Bamboo Sheets Vs Cotton Sheets: Which Is Best?
Have you thought about how you want your bed to feel when you climb in between your sheets? Maybe your current sheets just don’t feel nice anymore and you need some new ones. Bamboo and cotton are two extremely popular textiles that you’ll commonly find as sheets, but which is better? Is one going to be more comfortable for you? Find out in this Bamboo Sheets Vs Cotton Sheets comparison.
Bamboo Sheet Facts
The first thing to know about fabrics made from bamboo is that there are different types. You can find all of them as bamboo sheets. They are:
- Rayon/viscose (usually the most affordable)
- Tencel/lyocell bamboo (this is the most environmentally friendly of all bamboo fabric types, due to how it’s processed)
- Bamboo modal (this is the softest)
- Bamboo linen (this is
Bamboo is known for being soft to touch due to having a sateen weave. They are also great at moisture absorption and being breathable. This is the reason why you’ll often find sports clothes made from bamboo too! Most plant based fibers (including cotton) are good at absorbing moisture but not many are as good as helping that moisture evaporate as bamboo is.
Many memory foam mattress manufacturers recommend you use bamboo sheets for their moisture wicking properties. This makes sense as memory foam mattresses have to work harder than other mattress types to keep you cool through the night so the bamboo can help keep you cool.
Bamboo sheets are kinder to the environment to produce because bamboo is a plant that can grow quite quickly in a range of environments, making it very renewable. It doesn’t require pesticides or fertilizers either.
Bamboo sheets can be a bit high maintenance to care for, and often come with specific washing instructions which you will need to follow. If you care for them properly they will be durable and remain soft across their lifespan.
Cotton Sheet Facts
Cotton is the soft fiber that grows around the seed of the cotton plant. You’re probably very familiar with cotton sheets. They are what most of us grew up with. You may already know about some of the different textures and weaves, such as the softer flannel which is great for winter, or about how thread count can change the feel of them.
A basic, standard cotton sheet will have a thread count of 150-180, while a higher quality one will have a higher thread count. Egyptian cotton uses finer threads, which allows for more threads to be woven into the fabric. This gives a softer feel and a higher thread count.
Cotton sheets usually have one of two weaves, percale or sateen. Each has a totally different feel, but one is not necessaroly better than the other, it is more about personal preference.
– Percale gives cotton sheets the crispness you probably know very well.
– Sateen gives a silkier touch and look.
Cotton sheets are very durable, and tend to be lower maintenance than bamboo. You can just throw them in the wash without too much thought to if they need any specific care, and they’ll dry less wrinkled than bamboo.
Cotton sheets will draw heat moisture away from your body, but they tend to hold on it rather than helping it wick away.
Bamboo Sheets Vs Cotton Sheets: Comparison
Which One Feels The Nicest?
Everyone is going to have a different opinion here, people will like different things. If you like a sheet to feel crisp or satin-like, then cotton is for you. If you’d rather a soft feeling sheet then bamboo is for you.
MY CHOICE: Bamboo. I love everything in my bed to feel soft!
Which One Is More Breathable?
While both cotton and bamboo will absorb any moisture such as body sweat, bamboo is better at letting go of that moisture while cotton tends to hold on to it. Bamboo is the superior fabric in this regard and is an excellent sheet choice for people concerned about sleeping hot.
MY CHOICE: Bamboo.
Which Is More Durable?
This is a tough one, because a good quality sheet in either cotton or bamboo should last a good number of years.
MY CHOICE: Both!
Which Washes Better?
Cotton is lower maintenance to care for. You can just throw it in the machine without worrying too much, and it will dry relatively wrinkle free, whereas bamboo may require special detergents, more care, or ironing to be at their best.
MY CHOICE: Cotton. I like low maintenance!
Which Is More Sustainable?
Cotton requires quite a lot of pesticides and fertilizer to grow. Bamboo grows easily in lots of environments, and does not require any chemicals. The processing of both uses varying amounts of water.
MY CHOICE: Bamboo. It’s more renewable than Cotton.
What About A Cost Comparison?
While it’s true that you can pick up 100% cotton sheets for quite cheap these days, you can expect to pay around $80 for a really good quality set of either cotton or bamboo sheets. If you want really high thread count cotton sheets, expect to pay more again.
MY CHOICE: Bamboo. You can get great quality for a price that is not exorbitant.
So, based on those facts, and how bamboo sheets vs cotton sheets stack up when you compare them, my personal preference and recommendation is for bamboo sheets. I’ve found it very interesting doing the research for this article, because I’ve always been quite happy with my cotton sheets. I guess I didn’t really know any better! Watch this space for a review of some great bamboo sheets I might just have to buy for myself.
Want to read more bedding articles? Check out more of my articles about mattress and bedding accessories here.