Lyocell vs Cotton Sheets - A Detailed Comparison

A comfortable bed can help you get the rejuvenating sleep that your body needs night after night. A high-quality mattress coupled with several fluffy, yet supportive pillows will do excellent in creating a relaxing surface where you can rest. If you are looking for a simple and quick way to make your bed even more inviting, changing the sheets can do the trick. Cotton and lyocell sheets can help you enjoy restful nights of sleep without the need for drastic changes to your sleeping area.

Lyocell vs Cotton Sheets

Cotton

Cotton is a natural material that is produced from fibers from the cotton plant. The material has been used for thousands of years as a fabric for creating clothes, beddings, and other products that will benefit from cotton’s strength and softness. The quality of cotton sheets will be affected by the type of cotton fibers used, with the length of the fibers (called “staple”) dictating the softness that the finished product will deliver. Egyptian cotton and Pima cotton are considered top-quality cotton choices with their thinner and longer fibers that offer luxurious softness along with superior durability for sheets that can be used for years to come.

Pros

Gets Softer Over Time

Initially, cotton sheets can feel slightly crisp, but this quality does not diminish the high level of comfort they can offer for a wonderful night of sleep. As time goes by, the material becomes even softer, making the sheets even more inviting. The increasing softness, however, does not mean that the fabric is deteriorating with time. With every wash, the original crisp texture is reduced until only supreme softness can be enjoyed.

Durability

Cotton is a durable fabric, although it should be noted that the strength and durability of the fabric will depend on the type of cotton used. High-quality cotton sheets, especially those with Egyptian cotton or Pima cotton, deliver superior durability that can be maximized for years of use. With proper care and maintenance, cotton sheets can be used for a long time without deterioration to quality and appearance.

Easy to Maintain

Cotton sheets do not require too much effort when it comes to cleaning and maintenance. Unlike lyocell sheets, most cotton sheets can be machine washed in either a cold or hot cycle.
This means that keeping the cotton sheets clean will not involve any special washing procedure that can be more expensive and time-consuming. In case the sheets get stains that cannot be removed with a regular washing cycle, bleach can be used to get rid of the offending stain without worries that the chemical will easily damage the fabric.

Hypoallergenic

Cotton is naturally hypoallergenic so it is an ideal bedding material for those who are highly sensitive to irritants or harsh chemicals that may be used in other fabrics. Cotton sheets can be used for long periods without triggering allergies that may cause skin itching, sneezing, or other forms of irritation.

Affordable

Cotton sheets offer great value for your money and are more affordable compared to lyocell (or Tencel) options. These sheets are known to last for a long time so you can make the most out of your investment. With the variety of options to choose from with regards to the type of cotton used, you won’t have a hard time finding a set of cotton sheets that will suit your specific budget and other requirements.

Cons

Prone to Wrinkles

Cotton sheets will easily wrinkle, especially when they have just been washed. The creases will be noticeable, so if you want the bed to maintain an impeccable appearance, there is no choice but to iron the sheets after washing them. The ironing process can take a long time to finish but will take care of the sheets’ creasing problem.

Does Not Wick Away Moisture

Cotton sheets are breathable, but they do not wick away moisture. This can be a problem for people who tend to sweat a lot while sleeping because the perspiration won’t be drawn away from their body, producing an uncomfortable, sticky feeling that can disrupt what should be a peaceful night of sleep.

More Prone to Pilling

Pilling can be a problem with cotton sheets, especially those that are made with lower-quality cotton. While cotton sheets are overall strong and durable, this pilling tendency can contribute to quality degradation when the sheets are exposed to sources of friction. Cotton sheets that are made with inferior quality cotton may exhibit signs of pilling after several washes.

Lyocell vs Cotton Sheets

Lyocell

Lyocell is a fabric that uses the cellulose of eucalyptus wood pulp. It is manufactured using a sustainable closed-loop process that guarantees that the wood cellulose needed for the production will be reused so they will not cause environmental pollution. The eucalyptus wood pulp is dissolved, then spun into the fibers, before being woven to produce the lyocell fabric, which may be better known by the brand name Tencel.

Pros

Smooth and Soft From First Use

Lyocell sheets feel soft and smooth from the first use, unlike cotton sheets that tend to have a crisp feel when first used. These sustainable sheets can instantly enhance the comfort level of your sleeping area so you can immediately enjoy the indulgent softness without going through a waiting period. Lyocell sheets may also feel smoother compared to cotton, making them ideal for those who are sensitive to rough or prickly surfaces.

