egyptian vs pima cotton sheets

Egyptian vs Pima Cotton Sheets: What’s the Difference & Which Is Best for You?

Most people are familiar with Egyptian Cotton. However, rarely do they encounter Pima Cotton. Are these two cotton types really comparable to one another? If yes, which one will come out on top in the Egyptian cotton vs pima cotton sheets battle?

The quality of cotton is determined by the length and strength of fibers. Strong and long cotton fibers are considered to have high quality because of its breathable property and improved durability.

Egyptian cottons are called as such because the climate in Egypt makes it easier for cotton fibers to grow longer. The increased length qualifies it as ELS (Extra Long Staple) fiber. Unadulterated Egyptian cotton fibers make the best high-quality fabrics.

Pima cotton, on the other hand, hails originally from Peru. However, its name is from the Prima tribe (American Indians) of the United States who discovered a method to cultivate a cotton strain with superb quality. Dubbed the sister of Egyptian cotton, Pima cotton consists of extra-long staple cotton fibers crafted in the US during the 1900s.

Given that the two are considered related, does that mean they offer the same quality and performance in terms of bed sheets?The answer is No. While both are considered ELS and high-quality cotton, the climate, and other external factors play a role in their development. Also, the fact that Egyptian cotton is a much broader term can be confusing. It can be used to call any cotton product that came from Egypt, even low-quality ones.

Read on to get a more in-depth knowledge about their key differences as bed sheets.

What Are the Differences Between Egyptian Cotton Sheets and Pima Cotton Sheets? 

Egyptian Cotton Pima Cotton
Origin Egypt, Nile River Valley USA, Israel, Peru
Staple length 1 ¼ to 2 inches > or = 1 3/8 inches
Varieties Comes in many. Giza 47 is considered the finest cotton of all Supima
ELS Guaranteed Not all, since there are some Egyptian cotton that are of short and moderate staple length Yes, all Pima cotton are ELS. But, not all Pima cotton
sheets are made of pure Pima.
Silky & extra long fibers Yes Yes
Tear & fraying resistant Yes Yes
Will not fade or wrinkle Yes Yes
Extra long fibers No Yes
Prone to stains No Yes
Price High quality – more expensive

Cheaper than high quality Egyptian cotton

Egyptian Cotton vs Pima Cotton: Head-to-Head Battle

Cotton sheets made of Egyptian cotton from the Nile River Valley and the ones made from Pima cotton are always synonymous with extravagance and comfort.

Unfortunately, it is hard to guarantee that all products labeled Egyptian cotton came from that specific region. A 100 percent authenticity is required to ensure that the product is as durable and luxurious as the majority of Pima cotton sheets.

To know which one is more is likely to fit your needs, we will discuss the similarities but focus more on each of the key differences provided. Strength, durability, comfort, and availability will also be compared.


Nile River is a good spot to grow cotton. Egypt’s hot climate and the water from the Nile River is a perfect breeding ground, which is why the area has been utilized for years. Another thing is that Egyptians have lots of expertise and knowledge on how to come up with high quality cotton.

Pima cotton is mainly produced in the US, particularly Texas, New Mexico, California, and Arizona. Obviously, Pima cotton has more sources and can be easily accessed.  Plus, looking for an original Pima cotton sheet is not as difficult compared to a search for an Egyptian cotton sheet. It is less risky.

Winner: Egyptian cotton

Staple Length

Egyptian cotton and Pima cotton are almost the same, except that Pima cotton tends to have a shorter length. However, both can be woven plenty of times to create a dense fabric that is still soft to touch.

Winner: Egyptian cotton


Egyptian cotton comes in different types. This is why looking for cotton sheets of this type can be confusing. Meanwhile, with Pima, there is not much variety. Supima is the highest quality of Pima cotton. Sheets made of this material are soft, durable, and luxurious.

Winner: Egyptian cotton


Egyptian cotton sheets and Pima cotton sheets are both luxurious when it comes to comfort and feel, but Egyptian cotton sheets are more soft to the touch because they are finer and usually have larger thread counts.

Winner: Egyptian cotton sheets

Fibre Strength 

Some studies show that Pima cotton sheets are more durable than Egyptian cotton ones, but the highest variety of Egyptian cotton is still considered the best material for cotton sheets.

Winner: Pima cotton sheets


Some studies show that Pima cotton sheets are more durable than Egyptian cotton ones, but the highest variety of Egyptian cotton is still considered the best material for cotton sheets.

Winner: Pima cotton sheets 

Egyptian vs Pima Cotton Sheets Final Recount

And the winner is…

Pima cotton: 2/6

Egyptian cotton: 4/6

How to Spot Fake Cotton Sheets?

Since product labels can be tricky, tips will be provided on how to determine sheets made of authentic Egyptian cotton or a 100 percent Pima cotton.

The mattress and sheets industry are now becoming very competitive. A recent study showed that a lot of people should be alarmed by what they cover their mattress. A lot of items are placed on sale stating 100% of “this and that” cotton. You can easily get swayed by their marketing efforts that are often misleading and fake.

For one, 90% of products that are considered in the market as the premium kind are actually just banking on the label. Simply put, they are just riding the Egyptian cotton fame.

Here are some things you can do 
  1. Check the price. If it is so cheap, there might be another type of cotton involved in its creation.
  2. Ask for DNA certification. However, since DNA testing is relatively new, do not expect all products to have it yet. Some manufacturers are yet to give it a go.
  3. Check authenticity. Some sheets have the Egyptian cotton seal. However, this is not really official, so it is not that reliable.


What Are the Best Egyptian Cotton Sheets in 2018?

Chateau Home Collection 800-Thread-Count Egyptian Cotton Deep Pocket Sheet Set

Totally worth the purchase! The comfort level of this 100% high-quality Egyptian cotton sheet is to die for. Sure it is pretty pricey, but you can tell right away how elegant the set is.

It has 15-inch deep pockets, which can fit in deep mattresses, even those with pillow top. The tailor stitching is done exquisitely. The extremely soft and breathable cotton sheet will definitely have you feeling like you are staying at a 5-star hotel every single night.

Read more reviews on Amazon

Click here to see the current price

What Are the Best Pima Cotton Sheets in 2018?

500 Thread Count Pima Cotton Sheet Set

Made of a 100% Pima cotton, this cotton sheet set will have you spending only slightly more than microfiber sheet set. You can count on it to have 500 thread count that makes the cotton sheet very durable, but breathable – perfect partner for comfortable sleep.

Made fabric woven from the finest Pima cotton yarns, these are very soft to touch. Not only that, its classic colors will surely complement any home décor.

Read more reviews on Amazon

Click here to see the current price

Pros and Cons of Egyptian and Pima Cotton

Egyptian Cotton


  • Durable
  • Soft
  • Does not fade, wrinkle, or stain easily


  • Easy to fake
  • Most expensive of all cotton sheets


Click here to see 100% Egyptian cotton sheets available on Amazon

Pima Cotton


  • Soft
  • Long-lasting
  • Does not fade or wrinkle easily
  • Made of strong fibers


  • Relatively expensive
  • Stains easily


Click here to see 100% Pima cotton sheets available on Amazon

Final Verdict

Cotton sheets made of either Pima and Egyptian cotton are guaranteed to give you a luxurious feel when laying in bed.

The differences are not really that huge, but sheets made from Egyptian cotton have always been regarded as having the highest quality. Whichever one you pick, it will be a win.