If you haven’t been sleeping well lately, your sheets may be to blame. After all, lesser-quality sheets tend to be itchy, scratchy, and rough to the touch. Additionally, low-end sheets are prone to ripping, pilling, and tearing. If you regularly toss and turn at night or wake up soaked in sweat, it might be time to swap out that coarse, heavy bedding for something new that’s softer and lighter. When it comes to premium bedding materials, Pima cotton and Egyptian cotton tend to get the most attention, and for good reason. But which of these materials will actually result in a superior night’s rest? Keep reading to learn how these options compare and discover which one is right for you.
What is Pima Cotton?
Widely regarded as Egyptian cotton’s American cousin, Pima cotton offers numerous benefits. Grown domestically instead of overseas, this material boasts long fibers for a silky soft weave that’s also highly durable. Additionally, Pima cotton resists pilling and wrinkling, so it’s both long lasting and easy to maintain.
While the main factor separating Pima and Egyptian cotton is where they’re grown, the two materials do have some additional differences. For one thing, Pima cotton tends to be more affordable. This price variation may be due to the fact that Pima cotton is not quite as soft as its international cousin. Additionally, Pima cotton is more absorbent than Egyptian cotton, meaning that it holds colors well but also tends to stain more easily. If you have kids or pets, you might want to avoid Pima cotton or purchase a sheet set with a stain guard in the cloth.
What is Egyptian Cotton?
Like Pima cotton, Egyptian cotton boasts an exceptional softness and durability that make it a top choice among discerning shoppers. Grown in the superbly fertile soil of the Nile River Valley, Egyptian cotton features extra-long-staple fibers that are stronger than those found in other materials. Not only does this result in a smoother, more consistent finish that feels like silk, but it also helps prevent pilling and wrinkling. Additionally, this material is both porous and ultra-breathable. Because air can pass through Egyptian cotton with ease, it’s a great choice for hot sleepers and those prone to skin sensitivities. And because both Egyptian and Pima cotton are machine washable, you can throw them in the wash any time they need refreshing.
While Egyptian cotton is beloved for its beauty and softness, there are some downsides to this bedding option. For one thing, Egyptian cotton tends to be more expensive than lesser-quality fabrics. Additionally, Egyptian cotton shoppers need to beware to ensure they aren’t purchasing lower-end cottons and blends masquerading as the real thing.
Separating the Imposters From the Real Deal
When it comes to Egyptian cotton sheets, companies like Target and Walmart have a history of being less than honest with their consumers. In fact, a recent scandal saw multiple retailers exposed for selling knockoff bedding products. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to determine if sheets are truly made from 100 percent Egyptian cotton.
When assessing a potential sheet purchase, start by looking for the Cotton Egypt Association seal on the package. This trusted organization performs an audit on cotton mills and DNA tests products to certify that they contain pure Egyptian cotton and no substitutes. At Pure Parima, we sell only products bearing the gold seal of the CEA to verify their authenticity.
Additionally, savvy shoppers should look at the sheet count before making a purchase. Contrary to popular belief, a high thread count doesn’t necessarily correlate with a better product. In fact, it’s physically impossible to fit more than 800 threads in a square inch of Egyptian cotton, and companies that claim to be selling 1000 or 1500 thread count sheets are deceiving customers by weaving multiple strands of short-staple cotton together. The end result is a rougher, less durable sheet that’s likely to pill and fall apart in the wash. If you want to assess whether Egyptian cotton sheets are real, look for a count between 300 and 800.
Overall, both Egyptian and Pima cotton are on the rare side, comprising just 10 percent of the cotton on the market. Do your homework and shop from reputable companies to avoid buying a product that doesn’t meet your needs.
Snuggle Up in the Softest Egyptian Cotton Sheets
At Pure Parima, we built our reputation by offering beautiful, Egyptian cotton sheets made with extra-long-staple fibers grown in the Nile River Valley. For a truly exceptional sleep experience this winter, we recommend our Hira Sheet Set. Boasting contemporary accent diamond embroidery and an ultra-soft sateen weave, these sheets will keep you warm all winter long without causing you to overheat. Shop the collection today and discover what it means to get a great night’s sleep.