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One of the oldest and the most common debates about bed sheets is – which one is better, cotton bed sheets or polyester bed sheets. The answer to this question is very difficult. Both have their own lists of advantages and disadvantages.
Actually, it is not about being the best. It is about which one suits the best for you and your needs. For finding the perfect bed sheet for your bed that can offer you a restful sleep, you don’t need to figure out the best of the two options. Instead, you need to evaluate them on various factors and then decide.
A bed sheet made of the natural cotton fiber is a cotton bed sheet. To know more about cotton fabric, you need to learn about its fiber, weaving and thread count. Though most bed sheet buyers are only aware of the importance of thread count in a bed sheet, however, weaving and fiber length are also significant points to consider.
There are three main types of fibers– American Upland, Pima and Egyptian cotton. American Upland is the most commonly used fiber with a short staple. Pima comes next in the frequency of its usage in making cotton bed sheets. Pima has relatively longer staple fibers than American Upland. Egyptian cotton has the longest fibers of all. However, it is rarely used in making bed sheets.
Generally speaking, long fibers make high-quality bed sheets that are not only exceptionally soft, the better is the quality and softness of the bed sheet. Normally, a bed sheet with a lower thread count than 200 is considered poor quality.
There are two main styles of weaving a bed sheet – sateen and percale. Whereas percale weaving leaves a matte finish on the product, sateen-weaving style is a bit shinier. Needless to say, sateen weaving is more expensive and less heat resistant than percale.
Cotton is a natural material and hence is good for sensitive skin and allergies.
The fabric is cool and breathable. Hence, it is good for summers and especially for sweaty sleepers.
It is easy to wash and dry.
It becomes softer with age.
Gets draped on the bed gracefully.
It can be quite expensive.
Cotton is made of natural fibers that tend to break down early. Hence, bed sheets are not very durable.
It is prone to wrinkles.
Polyester bed sheets are made of a synthetic material called polyester. Since the fabric is synthetic or man-made, not much processing is needed for making a bed sheet after the manufacturing of the fabric. Hence, this makes the polyester bed sheets a cheaper alternative to cotton bed sheets.
Polyester bed sheets are lightweight and soft to touch. Some tightly woven high-quality polyester sheets are quite lustrous like silk and often are confused with silk in their feel. Due to its fabrication process, the polyester sheets are usually prone to static. Thus, it can be really bad for your hair.
Many times, 100% polyester bed sheets are labelled as microfiber, that is, a tightly-woven fine yarn. However, it is not necessary that all “microfiber” labelled sheets are made of pure polyester. Hence, a careful read is important to note if the labelled bed sheet is 100% polyester or a mix of nylon and polyester.
Polyester fabric is highly durable and so is the bed sheet made of polyester.
These are affordable.
Easy to launder and dry.
The fabric is light-weight and soft.
Sheets are wrinkle resistant and do not shrink with age.
Not much breathable and moisture-wicking
More prone to pilling and static
The sheets become rougher with age, hence not good for sensitive skin.
Are more breathable and moisture-wicking than polyester sheets and hence, good for skin, especially in summers
Becomes softer with age unlike polyester sheets that become rough
Not prone to static or pilling like polyester sheets
Advantages of Polyester Bed sheets over Cotton Bed sheets
Cheaper as compared to cotton sheets
More durable than cotton sheets
Is more resistant to wrinkles and shrinkage than cotton sheets that shrink after every wash
The Solution – Blended Bed sheets
Well, no one can really decide the best bed sheet for you, except yourself. You need to evaluate your skin type, sleep-type, your climate, your budget, etc. to decide whether you want to go for cotton or polyester bed sheets.
However, if you too are confused like most people are, then we do have a solution for you. There are options in the market for buying blended bed sheets. These bed sheets are made of a mix of cotton as well as polyester fabrics. Such types of sheets offer advantages of both the fabrics.
For example, a blended sheet will be more breathable than a polyester one but less than a cotton one. Additionally, this bed sheet will have more longevity than cotton sheets but less than the polyester ones. Again, it will be more wrinkle-resistant than most cotton bed sheets but less than the polyester ones.
When you buy blended bed sheets, you can choose from a range of different mixes of both the fabrics. If you like cotton bed sheets more than the polyester ones, you can choose a mix of 60-40 where 60% of fabric is cotton and 40% is polyester or vice versa.
However, this is just an example and there are hundreds of other mix options for you to choose the most comfortable bed sheet that can provide you a good night’s sleep. All you need to do is make up your mind and start searching for your perfect style.