Today we'll be covering the debate on bamboo verses Egyptian cotton sheets. We will look at the pro's and cons of each of these fabrics used as sheets, and I will attempt to look at things a bit different than most would.
Here are some of the main topics we will cover today.
- Earth friendly
- Wear patterns
- Ready to get started?
Are Egyptian cotton or Bamboo sheets more Eco-Friendly?
The claims all go to bamboo sheets, but are they justified? Some may argue that since a high quality set of Egyptian cotton sheets can last you upwards of 20 years and many have lasted 30 to 50 years if cared for properly and rotated out with another set each week. Pretty impressive. You can read more on detail in this guide to bamboo sheets on Luxury of the Pharaohs.
The reason I brought this up is the argument of the fertilizers, pesticides, and water used to grow cotton is not green and much more of a burden on the Eco-system than bamboo sheets. The problem I have is that bamboo sheets are not actually made from bamboo, it's made from the cellulose of bamboo. It's not a fiber based substance, it's just cellulose that goes through a chemical change into rayon.
I am not sure if you've looked at the history of rayon, but it's not pretty and now they have similar systems that are closed, which cause less environmental issues than in the past. It takes years to validate science in the real world, however.
The claims that bamboo just grows back on its own is correct, it's also correct that no pesticides or fertilizers are needed with bamboo. No arguments here, but what about longevity?
A great set of bamboo sheets may last you 10 years if you're lucky and pay close attention to care of the sheets. This is if you buy bamboo viscose sheets, which are the cream of the crop when it comes to bamboo sheets. But when you buy other types, you'll be lucky to get 5 years if you care for them properly. There is a lot more to this debate, you can read more on Egyptian cotton vs bamboo sheets here: http://luxuryofthepharaohs.com/egyptian-vs-bamboo-sheets/
Is bamboo or Egyptian cotton more comfortable?
This is a toss up.
Let me explain.
Weaves, or the types of weaves plays an important role in the comfort of sheets. Some like crisp sheets, like Egyptian cotton in a percale weave. They soften up, but are heavy and more crisp than sateen woven sheets made from the same Egyptian cotton.
Thread counts matter with Egyptian cotton. If you are looking at Egyptian cotton with over an 800 thread count, you had better check for fake Egyptian cotton.
Bamboo sheets are made of Rayon, a thin thread that weaves well together. It's light, super smooth and very comforting, but hard to find a crisp set of sheets made from Rayon.
Wear patterns of Egyptian cotton and Bamboo sheets
Wear and tear are the two main factors in this comparison. Since bamboo sheets are legally rayon by definition, their thread being much smaller and thinner, you see wear patterns pretty fast. This is not the case with Egyptian cotton.
Which is healthier for people with allergies?
That goes to bamboo sheets. There is no denying that rayon makes life hard and short for bacteria. Very few have allergic reactions to cotton in any manner, but even fewer have reactions to bamboo. It's thought that since rayon is a thinner thread, it breathes better, allowing for odors to pass away in the breeze.
What about price comparisons?
This topic is almost humorous since a full set of the most coveted Egyptian cotton sheets in the world, known as Giza 45 can set you back 3,500.00 to over 8,000.00 for a complete bed-set. This would include the top sheet, fitted sheet, pillowcases, duvet cover and the duvets for all 3 climates we encounter throughout a complete year.
Bamboo sheets? You'll have a trying day finding a set over 300 dollars. Most of your really quality and high end brands cap out between 200 and 250 dollars max. Most sets are under 100 bucks and most of them are below 50 dollars for a complete set, including pillowcases, fitted sheet and top sheet.