Bamboo sheets have been increasing in popularity in recent years—and for a good reason. They’re sustainable, softer than cotton and linen, naturally hypoallergenic, and moisture-wicking. Bamboo sheets are also thermoregulating and breathable, keeping you cool in summer and cozy in winter. Need we say more?
It can be overwhelming to know what to look for when buying bamboo sheets for the first time, especially as more and more brands claim to be ‘green’ or ‘eco-friendly.’
Spoiler: not all bamboo bed sheets are made equally.
We’ve created this simple guide to help you choose the best bamboo sheets for you.
- What are bamboo sheets?
- Benefits of bamboo bed sheets
- How to choose the best bamboo sheets
- Tips for buying bamboo sheets
- Bamboo Sheets: Frequently Asked Questions
- Should you invest in bamboo sheets?
What are bamboo sheets?
Bamboo sheets are made from bamboo fibers, which are breathable, durable, soft, and oh so comfortable. Bamboo is also one of the most sustainable plants on earth. It grows faster than cotton and doesn’t require pesticides or fertilizers that harm the environment.
There are several types of bamboo bed sheets, including 100% bamboo or blends combined with cotton or other materials. Unfortunately, not all bamboo sheets are the same, and the kind of bamboo bedding you purchase may not be as sustainable as you think.
While bamboo is an eco-friendly resource, the manufacturing processes of different bamboo sheets can negatively impact the environment.
Benefits of bamboo bed sheets
Organic bamboo sheets offer several benefits:
- Sustainable: Bamboo is a more renewable resource than cotton and other types of materials because it grows faster and doesn’t require fertilizers or harsh chemicals during production.
- Hypoallergenic: Bamboo fabrics are naturally hypoallergenic and resistant to dust, mold, and mildew, providing you relief from allergy symptoms.
- Moisture-wicking: If you sleep hot or sweat in your sleep, bamboo bed sheets can wick moisture off your skin and ensure it evaporates quickly.
- Breathable: One of the most significant benefits of bamboo sheets is that they’re incredibly breathable and allow your body heat to escape rather than getting trapped. Don’t worry—they’ll still keep you warm in winter. Bamboo is temperature-regulating, which keeps you cool in the summer and cozy in the winter. So it’s the perfect sleeping companion, no matter the season.
- Soft: No, bamboo bedding isn’t rough. It’s buttery smooth and gentle on sensitive skin. Bamboo is unbelievably soft compared to other types of fabrics. Bamboo sateen bedding feels softer than silk and is more affordable.
How to choose the best bamboo sheets
Choosing bamboo bedding is an investment in better sleep. Making the right choice is key to ensuring bamboo sheets can enhance your sleep and keep you comfortable and sweat-free all night.
When shopping for bamboo bedding, consider the following:
Firstly, it’s important to understand the source of where these different fabrics originate. According to The Council of Fashion Designers of America, Inc. (CFDA), bamboo is a natural fiber that can be processed mechanically into a natural bast fiber or chemically into a regenerated manufactured fiber.
Let’s break down the difference:
- Regenerated cellulose fibers are created by taking natural raw cellulose (plant fiber) like bamboo or eucalyptus and then converting it through a chemical process to turn it into the fabric.
- Bast bamboo fibers are processed mechanically using the same processes used to produce linen from hemp or flax, with similar sustainability benefits and considerations.
So, which type of fabric makes the best bamboo sheets?
With vastly different environmental impacts and chemicals used, you should pay attention to which type of fabric you’re purchasing.
There are five varieties of bamboo fabric:
- 100% bamboo viscose (aka bamboo rayon): Most bamboo sheets are made of bamboo rayon, which is hypoallergenic, thermoregulating, soft, and resistant to odors and bacteria. Unfortunately, bamboo rayon production requires a more chemically intensive process that can harm the environment, workers, and local communities.
- 100% bamboo modal: Bamboo modal is made with the same chemical process as viscose. However, modal fabrics are put through an extra process to stretch them. This makes modal lighter and finer than viscose and increases the strength of the fibers.
- 100% bamboo lyocell (CleanBamboo™): Bamboo lyocell is ettitude’s signature and exclusive fiber. The production process behind our patented CleanBamboo doesn’t require toxic solvents that produce harmful waste. Plus, we reuse and recycle water throughout the production process up to 200 times, resulting in a stronger, softer type of bamboo fabric that’s free from chemicals and more sustainable. Lyocell offers the same benefits of bamboo fabric made from viscose, providing antimicrobial bedding that’s soft and durable (minus the chemically-intensive process).
- Raw bamboo linen fiber: Also known as bast bamboo fiber, raw bamboo linen fiber is produced without chemicals, similar to hemp fabrics. However, even though these fabrics are sustainable, they’re coarse and wrinkle easily, so they’re not suitable for intimate bedding products.
- Bamboo cotton blend: The most common bamboo blends are 60% bamboo rayon, 40% cotton, 70% bamboo rayon, and 30% cotton. Blending makes the fabric slightly stronger than 100% pure bamboo. However, it also compromises the softness of the material. Unfortunately, adding cotton makes the bamboo blend less sustainable.
