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Types of Cotton

From the sheets you sleep on to the clothes you wear, there are three main types of cotton available in stores. Learn the differences between the types of cotton fabric and how to choose the best one for you (and your money).

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Pima Cotton

Pima is considered the finest cotton on earth. As an extra-long staple (ESL) cotton, its long fibers make it extra soft and extra strong. The result? Luxuriously smooth fabric that is resistant to fraying, tearing, pilling, wrinkling, and fading. It's no wonder so many fabrics claim to be pure pima. But a recent test revealed 89% aren't pure at all. Only PimaCott verifies its fabrics contain pure pima cotton, for quality you can see, feel, and trust.

Photo of a hand holding a piece of Pima cotton
Cotton Quiz: Is there cotton in the U.S. dollar bill?
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Upland Cotton

Characterized by its relatively short cotton fibers, Upland is perfect for producing quality everyday products that everyone can afford. It’s also the most common type of cotton in the US, making up 95% of the cotton planted on American soil. For the purest Upland cotton, choose HomeGrown Cotton. HomeGrown Cotton verifies its cotton products contain pure Upland grown by hard-working family farmers on American soil.

Photo of a field of Upland cotton
Cotton Quiz: Thomas Edison used cotton while developing what world-changing invention?
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Egyptian Cotton

Like pima cotton, Egyptian is an extra-long staple cotton, making it equally exceptional in softness, vibrancy, and performance. They even share a scientific name! The only difference between the two? Egyptian cotton is grown in the hot, dry climate of the Nile River Valley in Egypt. It’s a cotton of exceptional quality — that is, if it can be verified with true Egyptian origins. Sadly, many of the cottons sold as "Egyptian" aren't Egyptian at all.

Photo of an Egyptian cotton plant
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Acala Cotton

Only California produces a special variety of cotton called San Joaquin Valley Acala, which is among the highest quality Upland cottons in the world. Acala cotton benefits from the ideal climate of the San Joaquin Valley and a longer growing season, which increases yield and results in a finer product. However, due to irrigation requirements, Acala tends to be more expensive than other American-grown Upland cottons.

Hand holding Acala cotton
4 cotton weaves
Cotton Weaves

Find your favorite fabric

From sateen and percale to flannel and twill, these are the differences between your favorite cotton fabrics.

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Cotton Care

Keeping Cotton Beautiful

Cotton is as easy to care for as it is comfortable. Follow these simple tips to keep your cotton products looking and feeling beautiful wash after wash.

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