Tencel vs. Cotton Sheets: Which Is Better?

Tencel vs. Cotton Sheets: Which Is Better?

Written by Faisal Mughal

Last Updated on Apr 27, 2022

In this article:

    Waking up from overheating frequently can lead to inadequate sleep and fatigue the next day. When you want to have a night of good sleep, the choice of bedsheet does matter. 

    The ultimate bed sheets for hot sleepers are Tencel or cotton. These materials are soft, breathable, lightweight, and can keep you cool throughout the night. 

    Both Tencel and cotton can lead you into a peaceful slumber, but there are minor differences between the two. Let’s make the differences clear by reading more about them.

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    What Are Tencel Sheets?

    What is Tencel fabric? Tencel is a registered trademark name by Lenzing Fibres; it means rayon. 

    What is Tencel made of? Tencel fabric made of cellulose from wood – to be specific, eucalyptus trees. As Tencel bedding is made from the pulp of eucalyptus wood, it makes the sheet naturally cooling. 

    Tencel material is made with a closed-loop process. The wood pulp is dissolved in a solvent and taken out through tiny holes to make fibers. After treating the fabric, it is finally spun into yarn. The material is eco-friendly as all the solvents are reused.

    Cotton has been a favorite fabric of hot sleepers, but Tencel sheets are also gaining popularity with time. This semi-synthetic fabric can wick away all your sweat, helping you sleep comfortably at night. 

    What does Tencel feel like? Tencel bed sheets are soft, lightweight, eco-friendly, and breathable. Tencel sheets are challenging to manufacture and have multiple benefits, so they are costly compared to other bedsheets. 

    Types of Tencel Sheets

    The significant difference between the Tencel sheet types is the variety of Tencel fabric. These are the main types:

    Tencel lyocell:

    Tencel Lyocell sheets are the most common type used in the sheets. It’s eco-friendly, soft, breathable, durable, and is quite similar to cotton. What does lyocell feel like? Tencel lyocell fabric is perfect for hot sleepers, as it has remarkable moisture-wicking properties. 

    Tencel Modal:

    Tencel modal is made from beechwood pulp. Its best quality is its softness. However, it’s not as breathable as Tencel lyocell. 

    Tencel Blend:

    To get the best of both, Tencel lyocell and Tencel modal. Their combination adds moisture-wicking, softness, as well as durability to other materials. 

    Pros and Cons of Tencel Sheets

    ProsCons
    DurableExpensive
    BreathableMaintenance is not easy
    Soft and silky feelNot compatible with high temperatures when laundering
    Moisture AbsorptionSilky feel not favorable for everyone
    Eco-FriendlySome sheets cannot be machine washed
    Less or no wrinklesGood for sensitive skin

    What Are Cotton Sheets?

    For ages, cotton has been used and loved by everyone. Cotton sheets are breathable, lightweight, durable, easy to wash, and soft. Cotton is extensively produced and used all over the world. 

    Cotton sheets come in a variety of prices. The price depends on the quality, materials used, and length of the fiber called staple. Mostly long-staple cotton is used for weaving cotton sheets. The longer the thread is, the more soft and luxurious the fiber will be. The long cotton fibers are less likely to break and hence are durable and long-lasting. 

     

    Short staple cotton sheets don’t feel luxurious or plush. These are not as long-lasting as long-staple cotton sheets. These drawbacks make them comparatively cheaper. 

    Regular cotton sheets are affordable, whereas Egyptian Cotton or Pima Cotton bed sheets have extra-long staples, making them expensive. 

    Types of Cotton Sheets

    The significant differences between the types of cotton sheets are materials and weave. We have already discussed the materials. Here are four main weaves.

    Percale

    Percale has a touch of tencel fibers while having the durability of cotton. It is lightweight, breathable, and gets softer with washing. It is prone to wrinkles, and one has to iron it frequently for a smooth look. 

    Sateen

    Sateen is a lightweight, wrinkle-resistant, silky weave that reminds you of satin. It is excellent for sensitive skin.

    Twill

    Just like denim, twill has a diagonal weave giving it a sturdy feel. They are durable and become soft over time. 

