The 5 Best Sustainable Bamboo Sheets of 2020

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Bamboo is an amazingly versatile plant; it can be made into modern flooring, compostable plates, and even fabric, once it’s gone through either chemical or mechanical processing. The latter process is uncommon and results in a linen-like material. More commonly, bamboo is chemically processed into a soft, silky, breathable material. Some people also say it’s especially cool to the touch. 

From a sustainability perspective, bamboo can be a more earth-friendly choice, but it isn’t always. While bamboo is a fast-growing plant that doesn’t require fertilizers or pesticides, the chemical process it goes through to become viscose (aka rayon) can be more or less water-wasteful and toxic depending on the chemicals—and like any manufacturing process, the people doing the work may or may not be fairly compensated. 

Determining whether a set of bamboo sheets fits fair-labor and environmental criteria is complex. That’s why, with only one exception, we’ve only included sheets here that meet either USDA Organic or STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX, which tests all components of a textile for harmful substances to ensure that the article is “harmless for human health.” Ahead, the best (and most sustainable) bamboo sheets.

Best Overall: Ettitude Bamboo Lyocell Sheet Set

Ettitude Bamboo Lyocell Sheet Set

 Courtesy of Ettitude

Ettitude’s bamboo sheets are OEKO-TEX STANDARD 100-certified and made from what the company calls CleanBamboo, a signature bamboo lyocell sourced from FSC-certified forests. Lyocell is made in an even more low-impact way than viscose due to the type of solvent used, which is more recoverable and uses less water. The sheets are mailed in reusable packaging, and the company donates 1 percent of its profits to environmental organizations.

They come in a wide variety of sizes and rich, unique colors, including two striped styles. You can test the 300 thread-count sheets out for 30 days as part of Ettitude’s 30-Night Sleep Trial. Ettitude also offers matching bamboo duvet covers separately.

Good to Know: It’s often touted that bamboo fabric is naturally antibacterial, meaning it will be less smelly during use (since body odors are caused by bacteria). This is partially true, but being less smelly is down to the viscose fabric that bamboo becomes—in tests, viscose generally harbors less odor-causing bacteria than cotton does. Since viscose can be made from a number of plant materials, it’s not the bamboo that contributes to the low-odor effect, but bamboo sheets will have this attribute.

Best Variety: DTY Luxuriously Soft 100% Bamboo Sheet Set

DTY Luxuriously Soft 100% Bamboo Sheet Set

 Courtesy of DTY Store

DTY’s bamboo sheets come in all the standard bed sizes, as well as California king, plus a huge variety of colors. OEKO-TEX-certified, the all-bamboo sheets feature details that speak to durability, including double-folded hems and elastic all the way around the bottom sheet for a better fit. DTY also offers king and queen-size pillowcases for sale separately, for those with multiple pillows on bigger beds.

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Best Organic: Cozy Earth Bamboo Sheet Set

Cozy Earth Bamboo Sheet Set

Courtesy of Cozy Earth 

These sheets only come in white, but that’s by design since Cozy Earth touts them as being both chemical- and dye-free. The bamboo used is “strictly sourced from USDA-certified organic farms,” according to Cozy Earth, which goes into detail about how the company is in touch with every part of its supply chain. These sheets are packaged in reusable packaging, and Cozy Earth offers a 100-night trial, free shipping and returns, and a 10-year warranty against discoloration and pilling. There's also a bamboo comforter to go with the sheets.

Best Budget: Bambpure 100% Organic Bamboo Sheets

Bambpure 100% Organic Bamboo Sheets

 Courtesy of Amazon

Made from 100 percent organic bamboo and OEKO-TEX-certified, these sheets offer 400 thread count softness. They are double-stitched for durability and come in a variety of colors (a range of neutrals plus a couple of vibrant shades) in a sateen finish that reviewers rave looks and feels luxurious—despite its low price. The fitted sheet in this set is also fully elasticized and designed to fit deep mattresses up to 16 inches thick. Note that, as with all sheets, you will want to read and follow the care instructions.

Best Textile Variety: Cariloha Bamboo Sheets

Cariloha Bamboo Sheets

Courtesy of Cariloha 

All Cariloha bamboo products are OEKO-TEX-certified and come from the company’s 10-square-mile bamboo farm in the hills of the Sichuan Province in China that uses 0 pesticides. The company offers four different types of 100 percent bamboo sheets: Classic, Resort, Resort Percale, and Aloha Soft.

Classic is a soft twill sheet in 230 thread count that comes in five colors; Resort is an even softer sateen weave at 400 thread count and comes in eight colors; Resort Percale is more structured with a matte finish and only comes in white; and Aloha Soft is a twill sheet set made especially for Costco that comes in four colors. Cariloha makes a number of other bamboo bedding products including blankets, mattresses, and pillows.

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Starre Vartan has been covering sustainable consumer products for 15 years, 10 of those with Treehugger (under the MNN brand). She’s also a science writer who has covered biotech, astrobiology, animals, women’s health, and space for a variety of publications including Scientific American and National Geographic. She has personally tested compostable packaging in her backyard compost heap, a variety of solar chargers, hybrid cars, and other products meant to leave a lighter footprint.

What to Look for in Bamboo Sheets

Certifications: We didn’t find any 100 percent bamboo viscose sheets that were certified by anything other than USDA Organic or OEKO-TEX. 

Thread Count: This will be noticeably lower than cotton sheets, but that’s because viscose is softer from the get-go than cotton. So a thread count of between 250 and 350 for a 100 percent bamboo sheet will result in a nice soft touch, equivalent to a higher thread count in cotton. 

Textile Composition: You’ll commonly find 50/50 bamboo and cotton blends, and sometimes you might come across bamboo and poly blends or other fabrics simply labeled “microfiber.” But 100 percent bamboo sheets are your best bet if you want all the benefits of bamboo, like less odor and cool, silky sheets. 

Weave: You’ll find bamboo sheets that come in twill and sateen. Sateen, as the name implies, is silkier, but this can mean you slide around in bed more (which some people might find comfier, others less). Sateen is slippery enough that it can also make beds hard to keep neatly made. Twills are going to act a bit more like cotton sheets, with which you may be more familiar.

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