by David Le Blanc
Whether you’re buying sheets for your new bed or giving your old one a makeover, you’ve probably already realized that there are a lot to choose from these days. It can be a bit overwhelming to some buyers, which can lead to frustration and the purchase of a set of sheets that isn’t what they were looking for. That’s why we’ve put together a guide comparing bamboo, cotton, and eucalyptus sheets. That way, you can make a more informed decision when shopping online or in the store.
Introduction To the Sheets
Before we get into the caparisons, we wanted to cover each of the three choices to ensure that we’re all on the same page for each type of sheet.
We’ll start with the classic. Cotton sheets have been around ever since people first started using them. They’re the granddaddy of the industry, and for good a reason too. They are quite versatile and come in many different forms due to the fact that they can easily blend with other fabrics.
Sheets made out of bamboo are significantly more challenging to create, requiring many different resources and chemical mixtures to put together. However, they are a great choice since bamboo is so plentiful and grows extremely fast when compared to other plants.
Now it’s time to introduce the newcomer to the competition. Eucalyptus sheets aren’t brand new by any means, but they are the most recent to join the market and have been taking it by storm. You might also see them referred to as lyocell sheets, but since they come from eucalyptus trees, that’s how we’ll refer to them.
Now it’s time to start comparing bamboo, cotton, and eucalyptus sheets. First off, we’ll begin with the thing that people are most concerned with when buying new sheets: the thread count. For those who don’t know, the thread count equates to the level of comfort that the sheets typically give. While it’s not the only factor you should consider, it’s one of the easiest to define.
When it comes to cotton, you’re going to want to go as high as you can on the thread count to achieve the maximum coziness level possible. Some people insist on getting ones in the thousands.
While options like that exist for bamboo and eucalyptus as well, going that high would be overkill. Both of these types are naturally more comfortable, with bamboo only needing thread counts of 300 to 400 and eucalyptus needing 300 to 500. The most significant difference between the two is that bamboo is inherently softer while eucalyptus is more luxurious in feel.
How They Feel To the Touch
If you want to focus more on factors other than thread count, you’re probably curious how each of them feels to the touch, especially if you’re shopping online. To start, cotton sheets have a stiffer, crisper feel to them. While that might not sound desirable to some of you, there are others who love that feeling. As we previously mentioned, bamboo is insanely soft when pressed up against your skin. Lastly, the eucalyptus sheets are best compared to silk if you’ve never felt them before.
Level of Breathability
All three of these types of sheets can have a breathable feeling depending on how they’re made. If you were to pick the most unaltered version of each type, eucalyptus would probably win in this category. They are naturally cool to the touch and can easily wick away moisture, which are both excellent pluses for hot sleepers. While sheets made specifically for people who sweat a lot in their sleep are usually the better choice, eucalyptus is a comparable choice without even trying.
When it comes to the breathability of bamboo vs. cotton, bamboo is the better choice. However, as most sheets are very breathable these days, it’s a pretty tight race for the top position.
Durability and Longevity
Now it’s time for the other key factor of sheets, which is how long they will last. The most comfortable sheets in the world are practically useless if they start falling apart after a year of use. If you’re one of those people who aren’t very good at taking care of their sheets, cotton will be your best bet. They can take quite the beating and still last for five to ten years. However, if you take good care of your bamboo or eucalyptus ones, they can typically last just as long.
What does taking care of them entail, though? Other than not being too rough with your sheets while you sleep, there are a few other things to consider. The first is how you wash them. Washing cotton sheets is pretty straightforward. You can pretty much use a washer and dryer as normal, except that you might want to use a light tumble dry for them.
On the other hand, eucalyptus and bamboo sheets need to avoid heat at all costs. They should be washed in a cold cycle and hung out to dry instead of running them through the hot dryer. As a side note, eucalyptus should never be cleaned with bleach since it quickly degrades the fibers that hold it together.
The other main thing you should do to increase longevity is to make your bed every morning. We know this can be a struggle some mornings, but it really makes a difference. Cotton and bamboo are prone to wrinkling, which can damage them slowly over time. If you know that you’re not good about making your bed, you should try out eucalyptus since it’s much less likely to wrinkle.
While comfortable sheets can lead to a better night’s rest and help your health in the long run, the primary health concern with sheets is how hypoallergenic they are. If you have bad allergies, you should try to avoid cotton because it can attract mold, mildew, and dust much more than eucalyptus and bamboo. On top of not attracting those, these eucalyptus and bamboo sheets also have natural antifungal and antibacterial properties.
When compared to eucalyptus and bamboo, cotton sheets have the most significant environmental impact by far. Cotton production requires thousands of gallons of water, which is much higher than the other two types. Plus, it takes up a decent chunk of the world’s usable land for growing crops. Even though bamboo uses way less water, its crafting process uses many toxic chemicals, which can harm the planet if disposed of improperly.
Eucalyptus is the best choice here since it uses less water and doesn’t need harsh chemicals. On top of that, eucalyptus can also grow back quite quickly, like bamboo.
Which Should You Choose?
Obviously, we’re a bit biased since we sell eucalyptus sheet sets, but we think you’ll probably come to the same conclusion since this type was the winner in a majority of the categories. However, we understand that comfort is relative, so in the end, the best sheets are the ones that you prefer. We just wanted to show the comparisons so you could better decide for yourself.