What are Microfiber Bed Sheets?
We’ve all heard of the statistic that says that we spend about one-third of our lives sleeping or attempting to do so. Since we spend so much of our time in bed we must prioritize the quality of our mattresses, pillows, and bedding. Finding a sheet set with a fitted sheet and flat sheet, pillowcases, and a duvet cover that are soft, durable, and easy to care for will help you be able to rest better at night to tackle the day ahead.
We all want the best sheets to have a good night’s sleep, but what kind of sheets should you be looking for? There are many options for sheet fabrics, like microfiber sheets, cotton sheets, flannel sheets, bamboo sheets, and linen sheets that can be hard to choose.
Help is here with our ultimate guide to microfiber sheets, with inside information on everything from how they’re made to the importance of thread count, care, and more. The sheet set you ultimately choose will depend on your personal preference, as well as where you live, and any other factors you need to take into consideration.
What are microfiber sheets?
Microfiber bed sheets are very popular because of their durability, soft feel, and affordable price point. They are made of synthetic fabric created with tiny tightly woven threads. Microfiber is not a type of material like cotton or silk, but it is a technique used to weave threads to make fabric.
How is microfiber made?
The threads used to make microfiber sheets are normally made from polyester, but they can also be produced from other materials such as nylon, wood pulp, or recycled material. The tight weave of these small threads makes microfiber bed sheets more lightweight than silk sheets. Each thread weighs less than one denier, a measurement of weight for fabrics that are used for silk. Can you believe that sheets made from wood pulp beat not only the softness of silk but are cheaper than cotton sheets?
What else is made of microfiber?
Microfibers are found in products we use every day because they are affordable to produce, durable, and lightweight. Some items made from microfiber include clothing, cleaning cloths, dusters, towels, and sports gear.
Synthetic materials for sheets
Synthetic fibers include polyester, microfiber, or high-tech performance blends. Synthetic sheet sets offer much more absorption capabilities than natural fibers and are the best sheet set fabric choice for those with sensitive skin.
Natural material for sheets
Natural fibers are made of cotton, silk, bamboo, and other materials. They are breathable and offer ventilation to cool down the body but aren't the best for absorption and can easily get wet from sweat. Natural fibers aren’t as durable and are prone to pilling and lint.
When looking at natural fiber sheets, you have to consider chemical processing. If having more natural processing is important to you, choose organic sheets for your bed. The best organic sheets will be certified organic and made sustainably but will also come with a higher price tag.
Cotton vs Microfiber sheets
Cotton and microfiber bed sheets are the most popular sheet fabrics on the market. Both cotton and microfiber sheets have many advantages and disadvantages for sleepers. Do your research or consult a certified sleep coach to help you choose the best cotton and microfiber sheets for you.
The feel of cotton vs microfiber sheets
Natural cotton plants make cotton sheets have a soft and crisp feel. The natural fibers make cotton sheets perfect for those with sensitive skin. Cotton sheets usually start very rough and get softer after washing.
Microfiber bed sheet fabric makes silky-smooth sheets with a slippery feel because they are made of small thin fibers.
The breathability of cotton vs microfiber sheets
Most cotton sheets are considered a breathable fabric with plenty of air circulation to prevent heat-trapping. Cotton sheets are airy and light, making them great for summer.
Sheets made from microfiber are excellent at absorbing sweat making them the supreme sheets for hot sleepers. Unlike cotton sheets, the moisture-wicking properties of the microfiber keep you cool and dry all night.
The durability of cotton vs microfiber sheets
Cotton is a naturally strong fiber. Cotton sheets last 2 to 3 years. The durability of cotton sheets is one of the reasons people love them.
Both microfiber and cotton sheets are durable but microfiber takes the cake because they are also stain and wrinkle resistant.
Types of cotton sheets
Not all kinds of cotton sheets are the same. There are several types of cotton sheets on the market such as Egyptian cotton, Pima cotton, and cotton blends.
Egyptian Cotton sheet sets are suitable for cooling or warming depending on the thread count and style of weaving. They are also known for their durability and longevity compared to other types of sheets. Egyptian cotton sheets may be known as some of the best cotton sheets, but finding genuine material is difficult.
