Organic Cotton Vs Cotton - A Detailed Comparison

Your bed is a welcoming haven that can help you forget all the stress you have endured throughout the day. It is a personal space that can be made even more comforting with the addition of cotton beddings, but are you aware of the type of cotton that surrounds your sleeping environment? Knowing more about this small yet important detail can give you a greater appreciation for the work that is involved in creating your bedding.

Organic Cotton Vs Cotton - A Detailed Comparison

Cotton is the most commonly used material for fabric products worldwide and has been used extensively for thousands of years in multiple applications. At any given time, you are most likely using or wearing something that has, at the very least, a small amount of cotton blended into the material. As more attention is given to the condition of the environment and the efforts for its preservation, a spotlight is focused even more on the differences between the growth, cultivation, and use of organic cotton versus the conventional methods that have been utilized for generations. The glaring difference between the two cotton types will be made clearer when we dive deeper into the details, providing you with the information you need to be able to decide between beddings that are made with organic cotton or conventional cotton.

Organic Cotton Vs Cotton - A Detailed Comparison

Organic Cotton

Organic cotton is referred to as such because it is organically grown – without genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and using processes that do not involve harmful fertilizers or pesticides. Growing and cultivating organic cotton is an environmentally friendly method that does not have negative effects on the soil and water supplies surrounding the crops. Organic cotton uses long-staple cotton fibers that result in stronger and softer sheets and pillowcases that will provide you with a more comfortable experience compared to regular cotton beddings.

Farmers working on organic cotton farms are also protected from the potential health risks associated with chemical pesticides and fertilizers.

Organic Cotton Vs Cotton - A Detailed Comparison

Pros

Hypoallergenic

Organic cotton beddings are hypoallergenic and can be used safely by people with asthma or those who are allergic to common allergens or strong chemicals. These sheets and pillowcases are resistant to dust mites, bacteria, and other irritants that can prevent you from getting restful sleep night after night. Organic cotton beddings will also benefit those who do not have allergies or asthma as these products provide a safe sleeping environment that will not trigger adverse skin reactions and other allergy symptoms for all sleepers.

No Chemicals Used

Organic cotton does not use chemicals in any step in the manufacturing process. This results in high-quality beddings that you can enjoy without developing allergy triggers or more serious illnesses, which you’d especially have to worry about if you use the beddings frequently for long periods of time. Organic cotton delivers the pure goodness that you can expect from the finest cotton material without the chemical disadvantages.

Enhanced Softness and Strength

Organic cotton fibers are handpicked so they retain their long-staple structure. These longer fibers maintain their strength and softness even after being spun into threads and turned into fabric. Beddings that are created from organic cotton have a stronger and softer profile compared to those made using conventional cotton. Organic cotton beddings are expected to last longer while maintaining their premium softness and appearance. Most people who have experienced using organic cotton sheets can feel a significant difference between the two cotton types and are unwilling to go back to using regular cotton sheets.

Environment Friendly

Organic cotton is farmed and cultivated in such a way to ensure that the surrounding environment will not be harmed. It’s grown without using chemical pesticides and fertilizers that can enter the environment through runoff and then distributed to the surrounding wildlife, water, and soil sources. Organic cotton also uses much less water for irrigation compared to growing cotton the conventional way. That precious excess water can then be used for other purposes. The use of crop rotation techniques also results in reducing the carbon dioxide emissions to roughly half produced by conventional cotton growth.

Safer Work Environment for Farmers

Organic cotton is harvested through handpicking processes that are much safer for farmers. Conventional farming for cotton uses heavy machinery and chemicals that can expose farmers to safety risks. These toxic chemicals may have lasting health effects that can turn into serious illnesses. Handpicking cotton eliminates these safety risks for farmers while ensuring that the long-staple fibers of the cotton plant are preserved for better fabric quality.

Organic Cotton Vs Cotton - A Detailed Comparison

Cons

Higher Price

Organic cotton beddings come with a higher price tag compared to conventional cotton options. The increased cost is affected by safer farming practices including handpicking instead of using heavy machinery and lack of chemicals. However, the resulting increase in price also comes with numerous benefits including a fabric that is softer and stronger than conventional cotton, as well as hypoallergenic properties for safer use.

Organic Cotton Vs Cotton - A Detailed Comparison

Conventional Cotton

Conventional cotton is used for more than half of the world’s need for fabric in multiple applications. The need to preserve cotton crops to fulfill the continuous and heavy demand for this versatile fabric has resulted in questionable practices that have earned cotton the label of being the world’s dirtiest crop. Conventional cotton continues to have a lower price compared to organic cotton, but it sacrifices an environmentally safe production and farming method in the process.

