Supima cotton is a special type of cotton that you may not come across very often. But it you have heard of it, you know that this is very high quality cotton. Read on to find out exactly what is Supima cotton, where it gets its name from, and what makes it special.
What Is Supima Cotton?
Supima is a portmanteau of supreme and pima. So to understand what is Supima cotton, we first have to know what is Pima cotton. Pima cotton is a long or extra-long staple cotton. It grows in only a few areas of the world: Peru, the USA and Australia. Supima cotton is a special type of pima cotton that comes only from the USA. But not all US-grown pima cotton is considered superior. True Supima cotton bears the Supima® trademark.
Where Does Supima Cotton Come From?
The first half of the 20th century saw a rise in the demand for pima cotton. A group of US family farmers decided that the quality of the cotton must not suffer due to the higher demand. So in 1954 they established the Supima non-profit organization. To goal was to group pure and high quality pima cotton in the US. To better manage and promote Supima cotton, they started a license program. These days the Supima® trademark is quite an exclusive club. Only around 600 select US manufacturers and retailers have the license.
Supima cotton needs a hot arid climate and irrigation to grow. So only a few areas in the US, like the Southwest and Far West, are suitable for cultivation. Of all the cotton grown in America, pima cotton makes up around 3%. The number of licensed Supima manufacturers and retailers is quite small. So Supima cotton is even more rare.
What is Supima Cotton Like?
As we already saw, Supima cotton is special, as it only comes from the USA. Apart from that, this cotton shares other characteristics of pima cotton. Most importantly, this cotton has long or extra-long staple fibers. Staple refers to the length of an individual cotton fiber. This determines much of the quality of the fabric. Fibers can be short, medium, long, or extra-long.
Long stable cotton fibers are at least 1.3/32 long. While extra-long staple means that the cotton fibers are at least 1.3/8 inches long. Long and extra-long staple fiber makes for better quality sheets. This is because there are less fiber ends sticking out from the fabric. You just don’t need that many fibers to sow into a sheet in the first place. Although tiny, these ends make the fabric surface less smooth and soft. The other reason why you should prefer sheets from longer staple cotton, is because they are less prone to pilling. Which also makes them more resistant to tearing or breaking.
What Is Supima Cotton Used For?
Supima cotton is most widespread in the clothing industry. You can find men’s and women’s shirts, denim, t-shirts, socks, shorts, pants, and other apparel. But not only that. Supima cotton is also used for making other products. Such as bed linen, towels, bathrobes, and even furniture.
Best Supima Cotton Sheets
AURAA Royale offers a very affordable sheet set made from Supima cotton. It’s often hard to find sheets from this high quality cotton under $100, so it’s a great find. But leaving the price tag aside, the sheets are heavy at a 1000 thread count. They have a sateen weave, which gives them a nice sheen and true smoothness. If you have a thick mattress, not to worry – the fitted sheet works well with mattresses up to 18”. The size selection is not that big. But they do come in beautiful neutral tones that give a delicate feel to your bed.
Sizes: King, Queen
Colors: White, Taupe, Charcoal, Ballad Blue, High Rise, Sea Foam
Price: Starting at $79
In the recent years, Casper has revolutionized the world of sleeping. And one thing that they’ve taken to the next level is bedding. Their Supima cotton comes from California. These sheets have a 400 thread count sheets. Casper’s sheets have 2-ply threads. We don’t usually recommend multi-ply threads, but this is an exception. As the multi-ply thread does not indicate a desire to hide low quality threads in the sheet. Or to artificially inflate the thread count. Casper has done their research. And found that this is the perfect combination of thread count and plies. The result is an extraordinary sheet. And don’t forget the crispness of the percale weave. You’ll get a breathable, cool, and wonderfully strong sheet set.
Sizes: California King, King, Queen, Full, Twin, Twin XL
Colors: Cream, White, Navy/Azure, Sky/Azure, White/Slate
Price: Starting at $100
If you’re one that struggles with night sweats, Ghostbed has something just for you. Their sheet set is 60% Supima cotton and 40% Tencel fiber. This means you get the many great qualities of Supima cotton. Plus a 50% higher absorbency, thanks to Tencel. The sheets are extremely soft. And also a good choice for anyone who has sensitive skin. The fitted sheet has a strong elastic all around and best fits mattresses up to 16”. Not the 18” that the manufacturer claims. But this small hiccup aside, the sheets are truly soft and will be an immense help for sweaty sleepers.
Sizes: California King, King, Split King, Queen, Full, Twin, Twin XL
Colors: White, Gray
Threadmill Home Linen has a beautiful 100% Supima cotton sheet set with a 1000 thread count. They use single ply threads of extra long staple cotton – a great indicator of the high quality of the sheets. The sheets are strong, heavy, super soft, and the sateen weave makes them so smooth to the touch. One thing that makes Threadmill Home Linen stand out is their green approach. Their factory runs solely on wind and solar energy. The chemicals they use in the production process are harmless. Even to the most sensitive skin. Last but not least, they don’t use any plastic packaging. They sell the sheets straight from the factory without using any middlemen. With the goal of keeping the costs down for their clients. There is just so much to appreciate in both their approach and their sheets.
Sizes: California King, King, Queen
Colors: White, Ivory
Austin Horn Classics offers a beautiful striped sheet set. And of course it’s made from 100% Supima cotton grown in America. With a 600 thread count, the sheets are a tiny bit heavier than a regular cotton sheet. But they’re soft, durable, and breathable. The size and color selection is not too wide – you can only get a beige king size, or a white queen size set. But if you’re looking for a classic, high quality, well-made sheet set, this is it.
Sizes: King (or Queen in white)
Land’s End is one of the rare licensed members of the Supima cotton family. Their 400 thread count bed sheets have a sateen weave. Which adds smoothness to the already soft sheets. The thread count is great for a medium weight cotton sheet. Land’s End also uses a special no-wrinkle treatment that lasts up to 30 washes. This means you won’t have to worry about ironing the sheets. And even if this does wear off at one point, we’ve got a good tip for you. Remove the sheets from the dryer while they’re still slightly damp and lay them on the bed. This helps the sheets fully dry without many wrinkles.
Sizes: California King, King, Queen, Full, Twin, Twin XL
Colors: Cream, White, Slate Blue, Celery Seed, Cool Aqua, Desert Khaki, Light Lake Blue, Shale Gray, Soft Ash
Price: Starting at $159
The Malouf sheet set is made from extra-long staple cotton, one of the true gems. The sheets have a thread count of 600. This is just a little on the heavier side but still considered one of the best for cotton sheets. The sateen weave guarantees you smoothness and these sheets are really a dream to sleep on. They’re soft, smooth, drape really well, and have beautiful vibrant colors. The extra deep fitted sheet fits mattresses up to 22”. So if you’re having a hard time finding something that fits your thick mattress, this is a perfect set for you.
Sizes: California King, Split Cal King, King, Split King, Queen, Split Queen, Full, Twin, Twin XL
Colors: White, Charcoal, Smoke, Flax
Peacock Alley is known for their luxury bedding and bathroom products. This particular sheet set only comes in queen size and in white color. So it’s not available for everyone, depending on their bed size and color preference. But my oh my are these sheets great. They have a 240 thread count, which allows air to flow freely between the threads. And as a result, the sheets will keep you nice and cool throughout the night. The Peacock Alley sheets combine the 2 great things. The American grown high quality Supima cotton and the exquisite Portuguese manufacturing. This is true luxury in its best form. And of course it reflects in the price, so only a few will be able to afford it. But if you can, you will receive the best quality available.