When it comes to bed sheets, all sets are not created equal. This is especially seen when you are comparing the most common options – cotton and polyester bed sheets.
Once you peel away the specific manufacturer differences, such as the overall size of the pockets designed into the sheets and the attractive design patterns, you are left with the need to look at the characteristics of each fabric itself. So, this leaves the question, “Which is better – cotton or polyester?”.
Let’s take a look of the differences below.
Cotton is made from flexible fibers that are soft to the touch. These fibers bend and move easily, making the material less prone to tears and rips. The cotton fabrics used for crafting bed sheets are resistant to pilling when used. Overall, you will find that cotton is a durable material that can withstand all types of use.
Polyester is a man-made fabric. This type of material has a stiffer feel and look. While this can create an attractive bed, it does allow for pilling when used continuously.
Manufacturers have addressed this issue. Using advancements in their designs the polyester can be treated to prevent these types of issues. However, you will need to look at the labeling placed on the sheet sets to see if the manufacturer has utilized these measures when creating the product.
As a natural fiber material, cotton is known for having a high breathability rating. This allows for air flow through the material to prevent heat from building up while sleeping. Due to these characteristics, cotton is often a good option if you are a person that suffers from night sweats or enjoys a cooler sleeping experience.
Polyester requires a stronger weave when creating the materials used for creating the bed sheets. This creates a fabric that is less breathable. Manufacturers use advancements in technology to treat the material when a softer appeal is desired.
This is a process often seen with microfiber polyester sheets. Polyester is a good option for individuals that wish to experience warmer sleep accommodations, especially during later fall or winter seasons in cooler climates. They are also an ideal option for an individual that suffer from medical conditions that prevent proper circulation throughout the body.
The care needed to keep bed sheets fresh and clean is often an important factor when shopping around for these products. With cotton, there are minimal specific instructions that you must follow.
These types of bed sheets can often be placed in your residential washer and drying machine during regular laundry cycles to keep them looking and feeling their best.
However, cotton materials are prone to shrinkage and should not be washed or dried using hot water or heat settings. Opting instead for cold or warm water washing cycles and lower heat settings will ensure the sheets maintain their desired shape and size.
Polyester bed sheets often come with special instructions that the manufacturer places on the product label. These types of sheets should be line dried to prevent the product from pilling or experiencing major wrinkles. When this is not possible, the manufacturers do recommend using a lower heat setting on your drier that should be suitable for most types of polyester bed sheets. However, you may need to iron the sheets to remove unwanted wrinkles that can occur after cleaning.
As a natural fabric, cotton can be used to manufacturer bed sheets without being treated by chemicals or other types of manufacturing processes. This allows the creator of the products to place eco-friendly claims on the sheets that they produce.
As a man-made material, polyester must go through several different chemical processes in order to create a fabric that can be crafted into bed sheets or other types of products.
When the manufacturer is seeking a product design that allows for characteristics such as non-pilling, fire retardant, or silky feel then the material must go through additional chemical processes. This prevents the manufacturer from making claims of the product being eco-friendly or safe for the environment.
One factor that should always be kept in mind is that manufacturers often treat the sheets with starch and wax to deliver a glossy look before packaging them. This is to appeal to the customer when shopping for the sheets they wish to dress their bed in.
However, after a few washes, this glossy appeal will disappear, but the chemicals that are used for this treatment process may not be something you want to expose your family too if an eco-friendly goal is what you have in mind.
There are countless options for cotton and polyester bed sheets on the market. These products come in every color and patterned design you could ever imagine. This can make it difficult to narrow your search down to one when shopping around for these products.
Knowing what to look for and having the ability to understand the natural characteristics that each type of bed sheet set should possess will prevent some of the frustration that this endeavor creates.
As you can see, by comparing the pros and cons of both cotton and polyester bed sheets offer the true answer as to which is the best option comes down to your own personal preferences.
If you are a person that enjoys a softer surface to sleep on or if easy cleaning is your goal, cotton bed sheets are definitely the direction you should go.
If your goal is to create a luxurious bed appeal or you enjoy the satin finish that poly-blend sheets have to offer, polyester bed sheets will never disappoint you. Overall, you will want to ensure that you have the ability to properly care and maintain the bed sheets to get the most life from them.