What do Polyester Sheets Feel Like -  Header Image

What Do Polyester Sheets Feel Like

Key Points

  • Polyester is a synthetic polymer Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) which is a type of plastic
  • Polyester is not a breathable fabric which makes them feel more humid and sweaty
  • Reflects more heat making them feel warmer
  • Texture plays an important role in the overall feel of the fabric

Choosing the right bedding for you and your family is vital if you want a well-rested and happy household. However, it can sometimes be hard to know which fabric is going to be best for you and your budget.

Before seeing the cheaper price tag of polyester sheets and rushing to buy them, it is first important to consider a few key things.

Polyester sheets might save you a little bit of money on the initial purchase, but they have a number of hidden costs that need to be considered.

Polyester is a man-made material, constructed with synthetic polymer Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) and is essentially made by combining petroleum, air and water to generate a chemical reaction that will ultimately create Polyester.

The fabric is bound together with a combination of materials and binding agents, which can be bad for health, especially for those with sensitive skin.

Not to mention, those who try to live a sustainable lifestyle will veer away from polyester due to the additional resources required to manufacture it and the undesirable chemicals it outputs into the environment.

Basically, polyester is a plastic and has the same health and environmental issues and impacts as any other type of plastic, when it comes to touch, polyester has a very synthetic feel, even when blended with natural fibres.

Sometimes manufacturers will try to mask the feel of polyester by mixing it with cotton or other fibres, however, the difference between natural fibers and polyester blends is still easy to distinguish.

Polyester will never feel completely natural.

What does polyester feel like?

When it comes to buying sheets, the feel is one of the most important things people want to know about. Laying down to sleep on luscious and soft sheets is a much different experience to laying down on something scratchy and coarse.

All of us want the best night sleep for ourselves, our family, and our visitors, but it is not always easy to feel sheets before you buy them. Especially if you buy online.

That is why we have put together this comprehensive guide of how polyester sheets really feel.

Breathability

Breathability is really just about being able to allow moisture (i.e. perspiration) to escape.

Due to the way polyester sheets are constructed, they cannot breathe like natural fibres. That means you are more likely to sweat when tucked into a polyester-wrapped bed. This can be uncomfortable and can stir you from sleep. Polyester sheets feel light when you pick them up, which can give the impression that they will be cool.

However, they have a tendency to trap heat. Some weaves and blends attract and trap more heat than others. For those who live in a warm or hot climate, polyester is almost certainly not a good choice unless you want to be sleeping with the air conditioner on night after night.

Natural fabrics are a great way to stay cooler in these climates, and to save on energy bills.

The lack of Breathability alone tends to make polyester a poor choice for bed sheets.

Heat

Polyester sheets feel light when you pick them up, which can give the impression that they will be cool. However, they have a tendency to trap heat.

Very uncomfortable nights sleep thanks to polyester sheets

Some weaves and blends attract and trap more heat than others. For those who live in a warm or hot climate, polyester is almost certainly not a good choice unless you want to be sleeping with the air conditioner on night after night.

Natural fabrics are a great way to stay cooler in these climates, and to save on energy bills.

Moisture

As mentioned, polyester sheets will make you sweat more due to heat retention, but unfortunately, they won't wick away the moisture. Because it is a synthetic fabric, polyester does not absorb water at all.

Polyester is essentially an oil based plastic. This imparts certain properties of oil onto the final product in particular, being able to repel water or 'Hydrophobic'.

Being Hydrophobic gives your sheets the unique ability to push the moisture you generate back towards you creating a humid environment escaping and is seriously bad news for breathability.

Reflecting the moisture means you sweat more which can be quite uncomfortable and can keep you from a good night's sleep.

By comparison, cotton can absorb up to 25 times its weight in water , so ultimately polyester sheets will make you feel more sticky.

While its hydrophobic nature means your sheets will be fast-drying, it can also make it difficult to wash them well, removing odours and stains.

Texture

What most people really want to know about sheets is what exactly the texture feels like, as this is the most obvious factor when it comes to sleep sensation.

When made, polyester is first spun into a flat yarn and then undergoes a process called texturisation. This is how synthetic fibres are modified to more resemble natural fibres.

Techniques include bulking, crimping, and coiling which work to minimise the shiny synthetic appearance, improve elasticity, and to increase the volume of the fabric to make it feel nicer to the touch. However, even after all of these processes, it is not possible for polyester to realistically replicate the feel of natural fibres.

Some manufacturers have gotten closer than others, but technology has not yet reached the point where polyester can achieve the same outcome that nature has been producing since the dawn of time.

Most people would say that polyester sheets feel coarser, scratchier, rougher and even sometimes squeaky or slippery when compared to cotton. They also tend to attract static electricity, which can give you shocks when climbing into bed, and can induce an unpleasant tingly feeling.

Thickness

The thickness of polyester sheets varies significantly, but often the thicker the sheet, the more plastic they will feel.

Thinner sheets feel softer, which is why many polyester blends try to be as thin as possible. Thicker polyester sheets are also more prone to trapping heat and moisture.

Sometimes people get confused when comparing sheets because while cotton sheets can sometimes feel thick, because the fabric is breathable, it will still be cooler overall than polyester and polyester blends.

In summary

So, there you have it. Hopefully, this description has painted a picture (or constructed the sensation) of what polyester sheets will feel like and has given you some food for thought when it comes to buying sheets for your home.

At the end of the day, it is important to choose the product that is best suited to you and your needs once you have all the important information. While we have predominantly focused on the aspects of feel here, cheap sheets certainly do have other hidden costs when it comes to health and to the environment.

Make sure to also consider whether anyone in your home has sensitive skin or allergies and whether you are concerned about the environmental impacts of your bedding before your next purchase.

Whatever you decide, we hope you get a great night sleep.