September 21, 2021

Is bamboo better than cotton? Bamboo vs Cotton 20 Facts

Is bamboo better than cotton? It’s a common question that’s asked. Bamboo has many advantages that make it better than cotton, but also a few disadvantages. 

In this comparison between bamboo vs cotton, we’re going to give all of the pros and cons of bamboo clothing and spare none of the details about bamboo facts. From this complete review of all of the advantages and disadvantages of bamboo, you can decide whether you think bamboo is really better than cotton - spoiler, bamboo does come out very favourably. 

Is bamboo better than cotton? Bamboo vs Cotton 20 Facts

Is bamboo better than cotton? 20 facts comparing the pro's and cons of bamboo:



Which is softer bamboo or cotton?

Bamboo is an ultra-soft fabric that looks like cotton but feels slightly softer to the touch.

Is bamboo as breathable as cotton?

Bamboo fabric offers excellent ventilation thanks to microscopic holes in the fibre, making it much more breathable than cotton.

Is bamboo warmer than cotton?

On cold days, bamboo clothes keep you warmer than cotton due to the cross sectional fibres that help keep heat in. 

Is bamboo cool to wear vs. cotton?

Bamboo keeps you cooler than cotton on hot summer days. It’s also more breathable and moisture wicking

Is bamboo more eco friendly than cotton?



Is cotton or bamboo more sustainable?That’s a big question, and ultimately it depends how the fabric is processed from plant to fibre. Most bamboo clothes are bamboo rayon, which requires a chemically intensive process to break down the bamboo stalk into a pulp before it can be woven into fabric. This compares to bamboo linen, which undergoes a more eco friendly mechanical process like flax linen to break down the bamboo plant. Both regular cotton and rayon bamboo are classified E grade in the Made-By Environmental Benchmark for Fibres, meaning neither fabric is eco friendly or sustainable. Look for Organic Cotton or Bamboo Linen as sustainable alternatives. You can read about how bamboo is turned into fabric here.

Is bamboo more absorbent than cotton?

Bamboo is more absorbent than cotton, able to absorb 3 times its weight in water. This is great for sports, but means it’s slow to dry

Is Bamboo Fabric cheaper than cotton?

Bamboo is normally more expensive than cotton, largely because it’s fairly rare vs. cotton clothing. You can find affordable bamboo, here’s our top rated bamboo brands.

Is bamboo clothes more ethical than cotton?

Are bamboo products ethical? It’s hard to summarise ethics into a few short sentences, but bamboo is linked with lifting rural communities of china out of poverty by providing stable employment. This compares with the poor conditions cotton workers often have to suffer, who are exposed to chemical fertilisers and sprays while barely receiving subsistence wages. Where possible, look for the Fair Wear label which certifies fair conditions and wages for workers in the garment industry.

Which is more comfortable, bamboo clothing or cotton? 

Without doubt, bamboo clothes feel better than cotton and are far more comfortable. The material is softer than cotton, slightly more stretchy, and lightly floats on your skin.

Is bamboo good for sportswear

Bamboo clothes don’t chafe when you exercise, making them perfect for sportswear. Bamboo also gently hangs on your skin, is breathable and moisture wicking, making bamboo arguably one of the best fabrics for sports clothes.

Is bamboo clothing good for eczema?

Yes, bamboo clothing is hypoallergenic, meaning it is perfect for those with eczema or sensitive skin. Sensitive skin sufferers should also look out for the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 label, confirming the fabric has no trace heavy metals.

Is bamboo really antibacterial?

When it comes to bamboo vs cotton, bamboo is the clear winner in odour prevention. There are debates on whether bamboo retains its anti-bacterial properties through the production process, however there is enough evidence to suggest bamboo does stay fresher for longer than cotton.

Which wrinkles less, bamboo or cotton?

Due to the natural flexibility of the fibre, bamboo is able to spring back to shape and helps prevent wrinkles. However, bamboo linen like flax linen will wrinkle more easily. Less wrinkles means less ironing, which helps clothes last longer and uses less energy, key to a sustainable wardrobe

Which will last longer, bamboo clothes or cotton?

Both fabrics are strong, both will last for years if you maintain your clothes correctly. To make your clothes last longer, follow basic rules like washing on a lower heat, washing less frequently, ironing less, and giving them the love and attention they need. We’ve listed 26 super easy tips to make your clothes last longer here.

Does bamboo shrink in the dryer?


Do bamboo shirts shrink? A tumble dryer can shrink bamboo shirts and clothes, so try to avoid tumble drying bamboo clothing if possible. Manufacturers often allow for 2% shrinkage after purchase. We recommend washing bamboo on a cool or 30 degree wash and leaving to line dry. Always follow the label’s care instructions of your garment.

Can you iron bamboo?

Yes you can iron bamboo as well as cotton, although 60-80% of a garment's lifetime energy consumption is consumed after it’s been made, so it’s more eco friendly to leave to line dry and not iron. If you do iron, follow the care label’s instructions and if in doubt, opt on the side of caution by turning down the temperature of your iron.

Can you machine wash bamboo?

Yes you can machine wash bamboo clothes, but just like many fabrics it can shrink if you wash bamboo at too high a temperature. So try to wash on a cooler cycle of 30 degrees or less.

Elasticity and flexibility

Bamboo has far more flexibility in it’s fibre, meaning it is the perfect top for more active use

Will bamboo biodegrade?

100% pure bamboo and 100% pure cotton will both biodegrade. If the conditions are perfect, bamboo will take just under 1 year to biodegrade whereas cotton might take around half this time. However, it’s important to know if your clothes contain other fabric blends, especially man made ones like synthetics. The chemicals which your clothing may have been dyed or treated with will also impact the speed at which it biodegrades, as well as the toxins that might be released as it does.

Is bamboo or cotton more sustainable to grow


Bamboo is an incredibly sustainable plant to grow. It requires less water than cotton, produces much higher crop yields per hectare, and doesn’t require chemical fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides to thrive. There’s even more, you can read about 15 ways bamboo is better for the environment here

Interested in buying bamboo clothing? Here are our top bamboo brands we love today. 

Before you buy bamboo, would you like to know the complete picture about whether bamboo is really good or bad for the environment? It may make you think twice. You can read about bamboo’s impact on the environment and find out if bamboo clothing is really sustainable here?

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