Is Egyptian Cotton Best For Sheets?
Egyptian cotton being the best material for bed sheets is really a settled issue at this point. Even though the answer is a resounding “yes”, there still lies a lot of confusion as to what's really meant by “Egyptian cotton”. Does it mean a variety of cotton that is only grown in Egypt? Does it mean that all cotton from Egypt is high quality or is a “luxury good”? The answers to these questions are a little tricker, so before you go to purchase Egyptian cotton sheets and spend hundreds of dollars, you need to understand what is meant by “Egyptian cotton is the best”.
Not all Egyptian cotton is created (grown) equally. The fact that a cotton was grown in Egypt doesn't make the cotton itself particularly special, because the largest portion of cotton that comes from Egypt is standard, no-frills cotton that you'd use for a t-shirt to wear around your home and nowhere else.
If you want to know that the Egyptian cotton item that you're buying is special, you should look for the words “extra long staple cotton” or “ELS cotton”. This means that the fibers of this cotton are longer than standard cotton fibers, which results in a piece of fabric that won't pill or wear as easily as standard cotton will. You can learn more on Luxury of the Pharaohs.
Only a small percentage of the cotton that comes from Egypt is ELS cotton and an even tinier percentage of cotton is the ultra high quality “Giza 45” cotton, which can run you into thousands of dollars per set.