Bamboo vs silk sheets, what's the difference? Silk and bamboo sheets are the most luxurious types of bedding. Let's help you choose between them. They each have their pros and cons, so how do you decide which is right for you?
Generally, bamboo rayon is more comfortable while silk is more prestigious. However, specific characteristics may vary among manufacturers.
In this post, we'll look at silk vs bamboo sheets in more detail to help you decide on the better option for you.
What are Silk Sheets?
Silk sheets are made from the saliva of the silkworm. The silkworm is a caterpillar that spins a cocoon around itself after eating its fill in mulberry leaves. This cocoon is made of a protein called silk fibroin.
While the silkworm is still in the cocoon, silk farmers throw them into boiling water to separate the cocoon from the silk worm and to unravel the strands of fiber. The silk fiber is then spun into silk yarn, which is then woven into fabric that can be used for making silk pillowcases and silk bedsheets.
Silk sheets are soft, smooth, and luxurious. According to the Council of Fashion Designers of America, producing silk is labor-intensive, which could explain why it costs more. It takes about 3000 cocoons to make 1 yard of woven silk fabric.
What are Bamboo Sheets?
Bamboo sheets are bedding that is made of rayon derived from bamboo. They are more accurately called rayon from bamboo sheets, bamboo rayon sheets, or bamboo viscose sheets. However, many people call them bamboo sheets because it's easier to say.
Bamboo grows extremely quickly and without much intervention. You could even say that bamboo grows like grass, because it is actually a type of grass. Farmers harvest bamboo stalks and chop them up into little chips. These bamboo chips are then added into a solvent and the raw bamboo fibers are transformed into rayon. This bamboo rayon is then spun into yarn and woven into fabric that can be used for making bamboo pillowcases and bamboo bedsheets.
Rayon from bamboo is soft, smooth, and feels like silk. They have micro-gaps in their fabric, which makes them refreshingly breathable. They also have thermal regulating qualities. In fact, many people who experience night sweats find relief in bamboo rayon sheets. Indeed, bamboo viscose sheets will keep you cool in the summer yet warm in the winter.
What are the Similarities Between Bedding Made of Silk and Those Made of Rayon from Bamboo?
Now that we've covered the basics of each type of sheet let's look at some similarities between bamboo bedding vs silk bedding.
Both silk and rayon from bamboo are silky soft, and luxuriously smooth. You can expect a similar level of comfort from both types of bed sheets.
Both silk and bamboo viscose sheets are available in a variety of colors and patterns. You can find both solid colors and prints in both bamboo and silk materials.
Both silk and bamboo bed sheets are available in a variety of thread counts. Generally, a higher thread count is softer and more luxurious. However, too high a thread count can result in poor breathability because an overly tight weave can prevent air from permeating the fabric.
Silk pillowcases and bamboo pillowcases are excellent for your hair. Their smooth textures allow your hair to glide effortlessly over their surfaces without catching.
Should You Choose a Sheet Set Made from Silk or Rayon from Bamboo?
Let's take a look at some of the key differences between silk and bamboo sheets to help you decide which one is right for you.
Winner: Bamboo Sheets
Bamboo rayon is soft and smooth, just like silk sheets. Additionally, bamboo sheets have micro-gaps that trap cool air and allow your skin to breathe more easily. Many hot sleepers and those who experience night sweats love bamboo sheets for their thermo-regulating properties, which help them stay comfortably cool while having their beauty sleep.
Silk is soft, luxurious, has a smooth texture, and does not trap heat as easily as nylon. While silk is a breathable fabric and provides good air flow, it is not as breathable as bamboo rayon or even cotton, especially when it has a tight weave.
Winner: Silk Sheets
When it comes to luxury bedding, bamboo and silk sheets stand out above the rest: silk and bamboo rayon. Both materials have a reputation for being soft, smooth, and incredibly comfortable, while giving you that luxurious feeling.
Silk bedding has a flattering sheen and contributes to an atmosphere of pure opulence and sophistication. Rayon from bamboo comes close and many people are not able to distinguish it from silk. However, silk is still considered the queen of fabrics.
Winner: Bamboo Sheets
Silk and bamboo rayon are both delicate fabrics. Special fabric care must be taken when washing them. For example, you will want to avoid using hot water or bleach when you put them in the washing machine.
With appropriate care, bamboo rayon is extremely strong and durable. It is also resistant to wrinkles and stains, meaning that it will look great even after repeated washings.
Silk, on the other hand, is quite susceptible to water stains and these are notoriously difficult to remove. Water stains usually appear on silk when only a portion of the fabric gets wet while the surrounding area remains dry. A few water drops on silk bedding can ruin it for most people. Often, the only recourse is to get it professionally cleaned.
To conclude, both silk and bamboo sheets can be expected to last for many years with proper care. However, bamboo fabric has an edge when it comes to water stains.
Winner: Bamboo Sheets
Silk sheets are more expensive than bamboo rayon sheets. Silk is harvested from silkworms. After feeding on mulberry leaves, the silkworms spin cocoons around themselves. These cocoons are then collected, boiled in water, and unraveled to harvest the silk fibers. This production process is quite labor-intensive, which drives up the price.
On the other hand, harvested bamboo stalks simply need to be chopped up into little chips and dumped into solvent to convert them into bamboo rayon. This can easily and quickly be done with machines. As a result, bamboo viscose sheets tend to cost much less than silk sheets.
Bamboo and silk sheets are both considered delicate fabrics. While they can be machine washed, you should treat them more carefully than rugged fabrics, such as denim.
