Cotton vs Egyptian Cotton: A Question Of Cost Or Quality?

Many consumers don’t even know the difference between regular cotton and Egyptian cotton sheets. They go on the search for cotton at times when what they actually need is an Egyptian cotton sheet. For many people, cotton is cotton, regardless of the type of cotton it is. That’s one of the reasons why some people end up purchasing a fake cotton sheet or Egyptian cotton sheet, simply because they can’t spot the difference between them

Cotton vs Egyptian Cotton

Night [/nʌɪt/] noun
The best part of the day – you get to sleep!

There is just a thin line between regular cotton and Egyptian cotton sheets, which significantly determines their feel, softness, performance, and quality.

Since we all desire a restful night that will re-energize us for the next day, having a good sheet that will complement the mattress’s function is as important as the sleep we need. The demand for comfortable rest drives people to search for the best bed sheet to handle the task. Even though many bedding brands offer bedsheets, it has been seen that not all of them can be trusted with your needs.

Some brands label their sheets as 100% cotton when they are 100% something else in the real sense. Well, only if the consumers can train their eyes, hands, and minds to identify natural cotton or Egyptian cotton sheets quickly.

Follow this article to the end to see what cotton and Egyptian cotton sheets are, also learn the difference between them, and get reliable suggestions for your next shopping trip.

Jump straight to the top regular and Egyptian cotton sheets by clicking here!

What is Cotton?

Cotton is a pure and natural material that is derived from the cotton plant. And when used in linen, it makes for a material that is breathable and absorbent. As you sleep, your body’s temperature fluctuates, and to be comfortable you need fabric in your bed to let that heat disperse when you get too hot, and keep you warm when you are cold. Cotton shines in doing just that.

Combed Cotton Sheets vs Egyptian Cotton Sheets

And since cotton is breathable, it is also more sanitary than synthetic fabrics, and way easier to clean. Bed linen that is made of synthetic materials, like polyester, will often leave you soaked in sweat or too cold to be comfortable. So if your old bed sheets are difficult, irritating, stiff or clingy, it is strongly recommended that you take a close look at the bedding label and its fabric composition, as your linen may not be cotton-rich. Here are a number of different reasons why cotton can be a suitable choice for you:

Help You Get More Sleep

Research has indicated that you get a better night’s sleep on cotton sheets compared to sheets made from synthetic fibers because cotton naturally lets your skin to breathe and doesn’t trap heat under the covers.

Cotton is More Durable

Cotton is strong, durable and is not afraid to get its fibers dirty. You can rely on it to last many, many, many wear washings and not deteriorate right away. From durable work clothes to timeless bed linens, you can trust that cotton is in it for the long haul.

Cotton Is Low Maintenance

Cotton is much easier to wash and care for than other materials, so let your washing machine do your dirty work and enjoy the resources you’ll save on dry cleaning.

Cotton Does Not Trap Bad Smells

Other fabrics often trap different odors, whether when you’re cooking dinner, sweating at the gym or just sitting around the campfire. With cotton, you do not have to worry about any of those things. It releases foul odor more easily than other fabrics once it’s in the washing machine.

Cotton Won’t Cling

Cotton is definitely not clingy! Static cling can be blamed for many an embarrassing fabric fail, but cotton is never pointed to as the culprit because it can’t hold an electric charge.

Pilling is Not a Problem

If pilling is wrong, then picking cotton has to be right! Pills are irksome balls of tangled fibers that can be seen on clothes when the fabric brushes against itself or another fabric. Once nylon, polyester, and blends pill, that’s it; it stays that way, while cotton sheds any pills in the wash.

Cotton and What It Means for Your Bed Sheet

What does cotton mean for your bed sheets? Your bed sheets are made up of either long staple or short staple cotton. Most of the luxury bedding manufacturers in the market make their sheets with long staple cotton. Essentially, that means these are long cotton fibers that, when spun into thread and woven, makes a soft and long-lasting fabric

Most budget cotton sheets are made with short-staple cotton, which is cheap and often cultured in the United States. The drawback is that the shorter fibers can at times, feel coarse and can be less long-lasting.

