Microfiber vs Cotton vs Bamboo: Sheet Fabric Battle Royale

Here’s a good question: what could be more stressful than choosing from two equally great fabrics for your bed sheet? The answer: three. Such is the problem I found myself facing up against one weekday morning as I went to the store to check out bed linen to replace the old, worn-out one that me and my wife shared.

Microfiber vs Cotton vs Bamboo

Pillow [/ˈpɪləʊ/] noun
Where you put your head after a long day.

Your bed sheets are among the most important things to consider when it comes to making sure your bed is conducive to a good night’s sleep.

If you plan to buy new bedsheets, choose those that best suit your needs in terms of feel, comfort, durability, cost, and health. Choosing what works best for you with the existing and upcoming brands might get confusing.

This article will focus on helping you make sense of microfiber, cotton, and bamboo sheets. At a glance, these sheets look identical but are different in various aspects.

Let’s look at what makes these sheets differ, so you can decide which sheets best fits your needs.

Skip the details and see only the best of the best with my top picks for these three fabrics!

Are Bamboo Sheets Made of Microfiber?

Yes and no. Both are synthetic, which means they are human-made fibers though they differ in numerous ways.

Bamboo is considered greener than microfiber because cellulose is utilized and grows faster than other sources of cellulose.

Microfiber is a synthetic fiber as well, but its threads are much smaller than silk. It is 97% to 99% smaller in diameter than a human hair and less than 1/10th the size of silk, so it feels super-soft.

Neither is prone to allergies, body odor, and they both keep you cool while you are getting some shut-eye.

What Is Microfiber Fabric Made of?

Microfiber is fundamentally the same as most synthetic fibers in build and process. What is noteworthy is the diameter of each thread. The fibers in microfiber are finer than one decitex/thread since they are less than ten micrometers. It also has a small count of fibers/threads.

Are Bamboo Sheets Better Than Microfiber?

Well, this is where things get a little more complicated. The fibers/threads in microfiber sheets are extremely fine and small in diameter. This increases the chances of faster wearing out. They are also prone to wrinkles and shrinkage as they are made from synthetic materials.

Bamboo sheets outlast microfiber sheets 10 to 1 because bamboo sheets are made from organic products(Bamboo plant), making them tough and less prone to wear and tear. The best part is, they do not shrink or wrinkle no matter how many times you wash them.

What are the Characteristics of Microfiber Sheets?

Microfiber Comparison To Cotton And Bamboo
As mentioned above, you will see faster wear and tear on microfiber sheets than bamboo sheets. You are also likely to see more pilling and faster extreme wear; thus, you might end up buying new sheets faster than you expected.

Microfiber also does not do well in dryers as it is prone to static electricity. I made the mistake of washing a set of microfiber sheets once with a set of cotton sheets and drying them altogether. Let’s just say that it was an electrifying night and in the worst way!

Microfiber sheets are lightweight, hypoallergenic, and breathes well, keeping you cooler and moisture-free while resting. If you experience night sweats and hot flashes, these sheets can guarantee a more comfortable sleep during sweat-inducing conditions.

Microfiber sheet sets often cost 1/5th to 1/10th the cost of premium bamboo sheets. If you’re looking for the feel of luxury without burning a hole in your savings, maybe a nice set of microfibers sheets will do you well.

What are the Characteristics of Bamboo Sheets?

Bamboo Comparison To Cotton And Microfiber

Bamboo sheets feature much thicker fibers. The extra softness you gain from microfiber pales compared to the advantages of a high-quality set of bamboo sheets.

Bamboo sheets can endure for more than ten years, only outdone by ELS cotton such as Egyptian cotton.

Bamboo is hypoallergenic, does not absorb odors and the subsequent bacteria. They breathe well and are less prone to pilling and wear from friction and body weight, unlike microfiber.

Bamboo is usually much greener than microfiber. People are safe because of the closed system used to make Bamboo threads.

