Pima Cotton Vs Egyptian Cotton Bed Sheets: The Difference
There is a reason why both Pima cotton bed sheets and Egyptian cotton bed sheets are two of the most used cotton bedding in the world. Both are deemed as higher quality due to them being "even more staple cotton," which means a single cotton strand is lengthier and smoother. This results in a more luxurious fabric that is silky smooth and tremendously sturdy.
Image by cottonbro from Pexels
These two varieties of cotton products often have different properties between them as choices for your mattress toppers, before the duvet covers go on them. We will break down the aspects that set them apart to guide you on which type of cotton fitted sheet sets to buy according to your needs, preferences, and budget.
Where Does Cotton Come From?
Cotton is a natural fiber that can commonly be found in the making of clothes, quality bedding, and other household items. The base origin of this fiber is the cotton plant, which thrives in warm areas such as Egypt, the United States, Africa, Pakistan, China, and India.
Cotton bolls are naturally found packed around the seeds of the cotton plant and have the characteristic of cream-colored, delicate, fine, and puffy hairs. The fibers are then extracted from the seeds and washed before being carded and combed over metal teeth to correct and straighten them.
Moreover, the fibers have a rough structure that is bound together, allowing them to be reinforced and spun into cotton yarn. They are then weaved typically in a sateen or percale weave pattern to produce a variety of cotton fabrics.
Where Is Pima Cotton Grown?
Image from Pimacott
One of the two popular types of higher-quality cotton is Pima cotton. Upland cotton is the most common kind, accounting for about 90% of all cotton grown worldwide. The rest, 10%, comprises Pima and Egyptian cotton, which are both commonly viewed as more ‘premium’ cotton fibers.
Pima cotton generally originates from America and was first produced in the famous Sea Islands of South Carolina in the 1790s. Throughout the nineteenth century, manufacturers produced distinctly American extra-long-staple cotton by judicious cross-pollination with Egyptian types. This cotton, formerly known as American-Egyptian cotton, had an exceptionally high-quality fiber that produced a sumptuous fabric that was both soft and sturdy.
Properties Of Pima Cotton Fibers
Pima cotton fibers are breathable and lightweight which makes them suitable for hotter climates and hot sleepers. Additionally, they are also hypoallergenic and these sheets feel gentle on the skin, making Pima cotton fibers excellent bed sheet materials for sensitive skin. Pima cotton fibers are also durable, wrinkle-resistant, and less vulnerable to fading and pilling. These make them easy to care for and a good investment if you’re looking to buy a softer and more durable cotton bed sheet that will last longer.
Where Is Egyptian Cotton Grown?
Image from Pimacott
Egyptian cotton is primarily grown in Egypt and they originate from the Gossypium barbadense plant, which is notable for its long staple length. There are, however, other countries that have come to cultivate Egyptian cotton as well such as South America and Peru. The key differentiating factor of Egyptian cotton bed sheets from other types of cotton is the length of the fibers which is naturally a result of the fibers being grown in Egypt’s climate.
Properties of Egyptian Cotton
Egyptian cotton fibers are longer in staple length in comparison to other types of cotton fibers which results in them being more durable and resistant to stress.
Furthermore, they also have good color retention properties due to their propensity to absorb liquids. Egyptian cotton fabrics are also popular for the reason that they are extremely soft and comfortable, this can be attributed to their harvesting methods being primarily handpicking. This process in comparison to mechanical picking ensures that Egyptian cotton threads remain straight and unbroken as no stress is placed on the fibers during harvest.
Differences Between Pima Cotton Vs. Egyptian Cotton
Image from Pimacott
Softness And Cost
At the base level, Pima cotton and Egyptian cotton share a number of similar properties and are both considered premium quality cotton variants. The key difference that sets them apart is that Egyptian cotton fibers can produce bed sheets that are considerably softer than Pima cotton bed sheets. This, however, does come at a higher cost as Egyptian cotton bed sheets are often expensive and considered luxury bed sheets.
As previously mentioned, Egyptian cotton bed sheets have stronger color retention qualities as compared to Pima cotton bed sheets but both types of cotton sheets have a glossier finish in comparison to other types of cotton fiber sheets.
Although both are considered highly durable, Pima cotton bed sheets can withstand temperatures of up to 60 degrees Celsius while Egyptian cotton bed sheets would not do too well in temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius, making Pima cotton bed sheets more wash and dryer safe.
Alternatives To Pima Cotton And Egyptian Cotton
Featuring Weavve’s TENCEL™ Deluxe Set in Mist Grey
Alternatively, if you are looking for bed sheets with a similar degree of softness and smoothness to Egyptian cotton sheets, you can opt for TENCEL™ bed sheets which share many similar qualities to the former. TENCEL™ is an ideal choice for environmentally conscious users since it's more sustainable.
On the other hand, if you plan to stick to cotton bed sheets, Supima cotton sheets (also known as "superior Pima" cotton) could do the trick for you as they are softer than Pima cotton sheets. Other aspects in which these two cotton fibers differ are their appearance and durability.
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TENCEL™ Lyocell Bed Sheets
Featuring Weavve’s TENCEL™ Deluxe Set in Blush Pink
Being sustainably sourced from fast-growing eucalyptus forests, our 100% pure TENCEL™ Lyocell fabrics are eco-friendly. These TENCEL™ bed sheets woven from 400 thread count fabrics consisting of high-quality single-ply threads provide you with a silky smooth feel when you slip into bed after a long day.
Moreover, our TENCEL™ Lyocell bed sheets lets you sleep with peace of mind since they are hypoallergenic and OEKO Tex certified toxin-free.
Cotton Sateen Bed Sheets
Featuring Weavve’s Cotton Fitted Sheet Set in Midnight Blue
Our ultra soft cotton sheets are made of 100% extra-long staple cotton threads that are spun into a 600 thread count bed sheet. As we use finer, single-ply threads with a 100 yarn count, our cotton bed sheets are guaranteed stronger, smoother, and softer than the average cotton sheet. These premium bedding sets also feature a four over one sateen weave, giving a lustrous sheen and smooth feel.
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