Exactly how any cotton is woven into fabric has a direct effect on the kind of sheet you end up buying. Whether you’re shopping through a luxury bedding brand or at a department store, you’ll come across percale and sateen sheets, both of which are types of fabric weaves.

Cotton and sateen sheets offer unique features and benefits. Both have advantages that appeal to particular needs, depending on whether you’re pursuing either comfort or style. As is often the case, sheets with a higher thread count feel smoother to the skin.

Most people get their beauty rest on cotton or cotton-blend sheets known for their inexpensive price and durability, even through regular washings with detergent and chlorine bleach. Cotton is a natural fabric that feels cool and natural against the skin. Cotton sheets are comfortable and crisp when newly laundered.

Happy with just regular ol’ cotton? See my top picks for cotton sheets here

After discussing what cotton is, let’s now take a look at its more luxurious and expensive relative: Egyptian cotton.

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What is Egyptian Cotton?

Egyptian cotton is renowned all over the world for being the finest, most luxurious material when it comes to bed linens. Synonymous with opulence and sophistication as well as comfort, its softness can only be equaled by pure silk.

That’s why Egyptian cotton is the suitable indulgence for cozying up, getting comfy and letting all your cares in the world melt away. Incredibly durable, this cotton only gets softer and softer after every washing, making it a worthwhile and long-lasting acquisition.

Cotton vs Egyptian cotton sheets

Egyptian cotton is known for its super strong and remarkably soft, long staple cotton. One of the rarest and most luxurious kinds of cotton, it can only be cultivated in very particular climates. With steady warm summer months, cool nights and a constant supply of water, Egypt is ideal for its farming.

Long staple cotton plants need a lot of care and attention to make the premium quality cotton possible, ready for it to be spun into a wide array of products, which includes beddings.

The longer a cotton fiber grows, the thinner it becomes. As Egyptian cotton features only long staple cotton, it can be woven into a fabric far more easily than the shorter, more abundant kinds of cotton. That’s a huge reason why Egyptian cotton feels so incredibly smooth against your skin. Another important reason is the unique outer surface of Egyptian cotton, which can only be attained by growing cotton along the famous River Nile.

As mentioned, the secret ingredient of Egyptian cotton’s nature is the place itself – Egypt. With its moderate climate and fertile soil, these two factors have proved vital to the success of Egyptian cotton.

1) Perfect Sunny Weather

To grow exquisite extra-long staple cotton, the plants must be exposed to very stable weather as they mature. Egypt is the perfect environment for this. During the summer months of July and August, the cotton relishes consistently warm temperatures, making sure it is ready for harvesting in September and October.

2) The River Nile

The River Nile has long been considered to be the essence of Egypt. Its gushing waters have made an oasis in the middle of the desert, giving Egypt very fertile soil. Extensive irrigation makes sure that the cotton gets a steady supply of nutrients, helping it to grow longer individual fibers. The longer the fibers are, the less ends there are within the cotton, making for a smooth, overall finish.

And so, moving on to the part that piques your interests you the most, what is Egyptian cotton bedding and why does it matter? Here are five crucial reasons that it’s worth investing that little bit extra money into this type of fabric for your bedding.

1. It’s durable

The fibers in Egyptian cotton are a lot longer so when woven together, they produce a thread that is much more resistant to stress. The stress created when your body brushes all over it when you sleep! If you don’t want to be replacing your bedding every so often, then you might want to go for a high Egyptian cotton percentage and an over 200-thread count.

2. Better night’s sleep

Egyptian cotton is a lot more absorbent than regular cotton. So you might say, “But I’m not planning on spilling water all over it?” We are well aware of that but as gross as it is, we all produce sweat when we sleep. Egyptian cotton helps absorb that sweat, to spare you from that icky, clammy feeling when you wake up. Basically, less clam = better sleep.

3. No need to wear it in

Those cheap duvet covers might feel okay after you’ve slept in them for a few weeks. Yes, they start to soften. But we’re telling you this: good quality Egyptian cotton bedding will feel a whole lot better than that straight out of the box. You no longer have to buy it, wash it and then sleep on it for a week or so before it starts to feel less like sleeping on a crisp packet.

