Does Polyester Make You Sweat?

Sweating is an annoying problem that many people deal with on a regular basis. If you’ve ever wondered whether the fabric your clothes are made of contributes to excessive sweating, you’re not alone.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Polyester can make you sweat more than natural fibers like cotton. This is because polyester doesn’t breathe as well and can trap heat and sweat close to your body.

In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at how polyester impacts sweating. We’ll compare polyester to other fabrics, explain why it can make you sweat more, and provide tips for staying cool in polyester clothing.

How Polyester Compares to Other Fabrics

When it comes to choosing the right fabric for your clothing, it’s important to consider factors such as comfort, breathability, and durability. Polyester is a synthetic fabric that is commonly used in clothing due to its affordability and easy care.

However, many people wonder if polyester makes them sweat more compared to other fabrics. Let’s take a closer look at how polyester compares to some popular natural fabrics.

Polyester vs. Cotton

Polyester and cotton are two of the most widely used fabrics in the textile industry. While polyester is known for its durability and resistance to wrinkles, cotton is prized for its breathability and softness.

When it comes to sweat, polyester tends to wick moisture away from the body, keeping you dry. On the other hand, cotton absorbs moisture, which can make you feel sweaty during hot and humid conditions.

However, it’s important to note that the breathability of cotton can vary depending on the weave and thickness of the fabric.

Polyester vs. Wool

Wool is a natural fiber known for its excellent insulation properties, making it a popular choice for winter clothing. Unlike polyester, which is not very breathable, wool allows air to circulate, keeping you warm without causing excessive sweating.

Additionally, wool has the ability to absorb moisture, making it a great choice for activities that involve perspiration, such as hiking or skiing.

Polyester vs. Linen

Linen is a natural fabric made from the flax plant and is known for its lightweight and breathable properties. Similar to cotton, linen absorbs moisture and allows air to flow, keeping you cool and comfortable.

Polyester, on the other hand, is less breathable and may cause you to sweat more in hot weather. If you’re looking for a fabric that keeps you cool, linen may be a better choice than polyester.

Polyester vs. Silk

Silk is a luxurious and delicate fabric that is highly breathable and has excellent moisture-wicking properties. It is known for its smooth and soft texture, making it comfortable to wear in any season.

Polyester, although it may not be as breathable as silk, can still wick away moisture from the body. However, it is worth noting that silk is a natural fabric and is often considered more comfortable and luxurious compared to polyester.

Why Polyester Makes You Sweat

Polyester is a popular fabric choice for clothing due to its durability, affordability, and wrinkle-resistant properties. However, one downside to wearing polyester is that it can make you sweat more than other fabrics. Here are a few reasons why:

It Doesn’t Breathe Well

Unlike natural fibers such as cotton or linen, polyester does not have the ability to breathe. This means that it doesn’t allow air to circulate freely between the fabric and your skin. As a result, heat and moisture get trapped, leading to an increase in sweat production.

So, if you’re looking to stay cool and dry, it might be best to opt for fabrics that have better breathability.

It Traps Heat

Another reason why polyester can make you sweat is that it traps heat. The fabric has a tendency to retain heat close to your body, creating a warm and humid environment. This can be especially problematic in hot and humid climates, where the combination of polyester and high temperatures can leave you feeling sweaty and uncomfortable.

It Holds On to Sweat

Additionally, polyester has the ability to hold on to sweat. Unlike some natural fibers that absorb moisture, polyester repels it. This means that sweat can linger on the surface of the fabric, leaving you feeling damp and sticky.

This can be particularly noticeable during intense physical activity or in situations where you are exposed to high levels of heat.

It’s important to note that everyone’s experience with polyester may vary. Some people may find that they sweat more in polyester while others may not experience any significant difference compared to other fabrics.

It ultimately depends on individual factors such as body temperature, activity level, and personal preferences.

If you’re concerned about sweating, especially in hot weather or during physical activity, consider choosing clothing made from natural fibers like cotton or bamboo, as these materials tend to be more breathable and moisture-wicking.

Additionally, certain blends of polyester with other fabrics, such as polyester-cotton blends, may offer improved breathability compared to 100% polyester garments.

Tips for Staying Cool in Polyester

Polyester is a popular fabric choice due to its durability and affordability. However, it is often associated with heat and discomfort. If you’re wondering how to stay cool while wearing polyester, these tips will help you beat the sweat:

Wear Loose-Fitting Polyester

When it comes to polyester, fit matters. Opt for loose-fitting garments to allow air circulation and prevent excessive sweating. Tight-fitting polyester can trap heat and moisture, leading to discomfort and sweat build-up.

Choose Lightweight Polyester

Not all polyester fabrics are created equal. Look for lightweight polyester materials that are breathable and have good airflow. These fabrics are designed to keep you cool even in hot and humid weather conditions.

Go for Moisture-Wicking Polyester

Moisture-wicking polyester is specially designed to pull sweat away from your body and onto the fabric’s surface, where it can evaporate quickly. This type of polyester is ideal for active individuals or those who tend to sweat more.

Avoid Dark Colors

Dark-colored polyester garments tend to absorb more heat from the sun, making you feel hotter and sweatier. Opt for lighter shades or pastel colors, as they reflect sunlight and help keep you cooler.

Layer with Natural Fabrics

If you want to wear polyester but still stay cool, layer it with natural fabrics like cotton or linen. These materials are breathable and can help absorb excess moisture, keeping you comfortable throughout the day.

Wash Frequently

Regularly washing your polyester garments can help prevent sweat and odor buildup. Use a mild detergent and follow the care instructions for best results. Washing removes any trapped sweat or bacteria, leaving your polyester feeling fresh and cool.

Remember, everyone’s body reacts differently to fabrics, so it’s important to find what works best for you. By following these tips, you can stay cool and comfortable even in polyester clothing.


While polyester has some useful properties like durability and wrinkle resistance, its tendency to trap heat and sweat is a definite downside. Pay attention to how different polyester clothes make you feel when you sweat.

Choosing lightweight, loose-fitting styles and fabrics specifically designed to wick moisture can help. But if overheating is still an issue, natural fiber alternatives like cotton and linen are likely a better choice for keeping cool and dry.

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