Tencel vs Bamboo vs Cotton Sheets: What You Need To Know


Tencel vs. Bamboo vs. Cotton Bedding

What you need to know for the best night of sleep

 

 

 

 

 


AUTHOR EUCALYPSO STAFF / CATEGORY BETTER SLEEP / PUBLISHED: APR-14-2020

 

With so many choices of bedding materials out there, how do you decide which is the best fit for you?

Are you a hot sleeper or cold sleeper? Do you like your sheets soft or crisp?

This guide can help you decide whether TENCEL Eucalyptus, Bamboo, or Cotton is the perfect choice for you to get the best night of sleep!

 

Eucalyptus Tencel Lyocell

Bamboo Rayon

Cotton

Chemicals

1 Organic Solvent

12 Toxic Chemicals

Numerous toxic chemicals including Formaldehyde in ‘non wrinkle’ sheets

Process

Closed Loop (99.9% reused & recycled)

Bamboo “Cooking” – the chemical process of stripping down bamboos

Breaking down cotton fibers through various chemicals including preservatives, emulsifiers, stablizers, etc.

Plant

Eucalyptus – sustainable plant

Bamboo – Sustainable plant

Cotton – water and pesticide intensive planting process

Feel

Ultra soft

Soft

Crisp

Wrinkling

Least Wrinkle Prone

Most Wrinkle Prone

Less Wrinkle Prone

Breathability

Very Breathable

Very Breathable

Low (Traps Heat)

Drying Time

3x faster than cotton

2x faster than cotton

-

Moisture Wicking

70% better than cotton

30% better than cotton

-

Wear time (longevity)

Longest wear

Medium

Shortest

Hypoallergenic

Yes

Yes

No

Antibacterial

Yes

Yes

No

Suitable for sensitive skin

Yes

 

 

Hot Sleeper

Yes

 

 

Cool to the touch

Yes

 

 

 

What is Tencel?

TENCEL™ lyocell is the fabric made from sustainably sourced eucalyptus. Eucalyptus is a type of tree that grows in abundance, so they are a very environmentally sustainable source of fiber.

TENCEL™ fibers are produced from the pulp of eucalyptus wood and made from sustainably sourced wood which are FSC & PEFC certified. TENCEL™ lyocell is considered to be one of the most sustainable fabrics of modern technology. Considerably more eco-friendly than both cotton and bamboo, TENCEL™ also far surpasses the standards of comfort for sheets.

Eucalypso products are made from 100% TENCEL™ lyocell from eucalyptus trees. We use authentic certified TENCEL™ manufactured by Lenzing Fibers milled from Austria, so we guarantee you the best in quality.

 

What is Bamboo (Rayon)?

The majority of bamboo sheets on the market are made of bamboo rayon, a type of textile made from cellulosic fibers. Bamboo plants are crushed into pulp and then through a chemical process, distilled into fibers to be spun into textile.

The benefit of bamboo is that, like eucalyptus, they grow in abundance. This makes them a great candidate for a sustainable type of fiber, since they rarely face the issue of over harvesting.

The chemical process of creating Bamboo Rayon is extremely harsh and can be very damaging to the environment. It involves using a caustic soda or lye to “cook” the bamboo in a complicated process. The chemical solvent used in this process has been listed as corrosive and harmful to the environment.

 

What is Cotton?

Cotton is the most widely produced natural fiber on the planet, and by far the most popular type of textile used for bed sheets. Cotton sheets can come in a variety of forms, like Pima cotton and Egyptian cotton, as well as cotton blends.

Cotton is one of the thirstiest and dirtiest crops in the world. It is an extremely water intensive crop, which can have a very damaging effect on surrounding areas. It is common to drain local reserves and over irrigate surrounding water ways in order to fuel the growth of cotton. Additionally, cotton planting requires a lot of pesticides (25% of the world’s supply of pesticides!), which can run off into local water supplies and leech into the soil, creating a damaging effect on the environment.

Since the rise of more environmentally friendly sheets, cotton sheets are slowly going out of style. Though they are still the popular choice, more and more consumers are starting to choose alternatives that are not so damaging to the environment.

TENCEL™ lyocell is the fabric made from sustainably sourced eucalyptus.

The majority of bamboo sheets on the market are made of bamboo rayon, a type of textile made from cellulosic fibers.

Cotton is the most widely produced natural fiber on the planet, and by far the most popular type of textile used for bed sheets.

A comparison of how these sheets measure up for a great night of sleep

Feel:

The first question that is asked about TENCEL eucalyptus sheets is – what does it feel like?? Luxuriously soft and silky in touch, TENCEL eucalyptus sheets feel like a cross-over between silk and cotton. They have the softness and fineness of silk, with an ever-so-slight sheen to the fabric; yet it is slightly crisper than silk, which makes it the perfect texture for sheets.

They’re also slightly cooling to the touch, so you can immediately feel the comfort of sleeping on TENCEL eucalyptus sheets. Our reviewers have said the following about TENCEL eucalyptus sheets:

“I truly am not kidding when I say I have had the best sleep of my adult life in these sheets. They are like what would happen if silk and Egyptian cotton had a baby. I love them.”

Similar to TENCEL eucalyptus, bamboo Rayon also feels soft and comfortable. The textures between the two are very similar and tends to drape well in bed. Neither TENCEL eucalyptus nor bamboo Rayon sheets are recommended for people who like crisp, stiff sheets

Cotton is preferable for people who like crisp sheets, especially since many cotton sheet brands offer non-wrinkle options. They are starchier in feel and stiffer when laid flat, and a great choice for people who prefer their sheets that way.

