Bamboo Sheets vs. Linen Sheets: Comparison Guide

With over twenty types of bed sheet fabrics on the market, choosing the best option can be more challenging than it seems. The bedding industry does try to keep it simple by focusing on the famous Egyptian cotton sheets, classic linen sheets, silk sheets, and the new yet considerably sought-after bamboo sheets. That being said, folks are still left with some questions to be answered concerning these four specific types of sheets.

Since it would be easier to just weigh the pros and cons between two opponents at a time—in this case, linen vs. bamboo sheets—today, we are going to guide you through our comparison. 

Bamboo Sheets vs. Linen Sheets

Comparing bamboo and linen is not a straightforward matter as both fabrics are strong, smooth, and long-lasting. This is why we closely examined their breathability, comfort, thread counts, durability, and influence on our health. 

Environment & Health

As both bamboo and linen fabrics have been in the limelight lately, you’ve probably seen ads that promote them as naturally hypoallergenic and antibacterial. While this is true to some extent, rarely does a blog post dig deeper into the topic of where these properties come from. As we are always going above and beyond to help you learn everything about our products, we’ll do exactly that. 

Bamboo

The first and foremost reason why you’d choose bamboo fabrics over others is that they are exceptional for your overall health. This is mostly because sleep quality is directly related to physical and mental wellbeing, and bamboo fabrics have a plethora to offer in that regard.

A significant study, published by the Journal of Textile Institute, shows the origins of the antibacterial properties of Australian-grown Moso bamboo. The plant itself is rich with naturally antibacterial agents called lignin that are organic polymers located in its cell walls, safeguarding it from external menaces like bacteria. As bamboo fabrics are believed to preserve some of these properties after processing, they can perhaps resist colonization by bacteria to minimize the risk of spreading infections. 

Having said that, we’ll get into more detail on the hypoallergenic properties of bamboo a bit later. Let’s first touch on the plant’s remarkable sustainability. 

Growing the bamboo plant is truly eco-friendly as it doesn’t require any pesticides or fertilizers for its growth. Or, as Hans Friederich, INBAR’s general director, told Africa Renewal: “It is an amazing plant that provides a great opportunity for making an income because it grows incredibly fast and a farmer can sell it as a raw product or can make products out of it.”

Linen

Since another noteworthy study suggests that there’s no direct evidence that flax—the plant that produces fibers for the creation of organic linen—transmits antibacterial properties on fabrics, this might mean that the antibacterial properties of linen are a marketing gimmick. Note that this evidence is based on testing against two types of bacteria, namely Staphylococcus aureus and Klebsiella pneumoniae.

When considering the environmental aspect, linen is also a fairly eco-friendly material. As with bamboo, the growing cycle of flax plants is relatively short, which makes it easily renewable.

Breathability & Its Effects on Your Health

Breathability refers to the absorbing properties (sweat and other bodily fluids) of a particular fabric (in the case of bed sheets), allowing them to evaporate quickly and easily. This means that highly breathable fabric prevents hot sleepers from overheating during hot summers by regulating body temperature. 

What makes breathable sheets a top-notch choice for sleepers is not the temperature regulation properties but instead that they may help prevent allergies. More specifically, such fabrics can also help reduce allergy flare-ups from those pesky microscopic creatures that thrive in damp environments—dust mites.

Ultimately, as you may have realized, there are more than enough reasons to go for highly breathable, quality sheets other than their assumed hypoallergenic properties and put an end to the tossing and turning during the night. 

Bamboo as a Soft and Breathable Fabric

Bamboo fibres naturally wick moisture away from your body, even twice as fast as other materials such as cotton, providing temperature neutrality and preventing heat retention.

Besides the temperature regulating properties, bamboo sheets are widely recognized as one of the softest bed sheets on the market. This has plenty to do with the incredibly long staple span of the bamboo fibre that doesn’t allow any thread ends to scatter through the bamboo sheet and cause skin irritations. Or, in simpler words, bamboo sheets can preserve their softness for years on end when adequately cared for, hence often being dubbed as luxurious sheets.

Linen as a Natural and Breathable Fabric 

Linen fabrics are derived from the flax plant, which produces coarse natural fibres that gives them a grainy feel. Even though this makes linen bed sheets a bit crisp when they’re new, they do get softer over time. Nevertheless, they certainly can’t compete with the incredible softness that bamboo fabrics can provide.

When it comes to boasting temperature regulating properties, there are a lot of claims that linen fabrics possess inherent wicking properties. Still, there isn’t any prevalent scientific evidence that they indeed wick moisture away. 

So, if you are a hot sleeper, linen bedding might work the same wonders as bamboo during the hot summer days, but if you are trying to discover the feeling of sleeping on the softest bedding, we warmly recommend bamboo. 

Durability & Cost

Bamboo

When taken proper care of, bamboo sheets can last for as long as fifteen years, making them some of the most durable sheets on the market. As with their softness, the reason for their durability is the extremely long staple span of bamboo fibres that allows secure anchoring of the thread ends. This means that the chances for bamboo bed sheets to pill or tear are close to zero, unlike with other traditional sheets. 

As far as cost is concerned, these bedding fanatics' favorites tend to be a touch more costly than linen, but this is pretty reasonable considering their durability. 

Linen

Linen sheets are susceptible to pilling over time, which makes them less durable than bamboo. 

That’s why they’re cheaper than bamboo ones, automatically begging the question of whether you should choose quality over price. If you ask us, we would always go with quality as it always pays off in the long run.

Bamboo & Linen Thread Counts Comparison

Long gone are the days when fabrics with high thread count were regarded as superior in quality. This is mostly because people began to understand that thread count is a somewhat unreliable form of measurement due to its unique structure. 

So, although bamboo and linen have relatively low thread count, they aren’t low-quality materials.

Final Takeaway

Linen and silk sheets are a classic for their extreme breathability and sustainability. On the other hand, although newer on the market, bamboo sheets are becoming increasingly popular for many reasons. These incredibly soft guardians keep sleepers with sensitive skin relatively safe from dust mites, thus reducing pesky allergy flare-ups. They also assist sleepers by minimising infections due to their antibacterial properties. 

Last but not least, although they are slightly more expensive than linen sheets, they still are quite affordable.  

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