What Are Microfiber Sheets? Are They Any Good?

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Are you shopping for new bed sheets and wondering: what’s the deal with microfiber?

In this guide, you’ll learn everything there is to know about microfiber sheets, including:

  • What they are
  • Their advantages and disadvantages
  • How much they cost
  • And more.

By the end, you’ll know how microfiber compares to other popular bed sheet materials and what to look for when you shop.

Let’s get started!


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What Are Microfiber Sheets?

Microfiber sheets are made from a finely woven man-made fabric, usually consisting of polyesters or polyamides, and sometimes wood pulp. Each fiber must be less than one denier in diameter to be considered a microfiber, which is even thinner than silk. 

Just like any other bed sheet material, microfiber sheets vary in comfort, durability, and price. But, in general, they’re an affordable and low-maintenance alternative to cotton.

The Basics of Microfiber Bed Sheets

In this section, you’ll learn the basics of microfiber bed sheets, including how they’re made, some of the advantages, and more. 

How Are Microfiber Sheets Manufactured?

Microfiber sheets are manufactured using a mechanical process of tightly weaving together extremely thin fibers—the tighter the weave, the stronger the sheets. The sheets can be dyed to achieve any color.

What Other Products Are Made From Microfiber?

Other products made from microfiber include clothing, cleaning products such as cloths and dusters, towels, sports equipment, and electronic cleaners. Microfibers are in products all around us due to affordable production, durability, and lightweight efficiency.

What Is a Good Thread Count for Microfiber?

Thread count measures the number of horizontal and vertical threads per square inch of fabric. This term is commonly used as an indicator of bed sheet quality and softness, but it only applies to natural fabrics such as cotton.

Since microfiber sheets are made from synthetic materials, the best way to compare options is to look at grams per square meter (GSM). GSM measures the weight of a given fabric and is directly proportional to the thickness and tightness of the weave.

Microfiber sheets with a high GSM are thicker, denser, softer than those with a low GSM. However, their tighter weave means they’re less breathable. The ideal GSM is around 100, which provides a balance between durability and breathability. For context, denim has a very high GSM, about 400, while wadding fabric (the material used to fill quilts) is around 65.

Are Microfiber Sheets Bad for the Environment?

Compared to sheets made from natural materials like cotton, microfiber sheets can be bad for the environment. Here’s why:

  • The manufacturing process emits fumes into the air, contributing to pollution.
  • It takes twice the energy to produce microfiber compared to cotton.
  • Millions of microfibers are released into the water every time you wash your sheets. These particles are too small to be filtered out by waste treatment, so they end up in the oceans, lakes, and rivers.
  • Microfiber sheets are not biodegradable.

What Are Some of the Advantages of Microfiber Sheets?

Microfiber sheets are soft, come in a range of colors, are wrinkle-resistant, and don’t shrink in the wash. They’re easy to clean, even when stained. People love them because they’re very lightweight and comfortable.

What Are Some of the Disadvantages of Microfiber Sheets?

Microfiber sheets have a few significant disadvantages. First, they are not made from natural materials and aren’t the most environmentally-friendly (more on this in a second) option. Secondly, they can trap body heat and are not as cooling during the hot summer months. Lastly, microfiber attracts hair and lint and can irritate people with sensitive skin.

How Do Microfiber Sheets Compare to Cotton Sheets?

Compared to cotton sheets, microfiber sheets are low maintenance. Fresh stains are easily removed, and the sheets air-dry quickly. Both cotton and microfiber are very durable, but microfiber may lose its softness over time. Microfiber sheets are more affordable, but cotton sheets are more breathable if you live in a hot climate.

Sleeping Performance

Most people spend about one-third of their life in bed, so it’s essential to buy sheets that are soft, comfortable, and breathable. Here’s what you can expect with microfiber sheets.

What Do Microfiber Sheets Feel Like?

Microfiber sheets feel soft to the touch. They don’t have the same crispness as cotton, but they have a silkier, almost slippery, texture. They’re thin and lightweight, but this varies based on the grams per square meter (GSM). If you toss and turn a lot during the night, you’ll love microfiber sheets as they don’t get bunched and tangled like cotton sheets.

Are Microfiber Sheets Soft?

Microfiber sheets are very soft, but in a different way than cotton. Microfiber sheets are smooth and silky. Cotton sheets get softer over time, whereas microfiber may lose its softness. Don’t be tempted to use fabric softener with microfiber sheets as this can destroy the texture.

Do Microfiber Sheets Breathe Well?

Microfiber sheets don’t breathe exceptionally well. Although microfiber is thin and lightweight, it tends to trap your body heat. Like microfiber jackets, microfiber sheets are designed to keep you warm. Microfiber may wick moisture away, but it also traps heat, making it a bit uncomfortable if you get night sweats or live in hot and humid regions.

Are Microfiber Sheets Cool?

Microfiber sheets aren’t all that cooling. They do wick moisture well, so they’ll absorb sweat, but they will also maintain your body temperature. Microfiber sheets can feel quite clingy, especially if you’re warm or sweating. If you live in a hot and humid region, cotton sheets might be a better bet.

Do Microfiber Sheets Cause Sweating?

Microfiber sheets don’t cause sweating, but they don’t prevent either. Microfiber holds onto heat, so it’s great if you get cold easily. But it’s not very breathable, so it won’t keep you cool, especially during warmer months. However, microfiber is easy to clean, so it’s not difficult to get rid of sweat stains if they occur.

