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Bamboo vs. cotton sheets: which one is better?

Bamboo vs. cotton sheets: which one is better?

When shopping for luxuriously soft yet affordable bedding, you usually have two options: cotton and bamboo sheets. But, of course, the type of fabric you choose will ultimately impact your sleep quality, comfort, and overall satisfaction with your bed setup. While cotton and bamboo are similar, a few key differences set bamboo apart, like comfort, durability, and breathability. 

Both can be good options, depending on your preferences. However, which is best for you will depend on critical factors, such as your budget,  maintenance, and values. Let’s take a closer look at bamboo vs. cotton sheets to help determine the right option for your bed. 

  • Bamboo sheets explained
  • Cotton sheets explained
  • Key differences between bamboo and cotton sheets
  • Bamboo vs. cotton sheets: Frequently asked questions
  • Achieve a good night’s rest with bamboo sheets

Bamboo sheets explained

When comparing bamboo sheets vs. cotton, you should first understand what bamboo sheets are. You’re probably wondering, “Are bamboo sheets good?” or “Are bamboo sheets better than cotton?” Ultimately, the answer depends on your sleep preferences. Bamboo sheets are exactly what they sound like; they’re made of sustainable bamboo and are even softer and more durable than cotton. Bamboo sheets are more eco-friendly than cotton sheets because the bamboo plant grows quickly and doesn’t require pesticides or irrigation. Bamboo also only relies on rainwater to grow, whereas cotton infamously waste freshwater resources.

Bamboo fabrics are known for their comfort over other types of materials. Outside of the comfort, there are many other benefits to purchasing all bamboo bedding. These benefits include the fact that bamboo is eco-friendly and that the material is incredibly durable compared to cotton. 

Of course, not all bamboo sheets are created equal. There are three types of bamboo sheets to choose from: viscose, modal, and lyocell. Lyocell is the most recent generation of bamboo fabric. It’s hypoallergenic, thermoregulating, soft, and resistant to bacteria and odors. Our closed-loop process doesn’t require toxic chemicals, and we reuse the water 200 times, recycling 98% of it in the process. 

Types of bamboo fabric weaves

There are several types of weaves of bamboo fabric available to choose from, and the best one for you will depend on personal preference in terms of feel and aesthetic. These are just three types of bamboo weaves:

  • Sateen: The sateen weave is popular because it offers a buttery, silky-soft feel with a sheen. Bamboo sateen sheets are often compared to silk because they’re soft and gentle on the skin. 
  • Twill: Twill is another popular option for bamboo bedding because it’s durable and wrinkle-resistant. However, it’s also breathable and offers a more texturized feel and appearance. 
  • Percale: Percale is a lightweight weave that’s breathable. 

Cotton sheets explained

Cotton sheets are perhaps the most common because they’re available at almost any price point. Therefore, whether you have a $50 or $1,000 budget, you can find an affordable cotton sheet set. Like bamboo, cotton is a natural fiber. However, when comparing cotton vs. bamboo, cotton is not as sustainable because it requires more water, and the plant doesn’t grow as fast as bamboo. In addition, cotton sheets can be misleading because you have to be willing to pay more for higher quality, softer options; the cheaper options can feel scratchy against your skin or less breathable overall. 

Types of cotton

As we’ve mentioned, you can find cotton sheets at any price point. However, the more you’re willing to spend, the higher quality of sheets you can buy. The different types of cotton sheets include:

  • Egyptian: Egyptian cotton sheets are considered the most luxurious because they’re made of smooth, durable fibers. However, these are significant investments, often costing hundreds of dollars. In addition, they require more maintenance, so you may have to pay for dry cleaning to prevent damage.
  • Pima: Pima cotton is a material that feels like Egyptian cotton but at a lower price. Of course, when shopping for Pima cotton sheets, you’ll find more affordable options, but those are often lower quality and less durable. 
  • Upland: Upland cotton is the most common type of cotton sheet available. These sheets are made from short fibers, so they’re not as soft as Egyptian or Pima cotton. 
  • Flannel: Flannel is another common cotton you likely have in your house because it’s used for bedding and clothes. This material is typically used during the cold winter months to help you stay warm and cozy. However, it’s not an all-season fabric because it traps heat. 

Key differences between bamboo and cotton sheets

Bamboo and cotton sheets are considered soft, durable, and breathable. However, there are a few key differences between them to help you determine which is best for you. These differences include the following: 

Cost

Cost should always be a significant factor when choosing bedding. Bamboo sheets cost about the same as a higher thread count sheet set. Unfortunately, bamboo isn’t available at the same price points as cotton; you can’t find cheap options made from 100% bamboo. But, of course, the same is true for cotton, so if you want luxuriously soft bedding, you must be willing to pay more. Still, many of the benefits of bamboo fabric will outweigh the potential drawback of the cost, especially since they’re more durable and can last longer than cheap cotton bedding. 

Durability

Durability is crucial when comparing bamboo vs. cotton sheets. Ultimately, the more durable your bedding, the longer it will last. In addition, if you have pets, you’ll need durable sheets that can easily be washed without getting damaged. Bamboo is also a lot more durable, even though it’s softer than cotton sheets. Of course, you must still treat your bamboo well by following the care instructions. In most cases, your bamboo sheets should be washed on a gentle cycle, but as long as they’re properly cared for, they’ll remain durable. 