 

Wrinkling:

TENCEL™ eucalyptus sheets are the least likely to get wrinkly, compared to cotton* and bamboo (*unless you have bought non-wrinkle cotton sheets). TENCEL™ eucalyptus sheets are less prone to wrinkling and have a bit of a lustrous sheen. Compared to bamboo and cotton, TENCEL™ eucalyptus sheets are noticeably softer and gives a drapey look.

Bamboo bed sheets are generally more prone to wrinkling and lack the crisp feel that cotton sheets do.

Cotton sheets wrinkle more easily than TENCEL™, with the exception of wrinkle-free cotton sheets. However, you must be careful when buying wrinkle-free sheets because they are often times treated with formaldehyde to prevent the sheets from wrinkling.

 

Longevity & Washing:

TENCEL™ eucalyptus sheets are very easy to care for and are known to last for a long time. They also wash well - TENCEL™ sheets are less prone to shrinkage or becoming misshapen in the wash. In fact, TENCEL™ sheets get softer with every wash, so they are great sheets to sleep in for the long term.

Additionally, they are long lasting and preserves color well with every wash. However, it should be noted that it is important to wash your TENCEL™ sheets correctly in order for them to last a long time – if you have questions about taking care of your TENCEL™ sheet, you can check out our article on it here.

Cotton is the most durable of the three (it’s been said that Egyptian cotton sheets can last up to 50 years)! Because of the way the natural fibers are woven, it tends to hold up longer with time. This is also why cotton sheets tend to feel crisper as well.

Bamboo sheets need to be washed and treated similar to TENCEL™ eucalyptus sheets. However, bamboo sheets have included disclaimers that they cannot withstand rigorous washing or heated drying – that’s why it is important to always wash them on cold and dry on delicate. If they are treated to rigorous wash or heated drying, the fibers can break down and begin to deteriorate with time.

 

Breathability & Moisture Wicking:

Both TENCEL™ and bamboo sheets are recognized for their incredibly soft and smooth feel, unlike cotton. They are also known for being very breathable and ability to wick moisture away from the body, which make them ideal for hot sleepers. In fact, TENCEL™ sheets are 3x more breathable and wick moisture 70% better than cotton, so they’re a fantastic option for anyone suffering from night sweats.

On the other hand, cotton is not breathable and tends to trap heat, which causes sweating and overheating at night. The fibers also trap sweat and bacteria, creating the perfect situation for breakouts and acne.

 

Hypoallergenic:

Both TENCEL™ and bamboo sheets are both hypoallergenic with antifungal and antibacterial properties. This means they are less prone to mold, mildew, and odor. This makes this a great option for people with allergies and sensitivities. Cotton, on the other hand, does not have these properties.

"I truly am not kidding when I say I have had the best sleep of my adult life in these [eucalyptus] sheets. They are like what would happen if silk and Egyptian cotton had a baby. I love them."

So what’s the different between TENCEL™ eucalyptus and bamboo sheets?

Since there are so many similarities between TENCEL™ and bamboo sheets, what are the biggest differences between the two?

It is all in the creation of the fabrics

The process for creating TENCEL™ sheets involves using long fibers, which creates a smooth sleeping surface. Not only does it create a silky soft texture, it is especially great for people with sensitive skin. Coupled with its hypoallergenic properties, these sheets are ideal for sensitive or breakout prone skin.

TENCEL™ sheets also beat out bamboo sheets for people who are hot sleepers. While both types of sheets are breathable, TENCEL™ sheets feel cool to the touch, which is ideal for people who sweat as they sleep. Furthermore, TENCEL™ eucalyptus sheets are naturally temperature regulating, which means that they’re great for couples where one sleeps hot and the other sleeps cold.

Finally, TENCEL™ sheets are significantly more sustainable than both bamboo and cotton sheets. Bamboo sheets are frequently marketed as “green” and “sustainable”, however, that is not the reality.

TENCEL™ is created in a closed-loop process in which wood pulp is transformed into textile fibers with low environmental impact. This process reuses and recycles 99% of water and solvent that goes into the production process. This is one of the most sustainable way of production while reducing environmental degradation, making TENCEL™ one of the cleanest textiles in existence.

Bamboo, on the other hand, goes through a process in which the bamboo pulp is “cooked down” so much that the final produce has minimal trace of the original bamboo fiber. This is why bamboo cannot be listed as the name of the fabric, rather it is often called “Rayon”, since the chemical process of distilling the final product is so harsh.

“When sheets made of bamboo are placed under a microscope, there is no trace of the bamboo plant to be found. Twelve toxic chemicals are used to break down bamboo into a fiber. These chemicals are so harsh that it becomes something else, well, something not so “natural” to be exact. The harsh chemicals used during this process cannot be recycled, so they are then dumped into our environment.“

TENCEL™ is created in a closed-loop process in which wood pulp is transformed into textile fibers with low environmental impact. This process reuses and recycles 99% of water and solvent that goes into the production process. This is one of the most sustainable way of production while reducing environmental degradation, making TENCEL™ one of the cleanest textiles in existence.

Final Verdict?

Overall, it is clear that TENCEL™ is one of the best choices you can make if you are looking for ultra-soft sheets that are better for you and for the environment. Not only is the production process extremely environmentally conscious, but it also has significant benefits to your sleep. By choosing TENCEL™, you are making the better choice for your life, sleep, and the environment.

Our Favorite Sheets

TENCEL Eucalyptus sheets from Eucalypso

Classic Sheet Set - Snow - Eucalypso Home

Sold out

Bamboo sheets from CozyEarth

Cotton sheets from Hill House Home

Comments

  • Deborah Halpern said:

    Do you have the fences sheets in a split king sheet set suitable for a Tempur mattress? 92×203×30 fitted and a king flat sheet

    April 19, 2021


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