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What is your opinion when it comes to the debate about cotton vs polyester underwear? They are two totally different fabrics. One made more natural and the other human-made.

What fabric do you prefer and why? Maybe you have no clue what the difference is between them, and that’s why you are here, to find out.

What Fabric Should You Choose? Cotton vs Polyester Underwear

The answer is, it depends on your lifestyle and what features you want to consider. I will give you some practical examples to let you decide when you should buy cotton or polyester underwear.

Keep in mind that I am only considering cotton vs polyester underwear and no other underwear fabrics.

Cotton vs Polyester Underwear - What To Pick

Cotton vs Polyester – Best Material For Hot Weather

Cotton is the best material for hot weather because it’s very breathable.

Cotton vs Polyester – Best Material For Working Out

Polyester, since it doesn’t absorb sweat or other liquids.

Cotton vs Polyester – Best Material For The Environment

Cotton. It’s made from natural fiber. Polyester is made from petroleum.

Cotton vs Polyester – Best Material For Hand Washing

Polyester because it is made from strong fibers and resists abrasion.

Cotton vs Polyester – Best Material For Sensitive Skin

Cotton. But it needs to be organic cotton since it doesn’t use any pesticides.

As you can see, depending on what you are looking for, you could choose any of the materials for your underwear. A pair of boxers it’s like a pair of shoes. One doesn’t fit all your needs.

Cotton vs Polyester Underwear

Most of the men’s underwear fabric will contain cotton or polyester. Don’t be surprised if you check the underwear you are using right now and see one of the two materials.

Both of them are inexpensive materials, and men don’t really check what fabric the underwear has. If it looks nice, we buy it, right?

Since these two materials are so common, we will check the differences between them and choose what will be the best for you, depending on their features.

Read: How many pairs of underwear should a man have?


Cotton is a natural fiber and a great choice if you have an active lifestyle since it’s highly breathable. It also helps to regulate your body temperature.

If you are environment-friendly and worry about biodegradable things, you will be happy to know that cotton is biodegradable and will break down over time.

If your underwear chooses organic cotton, this means it will be produced without any pesticides or other chemicals. A great choice if you have sensitive skin. If not organic, producers tend to use many pesticides when using cotton to make your underwear due to being a natural material.

If your underwear is made of 100% cotton, you will realize that you can’t stretch the underwear. Because of the absorbent nature of this material, you think it would be best not to use it in warm weather, right? You still can because the material is breathable.

Cotton material shrinks faster than polyester since its fibers tend to wear down a bit more quickly.

Cotton Properties

Let’s check some of the best cotton properties:

  • Comfortable to wear
  • Natural, cellulosic fiber
  • Wrinkles easily
  • Made from the cotton boll
  • Absorbs water and “breathes.”
  • Dries Slow
  • Resists static electricity build-up
  • Can withstand heat, detergents, and bleach
  • About 20% stronger when wet than dry
  • Will shrink unless treated
  • It can be damaged by prolonged exposure to sunlight

Read: Should You Wear Boxers or Briefs?


Polyester is made from a chemical reaction involving air, petroleum, and water. It is not the best material for people who care about the environment since it’s not biodegradable or considered sustainable.

This material doesn’t absorb sweat or other fluids because it is hydrophobic (molecules and surfaces that repel water, causing droplets to form).

The fabric is stretchable and will be great if you need to do any athletic movements (I think nylon fabric is better for a workout) without causing any obstruction or making you feel uncomfortable. 

Polyester lowers the chances of fungus and other bacterias since it keeps your underwear dry and moisture is kept at bay.

Polyester fibers are strong, and the underwear does not wear down easily. It’s a great fabric since it is very resistant to shrinking and wrinkles. It also resists fading, and you can wash or wear it multiple times without seeing any problems.

Polyester Properties

Let’s check some of the polyester properties:

  • Resists abrasion
  • Very resilient
  • Resist wrinkling
  • Easy to wash and wear
  • It doesn’t absorb water
  • Dries quickly
  • Attracts static electricity, which also attracts dirt and lint
  • Resist soiling, but once an oil-based stain soaks in, it can be challenging to clean.
  • Strong fiber
  • Often blended with cotton or even wool to add crease resistance


Do you want to have the best of both worlds with cotton and polyester together? Try the poly-cotton material on your underwear.

This fabric is manufactured by combining synthetic polyester with natural cotton. It’s a bit more expensive combined because it gives you a superior quality.

What I like about the poly-cotton fabric is that you can have the breathability and comfort of the cotton mixed with the longevity and durability of polyester.

When in doubt if you should choose cotton or polyester when buying your underwear, why not select poly-cotton?

Poly-Cotton Properties

  • Breathable
  • Fade-resistant
  • Wrinkle resistant
  • Strong and durable fabric
  • Can be ironed
  • Easy to sew
  • Retain color
  • It can be washed more often

Does Underwear Fabric Really Matter?

Cotton vs Polyester Underwear

Absolutely yes! It’s crucial to choose the most suitable pair of men’s underwear according to your needs.

Can you just buy a pair of undies and use them for everything? You can, but you will not make the most of it.

Do you know when you are exercising, and your underwear becomes so wet, you feel it a little bit heavier? That’s because their material is not suitable for exercising.

Or on busy days, when you sweat a lot, and you take your undies off, they stink? That’s because the material is not breathable.

Learn what to do with old underwear.

Don’t worry. I have used the same Calvin Klein trunks for years for absolutely everything. One day I started trying different types of underwear, different materials and finding out the ones that fit me the most, according to my lifestyle. The best choice I ever made.

Bottom Line: Cotton vs Polyester Underwear

By now, you should have an idea of what material you should have on your underwear when it comes to cotton vs polyester.

What material will you choose for your underwear? Cotton, polyester, or poly-cotton? Please share with me in the comments.