfiber sheets

  • Low maintenance
  • Durable – flat and tightly woven microfiber
  • Soft and lightweight

Cons of microfiber sheets

  • Absorbs moisture
  • Susceptible to stains
  • Traps heat
  • Waffle-patterned microfiber is prone to moisture

Microfiber Bed Sheets vs Cotton Sheets

Choosing between microfiber and cotton bed sheets is a challenging decision. Besides the pros and cons listed above, you should also have in mind the following:

Cost

Cotton production and its reputation in the textile industry make it a little pricier than microfiber — synthetic. If you are looking for affordability, consider microfiber bed sheets.

Durability

Both cotton – higher thread count – and microfiber – flat weave – are durable fabrics with proper care and maintenance. However, cotton is more suitable for a cozy feel.

Feel and texture

Cotton is prominent for its fresh, soft, and crispy feel, which improves with every wash, making them gentle on sensitive skin. The experience is even better with sheets with a higher thread count. Like silk and satin, microfiber feels smooth and slippery but traps more heat than cotton. The latter is advantageous for people in cold areas or during winter but may otherwise make your nights uncomfortable.

Maintenance

Both cotton and microfiber bed sheets are easy to wash and maintain. It is assumable that both sheets are machine washable unless the manufacturer states any special care needs. However, microfiber bed sheets are likely to feel staticky after washing, while those with waffle weaves absorb more moisture and are tough to remove stains.

Environmental impact

Buyers trying to minimize their carbon footprint will likely consider cotton bed sheets over microfiber ones. Natural fibers like cotton undergo minimal chemical procedures during production, which translates to a lighter environmental impact.

Besides, sheets made from cotton and other natural materials decay and decompose, unlike their synthetic counterparts that leave behind additives and heavy metals.

Allergen-friendliness

Cotton bedding is hypoallergenic, making it the best option for people with allergies. It is cool and breathable, minimizing chances for mold and bacteria to thrive.

Which is Better, Microfiber or Cotton Bed Sheets?

The answer to this question narrows down to personal preferences and needs. Quality cotton bed sheets are ideal for breathability, durability, versatility, and softness. The sheets are also great for their temperature-regulating and hypoallergenic properties.

Microfiber bed sheets, on the other hand, despite being synthetic, offer attractive features such as water and stain resistance, silky-satin feel, and affordability. So, whatever you choose, ensure it works for you and your needs.

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