Bamboo bedding is a luxury that we all deserve, providing cloud-like comfort all year round. Not only is it ludicrously soft and breathable, but its moisture-wicking properties keep you completely dry, even on the warmest of evenings. But how exactly should you care for your bamboo bedding to ensure it retains the same quality night after night?
While the washing labels are a great indicator, they don’t always tell the full story about how to properly care for your bedding to improve longevity. Fortunately, this guide provides all you need to know about washing, drying, and storing your bamboo bedding.
What to do with your new bamboo sheets
If you’ve just invested in new sheets, or planning on buying new bamboo bedding, you’ve made an excellent choice! Bamboo is among the most luxurious fabrics available, with the long list of benefits including silky softness, comfortable breathability, and effortless temperature regulation. However, that said, the first thing you’ll likely notice is how stiff the bamboo sheet material feels to touch.
Don’t worry though, this is completely normal with all bamboo bedding; all you need to do is give your sheets an initial wash to break in the fibres a little. Once your bed sheets have gone through a quick cycle, you can then begin to really enjoy your new luxury bedding.
How to wash bamboo sheets
Whether you’ve recently bought new bedding or planning on investing, you’ll need to know exactly how to go about washing bamboo sheets, to maintain the soft and silky texture that makes them such a luxury.
Fortunately, we’ve outlined the essential bamboo sheets washing instructions guide, detailing how to wash bamboo sheets, the type of detergents to use, and the temperature to set your machine at.
How often should you wash bamboo bedding?
Bamboo sheets are like any other type of bedding, and require regular washing. It’s recommended that you wash your sheets at least twice a month, but every week is optimum.
Leaving your sheets on for too long can greatly impact their quality and significantly reduce their lifespan. The main consequence of this is that the fabric will become over-stretched, which makes it more susceptible to tearing when you do eventually wash them.
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What is the best detergent for bamboo sheets?
When washing bamboo sheets, a quick and easy rule of thumb to follow is that the milder the detergent you use the better – this makes your bed sheets last longer. So, where possible, try to choose a liquid detergent that’s free of any harsh chemicals. If you do prefer to use powdered detergents, however, that’s also absolutely fine; just make sure to dissolve your powder in cold water first, to avoid any abrasion.
There are a couple of other things to remember when washing bamboo bed sheets:
Never bleach bamboo: bamboo fibres are soft and delicate, while bleach is harsh and powerful. The combination can lead to your bamboo sheets quickly showing signs of damage and distress. If you want to remove persistent stains, you can apply a vinegar and water mixture to the area and leave for a few hours.
Avoid fabric softeners: some fabric softeners contain harsh chemicals that can quickly damage your bamboo bedding, so your safest bet is to avoid them altogether. Anyway, bamboo bed sheet material is naturally silky, and will only get softer with each wash!
At what temperature should you wash bamboo bed sheets?
One of the most important things to remember when washing bamboo bedding is to avoid warm water. Failing to do so can result in the fabric pilling and the fibres from becoming damaged.
Specifically, aim to keep your wash at a temperature below 30°C, and ensure your machine is set to a gentle cycle. This, accompanied with mild detergent, will help your bamboo bedding to retain its natural softness.
Can you wash bamboo sheets with other fabrics?
It’s recommended that you wash your bamboo bedding separately from other fabrics for a couple of key reasons:
- Zippers and hooks commonly found on clothes can cause pilling and abrasion – or worse tears in the soft and silky fabric.
- Towels and blankets can transfer deposits to your bamboo bedding, leaving you with linty sheets that can quickly lose their soft appeal.
How to dry bamboo sheets
There are two options when it comes to drying your bamboo bedding – air drying or throwing them in the machine. While air drying is typically advised, we’ve outlined how you can safely dry your sheets in the tumble dryer.
Air drying bamboo sheets
The best way to dry your bamboo bedding is to let it air dry naturally, to preserve the silky feel. Depending on the space available, you can drape your bed sheets over an outdoor washing line, or hang them over an indoor clothes rack; but if you do choose to dry them outside, just remember to avoid direct sunlight, or you risk damaging the fibres.
Machine drying bamboo sheets
Because bamboo sheets are delicate and soft, it’s advised that you air dry them, to avoid damaging the fibres and maintain elasticity and colour.
However, it is possible to machine dry bamboo sheets, so long as you choose a low heat and remove your bedding from the dryer as soon as the cycle is finished. This is to prevent your bedding from overheating, which can damage the fibres and even make your sheets shrink.
How to prevent wrinkles in bamboo bedding
Do bamboo sheets wrinkle? Of course! Wrinkles are natural, no matter the material or fabric your bedding is made from. However, that doesn’t make wrinkling any less of a nuisance! Fortunately, it’s relatively simple to address bamboo bedding wrinkles:
Air dry your bedding: wrinkles often occur when bedding is left in the tumble dryer for too long after the cycle has finished, when the material has time to crease and crinkle. The best way to avoid this is to air dry your bedding. If you do need to dry it in the machine, though, it can be useful to remove it just before the cycle has finished, and let it finish drying naturally.
