Are Bamboo Sheets Better Than Cotton?
When talking about sheets, it seems Egyptian cotton is always the peak of luxury for any linen set. It’s soft, the thread count is high, it’s always been the standard and the product to beat when it comes to comfortable sheets. But it’s no longer the only option when it comes to sleep comfort and the sheets you use. A new challenger, in the form of bamboo sheets, has recently made a mark on the bedding world and taken on a rise in popularity. But are bamboo sheets better than cotton?
What On Earth Are Bamboo Sheets?
Bamboo sheets probably sound strange. And it’s possible you’ve never even heard of them. In fact, you may even cringe a little bit at the idea of sheets made from those hard stalks that seem to grow ten feet into the air. But bamboo sheets actually come from the grassy leaves that grow alongside the stalk. And those particular fibers come with a ton of benefits.
Back To Basics – Cotton
What are the things that make Egyptian cotton the “king of all cotton”? Well, for starters, it’s known to be incredibly soft and incredibly durable. High thread counts keep it doing its job (like absorbing liquid from the body and withstanding years of use). And it’s often touted that washing the sheets actually makes them more durable and even softer. It’s a breathable fabric as well.
So Are Bamboo Sheets Better Than Cotton?
So how does bamboo stack up? Do bamboo sheets even come close to giving Egyptian cotton a run for their money? In short, are bamboo sheets better than Egyptian cotton? It turns out bamboo sheets might just be the best sheets in the world.
First, bamboo sheets are actually quite a bit softer than Egyptian cotton. This seems strange, especially when you compare the thread count (Egyptian cotton may be somewhere in the thousands while bamboo is perhaps 500 tops). But the rayon fiber is naturally soft and has been referred to as the “vegan silk” because it captures the softness of silk without utilizing silkworms to make it.
So, right off the bat we’ve got a contender for the softness quality. But what about the breathability? With a lower thread count, bamboo is going to be very breathable as well and doesn’t have the “slippery” feel that less breathable, silk sheets seem to have. It’s considered to be naturally cool. On that front, it matches up nicely as well.
But does bamboo actually have qualities that Egyptian cotton doesn’t? Are there places where bamboo sheets actually do better than Egyptian cotton? There’s a few things that actually make bamboo sheets a more sustainable choice, from production to ease of comfort once it reaches your home.
Bamboo sheets are, first and foremost, cheaper to produce and require less manual labor and less resources to create. Why is this? For starters, bamboo requires far less water than cotton to grow, which is considered a “thirsty” crop.” For cotton to reach the same fiber quality as bamboo, it needs as much as 20 times the amount of water. On any given day, it needs at least double, if not more, of what bamboo requires.
Further, bamboo is a crop that is quick to grow. While cotton takes weeks and months, bamboo is known to grow several inches every day with limited resources and almost no care. This makes it highly renewable and quicker to produce than cotton, with less labor and less work.
There’s also bamboo’s natural antibacterial quality (something we’ll return to in a bit). This means it doesn’t require pesticides or agricultural chemicals to keep it growing fast and strong. On the flip side, cotton is one of the most heavily treated crops out there. Pesticides are used intensively for all cotton crops and isn’t exactly something you want getting into your bed at night.
What about comfort? We’ve talked about the softness, but bamboo, as mentioned, is naturally antibacterial. This means not only do you not have to worry about any sort of mold or buildup from sweating in the night, but it’s naturally hypoallergenic for those with allergen sensitivity. Further than that, it’s naturally self-regulating in temperature and does not adhere to body temp the way Egyptian cotton does.
It’s not a 100% perfect product, of course. Where Egyptian cotton is incredibly durable and seems to only get more durable with use and washes, bamboo sheets are highly susceptible to wear and tear and require a delicate wash cycle to keep them in shape. They also need to be handled with care when it comes to drying them as well.
So, are bamboo sheets better than cotton? Ultimately, it’s up to you. But there’s plenty of options out there when it comes to the sheets you sleep on, and bamboo is a fast growing, excellent environmental choice that’s just waiting to be discovered. So don’t hesitate, start getting an amazing night’s sleep on your very own bamboo sheets.