Cotton Bedding Alternatives

You’re in the bedding aisle at the store, scanning the shelves, trying to choose amongst the many options and wondering which may embody the sleep environment you’ve been imagining. But where to start? Many people’s idea of a bedding selection is either cotton or flannel. The questions fly through your mind… There are bamboo sheets now? What is Tencel? How is that different from cotton??

Thankfully, a little preparation before sitting down to order your dream bedding online can help you focus. Before shopping, consider not just thread count, price, or size, but also your sleeping conditions and season. Are you a hot sleeper year-round? Do you keep your room cool but enjoy extra warmth against your skin? How much care are you willing to put into your new bedding? Does it need ironing or special washing instructions?

Our societal conversations about thoughtful consumption are increasingly trending toward more organic and sustainable products. Cotton is a classic, durable, and familiar fabric for our bedrooms, but production requires significant land, water, and pesticides. Organic cotton bedding is appearing on the consumer radar for those who are concerned about the use of unnatural products so close to their skin, in addition to increased awareness of allergies and skin sensitivity.

Like many people, if you’re a hot sleeper, you may prefer sheets that pull moisture away from the body, so breathable materials such as bamboo, hemp, and linen are alternatives to traditional cotton sheets. If have sensitive skin and suffer from allergies, fabrics such as bamboo, hemp, Tencel, and silk are naturally hypoallergenic. Tencel is manufactured from the wood pulp of a eucalyptus tree using a sustainable manufacturing method, is naturally antimicrobial, and is highly breathable. While hemp fabrics have a number of redeeming qualities, it does require extra care, and can be scratchy if not blended with other fabrics. Bamboo is a popular alternative option known for its sustainability, durability, year-round use, and hypoallergenic properties.

For thousands of years, linen has been considered a luxury, from bedding to clothing to upholstery. It is extremely durable, highly absorbent, and incredibly soft, but also requires great care and wrinkles easily. Although ancient Egyptians lived in the ideal climate to grow cotton, they preferred to produce linen for its luxuriousness and durability. Linen garments from the ancient world still survive in museums today! Likewise, silk has endured the ages due to its lightweight properties its smooth finish that is ideal for sensitive skin. Silk also provides suitable warmth in cooler conditions, or for those that don’t suffer from overheating during the night.