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Which is Best for You: Tencel VS Cotton Sheets

Updated September 4, 2019

Do you ever wish after a long day on the job that you could go home and fall face-first into a comfy pile of softness? Or do you wish to slide between cool and smooth sheets and cocoon your body into a deep slumber? Regardless if your answer is yes to the first or the second question, with the right set of bedsheets on your bed, this can be your reality every night!

Clinical and scientific studies have shown that a typical adult will spend approximately 33% of their lives asleep. The impact of this 33% is more than just resting for the following day, as a well-rested body and mind can also repair itself from daily wear and tear or even store memories in better conditions, allowing you to recall information instantly.

Cotton sheets have been a staple in the beds of people for centuries now. Cotton sheets can be found and are used all around the world due to their numerous advantages but there is another style of sheets that has been growing in popularity in recent times – the Tencel sheets! Tencel material is similar to the feel and comfort of Rayon, which makes these sheets a contender in the bedroom.

Tencel Sheets

Rayon or lyocell bed sheets, or as they are commonly known – Tencel, are smooth but strong sheets that can feature either a textured design or a smooth finish. This material is constructed from woven fibers and those fibers are derived from organic and natural sources.

  • Durable
  • Natural material
  • Low maintenance


Tencel sheets have been proven to be durable, whether the fabric is wet or dry! The strength of these sheets is increased by the woven fibers of natural sources to offer natural strength and stretch. The organic material used in the composition of these sheets will impress those looking to live a greener lifestyle without sacrificing comfort to do so.

When made properly and with a good quality, these sheets have a softness and smoothness that can rival that of any cotton sheet. They can also be soothing to those with skin conditions, as they also have a natural breathability.

Moisture tends to evaporate off these sheets as well, instead of soaking into your skin and the mattress below.

Natural Material

Wood pulp is the most common ingredient used in the manufacturing of sheets. This pulp is broken down into minuscule pieces and spun together to create a fabric. This fabric is then woven together to create a large swatch of material. Seams are sewed in the edges to form a bedsheet!

The natural materials used in the composition of these bed sheets ensure that no chemicals are used to enhance the strength or quality. Those who have skin conditions or even small children can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that they aren’t using something harmful in their bed.

Low Maintenance

Tencel sheets are considered low maintenance, but unlike cotton, they do tend to have slightly more restrictions when it comes to cleaning. While they are able to be cleansed at home, a delicate cycle on your washing machine is a necessity, along with a cold-water temperature. A mild detergent is also recommended but it is ok to use the one you have on hand, provided it doesn’t contain bleach or stain removers that can strip the fabric.

Line-dry is preferred over a dryer, but it that isn’t an option, a damp towel in with the sheets will avoid tearing of the fabric and leave them soft to the touch with its natural strength and stretch intact.

Cotton Sheets

Cotton sheets have long maintained the throne when it comes to purchasing smooth, comfortable bed sheets at an affordable price. These sheets and, even this material, has been used for generations thanks to their long life-span and recommendations from family, friends, and even healthcare professionals!

Cotton sheets are extremely breathable and offer the added benefit of natural moisture-wicking properties. These benefits are what leads those with sensitive skin to purchase cotton sheets for use as they are soothing on the skin. People who have skin conditions, such as psoriasis, find cotton sheets the least irritating of material to have resting on their exposed skin. The population who experience night sweats or tend to sleep hot, even in the coolest of months, find themselves waking up dry and cool while using cotton sheets.

  • Low maintenance
  • Long life-span and reusable
  • Breathable

Low Maintenance

Cotton sheets are considered low maintenance because they can be washed or cleaned right at home with the use of a washing machine and dryer (or clothesline). Cotton is such a versatile material that all stains and debris can be removed from the cloth without the need of special detergents or certain water temperatures. There are recommendations for the water temperature, but these aren’t required for cleaning your bedsheets. Warm or hot water is recommended for lighter or white colors whereas cold water helps maintain darker colors or vibrant from bleaching out from heat.

Once the cotton bed sheets have been through a full washing cycle, it only takes a tumble-and-dry cycle in the dryer to finish cleaning the sheets, leaving them ready to be put right back on your mattress.

Long life-span and reusable

Due to the complex weaving of the fibers used to construct cotton sheets, there is an undeniable strength in the material. It takes a lot of daily wear and tear to create rips or tears in the sheets and before they even do that, there would need to be multiple washings to thin out the material to the ripping point.

Most people retire their cotton sheets from their bed because of this thinning of material or simply because they are updating the color scheme of their bedroom. Once you are ready to retire your cotton sheets, they can be used as craft sheets or paint drop-cloths.

They can be repurposed into a picnic or beach blanket or put in your child’s toy chest to be used in the creation of forts.


Cotton sheets have a high breathability aspect that allows for the natural moisture-wicking to truly work its magic. Air circulates through the sheets at a rapid rate, even when body weight is applied to them.

Cotton sheets are widely used throughout the year but the true power of their breathability and moisture-wicking is discovered in the warmer months and temperatures rise.

These sheets lower the amount of sweat that can dry into your skin and cause irritation or cause flare-ups of existing skin conditions.


Whether or not you choose to use Tencel sheets or cotton sheets, the choice is entirely yours! Research different styles of each and what benefits they can offer your unique situation. There are varieties found within each type of sheet, so get to know them and make your decision based off your instinct!

If you found this article informative or helpful in any way, let us know in the comment section below. If you know of a particular brand that has the best value for your money, we want to know that too!