    Flannel

    Flannel is the warmest weave you can find in cotton bedsheets. They are thick and provide a good cozy feel.  

    Pros and Cons of Cotton Sheets

    ProsCons
    BreathableSome sheets are prone to wrinkles
    Softens with washesSome sheets are prone to shrinking
    DurableNot eco friendly
    Easy to wash and maintain
    Moisture-wicking
    Wide price range

    What Is the Difference Between Cotton and Tencel?

    Tencel is made from regenerated fibers, and cotton is a product of natural fibers. There are certain things every day about both of them, like breathability and softness, but there is a little difference between Tencel and cotton.

    CategoryTencel SheetsCotton Sheets
    VarietyTencel sheets don’t provide much variety. Tencel lyocell, Tencel Modal, Tencel Blend. Cotton has more variety in terms of knits and material. Material: Long-staple cotton, Short staple cotton. Weaves: Percale, Sateen, Twill, Flannel.
    DurabilityIf handled and maintained carefully, it’s very durable and doesn’t show signs of wear. They are durable and become softer and comfortable with more washes. Long-staple cotton is stronger than short-staple cotton.
    Comfort & FeelThey have a soft and silky feel. They are wrinkle-resistant, which makes them even smoother. It depends on the type of weave. Most cotton sheets are soft. Jersey and Sateen are very soft. Percale and twill are comparatively coarse. Cotton sheets become softer with more washes.
    Temperature RegulationBeing absorbent and breathable, it provides excellent temperature regulation. These are generally absorbent and breathable. Percale sheets are the most temperature-regulating cotton sheets.
    Maintenance & Care If not maintained carefully, they might not last long. Most sheets are machine washable with cold water. The hot temperatures should be avoided for Tencel sheets. They are easier to maintain. Most sheets are machine washable and dryable. They get softer and more comfortable with every wash. These sheets can be ironed when needed.
    PriceNot as costly as Egyptian cotton, but they are more expensive than many other sheets. Prices vary depending on the materials used. Regular cotton sheets are affordable ($50), but Egyptian cotton sheets are expensive. ($500)
    Environmental ImpactTencel is environment-friendly. Cotton is not as environmentally friendly as Tencel.
    AestheticsTencel is more resistant to pilling and wrinkles. It can shrink after one wash but not afterward. Cotton is prone to pilling, shrinking, and wrinkles.

    Is Tencel Better Than Cotton?

    If it’s about cotton vs Tencel, it’s not easy to choose one. Both Tencel and cotton have their set of pros and cons. These quality fabrics are comfortable, long-lasting, and breathable, so there isn’t any wrong choice. 

    The right choice depends on your requirements and preference. 

    You Should Choose Tencel If:

    • You sleep hot. 
    • You love soft, silky, and drapey sheets.
    • You don’t like to iron your sheets.
    • You prefer using eco-friendly sheets.
    • You have very sensitive skin. 

    You Should Choose Cotton If:

    • You like sheets with a crispier feel.
    • You like ironing your sheets.
    • You want your sheets to become soft with time. 
    • You want easy to wash sheets. 

    Conclusion

    Both Tencel and cotton sheets will provide you comfort and keep you cool at night. There are no significant disadvantages to any of them. So, there is no wrong choice. You can buy any of them depending on your preference. 

    This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.
    {"faq":[{"_id":"d2370ba","title":"Is Tencel breathable like cotton?\n","content":"\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003EYes, Tencel is breathable. It\u2019s an excellent choice for people who sleep hot.\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E"},{"_id":"30b7340","title":"Is Tencel cooler than cotton?\n","content":"\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ETencel can be cooler than regular cotton fabric. But when it comes to the higher quality cotton material, cotton wins.\u00a0\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E"},{"_id":"6ec2bf1","title":"Does Tencel shrink in the wash?\n","content":"\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ETencel may shrink a bit after the first wash. Although, it doesn\u2019t shrink afterward.\u00a0\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E"},{"_id":"07f8a65","title":"Can I iron Tencel fabric?\n","content":"\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ETencel doesn\u2019t go well with hot temperatures. 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