Pima Cotton Vs. Egyptian Cotton: Differences And The One For You

Are you sitting on the fence right now because you don’t know the right choice to make between Pima and Egyptian cotton sheets? If yes, then you aren’t alone.
Egyptian Cotton Vs Pima Cotton

Nap [/nap/] noun A time to relax and recuperate in the middle of a tough day

It’s a decision you have to make wisely; else, you will end up blaming yourself again. We have decided to save you and others from this boat of confusion for that not to happen.
Having a good night’s sleep after the whole day of stress or fun is paramount. For that reason, you need to get a good bed sheet to relax.

It then becomes a big problem when you can’t fathom which sheet is proper for your bedtime. You might have even checked out some cotton sheets online, but you couldn’t go-ahead to purchase them simply because you don’t want to make a big mistake.

Since the cotton sheet is your most preferred choice, you are on track. We have brought you the two authentic cotton sheet types, which are Pima and Egyptian cotton sheets. The two sheets are similar, but they have huge differences, which is enough reason for consumers to get completely confused.

Often, some people give up on identifying the differences in the two sheets; don’t blame them. You can only detect their differences by gaining intense knowledge and relying on accurate information like this.
To answer the question on your mind;

Pima vs. Egyptian cotton? Which of them will offer you the comfort you desire? How can you tell the differences between the two cotton variants? What are the best Pima and Egyptian cotton sheets you can purchase?

Let’s take you on the smooth ride to find out the answers.

Click here to get to our TOP Pima and Egyptian cotton recommendations

What is Pima Cotton?

Pima Cotton Sheets

With all the labels being utilized to describe and market cotton products, the aisles of your home goods store can be a very confusing place to be, even for educated consumers. So for those who’ve done a bit of homework but want a deeper dive into the origin of Pima cotton, we’re here to give you some insight.

Pima cotton is one of the two distinct species of cotton that end up on store shelves. The most common type is Upland cotton, which makes up almost 90% of all cotton produced around the world. The remaining 10% is made up of two higher-quality cottons — Egyptian cotton and Pima cotton. Both of these cottons are actually the same species of “extra-long staple cotton” with longer, silkier individual cotton fibers for a premium fabric that is both luxuriously soft and incredibly strong. While Egyptian cotton, when it’s authentic, is a premium fabric that originates in the Nile River Valley, Pima cotton has a decidedly American story.

Extra-long staple cotton means that each of the individual fibers that make up the fluffy cotton bud are at least one and three-eighths inches in length. Longer cotton fibers will lead to a finished woven product that is softer, stronger, and longer-lasting. The cotton fibers of Pima cotton are 50% longer than those of standard cotton.

Because it’s considered the finest cotton in the world, it’s no surprise that farmers were keen to cultivate extra-long staple cotton on American soil.

Pima traces its roots to cotton that was cultivated on the famed Sea Islands of South Carolina as early as the 1790s. Through selective cross-pollination with Egyptian varieties throughout the 19th century, producers were able to develop a uniquely American extra-long staple cotton. This cotton, originally called American-Egyptian cotton, presented an incredibly high-quality fiber that resulted in a luxurious fabric that is as soft as it was strong.

It wasn’t until the early 1900s that the United States Department of Agricultural made its mark, working with the Pima tribe of Arizona to perfect this young crop. It was in honor of these pioneering farmers that the USDA called the American extra-long staple variety “Pima cotton.”

The 1950s saw great innovations in Pima seed quality, which continues to this very through the efforts of Pima farmers in the San Joaquin Valley of California.

Pima cotton only grows in mild, warm, and dry climates, so farming it in the United States is isolated to California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. Only about 3% of the cotton grown in the United States is Pima cotton, making it quite unique and far more expensive than standard cotton.

What’s the Difference Between Pima Cotton and Supima Cotton?

Now, you may have also heard of Supima cotton and might be pondering about the difference between this and Pima cotton.

The answer is SuPima is Pima cotton, but not all Pima cotton is Supima.

Doesn’t make sense? Let me explain: SuPima is a brand name, trademarked by the SuPima Association, made from a combination of the words “superior” and “Pima”. The Supima Association acts as an overseer, functioning to regulate the purity, verify the authenticity, and promote and market the superior qualities of Pima cotton.

SuPima also mandates that its cotton be absolutely grown in the United States. Once the Supima Association authenticates that the cotton has met its stringent quality requirements and as being sourced through a verified supply chain in the United States, it can be now labeled as Supima cotton. The Supima label is envisioned to give consumers the confidence that they’re buying an authentic and premium quality product.

If you’re ready to buy some Pima cotton sheets – check out our top picks!

How are Pima cotton sheets made?

