In this short article I will simplify the debate over bamboo and Egyptian cotton sheets. They are very different and once you see the facts, it becomes easier for you to make an educated decision on which to buy. Let's get started.
Bamboo sheets are not legally bamboo sheets. just the cellulose of the bamboo plants are used in making Rayon, so anytime someone tells you they are made of bamboo, it's misleading at best. They are legally rayon and even the word "rayon" has to be in all product descriptions when offered for sale to the public.
So what makes bamboo rayon sheets so popular? Lots of good reasons exist. Here are just a few.
Bamboo sheets sleep cooler than cotton, absorb moisture and wick it away quickly, are anti-bacterial in nature, which helps prevent body odor. They are also hypo-allergenic for people with allergic reactions to some fabrics. Last but not least, they feel amazingly close to silk when you get higher thread counts. Most tend to match-up just two version of bamboo sheets. The main comparison today is bamboo lyocell vs Egyptian cotton. Remember, lyocell is the newer nanotechnology in play, providing a more silk-like sleeping experience.
Everyone knows cotton is a natural fiber. It's safe, hypo-allergic and absorbs moisture and wicks it off well also. But what makes Egyptian cotton so expensive?
ELS cotton, or extra long staple cotton is a cotton that is over 30% longer than regular cottons. Egyptian cotton is an ELS cotton. The extra long fibers made extra tough threads. This does not mean the sheets are rough, just that they are tough. So tough in fact that our military used ELS cottons in WW1 to increase wing strength on aircraft.
It's less prone to pilling, last decades, has a silk like feel if you buy a sateen weave set and will give you the sleeping experience of a lifetime once broken in. The only other fabric on earth that I know of that measures up to Egyptian cotton is mulberry silk sheets. Now that's an experience you'll never forget.