If you’ve been shopping for new bed sheets lately, you’ve probably noticed that the most popular choices are microfiber or cotton. Both make for excellent bedding, but everyone has their preference for one over the other.
Not sure which fabric to go with? Let’s take a closer look at how they’re different.
Cotton vs. Microfiber: Comfort
Let’s start with the comfort level of these fabrics. We think this is the most important comparison, because if you aren’t comfortable to begin with, your sheets aren’t doing you any favors.
When it comes to warmth and breathability, there isn’t a clearer divide of microfiber vs. cotton sheets. Cotton sheets are highly breathable and do a great job wicking moisture, which means you’re going to stay nice and cool through the night.
Microfiber will keep you warm, but it doesn’t breathe like cotton sheets do. If you’re prone to the night sweats, microfiber won’t be the right fit for you.
Cotton sheets can be made from a few kinds of cotton. For the crisp feeling of hotel-quality sheets, look for Egyptian, Pima or Supima cotton sheets. Some people like the feel of sleeping in an old t-shirt. If that’s you, jersey cotton sheets are right up your alley.
Microfiber sheets are soft to the touch. These sheets are known for being silky smooth, which makes every night of sleep an absolute dream.
In terms of care, both fabrics are pretty low maintenance. They’re both machine washable for easy care. Cotton sheets take longer to dry because they tend to be thicker. But a word of warning—unless your cotton sheets pre-shrunk, there’s a chance they might shrink while drying.
A major plus about cotton sheets is that they get softer after every wash.
One point that always gets brought up in the cotton versus microfiber debate is the makeup of the fabrics. We all know the organic touch and feel of cotton! But in the 1990s, microfiber gained popularity as an alternative. So, what is microfiber, exactly?
Microfiber is a synthetic material made up of thin but strong threads. These individual threads are then tightly woven together to create durable bed sheets.
One isn’t necessarily better than the other, as both are practical in their own way. There’s no doubt that it affects durability, though. As we mentioned before, there are several types of cotton sheets, but all are susceptible to pilling and ripping. Look for a higher thread count to prolong the life of your sheets.
Microfiber sheets are measured in deniers rather than thread count. The higher the denier, the thicker (and higher quality) the sheet. High denier microfiber sheets withstand multiple sleeps and washes before ripping.
Cost and quality go hand in hand.
The price of cotton sheets generally outweighs microfiber. And if you opt for higher thread count, the price will quickly reflect it. Microfiber sheets tend to be more affordable, even if the quality of both fabrics is close.
Bed sheets are an important investment for your home. After all, we do spend a lot of time with them! When it comes to cotton vs. microfiber sheets, it boils down to this: if you want quality, long-lasting sheets, choose cotton.
So, which fabric is your pick? Let us know in the comments!