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Bamboo vs Cotton Sheets: Which one is best for you?
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The bamboo sheet facing the cotton sheet


Bamboo vs Cotton Sheets: Which one is best for you?

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Have you ever wondered which type of sheets is best for you?

In a head-to-head competition involving bamboo versus cotton sheets, you may be surprised which one has the most value and the most benefits for your sleep needs.

In this article, your mattress specialist at Polysleep explores the bamboo versus cotton sheets debate in a breakdown of the benefits of both, so that you can decide for yourself which one has the most to offer for you.


What are cotton bed sheets?


A cotton flower placed on a pale blue bed sheet


Cotton sheets are made from fibers derived from the cotton plant. They are usually soft and durable.

People often like them because they have easy care requirements. Of course, they are also known to “pill”, and have some quality issues when you purchase lower thread count sheets.

With cotton sheets, the price often correlates directly with their quality.


What are bamboo bed sheets?


Close up of a white bamboo sheet


These sheets are made with fibers derived from the bamboo plant.

The manufacturing process determines the types of bamboo sheets you’re purchasing.

It’s always important to understand the quality of the materials and the manufacturing process used when purchasing bamboo sheets.


Bamboo vs. Cotton


The bamboo sheet facing the cotton bed sheet


In a direct comparison of bamboo versus cotton sheets, this is how the two line up for the following categories.

Thread count

In general, bamboo is softer than most materials. That being said, cotton sheets with the highest thread count, such as Egyptian cotton sheets, are considered high-end sheets.


For the most part, bamboo is softer than low-cost or low-quality cotton sheets. However, many people find high-end cotton sheets comparable to bamboo sheets.

Coolness factor

This isn’t about how cool you’ll look when buying sheets, but how cool the sheets will actually keep you while you sleep. In this comparison, you’ll find that you must pay considerably more for breathable cotton sheets than for breathable (and subsequently cooler) bamboo sets. However, some people claim that quality cotton sheets sleep cooler than bamboo. It may be a matter of beauty being in the eye of the beholder for this one.


Bamboo sheet sets tend to be more durable, if you follow the care instructions for your sheets to the letter. If you want easier care, then cotton may be the better option for you. Also, worth mentioning is the fact that cotton sheets tend to get softer with time. Many people prefer the softened cotton sheets to fresh new ones.


Most bamboo is grown without the assistance of pesticides and fertilizers making them a better choice for your health unless you’re willing to pay a little extra for organic cotton sheets instead.

Environmentally friendly

Because cotton growers notoriously use pesticides and chemical fertilizers when growing their plants, the impact on the environment is much more significant for all but organic cotton sheets.


The cost of cotton sheets varies greatly depending on the quality of the sheets and the materials used to make them. Bamboo sheets cost slightly more than low-quality cotton sheets but considerably less than high-quality cotton sheets.

As you can see, there are many differences between the two types of sheets on the issues listed above.


What are the different cotton types?


Two different cotton sheets on a bed


Cotton sheets are made with different types of cotton. Knowing the differences between them can help you choose the softest, most luxurious cotton sheets possible.


Composed of extra-long staples, Egyptian sheets are softer, more durable, and costlier than other types of cotton sheets and are known for their softness and luxuriousness.


Pima cotton is known for its strength, softness, and durability when it comes to cotton sheets. It is made with extra-long cotton fibers and is stronger than standard cotton you’ll find around the world.


Many consider Supima cotton to be comparable, if not superior to Egyptian cotton. Supima combines modern spinning methods with the strength of Pima cotton making it one of the most highly prized cotton products in the world.

If you’re in the market for cotton sheets, you want sheets made from one of these three types of cotton fibers.


Cotton weaves


You should also spend a little time learning about various cotton weaves to understand which has the most to offer if you want greater comfort from your sheets.


Percale sheets are known for being cool, crisp, and breathable. They are the perfect choice for the heat of the summer and even year-round in warmer climates.


Sateen sheets offer a silkier surface than percale and are woven tighter to provide more warmth in winter weather, while still offering luxurious softness and a silky surface.


If you’re looking for something a little cozier or better designed for warmth in winter, flannel may be your new best friend. It is extremely soft and makes your bed quite cozy and warm.

Knowing the differences in the weaves can help you make the right choice for the season and your sleep preferences.


What are the different types of bamboo fiber?


Just as there are different types of cotton fibers, there are also different types of bamboo fibers. This is how they’re broken down.

Rayon / viscose

This is a “regenerated” bamboo fiber that features the antimicrobial properties bamboo is famous for. It is both strong and soft and highly affordable. Unfortunately, there are many chemicals used in the reconstitution process that are quite toxic.

Tencel bamboo (lyocell)

Made in a much more environmentally and health-friendly manner, lyocell bamboo is known for its softness and durability. However, it is more difficult to care for as these sheets cannot be placed in the dryer.


A rolled-up Tencel type bamboo sheet


Bamboo linen

Linen is a rarer form of bamboo sheets that are made without chemicals at all. This is the best option for environmentally conscious and chemical-sensitive consumers interested in bamboo sheets.

Bamboo does present an interesting alternative to cotton sheets, but only if you get the right type. If you’re shopping for one of Polysleep’s mattresses, make sure you choose one that takes advantage of the amazing Polysleep breathability.

Learn more: Mattress Dimensions

The different Polysleep mattress layers


Care Tips


Whichever type of sheets you choose for your Polysleep mattress, make sure you care for them properly to get the greatest value from your investment.

Wash your bamboo sheets separately, in cold water, and on the gentle cycle. Use a mild detergent for washing them and dry them on a line rather than in a machine.

Cotton sheets are not as difficult to care for. Throw them in your washer with your favorite laundry detergent and then dry them on warm or line dry them, if possible. Remove them from the dryer quickly to avoid wrinkles.


Are bamboo sheets worth it?


Ultimately, it’s a matter of personal preference. Some people prefer the look and feel of bamboo (they do drape nicely), while others prefer the cool crispness of percale cotton sheets.

Either way, focus on quality when purchasing sheets above all else to enjoy sheets that will stand the many tests of time.

Learn more about the Polysleep mattress!

Woman Sitting On Polysleep Bed Shopping On Her Laptop

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