When relatives are coming over to stay at your house for a few days, you definitely want to be the ideal host and not scrimp on providing your guests with little luxuries such as great bed sheets.
That is the situation I found myself in when I learned that my in-laws were coming over for the weekend. Now, I’m not one to panic but I came close to getting frantic when I realized the shabby, beatdown bed linens we had placed in the guest room. We don’t often have guests over so I never really gave much thought to putting in high-quality bed sheets in the guest bedroom until now.
But with all the new types of sheets that can be found in the market today, I found it very difficult to just pick one. And with our VIPs’ arrival a few days away, I had to make a decision and buy one.
Bamboo sheets have been around for quite a while now as people have always lauded it for its softness and heat-regulating capabilities. But, after perusing online and physical stores, I came across Tencel. I couldn’t decide right off the bat which of the two I was going to pick up so I decided to take a day to do some research between Tencel vs. bamboo sheets.
I dug deep and was able to find some crucial information that may or may not change your choice of fabric if ever you find yourself in the same situation as mine. There are not a lot of huge differences between Tencel and bamboo sheets.
Both are soft and comfortable and are friendlier to the environment than say, cotton, silk or other kinds of fabrics. Tencel sheets are less wrinkly than bamboo and its manufacturing process is a lot more eco-friendly than the chemical processing of bamboo.
On the other hand, bamboo tout antifungal characteristics while Tencel, if not maintained properly, is prone to grow mildew. Both can be bought at higher price points compared to other bed sheets but are definitely better for the skin and Mother Nature.
So, which one should you get? Read on as we discuss each fabric’s pros and cons. I have also written down my recommendations for the best Tencel and bamboo bed sheets in the market today.
Table of Contents
This guide is looooong. Here’s a handy table of contents to help you find the info you need fast 🙂
- What are Tencel Sheets?
- What are Bamboo Sheets?
- Which Are Better: Bamboo Sheets or Tencel Sheets?
- Top Rated and Recommended Tencel Bed Sheets
- Top Rated and Recommended Bamboo Bed Sheets
What are Tencel (Lyocell) Sheets?
Tencel is originally a brand name. Tencel is at times, referred to as lyocell. The fabric is derived from wood cellulose, very much like bamboo. However, Tencel makes use of eucalyptus trees instead.
It was first developed in 1972 and gained a lot of traction when environmentalists and eco-friendly groups touted its eco-friendly nature. Its distinct manufacturing process lets it be free from harmful elements and recycles 99% of the water being used.
Tencel sheets are known to be super soft and supple yet very cool to the touch, which makes it a fine choice for people that suffer from easily irritated, sensitive skin.
However, Tencel is hydrophilic which basically means it loves water and is super absorbent, and can result in mildew growth if it is not maintained properly. When dealing with Tencel sheets, you really have to make sure that your sheets are dry before making your bed every morning. In addition, you should also check to see if the sheets are dry after washing and before you put them away for storage.
Line dry in a cool, dry area every single time for your sheets to last for an extended period of time.
A Brief History of Tencel
Tencel is a kind of rayon that has cellulose fiber taken from wood pulp. American Enka first engineered it through the pilot stage in 1972, and they referred to it as “Newcell.” Further down the line, the fiber was commercialized by Courtaulds Fibers in the 1980s. Then, in 1990, the first facility was introduced in Mobile, Alabama, and Courtaulds rechristened the fiber “Tencel.”
When Lenzing AG purchased the Tencel plants over a decade later, they mixed it with their lyocell business, but they kept the Tencel name. Lenzing AG is the only foremost producer of Tencel fiber.
The Federal Trade Commission chose the separate generic name of “lyocell” and refers to it as a sub-category under rayon. Tencel fibers are lyocell fibers and therefore, a sub-category of rayon. Lenzing is using the Tencel branding on the packaging of consumer products, which is composed of nonwovens and woven/knit fabrics.
