Human instinct naturally dictates a pros and cons type of scenario whenever we're deciding between things, from food to cars to holiday destinations, and essentially everything in between.
This notion goes for bed sheets too.
With such an extensive list of materials to pick from it can be an arduous process to ascertain which option best works for you, compliments your bedroom and will ultimately provide a good night's rest.
For the purpose of this blog, we're going to focus on bamboo sheets and linen sheets, exploring all the key metrics you should consider when buying new bed sheets.
It's our very own battle of the sheets - bamboo vs linen style!
Linen vs bamboo sheets, which is better?
So we've got two popular fabrics, each with their own characteristics.
Unfortunately it's not as easy as just saying one is better than the other, first we need some context!
So let's dive into it, in order to find a winner we need to compare the two fabrics across several key metrics, these will include:
- Level of comfort and breathability
- Durability and cost
- Environment and health
- Thread count
Level of comfort and breathability
At the risk of sounding ostentatious, bamboo sheets are without doubt the softest sheets on the market.
They're incredibly lightweight and incredibly soft when you're cocooned up in them you can barely even notice they're on you.
In addition to this, bamboo sheets offer incredible temperature control and versatility, as a result, they keep you warm in winter and cool in summer, a fantastic choice for an all-around sheet, especially if you live in the northern parts of Australia.
Because bamboo is such a breathable fabric, compared to some other materials bamboo sheets limit the amount of moisture that can get caught during the course of a nights sleep.
Which is fantastic when you consider moisture build up is a catalyst for dust mites.
Probably not AS soft as bamboo, linen sheets still offer significant comfort in terms of their softness.
They're a little more crisp upon purchase, but do tend to get softer the longer you use them.
From a temperature standpoint, they also offer considerable control and regulation, allowing for air to circulate well throughout the night.
Although the temperature control is similar to that of bamboo, linen is not quite as good at trapping heat, making it a slightly poorer choice for those winter months compared to bamboo.
So if you're a hot sleeper, both bamboo and linen sheets are a good option for handling those night sweats.
Durability and cost
Bamboo sheets are incredibly durable, often lasting upwards of 15 years when cared for correctly!
The reason for this lies in the inherent nature of bamboo fibers. The bamboo plant undergoes a production process in which it is processed to create fine bamboo fibres.
These natural fibres are then spun into bamboo yarns and used to make bamboo sheets. These yarns are considerably longer than your standard cotton or linen yarns, meaning less is needed to make a sheet, and they stretch across the entire length of the sheet.
The result is a bedding product that is incredibly durable and does not pill or tear.
From a cost perspective, they tend to be a touch more expensive than linen, but not as expensive as some other materials. But when they can last for 15 years, who cares about the cost right?
Linen bed sheets come from the flax plant which undergoes a somewhat arduous process to create short fibers that are then interwoven to create linen sheets.
Cutting straight to the chase, when it comes to bamboo vs linen durability, bamboo is always going to win. Over time, linen sheets will pill, tear and even fray sometimes.
Yes, they are a little cheaper, but when it comes to durability there's only one winner here, and it isn't linen!
Environment and health
First and foremost, bamboo is incredibly good for your health. As we all know, sleep quality is directly linked to physical and mental wellbeing and sheets made from bamboo are fantastic for people with sensitive skin.
Naturally hypoallergenic and antibacterial, they help to reduce allergy flare ups caused by pathogens, dead skin cells and dust mites which fester when excess moisture seeps into your bed sheets.
On top of the health benefits, bamboo is a sustainable source that is eco friendly and the manufacturing process has a significantly lower carbon footprint than that of essentially every other material on the market.
Much like the durability debate, linen doesn't quite stack up on the health front either.
Linen is naturally very absorbent, meaning it will take in significantly greater amounts of body sweat, and oils from your skin. Which is not great from a health standpoint.
When considering the environment, however, linen is also a fairly eco friendly material.
Just like bamboo, harsh chemicals are not necessary to boost the growing process of flax plants.
In saying that, as we've already mentioned, the production process is quite time and resource intensive, which ultimately contributes to more carbon emissions than that of the bamboo process.
Thread counts have long been considered the almighty measuring stick for sheet quality with a higher thread count equalling superior quality.
But as you'll actually find, if you ask yourself the question "do bamboo sheets have a thread count", it's actually not that important.
At least, not when discussing bamboo sheets because compared to other materials, they have a much lower thread count, usually somewhere between 150 - 400 with the median being around 200-300.
It's not necessarily a bad thing though, as the inherent nature of bamboo's natural fibers mean you don't need nearly as many threads to make a sheet that is still very high in quality.
Interestingly enough, thread count is also not a great measuring stick for linen.
Due to it's unique structure thread count is a somewhat unreliable form of measurement.
They tend to have relatively low thread counts like bamboo, but the threads are substantially thicker than that of bamboo, meaning they can sometimes make for a hot and sticky night during the warmer months of the year, as we've already mentioned.
Let's get one thing straight, both these materials make for high-quality bed sheets.
In saying that, there really is only one clear winner in this battle of the bed sheets, and it's bamboo!
Bamboo sheets are softer, better for your health, offer exceptional breathability, are more durable and their production process has less of an impact on the environment than that of linen.
So with that, we'll leave you with some shameless self promotion - try our bamboo sheets and you can sleep risk-free for 100 nights with our bamboo bed sheets and if you're not satisfied, simply return them.
We donate any unwanted returns to those most in need within our communities, so you don't have to worry about them going to waste.
- FindAnyAnswer, "How long do bamboo sheets last?", Updated 29 May 2020 (Accessed October 2021)
- Sleep Health Foundation, "Report to the Sleep Health Foundation 2016 Sleep Health Survey of Australian Adults", 2016 (Accessed October 2021)