Judging by the way you hear lots of folks talking about it, you’d think cotton was king when it came to your bedding and home furnishings. And maybe you’re not thinking about the latest trends when you’re looking to refresh your old sheets and blankets at Bed Bath and Beyond. But if you’ve never looked into the exciting advantages of bamboo fabrics as an alternative to cotton, you’re letting a good thing pass you by.
Read on to discover how bamboo is superior to cotton and other fabrics in almost every way:
Breathe easy under bamboo covers
If you’ve ever woken up on a balmy summer’s night in a sweaty mess, then it’s time to look beyond cotton. If like the rest of us you’ve seen your electricity bill climb higher and higher over the last few years, you probably don’t want to have your air conditioner grinding away all through the night. But what choice do you have during those sticky summer months…?
How about this: choose a fabric that actively works to keep you cool and dry. Cotton may feel cool to the skin when you first slip between the sheets, but we all know that doesn’t last very long on a hot night. Many people don’t realize that relative to other fabrics cotton isn’t very good at staying dry. The moisture the develops over the course of the night as you breathe and sweat tends to become trapped in the micropores of a cotton sheet and can’t escape to the exterior of your blanket.
Enter bamboo: unlike cotton, bamboo fiber has a far superior vapor transmission rate. This means that it actively encourages moisture to transfer from your skin, through your covers, and to the exterior where it evaporates. Put this all together and you’ll find that you’re much more likely to stay cool and comfortable during a hot night if you’re under a bamboo sheet.
Built-in climate control
On top of this, the same feature of bamboo that keeps you dry also provides a natural form of temperature regulation. One of the most important factors determining your quality of sleep is how well your sheets or blankets are able to cope with temperature variations — you want to stay cool when it’s hot and warm when it’s cold.
The natural weave structure of bamboo fiber means that unlike most other fabrics it is able to control the climate in your sleeping environment. The airflow around a bamboo fabric allows the temperature of the outside environment to regulate the temperature around your body. And this doesn’t only apply when you’re hot — the physics of thermoregulation mean that a bamboo weave also keeps you warm when it’s cold outside.
This isn’t to say that you’ll never need your air conditioner or heating ever again, but at least bamboo sheets will be working for you rather than against you.
What the wick…? How bamboo keeps you dry and comfortable all night long
Ask the experts and they’ll tell you that bamboo’s special features like moisture wicking and thermoregulation are the result of its enhanced hygroscopic properties. Here’s why: viewed under a powerful electron microscope, you can see that bamboo fiber is made up of a cross-section of hollow, oval pores that have a remarkable capillary action on moisture in the air.
This means that they actively draw moisture from the air, allow it to pass through the material, and encourage it to evaporate on the outside of the fabric. The end result? You stay dry and at a comfortable, sleep-conducive temperature — whatever the season.
Antibacterial, antimicrobial, and hypoallergenic
And bamboo’s exceptional attributes don’t end there. How’s this for impressive?: bamboo fibers are embedded with a substance called ‘bamboo-kun’ which has natural antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. This makes bamboo fabric inherently inhospitable to the kind of bacteria, mould, and dust mites that tend to accumulate on most other fabrics.
This means that your bamboo bed sheets will remain odor-free for longer than other fabrics and require much less detergent to clean. This makes the material hypoallergenic and particularly suitable for allergy sufferers or those with sensitive skin. Bamboo fiber also blocks almost 98% of harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays making it ideal for providing cover from the sun.
Silky soft, smooth, and durable
If you’ve ever heard bamboo being compared to cashmere, here’s why. Bamboo fabric is just what you need in your bedroom — it’s smooth and silky soft, but surprisingly durable. A 100% bamboo bed sheet with a high thread-count will noticeably outperform the equivalent cotton sheet for softness and comfort.
And because it’s so hard-wearing, you can expect to enjoy the luxurious feel of bamboo sheets against your skin for many years to come — with none of the unsightly yellow or gray discoloration that is typical of cotton’s tendency to absorb sweat and oil from your body.
Kind to you — and to the Earth
We all need to do our part to take care of the Earth’s resources and protect them for future generations. And by choosing a bamboo fabric, you can rest assured that you’ve made an environmentally-friendly and sustainable decision. Bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants in the world and has a great reputation for being able to thrive in soils where other crops struggle to survive.
It needs only rainwater to grow, so there’s no dependence upon artificial fertilizers or pesticides that can negatively impact the environment. And because it grows so vigorously, bamboo plants consume only 10% of the resources that cotton will demand to produce an equivalent yield.
The bottom line on bamboo
Let’s be honest: you’re not using cotton sheets because it’s the best thing for you and your family; it’s just because it’s what you’ve always done. But if the habits of a lifetime mean that you’re losing out on the amazing benefits of bamboo fibers, then it’s time to put things right. Here’s one thing you can be sure of: introduce premium bamboo bedding to your life and you’ll never look back.