Eucalyptus Sheet Buying Guide: What To Look For, Avoid & Raise An Eyebrow At
If you're in the market for cozy, cooling bedding, you've probably come across sheets marketed as "eucalyptus" at some point. But how the heck do you make sheets out of eucalyptus, and why would you want to? Here's your under-the-covers guide to the popular material.
A peek at the best eucalyptus sheets of 2023:
A peek at the best eucalyptus sheets of 2023:
What are "eucalyptus" sheets?
Eucalyptus sheets are very comfortable and breathable, making them a popular pick for sleepers who run hot. Eucalyptus itself is also antibacterial1, but it's unclear if this benefit remains after the hefty processing required to make eucalyptus sheets.
You see, unlike other bedding materials like cotton, eucalyptus is not naturally soft. In order to be turned into sheets, it needs to go through quite a treatment: Eucalyptus first gets turned into wood chips, which are separated and mixed with chemicals until they turn to a pulp. The pulp then gets dissolved and run through an extrusion process until soft strands emerge into fibers.
The chemicals used in this processing have historically harmed people and the planet. They've been linked to polluted waterways and increased risk of coronary heart disease2, leukemia3, Parkinson's4, and stroke5 in factory workers. However, some new production processes now work with safer chemicals.
Label to look for:
When shopping for any sort of wood-derived fabric like eucalyptus, it's important to choose one that was created using more sustainable, closed-loop processing. Lenzing, a fiber production company based in Austria, is the leader in this field. They make two TENCEL™ branded wood fiber options: modal and lyocell.
While both are more responsibly produced, TENCEL™ lyocell is created using a closed-loop production practice that tends to be more sustainable. The fiber is USDA-certified biobased, and made using a process that reuses about 99.9% of water and solvents, explains Lenzing's U.S. Marketing & Branding Manager, Ericka G. Garcia. (Read more about the difference between modal and lyocell here.)
Many "eucalyptus" sheets—especially the ones that are marketed as eco-friendly—are made using Lenzing's fibers. And while eucalyptus is one wood source used in the company's fibers, it's not the only one; meaning your "eucalyptus" sheets are more likely a blend of eucalyptus, beech, birch, or other wood and pulps.
"Eucalyptus is one of the wood sources used, but it's not the entire wood source," Garcia clarifies on a call with mindbodygreen. "People like it because it's easy to understand and sounds inviting, but it's actually not a fiber content that you can label your product with per the FTC6."
Lenzing sources all of its wood from PEFC and FSC forests that are certified not endangered, so you can still feel good about their sheets—but just know that it's not only eucalyptus you're sleeping on, and brands need to be transparent about that.
How we picked
These eucalyptus sheet brands are honest about the fact that their sets are made from a blend of different wood fibers; not just eucalyptus.
All of the sheets on our list are made from more sustainable TENCEL™ lyocell. They are either pure lyocell, or lyocell blended with cotton to bring down the price.
Many of the sets on our list boast a cozy-yet-cooling thread count of 200+, and they all earn rave reviews from in-house testers and customers who run hot. We prioritized companies that offer a trial period, so you can test sheets out before committing. (Note: Many of these trial periods are only valid if you buy directly from the company.)
As we've covered, making eucalyptus sheets is a pretty involved process. So these sets don't run cheap. However, we found solid options for those looking to splurge or save. (For easy price comparisons, you'll find Queen prices listed unless sold out.)
The best eucalyptus sheets of 2023:
Most sustainable: Buffy Eucalyptus Sheets
- Colored with natural, plant-based dyes
- Company shares carbon footprint of its products
- Some reviewers say they're too thin
Buffy colors its TENCEL™ lyocell sets with plant-based natural dyes from ingredients like gardenia and pomegranate that maintain their soothing hues even after going through the laundry. The company offers a seven-night trial to try out the 300-thread-count sheets. We also appreciate that they list out the carbon footprint of each of their products.
Reviewers rave that these sheets are very soft and cooling, though some note they are thinner than expected.
- 6 color options
- Option to add flat sheet
- Stain easily
Sijo's 100% TENCEL™ lyocell sheets come in six calming colorways, and you can purchase sets with or without a flat sheet. You can test them out for up to 30 nights and send them back if you're not happy with them. But if the hundreds of 5-star reviews are any indication, you'll love their cool, almost-silky softness. The one negative feedback you'll find about this set: It does stain easily, so be careful when applying creams or lotions in bed.
