The Pros and Cons of Bamboo Sheets
As you grow older, you realise a couple of things that are essential to a good living: a balanced meal and good sleep. Sure, we all cheat often on our diets and hey, adulting isn’t supposed to be a cake walk with candies and ice creams all the time. While we can’t help you with a diet plan, we sure can let you in on a life-changing secret for a good night’s sleep: bamboo bed sheets.
Yup, you heard that right. Those wildly growing bamboo trees actually make for some really sweet baby soft sheets that will comfort you all night long. From organic bamboo duvet covers, to bamboo toppers, bamboo bedding and now bamboo bed sheets have gained quite the following in Australia in recent years owing to its luxurious feel and eco-friendliness.
What Are Bamboo Sheets?
Similar to cotton in their soft texture, bamboo sheets are made of layers of lyocell, rayon or modal fabric that is extracted from bamboo fibers. They last longer than regular bedsheets and are made of breathable fabric, which ensures comfort.
As bamboo plants grow wildly and do not need high maintenance such as irrigation, fertilizers and pesticides, bamboo sheets are one of the most eco-friendly fabrics.
Types Of Bamboo Fabrics
You can make different types of fabrics from bamboo and here’s a look at three that can be turned into sheets, pillows and other bedding materials.
1) Bamboo Linen
The woody part of the bamboo along with leaves are crushed mechanically and then broken down with enzymes. It then undergoes a process called “retting”, where it is soaked in water to soften and then washed. This leaves you with a fabric called bamboo linen.
Of the three types of bamboo fabric, this one is the most durable and softer than Egyptian cotton sheets and hence, one of the most expensive ones.
2) Bamboo Rayon
Most of the bamboo sheets are made of bamboo rayon, also known as bamboo viscose. It is made via an intensive chemical process that involves carbon sulfide, which is a known toxin. The process pollutes the environment and is harmful to workers and local communities that are in close contact with such manufacturing. Bamboo rayon isn’t an eco-friendly product like its alternatives.
They are however, incredibly soft, absorb dyes quickly and hypoallergenic. They are also cheaper than the other two bamboo sheet options.
3) Bamboo Modal
This is made with the same chemically intensive process as rayon, butin the final stage it is put through an extra step of processing to make them stretchy. This makes the final fabric much lighter than rayon and increases its durability. They serve as excellent fabric for athletic wear as they are described as one of the softest fibers in the world and are light as a feather. However, if you are looking to turn these into bedsheets, then think again, as they are too airy and thin to offer cosy comfort.
Most bamboo sheets are a range between bamboo rayon and bamboo linen. Depending on its manufacturing and processing on the fabric, the prices vary.
How Do Bamboo Sheets Compare to Cotton?
Here are a few reasons why bamboo sheets trump over traditional cotton ones.
- Sustainable farming practices: Bamboo cultivation is eco-friendlier than cotton as bamboo grows in the wild without any additional need for chemicals or pesticides. You get more fabric out of a single bamboo than what you get for cotton. They also hold on to the soil strongly, preventing soil erosion, supporting the natural flora and fauna of their ecosystem.
- Durability: Cotton sheets experience wear and tear quite easily as the fabric has weaker bonds than bamboo ones.
- Shrinkage: Cotton has this tendency to shrink slightly with every wash. This is not the case with bamboo that stays true to its size from the day you buy it.
- Sensitive skin: While cotton is also a great option for those with sensitive skin, premium quality bamboo sheets feel softer and with its hypoallergenic properties are a better alternative for those with sensitive skin.
Are Bamboo Sheets worth the hype or price?
Well, that depends. Do you enjoy how luxurious high-end Egyptian cotton sheets feel against your body? Well, then you will love bamboo sheets too. They are super comfy and are made of organic materials that are borne out of sustainable agricultural practices.
Yes, they are quite expensive, but the value they deliver to your sleep lasts years. They are super durable and will stay fresh and new for several years, as long as you wash them gently and don’t stuff it in the dryer for too long.
