Distinguishing Egyptian Cotton from Regular Cotton

Egyptian Cotton vs. Regular Cotton

Egyptian cotton and regular cotton differ in the nature of their fibers. Cotton is a natural fiber obtained from the cotton plant and is considered very comfortable and healthy due to its natural properties. Most cotton fabrics come from India and China, but there is a perception that Egyptian cotton is superior to regular cotton. Fabrics made from Egyptian cotton appear smoother than those made from regular cotton.

Key Takeaways

  • Egyptian cotton is produced from cotton grown in Egypt, with extra-long staple fibers that give a luxurious, silky feeling.
  • Regular cotton has shorter, coarser fibers, which makes it less comfortable, less durable, and less porous than Egyptian cotton.
  • Egyptian cotton fabrics look and feel superior to regular cotton fabrics due to their richer and softer feel, longer and silkier fibers, and greater durability.

What is Egyptian Cotton?

Egyptian cotton is produced from cotton grown in Egypt. The extra-long staple fibers of the cotton grown along the Nile River Valley are due to the soil and climatic conditions in Egypt. These fibers are silky and provide a luxurious feeling for consumers who are willing to pay more for this type of cotton. However, not all Egyptian cotton is superior, as the name refers to all types of cotton coming from Egypt. There is extra-long staple (ELS) fiber cotton, which is considered the most superior type of cotton produced in Egypt, as well as long staple (LS) and regular cotton varieties being grown in Egypt. When someone says Egyptian cotton is the best, they are usually referring to the extra-long staple cotton, which is known for its softness and silkiness. The quality of Egyptian cotton material is measured by the thread count, which is the number of horizontal and vertical threads per square inch. A higher thread count means better quality material.

What is Regular Cotton?

Regular cotton has shorter, coarser fibers than Egyptian cotton. Since the fibers are short, their yarn has many splices, resulting in a less comfortable fabric than Egyptian cotton. This coarser nature also makes regular cotton less durable and less porous. However, regular cotton is cheaper in price, making it more affordable for many people. Although some people may find regular cotton less comfortable for bed sheets, others may enjoy the crispier feeling it provides.

What is the difference between Egyptian Cotton and Regular Cotton?

  • Look and Feel: Egyptian cotton sheets look and feel superior to regular cotton sheets because of their richer and softer feel.
  • Fibers: Egyptian cotton fibers are long and silky, while regular cotton fibers are shorter and coarser.
  • Durability: Egyptian cotton fabrics last longer than regular cotton fabrics and sheets, as they contain natural chemicals that make them resistant to insects, fungi, and wear and tear.
  • Pilling: Egyptian cotton sheets do not show pilling, which is common with regular cotton sheets after several washes.
  • Choosing Egyptian Cotton and Regular Cotton: To differentiate between the two, feel the fabric against your hand or face. If it is silky and soft, it is Egyptian cotton; if it feels rough and coarse, it is regular cotton.

When buying cotton, be sure to check whether it is extra-long staple, long staple, or another type to ensure you are getting the desired quality.

Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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