What is Egyptian Cotton?

Multi-colored Egyptian cotton bedsheets from Southshore Fine Linens.

The unique qualities of Egypt cotton start with where it is grown — in the Egyptian cotton fields of the Nile River Valley. It starts with the water from the Nile River, which is rich in nutrients from silt deposits as it flows to the Mediterranean Sea. The warm climate conditions of heat, sun, and humidity, combined with the rich fertile soil, produce a longer, stronger cotton yarn fiber. The fiber is known as long-staple cotton (LS) or extra-long-staple (ELS). These fibers are smaller in diameter than other types of cotton but more durable, creating a soft, luxurious feel. It’s why elite linen and bedding manufacturers choose Egyptian cotton. The lasting quality and softness make it an excellent choice for bed linens, creating a pleasurable feel.

Shop now for our high-quality cotton bed sheets. Browse through our collection for new inspiration for your bedroom.

Difference between Egyptian cotton and regular cotton

The main difference between Egyptian cotton and regular cotton is how it is gathered from the fields. Regular cotton is machine picked, which can cause more stress and pull on the fiber, whereas Egyptian cotton is handpicked. This difference dramatically impacts the quality of the yarn because the careful picking by hand allows the fiber to be handled delicately, preventing snags and tears. This care used to handpick Egyptian cotton is why the thread fiber remains stronger over time. Be sure the label on your bed linens says it's 100% Egyptian cotton; otherwise, you might get a cheaper blend of regular cotton. The thread count also matters, which we’ll discuss in the next section.

What is the thread count of Egyptian cotton?

The weave of the fabric is called the warp and weft. The warp direction goes horizontally, and the weft goes vertically. These crisscrossed threads create the thread count in any material when woven together. The number of threads is counted per square inch, and the higher the thread count, the softer the material feels. Egyptian cotton starts in the 300-400 thread count range but can go up to 1,000, which is the level of thread count preferred by most luxury hotels for their bedding. Have you ever noticed how some hotel bed sheets are slightly heavier? That is due to the thread count of a tighter weave which produces a higher-quality look and feel. You can bring the quality of 100% Egyptian cotton sheets into your home with linens from Southshore and experience a luxury that will become even softer over time.

Discover our wide variety of soft luxury duvet cover sets at affordable prices.

How to wash Egyptian cotton sheets 

Taking proper care of your Egyptian cotton bed sheets will make them last longer and stay softer. This process requires washing them in cold water on a gentle cycle. Do not overload the washer, as this ensures the sheets have plenty of room to rinse clean. If your deep pocket sheets feel a little stiff when you remove them from the package, you can add some vinegar the first time you wash them prior to use. This will help remove the initial stiffness. For future washes, use a high-quality pH-balanced laundry detergent without bleach. There is no need to use bleach, as it’s too strong on the delicate fibers. However, you can remove stains by using a bit of hydrogen peroxide dabbed onto the stains. Egyptian cotton is also colorfast and resists fading.

You can put your Egyptian cotton sheets in the dryer on a warm (not hot) setting. Remove them promptly to avoid wrinkling, and smooth them on your mattress right away. Avoid using dryer sheets, as the chemicals may harm the material. You can use felt wool dryer balls to help reduce any static. You can also line-dry your sheets outside to get that fresh sun-kissed air scent too! 

Some people prefer to iron their Egyptian cotton bedding to keep it looking crisp. If you do, use a low-heat setting. Do not store your sheets in the packaging they came in, as this can cause yellowing. Store them in a cool dry place so they can aerate. With proper care, your Egyptian cotton bedding will last much longer than regular cotton sheets. 

How long do Egyptian cotton sheets last?

On average, low thread count regular cotton sheets last a few years before looking worn and tattered. Egyptian cotton sheets will last many more years, even up to a decade, due to the nature and quality of the material. In fact, Egyptian cotton sheets and bedding can become softer over time with proper care. The cost might be higher initially, but it will pay for itself over time with exceptional durability, making it a smart investment for the quality of your bedroom linen. It’s a good idea to buy at least two sets of high-quality bed sheets so you can change them out periodically to extend the life of your sheets. It also comes in handy to have alternate color schemes to fit the theme decor of your bedroom.

Duvet, duvet covers, and comforters; which should I choose?

Besides sheets, you can also purchase a duvet cover made from fine Egyptian cotton fabric. The breathability and natural wicking properties will amaze you compared to synthetic materials used to make other bedding. There is a wide variety to choose from when completing your bed set with Egyptian cotton bed linen, including sheets, pillowcases, comforters, duvets, and duvet covers. You may want to understand the difference between a duvet and a comforter to change up your bedroom bedding. For example, you may currently have a heavy comforter topping your bed all year around. But as the weather changes and gets warmer, you may want a lightweight duvet instead to keep cooler. The solution is to put a washable Egyptian cotton duvet cover set on your duvet. If you are wondering what is a comforter and how it is different from a duvet, you can learn more on our helpful Southshore Fine Linens Blog.

Why is Egyptian cotton the best?

Egyptian cotton has a beautifully smooth texture that lasts much longer than regular cotton. It does not shed lint or pill up, even with heavy usage. It’s why Egyptian cotton fabric is used in making superior bed linens. Pure Egyptian cotton is renowned worldwide for its unique long-staple thread quality. The tensile strength of those fibers is what makes the fabric in Egypt the best. 

 Outfitting your bed with high-quality Egyptian cotton not only makes the bed more comfortable to sleep on but creates a healthy space for you to relax. You can rest assured you will be glad you have the best quality bedding if it is Egyptian cotton. You can also complement your bathroom by using Egyptian cotton towels to feel that extra special luxury touch. The individual long-loop cotton creates a plush pile for maximum absorption and an ultra-soft feel enveloping you in a cocoon of luxury.

Pure Egyptian cotton fabric is the finest enduring bed linen

Egyptian Cotton Sheets On A Bed

Now you know where the best fabric in Egypt comes from and how it is uniquely harvested, spun, and woven to exacting standards of excellence. You can see why it is labeled as the most beautiful and enduring luxury bedding you can buy. So remember to look for the 100% Egyptian cotton mark, knowing it's “long-staple” cotton when you purchase your next set of sheets. Feel it for yourself and experience the rich, silky softness with a complete sheet and bed cover set. Enjoy the indulgence!

We hope you enjoyed learning about wonderful Egyptian cotton and are inspired to try it for your home bedding. Southshore Fine Linens offers you the best high-quality bedding to outfit your bedroom. We are confident you can find inspiration for a new bedroom look on our website. We also provide useful information on The Southshore Blog to help guide your decisions in choosing fine-quality bed linens for the home.