If you have been worried about spending terribly nights tossing and turning, then it’s time to switch those sheets to smooth and cozy bamboo ones. They are definitely one of the most popular options along with cotton in the market right now. Read our guide to the best bamboo sheets in Australia right now.
But before you jump into a decision, take a look at our list of the advantages and shortcomings of bamboo sheets and then take a call on whether these would suit you best.
Pros of Bamboo Sheets: Ultimate benefits
Bamboo-based fabrics offer plenty of benefits, from being soft to touch, breathable to wrinkle-resistance and more. Here we discuss the top benefits of bamboo sheets:
- Softer: Popular for their super soft texture, bamboo sheets make you feel cozy and help you enjoy a comfortable sleep at night.
- Temperature control: You know how your body needs a cool temperature at night to sleep well? Well, bamboo sheets are made of breathable fabric that will regulate the heat exchanges and keep you cool all night long.
- Hypoallergenic: Known to have antibacterial properties, bamboo sheets are great for those who struggle with multiple allergies. Made out of natural organic material, they are hypoallergenic and thus are ideal for those with sensitive skin.
- Sustainable farming: Bamboo plants regenerate themselves quickly after harvesting and require a minimum water supply and zero pesticides to grow well. They absorb five times more carbon dioxide than most trees and release 35% more oxygen.
- Odour Resistant: A lot of people sweat at night and the smell or moisture in the sheets could eventually wake them up. However, bamboo sheets resist odour caused by night sweats and also wick moisture, ensuring a good night’s rest.
- Durable: Bamboo sheets are in it for the long haul. They aren’t prone to wear and tear as much as your regular cotton sheets are.
Now that you are caught up on all the advantages of bamboo sheets, here’s a deep dive into the cons.
Cons of Bamboo Sheets:
While bamboo is an excellent fabric but it has its own demerits, as discussed below:
- Expensive: They are costlier than your regular cotton bed sheets as they last longer and are definitely a long term investment towards a good night’s sleep.
- Maintenance: If there’s one thing you need to be careful about with bamboo sheets, then it is this: they need special care. Wash it in a gentle cycle in cold water and do not let it stay in the dryer too long.
- Wrinkles easily: Post washing and drying, bamboo sheets wrinkle quite easily. Hence, it is important that you dry them by hanging them flat on the clothing line or iron it at a low temperature after air drying.
As it is clear now, that with great advantages, bamboo sheets come with greater responsibilities and if you treat them right, they will last you for several years.
Are Bamboo Sheets Truly Eco-friendly?
If you are opting for bamboo sheets purely because you want to be an ethical consumer that invests in environmentally-friendly products, then there are a few things you must pay attention to, from its cultivation to processing.
In broader terms, they are made from a regenerative plant, which makes them sustainable and eco-friendly. However, large scale agriculture of bamboo isn’t always eco-friendly as at times farmers clear out natural forest habitats to make room for cultivation of bamboo farms.
The fabric that makes your bamboo sheet is in fact rayon, which is a synthetic textile processed from bamboo plant cellulose that undergoes a chemical princess to be spun into a yarn. It is then dyed and coated for finishing.
The chemical process that turns hard bamboo fibre into soft fabric involves sulfuric acid that also pollutes the environment. Bamboo does not offer usable natural fibres, like cotton does and the processing part of the fabric makes it a less eco-friendly option.
From bamboo blend sheets to pure linen ones, the world of bamboo sheets has something for everyone, depending on your needs and budget. The silky soft texture and vegan make can easily persuade you into making a purchase and last you several years as long as you handle them gently and responsibly.
However, it is important that you check the tag to know what your bamboo sheets are made of and whether it was sourced ethically, because while bamboos are magical plants that are eco-friendly, you do not want to end up paying crazy only to be bamboozled later.
Make sure you pick the ones with correct eco credentials and research well to ensure the manufacturers are committed to fair and ethical labour practices. With all that ensured, you can be sure to pick a good quality bamboo sheet that will make you feel better about yourself and offer you a good night’s sleep.