Although a super high-quality set of bamboo sheets could cost a couple of hundred dollars, you know what you’re getting: better long term value for the money, as well as the same health and cooling benefits of microfiber, while doing Mother Nature a favor.

After discussing the distant cousins that are bamboo and microfiber, it’s time to take a closer look at the fabric they are matched up against: cotton.

But before we do, if you’re interested in seeing the top microfiber or bamboo sheets click those links to go straight to them

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What Are Cotton Sheets?

Cotton is the most widely used fabric for making sheets. They are luxurious materials produced with finer threads and higher thread count. Cotton is both eco-friendly and organic for the environment-conscious consumer. They are also versatile in terms of the kind of cotton used and quality.

Cotton Comparison To Microfiber And Bamboo

What are the Types of Cotton?

Cotton sheets have been vastly used worldwide for generations due to their affordability, smoothness, breathability, low maintenance, and long life span.

Egyptian and Pima are considerably more expensive than the regular fabric in the market.

Egyptian

When it comes to cotton sheets, 100% Egyptian cotton is considered to be the best. It is a high-end choice since it incorporates higher thread count and extra-long fibers. These sheets are exceptionally soft and gentle, thus require extra care. You will experience the gentle feel and sleep cool on Egyptian cotton.

Pima

Pima sheets rank as the second-best type of cotton material in the market. It is a mid-range option that is incredibly soft but slightly rough as compared to Egyptian cotton. They also require extra care, especially while washing. Cotton is known to become softer after every wash.

What are the Different Cotton Weaves?

Cotton sheets can either be knit or woven. The woven options include percale, sateen, and flannel.

Percale

Percale is a plain-weave fabric that is conveniently made of both combed and carded cotton yarns. The weave is closely woven hence the outstanding crisp and smooth finish.

Sateen

It is crucial to comprehend the difference between Sateen and satin as they have virtually nothing in common. Sateen is a kind of weave that takes advantage of more vertical threads compared to horizontal ones. The outcome creates an exceptionally soft sleeping sensation.

Flannel

The fuzzy features that bring a cozy appeal and a warm sleeping temperature makes this ideal for the winter season. Sheets made of this weave have napped finish on both sides and rarely on one of them.

Decided cotton is the fabric for you? Click here to see the top cotton sheets!

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Microfiber vs. Cotton vs. Bamboo Comparison: Which One is Best for You?

There are times when a mere touch is all you need to determine the difference between different fabrics. This, however, is not one of those cases as it takes a bit more effort to establish the vast differences. Let’s take a deep dive into all three materials and define their differences according to their specific features.

bamboo vs cotton vs microfiber sheets

Comfort

Comfort is a subjective topic. Various factors need to be considered to come to a proper definition of what comfort means. Cotton bed sheets could deliver a cheap and not so pleasant sleeping sensation if you choose to go for a low thread count solution. They could also be very soft and appealing if you get a lavish set.

At the same time, bamboo can deliver a sustained level of comfort. They are soft and feel great. When it comes to the thread count, bamboo sheets can still provide you with outstanding comfort regardless if they have a high or low thread count.

Bedsheets and other types of fabrics are commonly measured by their thread count, which holds especially true for microfiber bed sheets. It is not always a guarantee that a microfiber bed sheet will give you superior comfort unless it boasts of a high thread count.

Care and Durability

When it comes to the care, it is mainly based on whether or not you follow the specific instructions that come with each set you buy. Make sure to do so, and you won’t have any issues.

On durability, bamboo sheets are more durable. However, they do need more attention when cleaning. You have to be tender when running cleaning cycles and always ensure you follow the instructions given. You can either air dry or tumble dry them on a low-heat setting.

On the other hand, microfibre sheets can resist water and spills, which makes the cleaning process more manageable and less time-consuming. They do not create wrinkles and creases after washing them in a washing machine or folded for safekeeping. Microfiber bed sheets also do not shrink or deform easily.

