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Although being environmentally responsible is one of the most popular selling points for eucalyptus products, we first have to determine whether it's as good as its competitors. After all, bad-quality bedding products aren't going to keep you comfortable at night regardless of how eco-friendly they are!
So, we're going to compare eucalyptus products to bamboo and cotton and see who comes out on top. Each of these materials has its ups and downs and hopefully, you'll be able to gauge for yourself which of them is the best for you. To start, how comfortable is eucalyptus bedding?
Of course, comfort is a subjective thing. So, whether eucalyptus sheets are more comfortable than cotton sheets or bamboo sheets depends on who you ask. However, there are a few general characteristics these materials tend to have that can sway you in one direction or another.
Namely, cotton can be a lot stiffer than bamboo or eucalyptus. At least until you start looking at high-end cotton sheets such as Egyptian cotton. And between eucalyptus and bamboo, bamboo is typically a bit softer and requires a lower thread count. So, if you're looking for the softest duvet cover, it's probably going to be from bamboo.
That being said, a eucalyptus sheet set still has a secret weapon. Namely, it tends to feel the most luxurious to the touch. Perhaps this is because it's incredibly soft while still maintaining a slightly firmer structure, balancing out the best of both worlds.
Another very common selling point for natural materials is their breathability since lower-quality synthetic bedding products tend to trap heat and lead to night sweats. And while this point can vary from product to product, here's what you should typically expect.
Cotton sheets can be really good or rather mediocre depending on the composition. For example, bed sheets that use a 100% natural cotton construction are going to keep you nice and cosy. However, lower-end cotton blends might not be as breathable as you'd like – especially if you're a hot sleeper.
But if you get a flat sheet from bamboo or eucalyptus, you're more than likely going to have a good night's rest. All the sheets made from these materials tend to be very breathable and rarely have issues with overheating. Bamboo can technically be a bit better since it generally has a lower thread count however, eucalyptus feels very cool to the touch – so we'd say they're on equal footing in this category. And as another plus for eucalyptus, it tends to be moisture-wicking – so, any sweat that does form won't pose an issue.
Durability is the first category where cotton has a more significant advantage. It's generally a lot more durable and you can often machine wash it and tumble dry it on low heat. But in order to wash eucalyptus sheets, you'll have to be a bit more careful.
Bleach or fabric softener can often damage eucalyptus bedding. You have to be careful when it comes to heat as well since even the best eucalyptus sheets typically aren't suitable for tumble drying on higher settings (if at all). So, if you have some naturally dyed sheets from eucalyptus, make sure to carefully read the care instructions first and stick to a machine wash cold with minimal chemicals involved.
And in terms of longevity, once again cotton is likely going to be your best bet. Bamboo and eucalyptus products can also last a long time but typically require a lot more care for that to happen. Cotton on the other hand is as easy-going as natural materials get. So, if you want a fitted sheet that you don't have to think about all that often, cotton is your best bet.
However, it's not all doom and gloom. After all, eucalyptus sheets tend to wrinkle the least out of these three materials. This is an incredible perk for anyone who doesn't like ironing their bedding and does give eucalyptus a slight edge over bamboo in terms of durability.
So far we've talked about how soft eucalyptus is and how breathable it is – so, it only stands to reason that it's pretty good for your skin, right? Luckily for those with sensitive skin, yes.
Not only are both breathability and comfort important factors in this category but even the structure of the eucalyptus fibres lend itself to this goal. This is because eucalyptus fibres are typically round (or rounded), meaning that there's less friction with your skin when compared to something like cotton.
Plus, both bamboo and eucalyptus are naturally hypoallergenic, meaning that allergies don't pose a threat! Not only that, but they're typically antifungal and antibacterial as well. So, in terms of keeping things nice and clean, these two materials are very good choices.
Lastly, there's the question of is eucalyptus bedding worth it. It's no secret that natural materials tend to be more expensive than synthetics or blends. And depending on your budget, this could be a make-or-break factor. However, there are a few things worth considering here.
For one, certain characteristics and features are inherently tied to natural materials. For example, if you have sensitive skin or allergies, even the best synthetic sheets likely aren't going to feel as comfortable as their natural counterparts.
Secondly, bedding brands that offer bamboo and eucalyptus bedding tend to be deeply invested in environmentally conscious movements. Of course, this isn't always the case but as a general trend, they tend to have ties with charitable organisations, reforestation efforts and so on. And if you're an environmentally conscious person, this is a very big plus. Sure, getting one flat sheet isn't going to save the world but every bit helps.
So, overall we'd say that investing in these kinds of products is worth the slightly higher price tag. They're typically of very high quality and you can sometimes do some global good by just getting a nice fitted sheet.
As we've mentioned a few times thus far, eucalyptus is seen as a very environmentally friendly material. But how exactly does it compare to something like cotton or synthetics? And are there any downsides to planting eucalyptus trees? Well, it's time to find out.
Synthetic fabrics consist of many different types of plastic. And if you've kept up with any green initiative, you know that plastic is rather detrimental to the environment. This is especially important when it comes to fabrics as tons of microplastics are released and typically end up in the ocean.
