Going undercover to find the best Bamboo Sheets on the market
I’ll never forget my first set of Bamboo Sheets. It was a game changer, a revelation, a paradigm shift. As a kid I always loved my flannel sheets, so fuzzy soft; I just had to put up with the night sweats in the summertime. In my bachelor days, I once tried to pimp my pad with some deluxe satin sheets from a high-end lingerie store, but every night they would slide off the bed, and after just one wash the fantasy was already unravelling.
My first encounter with Bamboo Sheets came in 2006. Bambu Batu had only been in business for about eight months. At that point, we were mostly still selling bamboo furniture and home decor: lamps, tiki statues and suchnot. We had a few pairs of bamboo socks and t-shirts in the shop, and we’d just discovered the miracle of bamboo towels, but we’d yet to fully appreciate the wide, wide world of bamboo textiles.
So I tracked down a small family-owned company called DreamSacks in Ashland, Oregon. At the time they were specializing in silk sleep sacks, but they were also something of a vanguard in the realm of bamboo fabric, offering a limited assortment of 100% bamboo sheets and small line of women’s blouses and tank tops.
I went ahead and ordered a few sets of sheets for the shop and one for the home. One night on those sheets and the world would never be the same. Who knew that such comfort was even possible? Just unthinkably soft, somehow silky and fuzzy at the same time, warm but also cool. I couldn’t wrap my mind around these sheets.
As great as these sheets were, they were only the earliest and first generation of bamboo bedding. With time, research and development, they would just keep getting better and better. Eventually bamboo sheets became quite the hot trend, and for good reason. In addition to being remarkably soft, bamboo fabric is also naturally antimicrobial (odor resistant) and temperature regulating (warm in the winter, cool in the summer).
But as with anything else in such high demand, the market would be flooded with competitors, and a vast range of quality, from the exceptional top-of-the-line to the lowly imitators at the bottom. So we did our due diligence and spent some time inspecting innumerable brands of bamboo sheets in order to find the very best.
NOTE: To make shopping even easier, we’ve included some affiliate links in this article.
What to look for in a set of Bamboo Sheets
- BAMBOO CONTENT: While some products, like the bamboo towels, seem to get better results from a blend of bamboo and cotton, the best bamboo sheets consist of 100% bamboo. (NOTE: Because of the process used to turn bamboo into fabric, regulations require bamboo products to be labeled viscose or rayon. So if the packaging or label on your sheets or says “viscose from bamboo” or “bamboo rayon”, it’s all the same thing.)
- THREAD COUNT: Usually thread count is the most important factor to look at when comparing sheets. In my experience, however, the bamboo sheets are so soft, that the thread count can be a little misleading. Bamboo sheets with a 250 thread count, for example, can feel more like cotton sheets with 800 or 1000 thread count. Still, it’s something to consider if you’re comparing products and prices.
- DIMENSIONS: Of course, you want to be sure to get the right size sheets for your bed. This can get a little confusing with things like standard kings, eastern kings and California kings. (I find the chart from Wikipedia very helpful in this case.) Also, pay attention to the mattress thickness. Some brands offer sheet sets for different depths; others only make extra-deep sheets, and if you have a standard thickness mattress you just have to tuck the excess fabric underneath.
- COLOR OPTIONS: When I lie down in bed and close my eyes, the color of my sheets is not my greatest concern. On the other hand, if you’re laying out the extra cash for a set of supremely comfortable sheets, you probably want them to look good too. Some brands will have more options to choose from, and if you’re looking to match a very specific color, you may have to dig around a bit.
- EXTRA, EXTRA: Sheets are one thing, but what if you’re looking for a comforter to match, or a duvet cover? You might want some extra pillow cases in different sizes, or some little accent pillows. And how about sham covers? Some brands offer all these things, while others only provide the basics.
RESULTS: The Best Bamboo Bedding
From our extensive experience in the realm of bamboo fabrics and textiles, we’ve come up with a short list of the products that we believe represent the best quality and value available in the way of bamboo sheets. And to make shopping for bamboo bedding even easier, we’ve included a few Amazon affiliate links to help you find them more quickly.
YALA Bamboo Dreams Sateen Luxury Sheet Set
Formerly known as Dreamsacks, Yala has long been a pioneer in the bamboo clothing business. Their first line of bamboo apparel debuted around 2006, and with each season their fabrics and fashions have just gotten better and better. If money is no object and you absolutely must have the best bamboo sheets, there’s no substitute for Yala’s Bamboo Dreams Sateen Luxury collection, available conveniently from Amazon.
Yala’s founders, a husband and wife team from Oregon, were teaching English in China when they came up with the idea of starting a business as way to create jobs and opportunities among the local population and to promote innovative, renewable resources like bamboo. They’ve always been into it for all the right reasons. And Yala remains committed to providing excellent working conditions and sourcing products that are Certified Organic and Fair Trade.
The bamboo sateen material that goes into these sheets has a 300 thread count (that feels like 1000 thread count cotton) and is made from 100% organically grown bamboo. Using only low impact dyes, the sheets are available in a range of soft earth tones, and in all the standard sizes. Yala also makes coverlets, comforter covers and pillow case sets from the same exquisite fabric. For softness and sublime comfort, nothing else compares to this heavenly bedding.
YALA Bamboo Dreams Sheet Set
If you’re not quite ready to splurge for the Sateen Luxury set, but you still want to experience the magnificence of bamboo bedding, then these are your best bet. Yala’s original line of 100% bamboo rayon sheets set the standard for the industry.
Don’t be shocked when they come out of the washing machine feeling like a ton of steel; once they’ve dried they become the pinnacle of sumptuous softness, and they are remarkably durable as well. The 250 thread count is comparable to 800 thread count cotton. YALA’s bamboo sheets can also be found on Amazon.
Bed Voyage also produces a very nice selection of bamboo bedding. It may not have quite the elegance of YALA’s Bamboo Dreams fabrics, but their pricing is very competitive. Bed Voyage also delivers a marvelous range of colors, about 15 hues in all, available in all the standard bed sizes. As with all bamboo sheets, these are extremely soft, in addition to being temperature regulating and anti-microbial. Wash cool or warm and dry low, it’s as easy as that.
We typically stock a good selection at Bambu Batu, and Bed Voyage bamboo sheets are also available for convenient delivery from Amazon.
Classic bamboo sheets from Cariloha are very hot on the market. Made from 100% bamboo rayon, they promise all the softness and hypo-allergenic properties of a good bamboo fabric. I don’t have any personal experience sleeping on this brand, but they offer a 100% money-back guarantee, so you really can’t go wrong. Cariloha bamboo sheets are also available for order at Amazon. They come in five handsome colors and in all the standard mattress sizes.
So there’s a few options to consider, and we’re confident that if you stick to one of these brands of bamboo sheets, you won’t be disappointed. Just watch out, there are some inferior brands out there, and some bamboo sheets that are really only 40% bamboo blended with 60% polyester. When it comes to bamboo bedding, go with the 100% every time. And sweet dreams!