Comfort

Comfort is crucial when shopping for bedding. Are bamboo sheets better than cotton in terms of comfort? Many would argue that they are. Cotton sheets range from scratchy to soft, making it difficult to tell what sheets you’re getting until you put them on your bed and try to sleep with them. Meanwhile, bamboo is softer than cotton, depending on the weave and material. Bamboo is the ideal bedding for sensitive skin, hot sleepers, and individuals who sleep better knowing they’re making more sustainable choices. 

Thread count

Generally, to get softer sheets, you must purchase higher thread counts. However, you can’t compare thread counts of bamboo and cotton bedding because they’re different materials. For example, premium bamboo sheets have a thread count of 300 to 400, while cotton sheets can have a thread count ranging from 200 to 1,000. Still, cotton sheets with a thread count of 200 can be just as comfortable, if not more so, than those with 1,000 thread counts. Therefore, it should not be your only determining factor when choosing bamboo sheets vs. cotton. 

Softness

Bamboo sheets are softer than cotton and are often compared to silk. While Egyptian cotton sheets are soft, many argue that bamboo feels even silkier and smoother. Of course, the softness depends on your preference and the type of weave. For example, a sateen weave creates a soft, buttery feel against the skin, while jersey cotton is stretchy and thin. Therefore, choose bamboo if you’re looking for durable yet soft bedding. Unlike cotton, it won’t stretch or wear with proper care. 

Care

Speaking of care, no one wants to get stressed over caring for their bedding. Your sheets should be easy to wash at home. Bamboo and cotton are both easy to care for, but some cotton sheets require more maintenance than bamboo. Ultimately, it depends on the type of product you purchase and the instructions provided by the manufacturer. For example, ettitude’s bamboo sheets can be washed on a gentle cycle in cold water and line-dried or machine dried on low heat. 

In addition to the ease of laundry, you should consider how often you wash your sheets. Since bamboo is antimicrobial and resistant to odors, you may get away with fewer washes, which means less damage from regular wear and tear. 

Breathability and moisture-wicking

If you’re a hot sleeper, you should find breathable sheets that can wick moisture away from your body to improve sleep. Cotton and bamboo are both considered temperature-regulating. However, it ultimately depends on the type of cotton sheets you purchase. For example, flannel traps heat, while jersey cotton is more breathable. Unfortunately, cotton is not moisture-wicking like bamboo; it tends to absorb moisture rather than help it evaporate in the air. 

 

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Bamboo offers the ultimate breathability to help you stay warm and dry. Sweat gets wicked away due to the porous nature of the fibers. No matter how much you sweat, you’ll stay dry. The sheets also breathe, so you’ll stay warm, but not too warm.

Health

Think about all the bacteria and dirt that come off your body as you sleep. Your bed can be a breeding ground for viruses, dust, and bacteria if you don’t use the right sheets (gross, we know). Antimicrobial bedding like bamboo is resistant to allergens and bacteria that can contribute to poor health. In addition, bamboo bedding doesn’t use any harmful chemicals because the plant doesn’t require pesticides or herbicides like cotton. 

And finally, bamboo does not absorb odors, so the sheets will not smell, no matter how much you sweat at night.

Sustainability

While cotton sheets are produced from natural fibers, they’re not as sustainable as bamboo sheets. Bamboo is fast growing and doesn’t require harmful chemicals throughout the production process, making it better for people and the planet. In addition, ettitude’s CleanBamboo uses fewer resources in the production process, recycling 98% of the water used. 

Bamboo vs. cotton sheets: Frequently asked questions

Are bamboo sheets cooler than cotton?

Bamboo sheets are cooler than cotton. While cotton can be breathable, depending on the type, some sheets can trap heat rather than let it escape. Meanwhile, bamboo allows your body heat to escape. It also wicks away moisture to keep you cool and dry, which can prevent sleep insomnia from being uncomfortable. 

Should I buy bamboo or cotton bedding? 

Bamboo bedding is far superior to cotton. However, it ultimately depends on several factors we discussed earlier, such as your budget, values, and preferences. For example, if you’re a hot sleeper, you may prefer moisture-wicking and breathable bamboo sheets to hot cotton. In addition, if you want natural, organic bedding that’s better for the planet, bamboo is the best choice. 

Are bamboo or cotton sheets better for sleeping? 

Both cotton and bamboo sheets can improve your sleep. However, with cotton sheets, you often have to pay more for higher quality. Since bamboo sheets are breathable, silky soft, and gentle on the skin, it’s the superior choice for those who want to improve their sleep. 

Achieve a good night’s rest with bamboo sheets

When comparing bamboo vs. cotton sheets, there are many factors to consider, including your budget and preferences. However, bamboo sheets are equivalent to the highest quality cotton and offer more benefits, including breathability and softness. So if you ask us, bamboo sheets are the clear winner. 

Change the way you sleep with bamboo sheets and bedding from ettitude. Sustainable bamboo bedding is healthier for people and the planet. Browse our collection to improve your sleep and make your bed feel more luxurious. 

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