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Posted by Bridget Reed
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Bamboo Sheets vs Egyptian Cotton: What’s the Difference?

5 min read

Did you know that the average person spends up to one-third of their life in bed? Some of this time is spent working, reading, or doing other activities, but most of the time that we’re in bed is for the important task of sleeping. Sleep is a vital part of our lives and critical for maintaining physical and mental health. 

With this in mind, it’s worth spending a little time and effort deciding what you’re sleeping on. The type of bed sheets you choose can impact the type of sleep you get each night. You can choose from an overwhelming amount of sheets, but how do you know the difference between each kind to select the best sheets? 

When you Google “best sheets,” two types likely come up in your search results frequently: bamboo sheets and Egyptian cotton sheets. While these sheets are similar in a few different ways, there are quite a few differences between the two. 

We’ll help break down the differences for you to decide if either type is right for you. 

What Are Bamboo Sheets? 

Bamboo sheets are made from the fibers of the bamboo plant. However, the fibers go through an extensive process to go from the bamboo plant to bamboo fibers. 

The final product typically doesn’t include any actual bamboo. Instead, it is made with mostly cellulose and turned into a material called bamboo viscose. Some bamboo is processed and turned into a material called lyocell, which is a higher-quality material. 

Bamboo sheets are known for being silky and breathable. They hold up well over time and are fairly easy to care for. Most bamboo sheets are temperature regulating and can be perfect for those who get a little hot while they sleep. 

What Are Egyptian Cotton Sheets? 

Egyptian cotton sheets are classified as sheets that include at least five percent of Egyptian cotton. They are often considered the highest quality sheets. However, it ultimately depends on how much actual Egyptian cotton is used in the sheets. 

Despite its name, Egyptian cotton is actually grown all over the world in various tropical climates. The United States, China, and Peru each grow Egyptian cotton. 

Egyptian cotton sheets are soft and durable but also higher in price than other sheets. Most sheets made with Egyptian cotton use a percale or sateen weave, making the end product either thin and breathable or a little bit heavier and warmer.

What Are Alternatives to Bamboo Sheets and Egyptian Cotton Sheets? 

Your sheet search doesn’t need to stop with bamboo and Egyptian cotton. Every person is different, so the type of sheets you want to use will be different, too! There are a wide variety of sheet types beyond just these two. 

A few popular alternative sheet types include: 

  • Cotton sheets. Not all cotton sheets are Egyptian cotton sheets. You can find sheets made with different types of cotton that still have many of the same benefits as Egyptian cotton sheets without the higher price point.

  • Silk sheets. If you love the silky smooth feeling on your skin when you sleep and want to splurge a bit price-wise, there’s nothing better than a nice set of silk sheets.

  • Linen sheets. If breathability is important to you, linen sheets are a great option during the summer months. They also last a long time! 

Today, there is a perfect sheet for each person. Enjoy heavy, warm sheets? There’s an option for you! Don’t want to wash your sheets as often? There’s a set made specifically to combat bacteria growth. Make a list of your priorities, then start your official sheet search.

Are Bamboo Sheets or Egyptian Cotton Sheets Better?

If you’re stuck between these two sheet types, it’s easy to compare the two. There are a few different questions you can ask in order to pit bamboo sheets and Egyptian cotton sheets against each other. 

Ultimately, it comes down to your personal preference. We’ll help break down the biggest differences to help your decision-making process. 

Which Sheets Are More Durable? 

When it comes to durability, both bamboo and Egyptian cotton sheets are winners. They are both made from extremely long fibers, which helps resist pilling and tearing over their use. If you’re looking for a set of sheets that can last you for over 10 years with good care, either type of sheet could hold up that long. 

Which Sheets Feel Better? 

Your preference for the feel of your sheets will decide the winner in this category. Bamboo sheets have a similar feeling to silk, without the higher price point. So, if you like the silky smooth feeling against your skin, you might like bamboo sheets. 

They are also temperature regulating, allowing you to stay warm in the winter while still being nice and breathable during the summer months. 

Egyptian cotton sheets are for those who prefer a nice, soft sheet. They start soft and actually get even softer over time. The magic words regarding sheets are “thread count,” and Egyptian cotton sheets are no exception. The higher the thread count, the softer and more luxurious the sheet. 

Which Sheets Are Better for Your Health? 

One big benefit of bamboo sheets is that they are hypoallergenic. This makes it a great option for those with sensitive skin or allergy issues. 

They are also moisture-wicking, which can help combat odors or mildew. Egyptian cotton sheets are not shown to have health benefits, but their soft feel can be helpful for those with sensitive skin. 

Which Sheets Are Easier to Clean? 

It’s always important to double check the care instructions for each specific sheet (or towel or clothing item!), but as a general rule, both bamboo sheets and Egyptian cotton sheets are fairly easy to clean. Most of these types of sheets can be machine washed and put in the dryer. 

Bonus points go to Egyptian cotton sheets in this area because they actually get even softer each time you wash them. 

Which Sheets Are Better for the Environment?

This can be a tricky topic because there are a lot of factors that play into the eco-friendliness of a fabric. Bamboo sheets are touted as being extremely eco-friendly because of how quickly and easily bamboo plants grow. 

However, the process the bamboo goes through to make fabric is fairly extensive and includes processes that aren’t as eco-friendly as its growing process. On the other hand, cotton takes more environmental resources to grow. You can get a specific type of bamboo sheets made with eco–friendliness in mind, but not all sheets are created equal regarding environmental impact.

Which Sheets Cost More? 

A good set of sheets is a worthwhile investment. However, keeping cost in mind can be an important part of the decision-making process. Bamboo sheets typically range from $50 to $200 per set. Egyptian cotton sheets can get as expensive as $500 per set. There are a wide variety of sheet sets at different price points, so you can typically find a set within your budget without sacrificing quality. 

The Final Verdict

Now that you know the difference between bamboo sheets and Egyptian cotton sheets, you can determine the right type of sheets for you. It may seem a little over-the-top to do so much research before buying sheets, but making the correct choice is an important part in setting yourself up for a good night’s rest, which is critical to your health. 

If neither of these sheets seem like the right fit, don’t worry! There are plenty of other high-quality sheets that will also help you sleep comfortably. 

Sources: 

Your Life in Tasks | Huffington Post

Bamboo vs. Cotton Sheets | Sleep Foundation

How Your Bedding Can Affect Your Sleep | Forbes Health

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