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April 14, 2022

Is 100% Cotton Sheeting Right for Your Properties?

100% Cotton Bedding

When it comes to sheeting, the popular opinion is that 100% cotton is the first and only choice for a luxuriously soft sleep experience. And while 100% cotton sheeting certainly sets the bar high for comfort, there are many considerations besides a soft hand when it comes to choosing the right material for your resort, rental, or hotel bed linens. Here are some considerations to help you decide if 100% cotton sheeting is right for your properties.

The Benefits of 100% Cotton Sheeting

There is a reason cotton has been in constant use for the last 5,000 years – it is an excellent textile choice for bed linens, clothing, and many other popular products. There are numerous benefits to having this soft, fluffy staple fiber in your sheeting, including:

  • Softness: There is no denying that cotton is one of the softest materials available for bedding products. The feeling of cotton is universally recognized and difficult to match with other synthetic materials. In particular, a sateen weaved cotton, such as our Paragon Cotton Sheets, provides a soft, silky touch that your guests will rave about!
  • Breathability: Cotton is an extremely absorbent textile. It can wick moisture away from the body and retain it while not feeling damp. This property results in an extremely breathable fabric that is perfect for all season use – cotton maintains air flow and promotes cooling in the summer while retaining much needed warmth in winter months.
  • Hypoallergenic: Cotton is naturally hypoallergenic and is a great choice for allergy sufferers or those with sensitive skin. When combined with AllerEase® Professional products such as mattress encasements and pillows, you can create the ultimate safe haven for even the most sensitive travelers.
  • Guest Satisfaction: Some hotels insist on 100% cotton bed linens for the simple fact that it is recognized as a premium experience by guests. These properties are willing to sacrifice durability to market 100% cotton and create a competitive edge in the eyes of their guests.

The Drawbacks to 100% Cotton Sheeting

While 100% cotton sheeting can provide unmatched softness and comfort, there are some significant drawbacks to 100% cotton bed linens in a high use, commercial setting such as a hotel or rental property. These drawbacks include:

  • Durability: While 100% cotton is durable enough for most residential users, 100% cotton is sensitive to high temperature wash and drying processes. The rigors of commercial laundering take a toll on pure cotton products, often resulting in rips, tears, or loss of color. This lower durability means more frequent replacement costs for properties.
  • Shrinkage: When subjected to near-daily laundering, cotton is also prone to significant shrinkage. This can make the job of a housekeeper extremely difficult when attempting to attach fitted sheets. This shrinkage can be so significant that it can cause bed linens to have to be discarded simply because they are no longer large enough to cover the bed.
  • Wrinkle Resistance: While 100% cotton brings many benefits, being wrinkle resistant is not one of them. Special treatments or ironing will be required to keep your 100% cotton sheeting crisp and wrinkle free.
  • Dry time: Cotton can absorb up to 25 times its weight in water, which is a major benefit when it comes to breathability and air flow. However, this property is a major hindrance when it comes to the time it takes for 100% cotton bedding to dry.

Alternative to 100% Cotton

Now that you’ve seen the benefits and drawbacks of 100% cotton sheeting, you may wonder what other options you have. The most common alternative to 100% cotton is a cotton-polyester blend, often called poly-cotton. Poly-cotton is typically 55% cotton and 45% polyester, although the ratio can vary.

The main benefit of a poly-cotton product is increased strength. The addition of polyester creates a more durable product and is also less prone to shrinkage than 100% cotton. However, there are some drawbacks to traditional poly-cotton blends. The biggest drawback is a noticeable reduction in softness and comfort, since both the cotton and polyester are directly touching the user. This means that historically you could feel the difference in softness between 100% cotton and poly-cotton products.

Centium Core Technology® Offers the Perfect Blend of Comfort and Strength

To truly maximize the benefits of cotton while eliminating the drawbacks, you need a poly-cotton product where the yarns that guests feel on the surface are cotton, while the internal structure is reinforced with tough polyester fibers that are never seen or felt. This is exactly what our patented Centium Core Technology® achieves.

This fabric formation technology reconfigures the base yarns of a woven fabric. 100% cotton yarn encapsulates Centium synthetic microfilament bundles. This unique construction delivers unsurpassed durability and longevity and a soft touch since the greatest number of yarns touching the skin are cotton.

Since the launch of these innovative products, customers have achieved significant savings due to reduced replacement costs and lower operational expenses, while maintaining the feel and luster of cotton.

Other Cotton Considerations:

  • Type of cotton: Often more important than the percent of cotton is the quality of the cotton itself. A high-quality cotton, such as Supima®, will help ensure ultimate comfort while cotton bearing the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) logo helps ensure sustainability and minimize environmental impacts.
  • Weave structure: The weave type that is employed can make a significant difference in the feel of a finished bedding product. A plain weave will offer top notch strength and durability, while a weave such as sateen or percale provide luxurious texture and a comfortable feel.
  • Thread count: We’ve been trained to think high thread count equals better quality. The truth is, with today’s advanced technology, counting threads in a square inch to determine quality is obsolete.

So….should I invest in 100% Cotton for my properties?

The final verdict: While it is true that 100% cotton has a luxurious softness, most of these products will not hold up to high use commercial settings and industrial laundering. This will lead to frequent replacing, which is why 100% cotton products are rarely seen in a hotel/commercial environment. A traditional poly-cotton blend will improve strength and durability, but at the expense of softness and comfort.

To achieve a low cost-per-use while maintaining comfort and softness, we recommend you consider sheeting made with Standard Textile’s patented Centium Core Technology®. You will enjoy all the comfort of cotton with strength and durability that will keep your sheeting soft and fresh wash after wash!