Bamboo Sheets: Pros, Cons & 4 Sustainable Options To Look Into
Sheets are one home good that it pays off to be picky about. We sleep on them night after night, after all! Bamboo sheets are likely one material you've come across in your search for the perfect set. Here's what to know about how this material is made, its pros and cons, and how to find sustainable options.
How we picked.
There are a few ways to turn tree materials like bamboo into silky soft sheets. When possible, we opted for lyocell sheets, which are created using a closed-loop, low-waste production process. We gave high marks to companies who source their bamboo from plantations that are carefully managed to protect biodiversity.
All the sheets on our list earn rave reviews for their soft feel thanks to generous thread counts and cozy weaves. You'll notice we also gave bonus points to companies that have responsive customer service.
Most of the options on our list come with a trial period, so you can make sure you've found a sheet that you love snuggling up with.
Bamboo sheets can be expensive, but we found sustainable options that run the gamut in terms of price to suit a variety of budgets.
Whether they source their bamboo from certified sustainable forests or treat it using a closed-loop lyocell process, the following sheets all prioritize human and environmental health in one form or another. You'll note that it's a pretty short list, as responsibly-made bamboo sheets are not so easy to find.
By supporting companies doing it right, we can all use our dollars to vote for a more sustainable future for this fabric.
mbg's pick of the best bamboo sheets of 2023:
Best sustainable: Ettitude Signature Sateen Sheet Set
- Sources from sustainable bamboo forests
- Certified Climate Neutral
- Cooling for hot sleepers
- Wrinkle after first wash
What's included:Fitted sheetFlat sheet1-2 pillowcases
Ettitude exclusively sells bamboo home goods, so the company pays a lot of attention to responsible sourcing and processing. All of their bamboo comes from FSC-certified sustainable forests, meaning it was grown in a way that doesn't harm local people or wildlife. They also have ambitious carbon reduction goals and offset any emissions they are currently producing.
But what about their sheets? Ettitude's signature bamboo lyocell set is woven in a silky sateen weave. Customers note that their soft feel, temperature-regulating qualities, and rich colors make them a great option for all kinds of sleepers—especially if you tend to run warm at night. Lyocell does tend to wrinkle over time, and some reviewers note that these can come out of the laundry looking worn.
Best value: Movesgood Bamboo Lyocell Bed Set Double
- Transparent supply chain
- Limited sizes
What's included:Fitted sheet
Swedish clothing and textile company Movesgood operates off a slow fashion model, meaning they focus on minimalist staples that can live in your closet or bedroom for a long time. Their 300-thread-count lyocell sheets are soft and sustainably made, certified by independent company OEKO-TEX for their commitment to healthier and more environmentally friendly production practices. We also appreciate that the company is transparent about the labor conditions of its three factories, sharing details like how many hours employees work in each one.
Note that since this is a European company, you'll want to double-check on sheet size before ordering.
Best overall: HyggeB Bamboo Lyocell Signature Set
- Cooling weave for hot sleepers
- Comes in sustainable packaging
- Limited sizes
What's included:Fitted sheet1-2 pillowcases
Singapore-founded HyggeB is creating sheets that sleepers worldwide love, and shipping them out in recycled drawstring bags no less. These sustainable bamboo lyocell signature sheets with a sateen weave have hundreds of five-star reviews from folks who rave about their buttery-soft feel and luxurious look. They're OEKO-TEX certified and starting at $78 for a set; a good deal for sheets of their quality.
Note that since this is a Singaporean company, you'll want to double-check on sheet size before ordering.
Best budget: Horimote Home Linen Textured Sheet Set
- OEKO-TEX certified
- Made using less sustainable production method
- No trial period
What's included:Fitted sheetFlat sheet1-2 pillowcases
These sheets do make trade-offs for affordability, and they are made from bamboo viscose instead of lyocell. Bamboo is blended with cotton to further bring down the price point. But we appreciate that the finished product is at least OEKO-TEX certified safe to sleep on.
Reviewers note that the bamboo blend does tend to wrinkle but is incredibly soft and cooling for all kinds of sleepers.
How does bamboo work as a textile?
Bamboo is a popular material in everything from sheets to clothing to toilet paper, mostly because it's so quick—and, therefore, cost-effective—to grow. (Some varieties can grow up to 2 feet every day!) Another perk is that once you get a bamboo plant going, you can harvest it over and over again.
"Because it's so prolific and renewable, you can pull about 50 million pounds of bamboo fiber annually from about 1,000 acres once it reaches maturity," David Knight, the founder of multiple companies that incorporate bamboo, previously told mindbodygreen. "You can do that for decades without replanting it, whereas when you cut a tree down, that's it."
But obviously, the bamboo that's harvested isn't quite ready to drape your bed just yet. First, its pulp needs to be broken down and turned into a fiber that's soft enough to sleep on. This requires the use of chemical solvents, so although bamboo on its own is a natural fiber, bamboo sheets are heavily processed.
Most bamboo sheets are made using a viscose process: The bamboo is broken down, crushed, mixed in a bath of chemicals, and then spun into yarn. This method comes with a few environmental concerns, which you can read up on here. Sheets made using a viscose process will typically be labeled "viscose made from bamboo" or "rayon made from bamboo." (In the U.S., they legally can't1 just be called "bamboo" because of all this processing.)
Bamboo sheets can also be made using a lyocell production method. This method uses slightly gentler solvents, repurposes them in a closed-loop system, and tends to be more eco-friendly. After pulling back the covers on the bamboo sheet industry and analyzing the options currently available, researchers concluded that lyocell is "considered to be one of the leading methods of producing environmentally friendly regenerated fibers for textiles" in a 2016 paper in the journal Fashion and Textiles2.
Sheets made this way will be labeled "bamboo lyocell" and they'll probably be more expensive than viscose options.
The most common types of weaves for bamboo sheets are percale and sateen. Percale is made by weaving a one-yarn-under, one-yard-over grid, which makes them crisp and lightweight. They tend to be a good option for the summertime. Sateen is made by weaving one yarn under and three to four yarns over, so it's thicker but still cooling.
Benefits of bamboo sheets:
They're natural—to an extent.
Unlike completely synthetic sheets made from materials like polyester, bamboo sheets do originally come from a naturally regenerating source. However, it's somewhat misleading to call them natural after all the ways they change during processing. While bamboo on its own is antibacterial, for example, this quality is likely lost in the production process.
As far as their look and feel, bamboo sheets tend to be very soft, smooth, and luxurious looking—similar to high-quality cotton.
Depending on the weave, bamboo sheets can be lightweight and breathable, which makes them a favorite among sleep specialists—especially for sleepers who tend to run hot as they snooze.
The way bamboo is treated tends to lead to strong, long-lasting sheets that can keep you cozy for years with proper care.