The Battle of the Bedroom Sheets: Bamboo Vs. Cotton

I don’t think there is a person in this world who would deny that at the end of a long and exhausting day, sliding into your comfortable bed outfitted with smooth and soft sheets that caress your skin is one of life’s biggest pleasures. After all, you spend almost 1/3 of your life among those sheets, so why settle for anything less than the best? While choosing your favorite colour may be a piece of cake, choosing the right fabric will require some thoughtful consideration. Luckily, you are in good company here – we made a comprehensive list of the properties of the finest bed sheet materials currently on the market – bamboo, and cotton to help you choose the most suitable option for you.

But first, let’s talk about one of the details that matter most in a bed sheet – the thread count. This refers to the number of horizontal and vertical threads per square inch in a woven fabric. So, when buying a sheet, what you should look for is the highest thread count as this usually means a smoother and more durable fabric. Generally, it needs to be higher than 200 for a bed sheet to be considered of good quality. Average top quality sheets have a thread count of 200-300, while a 400-600 thread count is the norm for top quality bed sheets.

However, some merchants tend to inflate the thread count with the sole purpose of increasing their sales. So, make sure to not be fooled by this. Sometimes the quality of the yarn may be poor even though the thread count is high, which is why you should not base your decision solely on it. Fabric quality also matters.

Bamboo Bed Sheets

Often blended with cotton or other materials, bamboo bed sheets have been in the spotlight in the past couple of years. And for some very good reasons – bamboo is naturally antimicrobial, sustainable and wicks moisture very well. It is softer than cotton with a texture that is similar to a blend of silk and cashmere. And since the cross-section of the fiber is full of different micro-holes and micro-gaps, bamboo bed sheets have a much better ventilation and absorption than cotton has.

Furthermore, the natural antibacterial elements in bamboo make bacteria steer away from this fabric, which will make sinking in the layers of comfort of your bamboo bed sheets that much more enjoyable. It absorbs and evaporates human sweat in a second, making you feel cool and comfortable. And the best part of it all – it does not stick to your skin even in the hottest of summer days, which we in Australia have in abundance.

On the negative side, all these excellent properties do come at a higher price. On the search for the perfect bed sheets for your bedroom you will realize how greatly the prices may vary. Do not be surprised though, better ask yourself why the rest of the options are so cheap rather than why bamboo bed sheets come at the price they do. Quality speaks for itself!

Cotton Bed Sheets

This natural, soft fiber that’s grown from the cotton plant has been used in textiles for a very long time due to its great features. It is lightweight, soft, and breathable. Plus, it is easy to maintain and it is very durable, which is why besides bamboo, it is one of the most common choices for bedding and sleepwear.

It comes in three different varieties – Pima, American Upland, and Egyptian. The most widely used cotton is the American Upland and it can be short – to long-staple (staple refers to the length of the individual fibers). If you see a label reading “100% cotton” it is most likely American Upland. Pima is a long-staple and fine cotton which provides a very soft weave. Being grown in the Nille River Valley, Egyptian cotton is the finest and the longest-staple out of all cotton kinds. It produces a supple and extremely soft weave.

However, setting apart all of cotton’s wonderful properties, it is worth noting that cotton does not insulate well. So, if you tend to get cold at night, you should have a blanket by your side, or opt for another type of bed sheet that will be more insulating and more suitable for your needs and preferences. Plus, cotton tends to absorb a lot of moisture, so if you sweat a lot while sleeping, your bed sheets will keep the moisture pressed against your skin, causing you discomfort and creating home for bacteria.

Bottom line is, before buying, determine your preferences regarding the 3 F’s: Finish, Fibre and Feel. Thread count is not the only number that matters – consider the weave of the fibre, the finish of the material, and the way the fabric of the bed sheets feels on your skin – to make the purchase that will make your bed your favourite place to be.