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Pima Versus Supima: What They Are and What You Need to Know

Posted by Hotels4humanity on

1888 Mills Supima Towels

The quality of the hotel linens is always of the utmost importance. If you take just a quick look at Yelp! Trip Advisor or other similar sites, you'll quickly see that it's an area that guests mention regularly, sometimes in a positive, but more often, in a negative way. "The sheets were scratchy," "the towels were flimsy," and similar comments are posted all too often.

This all means that shopping for the best hotel linens is not always as simple as you might think. You do want to provide quality, but not at a price that breaks the budget. And there seem to be so many options to choose from in the first place!

When choosing hotel linens, it's likely that you'll keep seeing two terms over and over again; Pima and Supima, both used in reference to cotton products. But just what are these things, and perhaps more importantly, which should you choose? In a battle of 'Pima vs. Supima' who wins? Here are some important facts and pointers to help you figure it all out.

 

What is Pima Cotton

No doubt you've seen pictures before of cotton fields boasting acres and acres of the fluffy white buds that will one day become a fabric that has almost unlimited uses. What you may not realize is that there are different types of cotton plant used to create the cotton fabric we all know.

Pima cotton is one of the extra long staple cottons (Egyptian is another well-known example of this cotton type) and as such boasts properties that many other cotton varieties do not. It originated in Peru but is actually named for the Pima Indians who brought it to North America and perfected its cultivation.

These days, in the US, pima cotton is grown primarily in Arizona, California, Texas, and New Mexico, as it is only in these states that the delicate balance of the right soil, the right temperature and the right water levels needed for pima cotton to truly thrive exist.

You may also be wondering what extra-long staple cotton is. Extra-long staple cotton has individual fibers within each fluffy cotton bud that measure at least one and three-eighths of an inch in length. This means that pima cotton fibers are 50% longer than standard cotton. Why should you care? Because when woven pima cotton becomes a silk-like fabric that is softer, stronger and far longer lasting. Facts which, if you are shopping for hotel towels, hotel sheets or other hotel linens, are certainly something to pay attention to. 

What is Supima Cotton? 

Pima. Supima. Sound very similar don't they? That's because in many ways they are. Supima cotton is different to though pima cotton, but only sort of. Allow us to explain.

Supima is not another strain of cotton; it's actually a brand name. The brand belongs to The Supima Association, an industry body that grades, regulates and markets the pima cotton offered for sale in the USA.

To be bestowed with the Supima label a batch of pima cotton must meet some rather strict standards in terms of thread length, cultivation procedures and its intended movement through the supply chain. In order to be branded as Supima pima cotton must be exclusively grown and processed in the USA.

In the most basic of terms, Supima's name speaks for itself. Supima = superior pima. What does this mean in terms of product? It means that hotel towels, hotel sheets and any other hotel linens a hotelier might consider purchasing that carry the Supima label really are the best of the best.

Pima vs. Supima: Which is Right for You?

Pima vs. Supima

Hotel linens crafted from pima cotton are superior to most of the other options on the market. Supima is top of the line. Both are great choices for the towels, sheets, pillowcases and more that a hotelier needs to furnish a guest room. So which should you opt for, if left with a choice between the two.

In reality, that choice may simply boil down to budget and personal preference. Pima products are utilized by some of the best hotels in the USA and beyond, and so it certainly meets some very exacting standards. Supima is more expensive, but you are assured that the cotton is of the highest possible quality, so if you are hoping to create a truly five star ambience and experience for your guests, the extra expense may very well be justified. 

  • Pima Cotton
  • Supima Cotton

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