Strong and Durable

Sheets that are made with lyocell are resistant to pilling even with continuous use. They are not prone to premature damage or thinning even after multiple washes, so you can take advantage of the sheets’ superior quality for a long time.

Comfortably Cool

Lyocell sheets are breathable and efficiently wick away moisture. They work by drawing the perspiration away from the surface so your body can maintain a comfortably cool and dry feeling even when you tend to sleep hot. With the prevention of heat accumulating on the sleeping surface and sweat drawn away from your body, you can continue enjoying blissful slumber for long hours without being interrupted by overheating.

Wrinkle-Resistant

The technology used for manufacturing lyocell results in a material that is remarkably soft and resistant to wrinkling. The sheets will remain smooth even when they’re machine washed. This eliminates the need for ironing, which can be time-consuming and a tiresome chore to deal with. Lyocell sheets will not crease easily and can be placed  on the bed for your enjoyment right after being washed.

Renewable and Eco-friendly

Lyocell is sourced from eucalyptus trees that can be grown and cultivated with less irrigation compared to cotton plants that require a lot of water. This renewable source goes through a closed-loop process that ensures the non-toxic solvent and loose fibers can be reused for a manufacturing process that is friendlier to the environment and a finished product that features superior quality.

Cons

Expensive

Tencel or lyocell sheets are more expensive compared to cotton choices. The environmentally friendly closed-loop process that ensures the non-toxic solvent produced by dissolving the wood cellulose in chemicals can be reused has a higher cost compared to the production of cotton fabric. The result is a more expensive product that can fetch a higher price even when compared to the cost of the highest quality cotton sheets.

More Effort for Cleaning

Lyocell sheets often require more effort for cleaning compared to cotton sheets. The sheets need careful handling, requiring handwashing that can take up a lot of time. Some options can be washed using the gentle cycle of a machine, but it is best to check the manufacturer’s instructions. Stains can also be hard to deal with because lyocell sheets should not be treated with bleach.

Lyocell vs Cotton Sheets - A Detailed Comparison

Lyocell vs Cotton Sheets - Comparison

Pros Cons
Lyocell Sheets
  • Eco-friendly, sustainable source
  • Soft from the first use
  • Strong and durable
  • Wrinkle-resistant
  • Cool and moisture-wicking
  • Expensive
  • Requires careful washing
Cotton Sheets
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Affordable
  • Gets softer over time
  • Durable
  • Easy to maintain
  • Wrinkles easily
  • Prone to pilling
  • Does not wick away moisture

Key Takeaways

  • Cotton sheets and lyocell sheets both offer superior softness and durability, along with several differentiators that can benefit individuals and their distinct requirements.
  • Cotton sheets are naturally hypoallergenic and are durable for long-lasting use without quality deterioration setting in.
  • Lyocell sheets come from a renewable source and are manufactured using an eco-friendly process, but they are more expensive compared to cotton sheets.
  • Cotton sheets are affordable but do not have moisture-wicking capabilities that the more expensive lyocell sheets have.
  • Lyocell sheets are wrinkle-resistant compared to cotton sheets that need to be ironed after every wash to smoothen the creases. However, lyocell sheets may require more careful washing procedures.

FAQs

Q: Where does lyocell come from?

A: It is derived from eucalyptus wood, with the pulp going through a chemical process before being spun into fibers that make up the lyocell fabric.

Q:  What kind of cotton has the best quality?

A: Egyptian cotton and Pima cotton are considered to have the best quality when it comes to cotton types. The long and thin fibers of these types of cotton result in sheets that are softer, stronger, and more durable compared to other cotton alternatives.

Q: What makes lyocell sheets eco-friendly?

A: Eucalyptus trees can be grown without using too much water, which is an issue with cotton cultivation since cotton needs generous irrigation. The closed-loop process used in the production of the lyocell fabric also results in very minimal waste since the loose fibers and solvents are reused.

Q: Which sheets are more comfortable – cotton or lyocell?

A: Both fabrics are soft and breathable, but lyocell has a soft and smooth surface that can be enjoyed from its first use. Cotton can feel crisp at first but will become softer with time. Lyocell may also feel more comfortable with its moisture-wicking ability to draw sweat away from the body.

Conclusion

Cotton and lyocell sheets both provide long-lasting comfort for your bed setup in terms of softness and durability. Cotton sheets are suitable if you are looking for superior comfort with high-quality beddings that will not break the bank. Meanwhile, lyocell sheets may be more ideal if you prefer a more eco-friendly option, since the process used for this sustainable material is friendlier to the environment. Either choice may be the perfect one for you!

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