Bedding material - cotton or polycotton?

Hi all,

Just about to furnish a small self-catered accommodation, and we are aiming for a higher-end feel. When looking at bedding, I’m finding that most are polycotton. Do you think it matters whether I buy 100% cotton or polycotton? I have inadvertently used both in the past for AirBnb and tbh can’t really feel much of a difference. And I don’t think I would ever check if I went to stay somewhere! As I said, we are aiming for the slightly higher end of the market - is it worth holding out for the 100% cotton?

Also - any difference in how much these different materials crease?

Thank you in advance!

Only ever cotton - poly cotton pills!


Hi @becky_jo

One of the most popular topics here. If you use the search function you can bring up previous topics on which linens to use


Thanks Helsi - I thought I’d already looked but maybe I need to try a more comprehensive search!

I use Polycotton mainly because they dry quickly and don’t really need ironing. However when I next buy some I will probably buy cotton sheets after I got a 4 star review from someone because their bedsheet wasn’t cotton.

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Cotton. I also got 3 star review because of bedding.

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100% cotton. Stains come out easier and they breathe better, less pilling.

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Has to be Egyptian cotton 400+ thread count - believe me, guests really notice it and will comment!

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Yeah some guests sleep on cheap sheets at home and some guests spend $500 on sheets at home but you’ll get both booking any Airbnb no matter the price. Best bet for me is the Sams Club 450 thread count 100% cotton (not Egyptian or long thread) for $40.

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The very best cotton you can afford imo. I buy Egyptian high thread cotton sheets in the sales and all my guests love them. I am very fussy about bed linen so I always think others will share my obsession! If you are new to hosting, start to look up how to get rid of stains, I now know more about stains that I ever wanted to but it’s part of the hosting ‘scene’. Good luck.


Cotton for a few reasons - less pilling and breathability as other members mentioned, they just feel better, especially if you have sensitive skin (plus I personally love the crisp feel of good cotton sheets), and if you buy quality sheets they really do last much longer over many, many washings (so in the end, I feel they are more economical).

I had tried some name brand sheets from Marshall’s in the past that were similarly priced as what I use now, that were a cotton blend, and they really don’t hold up. My favorite, which I’m disappointed to not find any longer, were the Chaps Home pima cotton sheets in 500 thread count. I’ve just purchased a couple sets of spring sheets for my guest room from LL Bean. We’ll see if they compare!


Just one more vote for 100% cotton. I have a special aversion to synthetics.

But I see that nobody has mentioned linen bedsheets. Made out of linen cloth, that is. That might be worth considering if you don’t mind being a bit experimental.

Some time ago, I did a little experimentation of my own, and purchased some linen cloth, and had clothes made from them. I think we can call this experiment a success, because now I find I reflexively only wear linen. I’m not sure if linen sheets would work well. If I can find suitable cloth I might try it myself.

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Hi faheem - funnily enough we recently splashed out and purchased linen bedsheets for ourselves (partly as we needed to upgrade anyway, and partly as ‘research’ for rental accom (!)). I’d heard they needed less ironing, which would save me a lot of hassle as I like to at least attempt to iron the duvet cover and pillowcases. We are happy so far with the look and feel (I wouldn’t bother ironing them for us, but whether guests would appreciate the ‘crumpled chic’ look I’m not sure…?). I’m just not sure I can justify the expense at the moment though, having to have at least two sets of everything!

@faheem I was just about to post about Flanalette sheets & whether anyone uses them as an alternative to cotton/polycotton. Growing up in the 70’s I used to have them on my bed and find I always sleep well on a flanalette sheet.

Cotton. Cotton. Cotton. Did I say cotton? :rofl:

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I definitely agree: Cotton, 400tc, and I’ll go a step further and recommend the Sateen sheets from Target (if you are in the US). Link below. Higher thread counts are achieved by stretching the thread and folding it over a number of times. This weakens the fiber and explains why some very high TC sheets do not stand the test of time. 300 is what fine hotels use, after all.

And psychologically, in addition to a reliable quality, sleeping on white is also important as it reassures guests of cleanliness.

I’ve tried cotton/poly blends which pilled. And Microfiber was a breeze to wash and dry, and never pilled but it was a lint and hair magnet even in humid weather, and we had to use a pet vac to get it off. On one occasion where we missed one, mayhem ensued and one completely stressed-out guest even cried. We phased them all out and are replacing everything with these:

Good luck!

Definitely cotton. And definitely Percale only, my two cents. I buy anywhere from 200 -300 thread count genuine percale. It’s long staple cotton and washes up softer each time, high TC is not a concern. Percale is super durable too. I’m personally not a fan of sleeping on Sateen (it does not breath, IMO, it tends to pill and the sheets aren’t as durable), so I don’t put that on my guest’s bed either. Here’s a good article on the TC sham, if anyone is interested.

If you can’t deal with the wrinkles of genuine Percale, you may want to stick to Sateen, in my experience the Costco sateen sheets are more durable than most.

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