Microfiber vs Polyester: Differences (Best for Sheets, Shirts, Sofas…

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polyester vs microfiber

We see there is quite a lot of confusion out there regarding microfibers and polyester. Both of these materials are relatively new, yet they have come a long way in terms of their usability and characteristics. Today, we can find all sorts of end-products that use both of these fabrics regularly: quilts and duvet covers, shirts, sheets, pillowcases, and even sofas.

Generally speaking, anything textile related can be made out of polyester and microfibers. This article will serve you as a tool of clarity, as we will match both of these fabrics to ask a couple of simple questions, what are the differences and which one is better?

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Is Microfiber and Polyester the Same Thing?

Good question! Microfiber bedding and clothes are often but not always made of polyester. Polyester made into microfibers is like Polyester PRO – it’s softer and also more breathable.

Difference Between Microfiber and Polyester

Polyester is a petroleum-based polymer material, which means it is a free-form of plastic, more specifically polyethylene terephthalate, colloquially known as PET.

Fibers of polyester can be industrially manufactured, rolled into a yarn, and then woven into usable fabrics. These fabrics are then used to produce any number of different products. 

Microfibers are a type of synthetic fabric that is characterized by their incredibly small diameter. The name itself is well-suited, as microfibers tend to be even finer than silk.

They are usually made out of synthetic polymer-based fibers, primarily polyester. So yes, microfiber oftentimes is polyester. The fine and almost microscopic nature of these fibers grant it some cool characteristics. 


One aspect where polyester beats microfiber in terms of bedding is affordability. Polyester bedding sets are cheaper. This doesn’t mean microfiber is expensive though, compared to some high-end fabrics like cotton or bamboo, microfiber remains on the cheaper side.

Some polyester microfiber sheets even feel better on the skin than cheap cotton bedding.  


In terms of feel, microfiber wins hands down. The fibers are so small that any end-product made from them will feel amazing. Polyester can be very soft, but it will never achieve the same silky caress of microfiber.


Both of them are used in a variety of applications. Microfiber fabrics are mostly used to make sheets, pillow covers, blankets, duvets, quilts, mantles, scarfs, furniture, and cleaning products.

The most popular uses for polyester are in the clothing industry, more specifically the sportswear market.

Going for a jog in your polyester shorts and shirts couldn’t be more efficient, the stretchy and sturdy characteristics of these materials got you covered. The bedding industry regularly uses polyester and polyester blends as well. 

Polyester and microfiber are also blended with other fabrics. If you want a stretchy shirt that can fit you regardless of what you eat, a polyester-spandex blend will suit you.

Or maybe you are looking for a durable and silky shirt that resists pilling and wrinkles, a microfiber cotton blend can easily help you with that.


Microfiber more breathable, but if you’re a hot sleeper or live in tropical climate you might want to go for something more breathable like cotton or bamboo fabric.


Synthetic polymer textiles are known for their strength and durability. Polyester especially is known for being very sturdy.

Microfiber tends to be a little less durable, as its independent fibers are much finer. We give this round to polyester.


Both polyester and microfiber sheets, blankets, duvets, and pillow covers are renowned for their warmth. These fabrics are very efficient at trapping circulating air, which makes them a perfect ally for cold weather. 

Caring for Microfiber and Polyester

Washing and drying couldn’t be easier when it comes to both of these materials. You can wash them at high temperatures, and they retain their qualities after repeated washing cycles.

They also dry incredibly fast, making them ideal candidates for everyday use. 

Microfiber vs Polyester Bedding

When it comes to bedding, microfibers made from polyester are great. They’re very soft and silky.

Polyester is better at staying clean with minimal effort, and since microfibers tend to be really good absorbents, dirt, crumbs, and even bacterias can accumulate much easier in microfiber bedding.

Polyester (not made into microfibers) has the advantage of being almost sealed, so any unwanted particles will simply slide right off your bed. 

Best 100% polyester microfiber sheets in 2024

Microfiber or Polyester Shirts

Talking about shirts, the differences are slightly less apparent.

Both of these materials are very durable, water-resistant, and soft.

If you feel like you require a silkier feel, and slightly more breathability, microfiber can be a better choice for you.

When it comes to sportswear, polyester or polyester blend shirts can be a better fit.

They are slightly sturdier and less moisture absorbent, which can help you sweat those unwanted calories and toxins right off. 

Microfiber and polyester shirts

Microfiber vs Polyester Sofa

Sofas that use microfiber and polyester are great for wintertime, they help you stay warm and are very sturdy.

However, microfiber has the advantage of being easier to clean, thanks to its water-absorbent properties.

Which means you can spill some soda on your couch and not worry too much, a quick trip to the washing machine easily removes stains.

We advise you to be careful with oil and fat spills because if they are not washed immediately, they tend to stick to the fibers.

If you are looking to furnish an entire home on a budget, polyester is a great option. Your sofas will be warm, stretchy, durable, and they will keep themselves dry.

If you want a higher-quality feel on your upholstered furniture, microfiber is a better choice.

Microfiber is more common in the high-end sofa market, while polyester remains a classic alternative that anyone can afford. 

Best Microfiber Sofas in 2024

Cheaper Polyester Sofas

Is Microfiber Polyester Waterproof?

This material is not as waterproof, it’s highly absorbent. This means the material perfectly traps excess moisture and microbes.

Microfiber can soak up 7 times its own weight of water, which we consider a great feature for those of you that are particularly demanding with cleanliness.

This means the fabric is easy to wash, and fast to dry. It literally helps you save time, by decreasing the amount of maintenance required to maintain proper care.

Polyester also isn’t waterproof but it is water repellant.

differences polyester microfiber


So there you have it – the differences between polyester and microfiber. 

They are widely available fabrics, and they are excellent and affordable alternatives to the more luxury textiles out there. We hope these articles cleared those floating question marks, and we hope that newfound clarity can help you decide what type of fabric is better for your bed sheets, pillowcases, comforters, shirts, and sofas

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