In fact, according to the European Environment Agency between 200 000 and 500 000 tons of microplastics from textiles end up in the marine environment each year! On that basis alone, getting a plastic-free alternative is doing mother nature a big favour. After all, there is a lot less runoff when transforming the wood pulp from eucalyptus into cellulosic fibre and since there is no plastic involved, it's much safer for the environment.
Not to mention that the manufacture of synthetic materials such as polyester or nylon also requires a lot of energy. This not only depletes our fossil fuel resources but also further adds to greenhouse gas emissions. So, while synthetic materials are cheap and widespread, they're harmful on multiple levels when compared to their natural counterparts.
Although natural materials are more sustainably managed and better for the environment, they aren't all perfect. For example, cotton comes with a surprising amount of downsides when it comes to its production.
Firstly, a significant number of dangerous chemicals are used in cotton production. From pesticides to herbicides and other chemicals, a study shows that things have been relatively the same in the past 20 years. And just like with synthetic materials, these chemicals can often end up among marine life, endangering the local flora and fauna.
On top of that, cotton takes up a significant chunk of good fertile land, which could be seen as an issue by some. After all, if a forest has to be levelled in order for cotton fields to take root, the environment is worse off overall.
Lastly, cotton is rather resource-intensive, at least when compared to eucalyptus. It requires a significant amount of water (dozens of times more than eucalyptus on average) and a significant amount of energy. So, while it's definitely better than having microplastics everywhere, a case could be made that bamboo and eucalyptus are the most environmentally friendly materials overall.
So far it might seem like eucalyptus products are objectively the best material when it comes to bedding products. However, depending on who you ask, some do have a few concerns.
The most common complaint you can hear about eucalyptus trees is how they affect the biodiversity of the local habitats. This is because research suggests that the number of local plants is lower when part of such biodiverse farms when compared to a natural habitat. Some have also had concerns about how eucalyptus trees might affect water supplies and even the soil.
However, you'll also quickly find plenty of research that suggests the benefits of eucalyptus trees. For example, this paper points out how even these supposed downfalls can be overcome by simply being more careful and taking the native plant population into account before introducing the eucalyptus farms.
And if we look at this expansive overview of the importance of eucalyptus in Ethiopia, we can find even more positives. For example, the paper points out how eucalyptus crops still hold on to some “forest properties”, meaning that they're a lot better for the flora and fauna than standard plant farms. Plus, they bring forth significant capital, and job openings, and serve as a great fuel source.
Now that we've gone over all the benefits of eucalyptus and eucalyptus bedding, we'd like to highlight a few products that take full advantage of it! So, in no particular order, here are our top four picks for the best eucalyptus silk bedding UK has to offer.
With a nice and comfortable 10.5 TOG, this duvet can keep you comfortable year-round. This is mostly thanks to the 100% soft eucalyptus silk filling (also known as eucalyptus lyocell). After all, we've already described how breathable eucalyptus is and how well it can regulate your body temperature.
It's also very light and fluffy, making it particularly nice cuddling and since the whole duvet is hypoallergenic, you don't have to worry about allergy flare-ups either. So, if you want a good eucalyptus duvet, this is an excellent choice! And if you want to read a more in-depth review of the Aeyla Air duvet, just click on the link.
If you don't need a duvet but do have a kink in your neck that you'd like to get rid of, getting a new, high-quality pillow is the way to go. And the Premium Nectar Pillow is probably going to be your best choice!
While it's not fully made of eucalyptus, it does utilize Tencel, a material extracted from the eucalyptus tree. Specifically, it's used for the cover in order to give the pillow some breathability and make it very cool to the touch. Plus, the pillow itself utilises memory foam in order to provide you with a snug and comfortable sleep. But if you want to know about it, we suggest reading our full Nectar Premium Pillow review.
As you'll quickly see, Aeyla is among the biggest fans of eucalyptus in the UK, with it commonly showing up in their bedding products. And it makes a lot of sense! Just like with a duvet, who wouldn't want a weighted blanket with a silky texture that also has moisture wicking and temperature regulation as features?
Plus, if you sleep warm, these kinds of bedding products are ideal for you. And since by virtue of being a weighted blanket, The Dreamer also helps you relax, we'd say it's an overall win. But if you do need more convincing, we suggest reading our full review of The Dreamer Weighted Blanket.
Lastly, let's step away from Aeyla and their weighted blankets and talk about a high-quality mattress topper instead. Although we have yet to see a topper utilising only eucalyptus as a filling, this model from Dorma does use Tencel lyocell in order to make the cover extra breathable.
And since it's a memory foam topper, this goes a long way in ensuring that you don't overheat at night! And while the moisture-wicking properties aren't as noticeable as with some other products, it's still a nice bonus. Just make sure you get the right size as if you have a custom mattress or something outside of the UK (like an American Cal King size) you might end up with a topper that's far too small. Click here to see our full review of the Dorma Tencel Blend memory foam mattress topper.
In conclusion, we don't think that eucalyptus bedding is just another fad. It provides a high level of breathability, is nice and cool to the touch, and is the go-to choice for people with sensitive skin. So, as a bedding product, it checks all the boxes!
And if properly planted, eucalyptus trees can bring many benefits to people all around the world while also causing minimal to no harm to the environment. So, in that sense, we'd definitely say that it's the future of bedding as well!