Humans spend one-third of their life sleeping or at least trying to. If after 8 hours of sleep you feel tired and sluggish, you’re probably sleeping on the wrong set of sheets. One of life’s greatest pleasures is crashing down on a soft and smooth microfiber sheet which will not only pamper the skin but
Microfiber Sheets – Everything You Need to Know About Them!
There are lots of different kinds of sheets available on the market. While cotton remains the most popular fabric in sheets, there’s a sheet type that is making waves right now, and that is microfiber!
Microfiber sheets are some of the softest, most wrinkle-and-fade resistant sheets you can buy. You can use these versatile sheets in your master bedroom, kids’ rooms, guest rooms, elderly parents’ rooms, and even in RVs, boats, vacation homes, and so on. They are available in a wide range of colors and prints and wrap you in sheer elegance, luxury, and comfort.
In this guide, we will discuss everything you need to know about microfiber sheets, their advantages and disadvantages, and how to buy them.
What is Microfiber?
Microfiber is a manmade or synthetic fiber having a diameter of fewer than 10 micrometers – about 1/5th the diameter of a human strand of hair. Typical microfibers used in sheet making include nylon, Kevlar, polyester, polyamides, and polypropylene and combinations thereof.
Their unique shape, size, and characteristics help impart toughness, durability, softness, silkiness, superior absorption, moisture-wicking, breathability, and electrostatic abilities to their final products.
History of Microfiber
In reality, microfiber is not new. It has existed for decades, since people started using flash spinning and melt-blown spinning techniques to make fibers. It wasn’t until the 1970s, though, that two Japanese inventors created the first microfiber Ultrasuede, which started being commercially used for making cloth and fabrics.
Microfiber gained popularity as athletic wear in its initial days because it had excellent absorption as well as moisture-wicking properties. This allowed the material to quickly absorb sweat and keep athletes cool and dry.
Later on, its elastic property also helped it find use in undergarments, skirts, and jackets. Due to moisture repellence, microfiber was the preferred material for making swimming apparel, aquatic trunks, scuba diving suits, etc.
Today, microfibers have found application in a wide range of products including car interiors, table cloths, insulating PrimaLoft Insulation in bedding, microfiber basketballs, cleaning cloths and mops, and also in suede-mimicking products.
What Are Microfiber Sheets?
Microfiber sheets are bedsheets made using polyamide, polyester, or even wood pulp. The main feature of the sheets is that they consist of finely woven fibers having a thickness of fewer than 10 microns or 1 denier.
To give you an idea of how fine a microfiber is, imagine silky stockings. Each stocking measures about 10 deniers thick, and you know how light they are! Now imagine sheets made from microfibers less than 10 microns or 1 denier thickness!
You will be amazed at how light and silky your microfiber sheets feel. They are sheer luxury and emulate satiny softness. Their unique manufacturing process consisting of the latest spinning techniques ensures they’re softer and silkier than other sheets on the market.
You may find yourself thinking, “Those sheets sound amazing!” However, every sheet option has its weaknesses. Let’s study the pros and cons of microfiber sheets.
Pros of Microfiber Sheets
Soft, smooth, and luxurious
If you truly want to feel like royalty when you lay on your sheets at night, then microfiber is the way to go. The unique spinning process imparts a regal shine and silkiness. Also, the same process makes them very soft, like butter, to the touch.
Microfiber sheets can be washed numerous times and retain their colors. There’s a wide range of choices in microfiber sheet colors, and they all retain their look for years to come!
This feature makes microfiber sheets the ultimate choice for kids’ rooms. They can resist stains because of their ability to convert liquid into beads, repelling and wicking it away.
Another great feature of microfibers is that they don’t wrinkle easily and can hold their shape no matter what you subject them to. They wash well, and when you choose sheets with deep pockets, they remain attached to your mattress, whether you use an adjustable or regular bed frame. Their thin fibers and closer weaves ensure they don’t crumple easily or need maintenance such as ironing.
Soft, thin, and lightweight, microfiber sheets are extremely breathable as they allow better airflow throughout. This keeps the sheets cool and dry, making them an ideal choice for summer as well as winters when artificial heating dries and heats the indoor air.
The above feature might make you question their use in winters. Microfiber sheets are ideal for winter months because they offer superior insulation and warmth. In fact, many people want to know “Are microfiber sheets hot?” and the answer is yes. They trap the body heat and reflect it back, keeping you warm and cozy in extreme temperatures.
The superior water repellence and moisture-wicking ensure the microfibers stay dry. This repels moisture and sweat, which in turn, prevents bacteria, fungi, mold, and mildew. Its breathable feature also ensures minimized dust, lint, etc. So microfiber is a great choice for people with sinus issues, allergies, and so on.
Easy care and maintenance
The stain-resistant microfiber sheets wash well. You can toss them in the washing machine and they can be hung out to dry. They won’t fade too much in the sun (cotton sheets especially do!) and can last several years without any special care and maintenance.
Ensure better sleep and more productivity
Thanks to all of the above features, you are more likely to have better sleep on microfiber sheets. This enhances your daytime productivity.
With such fabulous features, one would expect microfiber sheets to be extremely expensive. In reality, they are highly affordable and provide total value for the money, given the fact that they last for years and years. They are also easier to produce since they are manmade, and unlike bamboo or cotton sheets, do not need complicated growing and harvesting techniques for their raw materials.
Cons of Microfiber Sheets
One of the biggest drawbacks of microfiber sheets is the fact that they are highly flammable. Also, many manufacturers use flame retardants like azo dyes and formaldehyde in their manufacturing. This makes them toxic as well, especially if they burn and release those toxic gases into the air.
