What is a Long Staple Cotton: Definition and Features

a woman sleeping on a white bed covered in white sheets

The science is pretty much undisputed: getting adequate sleep goes hand in hand with maintaining optimum wellbeing and health - but what makes for a truly great night’s sleep? Aside from getting your recommended 7-9 hours of rest per a night, the environment in which you sleep also plays an important role - and we’re not just talking about optimal lighting and minimal screen time.

In fact, when it comes to good sleep, your choice of bedding material - as well as the quality of the fabric - is going to determine just how restful and effective your sleep is. From bamboo and silk to cotton and Tencent, there are plenty of bedding choices on the market - but what is long staple cotton, and how does it compare to the others? Let’s take a look.

What is Long Staple Cotton?

Long staple cotton is a type of cotton fibre that is significantly longer than average, typically measuring between 1.3 to 1.8 inches in length. By comparison, regular cotton fibres typically measure less than 1.1 inches long.

What are The Benefits of Long Staple Cotton?

So, what are the advantages of long staple cotton as opposed to shorter alternatives? Here are just a few benefits:

Enhanced Softness

One of the most significant benefits of long staple cotton is its enhanced softness; longer fibres can be spun into smoother yarns, which in turn creates fabrics that feel incredibly gentle against the skin. Gentler fabrics are key for getting a good night's sleep, and won’t irritate or rub against the skin in the same way fabrics made with shorter fabrics can. However, it’s important to note that long staple cotton isn’t the only bedding fabric that offers enhanced comfort; premium bamboo sheets sets also offer the same comfort benefits, with hypoallergenic and sweat-wicking properties to boot.


Durability is another key advantage of long staple cotton; due to the length of the fibres, this creates a stronger, more cohesive yarn, making the resulting fabric more resistant to typical wear and tear. This means that even after multiple washes,

Higher Thread Count Potential

Another key benefit is the potential for a higher thread count. For the uninitiated, a sheet’s thread count is basically a measure of the number of threads in one square inch of fabric, and this is an important factor in determining the quality of cotton textiles. When it comes to bed sheets, longer fibres allow for a higher thread count without compromising the fabric’s integrity: this means that long staple cotton sheets aren’t just luxurious to the touch, but also exceptionally breathable and comfortable for sleeping.

Environmental Benefits

woman fixing a bed

Another aspect worth considering is the environmental footprint of long staple cotton: due to its superior strength and durability, bedding made from long staple cotton tends to have a longer lifespan - even after several washes - meaning you won’t have to replace your sheets as often.

How to Care for Long Staple Cotton Sheets

While long staple cotton sheets are inherently durable, this also means that you need to take proper care of them to ensure they maintain their luxurious feel and appearance. We’d recommended that you wash these sheets in lukewarm water with mild detergents and avoid harsh chemicals - this will keep them from losing their shape and will keep the fabric ultra soft and comfortable.

When it comes to drying your sheets, tumble drying on a low setting and promptly removing them from the dryer can help prevent wrinkles. And for those interested in exploring care for other types of bedding, you can take a look at our blog on taking care of bamboo sheets, where we offer our own expert insights into the maintenance of different bedding materials.

Key Takeaways

Ultimately, long staple cotton sheets are a great option for those looking to make an investment in their bedding, especially if you struggle to obtain quality REM sleep on a regular basis. And while these sheets do tend to be more expensive than those made with short staple cotton, you’re getting premium quality, longevity and ultimate comfort, making it absolutely worth the splurge. After all, sleep is an integral element of our health and wellbeing, and investing in the right bedding is your first step in ensuring high-quality, restful sleep every night.


Is long staple cotton better for people with allergies?

Long staple cotton does tend to be preferred by those with allergies; this is because its smoother surface means less dust and allergens get trapped, reducing the possibility of common allergy symptoms. Bamboo sheets are also hypoallergenic, and a favourite amongst those with allergies.

Is long staple cotton rare?

Generally speaking, long staple cotton is more costly to produce and process than regular cotton, making it less common and more expensive - but nonetheless a luxury investment.