What Are the Pros and Cons of Cotton Underwear?

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  • Written By: Cynde Gregory
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 22 May 2016
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Cotton underwear has a number of benefits and a few disadvantages. It 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 commonly used to make undergarments, cotton does not absorb and hold moisture to become a habitat for fungi; nor does it produce static electricity. However, unless it is treated as a delicate washable, it will stretch out far more easily than synthetic undergarments.

Even when blended with synthetic materials, cotton permits air to pass through it. It is cooler to wear than many other fabrics. It also wicks perspiration away from the skin surface, which keeps the skin drier. This is especially important to women who have a tendency toward developing yeast infections.

Cotton has the capacity to absorb 20% of its own weight. This means that, even when it has carried perspiration from the skin surface, it will not feel damp. In addition, unlike other common fabrics used in the manufacture of underwear, cotton doesn’t pill.


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.

While cotton underwear lasts well if it is hand washed and air dried, most people want underwear that is easy to care for. Cotton undergarments that are not blended with spandex or another synthetic to help them maintain their shapes can become stretched out very quickly. However, wet cotton fabric is 30% stronger than it is when it is dry; repeated washings will not cause it to wear out.

Among the disadvantages of cotton underwear is the fact that it has a tendency to stretch out unless it is washed by hand and air dried, so the leg openings can lose shape very quickly. Cotton isn’t as smooth as man-made fabrics; it can bunch beneath clothing and show a clear pantie line. Synthetic fabrics can accept a number of surface treatments that change the luster and allow them to hold onto dyes more readily than cotton undergarments can.


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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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