Pima cotton sheets pass through rigorous processing and procedures before they are finally available in the market.
The first process is the picking of seeds. Before, the seeds used to be picked by hands, but now there is a machine for this process.

The second stage is the condensing of the seeds. The seeds will be neatly condensed in bales, which would later be moved to the factory floor known as the opening room.

The next process is mixing. There is a machine in the factory that extracts the cotton fibers from the bales. After that, the cotton will be moved into a mixing machine.

Carding is the next process. Here, the cotton fibers are processed to form a web. At the end of this process, the cotton fibers will look like rope-like strands.
Combing comes next, and it’s simply the process of removing all dirt from the cotton. After that, the Pima cotton ropes would be transited onto bobbins for wounding and then onto spools.

Lastly, the cotton ropes will be spun into yarn before it’s woven to get a piece of fabric.

In many cases, the production of cotton sheets doesn’t always need chemicals or toxic substances. Nevertheless, some manufacturers use substances or bleach to process cotton fibers.

When Pima cotton is grown organically, they are most safe and durable for use.

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What is Egyptian Cotton?

Egyptian Cotton Sheets

Egyptian cotton is without doubt one of the finest, most luxurious materials in the world. Synonymous with opulence and sophistication not to mention comfort, its softness can only be matched by pure silk.

That’s why Egyptian cotton is the ideal indulgence for snuggling up, getting comfy and letting all your cares in the world fall away. Remarkably durable, this cotton only gets softer and softer after every single washing, making it a worthwhile and long-lasting purchase.

Egyptian cotton is renowned for its super strong and wonderfully soft long staple cotton. One of the rarest and most luxurious types of cotton, it can only be grown in very specific climates. With consistently warm summer months, cool nights and a constant supply of water, Egypt is just right for its cultivation.

Long staple cotton plants need a lot of care and attention to make the finest quality cotton possible, ready for it to be spun into a wide range of products, including 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 prolific cottons. That’s a significant reason why Egyptian cotton feels so incredibly smooth against your skin. Another crucial reason is the unique outer surface of Egyptian cotton, which can only be attained by growing cotton along the famed River Nile.

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

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.

The River Nile

The River Nile has long been considered to be the lifeblood of Egypt. Its gushing waters have made an oasis in the middle of the desert, giving Egypt wonderfully fertile soil. Extensive irrigation guarantees that the cotton gets a constant 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 smoother overall finish.

And so, moving on to the more crucial part, the one which interests you the most:

What is Egyptian cotton bedding and why does it matter?

Here are five reasons that it’s worth putting out that little bit of extra money for your Egyptian cotton bedding:

1. It’s durable

The fibers in Egyptian cotton are a lot longer (as you may have learned from the content above) so when woven together they create a thread that is much more resistant to stress. Stress being your body rubbing all over it when you sleep! If you don’t want to be replacing your bedding every few months, then you might want to go for a high Egyptian cotton percentage and an over 200 thread count.

2. Better night’s sleep, guaranteed

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 realize that but as gross as it is, we all sweat when we sleep. Egyptian cotton helps absorb that sweat, to leave you not feeling gross. Essentially, less clam = better sleep.

3. Wearing in not needed

Those cheap duvet covers might feel alright after you’ve slept in them for a few weeks. Yes, they start to soften a little bit. But we’re telling you: good quality Egyptian cotton bedding will feel a whole lot better than that fresh out of the packet. 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. Egyptian cotton will feel like you’re sleeping on a puppy, right out of the pack!

4. Believe us, you’re saving money in the long run

As mentioned above, good quality bedding is more wear-resistant and thus, will last longer. So you’ll probably actually find that you’ll end up saving money because you’re not switching up those sheets every so often. Buy good quality, buy once. Buy crap, buy two, three or four times more. Haven’t we all been there?

5. It’s super duper soft

I mean this basically bests all of the rest.




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 inside a cloud. Then, Egyptian cotton is for you.

What to Consider When Buying Egyptian Cotton Sheets?

When shopping for sheets, it’s important to pay attention to percentages. Some firms may claim that a sheet set is made of Egyptian cotton, but it could be a small amount combined with another material. These blended sheet sets can have an attractive price, but don’t be misled. If you want the real deal, then accept no substitutes. Make sure your sheets are 100% Egyptian cotton before you buy.

If you already want to see what our most recommended Egyptian cotton sheets are, click here!

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The Difference Between Egyptian And Pima Cotton

Pima Cotton Vs Egyptian Cotton

Talking about quality, most people have a fair idea of the difference between a 525-thread count sheet and a 750-thread count sheet. Less understood, however, is the difference between different kinds of cottons, especially premium cottons like Egyptian and Pima.