4. You’ll be saving more money in the long run

Good quality bedding is more wear-resistant and will definitely last longer. So you’ll probably actually find that you’ll end up saving resources because you’re not switching up those sheets every so often. Buy good quality, buy once. Buy crappy sheets, buy two, three or four times more. You don’t need to be a math genius to figure out which tact is best for you.

5. It’s super soft

This basically bests all of the rest: it is unbelievably soft! You want your bed to be super snuggly all the time, don’t you? It’s where you want to feel comfortable and cozy. You want to feel like you’re sleeping on a cloud. Then, Egyptian cotton is for you.

Impressed with Egyptian cotton? Click to see my top picks for Egyptian cotton sheets!

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Cotton vs. Egyptian Cotton

If you haven’t done research on what the differences are between cotton and Egyptian cotton sheets, here is a brief guide to help you out.

Egyptian Cotton vs Regular Cotton Sheets

Egyptian cotton is recognized to be of a higher quality than regular cotton, a key reason is that it makes use of longer and smoother fibers during its production, compared to shorter and often coarser ones in the regular product.

This essentially means that you will enjoy the advantages of a silkier feel against your skin when you slip beneath your sheets. This offers simple proof that the number of woven fibers attests to the quality of the finished cotton itself.

It’s also safe to say that the additional strength and durability that Egyptian cotton has does mean that your linen will keep its style and substance for a substantial period of time. This easily explains why Egyptian cotton options, while more expensive when initially bought, do tend to provide a more sound investment.

In addition, Egyptian cotton is handpicked so this basically places less stress on the fibers, leaving them straight and intact. These fibers can be made longer to make very fine yarns which make it possible to produce yarns without compromising the length, giving stronger and softer cotton, unlike regular cotton which features more splices.

Since pure Egyptian cotton is comprised of finer threads, they can be woven into each square inch and generate a finer and more consistent finish, ending up as a softer and more flexible fabric. Aside from this, since they’ve not been picked by machines, the fibers are stronger and as a matter of fact, more resistant to stress.

Fabrics made of Egyptian Cotton are softer, finer and last longer than any other cotton so they really are worth putting the slight extra bit of money into. Since finer yarns mean a higher thread count, the weave of the fabric is substantially stronger and endures a lot longer than regular cotton. It’s always worth noticing the thread count when taking the time to pick which one to buy; the higher the thread count, the higher the quality so the more durable and soft your bed sheets.

Not only that, Egyptian cotton ensures the highest levels of purity so has the ability to absorb liquids, which means deeper, brighter and more resistant colored fabrics to add that extra pop of vibrancy into your room. It is also said that Egyptian cotton is better for those who have difficulty sleeping, this being because the fabric is more porous therefore air can easily pass through thereby avoiding that stuffy feeling at night.

Now you know the pros and cons – put your knowledge to the test and pick one for yourself!

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Tips on How to Pick Cotton Sheets

There are three aspects that determine the quality and feel of a sheet: The fiber from which it is made, how the fabric is woven, and the thread count. When assessing a set, look for these three key pieces of information to find the best sheet for you.

1) What material is it made from?

As mentioned above, the most common fiber for bed sheets is cotton, and there are three primary varieties: American Upland, Pima, and Egyptian. American Upland is the most commonly used cotton and can be short- to long-staple. If a label only says “100 percent cotton,” it is most likely American Upland. Pima is fine, long-staple cotton that returns a very soft weave. The word “Supima” often is seen on the labels of Pima sheets as a trademark of the Supima Association, which endorses Pima cotton. Egyptian cotton, which we have discussed, is the finest, longest-staple of all. Cultivated in the Nile River Valley, Egyptian cotton generates an extremely soft and supple weave.

Flannel sheets, which is also called brushed cotton, are made from cotton fibers that have been to pull loose tiny top fibers. They feel slightly fuzzy, making it a cozy choice for winter or cold climates.

