Grown along the Nile River, Egyptian cotton is a luxurious cotton that is often a stable in luxury bedding. Used to make products which are soft, durable, and in general superior to most other materials on the market, this cotton is considered the best materials in luxury bedding.
Other products are made from cotton as well, such as cloth diapers, bathrobes, tablecloths, shirts, tents, stuffed animals, towels, and chef's coats. The best of the best can be identified by their assertion of containing Egyptian cotton. But what is so great about this particular cotton? Why is it considered the best for luxury bedding, as well as so many other things?
Shocking as it may be, Egyptian cotton comes from Egypt. The Nile River Valley, with it's unusually humid climate and extremely rich soil creates excellent conditions for growing long cotton fibers. These fibers, otherwise known as staples, are considered ELS, which means extra-long staple cotton. Ranging anywhere from one and a half inches to just over two inches, Egyptian cotton is definitely longer than most. Inferior cotton fibers can be as short as half this length. This long staple length enables Egyptian cotton to be spun into very fine yarns that are not only strong and durable, but are also extremely soft, a must when making luxury bedding.
This cotton is also unusually absorbent. For this reason, many people buy luxury bedding to use instead of paper towels.
The ability to absorb such large amounts of liquid actually allows the cotton to absorb large amounts of the dyes that make luxury bedding so very vibrant. The color also lasts longer than the color in most other, lesser cotton products. Other uses for this increased absorbency include bathrobes and bath towels that are both colorful and effective.
So why can't this cotton just be grown elsewhere in the world? Surely there are similar climate conditions in other areas, right? Well, it kind of can, and is. Although true Egyptian cotton comes from Egypt and Egypt alone, it's mostly just a trademarked name. The logo of a dark triangle, symbolizing the Egyptian pyramids, with a white cotton plant inside will tell you that the product is true, 100% Egyptian cotton. As cotton is one of Egypt's best, most profitable markets, they are very eager to hold onto this great reputation.
There also, however, an American version of Egyptian cotton. Known as Pima cotton, from the Pima Indian Reservation, this cotton is in many ways identical. The debate is ongoing as to which cotton is actually superior.