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See our high-level takeaways below, or skip to our full review!Our Take:
- Affordable price
- Less durable than cotton
- Sustainable sourcing
- Closed-loop processing
- Silky soft
Jump to: Full Review
- Sustainable pricing
- Less durable than cotton
- Buttery smooth
- Some chemicals in processing
- Luxurious reputation
Jump to: Full Review
For years, the bedding industry has been dominated by cotton bed sheets. There are now plenty of alternatives hitting the shelves, but how should you decide when comparing eucalyptus sheets vs. bamboo?
Cotton is still the most widely grown fiber in the world. In fact, there are different types of cotton, likePima and Egyptian cotton, that are used to produce premium sheets for shoppers who value luxurious fabrics made of high-quality material. The trouble here is that traditional cotton farming techniques are heavy on water usage and harsh chemicals. Cotton bedding is only eco-friendly if it is grown organically.
Which Is Better? Bamboo Sheets vs. Eucalyptus.
Bamboo and eucalyptus sheets are often marketed for their eco-friendly attributes, but discerning shoppers wonder which is genuinely a sustainable fabric. These products are much safer to source because bamboo is known to grow like weeds, and eucalyptus is also highly regenerative. Of course, there are irresponsible ways to harvest both crops, so the key is to purchase from companies that disclose their products were sustainably sourced.
Because bamboo and eucalyptus are both highly regenerative, these plant-based fabrics require much less water than cotton and far fewer chemicals during the farming process. The downside to bamboo viscose, for instance, is that the production process relies on a chemical process to develop something like bamboo viscose. Some may question whether these fabrics are truly environmentally friendly.
For this reason, some may prefer to opt for organic cotton bed sheets, but organic products are often prohibitively expensive. On the other hand, like organic cotton sheets, eucalyptus and bamboo sheets are also hypoallergenic due to the natural attributes associated with the resulting fibers.
On the whole, we are big fans of Tencel sheets and bamboo lyocell sheets, so the only question is which you should choose.
What Are Eucalyptus Sheets?
Let’s start with the obvious. Eucalyptus products are made from eucalyptus trees. Manufacturers take the pulp of eucalyptus wood to create lyocell fibers. These fibers are then used to create a fabric that is silk-like and moisture-wicking. While cotton sheets are best-known for their crispness, eucalyptus sheets are known for their silky softness.
Benefits From Eucalyptus Bedding
These sheets are ideal for people who tend to have a warmer body temperature because eucalyptus fabric is cool to the touch. Hot sleepers who suffer from night sweats would be pleased with the breathable, cooling fabric. They are also moisture-wicking and can help with temperature regulation while you’re asleep.
Like cotton bedding, eucalyptus sheets are also hypoallergenic. Additionally, you’ll find that they are antibacterial and antifungal. As far as the price point, you’ll find that eucalyptus bedding is typically more affordable than fabrics like silk, or even organic cotton.
What Are Bamboo Sheets?
Bamboo is the fastest-growing plant on earth, so it makes sense consumers and manufacturers alike would look to bamboo products as an alternative for incredibly soft bedding. The trouble with the bamboo viscose process is that it utilizes potentially harmful chemicals in the manufacturing process of extracting the wood pulp. The final fabric is safe, but some question whether all the benefits are negated by this.
Benefits From Bamboo Bedding
Still, like cotton and eucalyptus sheets, the best bamboo sheets are breathable, soft, light, and great for sensitive skin. Dust mites and allergens aren’t able to cling to and hide in the bamboo fibers, as they do with cotton sheets. And while organic cotton is hypoallergenic, bamboo bed sheets are even more so.
Bamboo fabric is known for being comfortable and durable. There is a reason that a brand like Cozy Earth frequently lands on Oprah’s list of favorite things. Of course, in comparing bamboo and eucalyptus sheets, the mechanical process for processing the fibers needs to be considered. While the bamboo plant grows fast, many choose eucalyptus lyocell because they consider it to be the more eco-friendly bedding.
Alternatives To Cotton Sheets
The main problem with cotton is the environmental impact. Cotton is farmed with toxic chemicals and rivers of water. Organic bedding solves this problem, but an organic sheet set is exceedingly expensive. Bamboo and eucalyptus fibers offer a new-age alternative to cotton sheets.
The raw plant materials are much easier to grow and harvest, and the end product bedding is soft and cool-to-touch, making them a viable option for your bedroom.
Softness & Quality
You will find that in comparing bamboo sheets vs. eucalyptus sheets, both are durable enough to withstand repeated washings. That said, some of the brands recommend washing less frequently than cotton alternatives because eucalyptus has antibacterial and antifungal properties.
Cotton is grown and woven through a more natural process, with a tough natural fiber, so cotton bedding is usually more durable than eucalyptus or bamboo bedding. Cozy Earth notably sells bamboo bedding with a 10-year warranty, so that is worth considering.
