Cotton is the most popular fabric when it comes to bedding. But not all cotton is the same. There are three main types of cotton: Egyptian cotton, pima cotton and upland cotton. The first two are higher quality cotton. As such, they are also harden to find and a little heavier on the wallet. This in depth guide will show you exactly what is pima cotton and why it’s worth investing in a sheet set made of this particular type of cotton.
Best Pima Cotton Sheets
Peru Pima is an excellent sheet manufacturer. In fact, their sheets are used in many top notch hotels around the world, such as Hilton, Sheraton, Marriott, and more. Their 600 thread count Pima cotton sheet set is made with excellent extra-long staple cotton. This means that the quality of the set is superior and it breathes very well. It’s perfect if you’re looking for a smooth and soft sheet set, with an elegant sheen. This comes from the sateen weave, which is a lot more silky than a crisp percale weave. The color selection is quite limited, Peru Pima has these sheets in the classic white, ivory and slate tones. This set is OEKO TEX certified, so you ccan be sure that no harmful chemicals were used in the manufacturing process.
Sizes: Twin, Full, Queen, King, Cal King
Aspire Linen has a beautiful Pima cotton sheet set with a 550 thread count. This thread count allows the set to breathe well and the sateen weave makes it silky soft. You’ll be so pleased with the color and size selection! You can see the different sizes below. And as for colors, you’ll find solids from Gold to Turquoise, and the same colors with a striped pattern. These royal sheet sets are a great addition of luxury to your own home and they are also the perfect gift. As a bonus, we really appreciate that the twin and twin XL sizes include 2 pillow cases, instead of the usual 1 pillow case.
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Short Queen, Queen, King, Cal King, Grand King, Emperor
We just can’t get enough of Peru Pima. Here is another one of their sheet sets made from extra-long staple cotton fibers. This adds to the excellent quality and durability of the sheets. With a thread count of 415 the sheets are medium weight and the percale weave gives them a touch of crispiness and character. As with other Peru Pima products, these sheets are OEKO TEX certified. The color selection is wider than for their 600 thread count sheet set. You can get both beautiful solid colors, as well as striped patterns.
You’ll also get a nice surprise when you see the packaging! It’s gorgeous and you can easily give it as a gift to someone whose sleep you value a lot. It’s a truly good combination of a high quality sheet, reasonable price, and great delivery.
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cal King
DreamFit is way ahead of other manufacturers in one aspect. Their patented fitted sheets stay in place like there’s no tomorrow. They really do fit like a dream. This is thanks to a couple of things. The elastic on the fitted sheet is 20 times stronger than the industry standard. But what brings the real magic are their corner bands. Their patented DreamFlex corner bands are 1.5″ thick and way stronger than your usual sheet bands. They will securely hold the sheet on the mattress, even if it’s 20″ thick. DreamFit also uses color-coded bands, so you will always know which way is up. It’s extremely easy to put these sheets on the bed. In addition to all that, these sateen sheets are super soft and silky to the touch.
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Full XL, Queen, Split Head Queen, King, Split Head King, Cal King, Split Cal King, Split Head Cal King
We love Simple & Opulence for their beautiful and delicate bedding. Their Pima cotton sheet set comes with a 600 thread count, which starts being more on the heavier side. The sheets are rich, silky soft thanks to the sateen weave and the great quality of the cotton makes them durable and reliable. The sheets are also OEKO TEX certified, which means that no harmful chemicals were invovled in the manufacturing process. At this price, these sheets are really a bargain that you can’t miss out on!
Sizes: Twin XL, Queen, King, Cal King
What Is Pima Cotton?
Pima cotton is one of the highest quality cottons available. It is a type of extra-long staple cotton. Staple refers to the length of the fiber. For cotton, an extra-long staple means that it is over 1.3/8 inches long.
But why does fiber length matter in the first place? This is actually what determines the quality of the fabric. The longer the fiber, the fewer fiber ends appear on the surface of the fabric. As a result, the fabric is smoother, softer, less prone to pilling and shredding.
Pima cotton comes from the plant gossypium barbadense. This plant is also the mother of other extra-long staple cotton types. The difference is simply where the cotton is grown. The gossypium barbadense plant requires a lot of sun, humidity, as well as rainfall to thrive.
Where Does Pima Cotton Come from?
Now that we have gotten to know this cotton type a bit better, let’s take a look at its origins. Location-wise it was first cultivated in Peru and Ecuador. It later made its way to the United States, to the south-west. It was the Pima tribe of American Indians that first started to grow this cotton. As the pioneers, they also gave it its name.
These days pima cotton is grown only in some parts of the world: Peru, Australia, and the US. Certain US-grown pima cotton is called Supima cotton. Only a handful of licensed manufacturers and retailers can use this trademark, as it’s a known guarantee of excellent quality.
