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So, what’s the big difference between cotton and polyester fabric? There are those who swear by cotton, but cheaper polyester is pretty tempting, isn’t it? You may think that the lower cost of polyester means a lower quality product, but that isn’t necessarily the case. Polyester is great for some projects, while cotton is great for others. The real trick is to weigh the pros and cons to decide which is the right choice for you. Debating between polyester and cotton for your commercial linens? Use this guide to help you decide. Share on X

Polyester vs Cotton

Cotton might be the most desirable choice for luxury linens, but polyester could be better for your bottom line.  Here are just a few pros and cons of each material to help guide your choice:


Cotton is usually the most desirable choice for linens, despite being more expensive and higher maintenance than polyester. It’s the most widely used natural fabric uses in linen manufacturing across the world. Being a natural fiber, cotton is a renewable resource and is biodegradable.

Cotton Pros

  • Natural Fiber
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Allows the body to breathe
    Absorbs moisture to help you regulate body temperature
  • Gets softer and more comfortable with time
  • Does not pill
  • Eco-friendly

Cotton Cons

  • More costly than polyester
  • If lower quality cotton it can feel “scratchy”
  • Prone to wrinkle
  • It can shrink
  • Over time it may wear thin


If you’re looking for a more cost-effective and durable solution, polyester may be the choice for you. With strong fibers that do not wear down as quickly as cotton, polyester has a flexible and wrinkle resistant shape. However, like anything, there are both pros and cons:

Polyester Pros

  • Resists Wrinkles
  • Durable
  • Retains Shape
  • Easy to Wash
  • Dries Quickly
  • Gets Softer Over Time
  • Cost Efficient

Polyester Cons

  • Synthetic fiber
  • Does not absorb water, so it cannot regulate body temperature
  • Has a tendency to pill
  • Absorbs oil and dirt
  • Conducts static electricity
  • May irritate sensitive skin

Poly Blend

Cotton/Polyester blends might be a good compromise for your business. It combines the breathability and natural feel of cotton with the strong, flexible and cost-effective properties of polyester.

Pro Tip: If you’re torn between cotton and polyester, a poly blend combines the best of both worlds.

Wilkins Linen

Choosing the right type of linens for your facility or restaurant is crucial to your visitor experience. Hiring a linen provider you can trust will help you select the best products.

Wilkins Linen offers complete linen management services to the Houston area. Contact Us today for help selecting your hotel’s linens.

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