There are two main questions people ask when it comes to the whole Egyptian cotton vs regular cotton discussion. Most people don’t know anything about the differences, just that Egyptian cotton is more expensive than regular cotton.
The first question is usually: Why is Egyptian cotton considered better than regular cotton, especially in bedding?
The first difference is the most basic one, and the core reason for why Egyptian cotton is superior to regular cotton: Egyptian cotton and regular cotton come from different plants. This means their basic properties are different even before harvesting and manufacture begins.
Egyptian Cotton Comes From Egypt. But Not All Cotton From Egypt Is Egyptian Cotton.
Confused yet? Stay with me.
Egyptian cotton comes from Gossypium barbadense, also known as extra-long staple cotton. This plant grows exceptionally well in the rich, moist soil of the Nile River floodlands, with its full sun, high humidity and heavy, seasonal rainfall.
What does extra-long staple cotton mean? Simply, the individual fibres of the cotton plant are much longer than the more common cotton plant (Gossypium malvaceae). This means there is less ‘interruption’ to each strand of yarn and thread, resulting in fewer splices and a smoother, stronger, more lustrous fabric.
When comparing the feel of Egyptian cotton sheets and regular cotton sheets on your skin, Egyptian cotton is noticeably softer than regular cotton.
A simple comparison would be feeling the difference between muslin or silkaline and calico: muslin and silkaline is fine and soft while calico is more coarse and a little heavier on the skin.
This is an important difference considering you’ll spend on average 8 hours a night feeling that luxurious smoothness on your skin. And, it has the added bonuses of growing softer with wear, shedding less lint and not pilling.
Because the Egyptian cotton yarn is so fine, its fibres longer and thinner than regular cotton, more thread counts can be packed into the same area, giving the weave an extra tautness that helps with the durability of the fabric, meaning they last longer than regular cotton.
Egyptian cotton is also more porous than regular cotton, helping to soak up moisture and allowing your skin to breathe easier during the night. This is particularly helpful for tropical areas, sultry evenings and hot temps.
Basically, Egyptian cotton beats regular cotton for texture, strength, durability, comfort, appearance and sheen.
Pretty compelling reasons to choose Egyptian cotton sheets, eh?
The second question usually is: What am I looking for when ordering Egyptian cotton sheets? Followed closely by:
How Can I Tell A Fake From The Real Deal?
The quickest way to tell a fake is often the price. Many sellers will try to sell Egyptian cotton for less than $50.00 a set. These are most likely cotton blend sheets or cotton from Egypt but not from the Gossypium barbadense plant.
Next, look at the thread count. The higher the thread count, the more likely it is to be authentic Egyptian cotton. Also check for the ply of the sheets: single ply is the best; multi-ply is often used to artificially increase the thread count.
If you’re still unsure, feel and really look at the fabric. (If you’re buying online, ask for a sample.) Higher thread counts are obviously softer and stronger than the usual 180/250 thread counts of cotton blends and regular cotton sheets.
Extra-long staple Egyptian cotton makes up only 4% of the world’s total cotton production. It is yet another reason why Egyptian cotton is so highly valued. So if you are looking to update your bed sheets with Egyptian Cotton Sheets, then have a browse through our store.