Bamboo vs. Linen Sheets: What’s the Difference?

Bamboo and linen bed sheets are both popular bedding choices due to their natural properties and luxurious feel. However, some key differences between the two type of bed sheets may…

Last Updated On January 30th, 2023
Bamboo vs. Linen Sheets: What’s the Difference?

Bamboo and linen bed sheets are both popular bedding choices due to their natural properties and luxurious feel. However, some key differences between the two type of bed sheets may make one a better option for you, depending on your specific needs and preferences.

Bamboo bed sheets are made from bamboo grass’s natural fibers, a highly sustainable and renewable resource. Bamboo can grow quickly and doesn’t require pesticides or fertilizers, making it an eco-friendly option. Bamboo linen bedding is also naturally hypoallergenic and antimicrobial, making them a great choice for those with sensitive skin or allergies. They are also very soft and silky and are more affordable than traditional flaxen linen bedding.

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On the other hand, linen sheets are made from flax plant fibers. Linen is also a natural and sustainable material, but bamboo bed sheets are more eco-friendly. However, linen sheets are known for their durability and longevity, and they only get softer with each wash.

Linen sheets are also highly breathable and absorbent, making them an excellent option for hot and humid climates. They are also wrinkle-resistant and do not require ironing while staying incredibly soft. However, linen sheets are also more expensive than bamboo sheets.

What Are Bamboo Sheets?

Quick Guide: A 30-Second Summary

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Bamboo sheets are bed sheets made from the breathable fabric fibers of bamboo plants. They are known for their softness, durability, and breathability, making them a popular choice for those who want a comfortable and eco-friendly option for their bedding.

Bamboo sheets also tend to be more moisture-wicking and hypoallergenic than traditional Egyptian cotton bed sheets. They are relatively more expensive than cotton but still cost-effective over time. See also our guide comparing bamboo vs. cotton sheets.

Bamboo linen can be found in various styles and sizes to fit standard bed sizes.

Pros of bamboo sheets:

  • Soft and comfortable: Bamboo fabric is naturally smooth and breathable, making it some of the softest sheets to the touch and comfortable to sleep on.
  • Durable: Bamboo bedding is known for its durability and can last a long time if properly cared for, especially in varieties such as bamboo rayon and higher thread count sheets.
  • Eco-friendly: Bamboo fibers are a sustainable and renewable resource of natural fibers, making bamboo sheets a more environmentally friendly and fairly eco-friendly material option than a traditional cotton sheet.
  • Moisture-wicking: Bamboo yarns have a unique structure that allows them to wick moisture away from the skin, keeping you cool and dry.
  • Hypoallergenic: Bamboo sheets are naturally hypoallergenic and are free of harsh chemicals, which can be beneficial for people with allergies or sensitive skin.

Cons of bamboo sheets:

  • Cost: Bamboo sheets can be more expensive than sateen weave or twill weave cotton, although over time, they are cost-effective. Some with a lower thread count can be more cost-effective.
  • Shrinking: Bamboo fibers can shrink when washed, so it is essential to follow the care instructions carefully and use cold water and a gentle cycle.
  • Availability: Bamboo sheets may be harder to find in stores than more conventional fabrics like traditional cotton, and you may have to purchase them online.

It’s worth mentioning that the cons are minor and can be easily overlooked. Many shoppers feel bamboo sheets are worth it for the benefits.

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What Are Linen Sheets?

Linen sheets are bed sheets made from the fibers of the flax plant. They are known for their unique texture, breathability, and durability.

Linen sheets are also a hypoallergenic natural fabric. They are cool to the touch, making them a popular choice for hot summer nights or a hot sleeper. They have a unique crinkled texture, a natural characteristic of linen, adding to their rustic charm.

Linen sheets are also considered eco-friendly as the flax plant is a natural fiber renewable resource that requires less water and pesticides than cotton. They are relatively more expensive than cotton but are incredibly durable and improve with age. Linen sheets can be found in various styles and sizes to fit standard bed sizes.

Pros of linen sheets:

  • Durable: Linen are high-quality sheets known for their durability and can last long if properly cared for. They can last up to 20 years if taken care of, making them more cost-effective despite a luxury price tag.
  • Eco-friendly: Linen is a sustainable and renewable resource, making linen sheets a more environmentally friendly option than other materials. It requires less water and pesticides to grow.
  • Cool and breathable: Linen fibers are naturally breathable and wick away moisture, making linen sheets cool and comfortable to sleep on, especially during hot summer nights.
  • Hypoallergenic: Linen sheets are naturally hypoallergenic, which can be beneficial for people with allergies or sensitive skin.
  • Unique texture: Linen sheets have a unique texture from being tightly woven, which adds to their rustic charm.