Other fibers that are usually used for bed linens are linen and silk. These are more luxurious and substantially more expensive than cotton and need special care when it comes to cleaning, but they can be a meaningful investment. High-quality linen sheets are resilient enough to last for many, many years, are antimicrobial and are airy and cooler to the touch than cotton. Silk sheets, when properly maintained and cared for, are also durable and suitable for keeping warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

2) How is the material woven?

Words such as Oxford, percale, and sateen that are seen on sheet labels refer to the way the fabric is woven. Each weave has varied characteristics. Percale is a plain-weave fabric, which means that the warp and the weft threads cross over and under each other one at a time. The threads are tightly woven, which makes for a fine texture and finish. They get more comfortable with each wash.

Oxford has twice as many warp threads — these are threads that run lengthwise — as weft threads, which run widthwise. Often used to make men’s dress shirts, oxford cloth stands up very well to laundering. It feels soft, heavy and crisp, making it perfect for pillowcases.

Sateen sheets have a luxurious look and feel. The fabric is made in a satin weave, in which warp threads interlace with filling threads, exposing more thread surface and creating in a lustrous, silky, durable fabric and retains heat well—perfect for cold climates.

3) Does thread count matter?

Thread count refers to how many threads comprise one square inch of sheet fabric, which includes the horizontal threads and the vertical threads. This number goes from 150-count, which are often found in lower-priced sheets or children’s bedding, to up to 1,000 or more for the most expensive luxury sheets.

A sheet with a higher thread count will often be more durable and feel softer. A thread count of 200 is a pretty good place to start; a count of 300 will be quite softer. But above a specific point — say, 500 to 600 threads per inch — you won’t be able to feel much difference. It’s best to save your money for something else. And very high thread count sheets tend to be less durable than something in the 400 to 600-thread count range.

While all of these elements should be taken into consideration when trying to pick bed sheets, ultimately, your personal preference is the one that matters the most. The best test will come when you take your sheets home, wash them, and sleep on them for a while.

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Top Rated and Recommended Cotton Sheets

8.3/10 Read review
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Set Alert for Product: 100% Queen Size Sheets Cotton Beige (4pc) Silky Smooth, Cooling 400 Thread Count Long Staple Combed Cotton Queen Sheet Set – 400TC High Thread Count Queen Sheets - Queen Bed Sheets All Cotton - $59.99
Last Amazon price update was: 1 October 2021 21:25
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Are you searching for a sheet that will keep you cool all night? CGK unlimited cotton sheets are what you need on your bed to sleep comfortably at nights without feeling uncomfortable. The sheets are made from the original 100% cotton without mixing or blending it with other materials. The cotton used is of the highest quality long-staple combed cotton, to offer you the best sheets ever.

When fabrics are made from long-staple fiber, the materials will be more durable and softer and even remain softer after every wash. The product has a 400 thread count that makes the sheets softer, and feels like hotel sheets.
You can order the Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Split King Size, and California King set. Likewise, they are designed in beige, burgundy, cream, dark grey, light blue, light grey, navy blue, sage green, and white.

8.3/10 Read review
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Set Alert for Product: California Design Den Cooling Sheets 400 Thread Count - 100% Long Staple Combed Cotton, Soft and Silky Sateen Weave for Best Comfort, Indigo Navy Blue Queen Size 4 Piece Bed Sheet Set - $47.99
Last Amazon price update was: 1 October 2021 21:27
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California design den 400 cotton sheets are one of the reliable sheets that all homes must-have. The sheets are affordable and known for their cooling effect on the body even in summer. They are very durable because the manufacturer used quality material and a good weave pattern to design them. The cotton material used in these sheets is pure and natural combed cotton with long-staple cotton fiber that guarantees long-term use of the fabrics.

Another excellent feature of these sheets is the sateen weave used to woven the sheets. The sateen gives them a slight sheen and adds to the sheets’ softness, which was already derived from the cotton. Notably is the 400thread count of the sheets that makes them crisp like a hotel sheet.

The sheets are available in twenty-eight gorgeous colors and multiple sizes that include twin XL, twin, full, queen, split king, king, and California king. They are categorized into three-piece, four-piece, five-piece, and six-piece sets.