Generally, their special maintenance routine boils down to the following:
Wash them on a gentle cycle in cool water, using a mild detergent.
Do not use hot water and high heat.
Avoid bleach or other harsh chemicals.
Tumble dry on low heat and gentle settings.
Wash and tumble dry separately from other types of laundry.
Iron them on the lowest setting if needed.
Avoid contact with sharp objects or anything that could potentially damage the fabric.
With proper care, your bamboo and silk sheets will serve you well for many years to come.
6. Sustainability and Eco-Friendliness
Winner: Bamboo Sheets
Many people are concerned about sustainability and eco-friendliness, and rightfully so. With the pollution and destruction of natural habitats, it's more important than ever to choose products that are friendly to the environment. Here are some details about bamboo vs silk when it comes to sustainability.
In the production of silk, the silk farms need to be kept at controlled temperatures. The optimum temperature for maximum productivity of silkworms ranges from 73°F to 82°F (23°C to 28°C). Due to this narrow temperature range of only 10 degrees, much energy is spent on air-conditioning.
As for bamboo rayon, Moso bamboo can withstand temperatures as low as -0.4°F to as high as 69.8°F (-18°C up to 21°C). Due to the very flexible temperature range of 70 degrees, the bamboo plant grows very well without any air-conditioning.
7. Animal Friendliness
Winner: Bamboo Sheets
Silk sheets are made from the cocoons of silkworms. Most silk farms do not wait until the silkworm has emerged from its cocoon before boiling it. The reason behind this is twofold. Firstly, waiting for the silkworm moth to exit its cocoon increases the time required for silk production by two weeks.
Additionally, silk production often involves boiling the cocoons together with the silkworm still inside it, killing them in the process. The reason for doing so is because the silkworm moth has to chew through the wall of the cocoon in order to exit, thereby destroying much of the silk fibers. Therefore, the silkworm must be killed in order to prevent it from damaging the cocoon. Considering that it takes about 3000 cocoons to produce just one pound, there is a considerable amount of animal cruelty in the production of silk.
Bamboo, in contrast, is a fast-growing grass that does not require pesticides or other harmful chemicals to thrive. It uses water efficiently and is superb for soil conservation. In fact, the presence and production of bamboo contributes positively to the environment in many aspects, in addition to being animal-friendly.
9. Hypoallergenic Properties
You may be wondering, "Which one is allergy free; silk sheet or bamboo sheet?" The answer may surprise you! Both bamboo and silk are known for their hypoallergenic qualities.
Dust mites are responsible for a myriad of allergies. Both silk and bamboo rayon have moisture-wicking properties, which means they carry away any dampness to their surfaces so that it evaporates quickly. Now, dust mites require humid conditions to thrive and so bamboo rayon and silk create environments that will sustain far fewer of them.
Moreover, people who have allergic reactions frequently experience inflammation. Both bamboo rayon and silk have extremely smooth surfaces that glide over your skin easily without chafing. This soothes and pampers any inflamed skin to bring much relief and rapid recovery.
Final Decision: Bamboo Bed Linen has More Advantages
From the above discussion, it is quite clear that both silk and bamboo sheets have their own unique set of pros and cons. If you're looking to impress visitors with extravagant bedroom furnishings, then a silk pillowcase with silk sheets could be a better choice.
However, if you're looking for something more affordable, while still enjoying most of the benefits of silk, perhaps even having an edge when it comes to comfort, durability, sustainability, and animal friendliness, then bamboo rayon sheets may be a better option.
Are silk or bamboo rayon sheets better?
Silk sheets are more luxurious and bring a higher standard of opulence to your bedroom.
Bamboo sheets, on the other hand, have an advantage in the areas of comfort, durability, sustainability, and animal friendliness.
Which one is better for you? It really depends on your personal preferences and needs.
What are the disadvantages of bamboo bed sheets?
Silk is still considered the Queen of Fabrics and many people hold it in the highest regard when it comes to clothing and bedding. Hence, bamboo sheets will give you a disadvantage when compared to silk sheets if you are trying to portray opulence and extravagance in your bedroom.
Is bamboo rayon as good as silk?
In many areas, bamboo rayon performs better than silk. Rayon from bamboo is more comfortable, more durable, is produced more sustainably, and is more animal-friendly.
How does satin compare?
Bamboo bed sheets are softer than satin sheets, but they're not as smooth. Satin sheets are made of polyester, while bamboo sheets are made of bamboo grass. Satin sheets are more affordable than bamboo sheets, but they're not as absorbent.
Are bamboo bed sheets cooler?
Bamboo viscose sheets and silk sheets both feel cool to the touch. Moreover, they both have moisture-wicking qualities that draw perspiration away from your skin to the surface of the fabric where they evaporate. This results in a cooling effect that keeps you comfortable during hot summer nights.
Are bamboo pillowcases better for hair?
Bamboo rayon and silk pillowcases both are extremely smooth surfaces. This allows your hair to glide easily over them without tension or pulling during the night. While both materials perform equally well, you may need to pay more for silk pillowcases.
Which is better for skin?
Bamboo rayon and silk are luxuriously smooth and will easily glide over your skin without chafing. They always feel comfortable and will never feel abrasive or harsh against sensitive skin.
Being moisture-wicking, both these fabrics resist dust mites and reduce the growth rate of bacteria. A lower dust mite population will result in less likelihood of allergic reactions and fewer bacteria leads to lower chance of acne outbreaks.
Silk and bamboo rayon are also highly breathable, which means that you will perspire less so that your body will not become dehydrated. Therefore, you can avoid frizzy hair and dry skin because your skin will better retain its moisture to remain healthy and supple.