Which is better?
Bedsheets: TENCEL™ vs Cotton vs Microfiber
Are you torn choosing between cotton, TENCEL™ or the budget-friendly mirofiber? Look no further as we hand you answers that you're looking for right on a silver platter.
Our comparison focuses on four aspects: Overall Rating, comfort, features and value.
While we have our own online bedding store located in the ever-green garden city, Singapore, we do our best to maintain a fair judgement for the types of fabrics presented and explain how we score them.
The Quick Answer
Comparisons and scores are relative to all fabric types available in the market, with scores of 100% being the best and 0% being worst. Scores are not absolute and can change over time with the introduction of newer generations of fabrics. The scores are also given based on our testing and findings, which you may choose to agree or disagree on.
At the optimal thread count of 300 - 400, a sateen weave cotton sheet feels super soft and smooth to the skin. They also tend to get softer and textured with every wash.
The natural properties of cotton fiber allows them to feel gentle and organic on the skin. These sheets feel crisp and strong after ironing.
Frequently procured by luxury hotels for guest comfort. Quality sheets are able to withstand laundry techniques for hotel use.
Crisp, balanced, breathable and soft.
How it feels like:
Luxury Hotel sheets
Why choose cotton:
The main reasons to go for cotton is the crispness, balance and value it provides for the sleeper. At an affordable price for a quality sheet, you'll get great comfort, jam-packed with functional features without breaking the bank.
TENCEL™ lyocell is the latest generation of TENCEL™ fibers, surpassing the previous "modal".
Made from eucalyptus wood pulps, their feathery soft and buttery smooth fibers are spun and woven into sheets that are the epitome of luxury bedding. These premium sheets are the softest and smoothest that our world currently has to offer.
They are also extra gentle on the skin with reduced friction and feels cooling when slept on. The sheets feel bouncy due to the soft yet strong fibers of TENCEL™ lyocell.
Ultra soft, extra smooth, bouncy, cooling and breathable.
How it feels like:
Luxury and silky home sheets
Why choose TENCEL™:
The highest level of comfort you can find on earth while also being conscious to our environment. If you prioritize comfort and features above anything else, there is no better option than the TENCEL™ Lyocell Sheets.
Microfiber sheets can have thread counts going up to a thousand and even higher, however, according to multiple studies, thread count should not be a major deciding factor, especially when comparing sheets across different materials .
Smooth and functional, microfiber sheets are the friendliest in terms of budget. Due to their ultra fine fibers, they result in sheets that feel smooth with a little clingy-ness on human skin.
We don't really fancy these sheets for long term, but they do make great sheets for temporary beds or short term use.
Smooth, clingy on skin and retains heat.
How it feels like:
Smooth, but tacky and plastic.
Why choose microfiber:
The price of a set of microfiber sheet is more than enough to justify their existence in the industry. Though they are nowhere near the best in class, their affordability still makes them relevant.
Comfort - what feels best on our skin
Above all else, comfort is the most important factor when choosing sheets because it directly affects how well we sleep every night. Since our bed sheets are meant for long term use, it only makes sense to get a decent and quality set, considering the time we spend in bed every single day.
In terms of texture, cotton feels very balanced and comfortable to the skin due to its natural fibers.
Softness: Cotton is very soft compared to any fabrics out in the market, especially even more so after washing.
Smoothness: Cotton sheets with sateen weave are among the smoothest of all cotton. It is natural for cotton to feel softer and textured after much use where it starts to feel more cozy than crisps.
However, even when textured, the sateen weave cotton still feels notably smooth.
Crispness: This is probably the most notable feature of cotton sheets, as they are able to withstand high heat, they can be ironed to feel crisp. The soft and crisp feeling is exactly how it feels when staying in luxury hotels.
Cooling: The porous and hollow fibers of cotton contributes to a cooling touch. It also regulates temperature well, keeping it balanced in both cold and warm environments.
Nothing beats the newest generation of fibers in the comfort department. Made from 100% natural eucalyptus trees, the sheets provide next-level comfort and feels organic to the skin.
Softness: TENCEL™ lyocell sheets are probably the softest feasible material that nature has to offer, surpassing cotton and modal.
Smoothness: The best of its class. Unparalleled smoothness makes it perfect for even delicate baby skin.
Crispness: The sheets remain soft after washing and ironing, so it can't provide the crisp that cotton sheets can. However, you may just forego crispness after feeling the lushness of these sheets.
Cooling: Like cotton fibers, TENCEL™ lyocell fibers are also porous, allowing air to flow through easily. Together with its hydrophillic properties, these sheets remain cool in hot weather but regulates heat in the cold.
Microfibers sheets are synthetic, meaning they are fully man-made. These fibers are so fine that they are smooth to the touch, but because of their nature, they feel a little clingy to the skin, which isn't the most comfortable feeling.
Softness: Microfibers are extremely fine, which contributes to its softness.
Smoothness: Although they can feel smooth at first contact, you'll feel the clingy-ness when you sleep on it, even more so if you're a nude sleeper. This is the reason why we've docked some points from this department.
Crispness: The sheets retains the same soft feeling after ironing. Do not iron microfiber sheets anything anything higher than "low" heat.
Cooling: The fineness of the fibers contribute to the trapping of heat, which makes it really hot to sleep on even with air conditioning.
We hope our answers above will help you with your selection of bed sheets.
If you still have not decided on which material to go for, we'd suggest trying out TENCEL™ sheets if you can since it has more "awe" factor compared to any other fabrics out there.
After trying out multiple microfiber sheets, we've decided that it isn't for us, so unless you need short term sheets at a cheap price, we wouldn't recommend microfibers at all.
Chances are, you've definitely slept on cotton sheets at least once in your life. The key to cotton is getting a quality set, and that would be the single-ply set with a thread count of around 300-400 per square inch ( or 375 - 500 per 10 centimeter square )