Linen vs. Bamboo Sheets

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Sleepers looking for bed sheets made of eco-friendly material often consider linen or bamboo bedding. Both fabrics are natural, breathable, and highly durable. So, it can be really difficult to choose between the two. Luckily, we are here to help!

Read on below to see how linen and bamboo sheets stack up against each other. We’ll compare, feel, durability, and even eco-friendliness below. By the end of this article, you’ll know which fabric you can get a good night’s sleep on. In a rush? Skip down to this chart for the quick facts.

Linen Sheets

Linen sheets are extremely durable, very lightweight, and sleep super cool. They are made from flax plant stems. These natural fibers are three times stronger than cotton, which means your linen sheet set can last for decades. Linen bedding also gets softer over time. It may feel a little coarse at first, but a well-worn pair of linen bed sheets can actually feel softer than luxury Egyptian cotton.

Linen sheets feature a loose weave and are naturally moisture-wicking. This ensures they are very cooling, which makes them great choices for people who deal with night sweats or live in warmer climates.

Finally, linen is naturally hypoallergenic and antibacterial. This makes this fabric ideal for sleepers with sensitive skin, as long as they don’t mind breaking their new sheets in a little. Keep in mind that because these sheets are cooling, long-lasting, and made of sustainable materials, they do have a luxury price tag. A high-quality linen sheet set can cost between $200 and $600.

Pros

Cons

Linen sheets are naturally cooling and absorbent. This makes them a great choice for hot sleepers.

Linen wrinkles very easily. If you don’t like the look of rumpled bed sheets, linen is not a good choice for you.

Linen sheets are the most durable bed sheets available. Flax fibers are very strong and will last decades.

Linen sheets are expensive, especially if you choose all-linen rather than linen-blend sheets. That said, to get all the sustainability and comfort of linen you should opt for an all-linen set.

Linen sheets are some of the softest sheets you can find once you’ve broken them in.

Linen sheets may feel rough or stiff until you’ve washed them a few times.

Bamboo Sheets

Bamboo fabric is made from viscose, modal, or rayon made from bamboo fibers. Bamboo plants grow quickly and require less irrigation and pesticides than cotton, so many sleepers looking to reduce their carbon footprint consider bamboo a good option. That said, the bamboo manufacturing process requires a viscose process that involves treating bamboo cellulose with chemicals to weave it into fibers. Sleepers truly concerned with sustainability may want to consider bamboo linen sheets, which use a chemical-free production process. That said, like regular linen, bamboo linen may wrinkle easily and feels more coarse than bamboo rayon and bamboo lyocell sheets.

If you’re looking for an option that is more sustainable than cotton sheets but feels softer than linen, bamboo is a great choice for you. Bamboo sheets are incredibly soft right out of the package, and bamboo is a breathable fabric that will keep you nearly as cool as linen. Bamboo sheets also come in several different weaves. If you like a silky, lustrous look, you can opt for sateen weave bamboo sheets. Sleepers who prefer a crisp, clean look may prefer percale bamboo. Sleepers looking for extra durability should opt for a twill weave.

Bamboo sheets come at a variety of price points. A luxury bamboo sheet set can run you about $300, but mid-range options are closer to $100.

Pros

Cons

Bamboo sheets are incredibly soft and do not need to be broken in.

Bamboo sheets may use some chemicals during processing, so shoppers looking for completely natural sheets should look elsewhere.

Bamboo sheets are lightweight and breathable, making them another great option for hot sleepers.

Bamboo sheets might shrink a little in the wash.

Bamboo sheets are available in a range of colors and weaves, so you are sure to find a set that matches your style.

Like linen sheets, certain bamboo weaves may wrinkle easily.

Linen vs. Bamboo Sheets

Now that you have a better understanding of linen and bamboo, let’s get into comparing the two. Both sheets are great options for similar sleepers, but there are a few differences to keep in mind.

Criteria

Linen Sheets

Bamboo Sheets

Price

$200-600

$100-300

Durability

Linen sheets can last a lifetime if you care for them properly

Bamboo sheets are very durable and can last up to 15 years

Breathability

Extremely breathable and naturally moisture-wicking

Extremely breathable and naturally moisture-wicking

Comfort & Feel

Rough and coarse at first, but luxuriously soft once broken in

Smooth, soft, and lightweight right out of the package

Cleaning & Care

Machine wash cold, air dry

Machine wash cold, air dry

Environmental Friendliness

All-natural, eco-friendly

All-natural, does use chemicals during the manufacturing process

Similarities

  • Linen and bamboo sheets are both incredibly cooling and naturally moisture-wicking. Both are great choices for hot sleepers.
  • Linen and bamboo sheets are both very durable. Linen will last longer than bamboo, but both fabrics are much more durable than cotton.
  • Linen and bamboo sheets are both good choices for sleepers with sensitive skin. These fabrics are natural and gentle, and both are naturally hypoallergenic, which is great for avoiding dust mites.

Differences

  • Linen sheets are more expensive than most bamboo sheets.
  • Linen sheets may feel coarser than bamboo sheets during the first few months of use.
  • Linen sheets are more eco-friendly than bamboo sheets.

Should I Get Linen or Bamboo Sheets?

Still not sure which sheets are the best for you? I can’t choose for you, but I can offer a few recommendations.

Choose Linen Sheets If…

  • You’re looking for ultra-durable sheets that can last a lifetime.
  • You want sheets that will get softer over time.
  • You’re looking for a truly all-natural sheet set.
  • Think linen sheets are for you? Check out the best linen sheets of 2022 to find a set you love.

Choose Bamboo Sheets If…

  • You don’t want to break in your new bedding. Bamboo sheets will feel soft right out of the package.
  • You don’t like the look of wrinkled bedding. There are plenty of bamboo weaves that will stay smooth and silky, even on the bed.
  • You’re looking for a cheaper option than linen that still feels cooling and luxurious.
  • Set on buying bamboo? Take a look at our best bamboo sheets of 2022 for some great options.

FAQs

Are linen or bamboo sheets better?

It depends on what you’re looking for! Bamboo sheets are best for sleepers who want to avoid wrinkled bedding and are looking for ultra-soft sheets. Linen sheets are best for sleepers who want ultra-durable, all-natural bedding. Both types of sheets are great for anyone who sleeps hot.

Are bamboo sheets the same as linen sheets?

Bamboo sheets are not the same as linen sheets. Bamboo sheets are made of bamboo fibers, and linen sheets are made of flax fibers. That said, both sheets will feel lightweight and cooling.

Which are softer: bamboo or linen sheets?

Bamboo sheets are softer than linen sheets right out of the package. But linen sheets break in over time, and will feel softer than bamboo sheets after several months of use.

Which sleep cooler: linen or bamboo sheets?

Linen and bamboo both sleep incredibly cool. But linen may have a slight edge over bamboo when it comes to cooling properties because of its looser weave.

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Madison Schaper

Madison is an ex-mattress tester and current law student. When she’s not studying, she puts her accumulated mattress and bedding knowledge to good use writing articles for Mattress Clarity. A few of her favorite non-work activities include trying new restaurants, reading short stories, and watching too much reality TV.