It is often said that a person spends a third of his life just sleeping or at the very least, trying to. However, not everyone gets to sleep like a baby and it may be because they are sleeping on the wrong kind of fabric. There’s no need to tolerate wrinkles, the irritating sheet snap, or sweating like a triathlete all night long.
The cold truth is, not all bed sheets are made equal. And with all kinds of fabric being made available to consumers these days, it can be a bona fide chore trying to figure out which one is best for you.
Two such fabrics that we will focus on in this guide is jersey vs. cotton. Read on and get all the information you need to find out which one works best for you.
Table of Contents
If you’re looking for a specific piece of info use these links as a guide.
- Jersey Fabric: History & Features
- Cotton: History & Features
- What is the Difference Between Jersey and Cotton Sheets?
- Top Rated and Recommended Jersey Sheets
- Top Rated and Recommended Cotton Sheets
What is Jersey Fabric?
Jersey sheets are some of the cheaper and inexpensive sheets that you can find in the market. They are cozy and reasonable; the most relatable description of it being that it feels like you’re wrapped all over by your favorite and most used t-shirt. There are even some plush-styled jersey sheets that can look as extravagant as they feel. If you’re not one to be caught up in thread counts or special elements, jersey sheets could most definitely fit you to a T.
The term “jersey” signifies the kind of knit that is usually made from 100% cotton, although at times, it also makes use of polyester, wool, cotton, or other synthetic fibers. As mentioned above, the jersey knit can make you feel like you are wearing a worn-out t-shirt, one that you’ve really taken to wearing far too many times that it already feels pleasant around your body. The jersey knit makes the cotton long lasting and ideal especially for those cool evenings.
A Look Back at the History of Jersey
The name of this specific textile comes from the island of Jersey. Jersey is the largest of a group of islands known as the Channel Islands, which is situated between England and France. The island has a long and colorful history of human occupation, and also has a reputation for Jersey cows, commonly raised for their rich, creamy milk.
In 1916 Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel sent the fashion industry into a frenzy when she made use of jersey during a time when it was sternly linked to underwear. “This designer made jersey what it is today – we hope she’s satisfied,” remarked the renowned fashion magazine Vogue in 1917. “It’s almost as much a part of our lives as blue serge is.”
What Makes Jersey Knit Unique?
Almost any cotton material can be found in a jersey-knit pattern. You can see bamboo, Egyptian, flannel, and just about anything you might imagine. The more extravagant the kind of cotton, the more expensive it will definitely be. Jersey-knit sheets are revered more by kids and teenagers, as it gives them a better night’s sleep. The t-shirt-like feel just feels more familiar to them, hence making them slightly more soundly at night.
But lest you believe that jersey fabric is just recently making its rounds, you’re sorely mistaken as it has been in use ever since the medieval times. They’re that tough! You don’t have to worry about the thread count and it is more common and definitely a lot cheaper compared to other sheets. If you don’t mind its more laid-back appearance, this kind of sheet would definitely make your day.
Here are some other points to really ponder, if you are on still 50-50 about whether to purchase a bed sheet made out of jersey fabric:
- The fabric does not crease. You can rest assured that it will keep its shape when it’s time to put it on straight from your cabinet. And if you’re the kind of person that abhors ironing, you’ll be happy to learn that no such thing is needed.
- Jersey is an anti-fade, anti-shrink fabric. The colors retain their depth after long-term use, which means your jersey sheet won’t start looking and feeling too old too soon.
- The fabric is flexible and stretchable without going out of shape. It drapes your body beautifully, skimming your curves, and not clinging to them.
- The fabric is breathable, assuring top comfort even in terribly clammy conditions. If you have a tendency to sweat a lot, then there is nothing better than jersey to keep you cool and non-sticky.
- Jersey fabric is machine washable, which allows you to care for your sheet fairly easily.
How is Jersey Fabric Produced?
A knitting machine can be used to produce jersey since it can make the small, even, close-grained stitches that are linked with jersey fabric. Like many other knit fabrics, jersey fabric has a right side and a wrong side. The right side of the material is signified by a series of very small lines that run vertically, and the wrong side has a horizontal grain. Usually, a garment made from jersey fabric is sewn with a right side that faces out, unless the seamstress is producing a fixed stylistic choice.
