Sheets made of bamboo? It might seem like fiction, but it’s true – and bamboo sheets are some of the softest, most comfortable and durable sheets you’ll ever sleep on. In recent years, bamboo bed sheets have become a popular, eco-friendly alternative to some of the highest quality cotton choices and other luxury fabrics for duvet covers, pillow cases, and bed sheets.
7 Benefits of Bamboo Sheets
- Stain Resistance
- Allergy Benefits
What Are Bamboo Sheets Made Of?
Why, bamboo sheets are made of bamboo, of course! Bamboo bed sheets are manufactured from bamboo fibers, which are taken from a specific species of bamboo plant. Most bamboo sheets are made with viscose rayon from bamboo, which is a versatile, regenerated cellulose fiber.
You can also find bamboo sheets made from bamboo linen – but just like cotton linen, bamboo linen is known for wrinkling easy and it isn’t as soft and silky, though it may be good for staying cool and comfortable all night in extremely hot environments.
To turn bamboo into luxurious bed linens, the bamboo trunks must first be steamed and mechanically crushed – following this process, the bamboo undergoes what’s called “retting” in order to separate the long rayon fibers. Most bamboo sheets on the market today are made in China and far East Asia, where the bamboo plant is abundant.
7 Benefits of Bamboo Sheets
Let’s explore each of these qualities in a little more detail so you get the full effect of the benefits of bamboo. With its quickly renewable source material, bamboo presents a great many advantages when it comes to making soft and luxurious bed sheets.
A bamboo sheet set feels simply amazing – no matter how fancy a cotton fiber you choose, it won’t feel as super soft and silky as bamboo. This should be your top priority for getting a good night’s sleep — you want the coziest, softest sheets that make you feel like you’re sleeping on a cloud. That’s why bamboo sheets are such a great choice for your bedding.
There are very few fabrics that can rival the softness of natural bamboo – the naturally-produced rayon is breathable and extremely dense, and once it’s woven, a 300-thread-count bamboo sheet feels a lot like a 1,000-thread-cut cotton sheet, but with added durability and stretchiness. Some sleepers say their bamboo sheets feel more like silk or even cashmere. Bamboo sheets also retain their softness and stretchiness over time, so they’re a great choice for years of soft, silky, cozy comfort on your mattress.
They may be super soft, but bamboo sheets are also extremely tough and durable – the strong rayon fibers can stand up to just about anything. Many bamboo sheets are made from premium quality bamboo that is stretched across the entire length of a sheet – this stretching, rather than weaving together shorter fibers, means that your bamboo sheet set is more durable and less likely to pill and tear than other types of woven fabrics. Other sheets are woven together from short fibers, which makes it easier to tear and pill. And because bamboo is unabsorbent, it won’t soak up all the oils and dirt from your skin, meaning your bamboo sheets won’t yellow or gray over time but instead will look brand new for many years to come.
Bamboo sheets (both flat and fitted) help you regulate your body temperature by being extremely breathable. If it’s cold, bamboo sheets will keep you warm, and if it’s hot, they’ll keep you cool. They’re a little bit magic like that! Hot sleepers don’t have to worry about bamboo sheets trapping heat under the covers – your body temperature will regulate itself when covered in bamboo sheets. Bamboo will actually adjust to your body’s temperature and help your body thermo-regulate to keep you comfortable.
Because bamboo is one of the planet’s fastest-growing natural resources, buying bed sheets made of bamboo presents very little environmental impact. By some estimates, bamboo can grow up to a yard a day! It also has no need for excessive irrigation in order to encourage its growth – bamboo can be grown on arid land and currently represents the world’s chief source of sustainable hardwood. In fact, bamboo’s sustainability is almost impossible to beat, requiring 90 percent less water and zero pesticides when compared to typical cotton sheets. Bamboo linens make a very small environmental footprint, so you can feel good about wrapping yourself in soft, luxurious comfort while also making a choice that’s environmentally friendly.
5. Stain Resistance
Who wants to sleep on sheets that look like they’ve seen better days? With bamboo sheets, you won’t have to worry. Thanks to the moisture-wicking properties and dense fibers of bamboo, it doesn’t absorb moisture, which makes it highly stain resistant. You won’t have issues with your sheets looking worn out, dirty, or aged because of staining. Your soft bamboo sheets will look great over the years, and you won’t have to resort to using harsh chemicals like bleach when doing laundry. Stains can cause odor as well – which is something else you won’t have to worry about. Bamboo sheets naturally resist mold, bacteria, and mildew, so they stay fresh longer.
6. Allergy Benefits
If you have issues with allergies or sensitive skin, hypoallergenic bamboo bed sheets could be the best sheets for you. Because bamboo features a natural resistance to fungi and pests, it can be grown without any fertilizers or pesticides, so you don’t have to worry about any harmful chemical residue making its way into your bed.