What our testers say:
"I love my Sijo sheets! They come in beautiful, earthy colors and it was hard to pick just one... They are super high-quality which you can tell with the stitching. I will call out that they run a little on the larger size but it wasn’t a problem for us. I love these sheets and highly recommend them to anyone who wants to make their bed feel a little more luxe." — Danielle, Design Director
Best budget blend: Tuft & Needle Jersey Sheet Set
- Pre-washed to prevent shrinkage
- Not as cooling as a 100% lyocell set
- Rip easily
This blend of cotton and TENCEL™ lyocell is a bit thicker than a 100% lyocell sheet, but still breathable and absorbent. It would make for a great winter sheet set, and at $80 for a king, it's affordable to boot. But cat or dog owners, beware: Reviewers do note that these sheets rip fairly easily.
Best high thread count: Eucalypso Home Eucalyptus Classic Sheet Set
- 600 thread count
- Wide range of colors
- Some reviewers note they become less soft after washing
Another 100% TENCEL™ lyocell option, this set from Eucalypso Home is spun using a proprietary method that the company claims makes their 600-thread-count sheets even softer and more absorbent. They have 1,500+ 5-star reviews to their name, but one customer does think they should come with a warning: Only put them on your bed if you can sleep in tomorrow!
Most cooling: Casper Hyperlite™ Sheets
- Grid structure allows for extra airflow
- Option to add duvet cover and sham
Casper's 100% TENCEL™ lyocell sheets get their wow factor from a unique grid design that ups their breathability and disperses heat and sweat. Though pricey, they are a super-cooling pick for hot summers and sweaty sleepers. If you like the material, you also have the option to buy it in a sheet set, duvet cover, pillowcase set, and sham set.
Best wrinkle-resistant: Vesta SuperTree™ Soft Sheet Set
- Wrinkle resistant
- Corner bands keep fitted sheet from slipping
- Limited color selection
- Limited sizes
These "buttery soft" sheets made from 100% TENCEL™ lyocell would look great in any bedroom. A smart internal band makes it easy to find the sheet's corners, so you can make your bed perfectly each time. The set is also designed to stay snug and stand up to wrinkles. Reviewers also note that it continues to feel just as smooth after multiple washes; a huge plus.
How does eucalyptus compare to other sheets?
Eucalyptus tends to be less stiff than cotton but similarly soft (the higher the thread count, typically the softer the sheet). On average, it's also more light and breathable than wool and more comfortable than polyester.
Garcia points out that eucalyptus (Lenzing's yarns in particular) also blend well with other materials. Often, manufacturers will pair them with cotton for a soft, cool combo or wool knit for a warmer winter sheet. These blends tend to be more affordable than 100% lyocell, while retaining breathability.
Are eucalyptus sheets worth it?
Eucalyptus sheets are more expensive than other popular options like cotton—but they are also more naturally temperature-regulating. This means eucalyptus sheets (especially the high-quality ones on this list) will be worth it for those who tend to sweat or run warm as they sleep and need a more breathable and cooling bed environment.
Are eucalyptus sheets long-lasting?
Eucalyptus sheets are durable, though they may become less soft over time with repeated washing. To help yours stay in great shape, we'd recommend washing them separately on a cold cycle with a gentle detergent and air drying them if possible.
What's better: Eucalyptus or silk sheets?
Silk sheets are softer and smoother than eucalyptus sheets—but they can be twice as expensive. Both types of sheets are naturally temperature-regulating. Those who prefer animal-free products will want to go with eucalyptus (silk is made from silkworms). If you're wary about toxins at home, go with silk sheets if you can afford them. All in all, they're less chemically intensive to create than eucalyptus sheets (even the more responsibly made ones, like lyocell).
Sheets that contain eucalyptus tend to be soft, breathable, and worth it for sleepers who run warm. If you're going to buy them, be sure to purchase ones that are made from lyocell as it's more environmentally friendly and worker-safe. Eucalyptus sheets that have been blended with other yarns will be more affordable, but still super soft.
Any of the eucalyptus sheet options on this list are highly recommended picks. Snuggle up in them for a few nights and you'll totally forget you're sleeping on a tree.