When looking to buy new sheets, you will need to choose between several different fabric types. The two main types of sheets you will find when shopping, are Microfiber and Cotton.
In this article, we will go through the differences of both fabric types to help you in your buying decision.
To start we will mention the differences between microfiber and cotton bed sheets.
Differences Between Microfiber and Cotton Sheets
It’s important to find sheets that are made from materials that will provide comfort, temperature control, and durability and yet are not a nightmare to clean.
Shopping for sheets sounds like a simple outing, but it can be a challenge to find a set that hit the exact right balance for maximum levels of comfort.
Sleep Temperature: The type of sheets you sleep in are important for controlling the temperature of your body. That’s because they are your body’s first point of contact. While you’re sleeping, your sheets act as a barrier and insulator between your body and the room air.
Comfort: Not only will they impact temperature, but they also impact your overall comfort. Your choice between Microfiber and Cotton will affect how comfortable you sleep each night.
Style: Style is very important when looking for new bed sheets. Microfiber sheets are available in many more styles and color options.
Texture: Another feature to consider is how microfiber sheets feel compares to cotton. material used, the allergen risk, the amount of moisture protection, how it washes, etc. all matter when you choose sheets.
Microfiber Pros and Cons
The fibers used in microfibers make the sheets into exactly what the name implies. Microfibers are woven together in this material are extremely thin.
The fibers used in microfiber materials can come from a wide range of different places. They can come from wood pulp or polyester, and even nylon polymers. The woven material is set apart from others because of the thickness of microfiber, which is typically one “Denier”.
Material Type: Microfiber is a synthetic material that can be engineered with different properties. Microfiber sheets are better at moisture-wicking and keep you cooler at night compared to cotton. You can find our review of the best cooling sheets to buy for Hot Sleepers here.
Durability: Microfiber sheets can be woven tighter than any other type of fabric. The more tightly-woven your microfiber sheets are, the more durable and longer they last.
Washing and Care: Washing microfiber sheets too frequently will cause them to wear and tear much faster than expected. This is especially true if you don’t follow proper washing instructions. Compared to cotton, microfiber sheets are more difficult to wash and maintain.
Softness: The softness of microfiber sheets is another difference you will notice compared to cotton. That’s thanks to the ability to engineer micro-thin fibers that are stretchy and lightweight. Thinner fabrics will result in a smoother and softer bed sheets.
Moisture Wicking: The material also regulates temperature much better than most sheets. Making them the best night sweat sheets to keep you cool and dry at night while you sleep.
Cotton Sheets Pros and Cons
Cotton is the most common fiber used in linens or other sewn materials. It is a soft and fluffy substance and it is grown in a boll or protective seed.
Although cotton is a very breathable fabric, it also tends to retain more heat than microfiber fabrics. So if you are someone who sleeps hot, then you definitely want to consider microfiber instead.
Cotton fabric sheets also tend to require more care in the laundry to protect against shrinking and warping in the washer or dryer.
This material also has a wide variety within its category, which gives users a lot of options for their sheets. There are varying cotton blends and types of cottons that will change the texture, thickness and heat retention of your sheets. It is recommended that you do careful research about the specific cotton blend that is in the sheets you want to buy before you actually take them home.
The determining factors for most people between these sheets are the temperature of the sleeper at night and the laundry needs. If you’re a person who doesn’t want to sweat all night then go with the microfiber. However, if you’re someone who prefers a warm set of sheets to snuggle in, then go with the cotton.
Now, if you are a person who doesn’t want to think so much about separating laundry or your washer and dryer are too harsh to maintain the softness of cotton then don’t use the natural materials.
Difference in Washing: Microfiber vs Cotton Sheets
Regardless the type of fabrics, they all have specific steps to wash your sheets. You always have to pay close attention to the label of your sheets to make sure what temperature that they need to be washed and dried at.
Additionally, you have to be careful about how you dry the sheets to avoid stretching or any permanent changes in the structure of the material.
Microfibers are normally made from synthetic materials and that means that they are harder to manipulate when washing or drying. These sheets resistant to wrinkles and shrinking in the washing machine and last longer as a result. They are also resistant to normal wear and tear that causes sheets to disintegrate or lose their quality.
Cotton sheets are also soft and durable, but the washing process is where you have to be careful. These sheets need to avoid heat, especially if they are more delicate like Egyptian cotton or Pima cotton.
When you wash cotton sheets, you need to use a low to medium heat and a gently cycle. Even when you dry cotton bed sheets, you should avoid using high heat and stick to a mid-range temperature.
Finally, when your sheets get a stain, don’t overcompensate in the wash because you can damage them further. Simply take a solution of salt water or water and lemon juice and try to soak the sheets prior to washing them. Leave the washing instructions the same after the sheets soak and you will run the smallest possible risk of ruining your sheets!
To summarize, both types of sheets have their pros and cons. Microfiber sheets are better for cooling and hot sleepers, while cotton sheets are better for keeping you warm and easier to maintain.
If you don’t have any sleeping or laundry preferences and can’t choose then you are sitting in the best position. You don’t have to choose!
Keep a set of both the microfiber and the cotton sheets on hand and switch the linens out depending on how you feel that night. Changing it up with your mood may be the best way to maximize your sleep every night.