Environmentally Friendly

The bamboo tree is one of the fastest-growing trees in the world. There is no credible environmental threat to manufacturing the sheets, as their sources are easily renewable. They also have a smaller environmental impact, and they generate a far smaller carbon footprint. The solutions used in their production are more eco-friendly compared to the ones used for cotton sheets.

The cotton plant, on the other hand, is not as environmentally friendly as bamboo. This crop requires the use of pesticides to grow. Furthermore, some of these substances have been designated as hazardous to human health.

Microfiber is a synthetic material obtained from standard synthetic fibers like polyester and polypropylene. However, some may be produced from other types of fabrics and non-biodegradable chemicals or materials. Microfiber remains a non-eco-friendly because the manufacturing process disposes of a larger carbon footprint.

Cost

Cost is a crucial factor that has to be considered when purchasing bed sheets. Bamboo sheets are relatively expensive as compared to low-quality cotton. Though if you match the thread count, the price is more or less the same. Of course, there are different types from both categories, which would cost a lot more than the standard, entry-level options.

If you prefer microfiber bed sheets, you won’t spend a hefty amount. They are the most affordable types of sheets available in the market today.

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Top Rated and Recommended Microfiber Bed Sheets

7.8/10 Read review
78 %
Last Amazon price update was: 7 October 2021 21:22
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These sheets come with a velvety soft feel and are exceptionally comfortable. Durability is a guarantee as they are made of the highest quality microfiber and quality.

Cleaning and caring for these sheets is easy peasy. You can machine wash in cold and low tumble dry them. They are not prone to either shrinkage or wrinkling.

These sheets are best for any room in your house as they boast many fabulous colors.

7.8/10 Read review
78 %
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Set Alert for Product: SONORO KATE Bed Sheet Set Super Soft Microfiber 1800 Thread Count Luxury Egyptian Sheets Fit 18 - 24 Inch Deep Pocket Mattress Wrinkle and Hypoallergenic-4 Piece (White, King) - $36.46
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Price history for SONORO KATE Bed Sheet Set Super Soft Microfiber 1800 Thread Count Luxury Egyptian Sheets Fit 18 - 24 Inch Deep Pocket Mattress Wrinkle and Hypoallergenic-4 Piece (White, King)
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  • $42.90 - 19 September 2021
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Last Amazon price update was: 19 October 2021 17:20
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These sheets are made of 100% brushed microfiber polyester. Use of the brushed newest spinning techniques makes them stain resistant, warm, breathable, and softer than other products.

It is easy to clean these sheets as they are machine washable in cold water. They are resistant to fading, staining, shrinking, and wrinkles, which makes them more durable than cotton sheets

7.6/10 Read review
76 %
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Set Alert for Product: AmazonBasics Lightweight Super Soft Easy Care Microfiber Sheet Set with 16" Deep Pockets - Queen, Bright White - $19.99
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Price history for AmazonBasics Lightweight Super Soft Easy Care Microfiber Sheet Set with 16" Deep Pockets - Queen, Bright White
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  • $19.99 - 15 October 2021
  • $53.27 - 30 September 2021
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Last Amazon price update was: 15 October 2021 08:11
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The AmazonBasics microfiber sheets are made of 100% polyester microfiber material that makes them durable than other market sheets. They also give you the softness that will help you sleep more comfortably. That feeling like you are floating in the clouds. Heavenly right?

Caring for these sheets, on the other hand, lies on the cautious side. You can only warm machine wash, no bleach, and tumble dry low.

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Top Rated and Recommended Cotton Bed Sheets

8.3/10 Read review
83 %
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Set Alert for Product: 100% Queen Size Sheets Cotton Beige (4pc) Silky Smooth, Cooling 400 Thread Count Long Staple Combed Cotton Queen Sheet Set – 400TC High Thread Count Queen Sheets - Queen Bed Sheets All Cotton - $59.99
Last Amazon price update was: 1 October 2021 21:25
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These sheets are made of 100% combed cotton, which makes them super soft. Long-staple cotton fibers are used, making them stronger and durable. They guarantee a more restful sleep since they are dust mite resistant and hypoallergenic.

