June 12th, 2022
Eucalyptus vs Cotton Sheets
Eucalyptus vs Cotton Sheets
By Danielle Ranucci
Wondering about the difference between "eucalyptus" and cotton sheets? Fear not. Our guide is here to help.
What are "Eucalyptus" Sheets
"Eucalyptus" sheets are cropping up more and more in the marketplace, so to truly understand the benefits of them, let's define what it is first. What is often regarded as "eucalyptus" sheets are often bed sheets made from either eucalyptus lyocell or TENCEL lyocell.
Lyocell is a type of fabric that derives its fibers from sustainably-sourced wood pulp. In the case of "eucalyptus" sheets, that wood pulp would be primarily derived from eucalyptus trees. There are many different types of lyocell, and TENCEL™ is one of them. TENCEL™ lyocell is known for being one of the most sustainable fabrics in modern technology.
At Eucalypso, our products are made from 100% TENCEL™ lyocell, meaning our sheets are consistently of the best quality. They have passed rigorous quality control standards as well as sustainability standards.
Cotton is the most widely-produced natural fiber. However it is not sustainable. From the growing process to production, cotton sheets use a lot of resources, pesticides, and water to manufacture. Also, because there are so many different types, from Egyptian cotton to Pima cotton to blended varieties, cotton sheets vary more in their quality than TENCEL™ sheets.
A comparison of the sheets
TENCEL™ sheets are cool to the touch, smooth and silky, and luxuriously soft. The texture of TENCEL™ sheets can be compared to a cross between the crispness of cotton and the fineness of silk. They are so comfortable that some of our reviewers didn’t want to leave their beds. Although these sheets feel incredible, they may not be the best choice for people who like a crisper feel. TENCEL™ sheets are also more breathable, so they're great for people who enjoy light, cooling sheets but not for those who prefer thicker, firmer sheets.
For people who prefer crisp, thick sheets, cotton sheets are a good choice. These are the sheets that most people are used to. These sheets are usually crisp and starchy - think thick hotel sheets. Cotton sheets can be somewhat noisy.
TENCEL™ sheets are naturally temperature-regulating, so they are great for hot sleepers. These cooling sheets also wick moisture, meaning that they won’t become sweaty. In fact, TENCEL™ sheets are 3x more breathable and wick moisture 70% better than cotton. Because of their cooling properties, TENCEL™ sheets are ideal for the summer, as well as for people living in hot areas.
Cotton sheets tend to trap heat and sweat, which may be good for cold weather. However, in warm weather, this feature may cause overheating. Some types of cotton sheets are cooling (such as Percale-woven sheets), but overall, cotton sheets may not be as reliable of a choice for hot sleepers as TENCEL™ sheets.
TENCEL™ sheets are great for sensitive skin. In addition to being breathable, these sheets are hypoallergenic, which means that they will not cause allergies or irritate sensitive skin. TENCEL™ sheets are produced without chemicals, so they also help sensitive skin by being non-toxic. They are antibacterial, which means that they don’t breed acne-causing bacteria. Finally, TENCEL™ sheets are antifungal—they are less hospitable to molds and odors, and more hospitable to your skin. All of these factors make TENCEL™ sheets, versus cotton, a beneficial choice for sleepers with sensitive skin.
If you have sensitive or breakout-prone skin, cotton sheets may not be the best option. Because they are made with chemicals, cotton sheets can irritate sensitive skin. Also since they tend not to wick moisture, these sheets are an ideal breeding-space for bacteria. Fungus and molds may also grow on cotton sheets. These factors mean that cotton sheets may not be the best for sensitive skin.
TENCEL™ sheets are durable, and when they are washed, they are unlikely to pill or shrink. Also, because they don’t breed bacteria, these sheets don’t have to be washed as much as cotton sheets.
Some types of cotton are known for their durability, such as Egyptian and Pima cotton. However, it is important to keep in mind that very few of these sheets are truly 100% pure Egyptian or Pima cotton, even if the label claims so. In such cases, cotton sheets may pill and shrink in the wash. Also, because cotton sheets breed bacteria, they have to be washed more frequently than TENCEL™ sheets.
TENCEL™ sheets are a great choice for people who want eco-friendly bedding. Both the eucalyptus plants themselves and the TENCEL™ sheet production process are more sustainable than what goes into growing and producing cotton bedding. First, eucalyptus plants are more sustainable—there are so many of them, and they can be grown and harvested without depleting a lot of resources. They also use less water than cotton—for 1/10 the amount of water needed to grow and make cotton sheets, Eucalypso makes 10x more sheets.
The production process for TENCEL™ itself is also more sustainable than that of cotton sheets. TENCEL™ sheets are made using a closed-loop production process, which uses water and one organic solvent to turn wood pulp into fibers. This process reuses and recycles more than 99% of the water and solvent that is used to produce TENCEL™ sheets. These environmentally-friendly practices make TENCEL™ sheets a great eco-conscious bedding choice.
Meanwhile, cotton is not very sustainable. The production of the crop itself uses a huge amount of water—it can take 10,000 liters of water to make one kilogram of cotton fabric. Also, more pesticides and insecticides are used to grow this “thirsty crop” than any other crop, and these chemicals greatly poison the environment. Although there are “organic cotton sheets” that don’t use pesticides, their production still takes a toll on the environment because of the amount of water needed to grow the cotton.
The production process of cotton sheets is also not sustainable. Cotton sheets use toxic solvents which cannot be recycled back into the production process. As a result, they tend to be released into the environment, damaging it even further. So, in contrast to TENCEL™ sheets, cotton sheets harm the environment, and are not a good choice of eco-friendly bedding.
"Eucalyptus sheets" made from TENCEL™ lyocell are silky, temperature-regulating, ideal for sensitive skin, durable, and sustainable. They are also more reliable than cotton sheets in terms of quality. Though cotton sheets are great for sleepers who like crisp sheets, they are unsustainable and are not as consistently high-quality as TENCEL™ sheets.
Written by Danielle Ranucci
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