Pima cotton has a cool smooth finish because it has been combed by hand with extremely fine-spun yarn. This option can be far more expensive than other sheet types due to the meticulous processing.
Cotton blend sheets are made when manufacturers weave cotton and polyester together. This process makes durable and less expensive sheets. The downside is that cotton blend fabrics don’t make the best cooling sheets because they aren't as breathable.
Upland cotton sheets
Upland cotton fibers are not as long as Egyptian, Pima, or Supima making them cheaper. They are less durable and flexible and feel very stiff. Upland cotton makes up most of the cotton grown throughout the world.
Long-staple cotton vs Short staple cotton
Staple length is crucial when choosing cotton sheets. As staple length increases, the sheets will feel more silky and cool to the touch.
Short staple cotton
This type of cotton is used to make a lot of fabrics we use for everyday things like clothes and other items. It's strong and low maintenance but doesn’t have that luxurious crisp feeling.
Long-staple cotton sheets
Long-staple cotton is made with longer fibers making the weave smoother. This type of cotton is used for sheets, towels, and other quality products. Long-staple cotton products become softer overtime because they have fewer fiber ends woven into the fabric.
In addition to the weave, whether your sheets are combed cotton or carded cotton makes a difference in the feel of your sheets.
This type of cotton is made from longer, finer fibers that have been combed to remove any impurities and straighten the fibers. The bedsheets are then woven with a sateen weave, making them softer than percale weave sheets but still less soft than regular sateen sheets.
Carded cotton means that the fibers are shorter and more tangled. It also means that your sheets will be less durable, even after you wash them. While the quality of carded cotton is lower, they are generally softer since the short fuzz of the material doesn’t have to be removed before it can go into weaving.
Thread count refers to the number of vertical and horizontal threads. Generally speaking, a high thread count means the sheets are softer. A higher thread count also means that the sheets are more likely to wear well — or even soften — over time, with repeated washes.
What is a good thread count?
While there is no one definitive answer, for both cotton and synthetic fibers thread count of between 200-800 is generally considered high quality and will provide sheets that are soft to the touch. Anything above 400 thread count can start to get into luxury territory, with some sheets boasting counts as high as 1000 or more. Many of these numbers are falsely inflated and should be taken with a grain of thought.
Sheets with a high thread count can often feel stiff and rough, as the fabric is packed too tightly together. So while high thread counts can certainly make for better sheets, it's the thread that matters most. In fact, a sheet of a better-quality fiber with a lower thread count will feel softer and stand up to washing better than a sheet of a lower-quality fiber with a higher thread count.
What is GSM?
In the past, thread count was used as the only measure of softness, but it's not always an accurate indicator for microfiber and cotton sheets. The best way to measure quality is to find out the grams per square meter.
What is a good GSM?
Most microfiber sheets will fall between 90 - 110 gsm but the range of the measurement can be from 55 gsm to 120 gsm. In general higher gsm count makes a more durable fabric. Low-quality microfiber sheets will have a lower gsm. This also goes for feel and comfort, so be sure to look out for high gsm when purchasing sheets.
Best Weave For Your Sheets
Another important factor that determines what makes microfiber sheets good is the weave of the sheet. The two most common types of weaves are percale and sateen.
Percale sheets are made up of vertical and horizontal thread loops, which creates a slightly rougher feel than sateen bed sheets. Percale cotton sheets are cheaper because of the less smooth fabric.
A sateen sheet, on the other hand, has a more subtle sheen and is woven with more threads per square inch, giving them a silky smooth feel.
Percale bed sheets often cost less than sateen bed sheets, so if you're looking for the softest sheets and don't mind a rougher texture, go for a percale weave.
What is brushed microfiber?
Brushed microfiber is a high-quality fabric made of synthetic materials that feels very similar to flannel but is much softer. It has millions of tiny fibers brushed up to the surface. It’s impossible to get cotton flannel to feel as soft because it has thicker threads that don't reach the surface of the fabric. Brushed microfiber is made by scraping metal brushes over the surface to expose the little threads. These are the softest and warmest sheets out there.
