Bamboo fabric is so hot right now! It's comfy, supposedly good for the environment and has all kinds of beneficial health claims behind it.
But is bamboo fabric better than cotton?
Most people, when shopping for sheets would have asked
“what’s the thread count?”
“Is it Egyptian Cotton?”
For years we’ve been conditioned to believe that Egyptian Cotton with a high thread count is the most superior, luxurious and comfortable fabric you can get for your bed sheets.
SILKY LOOK AND FEEL
Compared to other cottons, Egyptian Cotton is far superior, as it has longer fibres which makes for a better weave.
But is bamboo fabric better than cotton? Since the arrival of Bamboo Fibre on the sheet scene, it's starting to look like there’s a far more comfortable (and affordable) alternative available to Egyptian cotton.
Bamboo fibre has really long staple lengths. It’s super soft, but its also really strong and lasts for a long time which makes it perfect for turning into bed sheets. The thread count of most bamboo sheets is 300-400 which can’t really be compared in the same way to Egyptian cotton because of the quality of the fibre. Essentially, the smoothness of bamboo fibre makes a softer, silkier fabric which equates to a quality sleep.
But when it comes to cotton itself, it’s the agricultural practices behind it that aren’t often considered.
PESTICIDES AND FERTILISERS
Did you know that most cotton is grown with the use of multiple pesticides?
Not just any pesticides either, in fact, the cotton industry largely relies on three of the most hazardous insecticides available. One of them; Aldicarb, “can kill a man with just one drop absorbed through the skin.”
These insecticides are sprayed onto the cotton plants but also ends up in the soil, soaking into the groundwater system used by surrounding communities!
Cotton is also reliant on large amounts of synthetic, nitrogen-based fertilizer for conventional industry. These fertilisers are the most detrimental to the environment of any used in commercial fabric production. They run off into waterways affecting freshwater habitats, as well as polluting groundwater which can create ‘deadzones’ void of oxygen in bodies of water.
Even worse – the use of fertilisers contributes to the formation of nitrogen oxides which form a major part of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Bamboo sheets, on the other hand, are made from the bamboo plant, which is naturally pest resistant. The bamboo culms are naturally fertilized by dropped leaves, and when it rains, the water that soaks into the soil and groundwater is free of pollutants from synthetic fertilisers and pesticides.
In a bid to decrease use of insecticides, companies have engineered cotton varieties that are bred with insecticides already inside them. It’s estimated that approximately a third of the world’s cotton crops are now genetically engineered.
Like something out of a horror movie, scientists have labelled these new cotton seeds “Frankenseeds.” Messing with nature in this way can cause many other issues such as ‘super pests’ that are able to resist any pesticide except the harshest, leading to future threats of pollution on a bigger and deadlier scale.
Bamboo has been cultivated for thousands of years and hasn’t been messed with, nor is there any need to mess with it – it’s pretty much perfect!
Cotton needs LOTS of water to grow – 10,000 litres in fact – just to get one kilo! So much water is used to grow it that in some places, whole lakes have been depleted just to keep the industry going.
Did you know that when you buy and wear something made from cotton you are consuming virtual water? Basically, it’s the equivalent of using the water that was used to grow the cotton, at home, by yourself. Virtual water is a real thing!
And yes, the bamboo needed for Bamboo sheets hardly needs ANY water at all. It does its thing quickly and quietly, relying only on natural rainfall to grow.
HEALTH AND LIFESTYLE BENEFITS
Bamboo Bed Sheets have an abundance of benefits to offer to your lifestyle, in fact, some even call them lifechanging!
Bamboo Sheets are thermoregulating – they keep your body temperature at an ideal level, cooling you down in summer and wicking away moisture from nightly sweats. They’re also odour resistant due to their antibacterial nature and hypoallergenic making them ideal for sensitive skins and skin complaints.
There are plenty of reasons to reconsider your standards when choosing bed sheets. Some people love the heavy, thick texture of Egyptian Cotton, however in warmer climates, a heavy sheet can cause all kinds of comfort issues.
So, is bamboo fabric better than cotton?
Ultimately, it seems that choosing Bamboo sheets over Egyptian Cotton will keep you more comfortable and will definitely lighten your footprint on our planet.
So, yes - it probably is!