As mentioned many times above, Egyptian cotton is derived from high-quality long staple fiber. The cotton is extremely soft, strong and resistant to stress. The best thread count Egyptian cotton sheets are naturally resistant to pilling as well. They become even softer with usage and every wash. With the appropriate kind of care, Egyptian cotton sheets can last for years, which means more savings down the line that would offset the initial high cost.

Pima meanwhile, is no slouch as the staple is 35% longer compared to normal cotton, and is softer and lustrous. Pima cotton fabric is also abrasion and pilling resistant. It becomes more durable and softer with each wash. It absorbs color far better than normal cotton, which is why it does not fade easily.


The touch of Egyptian cotton is tremendously soft. Pima is just as soft and boasts of a great absorbency rate. The staples of pima cotton can be woven into a dense, softer and super fabric.


Most times, Egyptian cotton is handpicked. History shows that young children were hired for this purpose and then, kept as slaves. American Pima cotton, meanwhile, is not handpicked and rather, harvested by machines only.

Length of the crop:

Egyptian cotton fiber is a little bit longer than Pima cotton. That is why Egyptian cotton is slightly stronger and more lustrous. It is not easy to differentiate between the two. One cannot tell the difference between the two by feeling them on the hand alone.


Both cotton sheets can be machine-washed. Egyptian cotton can be washed up to 40 degree Celsius and Pima cotton can handle up to 60 degree Celsius temperature.


Pima cotton sheets are cheaper than high-quality Egyptian cotton sheets. Generally, Egyptian cotton sheets are more expensive because of their durability and higher value.

Meanwhile, a long-staple Pima cotton sheet will be pricey than a cotton sheet derived from shorter-fiber cotton.

To give you a clearer picture of the difference between Pima and Egyptian cotton, take a look below:

Egyptian Cotton


  • Long-staple cotton if it is real Egyptian cotton
  • Above average consistency
  • Good quality if you’re getting the real thing


  • 90% of Egyptian Cotton is Fake
  • Grown in China or India more than Egypt
  • Expensive for cotton of questionable origin
  • The ‘mystique’ of Egyptian cotton is greater than the reality

Pima Cotton


  • Long-staple cotton that is above average quality
  • Above average consistency
  • Generally good quality and often grown in USA


  • May be grown abroad
  • Not monitored by 3rd party organizations
  • Not as consistent as Supima cotton
  • May be blended with cheaper cotton

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Top Rated Pima Cotton Sheets

7.7/10 Read review
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Set Alert for Product: THOMAS LEE Percale Sheet Set - Crisp, Cool, Luxurious - 500 Thread-Count Percale, US-Grown Pima Cotton, Classic White - King Sheet Set for Bed - $328.00
Last Amazon price update was: 12 August 2022 08:31
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If you are searching for cool sheets that will be perfect for all seasons, then the THOMAS LEE sheets are the best option for you. The sheets are outstanding because of their values. The manufacturer made them from pure 100% Pima cotton (long staple). The sheets enjoy percale weave, making it highly smooth and crisp to the touch.

The 500 thread count of the sheets has a tremendous impact on the softness of the sheets. The Pima cotton used for the product is a long-staple for quality and significant wear. The sheets are on the market in two cool colors: white and ivory; hence, there is no dye in them.

We found the THOMAS LEE 500 percale Pima cotton sheets to be perfect for all seasons as they have an excellent cooling effect on the body. Winter or summer, you will always sleep with no worry. From first sight, they are so soft with a good texture that doesn’t decrease after washing.

8.7/10 Read review
87 %
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Set Alert for Product: Peru Pima - 415 Thread Count Percale - 100% Peruvian Pima Cotton - Queen Bed Sheet Set, White - $129.99
Last Amazon price update was: 12 August 2022 08:46
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If you prioritize quality over your bedsheets’ price, then the Peru Pima 415 percale Pima cotton sheets are exclusively made for you. Having a great time in bed will be a new thing to you with these 100% pure Peruvian Pima cotton sheets.

Finding authentic Pima cotton sheets is not a walk in the park. To make your search easier, we have brought you the real deal.
These premium sheets are crisp, soft, smooth, and luxurious enough for you to mistake your bedroom for a hotel room.

These specific sheets fit the 15-inch deep mattress of queen size bed. The fabrics are tested and certified by OEKO-TEX, which means they are not produced with toxic chemicals or dye. The sheets are perfectly safe for you to use.