Are Microfiber Sheets Good for Skin?

Microfiber is a man-made fiber, so it can irritate people with sensitive skin, eczema, psoriasis, or other skin conditions. A natural material like cotton is better if you have sensitive skin or allergies.

Are Microfiber Sheets Good for Hair?

Microfiber sheets won’t frizz up your hair like cotton, but your hair will likely cling to the pillowcase. If you have long, curly hair, you might want to avoid microfiber sheets.

If you look at microfiber sheets on Amazon and search the reviews for the word “hair,” you’ll find hundreds of people complaining that hair, either their own or their pets’, sticks to the pillowcase. 

Are Microfiber Sheets Good for Allergies?

Microfiber sheets repel dust and other airborne irritants, which can help people who suffer from allergies. Some brands make hypoallergenic microfiber sheets; however, the chemicals used to make the sheets can still trigger an allergic reaction for people with sensitive skin.

Care and Maintenance

If you decide to go for microfiber sheets, it’s essential to know how to care for them properly, so they remain durable and in optimal condition.

Can You Machine Wash Microfiber Sheets?

You can machine wash microfiber sheets, but always check the care label first. Always wash microfiber items separately from other materials because they attract lint, and you’ll end up with a huge mess. Use cold or warm water with a mild detergent on a synthetics or daily cycle. Never use bleach or harsh laundry detergents.

Can You Use Fabric Softener on Microfiber Sheets?

You cannot use fabric softener when washing microfiber sheets. Fabric softener can coat the microfiber, causing it to lose its absorbing and wicking properties. Fabric softener can also decrease the softness of the sheets over time and irritate individuals with sensitive skin.

Can You Put Microfiber Sheets in the Dryer?

Most microfiber sheets shouldn’t be put in the dryer, but always check the care label. In general, the heat from the dryer can damage the fibers and ruin your sheets. But the good news is microfiber dries quickly.

Instead, air dry your microfiber sheets outside. If you choose to put them in the dryer, use low heat with dryer balls.

Are Microfiber Sheets Wrinkle-Free?

Most microfiber sheets aren’t wrinkle-free, but they are wrinkle-resistant. If they’re a little bit wrinkled when they first come out of the wash, there’s no need to worry. Once they dry, give them a good shake, and the wrinkles will improve on their own.

Don’t iron microfiber sheets; the hot steam could damage the fibers. To prevent wrinkles, take the sheets out of the wash immediately and hang them to dry. If you tumble dry them, lay them flat to cool before putting them on the bed to discourage wrinkles.

Durability

Durability is another important factor to consider when shopping for bed sheets. So, how do microfiber sheets hold up? Let’s take a look.

Are Microfiber Sheets Durable?

Microfiber sheets are very durable, but just like comfort, this varies from brand to brand. High-quality microfiber sheets will last years, while a low-quality set might last a few months; the tighter the weave, the more durable the sheets.

In general, microfiber sheets are easy to clean and can handle repeated washing without falling apart or thinning. Also, they hold dyes better than cotton; they won’t fade as quickly.

Do Microfiber Sheets Pill?

Microfiber sheets rarely pill, especially if they’ve gone through a singeing process. Singeing burns off the tiny fuzz on microfiber sheets, and prevents it from forming in the future.  

Do Microfiber Sheets Lose Their Color in the Wash?

Microfiber sheets don’t tend to lose their color in the wash because synthetic fabrics hold onto their dyes much better than natural fabrics. However, you should always test for colorfastness and follow the care label instructions to prevent bleeding or fading colors.

Do Microfiber Sheets Stain Easily?

Microfiber sheets are resistant to moisture, which prevents stains from settling into the fabric. Instead, the stain sits on top instead of embedding into the fibers. However, if you don’t address the stain soon after it appears, it can be much harder to remove compared to other fabrics.

Cost

One of the greatest benefits of microfiber sheets is their low cost. You can get a good-quality set for around $30, but the price varies by brand and where you shop.

Compared to high-end, natural materials like Egyptian and Pima cotton, microfiber is significantly cheaper.

Below is a table comparing the current prices on Amazon of the most popular microfiber and cotton sheets (all sets are for queen-size beds). Check on each item see more details on Amazon.

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Bottom Line: Should You Buy Microfiber Sheets?

Now that you know what microfiber sheets are and all the important facts about the material, it’s time to decide if they’re right for you. To help you make that decision, let’s recap the main pros and cons of microfiber sheets.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Soft to the touch
  • Moisture-wicking
  • Available in a range of colors
  • Wrinkle and shrink resistant
  • Easy to remove fresh stains
  • Comfortable
  • Durable
  • Cozy during winter
  • Easy to clean and quick to dry

Cons:

  • Not great for the environment
  • Can be hot during the summer months
  • Attracts lint and hair easily
  • Can be irritating for people with sensitive skin
  • Lose softness over time

Bottom line—microfiber sheets have their advantages and disadvantages, but since they are so affordable, why not pick up a set and try them for yourself? If you need a recommendation, check out this set by the brand Mellanni. It’s the highest-rated set on Amazon and has over 100K reviews.

If you’re not convinced that microfiber sheets are right for you, check out this guide, where I break down the pros and cons of the top 11 materials for bed sheets.

Have you tried microfiber sheets? If yes, let us know what you think of them in the comments below.

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