A poor night’s sleep is equivalent to starting the day on the wrong foot. To live productively and healthfully, a lot depends on a good night’s sleep. You need to prioritize sleep in your life: It has the power to make or break every moment you’re awake! That said, we often hesitate to try new things that may potentially benefit us, which isn’t entirely irrational. We want to avoid gimmicks and resist self-interested marketing forces.
Bamboo bedding is unique. It should be treated as an alternative to cotton, microfiber, cashmere, and other textiles. It isn’t like any of these materials and has its own feel and personality. Bamboo is in its own category, and it may not be the highest quality or appeal to everyone. But if sleeping on weightless silk sounds appealing, keep reading.
Bamboo has a lot going for it. Most versions are hypoallergenic, non-toxic, breathable, soft, silky, and lightweight. But not all of them have the same qualities and there are loads of options to choose from! Each product in this list has been carefully analyzed. The prices shown represent the queen size, which tends to be the best selling. Naturally, different sizes have different prices. Also, we gave “blended” sheets that aren’t 100% bamboo a lower ranking.
Softest: Cariloha Resort Bamboo Sheets
Can’t get enough of that weightless feeling? Do you have sensitive skin? These sheets are the gentlest and most luxurious you’re likely to find. More about Cariloha here.
For those who crave the finer things in life, these sheets are the pièce de résistance of the bamboo world. A higher end version of their Classic bamboo sheets, the Resort sheets boast a thread count of 400. That thread count is high for bamboo sheets, and customers report these sheets outperform cotton sheets with thread counts up to 1,000.
The price tag is daunting, and customers report they are thinner than they expect, but it’s hard to argue with performance. Not only are they absurdly soft, but Cariloha claims they sleep three degrees cooler than cotton sheets in the same price range. While the details of how this claim was tested are obscure, customers swear these sheets give them the coolest nights they’ve ever had.
Add Cariloha’s lifetime quality guarantee, and that price tag starts to look reasonable. Simply turn in your old Cariloha sheets — even years after you bought them — and Cariloha will replace them.
What is bamboo viscose/rayon?
When you hear “bamboo sheets” you likely don’t picture anything soft, and you might wonder if they will give you splinters — or if a panda will eat them off your bed.
To understand bamboo sheets, you need to understand viscose or rayon, which are the same thing. Viscose does not describe a material but a process. The viscose process turns a material that isn’t naturally made of threads or fibers into a fabric.
In the case of bamboo, this process is done by cutting the stalks, breaking them into smaller pieces, and dissolving them in a chemical solution. Once dissolved, the solution is streamed into fibers and cooled. These fibers are then spun into threads and woven into fabric. Not only can sheets be made of bamboo viscose, but so can shirts, underwear, etc.
The benefits of bamboo sheets
Bamboo has a lot to offer. Whether your agenda is comfort or going green, bamboo sheets have many benefits.
1. Environmentally friendly
Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants on the planet — up to three feet per day! When harvested, bamboo is cut at the base rather than pulled up from the root, allowing new stalks to grow from existing roots. Bamboo is a naturally renewable resource, excellent for soil conservation, and does not require protection with pesticides. It also requires merely a third as much water as cotton and consumes five times as many greenhouse gases as similar trees. There aren’t many resources more eco-responsible than bamboo!
Bamboo sheets wick excess moisture at twice the rate of cotton, making them ideal for a dry sleep. Less moisture means bacteria can’t grow as easily. When compared to cotton or cashmere, bamboo is the healthier choice.
Bamboo is much softer than cotton or cashmere. So much so that the thread count seldom needs to exceed 300. A bamboo sheet with a thread count of 300 is softer than an Egyptian cotton sheet with a thread count of 500 or higher. While bamboo sheets tend to be pricier, they are much more comfortable than a cotton alternative in the same price range.
4. Temperature regulating
Because they are so effective at wicking away moisture, bamboo sheets greatly reduce humidity, which is the leading culprit for extreme temperatures. By eliminating humidity, bamboo sheets do a better job of keeping you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Some tests show that in the summer, bamboo sheets are as much as three degrees cooler than cotton.
What to expect
If this is your first time purchasing bamboo sheets, there are some things you should know. Remember, bamboo sheets offer specific qualities, but that does not mean they are necessarily better. You might dislike the silky, weightless feeling of bamboo if you generally prefer weighted, textured bedding that creates a snug, “nested” feeling.
The purpose of this section is to clarify the distinction between a flaw and a characteristic. Many new buyers complain about the traits below because they have the wrong set of expectations. Here’s what you should expect:
Bamboo sheets have little weight to them and drape over your body like a fine mist. They have a lot of give, so think of it like sleeping under a parachute canvas.
While some brands of bamboo sheets are thinner than others, they are thinner than traditional bed sheets across the board. Don’t be surprised when your sheets arrive and you can see right through them. While it’s not necessarily a sign of low quality, it does make them less durable than other fabrics.
Bamboo sheets lack texture. They are smooth and slippery and some sleepers have difficulty keeping them around their bodies. A chronic flaw with bamboo sheets is keeping them from crawling off the mattress. Look for fitted sheets with deep pockets or oversized dimensions.
Owning bamboo sheets requires some extra work and special care, particularly when washing and drying. Stray from the care instructions, and your sheets will immediately begin pilling, fraying, or shrinking. Bamboo sheets blended with other fabrics (usually microfiber) tend to be lower maintenance but also lower in quality.
Bamboo sheets wrinkle quickly, particularly if you don’t put them on your bed immediately after taking them out of the dryer. But they wrinkle after you sleep in them, anyhow. If aesthetics are important to you, keep this issue in mind.
Bamboo sheets are almost always pricier than other sheets of similar quality. Cheaper versions tend to be blends of bamboo and another material, usually microfiber. If you want the pure stuff, be willing to lay down a bit of cash.
Bamboo cannot be compared to or judged like other textiles, so we place a premium on qualities that really make bamboo distinct. Below is our criteria for judging bamboo:
Soft: Is the textile gentle to the touch?
Silky: Is the textile smooth, liquid, with a slippery sheen?
Light: Is the textile heavy, or does it drape like a cloud?
Temperature regulation: Does the textile effectively distribute body heat, promoting cooler sleep in warm weather and warmer sleep in cold weather?
Beauty: Does the product have a distinctive sheen, multiple color options, wrinkle resistance, etc.?
Price: Is the product fairly or competitively priced?
Health: Is the material hypoallergenic? Antimicrobial?
Warranty: How long is the warranty, and what does it tell us about the product?
Reviews: How are the sleeping experiences of users? Are they positive?
Read the rest of the review and more from Rave Reviews here.