Egyptian cotton is made from Gossypium barbadense plants of the Nile River. These plants produce longer and thinner threads that allow for higher thread counts. Egyptian cotton thread counts are close to a thousand threads per inch, which classifies Egyptian cotton as a luxury cotton. Pima cotton is also made from Gossypium barbadense, but the plants of Pima cotton are grown in the southwestern United States and are shorter than Egyptian cotton plants.
Egyptian cotton often feels a bit rough to the touch at first, but with each washing it softens. This cotton is important in desert climates; the breathability, yet firmness of Egyptian cotton wicks the moisture away and keeps people cool. Some sheets claim to be Egyptian cotton, but they are composed of a blend of lesser cottons unless they are marked as 100 percent cotton. Pure Egyptian cotton sheets are available in high-end shops, department stores and online marketplaces with a price of least $100. Pima cotton is very soft, just not as soft as Egyptian cotton. It is known for its durability and may keep the user warmer than Egyptian cotton. Pima cotton is also considered luxurious with some of the top staple lengths of cotton in the world. Pima is also known as Supima cotton.