Characteristics of Tencel Sheets
- Breathable, but not as much as natural fibers
- Resists wrinkling & shrinking
- Color fast
- Hydrophilic – absorbs moisture well
What are the Benefits of Tencel Bed Sheets?
When discussing environmentally sound bed sheets, Tencel is often mentioned right off the bat. Not only are the eucalyptus trees it’s made from a sustainable resource, but also the production process avoids the use of hazardous elements, and stops the solvent they use from leaking into the environment.
Tencel bed sheets also feature a very smooth and soft feel. This is because it is using long fibers, which results in a smoother surface. This not only makes it super comfortable but may be really helpful to those with sensitive or easily-irritated skin. These fibers are hydrophilic, which means they essentially “love water,” making Tencel very absorbent and hygienic.
There are also benefits to Tencel when talking about breathability. It is suitable for warm sleepers and boasts of a cool feel to the touch. It responds to dye very well and is less prone to wrinkling. Tencel tends to have a lustrous and less matte look.
Do Tencel Bed Sheets Have Any Drawbacks?
Very much like bamboo, Tencel can come with a hefty price tag, and the price range that Tencel bed sheets have is not very broad.
Tencel does not also have that crisp feeling that some people want with their bedsheets. Instead, it’s softer and “draper.”
Because of the hydrophilic nature of Tencel fibers, it can be somewhat more susceptible to mildew. But if cared for the right way, this shouldn’t be a concern.
What Are Bamboo Sheets?
Bamboo sheets are made out of the bamboo pulp. The bamboo textile was conceived ages ago with its many uses in corsets, hats, shoes, etc. That said, the first use of bamboo in bed sheets is an unknown matter since bamboo textile has been mixed with cotton long before pure and unsullied bamboo sheets came to be.
Bamboo sheets boast of antibacterial and antifungal properties, which help people with allergies by keeping irritating dust mites from living in your bed.
The yarn made out of bamboo that is utilized for bamboo sheets is also more durable than its rivals because instead of small pieces of thread that are woven together, bamboo sheets are produced by stretching long threads across from one end of the sheet to the other.
Bamboo sheets need gentle care as they can get wrinkly and shrink if they are not dealt with the right way. You can eradicate the possibility of your bamboo sheets wearing down and keep them usable for many, many years by simply making sure to wash it with warm water, by itself and without the use of any fabric softener.
Characteristics of Bamboo Sheets
What are the Benefits of Bamboo Bed Sheets?
Much like Tencel, bamboo bed sheets are praised for its friendliness to the environment. Bamboo is one of the earth’s wholly sustainable wood resources owing to the fact that it can grow up to a yard each day. When bamboo is harvested, the roots of the plant are not ruined, so it can keep on growing. In addition, bamboo is one of the fastest growing woods in the world.
Bamboo bed sheets also have a lot of benefits when it comes to comfort. They have a super soft and smooth feel, because of the makeup of longer fibers. They “wick” moisture away from the body, which means you won’t feel sweaty or clammy. Bamboo sheets are known to be very breathable as well. They don’t hold heat close to the body, which is ideal for those that share a bed and those who reside in warm and humid environments.
Bamboo bed sheets wash well at low temperature and don’t need any fabric softener or any unique washing care. They also dry up very fast, making it ideal for those who reside in smaller apartments without a washer-dryer. When cared for properly, bamboo sheets are very durable, and can you a very long time.
There are also health-related benefits of owning bamboo sheets. They are antifungal and antibacterial; they’re commonly hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites. Bamboo sheets are also less prone to mold, mildew, and odor compared to traditional cotton.
Bamboo bed sheets can be somewhat pricey. The range is similar to that of top quality cotton. However, when looked after properly, like cotton, they can last a really long time.
Aesthetic-wise, bamboo bed sheets can be more prone to wrinkling, due to their softness and suppleness. They also lack the “crisp” bedsheet feeling, which is a matter of personal preference.
Which Are Better: Bamboo Sheets or Tencel Sheets?