Cons of linen sheets:

  • Cost: Linen sheets can be quite expensive.
  • Wrinkling: Linen sheets tend to wrinkle more than cotton or bamboo and may require ironing or steaming to look their best. However, some people enjoy natural wrinkles as part of the linen’s charm.
  • Shrinking: Linen sheets can shrink when washed, so carefully follow the care instructions.
  • Availability: Linen sheets may be hard to find in stores and you may have to purchase them online.

It’s worth noting that, as with bamboo, many shoppers find the cons of linen sheets are minor and can be easily overcome. They are worth it for the benefits linen sheets provide such as durability, eco-friendliness, a unique texture, and excellent cooling properties.

What Is Better, Bamboo or Linen Sheets?

Both linen and bamboo sheets have unique benefits, and which is better for you will depend on your personal preferences and needs.

Linen sheets are made from the fibers of the flax plant. They are known for their durability, breathability, and unique texture. They are also naturally hypoallergenic and cool to the touch, making them a popular choice for hot summer nights. They last for a long time and improve with age.

Bamboo sheets, on the other hand, are made from the fibers of bamboo plants and are known for their softness, durability, and breathability, as well as a less intensive manufacturing process. They are moisture-wicking and serve well as hypoallergenic sheets. They are also considered more eco-friendly than traditional cotton sheets as bamboo is a renewable resource.

If you prefer a cool, breathable, eco-friendly sheet that can last a long time, linen sheets may be a better option. If you want a soft and comfortable sheet that is also eco-friendly and hypoallergenic, bamboo sheets may be a better option. Ultimately, both linen and bamboo sheets are a good investment and provide great benefits, and it comes down to personal preferences.

More Types of Bed Sheets to Consider

Bamboo and linen are both excellent cooling sheets made from natural fibers. However, they are not the only types of bed sheets on the market. Cotton and Tencel are also praised for their airy feel, and while microfiber isn’t as breathable, some do enjoy the budget-friendly material.

FAQs

Why are good sheets important?

When you wrap yourself up in a set of sheets for about eight hours a night, you want them to feel cozy and airy, not overly hot or scratchy. It is not only crucial to have good bedding to provide insulation and comfort but to check that they are of high-quality fibers for long-lasting durability. Once you have such bedding, you should ensure that they are washed frequently, so that they may be reused for a longer time. 

Are linen sheets scratchy?

New linen sheets can feel stiff or even coarse and scratchy out of the box, depending on how they’ve been chemically treated. This is why we always recommend washing new sheets before using them. However, linen sheets, especially organic linen, tends to soften significantly with use.

Are bamboo bed sheets softer than linen?

When both are taken right out of the box, bamboo sheets are usually softer than linen sheets. But after using linen sheets for a few months with frequent washings, they break in and become softer than bamboo sheets. However, the immediate plushness of bamboo tends to make it the better choice for sleepers with delicate skin.

Can bamboo sheets and linen bed sheets go in the dryer?

You can put your bamboo and linen sheets in the dryer, but use a delicate tumble-dry setting and not the highest heat. Line-drying can help preserve the fluffy feel of a sheet, though letting them air out can take a while. Some sheet owners comprise by hanging sheets until they are at least 50% dry, before finishing them in the dryer to reduce drying time while maintaining the plush texture.

What are the best sheets for hot sleepers?

Overall, natural fibers are more breathable than synthetic fibers. Sheets made of cotton, eucalyptus, linen, or bamboo are lightweight and breathable, making them the perfect choice for hot sleepers. These materials permit ventilation while also absorbing moisture into their structure.

Conclusion

Both bamboo and linen sheets have their own unique benefits and drawbacks. Bamboo sheets are more eco-friendly and affordable, while linen sheets are more durable and breathable. Ultimately, the decision between bamboo and linen sheets will come down to personal preference and specific needs.

Bamboo sheets may be the way to go if you prioritize eco-friendliness and affordability. But if you want the luxurious and incredibly soft feel and durability of a higher thread count, you may want to consider investing in a set of linen sheets.


About the author

Eric Ridenour is a health and wellness writer with a focus on sleep and nutrition. He has studied health science and psychology at a university level and has consulted several businesses and individuals on the connection between sleep and overall well-being including the effect lack of sleep has on other aspects of health such as exercise, nutrition, and concentration. He is a published author working on his second book.

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