Egyptian cotton is becoming more and more popular over the past decade or two. It’s not strange to have heard about it, and it’s even less strange to want bed sheets of your own. Luxury is something that everyone wants, and rather than a vehicle or a house, you can always start off with something simple and elegant: bed sheets.
Luxury bed sheets offer a tremendous amount of benefits, especially if it’s a natural fiber like cotton. Egyptian cotton is sought after because it has “extra-long staple” fibers, or ELS, which gives it an almost silky feel. They’re somewhat difficult to take care of, but in the long run, you’ll sleep better than you’ve ever slept before on lesser sheets.
Unfortunately, without strong regulations and rules when it comes to luxury cotton, Egyptian cotton is occasionally mixed with other lesser materials. By rule, a material only has to have 5% Egyptian cotton to claim that it is, in fact, Egyptian cotton. Unless it says that it is 100% Egyptian cotton, it is advised to stay away from it. This is why we've done the work for you, so you can buy Egyptian cotton with confidence.
To more easily differentiate what is Egyptian cotton and what is not, pay attention to the type of weave and blends that the bed sheets or garments may have.
The Types of Weave
Each cotton material will likely have a type of weave associated with it. Egyptian cotton will have one of these weaves, but one of them you should stay away from. Remember, make sure that the 100% Egyptian Cotton guarantee is on there.
This is the type of weave that you’ll see most often. It is a tightly-woven weave that brings the threads of cotton closely and tightly together. This creates a durable, strong cotton material and should be what you look for when it comes to Egyptian cotton.
Usually, the thread count of this type of weave is above 200, but you’ll find many Egyptian cotton cloths to be much higher in thread count. It’s lighter than a sateen or flannel weave, but the durability is increased tremendously.
Being a looser weave of cotton, flannel is one of the thicker and rougher types of weaves, but it is one of the more comfortable sheets to sleep in while it’s colder. One or both sides can have a napped finish, giving it an almost wooly feeling. For extra-long staple fiber, it can sometimes be uncomfortable if you easily get hot at night.
Sateen is a very soft, unique weave of material. It is used in a lot of cheaper cottons, but is also very commonly used to trick people. They take advantage of people and get them to buy Egyptian cotton when has very little, if any at all. This is not to be confused with satin, either, which is made up of man-made material like polyester. With a sateen weave, it is considered more fragile and heavier, sometimes easier to catch or snag on something and unravel.
When it comes to Egyptian cotton, you’ll likely want to go with a percale weave of 100% Egyptian cotton. If it does come in a sateen weave, be sure that they’re a trusted brand if it says 100% Egyptian cotton. In this age of the Internet, it’s easy to see if people are faking reviews. To make it easier, there are websites among the Internet who weed out the negatives, like us. Make sure that your purchases are protected through the experience of others—it should be 100% Egyptian cotton or nothing.