Jersey can also be made by hand. Jersey knits are lightweight when compared with other knits and are the quickest weft knit to make. Jersey stretches more in the crosswise direction than in length, may be prone to run, and curls at the edges because of the difference in tension on the front and the back.
Now that we have discussed the basics of the jersey fabric, let us now turn our attention to arguably, the most well-known fabric in the entire world: cotton.
What is Cotton?
Cotton is a pure and natural material that is sourced from the cotton plant. And when utilized in linen, it becomes a material that is breathable and absorbent. As you get your zzzs, your body’s temperature varies, and to be comfortable you need fabric in your bed to let that heat diffuse when you get too hot and keep you warm when you are too cold. This is where cotton excels as it does exactly that!
And since cotton is breathable, it is also a lot more hygienic compared to synthetic fabrics, and way easier to maintain and clean. Bed linen that is comprised of synthetic materials, like polyester, will usually leave you soaked in sweat or too cold to get a good night’s sleep. So if your old bed sheets are difficult to maintain, irritating, stiff or clingy, it is recommended that you take a closer look at the bedding label and find out what’s it really made of, as your linen may not be cotton-rich.
Here are several more reasons why cotton can be an ideal pick for you:
1. It can help you sleep better
Research has shown 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.
2. Cotton is reliable
Cotton is strong, durable and is not afraid to get its fibers dirty. You can depend on it to last many, many, many wear washings and not fade right away. From durable work clothes to timeless bed linens, you can rely on cotton to last the long haul.
3. Cotton is low maintenance
Cotton is a lot easier to wash and care for compared to other materials, so let your washing machine just do your dirty work and enjoy the money you’ll save on dry cleaning.
4. Cotton does not keep bad odors
Other fabrics usually trap different smells, whether when you’re cooking dinner, busting your behind at the gym or even just lounging around with friends around the campfire. With cotton, you do not have to worry about any of those things. It releases foul odor rather easily compared to other fabrics once it’s in the washing machine.
5. Cotton will not cling
Cotton is undeniably not clingy! Static cling can cause a fabric to fail, but cotton should never be blamed since it can’t hold an electric charge.
6. No problems with pilling
Pills are bothersome 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.
What It Means to Have Cotton Fabric as Your Bed Sheet
Your bed sheets are composed of either long staple or short staple cotton. Most of the luxury-bedding makers in the market produce their sheets with the use of long staple cotton. Basically, that means these are long cotton fibers that, when spun into thread and woven, creates a soft and long-lasting fabric
Most budget cotton sheets are comprised of short staple cotton, which is inexpensive and usually cultured in the United States. The hitch is that the shorter fibers can sometimes feel abrasive and can be less enduring.
Exactly how any cotton is woven into fabric has a direct impact on the type of sheet you end up buying. Whether you’re shopping through a luxury-bedding brand or at a generic department store, you’ll come across percale and sateen sheets, both of which are kinds of fabric weaves.
Cotton and sateen sheets give you distinct features and benefits. Both have benefits that appeal to specific needs, depending on whether you’re after either comfort or style. As is often the case, sheets that feature a higher thread count feel smoother to the skin.
A lot of people get their beauty rest with cotton or cotton-blend sheets that are known for their low-cost price and durability, even through consistent 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.
What is the Difference Between Jersey and Cotton Sheets?
Jersey sheets are super soft and stretchy to give you a comfortable night’s sleep. They have fantastic color fastness and can be machine washed at 104˚F (40˚C) and tumble dried. Jersey is a knit fabric and breathable to make warm summer nights comfortable. Finally, you should understand that jersey is a knitting technique; thereby any fiber could be used to knit which includes natural fibers like cotton or synthetic fibers like polyester.
Meanwhile, 100% Cotton sheets are a natural product and so, ideal if you want to avoid man-made fabrics. Like the jersey, cotton bed linen is also soft but it is also smooth and provides a better quality fabric than a polyester cotton mix. Pure cotton sheets are also much cooler and while they are still very durable, they do require more ironing than jersey cotton sheets! Compared to jersey sheets, cotton sheets have higher threads but are still soft and durable.