Even after going through the manufacturing process, natural bamboo will retain some portion of its antimicrobial characteristics, making bamboo sheets ideal for people who need hypoallergenic options. Some studies have shown that bamboo fabric is three times more effective at preventing bacterial growth than more traditional sheet fabrics like cotton. Because bamboo sheets reduce the amount of moisture under your covers, they make it difficult for dust mites to live in your bedding – and dust mites are one of the key triggers for indoor allergies.
Some people may balk at the price of bamboo sheets, especially if they’re used to purchasing lower-quality microfiber sheets – but if you compare the costs to higher quality cotton, they’re actually pretty comparable. Although the initial cost may be more than lower-line cotton sheets, the value you get over the lifetime of your soft and silky bamboo sheets is tremendous. Because they will look and feel new for many years, they won’t have to be replaced as often as their cotton counterparts – even higher quality cottons. Over time, you’re actually saving money.
Bamboo Sheets Vs. Cotton Sheets
While cotton has long been the go-to for many people when it comes to bed sheets, bamboo sheets have become extremely popular in recent years. Which fabric is better? Let’s discuss bamboo vs. cotton and take a look at which one gives you the best night’s sleep.
First, the fibers in bamboo materials are typically considered softer to the touch than those in cotton. That’s not always true, though – you can find high-end, longer-fiber and/or high thread count cotton sheets that are very soft. However, the majority of bamboo bed sheets will be far softer than regular cotton sheets. When it comes to your own comfort, only you can be the judge of what feels better, bamboo or cotton, but most sleepers prefer bamboo for overall softness and comfort.
Cotton sheets will retain more heat than bamboo fabric since it’s not as breathable and the weave is stiffer. Bamboo sheets are naturally breathable, allowing your body to regulate temperature while feeling gloriously soft.
If you’re environmentally conscious, it’s important to understand the different processes used for manufacturing cotton and bamboo bed sheets. Because natural bamboo is one of the fastest-growing resources on the planet, harvesting it for sheets presents no measurable environmental threat. Even when harvested, bamboo doesn’t have to be replanted because its wide root network continuously sprouts new stems.
Bamboo sheets, overall, show a smaller environmental impact and produce a far lower carbon footprint than their cotton counterparts. Bamboo is naturally pesticide-resistant, so no chemical pesticides need to be used in order to grow it. Bamboo plants typically use about 12 gallons of water to make one pound of fabric, while cotton plants can require up to 200 times more water.
In fact, cotton is currently the largest user of water among all agricultural commodities. Cotton also is typically grown using pesticides and fertilizers – both of which mean it’s much less environmentally friendly than bamboo.
Bamboo Sheet Thread Count
We’ve all been conditioned to believe that sheets with the highest thread counts are the best quality, but this is simply not true. Thread count doesn’t even apply to rayon from bamboo sheets – since the sheets are woven from long, continuous bamboo fibers, rather than weaving together the short fibers of traditional cotton sheets. Thread counts for bamboo sheets usually hover around 250-350. If that sounds low, just keep in mind that 100% bamboo sheets with a 250-thread count feel softer than cotton sheets with a high thread count. Furthermore, many brands get a bit “creative” when measuring thread count – so don’t let that be your main criteria when choosing the best sheets. Overall softness, stretch, and breathability are the most important factors.
Bamboo Sheets Care/Washing
No matter the fabric of your bed sheets, you should always check the care label before you wash or dry your sheets and pillow cases. When it comes to bamboo, use a gentle cycle when washing – wash in cold water if you can, but you can bump up to warm if you need to fight bacteria, dust mites, mildew, etc. Try to use the gentlest possible detergent – many people use baby detergents on theirs, especially if they also have sensitive skin issues. You’ll get your best results from washing your bamboo sheets by themselves – zippers, fasteners, and hooks from clothing can cause damage to your best bamboo sheets.
How often should you wash your bamboo sheets? During the summer, wash your sheets and pillow cases at least once a week, but you may be able to get away with washing them every other week during the winter.
You can air-dry your bamboo sheets for an outdoor, fresh scent, or gently tumble dry them on low heat. Many manufacturers will prefer that you leave your bamboo sheets to air dry, when possible. Avoid harmful detergents, fabric softeners, and your bamboo sheets will look great and feel soft over their lifetime. If you strive for a really crisp and pristine look for your sheets, you can also iron your bamboo sheets. Just make sure to keep your iron on the lowest possible setting.
When shopping for bed sheets, choosing bamboo is good common sense. Super soft and silky bamboo sheets feel great on sensitive skin, plus they’re lightweight, eco-friendly, durable, hypoallergenic, and extremely breathable. When you want the best night’s sleep possible, switching to bamboo sheets seems like a no-brainer. Today, more and more manufacturers have begun to offer bamboo options – so considering bamboo sheets for your next bedding purchase is a win-win.
With the feel of silk and the price tag of cotton, bamboo sheets are versatile and long-lasting. Check any bamboo sheets review – many people who switch say they have trouble sleeping under any other kind of sheet. An investment in bamboo bed sheets is an investment in restorative sleep, sweet dreams and bright days ahead.