Iron your bedding: you might be cautious about ironing bamboo bedding, but it’s completely safe to do so – as long as you keep your iron on a low-steam setting. As with washing and drying your bedding, heat can damage the fibres, so just be conscious of this as you iron out those creases.
Does bamboo bedding retain its softness?
One of the overwhelming benefits of bamboo over other types of bedding is how effortlessly it retains its soft silkiness, because of its natural composition and organic manufacturing process. In fact, your sheets will actually get softer over time. And there are further ways you can improve the longevity:
Wash your sheets gently: putting your bamboo bedding through a gentle, low-heat wash helps to retain its luxury softness. This limits the chance of damaging the fibres in the fabric.
Avoid fabric softeners: unlike other materials, bamboo doesn’t benefit from the use of fabric softeners and other washing chemicals. In fact, using them can actually damage the fibres in the fabric.
Wash independently: washing your bamboo bedding separately from other fabrics will prevent pilling, which can have a detrimental impact on the overall softness of your sheets, pillowcases, and duvet covers.
Air dry your bedding: tumble drying your bamboo sheets comes with the risk of exposing your bedding to excess heat, which can damage the fibres in the fabric. Ultimately, this will mean you lose some of the softness. Alternatively, air drying your bedding (out of direct sunlight) will ensure the fibres remain strong and unaffected.
How to store your bamboo sheets
Because bamboo bedding is so soft and delicate, it’s important to store it correctly when not in use. Things to consider include:
Find a cool environment: storing your bamboo bedding in a cool environment prevents the fibres from weakening or drying out. You should also avoid storing your sheets near appliances that might emit heat at any point, as this can cause unnecessary wear and tear.
Avoid direct sunlight: it’s important to store your bamboo sheets away from direct sunlight, or else you run the risk of damaging the fibres in the fabric, which will impact the overall quality and softness. Exposure to sunlight can also lead to discolouration.
Give your sheets breathing room: giving you bamboo sheets space to breathe can help to maintain their quality for longer. Packing your bedding tightly at the back of your cupboard restricts the fibres, and they’ll eventually become stiffer and lose their softness.
Should I avoid plastic storage bags?
One way of maintaining the luxurious quality of your bamboo bedding is to keep your sheets, duvet covers, and pillowcases in breathable bags or cases. This limits the amount of dust and debris that your bedding collects between uses.
However, it’s absolutely crucial to avoid any type of plastic bag when storing your sheets, as plastic is a breeding ground for moisture, which can lead to mould and mildew – both of which will damage your sheets irreparably.
Will bamboo sheets pill?
In short, bamboo bedding shouldn’t pill, if treated correctly. However, it can occur if your bedding is washed on a machine cycle that’s too hot, or you subject your sheets to abrasion or harsh detergents. Ways to avoid pilling include:
- Washing your bamboo bedding separately to other fabrics and clothes.
- Using mild detergents that are free of harsh chemicals.
- Setting your washing machine to a maximum of 30°C.
However, pilling can also happen if you regularly toss and turn at night. If this sounds like you, consider purchasing a mattress protector, to reduce the amount of friction between your sheets and mattress.
When to replace bamboo bedding
All bedding needs replacing eventually. It’s an inevitability, and even the highest quality fabrics begin to deteriorate after long-time use.
Bamboo pillowcases should typically be replaced more frequently than bed sheets and duvet covers, as they come into closer contact with the oils in your hair and skin. Generally speaking, you should replace:
- Bamboo pillowcases – every six months
- Bamboo bed sheets/duvet covers – every 12/18 months
Of course, it’s also always helpful to use your best judgement. The above timings are just a guide, and you can keep your bamboo bedding for longer if it’s not showing signs of wear – or replace it more frequently if it’s beginning to show signs of deterioration.
Can you recycle bamboo bedding?
Bamboo is a wholly bio-degradable material, meaning you can throw your bedding away at the end of its lifecycle guilt-free, knowing you’ll not be clogging up landfill or polluting the oceans.
However, you might be hoping to repurpose or recycle your old pillows, duvets, and bed sheets. We’ve offered a little inspiration, to help give your old bedding new purpose:
Compost your bamboo filling: if your pillow and duvet filling is 100% bamboo, you can use it as eco-friendly compost, putting the stuffing straight into your soil. It might take a little time to compost, but within 6-12 months you’ll have nutrient-rich soil that’s perfect for your plants.
Make pet-friendly beds with your pillows: luxury dog beds can be expensive, so why not repurpose your old bamboo bedding to give your pet a comfortable place to sleep. While you may notice the signs of wear, your pets certainly won’t and they’ll love their new bedding - and the fabric is naturally breathable and anti-bacterial.
Donate your old bedding: bamboo bedding is a luxury, even after it begins to show signs of wear and tear, so there’s sure to be someone who’ll continue to appreciate your duvet and pillows. If the bedding is still in a reasonable condition, why not give it to charity or a local homeless shelter, where it’ll be given a new lease of life and love.
Hopefully, you’re now in a position to confidently care for your bamboo bedding, from washing and drying to storing and maintaining its softness. If you’re feeling inspired, check out our complete selection of luxury bedding products for the best bamboo sheets, duvets, and pillows, or head on over to our blog for even more useful insight from our sleep experts.