Still, the fibers are longer than cotton fibers, stretching the length of the sheets. This results in added durability compared to if the manufacturers used short fibers. Combined with the lightweight and soft feel, you will appreciate the combination of toughness and breathability.
Generally speaking, eucalyptus lyocell is super soft to touch. If you are looking for comfortable bed sheets, we recommend Sheets & Giggles or Buffy, but any eucalyptus lyocell sheets will be softer than cotton bed sheets. Eucalyptus lyocell sheets have a silk-like quality but are significantly cheaper than silk products. Bamboo products are also very comfortable but not as soft as eucalyptus bedding.
One thing worth considering when looking at cotton alternatives is that you should default to the bedding with the best thread count. Some manufacturers will artificially inflate the thread count. To a certain extent, it does play a role in the softness of your sheets, but there is a diminishing return beyond a specific thread count level (usually around 500).
The raw materials and production process generally have a bigger impact on the softness of your sheets than does the thread count. How so? Well, cotton fibers have many more loose ends than do the alternative fibers. That many fiber-ends create friction, and friction reduces softness. The limited number of fiber ends in these alternative fabrics results in comfortable bedding.
The trend for consumers to be more aware of how eco-friendly products are is called ethical consumerism, and we are all here for it. Bamboo viscose was the first product marketed as a solution to cotton’s harsh environmental impact, but bamboo strands are dipped in sulfuric acid as part of the process for transforming cellulose fibers into a useful product.
The solvent used in a lyocell process is generally more accepted and thought to be less dangerous for factory workers. Eucalyptus bedding is also frequently made in a closed-loop process that saves water used during the manufacturing cycle. Water and solvent runoff is reused in a manner consistent with lyocell’s earth-friendly marketing.
In our opinion, both alternatives are an upgrade over traditional cotton farming, though organic cotton bedding is a very viable alternative that is environmentally friendly and hypoallergenic. In considering bamboo vs. other fabrics, eucalyptus requires fewer harsh chemicals for production.
Cotton may always be the easiest sheets to care for, but comfortable eucalyptus sheets and bamboo bedding are worth a little extra effort. Of course, if you are shelling out several hundred dollars for something you sleep on, it may not feel like a great investment if the fabric is too delicate to throw in the wash. Thankfully, you won’t have to hand-wash any of these sheets.
With that said, properly caring for your sheets will help them last longer. Wash with cold water, and then tumble dry on low. Avoid heat because the eucalyptus fibers and bamboo viscose may actually degrade if exposed to repeatedly high temperatures.
Cotton may be the easiest to take care of, but non of the cotton alternatives are particularly difficult, so long as you follow the manufacturer’s directions.
Affordability honestly varies more by brand than it does by material. Some of the high-end bamboo viscose products cost about the same as luxury organic products. In our experience, the lyocell products offer the best overall value.
Since you can find multiple brands selling bedding of each material at multiple price points, the more likely way to make a decision is by considering the other factors. Would you prefer organic Egyptian cotton, or would you consider a hypoallergenic alternative?
Do you care what chemicals are used in creating bedding for bamboo sheets? On the whole, bamboo bedding is still preferable to traditional cotton farming, but eucalyptus lyocell products are made without toxic chemicals.
Our Favorite? Eucalyptus Trees For The Win
Each manufacturer is different. Some ensure products are made as part of a closed-loop process that avoids toxic dyes, while other manufacturers are trying to capitalize on the goodwill and marketing deployed by competitor brands. While we always recommend doing research, on the whole, we prefer eucalyptus bedding.
Sheets & Giggles
Many beds are white, gray, and boring, but the Sheets & Giggles team offers a little sassiness to liven things up. The products are extremely comfortable for sleeping, but the brand is also determined to add a little spice to your life.
You can pick ivory sheets if you want, but we recommend that you at least mix in a few purple pillowcases just for fun. Two pillowcases are never enough, anyways.
In comparing bamboo vs. cotton, it is pretty clear that bamboo is a viable alternative, despite some of the naysayers. Cozy Earth is our favorite brand. Several of their products have landed on Oprah’s list of favorite things, and if you are willing to make the investment, we are confident that you will appreciate Cozy Earth, too.
Buffy is also derived from eucalyptus trees, but we included them because they are known for their extra comfortable cloud comforter. It works well year-round, can be purchased with a matching duvet cover, and the shell is woven from earth-friendly lyocell fiber.
The filling is made from about 50 recycled plastic bottles, which is just cool. The shell features many of the same benefits as the other lyocell products, such as moisture-wicking, a cooling sensation, and super softness.
So, Bamboo Sheets or Eucalyptus?
First of all, brands like Boll & Branch are a strong option, as they only sell organic products, which diminishes many of the traditional concerns about cotton products. If you are interested in trying something new, then we get it.
In considering eucalyptus vs. bamboo, the fabrics are very similar; however, bamboo does form a slightly less earth-friendly process, and some of the bamboo brands are also uber expensive. For these reasons, we prefer Tencel sheets derived from eucalyptus.
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