Which is the best fabric for bedding, cotton vs linen vs tencel vs silk?
When it comes to selecting the perfect set of sheets, one size certainly does not fit all. The overwhelming choice of fabrics, fibers and thread count can make it especially challenging to decode exactly what you want from your sheets, and which option will give it to you. In an effort to help you navigate the trending debate of cotton, vs linen, vs Tencel, vs silk; we've put together a comprehensive guide to some of the most popular sheets, why they might be right for you, and how they rank on the sustainability scale.
Cotton is the most popular fiber for bedding, but it's also one of the most diverse so it pays to know what you're looking for. At the top end of the scale is Egyptian cotton bed linen which is crafted from hand-picked, ultra-fine fibers resulting in seriously soft and smooth bedding that typically has a minimum thread count of 200. It can be lower in some cases, but you're best looking for a minimum TC of 200 for a luxurious feel. The combination of high thread count and quality yarn means it's the strongest, most durable cotton on the market - with a price tag to match.
- Soft and comfortable
- Sweat-absorbing and breathable
- good thermal effect
- Easy to deform and shrink
Comprehensive recommendation index: 5 stars
Linen is made from the fibers in the stalks of flax plants and has great breathability due to its large fibers and open weave. Indeed, the thread count for linen bedding is much less than that of cotton. Linen conducts both moisture and heat and is, therefore a popular fabric to wear in hot weather. It is considered antibacterial, which is one reason historically bandages have been made from linen. This could be either due to its low moisture retention, or some natural chemical. However, as you'd expect with its strong selling points, linen is typically quite expensive, though many argue it's a worthy investment.
- Good air permeability and heat dissipation
- Natural herbal raw materials with certain antibacterial properties
- easy to wrinkle, easy to shrink
- Rougher to the touch
- high price
Comprehensive recommendation index: three and a half stars
Tencel is a brand name by Lenzing Fibres, which means cloth or lyocell. It’s a cloth created out of cellulose from wood – additional specifically, eucalyptus trees. Rather than being plain-woven out of fibers from the shrub, Tencel fibers square measure created from the pulp of eucalyptus wood. This pulp is dissolved and spun into fibers, that square measure plain-woven to form a very robust nevertheless swish cloth.
TENCEL eliminates the negative environmental impacts of traditional fiber processing, using new sustainable technologies. No nasty chemicals or water-wasting irrigation systems are needed to grow eucalyptus trees making TENCEL one of the most eco-friendly fabrics available.
- Natural material, cellulose extracted from plant wood pulp
- Very skin-friendly, smooth and cool to the touch, the smoothness is second only to silk
- Better water absorption than cotton, no static electricity at all
- Not warm enough for use in autumn and winter
Comprehensive recommendation index: 4 and a half stars
Silk is the strongest natural fiber on the planet, made from silkworms the fiber is mostly from a protein called fibroin, which is comprised of many amino acids. It is the natural properties of the protein fiber and the length of the thread that gives silk the soft and smooth feel which has made it a prized possession for over 4000 years.
Silk is sold by its momme (weight), similar to how cotton is sold by thread count. For use in bed linen, 22-25 Momme is considered the optimum weight for balancing the two variables of cost and performance. Consider that 25 Momme silk has over 30% more silk per square inch than 19 Momme silk. Cost obviously increases with higher Momme as more silk is being used in the fabric.
- Very delicate and soft, soft and nothing when sleeping
- Extremely smooth to the touch
- known for its antimicrobial and hypoallergenic properties
- Delicate and easy to wear, need to pay attention to maintenance
Comprehensive recommendation index: 5 stars
Whether your bedding is made of linens, cotton, tencel or silk they all have different benefits for added comfort and practicality. Like most things in life, there are pros and cons to all of the different kinds of materials used in bedding. We hope sharing the information helps you to better determine which fabrics or materials you want to use for your sheets, blankets, duvet inserts and more. All so you can get the best sleep possible.