Top Rated and Recommended Jersey Sheets
1) Great Bay Home Jersey Knit Sheet Set
- Soft straight from the box
- Suitable for all seasons
- Highly reasonable
The best thing about Great Bay Home Extra Soft Heather Jersey Knit Cotton Sheets is that you can pick from a wide range of different colors. Of course, they’re all soft and comfortable, and very much like your old and worn-out old t-shirt, but it’s also kind of difficult to look for jersey knit sheets in prints, and this brand even has a chevron print! The sheets are mostly composed of cotton, so they’re breathable, but that little bit of polyester makes them stretchier and a whole lot durable.
As mentioned many times in this article, jersey sheets are ideal for use all year long because they usually won’t get too hot, but they’ll keep you warm in the winter. Washing them should give you an even softer feel. You do have 30 days to return them so if these don’t work out for you, don’t hesitate to send them back.
2) AmazonBasics Heather Jersey Sheet Set
- They remain super-soft
- Reasonable priced
A well-liked choice when it comes to jersey sheets these days is the AmazonBasics Heather Jersey Sheets. Why? The combed cotton is soft, and the knit makes these 100% cotton sheets very breathable. So, you can have soft sheets that don’t trap heat. Aside from that, these sheets are rather easy to wash, dry, and get back on your bed over and over again. With each regular wash, your sheets are more than likely to get softer. Because of the stretchiness of jersey sheets, the fitted sheet should fit your mattress well even if your mattress is 16 inches thick. Also, these sheets are virtually wrinkle-free because they stretch out on your bed.
However, one potential drawback is that you only get to choose from five colors, but each color was picked for a reason, the most sensible of which is because they all work well as a foundation for a bed and works well with other colors that are often used in bedrooms.
3) Comfort Spaces Ultra Soft Jersey Knit Sheet Set
- Super soft
- Includes four pillowcases
- Patterns available
Comfort Spaces comes with a few benefits that you might not imagine from your average jersey sheets. First off, these are not 100% cotton, which may sound like it’s a bad thing unless you’re eyeing to stay warm.
The 50% of polyester that helps balance out the cotton also helps in keeping you warmer during the frigid months without being cumbersome like flannel. Also, the color, which is unexpectedly precise to what is being displayed online, is saturated and stays that way even after numerous washings.
Top Rated and Recommended Cotton Sheets
1) AmazonBasics 400 Thread Count Sheet Set
- Has a satin finish
- Fully-elastic fitted sheet
- It gets softer as you wash
This AmazonBasics set has a standard flat and fitted sheet and two pillowcases. The differences between these sheets and other competing products include the finish, fit, and most of all, the price.
First of all, these are sateen cotton sheets, so they feature a satin-like look and feel. And then, the fitted sheet includes elastic all around the edge to make sure that it has a tight fit on mattresses measuring up to 20 inches thick. And finally, these are very reasonably-priced sheets, especially when ranged against other 400-thread count sheets.
2) Royal Hotel Stripe White 1000 Thread Count Sheet Set
- Softens after consistent washings
- Fully-elastic fitted sheet
- Heavy sheets
These Royal Hotel sheets going to wrinkle. You just can’t get around that with cotton sheets, unless they’re treated with chemicals to make them resistant to it. So, if wrinkles are an issue that bothers you a whole lot, you’re going to need to look for another item or try to fix this issue with a flat iron.
These sheets are soft and the combed cotton makes them soften even more after you wash them several times. The fitted sheet comes with elastic all around to help make it fit your mattress better. The material of these sheets is thick and sturdy, so they should hold up for quite a long while.
3) California Design Den 100% Cotton Sheet Set
- Has a silky smooth feel
- Fully-elastic fitted sheet
You can have these sheets from California Design Den in either a sateen or percale finish, but these are a mixture of the two. The fabric is very nice and thick, which lends to its sturdiness, but it also has a silky, slippery feel to them.
For 100% cotton, they’re quite fairly priced, but you might not like the feel from the start, which can be a bit coarse. After a few washes, they soften up more and more.