What Is Pima Cotton Like?
The most important characteristic of this amazing cotton is its fiber length. Also known as staple. Cotton fibers are divided into 4 staple groups: short, medium, long, and extra-long.
Pima cotton is extra-long staple cotton. The longer the fiber, the better the quality, as you might remember. This is why pima cotton is one of the greats. In the spinning and waving process, longer fibers produce a more even outcome. The shorter the fibers, the more of them you need. And the more fiber ends will be sticking out of the fabric’s surface. Longer fibers mean that there will be less fiber ends. So the end result is a lot smoother, silkier, and better to the touch.
Another great quality of this cotton type is the fiber strength. Together with staple, this gives you a durable fabric. This cotton plant also has a natural protector that keeps it safe from fungal and insect damage. It contains the chemical gossypol, which also occurs in the name of the plant.
What Is Pima Cotton Used for?
Pima cotton is often used in both men’s and women’s clothing. It became more popular in the beginning of the 20th century. Clothes made from this cotton type include woven sweaters, t-shirts, dresses, underwear, socks. The softness and durability make this a sought-after fabric.
It is also used for making bed sheets and other bedding products. Although it is not as widely used as some other types of cotton. Around 3% of the cotton grown in the US is pima cotton. The more expensive price makes it less attainable for many people. But the quality is certainly worth it.
Is Pima cotton better than cotton?
If you see only the word “cotton” and there’s no other specification about the type, you’re most likely dealing with Upland cotton. This is usually short or medium staple cotton, which is less expensive, but also has lower quality. So in terms of the durability, softness, and overall quality, Pima cotton is indeed better than upland cotton.
Is 100% Pima cotton good?
100% Pima cotton is usually excellent! This cotton type has extra-long staple fibers, which help produce much higher quality sheets than medium or short staple cotton. When in doubt, this cotton type is always a good choice.
Is Pima cotton good for hot weather?
Cotton in general is a natural fabric that breathes well. This means that especially during hot weather, it will allow the sheets to cool down much better than a synthetic material, like microfiber. However, there’s one super important thing to consider – thread count. This refers to how tight the weave is. The higher the thread count, the tighter the fabric, and the less space there is for air to flow freely between the fibers. A higher thread count means that the fabric does not breathe as well as a lower thread count fabric. For hot weather, we recommend Pima cotton with a thread count between 300 and 500.
Why is Pima cotton so expensive?
Pima cotton is expensive for a few reasons. This cotton plant needs a particular climate to thrive. It needs humidity and rainfall, as well as lots of sun. It currently grow mostly in Peru, the US, and Australia. Out of all the cotton available, Pima cotton makes up just a small percentage. It’s estimated that it’s only 3% of the cotton grown in the US. The more rare something is, the more it usually costs.
What’s the difference between 100% cotton and 100% Pima cotton?
If you ever see a tag that says 100% cotton, you’re most likely looking at upland cotton. This is the most widely used and available type of cotton. Pima cotton is much more rare. The main difference is the quality of the cotton. Upland cotton usually has short or medium length fibers. The products made from upland cotton are generally decent quality. Pima cotton has extra long fibers, which result in a much better quality end product. They’re softer, smoother, more durable, and less prone to pilling than their upland cotton relatives.
Which is better Egyptian or Pima cotton?
This is a tricky question and ultimately it will come down to what exatly you’re looking at. As well as personal preference. Both Egyptian cotton and Pima cotton are considered to be one of the best quality cotton types out there. Egyptian cotton is sometimes considered a notch higher up the luxury ladder and it might be more expensive. But both cotton types are truly excellent.
Is Pima cotton luxury?
Pima cotton is without a shadow of a doubt a luxurious fabric. With extra-long fibers, the end product is smooth, super soft to the touch. The lengthy fibers also make the fabric more resistant to tearing and pilling.
Does 100% Pima cotton shrink?
The short answer is yes. But there are some nuances here. Cotton in general, be it Pima, upland or Egyptian cotton, is prone to shrinking. During the first wash, the product can even shrink up to 20%. During later washes, the shrinkage can be around 2-5%.
If you want to minimize shrinkage, look for bed sheets that have already been pre-shrunk by the manufacturer. And always, always, always follow the care instructions attentively. Normally you should wash your cotton product in cold water and you shouldn’t turn up the heat too much for drying. But as we said earlier, just follow the manufacturer’s care instructions.
Is Pima cotton better than polyester?
It depends on what aspect you’re looking at. But in the grand scheme of things, we definitely recomment Pima cotton over polyester. Cotton in general is a natural fabric and we prefer that over synthetics like polyester. Cotton is also a fabric that breathes well, keeps you cool during the summer and warmer during winter. Plus, the extra-long staple of Pima cotton results in high quality products that are smooth, soft, durable and luxurious.