Choosing the best microfiber sheets for you
Have you ever been to a certified sleep coach? Sleep professionals agree that having fresh clean sheets to jump into every night can improve the quality of your sleep. Here’s how to determine if microfiber sheets are a good choice for you:
Are these sheets cooling?
These sheets aren’t known for being cooling and are great for those who run cold at night. They absorb sweat and maintain your body temperature by trapping heat inside.
Are microfiber sheets hot?
Since these sheets are not made of natural materials they are known to be warm. That's why you'll find cold-weather sports gear made of this same material. If you experience night sweats these sheets might be beneficial to you.
Do they cause sweating?
This fabric can feel quite warm if you live in a hot and humid region especially if you’re a hot sleeper who suffers from night sweats. While you might feel a bit hot, the moisture won’t stay on the sheets making them wet. The moisture from night sweats will pass through the fibers and evaporate in the air. If you think you are a hot sleeper and it affects your sleep, speak to a medical professional.
Are they good for allergies?
Medical and academic associations suggest that people who have allergies should use these sheets because they repel dust and irritants like pet dander. Look for hypoallergenic microfiber sheet sets if you or your loved ones have allergies. Sheets made from synthetic material might be irritating to some.
Are microfiber sheets ideal for pets?
Some of the best sheets for pets are made from microfiber because they are durable. This fabric is also stain-resistant and will hold up to any accidents. It’s super easy to clean as well so you’ll be able to keep your sheets smelling fresh.
Are microfiber pillowcases good for the hair?
We all want to wake up and have a good hair day. Choose a sheet made from microfiber to fight frizz. These sheets are more gentle on your hair than cotton because of the soft fabric.
In what season should I use microfiber sheets?
Use these sheets any time of the year. Cold sleepers may want to keep them on the bed all year round. If you sleep hot you might want to save them for the cold winter months to feel cozy.
Are they soft?
Sheets made of microfiber are extremely soft. They feel silkier than cotton because of the millions of threads used per square inch.
Are microfiber sheets breathable?
These sheets are designed to keep you warm and trap heat. They also repel water and prevent it from soaking into the material which is good for those who have night sweats. If you live in a cold dry climate these sheets are perfect for you. Since microfiber is made from synthetic fiber, it isn’t as breathable as natural fibers like cotton, bamboo, or linen.
Are microfiber sheets durable?
Microfiber makes the most durable sheet out there. Be sure to purchase sheet sets made with quality fabric and a high GSM. The synthetic fibers in this fabric do not fade, rip, or stain easily. They can be washed frequently without losing their shape or color. To ensure durability microfiber sheets should be washed with care. Plus, be sure to purchase quality sheets.
Do microfiber sheets stain?
Since these sheets are resistant to moisture they are also stain resistant. Stains can’t get absorbed into the fibers and settle into the sheets.
Do they pill?
Pilling happens to a material when it is of poor quality. You can tell if your sheets are low quality because they will look worn after washing. Microfiber doesn't pill because of the tight weave of the fibers. Make sure you get thick sheets of high quality.
Do microfiber sheets fade in the wash?
If you want your sheets to look bright and colorful after each wash, get a set of microfiber sheets. This synthetic fabric absorbs dyes much better than natural fabrics. Always follow the care label instructions to prevent bleeding or fading colors.
Can they be machine washed?
Care for your sheets properly to ensure that they last. Microfiber sheets can be machine washed but always wash them separately from other materials because all of the brushed fibers attract lint. Use cold or warm water with a gentle detergent. Never put bleach or harsh laundry products on this fabric.
Can you use fabric softener on microfiber sheets?
The most important thing to note about care for these sheets is that you can never use fabric softener. Fabric softener damages microfiber by coating the treads and making them not able to absorb and wick moisture. Interestingly, fabric softener will make your sheets less soft over time.
How can you dry them?
Microfiber dries very quickly. Air dry your microfiber sheets outside or put them in the dryer on low with dryer balls. The heat from the dryer can damage the fibers and ruin your sheets. Remember to read the label before drying your sheets to check how to best care for them.