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Top Rated and Recommended Egyptian Cotton Bed Sheets

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Set Alert for Product: Elegant Comfort Luxurious 1500 Thread Count Egyptian Three Line Embroidered Softest Premium Hotel Quality 4-Piece Bed Sheet Set, Wrinkle and Fade Resistant, Queen, Gray - $25.00
Last Amazon price update was: 18 September 2021 18:58
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A trusted brand manufactures the elegant comfort luxurious 1500 Egyptian cotton sheets. Elegant comfort is one of the bedding brands that offer comfortable sheets at a very reasonable price. This specific product is not exempted from what they are known for: comfort and luxury at an affordable price.

The fabrics are strong microfiber that makes sheets strong, thick, breathable, and soft. One good thing about the microfiber is that it’s highly hypoallergenic, which means the sheets are the best for all skin, including toddlers.

The fabrics enjoy careful brushing and conditioning methods to make them premium, super soft, and lustrous. The sheets are perfect for any weather since they are highly breathable. After washing, they remain soft, new, and wrinkle-free.

7.8/10 Read review
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Set Alert for Product: Mayfair Linen 100% Egyptian Cotton Sheets, Ivory Queen Sheets Set, 800 Thread Count Long Staple Cotton, Sateen Weave for Soft and Silky Feel, Fits Mattress Upto 18'' DEEP Pocket - $73.99
Last Amazon price update was: 15 October 2021 08:11
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Mayfair linen 800 Egyptian cotton sheets are one of the Egyptian sheets that are worth the price. The sheet is slightly above $70, but the truth is that they are worth more than that. For anyone tired of buying fake Egyptian sheets, these are the best option for them.

The sheets are fashioned with 100% Egyptian cotton sheets of the finest yarns, making them feel soft and crisp like hotel sheets. The fabrics are woven with a sateen pattern to make them look gorgeous and have extra softness.

The sheets are meticulously designed with great features like the fully elasticized fitted sheet with deep pockets. The sheets were also given a unique finishing process to make them softer and get softer after every wash.

They are highly breathable when sleeping on them, and they are perfect for both winter and summer. The sheets are crisp and perfect to be called a hotel sheet set.

8.6/10 Read review
86 %
Last Amazon price update was: 7 October 2021 21:31
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True luxury Egyptian Cotton 1000 bed sheets are our five-star sheets. These sheets have become many consumers’ favorite due to the values they offer. Although the product is a high-end sheet, they are worth investing all the money on for their great benefits.

Whoever wants to have a regular splendid night rest should not hesitate to make this their choice. The sheets are OEKO-TEX certified standard 100, which makes them safe for anyone’s use.

The sheets are crisp and silky soft with a satiny look on them. They won’t only offer you values, but they would also make your room look better with their gorgeousness. The fabrics are woven with sateen and 1000 thread count, making them super soft and smooth on the body. This is not one of the sheets that will make you sweat or cold; instead, they will keep you cool all night while you sleep like a baby.

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[FAQ’s] Consumer Questions & Answers

Are the best Egyptian cotton sheets produce in Egypt only?
The Egyptian cotton sheets produced in Egypt are known as world-class. However, we cannot say they are the best in the world, regardless of the river Nile’s soil type and climate.

Does cotton or Egyptian cotton sheets shrink after washing?
If you don’t care for them appropriately, they may shrink. Washing, drying, or ironing them under high temperatures could make them shrink at about 5%. Therefore, avoid heat on them always.

Why is Egyptian cotton sheets the softest, among other cotton types?
The Egyptian cotton long and thin fibers are easy to weave into a fine fabric. The outcome of it in a sheet is the super soft and smooth feel they have. This is why people who want very soft cotton sheets opt for Egyptian cotton sheets more than other variants despite their high prices.

Is it advisable to use fabric softener on cotton sheets?
It’s not safe to use fabric softener on cotton sheets since it can deteriorate the sheets’ quality. That’s because soap residue may clog up in the fabric if you use fabric softener on them.

Do cotton and Egyptian cotton sheets get softer after washing?
Cotton is durable and soft; hence, they get softer after every wash if they are 100% cotton fiber and if you maintain them well.

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