What is “long-staple” organic cotton—and why is it better?

Not all cotton is created equal. In fact, the organic cotton we source is so scarce, it accounts for less than 3% of available cotton in the world. 

When our founders Scott and Missy Tannen began their search for better bedding back in 2014, their decision to challenge industry conventions prompted them to look for the best organic cotton on earth. This search drew them to long-staple organic cotton and the world of difference it makes when spun and woven in specific ways.

For bedding, this difference matters. Your sheets endure daily use and frequent washing. Long-staple cotton offers a more luxurious hand-feel and stands the test of time, so you can sleep better at night. Read on to learn why.

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What is cotton staple length?

Cotton comes in short, long and extra-long fibers, or staple lengths. The difference in lengths offers a difference in quality. The longer a cotton fiber, the softer, stronger and more durable the fabric it makes. 

For our purposes, extra-long fibers aren’t a consideration: they’re almost impossible to grow organically. We focused on the longest staple-length cotton we could grow organically, that offers the greatest benefits. Fabrics made of long-staple cotton pill, wrinkle and fade less than fabrics made of shorter staple lengths. Most of the world’s cotton is short staple length.

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The difference between short-staple and long-staple organic cotton:

Fun fact: each cotton boll contains nearly 250,000 individual cotton fibers - or staples. 

  • Short measures: 1 ⅛” - majority of cotton available

  • Long measures: 1 ¼” - these cotton fibers are rare

Longer fibers create a smoother fabric surface with fewer exposed fiber ends.

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We pioneered organic cotton bedding by prioritizing using long-staple organic cotton:

Short staple cotton is prolific because it’s easier and less expensive to grow. Long-staple cotton, especially organic, is harder to harvest, as it’s a greater labor of craft and expertise. Because it’s rarer, it’s more expensive.

We believed in prioritizing long-staple organic cotton from the beginning. The fact that no one else was making fabric from this quality cotton didn’t intimidate us—it encouraged us. It drove us to become the first bedding company to be Fair Trade Certified.

This spirit of challenging industry conventions and finding a superior way to make bedding continues to push us forward in product innovation. 

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How long-staple cotton creates the highest quality threads for our most-loved products:

Signature Fabric

The long-staple 100% organic cotton we use gets softer with every wash. The threads expand to create a softer and softer hand-feel over time. 

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Percale Fabric

Woven with a tight one-over-one-under weave, Percale gets its ultra-refined qualities from the flat, smooth finish that comes from the long-staple 100% organic cotton.

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Waffle Weave

Our proprietary interlocking weave creates our beloved dimensional texture. It’s thanks to our long-staple 100% organic cotton that the yarns feel so soft, smooth and fine.

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Plush Bath 

Made from super-soft, long-staple organic cotton that fluff up with a special tumbling process, our two-ply yarns provide high pile height for a more substantial feel and superior absorbency.

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Fabric info