You spend a third of your life asleep, so it’s worth doing all that you can to make sure that you’re comfortable. Your mind went straight to cotton bedding, right? Crisp percale and silky sateen might have probably had your allegiance up until now, but there are newcomers to consider.
Not to worry though—we’ll help you pick the one that’s your ideal match. If you’re open to eschewing your typical choice in favor of something different, hemp, bamboo, and eucalyptus all make for equally cozy nests (with the bonus of having smaller environmental impacts than traditional options). Here are the differences between the three.
What it feels like: Similar in weight and texture to linen, with a cool finish.
Best for: In-between sleepers—it’ll keep you cool in summer and warm in winter.
The lowdown: If you want your sheets to get better the longer you own them, go for hemp. “It’s one of the most durable fibers, which means your sheets will withstand the test of time while lessening the world’s textile impact,” says Tessa Ghenender, founder of Amber Fort. Longer-lasting bedding means you buying new sheets less often, after all. Plus, it has antibacterial properties, so you can feel less guilty when you don’t wash your sheets as much as you know you should.
What it feels like: Super-satiny and smooth—it’s sometimes called “vegan silk.”
Best for: Hot sleepers. (Bamboo sheets are particularly breathable.)
Why it works: “Because of the structure of the fiber itself, the strands do not snag against each other, and there are no rough pointy ends, so when weaved into fabric, it creates more natural gaps for the air to flow between one side of the fabric to the other,” explains Kat Vorotova, Ettitude president and co-founder. They’re also sustainable, requiring just a tenth of the amount of water required to produce a set of cotton sheets. Just make sure they’re made using clean technology; while some brands use rayon or viscose, Ettitude uses bamboo to create a totally plant-based lyocell. Comfy and good for the earth!
What it feels like: Slightly softer than cotton and chill to the touch.
Best for: Easily inflamed skin.
The lowdown: Eucalyptus fiber is hypoallergenic, and Buffy makes their eucalyptus sheets using all-natural dyes (no petroleum of chlorine bleach here)—which makes them pretty much a miracle for anyone who might be especially sensitive. Plus, they have a temperature-regulating effect, so if you get overheated at night, this is another ideal option for you. “Our sheets are more soothing to your skin due to the high thread count and tight weave of the fibers,” says Leo Wang, founder and CEO of Buffy.
Now, as for that ever controversial top sheet debate…