Pima cotton and Egyptian cotton sheets are both high-end bedding products and are similar in texture, softness and quality. Pima cotton typically is sold under the trade name Supima, which indicates the cotton has extra-long staple (ELS) fibers and it's grown primarily in the southwestern United Sates, Australia or Peru. Egyptian cotton is grown exclusively in Egypt and mostly in the region bordering the Nile. It often is made with ELS fibers as well but can be made from shorter fibers of a similar quality.

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Length Matters

Egyptian cotton sheets are made with 100-percent high-grade cotton and are renowned as a superior bedding choice, which is reflected in the high price tag. Sheets labeled as "Supima" carry a guarantee of ESL fibers and meet strict standards for quality while sheets marked as "pima" potentially contain a blend of ESL fibers and shorter upland cotton fibers. ESL fibers are coveted not only for softness but because the length of the fibers -- with a minimum of 1 3/8 inch -- can be woven more tightly into durable sheets.