Bamboo vs. Silk Sheets – Which Are Better?

bamboo sheets on bed

When it comes to our bedtime, the last thing we want is an uncomfortable night’s sleep. As the weather changes, what we have on our bed can make a difference. It can also change the way we both feel and look the next day as well.

For example, the type of fabric you use on your pillowcase can stop your hair from turning frizzy with knots. But it can also keep our head and body cool too, which can aid in a better night’s sleep.

Two of the most popular fabrics for both bed sheets and pillowcases are bamboo and silk. Both of these materials have great qualities when it comes to going to bed as they can help to regulate body temperature better than a regular bed sheet material like cotton, and keep you looking fresh.

In this article we take a look at both bamboo and silk sheets and pillowcases so you can make up your mind which one is better suited for you.

Bamboo vs. Silk Pillowcases

If you are concerned about your hair, then picking the right pillowcase is paramount in order to protect it. The best fabric can keep frizz at bay, making sure it stays soft and manageable throughout the following day.

One of the ways silk and bamboo does this is by helping hair to retain its own moisture, rather than sucking it all out as you sleep. Cotton is known for absorbing water, so this is why you might find that your already dry and curly hair is suffering.

Silk is smooth and allows hair to stay soft. So if you do want frizz free hair, you might think that silk might be the better option. However, bamboo is also very soft, and is great for de-frizzing hair. 

It is also said that a good pillowcase also has many benefits for the skin too, one being that it keeps it hydrated. Because both materials retain moisture, it can keep your skin and hair hydrated so you can stay fresh all night long and through to the morning.

Both of the pillowcases also feel completely smooth to the touch. This means that it won’t cause skin irritation and will feel lovely against the face.

However, silk is much warmer than bamboo which is great throughout the colder months, but once summer hits you may want to use a bamboo pillowcase. It keeps cold all night long without the dreaded flipping of the pillow all night long. 

This is because silk warms up quickly and stays that way due to its tight weave, whilst bamboo is breathable and warms up a lot slower. 

If you are conscious about the environment and sustainability, bamboo is the better choice. This is because bamboo can grow really quickly meaning that it is always replaced and is much cheaper to produce.

Silk on the other hand isn’t vegan because the source is from a silkworm and is slower to produce. Fortunately, bamboo is just as soft as silk, making it a great vegan alternative. 

Also, bamboo is much easier to clean and is anti-fungal and naturally antibacterial. To wash the pillowcase, all you will need to do is pop it into the washer and let it do its thing. Silk on the other hand will need to be cleaned by a professional which will be costly and annoying over time. 

Bamboo is also said to be more durable and can withstand plenty of washes. Silk isn’t very durable however, and is known to snag at the little thing, for example a nail. For this reason, silk pillowcases likely won’t last as long even though they are luxurious to own. 

Some things to consider when it comes to bamboo Vs silk pillows:

  • Bamboo is breathable compared to silk, and stays colder for longer than silk which warms up quickly due to its tight weave.
  • Silk needs specialist cleaning which costs money. Bamboo on the other hand can just be put in the washer. Also, bamboo is naturally antibacterial and won’t need cleaning as much. 
  • Bamboo is vegan friendly, whilst silk is not because it comes from the silkworm.
  • Both silk and bamboo can keep hair frizz free and moisturized because they are both generally smooth, though a silk pillowcase will feel extra luxurious.
  • Bamboo is durable and can withstand lots of washes compared to silk. In fact, silk is more likely to snag from a nail, whereas bamboo will not. 
  • A bamboo pillowcase is also likely to be inexpensive compared to a silk pillowcase.

Are You Supposed to Put a Pillowcase on a Bamboo Pillow?

When it comes to deciding whether or not to add a pillowcase onto the outside of a bamboo pillow is down to personal preference. This is because if you don’t add a pillowcase, at some point you will need to wash the whole pillow and you will want to do it often.

We sweat during the night, and we might even forget to take our makeup off, so it is no surprise that even though bamboo is naturally antibacterial it will still need to be washed. 

However, you might be thinking that if you do cover a bamboo pillow then you will be losing its effectiveness. Absolutely you will. Whilst it will be comfortable, you will not be reaping any of the benefits that the bamboo may hold.

For example, if you want a bamboo pillow to stop hair from becoming so frizzy, and then decide to put a cotton pillowcase over it, then your hair will stay frizzy. 

So, unless you want to lose all the benefits associated with a bamboo pillow, don’t use a pillow case over it – unless it is a bamboo pillowcase!

Are Bamboo Sheets Softer Than Silk?

Surprisingly, bamboo sheets are soft, but are they softer than silk? Yes, because they are often referred to as being softer because they are compared to the likes of cashmere. Not only that, bamboo is said to become even softer over time during the washing process, which can only be a good thing. 

Silk on the other hand has a tight weave, and whilst it looks and does feel soft, you won’t understand the difference until you feel both of the materials side-by-side. 

What Breathes Better — Cotton or Bamboo?

When it comes to finding sheets for the bedding, you will want something that allows your skin to breathe in order for you not to overheat. This is ideal for if you really want a good night’s sleep, especially if you struggle with your body temperature.

Both bamboo and cotton are natural fabrics that are used in sheets, and are popular amongst those who care about what they sleep under. Out of other fabrics, cotton and bamboo are the best choices when it comes to regulating temperature of the body. 

Having said that, bamboo is considered a natural and breathable fabric that isn’t impacted by thread count, both by price and quality. It is said to be a ‘heat wicking’ fabric that can keep a person cool during the night. 

On the other hand, cotton is said to be more breathable as the thread count goes higher. Because of this, it also means that the price tag goes up too. So, if you are on a budget and would like to have breathable sheets, then bamboo is the way to go. 

So, you could say that bamboo is more breathable because you need a higher thread count when it comes to cotton in order for it to become extra breathable – but this is often debatable. 

Are Silk Sheets Cooler Than Bamboo?

If you don’t want to feel hot at night, then choosing silk bed sheets is not going to help. In fact, silk is known to trap heat because air struggles to pass through due to it not being a breathable material. 

Whilst great in winter, silk isn’t a good choice when the weather turns warmer. Bamboo is breathable and can help to regulate body temperature. Silk on the other hand is not, and can cause sweat to build up on your body during the night.

If you really want to choose silk, it might be worth starting with a pillowcase first, and then moving onto a bed sheet next. However, the cost is much higher than bamboo, and difficult to clean. 

Final Thoughts

When it comes to bamboo and silk bed sheets, it all depends on your preference. Bamboo is cheaper and vegan friendly, and it also allows the body to regulate its temperature at night which will keep you cooler.

On the other hand, silk is a luxurious fabric (meaning it is also expensive) which can do wonders for the skin and hair. However, it is created using silkworms which are often killed once they are not needed anymore.

Both bamboo and silk have the same benefits when it comes to feeling and looking your best the next day, though at the end of the day it comes down to budget, sustainability, and whether you want to feel cool or warm. 

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