Forget about chocolate vs vanilla. Forget about Yankees vs Red Sox. Forget about Google vs Bing. Forget
about which color the dress really was. Forget about all other questions, because the only one that
really matters is –
Cotton vs polyester sheets?
It’s a debate as old as sheets themselves and it doesn’t look like there’s going to be an answer anytime
soon. See, it all comes down to personal preference. Do you prefer cotton or polyester? Maybe you
don’t know which you prefer yet.
You’re in luck! We’re here to help break down the pros and cons of cotton and polyester. Check out how
they stack up below.
The first thing you need to know about cotton sheets – yep, even before we get into thread count – is
that there are three main kinds: American Upland, Pima, and Egyptian.
American Upland is the most common. It’s generally a short staple, as in fiber. Pima is also very common
and is long staple. Egyptian cotton is common, though not as much as American Upland or Pima. It’s also
the longest staple, which gives it its unique softness.
See, a longer staple means a softer sheet, but that’s not the end of the story. There’s also thread count
and weave to consider. Thread count refers to how many threads are woven together per inch. Weave
refers to how the threads are woven together.
Thread count is the only thing most sheet shoppers think about and for good reason. The higher the
thread count, the softer your sheets are going to be. Generally speaking, you’re not going to want
anything under 200 thread count.
There are three main types of weave: sateen, percale, and oxford. The
difference between the three isn’t all that important. They’re all soft, comfortable, and luxurious. If you
need more information, check out our thread count blog post.
Cotton sheets offer a few other benefits, including: wicking moisture and offering a cooler sleeping
surface, being organic and hypoallergenic, being softer, and not attracting static electricity.
Despite sounding pretty amazing, cotton does have some drawbacks. It’s more expensive than
polyester. It’s less durable, which leads to wear and tear showing up easier and earlier. Cotton also
shrinks more than polyester.
Polyester sheets are a great alternative to cotton. They’re long-lasting, easy to wash and dry, less
expensive, and just generally easier to upkeep.
Price is a major reason people pick polyester over cotton. Cotton is organic and needs to go through a
lot of steps before it ends up in your sheets. Polyester, on the other hand, is synthetic and doesn’t need
to go through the same process. This leads to a lower price.
Despite a more attractive cost, there are some serious drawbacks to polyester. Since polyester is
synthetic, it doesn’t wick moisture as well. This can lead to warmer nights and sweating. Polyester also
stiffens as it ages, which can lead to a rougher surface as the months and years go by.
Finally, polyester absorbs stains easier than cotton. It also attracts static electricity which, in turn,
attracts dirt and dust.
A cost-conscious solution to the age-old question of cotton or polyester sheets is to just buy blended
Blended sheets offer some advantages and some disadvantages from each fiber. You get cotton’s
softness and polyester’s durable quality. You get cotton’s moisture-wicking qualities and polyester’s
longevity. However, blended sheets are still synthetic, and they do retain more heat and moisture than
You can also explore other fibers for your sheets. We always recommend all-natural fibers. Tencel,
bamboo and linen fabrics are wonderful, breathable options.
We offer organic sheets. If you need advice, feel free to ask our staff. They are friendly, knowledgeable,
and willing to help. Come visit us today.