Microfiber Vs. Cotton Sheets: What's The Difference?

Bedding is the key to the soul, or at least that's how it feels when you get into bed after a long day. Your sheets, then, are of paramount importance, as they can make or break your rest time. You should clean and replace your sheets every now and then, and you should pay attention to the type of sheets you own. Some sheets are better for certain climates, and some are better for those of us who sweat a little more at night.

When it comes to purchasing new sheets, you'll be confronted with microfiber and cotton options, and it's important to know the difference between the two so you can buy the better option for you. According to HGTV, cotton "is by far the most-loved fabric for sheets," but this doesn't necessarily mean it's the best. "It's soft, durable, and breathes well," Revman International vice president Jim Symmes explained (via HGTV). "But improvements in the manufacturing process and finishing techniques mean that other fabrics like polyester can be a viable alternative to cotton."

Meanwhile, microfiber sheets are manufactured from a different material and offer different advantages to cotton.

Microfiber sheets are softer and can offer more durability

Microfiber sheets are a great option if you don't want cotton, but what are they made out of? According to The Sleep Judge, they're "made from finely woven strands of silky material and polyester." These sheets are manufactured via a machine, not raw ingredients, though they can include "finely ground wood pulp or recycled material." The greatest advantages to microfiber sheets are their durability, manufactured softness, and low maintenance.

Cotton sheets, on the other hand, come in both affordable and luxurious varieties, and are made with a natural ingredient (via Amerisleep). Moreover, they're resistant to moisture and are breathable, making them perfect for warmer climates and all-year use. Microfiber sheets are less resistant to moisture and are tightly woven, meaning they're less apt for warmer climates.

Using cotton sheets can feel refreshing and luxurious even if you have an affordable set of sheets, but microfiber options are more durable and can feel just as good depending on brand and price point. What the difference ultimately boils down to is where you live, the feeling you want on your skin, and your overall needs, such as if you're prone to spilling water or sweating a lot in your sheets, as some are more water-resistant than others.