TENCEL™ vs. Bamboo: Which Bed Sheet Fabric Is Better?

With so many bedding options out there, it’s hard to know which is the best choice for you. Bamboo and TENCEL™ fabrics are two of the hottest trends in today’s bedding market, and there are actually many similarities between them… But which one is the better choice? Here’s what to consider when choosing between TENCEL™ and bamboo bed sheets:

Which looks better?

Aesthetically speaking, bamboo bed sheets are generally more prone to wrinkling, & they lack the “crisp” sheet feeling. On the flip side, TENCEL™ is less prone to wrinkling and tends to have a lustrous and less matte look. TENCEL™ sheets are also notably softer and more drapey than bamboo.

Which is more comfortable?

Bamboo and TENCEL™ bed sheets are both known for their extremely soft and smooth feel… Both fabrics “wick” moisture away from the body and are very breathable, making them ideal for “hot sleepers” or anyone suffering from night sweats. Both bamboo and TENCEL™ have antifungal and antibacterial properties, are generally hypoallergenic, and when compared to traditional cotton sheets, are much less prone to mold, mildew, and odor. So, with all these similarities, which one is better? The manufacturing process for creating TENCEL™ uses long fibers, resulting in a smoother sleeping surface which is particularly beneficial to people with sensitive or easily-irritated skin. Additionally, TENCEL™ is especially ideal for warm sleepers, since it actually feels cool to the touch, unlike its bamboo alternative!

How are they made?

Both fabrics are created from wood pulp.  However, while bamboo sheets are obviously made from bamboo, TENCEL™ is made out of eucalyptus.

Bamboo Fabric:

According to its botanical categorization, bamboo is considered a grass rather than a tree. Despite this, bamboo fibers are more conventionally wood-like. Bamboo can be either mechanically or chemically made into fabric. The mechanical method is more natural, as it crushes the plant into a mush and uses natural enzymes to continue to break the material down. The fibers are then combed out and spun to create what is sometimes called “bamboo linen”. The chemical process is quicker; however, it has a negative impact on the environment since it utilizes harsh chemicals, including caustic soda or lye, to “cook” the bamboo in in a multi-step process. In chemical bamboo production, the solvent most commonly used is sodium hydroxide, which is classified as corrosive and is harmful to the surrounding environment.

TENCEL™ Fabric:

The manufacturing process used to make TENCEL™ is, in part, what makes the fabric unique; Its production process uses environmentally friendly & non-toxic solutions, making it particularly “green” & one of the best environmental choices when it comes to bedsheets! First, the cellulose fibers of the eucalyptus plant are dissolved with non-toxic solvents, then it is regenerated to create longer, more easily woven fibers. A solvent called N-methylmorpholine N-oxide, or NMMO, which is generally not considered harmful to the environment, is used in the production of TENCEL™. Additionally, the “closed loop process” used to make the fabric means that nearly all of the solvents used in the production of the material are recovered so they don’t leak into the environment. This process also recycles 99% of the water used in the production of TENCEL™ - Unfortunately, no such figure exists for bamboo.


Even though bamboo is a considered a sustainable resource, and even though its fabrication process is less polluting than those used to make materials such as traditional cotton, TENCEL™ has the obvious environmental upper hand… Overall, it is clear that TENCEL™ is one of the best choices you can make for the environment when it comes to choosing bed sheets. The eucalyptus trees TENCEL™ is made from are a sustainable energy source, and the production process used to make the fabric is extremely environmentally conscious, even avoiding the use of dangerous chemicals! By choosing to purchase TENCEL™ over bamboo, you are not only making the best choice for your bedroom, but you’re also making the right choice for the environment around you.