It is easy to take care of these sheets as they are resistant to tearing, shrinking, staining, and pilling. These sheets will feel and look new for years. The best part is that they come at affordable prices. You get the quality, which makes you feel like a queen without spending like one.

8.3/10 Read review
83 %
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Set Alert for Product: California Design Den Cooling Sheets 400 Thread Count - 100% Long Staple Combed Cotton, Soft and Silky Sateen Weave for Best Comfort, Indigo Navy Blue Queen Size 4 Piece Bed Sheet Set - $47.99
Last Amazon price update was: 1 October 2021 21:27
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These cotton sheets are long-lasting, ultra-soft, and authentic because of their large thread count. They are eco-friendly, cool, and breathable. The sateen weave gives them a smooth and hotel-like feel.

They are not prone to pilling, shrinking, tear, or fading as tested to meet these performances. Highest quality dye material is incorporated; therefore, you are recommended to wash for superior softness

8.6/10 Read review
86 %
Last Amazon price update was: 7 October 2021 21:31
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The long-staple Egyptian cotton yarns used to produce these sheets are renowned for their superior quality and durability. The sateen finish gives them a lustrous satin or silk-like look though more natural and breathable.

To clean these sheets, machine wash in warm water and tumble dry on low. Do not use any bleach on them. No matter the size or style of your bed, these cotton sheets are available. To experience the silky softness, allow these sheets a few washes.

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Top Rated and Recommended Bamboo Bed Sheets

8.5/10 Read review
85 %
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Set Alert for Product: LuxClub 6 PC Sheet Set Bamboo Sheets Deep Pockets 18" Eco Friendly Wrinkle Free Sheets Hypoallergenic Anti-Bacteria Machine Washable Hotel Bedding Silky Soft - Cream Queen - $34.95
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The bamboo viscose fabric used in the sheets is antibacterial and allergy-free, making them favorable for people with sensitive skin. These sheets are breathable and have moisture-wicking features making them the top choice for sweaty sleepers.

Luxclub bamboo sheets are worth every dollar. If you buy the 6pc bamboo sheet sets, you get a flat, fitted sheet and four pillowcases.

8.4/10 Read review
84 %
Last Amazon price update was: 7 October 2021 21:25
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The 60% bamboo and 40% microfiber blend makes these sheets soft, breathable, stretchable, and lightweight. It carries thermal-regulating properties that balance your body’s temperature as you sleep. They are also naturally hypoallergenic, odor, stain, and wrinkle resistant.

To clean the sheets, cold wash them and tumble dry low heat to avoid pilling. They have thick corner straps paired with deep pockets and a durable elastic that goes around the entire fitted sheet—no more disrupted sleep trying to adjust your sheets.

8.3/10 Read review
83 %
Last Amazon price update was: 7 October 2021 21:26
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These bamboo sheets are so soft and light that you will feel like you are sleeping on a cloud. The best quality of bamboo fabric is used to provide the softest sheets without pilling.

The 100% Bamboo used makes them eco-friendly and suitable for the environment-conscious consumers. They are also hypoallergenic and thermo-regulating, thus favorable for all seasons.

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[FAQ’s] Consumer Questions & Answers

What is the best material for sheets to keep you cool?
Natural fibers like cotton are best for sweaty sleepers as they are breathable. This will help in air circulation, which will help you sleep cool.

Are bamboo sheets better than microfiber?
Bamboo sheets are more silky smooth and soft than microfiber. They are also much cooler than the microfiber.

What is the difference between microfiber and cotton?
Microfiber is made of synthetic materials, unlike cotton sheets, which are made of natural cotton fiber. Cotton is also relatively cheap as compared to microfiber.

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