Sometimes it is a confusing task to buy sheets. There are a lot of options, and the difference seems to be small. However, making the right decisions for your sleep and health is very important to you. Many decisions come down to the materials they make up. This is a comprehensive guide to the differences between Tencel and cotton sheets.
Tencel is a brand owned by Lenzing Fibers, meaning rayon or lyocell. It is a fabric made of wood cellulose - more specifically eucalyptus. This is a fairly new innovation for the bed sheet market, originally developed in 1972 and has been growing in popularity since then and is not so famous.
Tencel fibers are not woven from cotton fibers, but are made of eucalyptus wood. The pulp is dissolved and spun into fibers which are woven together to form an extremely strong and smooth fabric.
For this piece, Tencel sheets will become the term to replace rayon or lyocell.
Read our comprehensive review of top cotton and tencel sheets.
What is cotton?
Cotton is a fluffy fiber that grows on cotton. It has been used for a long time (at least 7000 years) in all types of fabric production, especially for bed sheets. For some people, it is considered the gold standard for sheets.
Differences in Cotton Quality and Thread Count
One of the biggest problems people have with cotton is the huge difference in quality in this category. Egypt and Pima cotton are generally considered to be the best quality cotton on the market. This is because their fibers are longer and thinner, and higher yarn counts can be obtained compared to other papers marked with 100% cotton. They are also grown from plants with few cortex, so it is unlikely to take medicine. The difference in feeling and enduring power between Egypt or Pima and other imitation cotton can be large.
Thread count is often considered the only way to determine the quality of a sheet, but it's really just a factor and it's only really applied when talking about cotton.
Outside of the cotton world, you may have something better. This material is probably TENCEL.
Comparing Tencel and Cotton
The main differences between Tencel and cotton panels can be broadly divided into seven categories.
Tencel usually comes from renewable eucalyptus. Making fabrics from wood pulp is sometimes more effective than cotton plants. The cultivation and cultivation of these eucalyptus trees have always focused on maintaining environmental awareness and reducing the need for pesticides or irrigation.
The production of Tencel requires very little water. The main environmental criticism of cotton is the need to produce large amounts of water.
In addition, Tencel is manufactured using a closed loop process. In this case, the loose fiber is recycled back into the material, which means it is a very low waste method of creating fabric.
In fact, Tencel seems to have an advantage in terms of sustainability. But keep in mind that production is unmatched, so any requirement for sustainability differences may be the best estimate.
Tencel fabrics tend to be softer than cotton. This softness is due to its very smooth surface. Not only does this feel good, but it is also very irritating even for sensitive skin. It counteracts some of the common shortcomings of cotton sheets, which have a tendency to itch and rust.
However, cotton can also be made into very comfortable sheets and it usually becomes softer and smoother over time.
Tencel is made of very tiny fibers that are hydrophilic - literally meaning "like water." This means it can absorb moisture from the skin.
Despite this, cotton is also very breathable, generally non-irritating to the skin, and hypoallergenic. If your cotton bed does not have any major problems, you may not have to change things.
The hydrophilic nature of Tencel means that it stays cool while sleeping and works well in all weather conditions. It feels very breathable, because sweat is sucked away from the body all night. For people with high body temperatures, cooling can be a deciding factor, and they find it makes them unable to sleep.
Due to its breathability, cotton is also a comfortable sheet in terms of heat. Although it does not absorb water like Tencel, it is the perfect control for body temperature for most of us.
Tencel is usually less wrinkled than cotton and is quite easy to care for. Washed very well - clothes made by Tencel are less likely to shrink or deform when washed. In addition, it is durable and does not become thin over time.
Cotton is also durable and it can actually be unique over time. A set of Egyptian cotton sheets can be used for up to 50 years!
The high absorbency of the Tencel fiber makes the paper smoother, cooler, and hygienic, and also makes them dye very well. They are usually more energetic and do not fade over time.
Cotton has a crisper, matte appearance than Tencel. It is also very well dyed and is not susceptible to excessive wrinkling. This really comes down to personal preference.