Egyptian Cotton Bedding Explained

by threadcount on September 13, 2009

The buzzword for high thread count sleep options these days is definitely Egyptian Cotton Bedding. While it was once only available in high-end stores, Egyptian cotton sheets have become so popular that you can even find them in low-budget retail outlets.

About a year ago, I was standing in the bedding aisle at Target looking for some new sheets to impress a new “friend.” I was scrutinizing the colors and thread counts when I started noticing the phrase “Egyptian Cotton” popping up quite a bit. It sounded pretty classy, but I wondered if it was just some fancy marketing phrase or if it was indeed something I needed. I ended up purchasing a 600 thread count Egyptian cotton bed set. The price was right so I took a gamble. The sheets immediately became my favorites and my love affair with Egyptian cotton began in earnest.

So if you’re wondering about Egyptian cotton and how important it is for bedding, here is the low-down.

Until recently, many consumers thought that thread count was the only thing that mattered when it came to luxury bedding. Just pick a high number and the higher the better. It seemed so simple. Now, we have cotton from Egypt?

What is Egyptian cotton?

Egyptian Cotton has a few characteristics that set it apart from regular cotton.

  1. It’s long-staple or long-fiber. This means that there is more continuous fiber to use when creating the thread.
  2. It features a smaller diameter thread. Even though the thread is smaller, it’s actually stronger than other cottons. The upside to a small, strong thread is that fabrics can be made that are stronger than other cottons but are also lighter in weight. This means that Egyptian Cotton sheets breathe better than traditional sheets no matter what the thread count is.

Threads-per-inch translate directly to the thread count that is listed on the bedding label. The more threads per inch – the higher the thread count. Most people who are in the market for luxury bedding think that the thread count is the only standard for fabric quality. That’s not the case. A high thread count Egyptian cotton means that the fabric is very high quality and very durable. If you properly care for your Egyptian cotton bed sheets, they will last for a lot longer than normal cotton.

Egyptian cotton bed linen can be a little deceptive when you feel it for the first time. It feels a little harder (or stiffer) than you might expect. Don’t be put off by this. After you launder your Egyptian cotton bed linen for the first time, you will notice that the definitely feel softer. The longer you own your bedding, the softer it will get. The sheets I bought a year ago are way more comfortable than they were when I first bought them – and they were pretty comfortable when they were brand-new. Unlike lesser cottons, Egyptian cotton will last a long time before it becomes thin or threadbare. It will just get softer and more comfortable, and it doesn’t “pill up. Another upside: Egyptian cotton produces less lint.

There is one thing you should watch out for when shopping for Egyptian cotton bedding: “Cotton-Rich.” If the packages uses these ominous words, it means that the actual amount of cotton is not stated. This means your fine Egyptian cotton is probably mixed with cotton of a lesser grade. Not cool! Instead, look for “100% Cotton” on the label. If you opt for a blend, make sure the label tells you what percentage of Egyptian cotton is in the blend. If you don’t pay attention to this fine print, you may end up with bedding that is not in keeping with your high thread count lifestyle.

As with any of your lifestyle purchases, when you’re shopping for Egyptian Cotton bedding, pay close attention to the fine print and you will totally fall in love with your sheets.

A note to the guys reading this: Girls really appreciate nice sheets and bedding. They will notice and they will probably even comment on this. When it comes to bedding, Egyptian Cotton really is KING!

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