The reason bamboo bedding is making more bedrooms comfortable is because of a few key differences between bamboo fabric and cotton.
When bamboo is made into linen, the resulting fabric is much softer than even 1,000-count Egyptian cotton. The importance of exquisitely comfortable bedding can’t be overstated as it can make or break a good night’s sleep.
Cotton isn’t uncomfortable and sweaty, but bamboo is even better when it comes to breathability. You usually have to have a looser-woven cotton fabric to really feel this and loose-woven fabric doesn’t make for good bed sheets.
With bamboo, you get high thread counts for comfort and softness, alongside great moisture wicking and ventilation. These two properties are vital in hot or humid climates. People who sleep in bamboo bedding notice that they don’t have to keep searching for a cool spot – bamboo fibres stay naturally cool and dry.
All substances have specific heat capacities, including fabrics and the materials they’re made from. Once a material’s heat capacity is full, it’ll start to “give out” heat, which is when, in the case of bedding, you feel hot and uncomfortable. Cotton has a high heat capacity, but bamboo’s is higher so it always feels cool to the touch – around 3C cooler than cotton.
We think of cotton as the most absorbent fabric available, but that’s only because we haven’t all embraced bamboo yet! Humans lose around 500ml of moisture each night through sweat and if the sheets don’t wick it away effectively, things can get a bit clammy. Bamboo can absorb up to four times as much moisture as cotton.
If you suffer from allergies, then you’ll need hypoallergenic detergents, make-up and fabrics. As you spend eight hours a night in your bed sheets, it’s vital that they don’t bring you out in a rash.
Most species of bamboo are naturally resistant to pests and diseases, so growers simply don’t need to use pesticides. This amazing plant also regenerates without needing fertilisers, so you’re getting a product that’s grown and processed organically.
It’s now possible to treat bamboo with a combination of mechanical grinding and lye to soften the fibres so they can be woven into an amazingly soft fabric. It’s soft, but it’s also very strong; stronger than most cotton products. Bamboo has great tensile strength and also withstands compression much better than concrete.
When these properties are woven into bed sheets, you’re getting tough and durable bedding that should last for years as long as you follow the manufacturer’s washing instructions.
Bamboo is one of our most sustainable resources. It’s actually a grass and like most other grasses it grows fast even after being cut. Cotton has to be replanted (and usually fertilised) after each harvest, where as bamboo just carries on growing.
Some types of bamboo can grow 120 cms a day with no help other than water and sunlight. No pesticides, no fertilisers, just nature doing its thing.
Bamboo needs only a third as much water as cotton to grow, which helps us to conserve this precious resource.
All you need to do now is to actually feel the fabric and you’ll be a bamboo convert!