Types of Sheets
With so many different types of sheets, choosing a set can seem confusing. The type of material has a big impact on the overall experience, softness, durability and price of sheet sets. Comparing different types of sheets helps you find a bedding option that fits your preferences.
Cotton versus satin. Pima versus Egyptian. With so many options, how do you choose sheets? The material is a big factor in just how comfy sheets feel. But not everyone likes the same type of feel when they slip under the covers. Comparing the options helps you decide which type of sheets best fits your sleep preferences.
Pima Cotton Sheets
First up is the Pima sheet, which is a type of cotton. It ranks up there with Egyptian cotton in terms of quality. Its fibers are longer than the more common American upland cotton, which makes Pima cotton softer and less likely to pill. It also tends to have a natural sheen to it. If you see the name Supima, you know you're getting Pima cotton sheets as it's a trademarked name for certain Pima fabrics.
All types of cotton are breathable and help keep you cool in summer and warm in winter, which makes them versatile and comfortable. Cotton is also an easy fabric to maintain, and it lasts.
Egyptian Cotton Sheets
Egyptian cotton is known as the top-of-the-line sheet material – and it has a price tag to match. Plan to spend several hundred dollars on a set of Egyptian cotton sheets. In return, you get a luxurious experience with sheets that are thin yet super strong. Like Pima cotton, Egyptian cotton features a long fiber length. Some sheets include a small amount of Egyptian cotton mixed with cheaper cotton, so check the labels to find out the actual Egyptian cotton content.
Instead of using natural fibers, such as cotton, microfiber uses synthetic materials to create a budget-friendly sheet option. Microfiber usually consists of polyester or nylon material. The tightly woven fibers are very small, which makes them easy to care for. Why? The construction makes these sheets resistant to water and staining. Plus, it's hypoallergenic, giving you a comfortable place to sleep if you have sensitivities. But microfiber comes with some cons, most notably the tendency to have static and wrinkle. They also don't last as long as some other sheet types.
What are satin sheets made of? The material can vary with options including cotton, polyester, silk and wool. Rather than being defined by the type of material, satin sheets are classified by the type of weave. That weave creates the smooth, slick, soft surface that's usually associated with satin sheets. Satin often comes in on the higher end of the price range, and they don't always hold up as long as other sheet options.
Another soft, shiny option, silk sheets offer a smooth finish with a lot of luster. The smoothness makes these sheets less likely to catch on things. They're made from silk fibers and are very strong. Silk is especially good for pillowcases because the fabric keeps your hair smoother with fewer tangles. You'll need to wash and dry your silk sheets carefully in as cool of temperatures as possible to keep them in good condition.
Looking for a sustainable bedding option? Bamboo may be a good fit for your bedroom. When you think of bamboo, you may not think of softness, but sheets made from the material offer a soft-to-the-touch feel that makes you feel cozy and comfortable. It's also a very breathable material that helps you stay cooler at night. And bamboo is hypoallergenic and antimicrobial, so your bed stays cleaner and healthier, especially if you have sensitivities. The long fibers of bamboo make it resistant to tearing and pilling. Bamboo is sometimes mixed with other materials.
When you're ready for new sheets, it's a good idea to compare the different material types. Reading the label helps you determine if the sheets contain a blend of fiber types. With a little comparison shopping, you can find a set of sheets that makes you look forward to climbing into bed each night.
Based in the Midwest, Shelley Frost has been writing parenting and education articles since 2007. Her experience comes from teaching, tutoring and managing educational after school programs. Frost worked in insurance and software testing before becoming a writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education with a reading endorsement.