Bamboo sheets are bedsheets made from bamboo rayon. They have been growing in popularity in recent years due to its renown for being cool, comfortable, and breathable, as well as sustainable and eco-friendly. Many people also favor bamboo rayon sheets for their symptomatic relief among those who frequently have night sweats, as well as among those with sensitive skin or other allergies.
What are Bamboo Sheets Made Of?
To make bamboo bed sheets, farmers harvest bamboo shoots by cutting the stalks above the roots. Then, they chop the bamboo culms into tiny chunks, mix them with solvent, and crush them into pulp. After leaving it to rest, the pulp goes through a pressing process to form sheets of parchment-like material for easy storage and transportation.
At the factory, workers grind the parchment-like sheets and spin them into threads. This creates an extremely soft and fluffy weaving yarn known as bamboo rayon (in USA) or bamboo viscose (in Europe). The weavers then weave the yarn into fabric using one of two of the most popular weaving methods – Sateen or twill.
The factory then cuts the fabric into sizes that are suitable for each type of bed size, then packages and ships it, ready for retail consumption. Due to its manufacturing process, bamboo sheets should more accurately be called bamboo rayon sheets or rayon from bamboo sheets. But many people find it easier to simply say “bamboo sheets”.
How Comfortable are Bamboo Bed Sheets?
Bamboo rayon sheets are incredibly soft, luxuriously smooth, and refreshingly breathable. They have various properties that contribute to their ability to provide exceptional levels of comfort.
Bamboo Rayon Fibers are Structurally Smoother Than Conventional Cotton Fiber
If you compare cotton fiber with bamboo rayon fiber under a microscope, you will see that cotton fiber looks like hemp rope while bamboo rayon looks smooth, round, and tubular. Hence, bamboo sheets glide more easily over your skin and do not chafe.
Micro-Gaps Make Bamboo Bed Sheets Very Breathable
Bamboo rayon fabric contains micro-gaps that trap cool air and allow your body heat to escape. Hence, your skin is well-ventilated all night and can breathe easily.
Bamboo Sheets are Highly Absorbent and Have Moisture-Wicking Qualities
Bamboo rayon sheets can absorb up to three times their weight in water. Therefore, if you perspire easily, especially during summer nights, your bamboo bedding will not easily become saturated.
Additionally, bamboo rayon fabric is moisture-wicking. This means it readily pulls perspiration away from your skin and transports it to the outer surface of the sheets where it evaporates. This keeps your bamboo bed sheets dry and further prevents them from becoming saturated with sweat. Instead, you can look forward to staying cool, dry, and comfortable all night.
Health Benefits of Bamboo Rayon Sheets
Bamboo sheets are also sought after for their health benefits. This is especially so for people who suffer from frequent night sweats and by people with various allergies. Here are three qualities of bamboo bed sheets that they favor.
Cooling Bamboo Sheets Provide Great Relief from Night Sweats
Since the micro-gaps in bamboo bed sheets trap cool air and allow body heat to escape, people with night sweats experience great relief when using them. Moreover, the absorbent and moisture-wicking qualities of bamboo rayon sheets protects the bedding from becoming damp and uncomfortable due to excessive perspiration.
Bamboo Bed Sheets are Resistant to Bacterial Growth
Bacteria grows and multiplies much more slowly on bamboo rayon fabric than on conventional cotton. In the results from a study published in the Journal of Family Ecology and Consumer Sciences, the researchers concluded that bacteria grows at a normal rate on the cotton but at a significantly lower rate on the bamboo rayon. In this way, people who use bamboo bed sheets are less exposed to harmful microbes.
Bamboo Sheets Can Severely Hamper the Growth of Dust Mites
Dust mite droppings are common allergens, causing everything from breathing difficulties to skin irritation. The moisture-wicking properties of bamboo rayon deprive dust mites of the humidity they need for optimal growth and reproduction. Consequently, people with bamboo bed linen have lower populations of dust mites in their bedding.
Environmental Benefits of Bamboo Sheets
Besides advantages concerning health and comfort, bamboo bed sheets are also sustainable and eco-friendly. Let us explore some of the many factors that contribute to this.
Bamboo is Fast-Growing and Self-Replenishing
The bamboo plant can grow up to three feet a day and holds the Guinness World Record as the fastest growing plant. Moreover, bamboo can regenerate itself after harvest. When a bamboo stalk is cut, a new stalk spontaneously grows out from the plant to replace it. This significantly saves on manpower needed for replanting after harvest. Hence, bamboo is highly sustainable because the same area of cultivated land yields much more raw material in bamboo compared to other plants.
Bamboo Plants Help to Prevent Soil Erosion and Landslides
During harvest, farmers cut bamboo stalks above the root instead of pulling out the plant by the roots. Farmers do not need to replant bamboo crops because new stalks automatically regenerate. Hence, bamboo roots stay in the ground to protect it against soil erosion and landslides. This significantly helps with soil conservation and preservation of topsoil. In contrast, many cotton plantations uproot and replant their crop every year.
Bamboo Consumes Less Water Than Cotton
Bamboo uses only a third of the water that conventional cotton consumes. It uses water more efficiently than other plants and does not need irrigation. Therefore, the environmental considerations associated with agricultural irrigation systems, such as increased soil erosion, pollution of surface and ground water, and drainage water resulting in algae blooms do not apply to bamboo farms.
Environmental Controversy Involving Bamboo Rayon Sheets
For all its environmental benefits, there was a time when controversy plagued bamboo bed sheets. The solvent used in the manufacture of bamboo rayon was irresponsibly handled and disposed of my certain companies. For this reason, it is best to purchase your bamboo sheets only from business that display sustainable certifications from eco-standards organizations, such as Oeko-Tex.
Sustainability organizations rigorously test, audit and certify that factories adhere to environmentally responsible processes and have socially responsible working conditions. When you see the Oeko-Tex label, you have guaranteed assurance that your bamboo rayon sheets are free from harmful chemicals and that you are even able to trace your product back to the factory that produced them.
Bamboo Sheets for Better Sleep, Better Health, and a Better Planet
While not yet the mainstream material for bedsheets, bamboo rayon is increasing in popularity due to its wide spectrum of benefits. People with bamboo sheets have experienced better quality of sleep and have found relief from allergy symptoms. Moreover, environmentalists hail its sustainable properties. People all over the world even celebrate World Bamboo Day on September 18!