Use of Microfiber Sheets in Massage

Massage therapist next to massage tableAhh… the glamorous life of a massage therapist. Flexible schedules, promoting wellness, and helping people overcome pain.

What a dream job! How nice it is to open up your office or clinic each day, help your clients feel better, and then head home with the satisfaction that you’ve enriched lives and relieved pain for so many people. Time to relax and enjoy yourself.

Wait… what’s that? You actually spend half your time doing laundry? Oh, that’s right…

Reality check! While some people might think massage therapy just involves waltzing in and doing massage, you know that there are a gazillion little things that go into running a successful massage practice. One of those things is maintaining sheets and supplies.

The right sheets can make all the difference. When it comes to client comfort, you want to do everything you can to ensure a great experience. Additionally, you want to make sure you are using sheets that are durable (and therefore cost effective), and easy to clean.

So what types of sheets are best for your massage practice? Many massage therapists use cotton sheets on their massage tables but some are trying microfiber sheets, as well.

We asked some seasoned massage therapists in our community what they thought about microfiber sheets and here are some of the responses we got:

“I purchased several sets recently and my experience is they have a slippery quality to them. Tucked draping becomes undone quickly and doesn’t stay snug. They seem quite durable and I’m sure would last longer than cotton sheets, but they’re now at the bottom of my linen pile for those days when I’ve run out of everything else.” – Kala

“From the clients standpoint, they usually say that these sheets are more comfortable. For me, I don’t pay that much attention to sheets. For me as long as the client feels good and with no complaints thats half of what i need to know as a therapist.” – Safiyah

“I was in a pinch one day and bought a few sets from JC Penny, the twin sized microfiber sheets. While I did have one client comment right away that they felt nice and light, the oil seemed to stain them more than normal sheets and they got waxy soon after I used them a few times. Like another member said they are now only used when I run out of other ones. Maybe sheets from an actual massage company would hold up better though.” -Laura

“I have found them to be more irritating to the skin. They also tend to want to stick to skin like a velcro effect which can be annoying to the patient , so I don’t use them – just cotton ones or cotton flannel.” – Liz

“I bought a couple of sets of microfiber sheets to try out this summer. I normally use flannel all year round, but thought it would be nice to have something ‘cooler’ for the summer. I do like them – they dry super fast! They seem to be holding up just fine. They are a little more on the slippery side, as someone else mentioned, so I’m more careful with my draping to be sure that they will stay in place. They do fold down really small (compared to flannel) so even if you just wanted some ‘spare’ sheets to have on hand, they would work great, and hardly take up any space at all.” – Becky

“I have used a few sets in my mix, but have found that they hold oils then over time smell funny or feel weird (like the oil is stuck). This never happens with 100% cotton but I have had the same problem in past years with a poly/cotton blend, it just took longer. I don’t know why this happens for me but not others… I would say that if you use a water based lotion it shouldn’t be a problem! Otherwise, purchase one set and keep them around for 6 months to see how it goes for you!” – Tyffani

As you can see, we’ve gotten quite a few negative reviews on microfiber sheets while others say they work well enough.

Since the general consensus seems to be that microfiber sheets come with more problems, like slippery behavior, sticky feel, and tendency to hold oil, it seems that cotton might be a better choice.

What has your experience been with microfiber sheets? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!


Comments from original Massamio post:

I was a guest therapist recently to a spa that uses these sheets exclusively. They are luxurious for sure but they didn’t stay snug. Clients love the feel but I just love the clean crisp cotton the best. — Posted @ Monday, October 29, 2012 2:43 PM by Melissa

For class, I purchased both microfiber and cotton to try out. I am NOT a fan of the microfiber – weird feel for draping, and the dryer lint screen is fuller than with cotton… — Posted @ Tuesday, October 30, 2012 10:01 PM by Staci Quick, Future LMT

I despise microfiber and wouldn’t dream of using them for myself or for my practice. Cheap, flimsy construction. Too clingy for modesty if you want to remove the blanket. Miserable to drape with. Unfortunately, now that all the stores have microfiber as their most affordable option, better-quality sheets rarely come down to affordable prices anymore. — Posted @ Friday, November 02, 2012 9:07 PM by Kris Ott

Our Spa uses microfiber sheets exclusively and we love them, our clients love them too. We use a water soluible lotion versus oil so laundry is not a problem. — Posted @ Friday, May 03, 2013 3:42 PM by Gloria DeVoss

I bought microfiber sheets in december and have been using them ever since. They are some of the nicest sheets I have used for massage in the past 20 years.  Yes ,they can be a bit slick but a few very inexpensive clips at CVS or walgreens work incrediblly well for holding them onto the table.  The sheets i purchased are from GEMS are “green” because they conserve an enormous ( huge ) amount of water and energy in their laundering since they are made of ultra light fabric. Microfiber, while synthetic, offers the dual benefits of durability and an ultra light weight so it holds up longer than conventional sheets and eliminates environmentally wasteful laundering practices.  with proper care in laundering stains from lotions and creams wash away. you can wash more of these sheets in one load then cotton sheets and they save on dry time and space to store them, My clients think the feel is high quality. i guess i lucked out in finding the GEMs website. There is a lot of other great information on their website as well.  I give microfiber 5 stars  remember its all how you wash and care for them that reflects their quality and care. — Posted @ Tuesday, May 06, 2014 7:48 PM by paulski

one other thing.  polyester microfiber is 100% recyclable and provides an alternative to traditional cotton which is considered the world’s “dirtiest” crop in terms of its intensive use of deadly insecticides. Cotton takes an incredibly super large amount of water to produce. — Posted @ Tuesday, May 06, 2014 7:51 PM by paulski