Are they wrinkle-resistant?
Most of these types of sheets are wrinkle-resistant, unlike cotton sheets. When they dry the wrinkles that form from being in the washing machine will relax. Never iron microfiber sheets because the hot steam could damage the fibers, just like in the tumble dryer. Take sheets out of the wash immediately and hang them to dry to prevent wrinkles from forming.
How much do microfiber sheets cost?
These sheet sets cost much less than other types of sheets. You can find them for about half the price of cotton sheet sets and even more when it comes to organic bamboo sheets, Egyptian cotton sheets, or Pima cotton sheets.
Pros and Cons of Microfiber sheets
We’ve gone over all of the characteristics of good-quality microfiber sheets and cotton sheets. Comparing cotton and microfiber sheets helped us to see how sheets are made. Check out the definitive list of pros and cons to make the decision for yourself of whether or not microfiber is right for you:
Microfiber sheets pros:
Soft to the touch
Easy to clean at home
Quick to dry
Wrinkle and shrink resistant
Color doesn’t fade
Cozy during winter
Can be hot during the summer months
Not the best for hot sleepers
Attracts lint if not dried properly
Can be irritating for people with sensitive skin
Our recommendations for the best microfiber sheet sets:
At Mellanni, we have several options for high-quality bedding options:
Our extremely popular microfiber sheets are soft to the touch, wrinkle-free, and breathable. These sheets come in different colors so you can choose what best matches your home decor.
Advantages of these high-quality sheets:
We set out to create some of the most comfortable and luxurious bed sheets you can find on the market, and we're convinced that these fit the bill. The ultra-softness of these sheets means you'll sleep better and wake up each morning feeling refreshed and full of energy.
More durable than cotton, these sheets are great for your bedrooms, guest rooms, kids' room, RV, vacation home, and more. They can last through multiple washes without losing their shape or feel.
Fade, stain, shrink and wrinkle resistant, these sheets aren't only durable – they're easy to take care of. Simply machine wash in cold and then dry them for a quick cycle on tumble dry low.
Made of the highest quality microfiber and workmanship so you know it lasts!
Lots of Color Options
A fabulous selection of colors will make your bedroom look like it belongs in a magazine.
Complete your bedding set with a duvet cover made from our extremely popular microfiber sheets. Just like the sheets, the duvet covers are soft to the touch, wrinkle-free, and breathable. Coming in a variety of different sizes, choose the duvet cover and pillow set that best fits the beds in every room of the house.
Advantages of these high-quality microfiber duvet covers:
100% double-brushed microfiber
Double-brushed microfiber is the epitome of luxury. Feel like you're in a hotel with a matching duvet and sheets made of the same super soft fabric.
Protect your sensitive skin and repel bacteria with hypoallergenic microfiber. This duvet is perfect for those who have skin conditions, seasonal allergies or sleep with their pets.
Easy to put on
Slip this duvet cover on and off with ease to make washing a breeze. Use the button closure to take out the insert. No more worrying about broken zippers. This duvet cover also comes with interior ties to hold your cover in place to keep your bed fluffy.
Lots of size options
Twin: 1 Duvet cover 68" x 90", 1 Pillow Sham 20" x 26" with 2" flange, 1 Pillow Case 20" x 30"
Full: 1 Duvet cover 90" x 90", 2 Pillow Shams 20" x 26" with 2" flange, 2 Pillow Cases 20" x 30"
Queen: 1 Duvet cover 90" x 90", 2 Pillow Shams 20" x 26" with 2" flange, 2 Pillow Cases 20" x 30"
King: 1 Duvet cover 90" x 104", 2 Pillow Shams 20" x 36" with 2" flange, 2 Pillow Cases 20" x 40"
In summary, the right microfiber sheets for you will depend on your preferences for certain qualities.
If you're looking for a sheet set that is durable and doesn’t fade with each wash then try the Mellanni Queen Sheet Set - Hotel Luxury 1800 Bedding
Get the 1800 Collection Duvet Cover Set to accompany your sheet set and be enveloped in cozy luxury.
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