While modal and linen have their clear benefits when it comes to comfortable sleep, we find cotton, particularly extra-long staple Egyptian cotton sheets like Princess and Perla to be the all-around winners. Fabrics woven from top-quality cotton are not only super soft, breathable and moisture-wicking, but are also durable and easily cared for.
On average, we spend one-third of our day (and life) sleeping, so it’s incredibly important for you to make the most of your time in bed. Selecting the right quality fabrics for your bedding is a key factor in getting you the most comfortable night’s sleep as you transition from one season to another.
Origin and Types of Cotton
For cotton, quality is about the length and fineness of those fibers — the longer and the finer the fiber, the stronger and more elastic the yarn it creates. Home Treasures exclusively uses long staple and extra-long staple cotton, sourced from Egypt, to ensure the quality (and comfort!) of our bedding lasts.
The most common variants of cotton are Egyptian, Pima, Supima and Upland.
The term has unfortunately come to be used in a generic sense to describe any cotton grown in Egypt or any high quality cotton sourced globally, but the truest meaning of Egyptian cotton refers to the extra-long staple varietal—gossypium barbadense or Sea Island cotton—farmed in the Nile Valley. Here, this type of cotton benefits from the heat and humidity of the region to create long, strong and fine fibers that result in supremely soft and long lasting luxury linens.
A fine, medium to long-staple cotton with a soft feel: Pima cotton is grown in hot, humid environments like the Southern United States, Peru, and Australia. In the United States, there is a specific extra-long staple varietal called Supima, which often compares in length, strength and softness to Egyptian cotton fibers. It is grown in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
The most common variety of cotton used for low-to-mid market sheets and clothing, Upland cotton is characterized by a shorter staple and rougher feel. If the label only says ‘100% cotton’ or is a cotton-polyester blend, this is likely the varietal used. Avoid low quality cotton with short fibers as it is more prone to pill and developing a coarse texture.
Quality of Cotton
Home Treasures prides itself in using long and extra-long staple Egyptian Cotton, as the fineness and strength of the fibers makes for smooth and durable fabrics. Why Is Egyptian Cotton the best material for sheets and duvets? To understand what makes Egyptian Cotton so special, let’s decode some of the terminology you’ll find during your search for the perfect luxury bedding.
Thread count has been used as a marketing method to communicate quality, but the reality is, a higher thread count doesn’t always translate to a higher quality fabric with a softer and more luxurious the feel if a high quality cotton fiber is not used. The thread count notes the number of yarns per square inch in a textile and can range from 100 to 1200 for cotton sheets. When evaluating thread count, it’s important to account for the quality of the yarn used. You can personally experience this difference by comparing the hand feel of our 300 thread count Royal Sateen to 1000 thread count sheeting found on Amazon— trust us, you won’t think about thread count the same way again.
The staple refers to the length of an individual strand of cotton fiber in its natural state. Extra-long staple (ELS) cotton is a minimum of 1-3/8” long, but can grow to a length of 2” or more. Short-staple cotton is less than an inch, with a tendency to work loose from the weave to ‘pill,’ making the sheet feel rough to the touch and ultimately tear. Egyptian Cotton is known as an extra-long staple.
When it comes to cotton sheets, there are two kinds of weaves that are most common. A Percale is woven with a “one over, one under” weave (also known as a “classic” weave) that gives it a crisp, cool feel with a matte finish. Most likely you have experienced Percale sheets in Hotels as they are also known to be more durable. In terms of Percales, Home Treasures has three collections — Deluxe (a 200 TC, Egyptian cotton), Perla (a 500 TC, Egyptian cotton) and N°45 (a Giza 45 Egyptian cotton, which is the rarest and finest form of cotton available…yes, please!).
On the other hand, a Sateen is woven with a “three or four over, one under” weave that gives it a smooth feel and a subtle sheen on the side that has more threads running along the surface. For those who want to be enveloped in softer, more sumptuous sheeting, sateen is the way to go. Home Treasures has a variety of sateen options available so consider the weight and price point that’s best for you — Royal Sateen (a 300 TC, Egyptian cotton), Princess (a 600 TC, Egyptian cotton), Villa (a 700 TC, Egyptian cotton) and Plush 1000 (a 1000 TC, Egyptian cotton).
Dressing your bed just right for the season doesn’t have to be hard. You can shop with confidence after reading more of our tips for selecting the right bedding for you in our “Between the Sheets” series of articles.
Home Treasures Cotton Bedding
While feel and durability are key to your comfort, the design and finish of your bedding shouldn’t take a backseat. We consider self-expression daily in our appearance, hobbies, and career choices. Your bedroom should be an extension of that personalization. With a myriad of choices, we provide you the opportunity to create a space you daydream to return to each day. We invite you to experience our Egyptian Cotton sheets first hand by shopping our Sateen (Royal Sateen, Princess, Villa and Plush 1000) and Percale (Perla, N°45 Classico) collections.