Articles — Polyester Sheets

Are Linen, Cotton or Polyester Sheets Better?

Cotton or Polyester Sheets

There are many different types of sheets available - linen, cotton, silk, bamboo, blends, synthetics among others. The most popular types of sheets for hotels include linen, cotton and polyester.

When people visit hotels, the first thing we all look at is the bed sheets because we want to see an inviting bed, one that you cannot wait to lay on during your business trip or vacation.

Hotels and motels choose bed sheets based on a few factors. These are:

  • The type of material it is made from.
  • If the material chosen is easy to clean and maintain.
  • If the material is durable, which can save the hotel on running costs.
  • If the material is both functional and decorative to make its rooms look enticing.

The most important factor they look at is the material the sheets are made of. Let's look at the most popular types of sheets and dig deeper into each type to determine which option works best for you.

Linen Sheets

Linen is made from natural fibre from the flax plant and mainly comes from Europe. It is one of the oldest fabrics known to man, dating as far back as 8000 BC in Switzerland and also in Egyptian tombs. The flax plant is known to need a lot of care in order to produce the best material for linen.

When the flax plant is harvested, its seeds are removed and the stalk is rolled between a presser to expose its fibres. These fibres are usually long and are what is woven to create the finished linen fabric. These long fibres also have a wax coating, which gives linen that nice shine we know.

Benefits of Linen

  • When it comes in contact with your skin, perspiration is absorbed by the linen fabric, making it a self-cooling type of sheet.
  • It is perfect for hot weather or high temperatures and works perfectly with a faux fur blanket to keep you warm during the cold months of the year.
  • Linen is versatile and used to make much more than bedsheets. It is also used for making table linen, curtains, clothing and towels.
  • Linen is hypoallergenic and lint-free.
  • Linen sheets are easy to store, especially in a cool well-ventilated area. You should avoid putting linen sheets in boxes or bags.
  • It is perfect as a decorative type of bedding because it holds colour dye well.
  • With regular washing, they start to wear and tear from 5 years of use but can last decades. At the same time, it also resists fading.

It’s important to also look at its drawbacks. Some of these include:

  • Linen is prone to wrinkling. This means that hotels and motels will have to take extra time to iron or straighten this type of sheets.
  • The weave in linen means it is not good for use in upholstery. It works best on occasional or decorative furniture.

Use quality linen from ALS where you can get great quality at an affordable price. ALS also offers bath linen, tea towels, floor mats and many other hospitality products.

Cotton Sheets

Cotton was used from as early as 5000 BC and can be traced to an area in Pakistan. Cotton bolls have also been discovered in caves in Mexico as far back as 3500 BC. It became a common fabric when an improved spinning wheel was introduced in Europe around 1350s. The cotton plant grows best in the Americas, India and Africa.

Fact: Cotton surpassed tobacco as America’s cash crop, and it constitutes more than half of its imports.

There are 3 common types of cotton sheets - American Upland, Egyptian and Pima, with American Upland being the more popular type.

The main part of the cotton plant used is called the boll. Almost all of the plant is used to manufacture something. The cottonseed is used to manufacture cottonseed oil and is also fed to cattle.

The little pieces of cotton, or linters, which get stuck to the seeds are used to make banknotes, plastic, bandages, cotton balls and cotton buds.

Benefits of Cotton

  • It is soft, durable and it breathes well.
  • It can last for decades with proper care.
  • It is more luxurious than some other fabrics and can be expensive - but it is long-lasting, making it a great investment.
  • It is easy to dye, making it a great option for decorative items like sheets and upholstery.
  • It is hypo-allergenic, which is perfect for people with allergies.
  • It is absorbent and easy to clean. Absorbent fabrics are perfect for hot and humid weather conditions.
  • It is one of the fabrics that blend well with other fabrics.

Despite its popularity, cotton has a few disadvantages.

  • To begin with, it wrinkles rather easily and this means taking time when cleaning to iron the fabric.
  • It is known to shrink after the initial wash. There are pure cotton items which come pre-shrunk when purchased.
  • While being absorbent is a great quality, it also has its challenges. Cotton absorbs not only humidity but also stains. It can also get mildew if it is not properly dried which can be a health risk.

Polyester Sheets

Polyester is a man-made material made from woven fabric and binding agents. It is preferred as it is affordable, durable and soft to the touch. Polyester’s first fabric, Terylene, was created in 1941 by  scientists from England.

Polyester is used to make fabrics, rubber tyres, soft drink bottles and enamel paints among other things.

Polyester is usually blended with other types of fabrics. For example, it is blended with wool to strengthen the wool. To create upholstery pieces, it is blended with cotton or nylon which help it to be wrinkle-free and absorbent.

Benefits of Polyester

  • Durable because it has similar characteristics to plastic and can be used for other purposes.
  • Perfect for hot and humid areas as moisture evaporates from the sheets and keeps them dry.
  • It is easy to clean and low maintenance as it doesn't require any special washing instructions or detergents.
  • It doesn’t wrinkle, shrink or stretch.
  • It is resistant to water and many chemicals.
  • It can hold pleats and creases, which makes it a great option for decorative items.

Polyester has a few disadvantages that hotels can consider when choosing the best bed sheets.

  • Polyester is known to retain heat which makes it rather uncomfortable to sleep on after some time. There are other variations of polyester in the market today which have improved on this.
  • It also has a tendency to cling to the skin because of static.
  • It clings to stains which can sometimes be hard to remove without the help of cleaning agents.

How to Choose Bedsheets

  • Choose a credible brand. Contact ALS for quality bed sheets, towels, floor mats and bath linen.
  • Consider any allergies hotel customers may have. Choose fabrics that are hypoallergenic, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial.
  • Hotel running costs can be rather high. Therefore, choose affordable sheets
  • Look at the climate the bed sheets are being used in. Choose sheets that will work in the climate you live in.

Feature Image: Unsplash Image by Rhema Kallianpur