The weave of bamboo sheets affects the softness and durability. Common weaves used for bamboo bed sheets include:
- Percale: The percale weave produces a lightweight bed sheet that’s breathable but prone to wrinkling.
- Sateen: Sateen bamboo bedding sets are one of the most popular options because they have a soft sheen. These sheets are typically compared to satin or silk. Sateen bedding is also naturally wrinkle-resistant and incredibly comfortable.
- Twill: Twill is another popular bamboo weave that’s typically used in denim. However, on sheets, the ribbing adds texture for a heavier drape and enhanced durability.
Thread count isn’t as important for bamboo sheets as it is for cotton sheets. Bamboo sheet thread counts typically range from 100 to 400. A 300 thread count is generally a happy medium that’s suitable for most sleepers who want soft yet durable bedding.
ettitude’s bamboo sheets have a 300 thread count, equivalent to a 1,000 thread count on cotton. Bamboo sheets are better than cotton in many ways, including feel and quality. However, thread count isn’t the only thing that dictates a sheet’s softness. The quality of the fiber plays an essential role in how soft and luxurious your sheets feel.
When it comes to bedding, the more you’re willing to pay, the more luxurious your bedding options are. However, you can find bamboo bedding at a range of price points. Of course, higher quality equals better sleep and softer sheets.
Every bamboo bedding brand has different care instructions for its products. Don’t want the hassle on laundry day? Look for bed sheets you can toss into the wash with cold water on the gentle cycle and tumble dry on low heat—like ettitude’s! Other types of bamboo bedding are dry clean only (tiring, we know).
Color options are also important when choosing your bamboo sheets. You want your bamboo bedding to match your bedroom’s aesthetic and mood, right? Since your bedroom is a place of rest, consider choosing serene, nature-inspired colors that put you into relaxation mode.
Whether you’re shopping for bamboo sheets online or in stores, you won’t know if you like them until you try them for yourself. Sure, you may be able to touch the sheets in stores, but without sleeping on them, you won’t know whether they’re right for you. Choose bedding that offers a warranty or sleep trial to ensure you buy sheets that can help you get a better night’s sleep.
Tips for buying bamboo sheets
We know how important it is to find the perfect sheets—after all, we spend half our life wrapped in them. So, here are our top four tips to consider when choosing bamboo bed sheets:
- Always look at the material label to confirm what type of bamboo material you are buying. ettitude is the only company that makes CleanBamboo fibers and bedding. In the United States, manufacturers can’t simply mark their products as “100% bamboo”. By law, they must specify if it’s bamboo rayon/viscose, bamboo linen, or bamboo lyocell. In Australia, the regulation is looser. So, if the label says “100% bamboo,” ask the manufacturer exactly what it is.
- Avoid bamboo blends as they’re not as sustainable as bamboo lyocell or bamboo linen.
- Find brands with a risk-free trial to test the bedding in real life. This is an excellent option for those who want to feel the fabric and ensure the color is right before committing. Try our bamboo bedding for 30 nights risk-free with our Sleep Trial.
- Read customer reviews before committing to a bamboo bedding brand. This way, you’ll know if the sheets will feel cooling and soft and give you better sleep. Check out some of ettitude’s reviews to see why our customers love sleeping with us.
Bamboo Sheets: Frequently Asked Questions
Are bamboo sheets worth it?
Bamboo bed sheet sets are worth it if you want your bedding to feel luxurious every time you hit the pillow. They’re soft, moisture-wicking, temperature-regulating, and gentle on the most sensitive skin. Bamboo sheets are also incredibly breathable, allowing your body heat to escape and preventing you from getting night sweats. You don’t get that from any old cotton sheets.
Is bamboo or cotton better for bed sheets?
What’s better is always a matter of preference. But, compared to cotton, bamboo is the better option in terms of sustainability, softness, and durability. Be aware that some bamboo sheets come at a higher price than cotton sheets.
Do bamboo sheets get softer after washing?
Bamboo bed sheets get softer after each wash as long as you properly care for them. Bamboo sheets are made from a long thread that relaxes and loosens up after each wash cycle. But, how your bamboo bedding feels after a wash depends on how they’re cleaned.
You should only wash your sheets in cold water, as hot water could ruin the fiber, making it feel rough. Don’t forget to only use the gentle cycle and tumble dry on the lowest heat setting.
Should you invest in bamboo sheets?
Before choosing which bamboo sheets to bring home to bed, make sure you’re making an informed purchase by researching the manufacturers, production processes, and brands.
Bamboo sheets are the best option for hot sleepers who want to make their beds comfier than ever before. Since bamboo bedding is an investment that can improve your sleep, it’s essential to care for it properly. You should choose high-quality products made from 100% bamboo, like ettitude’s bamboo sheets. They’re made from bamboo lyocell, the softest, most sustainable fabric on earth.
Looking to try bamboo bedding? Shop our bamboo sheet sets today and slip into your dreamiest ZZZs yet.
Originally published on: August 1, 2017. Updated on November 24, 2022.