8.8/10 Read review
88 %
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Set Alert for Product: CHATEAU HOME COLLECTION 100% Egyptian Cotton Sheets Queen Size, 800 Thread Count White 4 Piece Sheet Set, Solid Sateen Weave, 16" Deep Pocket (Fits Upto 18" Mattress), Long Staple Cotton Bedsheet Set - $99.99
Last Amazon price update was: 11 August 2022 21:37
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These sheets are of genuine 100% Pima cotton with 500 thread count. The set is one of the best high-end durable sheets that are an excellent choice for anybody.

The product is available in two magnificent colors, and they are moonstone and walnut. These colors are excellent for giving a great theme to your room.

The fine yarns used are long-staple, which was woven with sateen. The sateen weave gives the sheets a slight sheen on the top surface. Chateau Home Collections 500 Pima cotton sheets are incomparable to so many sheets you will find in the stores online and offline.

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Top Rated Egyptian Cotton Bed Sheets

8.7/10 Read review
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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 - $24.99
Last Amazon price update was: 12 August 2022 08:51
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If you have been on the hunt for 100% Egyptian cotton bed sheets that are not pricey, these are your go-to sheets. The elegant comfort offers this set for you to enjoy all the benefits of pure Egyptian cotton without burning a hole in your pocket.

The super-fine yarns and weave used on the fabrics are good at repelling stains and sweat, making sleeping more comfortable. Likewise, it makes maintaining the sheets easier.

Elegant comfort luxurious 1500 Egyptian cotton sheets are easy to care for. You can machine wash them in cold water, and tumble dry them on low heat.

The amazing 1500 thread count in the sheet gives it a very soft, smooth, and comfortable feel on the body. This particular set is perfect for a mattress that’s up to 16-inch deep. The products are available in various sizes and beautify colors, including red, burgundy, orange, hot pink, and more.

7.8/10 Read review
78 %
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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 - $78.99
Last Amazon price update was: 12 August 2022 08:42
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Everything about the Mayfair linen 800 Egyptian cotton sheets are impressive, ranging from their silky sateen weave that is very smooth to their classic well-constructed stitches.

The product is blessed and suitable for any room in the house. The 800 thread count in the sheets makes them comforting for every time’s sleep. The sheets are carefully constructed with many features such as elastic all over the edge and neat stitches that give them a superior look.

You can get the sheets in your preferred size and colors like white, ivory, blue, red, burgundy, teal, and others. The sheets’ excellent look will give your room a royal theme.

You may need to invest more dollars in other cotton sheets that are existing in the market. As for this set of sheets, you will get all you want in sheets at a reasonable price.

8.6/10 Read review
86 %
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Set Alert for Product: True Luxury 1000-Thread-Count 100% Egyptian Cotton Bed Sheets, 4-Pc Queen Dark Grey Sheet Set, Single Ply Long-Staple Yarns, Sateen Weave, Fits Mattress Upto 18'' Deep Pocket - $96.79
Last Amazon price update was: 12 August 2022 12:51
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Either you are looking for premium sheets to gift someone or yourself, these true luxury Egyptian sheets are the best for you. The sheets are made from pure 100% Egyptian fine cotton to offer you the most durable and comfortable sheets that are worth your cash.

The sheets are soft and breathable at all times and they remain soft after months of use. They are suitable for your deep mattresses that’s up to 18-inch. Thanks to its fully elasticized fitted sheet that makes sleeping stress-free, they don’t snug all through the night, no matter how rough you may sleep.

They can be used in any room in the house since they are highly valuable. This product is available in many colors and few sizes like California King, Queen and King Sizes of four and six pieces sets.
These bed sheets are the best deal for you if you don’t mind the price tag, not too pricey though.

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[FAQ’s] Consumer Questions & Answers

Pima vs. Egyptian cotton sheets, which should I purchase?
The two cotton variants are similar; they are long-fibers that gives softness to the sheets. They are durable and sturdy too. Meanwhile, Egyptian cotton sheets are more expensive than Pima cotton sheets because of their higher value and longer fibers.

What thread count should a cotton sheet have?
Generally, cotton sheets are okay with 400-700 thread count. As thread count determines the sheets’ softness, a higher thread count means the sheets will be softer.

Why are hotel sheets crispy?
Hotel sheets are made from cotton. Cotton is known for fluffiness and softness. That’s why hotel sheets are crisp.
Will I sweat in Egyptian cotton sheets?
Egyptian cotton sheets are among the breathable sheets in the market. If the one you purchase is pure 100% Egyptian cotton sheets, you shouldn’t sweat in them.

Will my Pima cotton sheets remain soft after washing them?
Pima cotton is long-staple fibers grown in the United States, southwestern, to be precise. They are also grown in Peru and Australia. With Pima cotton fibers’ length, they will always remain soft after washing, except they are not authentic.

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