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A Guide to the Different Types of Cotton Bedding

When shopping for cotton bedding, you'll be faced with a multitude of options, from the specific type of cotton used in its construction to the weaving technique that was applied to produce it. Here is a brief guide to the different types of cotton bedding you'll find at Pottery Barn.

Organic Cotton

Organic cotton is cotton that is grown with fewer synthetic fertilizers and toxic pesticides than traditionally produced crops. Its high quality and reduced environmental impact makes organic cotton a popular choice for bedding and other home textiles - like sofas, sofa slipcovers and drapes. Our collection of cotton bedding includes a wide range of sheet sets, duvet covers and quilts made from 100-percent organic cotton that meets the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) for textile production.

Cotton Sateen

Sateen is a type of woven fabric made from long-fiber cotton threads that are treated with lye and acid to produce a smooth, lustrous finish. Sateen typically has more threads per square inch than other weaves, making it ideal for use during the winter months. Not only do sateen sheets feel wonderful against the skin, but their slight sheen adds a touch of elegance to any bed.

Washed Cotton

Washed cotton is cotton that has been pre-treated to improve softness, color and texture. This type of cotton is highly durable, resists color fading and requires less ironing than organic cotton. There are two main types of washed cotton: natural cotton and blended fabric, which is made from cotton and polyester. Both types feature good heat conduction properties and a high fiber density, making them ideal for use in colder climates.

Stonewashed Cotton

Stonewashed cotton bedding is pre-washed to produce a worn-in texture that is wonderfully soft to the touch. The stonewashing process also relaxes the weave, resulting in a breathable fabric that's perfect for warmer climates and hot summer nights. You'll find several stonewashed quilts in our cotton bedding collection that make perfect bed covers all year round. Pair them with lightweight, breathable sheets during the summer months and layer them over flannel sheets during winter.


Flannel is usually produced by weaving cotton and/or wool, then brushing the textile to raise the nap. The result is a fabric that's fuzzy, warm and undeniably cozy. Flannel is an obvious choice for colder climates and seasons. Consider our Recycled Solid Flannel Sheet Set for a bed that's invitingly plush, no matter the weather outside.

Choosing the right type of cotton will make all the difference in the look and feel of your bed. Keep the above options in mind when browsing our collection of cotton sheet sets, duvets, quilts and shams.