The Ultimate Guide to
Buying Egyptian Cotton

Pure cotton towels and bedlinen made from Egyptian cotton have long been known for offering luxury, quality and comfort.

With an elegant drape quality and superior feel, it is the ideal fabric for linen that needs to be both durable and strong, whilst also being soft and elegant.

But exactly what is Egyptian cotton, and why is Egyptian cotton bedding so enduringly desirable?


Warm summers and fertile land offer the perfect environment for growing high quality cotton plants; genuine Egyptian cotton fibres are long and can therefore be woven into finer fabrics. Any number of thread counts can be used, and various finishes can provide either a silky smooth satin feel, or a crisp, clean finish. The thread count is a description of the number of warp and weft threads (vertical and horizontal threads) in each square inch and this is generally used as an indicator of quality and durability.

Quality linen has around 180 threads per inch; luxury fabrics contain upwards of 300, whilst the finest, most luxurious bedlinen contains 1000 threads to every inch. Anything made from fabric with a 180 thread count or higher is described as Percale - it offers the tight but smooth weave that is needed for towels and bedlinen.

As a general rule, the higher the thread count, the finer and more supple the thread and therefore the weave. Lower counts have thicker threads, a coarser weave and therefore more durability. A count of around 400 is ideal to provide a hard-wearing, everyday fabric which also has a touch of luxury. Egyptian cotton is an entirely natural fibre, which may be important to you for ethical reasons as well as for the coolness and breathability that can ensure a night of restful sleep.


So, how does this help when deciding what Egyptian cotton sheets, duvet covers and pillow slips to purchase? That depends partly on your personal choice. Do you want hard-wearing sheets and duvet covers that will stand up to frequent washing, or do you prefer luxury? Do you want to sleep in Egyptian cotton sheets that feel like silky satin, or nestle beneath an Egyptian cotton duvet cover that is crisp?

In addition to thread count, bear in mind the different types of finish available with Egyptian cotton sheets and duvet sets. As well as standard and Percale bedding (which may need a lot of ironing) you can choose sateen for a silky finish, or pinpoint for a soft feel. With its diagonal weave pattern, twill is both crease resistant and distinctive. Jacquard sheets and duvet covers refer to the way the linen was woven - it may contain a pattern or design. Some fabrics are treated for minimum or
no ironing, and because Egyptian cotton is so absorbent, it is especially good for dyeing, providing you with plenty of colour choice. It is the absorbency and durability of Egyptian cotton that makes it particularly suitable for towels. They are plush, light and very luxurious.

So, whether you are looking for durability, luxury or a little of both, Egyptian cotton towels and bedding are the perfect choice for your home.