When you shop for bed linens, you’re sure to find microfiber sheets among your options. Many people wonder what microfiber sheets are, as well as how they compare to other materials. In this article we answer the question, “What are microfiber sheets?” In addition, we’ll discuss the advantages and disadvantages of microfiber when compared to other popular materials.
What is Microfiber?
Microfiber isn’t one specific type of fiber. Rather, it can be made from any number and combination of synthetic materials, such as polyesters, polyamides (nylon, for instance), as well as polypropylene. In other words, microfiber is always man made.
Regardless of the specific materials used, they all must have one thing in common to be considered microfiber: they must be finer than one denier. For perspective, a strand of silk is usually one denier. What this ultimately means is that microfiber is finer than silk!
The information above may seem boring. However, the comparison to silk is necessary. The end result is bedding that feels incredibly soft, smooth, and slippery, much like silk. Meanwhile microfiber wicks moisture and is resistant to stains, unlike silk. This makes microfiber sheets an attractive option for anyone looking for the luxurious feel of silk without the same difficulty of care.
How Microfiber Compares to Other Popular Materials
Like any material, microfiber has its advantages and disadvantages. The best way to illustrate these is to compare microfiber to other popular materials. However, one common disadvantage to keep in mind is that microfiber wears down faster than other materials, requiring replacement more often. On the other hand, microfiber is generally less expensive than any of its competitors, so this may not be a significant issue.
Microfiber vs. Cotton
Cotton is easily the most popular bedding choice on the market. It’s highly breathable, very absorbent, and it sets the standard for softness. It’s also worth noting that cotton is one of the oldest materials used for bedding, with a long history of comfort and great for keeping you warm in the fall and winter months.
As we noted in our dedicated microfiber vs cotton article, microfiber sheets are softer than cotton, thanks to their finer fibers. They also wick moisture away from your body through the night. However, microfiber sheets aren’t as breathable as their cotton counterparts, which means they won’t keep you as cool. Particularly hot sleepers may prefer cotton sheets for this reason. On the other hand, this same property makes microfiber sheets great for winter.
When it comes to care, there are a few things to consider. Both cotton and microfiber are machine washable. Microfiber requires a little more attention to detail, however. It’s always recommended to wash microfiber sheets separately on a gentle, low temperature cycle, and tumble dry on low heat or just air. Cotton and microfiber are both prone to wrinkling, so immediate folding or placement on the bed is necessary after drying.
Microfiber vs. Silk
As we’ve already mentioned, microfiber and silk are very similar in feel. Anyone who doesn’t like the “slippery” feel of silk will likewise dislike the feel of microfiber sheets. Silk and microfiber are also both naturally hypoallergenic, making either a great choice if you’re prone to allergies.
While microfiber requires a little more attention to its care than cotton, it is far easier to care for than silk. It is always recommended that silk products be washed by hand, so delicate is the material. Microfiber doesn’t share this weakness. Furthermore, natural silk is one of the more expensive bedding materials on the market, making microfiber an easier choice for your budget.
Microfiber vs. Bamboo
Bamboo is rising in popularity, especially in bedding. Bamboo and microfiber are often softer than cotton, but bamboo doesn’t have the smooth or “slippery” feel of microfiber. Bamboo is also more breathable than microfiber, so it naturally keeps you cooler. Both of these fabrics are hypoallergenic and moisture reducing, so you’ll enjoy the same benefits from either material in these areas.
A major selling point of bamboo is its natural durability. There is no denying that bamboo outlasts other materials, and that includes microfiber. Something to watch out for in bamboo sheets is the level of quality. Lower quality bamboo is made using chemicals that can reduce the benefits associated with the fabric. Good quality bamboo is sustainably sourced, processed in an eco-conscious way, and carries a heftier price tag than most other fabrics. For this reason, microfiber is always much less expensive than bamboo.
Microfiber sheets are a great choice if you’re looking for something hypoallergenic, luxuriously soft, and easy on the budget. Keep in mind that microfiber requires a little attention to care, and that microfiber sheets will usually require replacement more often than more expensive options. We at City Mattress pride ourselves on offering a plethora of choices for our customers, and microfiber bedding is no exception.