Bamboo vs Cotton Sheets (2024)

Grace Struth

Sleep Content Lead

The choice between bamboo sheets vs cotton sheets can be a hard one.

Cotton is a common favourite with its often-affordable price tag and familiar, breathable feel. Cooling bamboo sheets, on the other hand, can sometimes be pricier but offer a silky touch, paired with eco-friendly manufacturing you can feel good about.

In this guide, we’ll compare these bedding options across various categories and break down the differences between cotton and bamboo bed sheets. Together we’ll find the perfect fit for your sleep experience.

 

Breakdown: Bamboo vs. Cotton Sheets

Read how bamboo sheets and cotton sheets compare:

 

Buying FactorBamboo SheetsCotton Sheets

Cost

$100–200+

$50–200+

Appearance

Matte finish, with certain weaves prone to wrinkling

Smooth, shiny finish, with certain weaves prone to wrinkling

Durability

Long-lasting with proper care

Long-lasting with proper care

Machine Washable

Yes, but may need special care

Yes, but may shrink in the dryer

Variety

Percale, Sateen, Twill

Percale, Sateen, Twill, Jersey, More

Feel

Luxurious, silky-smooth feel

Soft, breathable feel

Temperature

Cooling sheets with good airflow

Regulates temperature well

Best For

People wanting soft, sustainable sheets with less focus on price

People wanting versatile, breathable sheets at a lower price

photo of bamboo sheets with illustration of bamboo plant to the left

Bamboo Sheets

Bamboo bedding is crafted from bamboo plant fibres. The extracted fibres are also used to make materials like rayon, modal, and lyocell.

Bamboo fabrics are praised for their comfort and known for sustainability, despite some chemical use in production. That’s because bamboo plants tend to grow quickly, and they need less water and fertilizer than cotton.

Bamboo sheets in Canada come in several different weave options:

  • Percale-weave bamboo sheets have a simple one-thread-over, one-thread-under pattern that creates a crisp, lightweight fabric. This design is good for airflow if you overheat while you sleep at night. But beware, percale sheets can wrinkle quite easily.
  • Sateen bamboo sheets follow a one-thread-under, three-to-four-threads-over pattern. This weave is known for its silky feel and subtle sheen. Sateen naturally evades wrinkles, giving your bed a smooth, elegant appearance. However, it might retain more heat, and it’s prone to snagging and pilling (small knots in the weave).
  • Twill-weave bamboo sheets use parallel ribs in a diagonal pattern, like denim. These may not be as smooth as other weaves, but they’re very durable.

READ MORE: How often should you wash your sheets?

But are bamboo sheets good for your needs? If you’re sensitive to touch or looking for a soft, luxurious feel, then bamboo cooling sheets are absolutely for you.

Here are the pros and cons of bamboo sheets:

 

ProsCons
  • Durable and environmentally friendly
  • Cool with excellent airflow
  • Suitable for sensitive skin
  • Can sometimes be more expensive than cotton
  • Prone to wrinkles
  • Need extra care and maintenance

Shop Bamboo Sheets


photo of cotton sheets with illustration of cotton plant to the left

Cotton Sheets

Cotton bedding is woven from cotton plant fibres, which can come from different types of cotton plants. Cotton demands more water than bamboo during growth, which makes it less sustainable. However, organic cotton is becoming more accessible as a green alternative.

Cotton is a classic bedding choice with many types to choose from. Pima cotton, Egyptian cotton, and upland cotton all offer different softness and durability at different price points—and those are just a few of the cotton types out there.

But like bamboo sheets, it’s more the weave that helps determine how your bedding feels against your body while you sleep.

  • Percale-weave cotton sheets use a one-thread-over, one-thread-under pattern. This creates a breathable and moisture-wicking design suitable for warm sleepers.
  • Sateen-weave cotton sheets use a one-thread-under, three-to-four-threads-over pattern that feels silky and has a subtle sheen. This type of sheet tends to retain more heat. You might also notice pilling in the fabric over time.
  • Twill cotton sheets look like denim, with parallel ribs in a diagonal pattern. This type of cotton bedsheet is very durable, though it lacks the softness of other options.
  • Jersey cotton sheets, similar to a favourite T-shirt, bring a stretchy and cozy feel to your sheets when you sleep.

READ MORE: Cotton vs. lyocell sheets: which is best for you?

Cotton sheets can be a bit warmer to sleep in than bamboo sheets. If you sleep hot, you should consider a mattress with cooling features like Octave.

Octave comes with a CryoFusion™ cooling nanofibre cover, copper-infused memory foam treated with PolarMAX® phase-change material for temperature balance, and multi-zone support foam with air channels for breathability and temperature control. (Check out our guide to the best cooling mattresses while you’re at it.)

Here are the pros and cons of cotton sheets:

 

ProsCons
  • Some varieties are more affordable than bamboo sheets
  • Soft, comfortable, and easy to care for
  • Greater variety of weave options
  • May shrink in the dryer
  • Less durable than bamboo sheets
  • Certain weaves are prone to wrinkles
  • Special types like Egyptian cotton will cost more

Shop Cotton Sheets


Should you buy bamboo or cotton sheets?

Which is best for your needs: bamboo bed sheets vs cotton sheets? Both fabrics come in plenty of weaves and price ranges, but each has pros and cons. In the end, it all comes down to preference.

Use this table to pick the type of bedsheet that best matches your needs:

 

Choose bamboo if…Choose cotton if…
  • Weave options are less important to you
  • You want sheets that actively cool you down while you sleep
  • You enjoy silky-smooth sheets
  • You don’t mind taking extra effort to clean and maintain your bedsheets
  • Sustainable products are important to you
  • You want more weave options to choose from
  • You don’t need cooling sheets but wouldn’t mind some temperature control
  • You prefer softer, more breathable sheets
  • You want low-maintenance bedsheets that don’t require much effort to clean
  • Sustainable products aren’t a top priority