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Most Popular Types Of Cotton Bed Sheets And How To Choose From Them

Bed sheets create the ideal sleep environment by providing warmth and comfort for a good night’s rest. However, not all sheets are the same. Depending on their material, they can hinder or improve sleep quantity and quality.


Breathability and cooling properties are essential in bedding sheets. That said, one of the best bed sheet materials to stay cool at night that’s especially helpful to those who sleep hot is cotton bed sheets.

What Are Cotton Sheets?

This type of bed sheet is made of cotton, a natural fibre from cotton plants. 


This fibre mainly consists of cellulose, an organic compound. It is spun into yarn then woven or knit to produce a soft yet durable fabric.


Although its earliest production dates back to the fifth millennium B.C., cotton fabric is still a widely used material today. In fact, it is considered the most well-known fabric.


Cotton sheet
Image by Alina Blumberg on Pexels

What Makes Cotton Sheets Popular?

Comfort

Cotton sheets have longer fibres, along with finer and smoother threads. They are also light and breathable. 


The cotton fibres absorb moisture and release them on the surface to evaporate, making them ideal for humid weather. During cold weather, they stay dry and provide thermal insulation.

Eco-Friendly

Unlike fabric from chemical based or synthetic fibres, cotton is naturally cultivated and biodegradable. Due to this, cotton sheets are great for those who value sustainability.

Durable

The molecular structure of cotton gets stronger when wet, making cotton sheets less prone to wear and tear even after multiple washes. Choosing this option means getting to enjoy quality sheets for years to come.  

Types of Cotton Sheets

Person holding a bunch of cotton sheets
Image by Ron Lach on Pexels

Bedding sheets made of cotton come in different types depending on the origin of the cotton fibres, the style of weaving, or methods of treating cotton fabric. Here are some of them:

Egyptian Cotton

Egyptian cotton bed sheets are considered a luxury.


As the name suggests, the Egyptian cotton fabric comes from cotton grown in Egypt, which has a humid, dry climate ideal for growing cotton. Unlike regular cotton that is harvested by machine, this type of cotton is handpicked. This lets it maintain its extra-long fibres that produce an incredibly soft fabric.

Pros

Cons

Softer, stronger, and more flexible than regular cotton
Porous
Breathable
Provides superior comfort


Expensive
Some products labelled as Egyptian cotton sheets are actually knock-offs or blends of Egyptian and regular cotton



Upland Cotton 

Bed sheets made of Upland cotton are used for most standard cotton sheets. They are derived from fibres native to the Americas, but they are now the most widely grown cotton globally. This is likely the sheet type you get if the label says “100% cotton.”

Pros

Cons

Widely available
More affordable than other long-fibre sheet types


Made with short fibres, which are rougher, less flexible, and less durable
More prone to pilling and getting coarser over time

MicroCotton

MicroCotton is the trademarked fine cotton produced in India. It was initially for making towels, but it has eventually been used for bedding sheets because of its quick-drying and lint-resistant properties.

Pros

Cons

Made with a long-staple cotton blend
Soft
Durable
250% more absorbent than regular cotton

Made with short fibres, which are rougher, less flexible, and less durable
More prone to pilling and getting coarser over time

Flannel

Flannel is made from brushed cotton, wool, and other materials. Its manufacturing process makes it denser. This creates a heavy yet soft and comfortable fabric that traps body heat, making these sheets a staple for cold winter nights.

Pros

Cons

Provides warmth and comfort
Ideal for winter
Soft
Affordable

Not ideal for warm climates
Not as breathable as other types of cotton


Pima

Pima cotton bed sheets have long-staple cotton primarily grown in the southwestern part of the United States. They are known for their silky smooth surface and natural sheen.

Pros

Cons

Durable
Resistant to pilling, fading, fraying, tearing, and wrinkling
Comfortable

Less affordable than regular cotton
Some products labelled as Pima cotton sheets are actually knock-offs or blended with cheaper cotton

Supima

Supima, a combination of Superior and Pima, is a trademark name for fabric made of fibres and materials woven from American Pima cotton.


Supima cotton sheets come from cotton grown and harvested in the United States. They are also produced with extra-long fibres that make them soft and durable.

Pros

Cons

Comfortable
Strong
Superior ability to retain colour
Light and breathable
Hypoallergenic, making them the perfect bed sheets for sensitive skin
Resistant to mould and dust mites

Less affordable than regular cotton






What Factors Affect the Quality of Cotton Bed Sheets?

