Have you ever been in the socks aisle of your local retail clothing store and examined the different materials and wondered what the difference might be? Just as with any other clothing item, socks too come in an assortment of materials.
There’s cotton, polyester, bamboo, silk, and the list goes on. But in a choosing-battle between bamboo socks and cotton socks, which one should you go for?
Neither is superior to the other, but there are differences that some fellow sock-wearers may prefer to the latter.
To help you decide which will fit you better, we compared several brands of bamboo socks with cotton ones and listed the differences below.
Bamboo Socks vs Cotton Socks
1. Softness: Now when you think of cotton, the first thought that probably comes to mind is the white, soft, fluffy material. However, when you think of bamboo, your first thought is probably … well … pandas as the plant is a favorite treat of the mammal.
Your next thought probably shifts on to the fact that bamboo is tough and wooden – not as cozy of an initial thought compared to that of cotton.
Bamboo socks are softer! As it turns out, contrary to the tough fibrous material, upon wear, bamboo socks are soft similarly to their cotton sock counterparts. You may be further surprised to learn that bamboo socks are actually often softer than cotton socks.
This is in part due to the processing of the bamboo fibers where its cellulose makeup undergoes a chemical treatment to soften the fibers. The end-product is so soft that it is often used as an inexpensive and affordable substitute for silk!
2. Absorbency: In a competition of which is capable of absorbing more moisture, bamboo socks claim the trophy. Although cotton socks are absorbent to an extent, bamboo socks are able to absorb four times as much!
In general, absorbency is a very important factor to consider when purchasing socks because excess moisture can lead to problems such as blistering, foot fungus, and harbor unwanted bacteria. However, it is especially important for those who expect to be wearing their socks for a long time and athletes.
3. Breathable: Bamboo socks do a better job of keeping feet dry than cotton socks therefore leading to less foot problems. Bamboo socks are also breathable and well ventilated more so than cotton socks.
The bamboo fibers keep the bamboo socks from trapping heat which could result in sweating and excess moisture which could be problematic over a period of time as mentioned prior. The absorbency and thermoregulation of bamboo socks also prevent the feet from experiencing friction which could lead to painful blisters and the like.
4. