What Are the Pros and Cons of Cotton Underwear?

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  • Written By: Cynde Gregory
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 19 September 2016
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Although it is not certain exactly how old cotton clothing is, cotton is believed to have been around for at least 7,000 years. Cotton has been growing in various geographies in the world such as Pakistan and Egypt. Colonists began growing cotton in the Americas in the 1600s. In 1730, cotton was first spun by machinery to make clothing in England. Today, it is one of the most used fibers and an indispensable material for clothing. Although cotton clothing has been and continues to be a favorite of many, it has both advantages and disadvantages.

The most significant advantages of cotton clothing, including underwear, are that it breathes, it's soft and comfortable, non-allergenic and insulating. So for those who have sensitive skin and require comfort, cotton underwear is an ideal option. The disadvantages of cotton clothing are that it's less durable than synthetic fibers, it can shrink and it absorbs and retains moisture. So for those who require more durable underwear that will remain the same size and will not retain moisture, cotton underwear may not be the best option.


Cotton underwear is comfortable for most wearers, both because of its ability to breathe and because it has a soft surface that doesn’t irritate most skins. It is a natural fabric and is hypoallergenic. Unlike nylon and other synthetic materials, cotton will not become a habitat for fungi; nor does it produce static electricity. However, unless it is treated as a delicate washable and washed at low temperature, it may shrink.

A natural product, cotton doesn’t require a chemical finish to be woven into fabric. Asthmatics and others with skin or breathing sensitivities have far fewer problems with cotton underwear than with underclothes made from nylon, lycra, or polyester. Individuals who do not have allergic reactions to synthetic fabrics or the chemicals used to finish them find that cotton-spandex fabrics combine the best of both worlds.

The great news is that much of the clothing produced today are a combination of natural and synthetic fibers. So it is possible to enjoy the benefits of cotton without experiencing the disadvantages. Even when blended with synthetic materials, cotton permits air to pass through it. So cotton undergarments that are blended with synthetic fibers can breathe, are durable, will maintain shape and will retain less moisture. And this combination may well prove to be the best option.


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Post 5

Cotton absorbs more water than almost any other material, and it then holds onto that moisture. Cotton can absorb 2700% of it's weight in water! This is why in the outdoors communities, nobody wears cotton, because it can get you killed in cold climates.

Post 2

@Cafe41 - I know what you mean. When you buy underwear for yourself it gives you something nice to look forward to when you shower at night. I feel this way when I get a new cotton night shirt. I just can’t wait to wear it. Lately, I have really taken a liking to fuzzy sleep socks.

I know that I must look funny, but I am so comfortable and that is what matters to me. I think that the only downside to cotton underwear is that is it is not as pretty or sexy as other types of underwear but I guess you have to decide what is important to you.

Post 1

I like wearing cotton briefs because they are the most comfortable. Lace underwear is really pretty, but it is not as comfortable as cotton underwear. I sometimes even buy the cotton bikini panties but when If I gain a few pounds, I don’t feel as comfortable in those because they are cut at my lower stomach.

I really love when they have underwear sales. I try to stock up on the Hanes underwear when they run a sale at the store. I usually buy a couple of the multipacks. I don’t know what it is but I love buying underwear. I really feel like buying cotton underwear is a little treat that is really inexpensive.

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