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Bamboo vs. Cotton Sheets: What’s the Better Choice for Your Sleep Preferences?

Bamboo vs. Cotton sheets
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Updated October 12, 2023

Figuring out which bed sheets to go with can be its own special project. When it comes to sheets, there are seemingly infinite options from which to choose. You can go with traditional cotton sheets, or you could try something new and invest in bamboo sheets. So, which is better?

In this article, we'll compare bamboo sheets and cotton sheets and dive into the details of what makes each of them unique. We'll also cover the factors that will help you choose, including thread count, comfort, cost, and more. In addition, we'll take a look at just how environmentally friendly both materials are. Once you arrive at the end of this article, you should have a good idea of which type of sheet is right for you for your best night’s sleep.

What are bamboo sheets?

Bamboo sheets are made from a material derived from bamboo plants. Bamboo is an incredibly strong and renewable resource, making it an eco-friendly option for bedding. They tend to be softer than cotton sheets, and they have moisture-wicking properties that can help keep you cool at night.

They are a great option for people with allergies, as they’re hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites. Plus, bamboo sheets keep their shape more easily than cotton sheets and don’t pill over time. Bamboo sheets also come in a variety of colors, patterns, and styles.

Types of bamboo sheets

Bamboo sheets mainly come in three choices—percale, sateen, and twill. These terms refer to the type of weave.

Percale

Percale sheets are lightweight and feature a crisp, cool feel. They tend to be less expensive, but offer great breathability. They are made of a tight weave, making them durable and strong.

Sateen

Sateen sheets are made with a much smoother weave than percale sheets. They have a silky feel to them and are great for people who get hot at night. These sheets also feature a luxurious sheen that gives them an extra elegance.

Twill

Twill sheets have a more pronounced weave than sateen and percale sheets, making them strong and durable. They also provide great breathability, as well as warmth in colder temperatures. Twill sheets come in a wide variety of colors and patterns.

Pros of bamboo sheets:

• Environmentally friendly

• Soft and comfortable

• Hypoallergenic

• Moisture-wicking

• Keep their shape

• Variety of colors, patterns, and styles

Cons of bamboo sheets:

• Prone to wrinkles

• Difficult to clean and maintain

• Generally more expensive than cotton sheets

Best Cooling Bamboo Sheets
Cozy Earth Bamboo Sheets

Cozy Earth Bamboo Sheets

What are cotton sheets?

Cotton is a popular choice for bedding, thanks  to its comfort, breathability, and affordability. The material has been used for centuries as it’s easy to cultivate and produce fabric from it. Cotton sheets are also generally hypoallergenic, making them great for people with allergies.

Types of cotton sheets

There are four main types of cotton sheets—percale, sateen, twill, and jersey. These terms refer to the type of weave as well.

Percale

Percale sheets are known for their crispness and lightweight feel. They are great for those who tend to sleep hot as they provide excellent breathability and airflow. Percale sheets also come in a variety of colors, so they can easily work well with any bedroom décor.

Sateen

These sheets are made with a smoother weave than percale and tend to feel soft and luxurious. They don’t wrinkle as easily as other types of cotton sheets, making them ideal for those who want to avoid wrinkles in their bedding.

Twill

Twill sheets feature a pronounced weave, giving them extra strength and durability. They provide great breathability, and are perfect for those who like to keep their bedding feeling fresh and cool.

Jersey

These sheets have a uniquely soft and flexible texture that’s reminiscent of a t-shirt. They come in a variety of colors and patterns, so they can easily go with any bedroom décor.

Pros of cotton sheets:

• Affordable

• Breathable

• Hypoallergenic

• Variety of colors and styles

Cons of cotton sheets:

• Not as soft as bamboo sheets

• Prone to wrinkles and pilling

• Not as durable as bamboo sheets

Best Affordable Cotton Sheet
Cosy House Luxury Bamboo Bed Sheet Set

Cosy House Luxury Bamboo Bed Sheet Set

How to compare bamboo vs. cotton sheets

When you’re deciding between bamboo and cotton sheets, there are a few key factors to consider.

Thread count

The thread count of your sheets refers to the number of threads per square inch in a sheet. In general, the higher the thread count, the better quality and softer fabric you will receive. Bamboo sheets tend to have a lower thread count compared to cotton sheets—but they can still be incredibly soft and durable.

Durability

Bamboo sheets tend to be more durable than cotton sheets, as they are resistant to pilling and keep their shape over time. Cotton sheets have a shorter lifespan, as they tend to wrinkle easily and are prone to pilling and fading.

Comfort

Both bamboo and cotton sheets can be incredibly comfortable, depending on the thread count and weave of the fabric. Bamboo sheets tend to be softer and more luxurious than cotton, but some people find cotton sheets’ crispness to be more comfortable.

Price

Cotton sheets are generally much more affordable than bamboo sheets due to their accessibility and production costs. However, high-end bamboo sheets can also come with an expensive price tag. Ultimately, it comes down to what you are willing to pay for the comfort and quality of your bedding.

Environmentally friendly

Bamboo fabric is more eco-friendly than cotton, as it requires less water and fewer resources to produce. Bamboo sheets are also biodegradable and produced without the use of harsh chemicals or pesticides.

Coolness factor

Bamboo sheets tend to be cooler than cotton, making them ideal for those who tend to sleep hot. The breathability and wicking properties of the bamboo fabric will keep your bed feeling cool and fresh all night long. In terms of cotton sheets, percale sheets tend to have the coolest feeling while jersey sheets tend to trap heat.  

Which sheets are right for you?

Overall, both bamboo and cotton sheets have their own respective benefits that make them perfect for different people and situations. Consider factors like thread count, durability, comfort, and price when making your decision. Additionally, if you have allergies or are looking for an environmentally-friendly option, bamboo sheets may be the right choice for you.

With a little bit of research and an understanding of your own needs, you can find the perfect sheets to suit your lifestyle. In the end, the best choice is the one that will provide you with the most comfort and quality at your desired price point.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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