If you’re stuck trying to decide between bamboo and cotton sheets, we totally get it. They’re two of the most popular materials used to make bed sheets. What’s more, it can seem like there’s little difference between them: Both are made from plants, and both are known to be comfortable and long-lasting. So how are you supposed to choose between the two?
That’s what this article is all about.
In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about bamboo sheets and cotton sheets. We’ll explain important differences, similarities, and who should use each one.
Bamboo Sheets: Soft, Durable, and Cooling
Bamboo bedding is one of the most luxurious types of bedding you can find. It’s widely renowned for its smooth, silky feel.
As the name suggests, bamboo bed sheets are made from natural fibers of the bamboo plant, which grows incredibly fast without any pesticides or fertilizers. As such, it’s a highly sustainable plant, and bamboo sheets are considered environmentally-friendly.
The strands of bamboo fiber used in bamboo sheets tend to be very long, making the sheets very soft, flexible, and durable. They also have cooling properties. The material is moisture-wicking and breathable, allowing body heat to escape instead of trapping it. Bamboo is a great choice for hot sleepers.
In fact, hot sleepers aren’t the only ones who can benefit from the cooling effects of bamboo sheets. Sleep scientists suggest the ideal temperature for sleeping is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit, but many of us aren’t able to keep our bedrooms that cool, especially during the summer. Bamboo sheets can help you stay cooler throughout the night.
Bamboo is also an excellent choice for those with sensitive skin. It is hypoallergenic, and it has a very gentle feel. Those with skin allergies or other skin sensitivities will love the soothing feel of bamboo fabric. You should always check the washing instructions before cleaning, but properly cared for, bamboo sheets will get even softer over time.
So what’s the catch? Often, the biggest drawback of bamboo sheets is the price. They can be very expensive, and they’re often blended with cheaper fabrics to make them more affordable.
The one exception we can find is our Hush Iced cooling sheets. With 100% organic bamboo, these are luxury bed sheets for a fraction of the price of typical luxury sheets.
At Hush, we’re very picky about our materials. We make sure the bamboo is harvested at just the right time of year to fully capture the bamboo’s natural cooling properties. The end result is one of the most cooling and luxurious bed sheet materials you can find. Thousands of customer reviews agree that our sheets are incredibly cooling and soft.
Another complaint people sometimes have about bamboo is the process used to make it, which sometimes involves harsh chemicals. Many of these chemicals are unnecessary additions added to make cheap bamboo feel nice. We don’t use any unnecessary chemicals in the manufacturing process for Hush Iced sheets.
Instead, we take every precaution possible to make sure our sheets are as environmentally friendly as possible. Only the bare minimum processes are used to make our sheets. Plus, we make sure all the water used during the process is recycled so chemicals aren’t leaked into sensitive areas.
Bamboo linen is another option that avoids chemical processing to make the bamboo fabric, but it’s not considered as soft as viscose bamboo, and it’s less wrinkle-resistant. Bamboo linen is also usually more expensive than viscose bamboo.
Cotton Sheets: Breathable, Comfortable, and Widely Available
Cotton is one of the most popular fabrics used to make bed sheets — as well as clothing, towels, and many other household items. The quality can vary widely, but it is generally known for being very comfortable and breathable.
Unlike bamboo, cotton is often grown with the help of pesticides and fertilizers. If you want more sustainable cotton, you can look for organic cotton, but this tends to cost more.
There are three main types of cotton: Upland cotton, Pima cotton, and Egyptian cotton. Egyptian cotton is typically thought of as the highest-quality cotton, which means Egyptian cotton sheets are often even more expensive than bamboo sheets. Egyptian cotton sheets tend to have longer fibers and are more flexible and durable than other types of cotton.
Pima cotton is also considered a luxurious material. Like Egyptian cotton, it’s grown exclusively in places with warm, dry climates, such as the southwestern US. And like Egyptian cotton, it’s also often hand-picked, which allows the long cotton fibers to maintain their flexibility and durability. Pima cotton is almost always less expensive than Egyptian cotton, with very similar quality.
Finally, the most common type of cotton is Upland cotton. It’s also the cheapest of the different types. The cotton fibers are not as long as those used in Egyptian and Pima cotton, making Upland cotton less strong and durable. It generally won’t last as long as the more expensive types of cotton. It does have a soft feel, but it’s not as luxurious as the other types.
While a lot depends on the type of cotton used to make sheets, cotton sheets overall tend to be very comfortable and durable. They’re easy to care for, and they can usually withstand repeated washing. They also tend to be breathable, but don’t expect them to be as cooling as bamboo sheets.
Bamboo vs Cotton Sheets: How to Choose
So, how do cotton and bamboo compare to each other? As we’ve seen, bamboo is the more luxurious choice, though it’s generally more expensive. However, Egyptian cotton is even more expensive than bamboo.
Upland cotton is the least expensive of these materials, so this may be the best choice for those on a budget. If you’re interested in trying bamboo but don’t want to spend a lot, you can also try a bamboo and cotton blend, which will generally be less expensive than pure bamboo.
If you have sensitive skin or are a hot sleeper, bamboo is the superior choice. It’ll keep you cooler than cotton will, and it’s hypoallergenic and very soothing to the touch. Cotton is also breathable and soft, especially high quality cotton, but not as much as bamboo.
Those who prefer to buy organic may also prefer bamboo. While you can find organic cotton, it’s not as easy to grow as bamboo and thus not as sustainable. Bamboo is a great choice for the environmentally-conscious, since it’s so easy and sustainable to grow. If you’d like to test out high-quality bamboo sheets, check out our Hush Iced sheets.
Of course, apart from the type of fabric, there are other important things to consider when choosing a new set of sheets. For instance, thread count is one of the main factors that determines how soft, durable, and luxurious a set of sheets will feel. A high thread count generally means more softness and durability.
Our Hush Iced sheets have a thread count of 300, but because our bamboo has longer fibers than cotton, it feels more like a 1,500 thread count. In general, cotton sheets need a higher thread count to be comparable to bamboo sheets.
Another important factor that affects quality is the blend of fabrics. Many bed sheets that call themselves “bamboo sheets” or “cotton sheets” actually contain a blend of different materials. For instance, cotton often has polyester added to it to make it cheaper. Polyester is a synthetic fabric made from petroleum byproducts, and it’s less soft and comfortable than cotton.
Similarly, cotton is often added to bamboo sheets to make them cheaper, but this also makes them less luxurious and durable. At Hush, we use 100% organic bamboo and nothing else. You can be sure when you buy a set of Hush Iced cooling sheets that you’re getting pure bamboo, for a fraction of the price of a typical set of luxury bamboo sheets.