Microfiber vs Cotton Sheets: Which Is Better?

5 min read
5 min read

In this article

Soft and silky sheets are essential for a comfortable sleep. When they are aesthetically pleasing, good bed sheets keep you cozy throughout the night and protect your mattress from any wear and tear. So, if you are in the market for a new set, you must have come across microfiber vs cotton sheets. Which is better?

 

One of the main differences between cotton sheets and microfiber sheets is that while cotton is all-natural, microfiber is a synthetic fabric. As a result, both sheets have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. This article brings you all the key differences between microfiber sheets and cotton sheets to help you choose the right one for your room. Read ahead to know more!

Comparison Between Cotton vs Microfiber Sheets

When it comes to choosing between cotton sheets or microfiber sheets, it all depends on your personal preference. But, some of the pointers on how to choose between cotton and microfiber are comfort, durability, feel, and price. Consider these differences between cotton and microfiber sheets and see which one matches your needs seamlessly. The below table will help you decide. Have a look:

Parameters
Cotton
Microfiber
Durability
5 to 7 years
2-3 years
Breathable
Yes
Yes
Moisture resistant
Yes
Yes
Cost
$50-500
$20-$200
Comfortable
Yes
Yes
Feel
Soft
Smooth
Hypoallergenic
Yes
No
Maintenance
Easy to wash
Easy to wash

What Are Cotton Sheets?

Cotton sheets are made of natural fiber which has been used for almost thousands of years now. It is one of the most popular fabrics harvested from cotton plants. Good quality sheets are long-lasting and come with a higher thread count, which means they are oh-so-soft to the touch and very comfortable. Therefore, they are also known as long-staple sheets. Some of the best cotton sheets include Pima or Egyptian cotton sheets. The thread count of the cotton sheets ranges from 200-to 400, where Egyptian cotton sheets range between 300-400. 

However, cotton sheets with short staples can sometimes feel a little coarse and have a lower thread count. The best example is the Upland cotton sheets. Since the cotton fabric is available in a variety, it is quite affordable and durable if taken care of.

Cotton Sheets: Pros and Cons

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of cotton sheets.

Pros 

  • One of the main advantages of cotton sheets is that they are available in a large variety. Hence, they are both affordable yet luxurious.
  • Cotton sheets are hypoallergenic, therefore, suitable for people with allergies.
  • Cotton sheets are all-natural. 
  • It doesn’t require a lot of maintenance.
  • They are durable. 
  • Cotton sheets are breathable. 
  • Cotton sheets are moisture-resistant.

Cons 

  • Some varieties of cotton sheets are expensive; those with a high thread count.
  • Not wrinkle resistant.

What Are Microfiber Sheets?

Microfiber is a synthetic fabric made of small and thin fibers and hence feels almost like silk. Microfiber is made of a blend of various polyester fabrics together, such as Kevlar and nylon. While microfiber sheets are not completely natural, in some cases, polyester is mixed with some natural material, such as wood pulp, to create them.

The main advantage of microfiber sheets is that they are inexpensive yet offer the softness and coziness of luxurious sheets. The thickness of each fiber measures microfiber, and it must be less than 1 denier in diameter. 

Microfiber Sheets: Pros and Cons 

Let’s move on to some of the pros and cons of buying microfiber sheets. 

Pros 

  • They are not very high-maintenance and are easy to care for 
  • Since the fabric is woven together tightly, it is more durable 
  • Microfiber sheets are not very heavy 
  • Wick away heat
  • Doesn’t absorb moisture 
  • They are soft 
  • Stain and wrinkle-resistant 

Cons 

  • It is not all-natural 
  • The sheets are flammable 
  • Microfiber can feel very thin 
  • These sheets store electrons and can create static and attract other fibers like your hair

What is the difference between Microfiber and Cotton Sheets?

Cotton sheets and their quality is best determined based on their thread counts. The material may feel either softer or rougher based on a sheet’s thread count. Notably, higher thread counts feel softer and more skin-friendly, while lower thread counts may feel rough and uneven on the skin. Likewise, microfiber sheets have a smooth and slippery feel, like silk or satin. Due to this, microfiber sheets absorb more heat when compared to cotton sheets.

Now that you know what cotton and microfiber sheets are, let’s take a quick look at the differences between cotton vs microfiber sheets to help you make a better decision. 

  • Feel and Comfort 

Cotton sheets have a soft and smooth feel, which is very comforting. Also, since it is hypoallergenic, it is more suitable for people with sensitive skin, allergies, or autoimmune disorders. And when it comes to microfiber sheets, they also offer high-quality softness like cotton sheets. Most microfiber sheets are made with a sateen or percale weave. So, you will notice a smooth finish. 

  • Coolness 

When you opt for 100% natural cotton sheets, they are breathable and have incredible air circulation. It means your body heat will not get trapped, and you will enjoy a comfortable sleep. Cotton is also absorbent, so even if you are sweaty and feel hot when you doze off, it will not interfere with your sleep. 

You may think that since microfibers are synthetic, they might not be very breathable. But, that’s not the case. Microfiber wicks away any heat and ensures a comfortable sleep. They also don’t absorb any moisture, making them a great choice for hot sleepers. The fabric is also used for athletic purposes because of its moisture-wicking properties. So, if breathability is a concern, cotton or microfiber sheets are both perfect.

  • Durability 

Cotton sheets are interlocked together in a strong weave, making them durable and not compromising the softness either. You can regularly wash them and use them every day, and they won’t lose their texture or shape. High-quality cotton sheets last up to 5 to 7 years even after constant use and washing. 

Coming to microfibers, they also come with a tight weave, making them all the more durable. Like cotton, they can also last up to 3 years even after constant use. Another advantage is that they are not prone to stains as they repel moisture.

  • Maintenance and Care 

The cotton and microfiber sheets are very easy to care for and maintain. You can easily wash them in the machine and sundry them if the care label doesn’t say otherwise. 

  • Cost 

Both sheets come in different types, and costs can fluctuate. But, you will find affordable varieties when choosing between cotton or microfiber. While cotton sheets are based on the thread count, microfiber sheets come with GSM or grams per square meter rating. 

Which is better microfiber or cotton?

Both microfiber and cotton sheets come with their own benefits and drawbacks. It depends on what you need for a good night’s sleep. But the bottom line is that you cannot go wrong with either as they are both designed for utmost comfort and come with more pros than cons. 

Usually, most people prefer cotton sheets as they are soft, durable, breathable, hypoallergenic, and also eco-friendly. And even the cotton sheets with low-thread count can offer you great comfort. 

The best thread count for cotton sheets is between 200-800. For the highest quality, you need something 400 and above. 

Most hotels use high-quality cotton sheets. 

You must replace your sheets every 2-3 years. 

You must wash your sheets at least once a week. However, if there are any spills or stains, you must put your sheets to wash immediately.

Generally, linen and cotton sheets are more breathable and cool.

No. They are not the same. Microfiber is usually made of a polyester-nylon blend. 

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Each week our team researches, writes and collaborates with industry leaders to bring you simple easy-to-read sleep information.

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Meet Our Review Board

Each week our team researches, writes and collaborates with industry leaders to bring you simple easy-to-read sleep information.

David Bridge

Sleep Coach

Siddhesh Tiwatne

Sleep Coach

Authored by health experts and journalists

Fact checked and science-backed

Medically reviewed by physicians