The City Mattress Blog

linens & bedding

Bamboo Sheets vs Cotton Sheets: Which is Better?


Woman holds folded white and brown cotton sheets with a cotton plant stem on top

We all want great sleep. You know you need more than wishful thinking to achieve that. You actually need more than a great new mattress, too! After all, you don’t sleep on a mattress alone. What you need is an entire sleep system that is perfect for you and your sleep needs. This includes your bed sheets. Two popular options are bamboo sheets and cotton sheets.

What are the Big Differences?

Bamboo and cotton are actually not that different. Cotton has long been considered the standard for sheets, as it is soft and breathes well. Bamboo has a soft, luxurious feel very similar to high-quality cotton. The question becomes, bamboo sheet vs. cotton sheets: which one is better? This is a personal decision based on exactly how you like to sleep, but it can be helpful to break both options down and do a comparison.

Who Should Buy Bamboo Bed Sheets?

The benefits of bamboo sheets are numerous! Bamboo bedding is a great idea for you if:

You sometimes get warm when you sleep.

Good cotton sheets range anywhere from 200 to 600. It’s also important to note that for some sleepers, higher thread counts may actually be uncomfortable. Higher numbers indicate that the threads are tightly woven together and could cause you to sweat more if you are going through menopause or get hot when you sleep for another reason. If you worry that this will be the case, you’ll want to stick with bamboo bedding options.

You like to be as eco-friendly as possible.

Bamboo is harvested in a way that’s more like mowing the grass than chopping down a tree. The roots stay in place when the bamboo is harvested, and it simply grows back again. Some bamboo species even come back stronger when they’ve been previously cut! Linens manufacturers can get the best bamboo sheets by harvesting top-quality bamboo, which means going with bamboo that is certified 100% natural growth without any chemical pesticides. Unless cotton is organic, which most is not, the same cannot be said for cotton sheets.

You want durable sheets.

If you want to go several years before you need to go shopping for new bed sheets again, the key is purchase durable bedding and then care for them correctly. When cared for properly, bamboo sheets tend to be more durable than their cotton counterparts. In order to keep them in top condition for as long as possible, you need to follow the instructions regarding whether you should run warm or cold water. They can also be air dried, or you can tumble dry them on a low-heat setting. 

You struggle with eczema.

The wrong bed sheets can make a condition like Eczema or extra dry skin worse because of the material. This skin condition causes the skin barrier to be compromised or inflamed, making the skin more susceptible to irritation and sensitivity. In order to avoid this, you will want to sleep on sheets made from a natural fiber without chemicals, like bamboo.

You have acne.

Your face, arms, and back are on your bedding a lot. Your sheets can either make acne better or worse. You want to find bedding that is ultra-breathable and hypoallergenic, which can mitigate acne outbreak by preventing bacterial growth on the fabric. For this, we recommend bamboo. Bamboo bedding helps clear up your acne because the fibers and weave of bamboo sheets are so silky smooth that they soothe irritated skin. This type of bedding efficiently wicks extra moisture away. In fact, the wicking ability is one of the best benefits of bamboo sheets. It helps your sweat evaporate from your bed, keeping you both dry and cool. By removing the extra moisture, bamboo can prevent new acne growth.

Who Should Buy Cotton?

Cotton has long been considered the standard in bed sheets. Cotton sheets have been popular for so long because they’re a fantastic option! They may be right for you if:

You care a lot about quality.

Quality is extremely important! Egyptian, long-staple cotton is the best material for comfort, luxury, and breathability. You can find linens that are less expensive, but not as durable and will trap heat. We sell luxurious cotton sheets, like those produced by SFERRA, which are made with far finer threads and higher thread count. They're made from premium materials, like 100% extra long-staple cotton with a sateen finish. The result is an extremely luxurious and soft bed sheet.

You like a neat, crisp look.

Cotton sheets do not wrinkle quite as much as other, less soft materials do. When you outfit your bed in high-quality cotton linens, it means your bed will have a more smooth feel and appearance. It will look crisp and “put together”- just the way you like it!

You have allergies.

People suffering from allergies can have a reaction to the dust mites hiding in their bedding. What you want to find are hypoallergenic linens. Cotton makes a good hypoallergenic sheet option for those fighting against a dust mite allergy. You want to find cotton hypoallergenic bed sheet options that feature tight-weave structures, helping to eliminate dust mite access.

You think cotton is more comfortable.

More than anything else, you want your bed to be really comfortable. You’ll only fall asleep quickly and sleep for a full eight hours if you think your sheets are comfortable. However, this gets quite subjective. Cotton sheets can be very soft and appealing if you get a nice set. It’s really a personal decision whether you think cotton feels the best on your skin.

You may not realize just how much your sheets impact on your sleep. If you're sleeping on the wrong material sheets, you can disrupt your natural sleep cycle. You may end up either way too hot and just generally be uncomfortable.

This information can feel like a lot to remember, but well worth it in order to have the sleep you need. When you visit your nearest City Mattress location, begin by discussing your current sleep situation with our team members and let them know you’re looking for new sheets that best meet your needs. They’ll know which products to show you so you can begin looking at your best options. Very soon, you’ll have a night of deep, restful sleep and wonder how you ever went so long without your favorite sheets!