Let’s take an in-depth look into the main differences between Tencel and bamboo:
Bamboo plants are not ruined from the roots while they are being harvested. The growth gets cut so that the plant can keep on growing. While the mechanical process of bamboo is environmental sound, the chemical process puts in some toxic substances to the bamboo pulp to process it.
Eucalyptus plants, from which Tencel is derived from, need to be harvested during its peak season and no more than half of the leaves of the plant can be collected if they want the plant to keep on producing.
It may take longer and more plants to produce Tencel, but the production is wholly eco-friendly with no toxic compounds being added. Tencel manufacturers also recycle 99% of the water that is used during production.
2) Health and Comfort
Bamboo sheets are usually known for their supreme comfort. Softer than cotton, bamboo sheets are breathable, hypoallergenic, antibacterial and anti-fungal.
Bamboo also has the softest fibers compared to others in the market because it needs less processing and keeps dust mites and mildew away from your bed.
They also keep their long form, which basically means that you will not find any loose threads in the middle.
On the other hand, the comfort of Tencel sheets goes above and beyond the physical touch. The fibers in the eucalyptus plant are antimicrobial and resist dust mites and fungal growth.
But because of its hydrophilic properties, while it is considerably stronger than cotton and polyester, Tencel is weaker when it comes to the defense against mildew compared to bamboo.
Tencel also does not have that “crisp” feel that some look for in sheets but is very soft yet cool to touch, which is great for people that have sensitive skin.
3) Upkeep and Durability
Bamboo sheets hold a reputation for being one of the most durable sheets because of its strong, long fibers. It is super absorbent and does not turn yellow from the oils of your skin.
Bamboo also responds to dye very well, needing less to give the sheets its color and helping the color of the sheets last for a very long time.
If taken cared for very well, bamboo bed sheets have been known to last for a lifetime. Bamboo sheets need to be washed separately from other articles of clothing, in warm water without the use of fabric softener to make sure its natural fibers remain intact for as long as possible.
However, bamboo sheets are prone to getting wrinkly, even more than Tencel and cotton.
Tencel sheets are also very long-lasting and tough. The colors of your sheets will remain as vibrant as the day you took them out of the packaging, thanks to its ability to need small amounts of dye and absorbing it very well for a very long time.
If you do not have much time to spend ironing, Tencel sheets resist wrinkles and would make a fine choice. It is harder to get them wrinkly than it would be for cotton.
Also providing a sleek, matte look that lasts as long as the sheets, Tencel sheets can be washed in the washing machine along with other items using the gentle cycle. Line drying Tencel is strongly suggested rather than machine drying.
Bamboo sheets easily take this one with more of its products out in the market today. Tencel is fairly new, therefore the number of products it has on the market is lower by a substantial margin.
Tencel vs. Bamboo: How Does Each Stack Up?
Both of the sheets are thought to be expensive when compared to their competitors. Personally, I really don’t mind paying more for these two sheets since they will remain in their brand-new condition far longer than most of the other bed sheets that I currently have.
Judging from my thorough research, Tencel and bamboo have proven to be more economical, made from natural fibers, have less toxic chemicals or no toxic chemicals at all, better for both my health and Mother Earth, so really, what is there to not love about Tencel or bamboo sheets?
Top Rated and Recommended Tencel Bed Sheets
1) Linenwalas Luxury Tencel Lyocell Sheets
- 100% Tencel fiber imported from Austria
- 100% Tencel fiber has moisture wicking properties
- Packed beautifully in a Tencel fabric bag
Linenwalas Classic 100% Organic Tencel Sheets are the most comfortable and softest sheets. The 100% Tencel Sheets are similar to those found in hotels and celebrity homes. The Tencel sheets look and fits great, and feature all-around elastic.
Linenwalas blissfully soft Tencel sheet set gives comfort, quality, and opulence, setting it apart from all the rest. These fine 300-thread count luxury Tencel sheet set has natural anti-bacterial and deodorizing properties that are 60% more absorbent than cotton.
