What is better polyester or cotton bedding?

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We know that how we sleep affects our day. A quality mattress is necessary for a good sleep, and superior bedding is equally essential. The best bedding for you is the one that meets your needs, be it warmth, breathability or ease of care. Choosing the best bedding to meet your requirements starts with understanding the properties of the fibres that make the fabric. Cotton and polyester fibres have distinct advantages and disadvantages, and an understanding of these differences will help you make the right choice.

Cotton Advantages

Cotton absorbs moisture and retains warmth when wet. It feels cool to the touch on warm days yet will be warm on chilly days. It does not pill, is hypoallergenic and can be produced organically. It can be laundered at high heat, it dries quickly and takes dye well. It breathes, allowing air to move between layers. Like most natural fibres, cotton is static proof. Cotton fibres can be thin and long which, when twisted into yarn and woven, produce a silk-like fabric that is highly prized in bedding.

Cotton Disadvantages

Cotton may shrink and laundering at high temperatures may set wrinkles which can be difficult to remove. Cotton is susceptible to sun-fade. It is not a strong fibre; when woven to a delicate or light weight, it is considered a light-wear fabric. To increase durability, cotton must be blended with other fibres but this blending can negatively affect other advantages of cotton, such as absorbancy. Increased shipping costs and the demand for foreign-grown cotton are pushing the price of high-quality cotton to record highs.

Advantages of Polyester

Polyester is a man-made fibre -- a product of the petroleum industry -- and can be produced inexpensively. It is a strong fibre and is resistant to sun-fade. It may be made as a thin fibre which can be woven into thin fabric mimicking the appearance of expensive fabrics such as silk or cotton. At a medium-woven weight, it is wrinkle resistant. Polyester is often combined with cotton to increase fabric strength and decrease cost.

Disadvantages of Polyester

Polyester does not breath, it traps moisture between fabric layers in bedding such as comforters, warms to the touch quickly and stays warm. Polyester fabric will pill, it does not wick moisture away from the sleeper's skin, and oil or grease stains tend to set permanently. Laundering at high temperatures may set wrinkles, which are difficult to remove, and polyester is prone to static.

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