Cotton bed sheets: why cotton and which type to choose?

They say: “one makes the bed one lies on”. That is when this expression hits directly on the subject. What bedding you choose influences a lot the quality of your sleep. Some may underestimate the importance of appropriate bed sheets for a good night’s sleep. We hasten to convince you that a suitable choice in this sense will surely change your perspective. It would probably not be a surprise; still, it is worth mentioning that cotton is among the best choices. You have probably heard this information at least a few times, but what actually makes it a top material? This is what we are going to answer in this article, referring to other aspects relevant to the subject to make your life easier the next time you have to make a choice in this respect.  

Why choose cotton bedding

Are you tired of the night tossing and turning? One of the reasons is the low-quality bedding. As strange as it may sound, bed sheets can solve the problem at a particular level. The leading material is undoubtedly cotton. It has already been proven that it doesn’t affect the body in any other way but positively. We would like to reveal to you the whole range of benefits of cotton bedding. Take a look!

  • It lets your body breathe during the night. Cotton is natural, which means that it makes the bedding breathable. You will no longer wake up in need of a fresh breath of air since you will constantly have access to it. Studies have shown that each person sweats a bit every night. Luckily, cotton absorbs the heat, leaving you dry and comfy. It works the opposite way during the winter when cotton retains the heat and keeps you warm.
  • Soft on touch. Is there a better feeling than hopping into your freshly washed sheets? Well, cotton doubles the effect by feeling exceptionally smooth. Particularly if you have sensitive skin, this is a go-to option since cotton, among other benefits, is also hypoallergenic. Therefore, you can forget about any skin irritation and enjoy your sleep.
  • It is long-lasting. Undoubtedly, high-quality cotton will cost you more, but you will be able to save in the long run. One slightly more expensive purchase for years of quality sleep. Here is a fact: cotton bedding can last twice as long as any man-made alternative.
  • Easy to take care of. As complex as this material seems, cotton is exceptionally easy to take care of. Forget about handwashing and endless ironing. It simply goes into the washing machine at 40 degrees without being mixed with other textiles. 
  • Stylish effect. It doesn’t require hard work to keep your cotton bedding looking well. It naturally looks impeccable. Furthermore, cotton is a classic, which means it will fit your bedroom regardless of its style. Be it a traditional or modern one.

Cotton bedding types

As perfect as this material seems, its benefits may vary depending on the type, some outperforming others. Therefore, we would like to give you an insight into what each category consists of so that you are acquainted with the specifics and find the cotton bed sheets that meet your standards. 


This particular type dominates the top. Egyptian cotton is of the highest quality and prevails regarding all the earlier mentioned aspects. You should know that Egyptian cotton is made of extra-long cotton fibers, which even doubles the cotton bedding benefits. Undoubtedly, it is the most expensive, but nothing compares with sleeping on such bed sheets.


It is the next in the row after Egyptian cotton. Pima is not limited in durability, quality, and softness. Furthermore, it is also made of long fibers. It even bears the same luxurious appearance. All these things are considered at a significantly lower price than the previous option.


It is one of the most popular options. First of all, it is made of short-staple cotton, which reduces a bit from its quality, placing it after the Egyptian and Pima cotton. This type is still a great option, although not being as soft yet keeping pace when it comes to durability. A tiny hint: if you see a label that reads “100% cotton”, you should know it refers to this particular type.


This type is more of an option for cold weather. What makes it stand out is the fact that the cotton is shredded while the individual yarns are shaved to set free the fibers for an extra fuzzy feel. It adds to the softness and makes this type perfect during the winter when we all fancy an enhanced comfort level.


Picture a stretchy cotton t-shirt as a bedsheet. It perfectly replicates what jersey bedding looks and feels like. There are no problems when it comes to cleaning. Still, it is not as long-lasting as the previous options, while the pliable nature leads to an easy stretching out, which reduces the durability even more. Nevertheless, this type is no less soft and comfy on touch. 

Cotton percale or Cotton sateen: what is the difference?

You have probably come across these terms when choosing your bed sheets. If you are still unfamiliar with them or want to learn more, you will surely broaden your horizons after going through the following information. Both these types refer to the weave. This is what stands between you and good sleep. Therefore, we would like to give you a narrower insight into each type in part. 

Cotton percale

Percale is a solid and lightweight weave, ensuring cool and breathable bed sheets. It is perfect for every season, particularly for warm weather. What stands behind such aspects? Percale is a basket weave (one thread under, one over). The technique that has been used for hundreds of years offers durability and stands behind the impressive fabric strength. One can also add the matte texture and crisp feel.


  • Exceptionally breathable all year round;
  • Long-lasting;
  • Strong weave yet soft on touch;
  • Easy to take care of;
  • It becomes even softer with use;
  • No pilling;
  • Outstandingly cool and crisp.


  • Stiff at first, until you use the sheets;
  • It initially shows wrinkles that lessen with use.

Cotton sateen

Sateen is more tightly woven with a greater count of threads, prevailing in weight and warmth. It works perfectly for regions with cold weather, making it less suitable for hot areas. In contrast with the previous option, this type implies one thread under and three or even four over. This is what stands behind the silky effect and slightly warmer result. 


  • Surprisingly warm at feel;
  • Fewer wrinkles;
  • Can sometimes reveal a lustrous sheen;
  • Silky on touch.


  • Probability of pilling;
  • With a lower level of durability;
  • Less breathable;
  • Shine fades with time.

Final thoughts: which type of cotton bedding to choose

Our part is to inform you. You are the one to say the last word. When it comes to the particular type of cotton, it depends on how much you are ready to spend on quality bed sheets. Although the close alternatives are no less impressive, Egyptian cotton is a no-fail option. We usually stay impartial, but we cannot skip this part and want to say that you can get years of good sleep with a single yet expensive purchase. As regards the weave, first, consider the weather in your area and the way you want your sheets to feel: is it soft and crisp with percale or silky and warm with sateen? You can even choose both and switch from one to another according to your preference. A final piece of advice: don’t save money when you speak about a good night’s sleep; make a good choice in this sense, and you will not regret it!

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