Lyocell vs Cotton Sheets - The Ultimate Guide

Lyocell vs Cotton Sheets - The Ultimate Guide

Written by Nectarsleep editorial team

Last Updated on Sep 07, 2022

In this article:

    Choosing a bedsheet is not as simple as which one looks nice. A lot of thought goes into it because there are various factors you must consider like its maintenance, durability, cooling effects, and more. And one of the reasons why lyocell and cotton sheets are a popular choice is because they offer all this and more. So, which one is better between lyocell vs cotton sheets? We bring you the ultimate guide right here. Keep reading to know all about the two!

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    What Is Cotton Fabric?

    One of the most popular variants when it comes to bedsheets is cotton. It has a material that has been used since ancient times from the fluffy fibers of cotton plants. However, not all cotton fibers are the same. There are different varieties based on the length of the fiber. 

    The highest quality cotton has the longest staple of all and offers a luxuriously smooth feel. They can also be quite expensive compared to the cheaper variants. Egyptian and Pima cotton are the two examples of long-staple cotton. They are durable and also last very long.

    Cotton Types

    Let’s understand the types of cotton available today. 

    • Long-Staple Cotton

    Long-staple cotton is an extremely popular choice and makes the sheets silky and soft. The weaving and spinning process offers extraordinarily long and silky fibers. They are also known for their strength and uniformity. 

    • Short-Staple Cotton

    Short-staple cotton can feel rough and leads to pilling after a few months. They are not as durable as long-staple cotton and are also inexpensive.

    Benefits Of Cotton

    Cotton is the most popular material because of the advantages it fetches us. They include; 

    • Easy Maintenance

    Overall, cotton fabric is very easy to care for and most of the time, you can easily machine wash them. However, it is important to read the care instructions before you proceed to avoid any damage. 

    • Durable

     Another reason why the cotton fabric is so popular is because of the durability it brings us. However, the long-staple cotton sheets, such as Egyptian or Pima, are extremely durable and can last up to 15 years. 

    • Gets softer with every wash

    While cotton sheets are extremely soft, they don’t start that way. When you first bring home cotton sheets, they are slightly crisp. However, with each wash, it gets softer. 

    Drawbacks of Cotton

    Some of the disadvantages of cotton sheets include; 

    • Overwhelming Options

     This can be a drawback for some while an advantage for others. Today, there are a variety of options when it comes to cotton sheets. The higher-quality sheets, such as Egyptian or Pima are easy to spot as they are known for their long fibers. But, it is important to be cautious of the cheap blends that are sold. They are neither very durable nor comfortable. 

    • Easily Wrinkles

    Cotton sheets get wrinkled very soon. After every wash, they will need a round of ironing before you use them. 

    • Not Environmentally Friendly

     Cotton is not a very eco-friendly option because it needs a lot of water to grow and the plants are heavily dosed with chemical pesticides to keep them healthy. This can also have an adverse effect on the environment. However, organic cotton is devoid of any chemicals but still uses large amounts of water.

    What is Lyocell Fabric?

    Lyocell is commonly known by its brand name Tencel. While this sustainable option has gained popularity, it has still not been able to replace cotton completely. 

    Lyocell sheet is made from the wood pulp of eucalyptus, birch, and oak trees. The cellulose is extracted from the pulp, and using a closed-loop process, it is manufactured. Even during the process, all the solvents used can be reused and it doesn’t pollute the environment. The solvents break down the pulp and this is turned into fibers. So, what is lyocell sheets? The sheets made from lyocell fibers are lyocell sheets. 

    Due to its cellulosic beginning and closed loop process, lyocell fabric is neither natural nor synthetic.

    Tencel 

    Originally, lyocell was trademarked as Tencel in 1982. However, ‘Lyocell’ became a genericized trademark, which was used for the process of extracting the fibers from cellulose. Lyocell can be known as a subcategory for rayon. The idea behind Tencel was to create something environmentally friendly, and American Enka developed lyocell in 1972

    Lyocell Materials 

    What kind of fabric is lyocell? As mentioned before, lyocell is a type of rayon. It is made from cellulose fibers extracted from the wood pulp of Birch, oak, or eucalyptus trees. This pulp is 

    Lyocell fiber using the dry jet-wet spinning method. During the production of lyocell, harmful carbon disulfide isn’t emitted.

    Benefits of Lyocell Fabric

    Some of the lyocell benefits include; 

    • Cooling

    Due to its hydrophilic nature, lyocell sheets can keep you naturally cool. They also offer moisture-wicking properties, which can be beneficial for hot sleepers. 

    • Eco-friendly

    The process of lyocell leaves no waste as every solvent used is recycled in every stage and lyocell doesn’t lead to harmful emissions. Also, the wood pulp is extracted from eucalyptus trees, which only grow on land unsuitable for agriculture.

    • Hypoallergenic

    If you have sensitive skin or are prone to allergies, using a hypoallergenic sheet like lyocell is ideal. Lyocell also keeps any bacteria, germs or dust mites away.

    • Wrinkle-resistance

    Lyocell is wrinkle-resistant, so you don’t have to iron it after every wash. This is because the lyocell sheets are made using nanotechnology, which keeps the fibers long and the end product very soft.

    Drawbacks of Lyocell Fabric

    With advantages also come drawbacks. Some of the lyocell disadvantages include; 

    • High Cost

    Since lyocell sheets are eco-friendly, the prices can also be steep. A queen-size lyocell sheet can cost anywhere from $100 to $300. 

    • Special Care

    Lyocell sheets require delicate care. It is important to always read the care label before washing the sheets as some lyocell sheets are meant to be hand washed. Even if you are using a washing machine (if the care instructions permit) make sure to use the delicate cycle.

    Difference between Lyocell vs. Cotton

    While cotton is a natural fiber, lyocell is eco-friendly. Both offer you luxurious silky sheets, which can feel extremely comfortable. So, let’s unpack all the differences between lyocell vs cotton sheets.

    ParametersLyocellCotton
    Touch and feelFeels soft and smoothInitially crispy Gets softer with every wash
    PriceRanges from around $100 to $300Good quality at around $100
    DurabilityThey are durableHighest-quality cotton sheets are very durable
    Resistance to pillingBetter resistance to pilling when compared to cottonMore prone to pilling to lyocell
    MaintenanceNeeds delicate care and handwashing It can be easily machine washed
    Cooling?Cool and breathable Offers moisture-wicking properties Cool and breathable
    Wrinkle-resistant?YesNo
    Eco-friendly?YesHas a few eco-friendly options

    Cotton sheets are very much in demand because of the plethora of options it offers. They are also not very expensive and yet durable. On the other hand, lyocell is an eco-friendly fabric, which is hypoallergenic and great for sweaty sleepers. So, it all comes down to your personal choice and requirements. Take all the above information into consideration and see which one feels right for you.

    This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.
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