Are BAMBOO sheets the new Egyptian cotton? A self-confessed ‘sweaty sleeper’ gets into bed with the silky linen that costs less than its high-end rival – but can it really match up?
Egyptian cotton has long been regarded as the ultimate luxury when it comes to bed linen, but finally it has a contender.
Strange as it may seem, sheets crafted from bamboo have been rising in popularity of late among comfort connoisseurs; hailed for their good value, silky soft feel, and anti-microbial qualities – perfect for sweaty sleepers.
Being a rather hot sleeper myself, and with a history of making rash purchases of Egyptian cotton, I am delighted to report that after testing four brands myself, I am a total bamboo convert, and here’s why.
Egyptian cotton varies in plushness mainly according to its thread count, with a higher count (more threads per square inch) coming at a much higher price.
A top-of-the-line set of Queen-sized 1,000-thread-count sheets crafted from Egyptian cotton can cost eye-watering sums of up to £1,600 ($1,779), but you can get much lower-quality versions for around £50 ($56).
Bamboo sheets vary much less in price, starting at around £80 ($89)for a double duvet set and running up to £150 ($167) for the creme-de-la-creme options.
Compared to the Egyptian cotton sheets I own, which cost several hundred pounds, all the brands I tested felt three times as soft, and cost more in the region of £100 ($112).
Almost creamy in texture, the fabric felt notably cooler against my skin than Egyptian cotton – bamboo being naturally three degrees lower in temperature – meaning I woke up the next morning a lot less clammy than usual.
It’s no surprise, therefore, that bamboo bed linen has been popular in hot, humid countries for some time now.
Another reason it is gaining fast popularity elsewhere in the world now, in part, is because it appeals to eco-conscious consumers.
BEST BAMBOO SHEETS FOR YOUR BUCK
Ettitude: Considering these were the cheapest sheets I tested, costing £78 ($87) for a queen set, I was impressed with how luscious they were. After several washes, the satin feel gave way to more of a brushed cotton texture, but have remained significantly softer than standard cotton. Ettitude – which also incorporates charcoal into the fabric to absorb odour – claims its 300 thread count sheets are equivalent to 1000 count cotton, and I have to say I agree. 9/10
Between the sheets: These were, and have remained, super soft, but felt less silky and more breathable than the others I tested. Probably for that reason, I really noticed how much cooler I felt sleeping in them. At £119 ($132) for double set, they were a little on the steep side, but worth it for particularly sweaty sleepers. 8/10
All Bamboo: Reasonably priced at £90 ($100) for a double set, these sheets felt like a happy medium between silky and cotton-like, and scored highest on the moisture-wicking front. Better than holding up after repeated washing, they actually appear to be getting softer each time. Only available in white. 8/10
Cariloha: At the top end of the price range, costing £170 ($189) for a queen set, these sheets certainly felt the most luxurious. Wash after wash, they retained an almost creamy satin consistency. Available in a wide range of colours, this American brand also manufactures bamboo clothing, and if you’re willing to part with the extra cash, it’s worth it to feel like you’re snoozing in 5-star hotel bed linen every night. 10/10
Bamboo, not a wood but actually a grass, is touted as being one of the most sustainable plants used in farming, since it grows at such a fast rate.
While the cotton production industry is labour intensive and involves a lot of fresh water, the fibre yield per-acre from bamboo is up to 10 times higher, requiring up to 20 times less water.
Another string to its bow?
Bamboo is naturally hypoallergenic, making it a popular choice for those with skin conditions including eczema; and has antibacterial, anti-fungal, and deodorizing properties, meaning they stay fresh for longer.
Finally, having slept on bamboo sheets for almost six months now, I can attest to the claim that they don’t lose their silky quality after repeated washing.