Not all cotton sheets are created equal. Besides their material, here are some factors that affect their quality:

Bed Sheet Thread Count

Thread count in a bed sheet can affect a buyer’s purchasing decision since it impacts the texture of bed sheets. Generally, those with higher thread counts are softer since they have thinner and more threads in a square inch of fabric. However, a high thread count doesn’t always necessarily mean better quality, as it could result in less breathable sheets. 

Weave Method

Person weaving cotton sheet
Image by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels

Several weave methods are commonly used to construct cotton fabric for sheets, including sateen and percale. The weave, which involves the number of horizontal and vertical yarns used, affects how the sheets feel against the skin.


Cotton sateen sheet sets are produced using sateen weave. This weave is created by passing vertically facing warp threads over horizontally facing ones, then interlaced. It results in a cotton fabric with a beautiful sheen and buttery softness. Unfortunately, it is prone to pilling, wear, and tear.


On the other hand, the percale weave, also known as the plain weave, is considered a simple weave. During construction, the warp and the weft threads repeatedly cross over and under each other. What makes these sheet sets outstanding is they are durable and breathable. They also handle a lot of heat and resist wear and tear.

Staple Length

Staple or fibre length makes a difference in the quality, softness, and strength of the sheets. The longer the staple length, the softer the cotton.

Short Staple

Short-staples fibres
Image by Isabelle Taylor on Pexels

Short-staple fibres are the most common type. These measure 1 ⅛-inch. Their softness, strength, and easy maintenance make them great for bed sheets.  

Long Staple

Long-staple cotton consists of fibres of 1 ¼-inch. Their longer fibre length results in a smoother surface, so they are a popular choice to make sheets. Additionally, they have fewer exposed fibre ends, which means they’re less prone to pilling or tearing.

Extra-Long Staple

Extra-long staples have 2-inch fibres. They are considered the most luxurious cotton products. Compared to the others, they are a more challenging crop. Some of the most famous extra-long-staple cotton plants are Egyptian cotton and Pima cotton.

How Does Cotton Differ From Other Bedding Materials?

Tencel sheet
Image by TENCEL™

Although cotton is the most popular fabric, other alternatives are used to make bedding sheets. To give you an idea of how this material differs from the others, kindly read this guide:

Bamboo

Bamboo fibres are very long, giving bamboo sheets superior softness and durability. They are also nonabsorbent, breathable, and hypoallergenic.


On the flip side, chemicals are used in the manufacturing process. Bamboo sheets are also more expensive than standard Upland cotton.

Linen

Linen sheets are made from the fibres of the flax plant. Their fibres are thicker than cotton’s, which is why they are stronger and more absorbent. However, they need multiple washes before becoming soft and comfortable to use.

Silk

Silk sheets come from fibre produced by silkworms. They offer extreme softness, comfort, and, most importantly, luxury. The downside to this option is its cost. It also requires delicate care.

TENCEL™

TENCEL™ is a brand of all-natural fabric derived from eucalyptus wood pulp. Sheets made of this material are soft, breathable, and moisture-wicking which makes them an excellent choice for cooling bed sheets.

Conclusion

Cotton plant
Image by cottonbro on Pexels

Sleep is vital for your health, so it simply makes sense to invest in quality sheets that allow for a good night’s rest.


If you’re wondering if cotton is a good bed sheet material or which cotton is best for bed sheets, the answers depend on your sleeping needs and preferences. Feel free to check our bed sheet buying guide if you need more information to make an informed purchasing decision.

Weavve’s Cotton Bed Sheets

Weavve's Persian Grey cotton sheet

The Weavve Cotton sheet starts with extra-long staple cotton fibres. Fewer extra-long staple fibres are required to spin the same length of yarn. As Weavve’s threads are finer (100 yarn count), we’re able to squeeze more together, resulting in a high thread count. We’re also using single ply threads, giving you stronger, smoother and lighter sheets.


Our cotton sateen linen uses a four over and one under weave pattern as well as processes like singeing and calendering to give our sateen sheets a luxurious sheen and smooth feel. Pre shrinking also prevents our sheets from shrinking during regular washing.


Shop cotton bedsheets Singapore


Alternatively, if you prefer silky smooth and cool to the touch sheets, TENCEL bed sheets may be the choice for you. Tencel has many similarities to cotton.

TENCEL™ Lyocell sheets

Weavve's tencel loycell mist grey sheet
Featuring Weavve’s Lyocell Deluxe Set in Mist Grey

Each Weavve Lyocell bedding starts with the best lyocell fibres (100% Lenzing TENCEL™) that are spun into the finest 80s yarn count threads. These fine single ply threads are then woven into 400 thread count fabric, giving you stronger, smoother and lighter sheets.


Browse the full bed sheet collection here

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