Tencel and cotton are two of the most common materials found in the average person’s bed sheets. These two titans of sleep are designed to be comfortable, lightweight, and durable (three things you usually want out of bed sheets).
While both of these fabrics can lead to a great night’s sleep, there are some key differences between the two. Price, production, and variety are some of the biggest factors that separate Tencel vs. cotton sheets.
Simply put, though, the main difference between Tencel and cotton is that Tencel has a soft, silky, and breathable feel while cotton is a cozier option.
Of course, everyone’s nighttime preferences are different—so let’s dive in and learn everything there is to know about Tencel vs. cotton from how they are made to their unique benefits.
Whether you prefer Tencel or cotton, Casper has you covered with both. Our premium bed sheets come in TENCEL™ Lyocell or cotton fabrics, each designed for unique sleeping preferences.
First up on the docket: The illusive Tencel. But, what are Tencel sheets?
Tencel is a major player in the bed sheet game, but many people aren’t as familiar with this material as they are with cotton. There are two main reasons for this underrepresentation of Tencel sheets:
Now that we’ve cleared that up, it’s time to talk about the specifics.
Tencel fibers are made by dissolving wood pulp with a chemical solvent. Once dissolved, the pulp is squeezed through small holes, in order to produce threads. Finally, these threads are dried through a process called “spinning,” and 99% of the solvent used is recycled.1
So, what do fabrics made with Tencel feel like? Well, it depends on these two common varieties:
Next, we’ll be giving you the 411 on good, old-fashioned cotton bed sheets. Cotton has been a popular fabric throughout history, due to its durability, soft texture, and high moisture resistance. Cotton sheets are made by spinning fibers from the cotton plant into a weave. A quality set of cotton bedsheets will typically have a thread count between 200-400, although the type of cotton used can make a difference, as well.
There are three main varieties of cotton that are used to produce bed sheets. The main difference that sets these types of cotton apart is their individual fiber (or staple) length. Let’s take a look at the options:
While the type of cotton used in your sheets can make a difference, the main factor you’ll want to consider is the weave. Whether picking out a flat sheet vs. fitted sheet or both, cotton bed sheets come in a variety of weaves and knits, but the most common options include:
While Tencel is generally a more eco-friendly material, cotton is also natural, hypoallergenic, and a great option for comfortable, reliable bed sheets. Deciding between these two fabrics will ultimately come down to minor details.
Okay, so we’ve covered each material separately—but how do they stack up against one another? And which one do you choose to cover your mattress?
Tencel and cotton are similar fabrics, but each one certainly has its own unique qualities. It’s important to consider your preferences when it comes to bed sheets, in order to choose the right fabric for maximum comfort. Let’s take a look at the key differences between each article of bedding:
Is Tencel better than cotton bedding? Depends on your preference.
At the end of the day, both Tencel and cotton are quality fabrics that contribute to a restful night’s sleep. The fabric that’s going to work best will depend on a number of personal preferences related to laundering, warmth, and eco-friendliness.
We recommend Tencel sheets for people who struggle with sleeping hot. If you find yourself waking up in a pool of sweat each morning, this breathable article of bedding is going to keep you cool and comfortable throughout the night. Tencel sheets are also a bit more eco-friendly than cotton, as they require less water and energy to be produced.
Cotton is a tried and true fabric that works for many people. If you’re looking for variety in terms of knits, and a bit more warmth throughout the night, cotton is going to be your best friend. Cotton’s durability also makes it easier to wash on a weekly basis, while Tencel is going to require a more delicate laundering process. Keep in mind that how often you’ll need to buy new sheets depends on not only fabric durability, but also how well you care for your linens.
Both materials are going to provide comfort and wick away moisture the way synthetic fabrics cannot. At the end of the day, you really can’t go wrong with either of these lightweight materials. Whether you opt for Tencel or cotton, it is important that you understand how to fold sheets, as well as how to properly store them to help maintain the structure of the material.
Whether you’re looking for cotton or Tencel, Casper has a comfortable set of sheets for everyone. Our Percale and Sateen sheets are made from 100% cotton and come in every size from twin to California King.
For the Tencel fans, don’t worry—we’ve got you covered, too. Our Hyperlite Sheets are designed to give you a cool, sweat-free experience without sacrificing coziness. Made with a unique grid weave, these sheets will have you feeling rested and refreshed every morning.
Finding the right sheets can be tricky, but we’re here to simplify the process. Start getting the sleep you deserve, with Casper!