“100% Cotton” – Bedding industry’s dirty little secret

At a popular branded store, we asked the sales girl to show us their best selling bed sheets.  The sales girl showed a queen bed sheet (MRP ₹5000) and said that those were their best selling sheets and that the sheets were 100% cotton. The sheets though felt like sandpaper. We wondered what 100% cotton really meant. This experience laid the seed of Apluslinen. Since, then we have spent hours researching what “100% cotton” meant. The truth is that “100% cotton” is generally a red herring, a marketing gimmick to inflate prices of poor quality sheets.

Surprised? That’s ok, nobody taught us to dig deeper into the “100% Cotton” tag. Let’s dive deeper into what “100% cotton” means. Cotton is classified into two broad categories depending on the length of the thread that can be drawn from it. These categories are:

  1. Long Staple cotton: The longer the thread the better because it has fewer knots (joints), fewer joints means stronger and softer fabric. (See picture below)
  2. Short Staple Cotton: Threads drawn from this type is shorter and therefore the fabric is course and rough because it has more knots (joints).

Long vs. Short Staple Cotton



We’ve summarized the differences in our old school “difference between” format :)



Long Staple

Short Staple

Length of thread

Greater than 1.25 inches

Less than 0.5 inches


Soft and Silky

Rough and Scratchy


Stronger because has fewer joints

Weaker because has more joints


Resistant to pilling and fading

Prone to pilling and fading





A high quality bed sheet has to be made from a long staple variety. Does “100% cotton” refer to long or short staple cotton? Well, we are yet to meet a sales person who can answer that.

At Apluslinen, we sell sheets made from 100% Handpicked Long Staple Egyptian cotton. Aplus sheets are soft, crisp and smooth with a matte finish. Made from the strongest and longest Egyptian cotton fibers, we have designed Aplus sheets to last forever.

Try our sheets; if you do not like our sheets for any reason, we will refund your entire purchase. We have designed our 15-day hassle free return policy to take the “worry” out of your shopping experience.

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