Microfiber vs. Cotton Sheet- Comparison & Guide to Buying Sheets

What is the first thing that pops on your mind when you see a particularly well-designed sheet? Just through a visual encounter, you find yourself imagining how it feels, is it silky or coarse to touch, is it thick or light. All these thoughts usually pass through the mind, however briefly. This is a testament to how, even in our subconscious, we seek to get one of the most critical elements that determine how good our night sleep is.

Picking up a quality sheet is an investment that always pays us in multiple folds. As the saying goes, “As you lay your bed, so you lie on it,” the quality of your night sleep is dependent on what you are sleeping on.

When the question shifts to what makes a quality sheet or what to look for in a sheet, most people usually arrive at an impasse between a microfibre and a cotton sheet – after due research. The reason for this is not too far-fetched. They both have incredible properties that make them so much sought after.

This leaves the decision to a matter of preference, to this end we bring you this write-up where we compare and contrast microfiber and cotton sheet to aid you in making the best decision of which would suit your purposes best.

A Quick Overview

Before going forward, a brief description of both types of sheets is necessary. The microfibre, as the name tells, is made from extremely thin threads, thinner than those of silk, the human hair, and even cotton itself.

They are woven from synthetic materials such as polyesters and polyamides, although cellulose from wood pulp is sometimes employed. They are usually of fine, light, silky texture and are excellent at wicking moisture.

Cotton, as we know, is obtained from harvested cotton plants, they are treated and spun into threads to make a soft and fuzzy textile.

Now that we have gone over that, we will be comparing these two materials based on a number of properties.

Comfort and Feel

Cotton has a soothing, fuzzy, and soft feel. It is smooth to touch and gives a sense of comfort. Because more threads are used in making the same unit of microfibre, cotton is usually heavier. Cotton also offers more in terms of aeration; it is more breathable and doesn’t trap heat.

It is also medically recommended for people with sensitive skin. It has excellent moisture-wicking properties. It draws out moisture from sweat to let it evaporate and create much cooler bedding, reducing heat and soaky sheets.

Microfibre has a silky feel. It is slippery to touch and is often very light due to its ultra-thin threads and the fact that it doesn’t require many threads to fill up a unit area. They also offer great moisture-wicking properties but trap heat much more due to tight spaces among individual fibers. This also means that they are less breathable and can give the feel of being trapped when it wraps around you as it often does.


Considering that picking out new cotton is a task that is reserved for every few years, the life-span of the material you pick has to be carefully considered.

Cotton usually shrinks after each wash and will soon stop covering as much space as it used to, but that won’t happen till it has served you for a few years, at least. On the flip side, they are less prone to tear and wear from washing.

With proper maintenance, cotton is one of the most durable materials to be used as bed sheets. But it usually takes conscious efforts to pick up the right laundry items to ensure the integrity of its quality.

Microfibers, on the other hand, have a durability that is based on quality. This gives a need to invest in top-quality products. Microfiber sheets made of little thread count tear easily, especially when washing. Higher thread counts ensure that it can withstand stretching. Microfibers don’t wrinkle and are easy and don’t require special care to maintain.

Ease of Cleaning

Cotton is susceptible to chemicals and will shrink and lose color when poorly maintained. It doesn’t retain dirt easily and, as so, doesn’t require being thoroughly washed. You might have to pre-soak and hand wash cotton; however, to give it the soft touch it needs.

Cotton also wrinkles easily and would usually require you to iron it, for it to give off its best appearance. All this can be time-consuming but usually worth the effort as it ensures that you can use your favorite sheets for years to come in the same quality you bought it.

Microfibre sheets, on the other hand, don’t require too much attention as they are rugged. They might require a more thorough washing as they retain dirt more. Even with a thorough wash, you might not be able to get out all the dirt, resulting in unwanted dirty patches on your bed sheet. Microfibre doesn’t wrinkle easily as well. You can wash and spread it directly.


A couple of factors usually determine the cost of each of these materials. Higher quality often translates into higher prices. Cotton with longer and stronger fibers like Pima cotton and the high-end Egyptian cotton often cost much more. In general, cotton sheets are more expensive than ones with similar quality but made of microfiber.

Microfibers with better sewing process and heavier thread counts are usually more expensive to purchase. They offer more durability and consistency compared to cheaper sheets.


Cotton is soft and incredible to touch. They are also heaven-sent to people with sensitive skin. They are elegant and very comfortable to use as bed sheets. They are also more costly and require a lot of time to care for and keep in excellent condition.

Microfibers are more rugged and are quite comfortable as well. They are light and easy to maintain but are less aerated and can worsen skin conditions.

When you choose your sheet, put into consideration all these points and choose one that fits most perfectly into your lifestyle and preferences. Again, “As you lay on your bed, so you lie on it.”

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