We live in a world of endless options. With nearly everything we seek to buy, we find ourselves faced with shelves upon shelves of choices, or pages upon pages of internet search results to sort through. It can easily become confusing and overwhelming. Shopping for bedding is no different – you’ll find a plethora of choices in fabrics, thread counts, color, and patterns. How do you know which is right for you? You’re in luck, we’re about to give you a crash course into the most common types of bedding materials.
Cotton is by far the most common and popular material used to make bedding, and for good reason. It’s soft and easy to care for, and makes for fabric that is breathable and durable. However, the overall quality of the material can vary with the type of cotton selected. Upland cotton is the most common strain and makes for generally affordable bedding, but the shorter fiber length results in decreased softness and longevity. Longer staple cotton, such as Egyptian and Pima, are preferred for the higher quality and improved look and feel of the bedding that they produce. Cotton bedding has an uncanny ability to serve as a natural insulator – this means it can help keep you cool in summer months while also maintaining warmth in the winter months.
Flannel is a type of cotton in which the threads are fluffed up through combing before being woven into fabric. This makes for a heavier, soft and fluffy material that is great at trapping in heat. Flannel bedding is a good option for winter nights in extra-cold climates, but is impractical for year-round use. It also lacks that clean and classic look that many people prefer for their bedrooms, as flannel bedding is most often made in plaid prints or seasonal designs.
Polyester is a synthetic (man-made) fiber that can be very versatile and cheap to produce. But polyester fabrics are rather rough, stiff, and quick to breakdown or show wear. As a result, polyester is often mixed with cotton to make a fabric blend in order to produce low cost bedding. You want to avoid this material since it lacks the softness, breathability, durability, and all-around quality of cotton bedding.
While silk sheets might have a reputation for being the epitome of luxury, in reality they’re stifling hot, ridiculously expensive, and incredibly hard to care for. The only thing that silk sheets have going for them is their frequent appearance in rap lyrics.
Bamboo is a type of wood that can be manufactured into a fiber by dissolving the pulp, re-solidifying it, and then spinning it into thread. Bamboo sheets do have a soft and silky feel that rivals cotton, but this manufacturing process uses dangerous chemicals and is harmful to the environment. If you’re environmentally conscious or trying to avoid chemical exposure, you should steer clear of bamboo.
Linen bedding has experienced a recent growth in popularity. Linen is made from the flax plant which is a natural fiber similar to cotton. Linen is thicker and stronger than cotton, and it lends itself to bedding that has a unique texture and appearance. Linen bedding has a crisper feel and drapes in a less fluid way than its cotton counterpart, making it a niche product that won’t match everyone’s taste.
The choice of the material that you wrap around your body for an average of 8.5 hours a night is an important one, and at Cotton & Care, we’re firm believers that cotton is the best choice (after all, we named our brand after it). In designing our sheets, we faced many choices; selecting our premium Supima cotton was the first and the easiest, followed by choices on thread count, type of weave, and where to manufacture. We’re confident that we’ve found the perfect formula with our 250 thread count, percale, made in USA sheets.