Organic Cotton Vs Cotton - A Detailed Comparison

Pros

Strong and Durable

Conventional cotton is a strong material that is suitable for a variety of uses, including high-quality beddings. The strength of the material increases when it becomes wet, so cotton beddings can easily be washed in machines using normal washing cycles without being damaged, unlike other fabrics such as rayon that are very delicate and can only be cleaned by dry cleaning or handwashing. However, organic cotton is still stronger when compared to conventional cotton because of the preservation of the plant’s long cotton fibers.

More Affordable than Organic Cotton

Regular cotton beddings are generally more affordable compared to organic cotton options. These conventional cotton options may be preferred by those who want to have the benefits of using cotton sheets and pillowcases but are not yet ready to shell out the extra money for the upgrade to a more environmentally friendly product choice. Conventional cotton beddings are good choices for people who want to stick to a specific budget but also want to experience the benefits of high-quality cotton on their bed.

Organic Cotton Vs Cotton - A Detailed Comparison

Cons

Not Environment Friendly

Conventional cotton is grown with chemicals that can seep through and harm the soil and water in the surrounding area. It also requires a considerable amount of water to be grown and cultivated – water that can otherwise be used for other purposes such as growing food crops and as a drinking water source for people in the area. Conventional cotton farming also results in increased carbon dioxide emissions that can contribute to the destruction of the ozone layer.

Unsafe Practices for Farmers

Conventional cotton is harvested using heavy machinery that can expose farmers to injuries and other safety risks. The chemicals used for conventional cotton can also bring harm to farmers, with the toxic substances potentially causing harm in the form of serious illnesses that can develop in time.

Organic Cotton Vs Cotton - Comparison

Organic Cotton Cotton
Source
Wood cellulose
Wood and plant cellulose
Fibers
Semi-synthetic
Semi-synthetic
Breathability
Very Good
Very Good
Moisture-Wicking
Very Good
Good
Heat Retention
Good
Very Good
Durability
Easily damaged when wet and exposed to heat
Loses strength when it gets wet
Benefits
Feels like silk; comfortably cool; affordable
Remarkable softness; delivers more warmth; breathable
Drawbacks
Easily damaged, especially when wet or exposed to heat
Does not drape well; shrinks and creases easily
To imitate the qualities of cotton
To imitate the qualities of silk
Reason for Development

Key Takeaways

  • Cotton is the most widely used fabric material in the world and has a variety of applications that require its beneficial features.
  • Organic cotton and cotton both have the softness and strength that are suitable for beddings, but these two cotton types are grown and processed differently.
  • Organic cotton is grown and processed without chemicals, so it is safer for the environment and for the farmers. It also uses less water than conventional cotton and is a hypoallergenic option that is safe for people with asthma and allergies.
  • Conventional cotton is a more affordable option, but it uses chemicals and more water, and emits higher levels of carbon dioxide that can harm the environment.
  • Organic cotton has a higher price but is softer and more durable compared to conventional cotton.

FAQs

Q: What is the difference between organic cotton and conventional cotton?

A: The main difference between the two cotton types is that organic cotton is grown and processed without the chemicals that are used in conventional cotton.

Q: Why is organic cotton considered environment friendly?

A: Organic cotton is grown without chemicals that can leach into and harm the surrounding soil and water. It also uses less water that can be used for other purposes. Also, organic cotton emits a lower level of carbon dioxide that can contribute to the destruction of the ozone layer.

Q: Which is better – organic cotton or conventional cotton?

A: Organic cotton is better in terms of eco-friendliness, enhanced strength, and softness, and it’s a safer practice for farmers. However, some people may still prefer conventional cotton because it is more affordable yet still delivers the softness and durability of cotton.

Q: How are organic cotton beddings made softer than conventional cotton?

A: Organic cotton is handpicked to preserve the long-staple fibers, resulting in cotton that is softer and more durable. Conventional cotton is picked by heavy machinery that can cut the cotton fibers and sacrifice their overall strength and softness.

Conclusion

The difference between organic cotton and conventional cotton can be summed up into the former’s benefits over the latter as an eco-friendly and safer choice. While both options have roughly the same features, organic cotton may be the more beneficial one – even given its higher price range – because it has a softer and stronger structure that can be enjoyed for a long time without exposing you and its farmers to harmful chemicals.

Sources

Textile Exchange – https://textileexchange.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/TE-Material-Snapshot_Organic-Cotton.pdf

University of Reading – https://www.reading.ac.uk/web/files/geographyandenvironmentalscience/GP184.pdf

Research Gate – https://www.researchgate.net/publication/231612532_Does_Bedding_Affect_the_Airway_and_Allergy

Cambridge University Press – https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/renewable-agriculture-and-food-systems/article/organic-cotton-production-may-alleviate-the-environmental-impacts-of-intensive-conventional-cotton-production/011DB7C5487BB768DE953A8BBDE658E2

Wiley Online Library – https://acsess.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.2134/agronmonogr57.2013.0019

US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4853167/

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