2) Linenspa 1500 Series Tencel Super Soft Sheet Set
- Moisture-wicking fabric is soft, light and great for sensitive skin
- Smooth, silky feel offers a sleep experience identical to bamboo sheets
- Made from natural botanic fibers
Tencel fabric is incredibly soft and smooth, providing luxurious, year-round comfort that is suitable for those with sensitive skin. This light fabric is silky and airy with a beautiful sheen that looks lush and feels extravagant. Many people describe the feel of these sheets as identical to the soft feel of bamboo sheets.
Lyocell fabric has a unique fibril structure that attracts moisture completely. More absorbent than cotton, this fabric adjusts to ambient temperatures to for constant comfort. In addition to providing excellent temperature-regulation and moisture management, Tencel fabric has superior moisture transport properties that inhibit bacterial growth for a naturally hygienic sleep surface.
3) GhostBed Luxury Tencel Soft Sheet Set
- Made from 60% premium Supima Cotton and 40% revolutionary Tencel Fiber, providing 50% more absorbance than regular cotton and unsurpassed softness
- These are anti-pill and provide temperature regulation
- These are extremely breathable and are bacteria, allergen, and dust mite resistant
The GhostBed sheet set is made with a revolutionary blend of materials, featuring the extreme resilience of Supima cotton and the luxurious comfort of Tencel fibers. These sheets are plush, durable, breathable, and sleep cool.
These bed sheets also feature the unique GhostGrips which provide for a secure fit. The elastic is featured 100% around the fitted sheet to ensure a tight fit. The deep pockets allow the sheets to fit any mattress up to 18″. You’ll never have to fight with the fitted sheet while making your bed again.
Top Rated and Recommended Bamboo Sheets
1) Brooklyn Bedding Bamboo Twill Sheets
- Rayon made from 100% bamboo
- 300-thread count
- 120-night sleep trial
The Brooklyn Bedding bamboo twill sheets is one fine choice because of the unmatched softness and subtle shine that you can have at an incredibly reasonable price given its premium quality.
Brooklyn Bedding bamboo sheets are made with a twill weave. This weave is distinct and creates a much stronger fabric that drapes nicely, and resists wrinkling better than other bamboo sheets. These sheets feature more yarns on the vertical side of the weave for better softness. These can blow you away with its impressive breathability, moisture-wicking ability, and hypoallergenic nature. If those aren’t enough, Brooklyn Bedding also offers a 120-night sleep trial so that you can try them at home to decide if they’re appealing to you.
2) Royal Hotel Silky Bamboo Sheet Set
- 100% bamboo viscose
- 300-thread count
- 90-day warranty
We selected Royal Hotel’s Silky Bamboo sheets for its best value because they sell at a remarkably low price point of less than $60 without compromising comfort or performance.
These bamboo sheets are a suitable pick if you enjoy a soft feel and moisture-wicking comfort. Royal Hotel makes these with ultra-soothing and plush bamboo viscose. It wicks away moisture 60% more effectively than cotton sheets to give you a cool and comforting sleep. In addition, there’s a wide range of colors to fit any décor palette and a warranty that covers any flaws in manufacturing.
3) Luxor Linens Bali Bamboo Sheet Set
- 40% bamboo, 60% microfiber
- 300-thread count
- 90-day sleep trial
The Luxor Linens Bali Bamboo sheets a top pick when it comes to luxury sheets because the hybrid fabric blends bamboo with microfiber resulting in a rich softness that’s bolstered by an aloe vera infusion in the fabric.
The microfiber and bamboo combination means the fabric is wrinkle-free and does not require high upkeep as other bamboo sheets. In addition, these are ultra-deep so they fit mattresses as thick as 21”. The full surround elastic keeps these comfy sheets in place! They are also moisture wicking, cooling, and feature attractive stitching and a full-envelope enclosure on the pillowcases. With a 90-day trial period, you can even test these luxury sheets to see if they fit your needs before making a final decision.