Bad for the environment
Microfibers made from polyesters, petroleum waste, and polyamides could potentially enter our waterways where they can harm our sea life. Washing these sheets also releases harmful materials back into the environment that can potentially enter our land and food chain too.
Microfiber sheets made from polyester or polyamide tend to gather electrostatic buildup. This can cause pet and human hairs to cling to it. The static often gets worse during winters.
Here is a comparison table showing the pros and cons of microfiber sheets.
|Pros of Microfiber Sheets||Cons of Microfiber Sheets|
Fade, wrinkle, stain resistant
Easy to wash, care, maintain, highly durable
Potential to cause harm to the environment
Affordable, versatile, value for money
Synthetic/manmade and not natural
Hypoallergenic, breathable, warm
Prone to static buildup
Soft, smooth, silky, luxurious
Features to consider when choosing microfiber sheets:
Sheets can have different weave patterns which, in turn, can decide their durability, softness, and wash-ability too. Look for sheets with tight weaves like Percale, which renders them extremely soft, durable, and wrinkle-resistant too.
Always measure your bed before buying sheets. Look for sheets that are bigger, never smaller. Microfiber sheets with pockets can be helpful as you can tuck them into the bed to restrict movement and bunching up.
This is one of the most important factors to consider when buying any sheet. Generally, a thread count between 200 and 600 is considered a good value. The higher the thread count, the better the sheet. However, you also need to consider the weave, materials used, etc.
Instead of considering only the thread count, you may want to consider the GSM of the sheets as well. This value indicates the Grams per Square Meter. For microfiber sheets, a good GSM value is 100-120 gsm. The higher the GSM, the denser, thicker, and heavier the sheet will be.
Design, colors, texture
You must also consider the aesthetic aspects of the sheets. Look for colors and prints that suit the other elements in your room.
Microfiber can consist of polyester, cellulose, nylon, or polyamide. Cellulose is a better choice as it is biodegradable.
Ease of care and maintenance
Finally, look for sheets that are easy to care for. Avoid sheets that need hand-washing or special dry cleaning. Most microfibers are easy to care for and can be tossed in the machine for a quick wash. Since they are fade-resistant, they also can be easily dried in the sun.
FAQs on Microfiber Sheets
Who can use microfiber?
Microfiber is suitable for people on a budget. They are especially recommended for people who like warmer sheets or tend to get cold at night. If you want to exert low maintenance efforts, go for them. High-quality microfiber sheets can be useful for anyone looking to add rich elegance to their bedroom décor without overspending.
Microfiber sheets are also stain-resistant. This makes them the go-to choice for kids’ rooms, elderly people, patients, hospitals, hotels, etc. They also wash well and last long.
What is a good thread count for microfiber?
In addition to considering thread count, do look for the sheet’s GSM or gram-per-square-meter value. As explained earlier, microfiber sheets have a GSM between 55 and 120. A good GSM for microfiber sheets is about 100. Avoid sheets that do not clearly mention the GSM. Many manufacturers state a higher thread count for their sheets, but this does not mean anything if they don’t mention the GSM value. In general, though, a thread count between 200 and 800 is considered good, provided the GSM is also high and the materials used are high-quality as well.
Are all microfiber sheets the same?
No, microfiber sheets can be made from different raw materials like polyester, nylon, cellulose, etc. Also, their GSM value, weaves, and thread counts can differ from brand to brand and even based on their cost.
Is it good to sleep on microfiber?
Yes, microfiber is a good choice for colder areas and for people who get cold at night. It traps body heat and reflects it back. This can insulate the user against drafts. Microfiber is also durable, wrinkle-resistant, and stain-resistant. It also repels moisture and sweat and is hypoallergenic.
Is microfiber better than cotton?
Microfiber is made from man-made materials while cotton is natural. It depends on your personal preferences. Microfiber is definitely more durable and it washes well. Cotton is breathable and lightweight. It is not toxic and harmful to the environment as some microfibers tend to be.
Do microfiber sheets make you hot? Will you sweat a lot on microfiber sheets?
Yes. Microfiber made from nylon and polyester tends to trap your body heat and reflects it back. This can cause you to sweat. This is a good feature to have in a cold climate and in peak winters but not for hot and humid areas.
Is microfiber better for the skin?
Since microfiber repels moisture, has better airflow, is hypoallergenic, and deters pathogens like bacteria, mold, etc., it may be better for your skin. Also, it does not rub against your skin unlike other fabrics, and that reduces acne and irritation.
Is microfiber good for the hair?
Yes, some people believe so. Its soft material reduces frizz and can prevent your hair from drying out.
How can I tell if a sheet is made of microfiber?
Feel the sheet with your fingers: you might hear a “sound.” You can also pour a bit of water on the sheet. If the water beads and does not get absorbed, the sheet is probably made of microfiber.
Conclusion – What are Microfiber Sheets?
Microfiber sheets are made from brushed microfibers having a thickness of less than 1 denier or 10 microns. This is about 1/5th the thickness of a strand of human hair, which renders them very light in weight.
The benefits of microfiber sheets include: softness, durability, ease of care and maintenance, and fade resistance as well as resistance to wrinkles and stains. They are also available in a wide range of colors, prints, weaves, etc. Because of their unique properties, they are a great choice for hotels and hospitals as they wash well and last for a very long time.
On the downside, they are synthetic or manmade materials that are highly flammable. Sometimes, they are treated with flame retardants which can be harmful if their particulates enter our waterways. However, manufacturers are reducing all these disadvantages and shortcomings by using blends of natural cellulose and eco-friendlier options.
We hope this guide helps you choose the best microfiber sheets for your requirements.
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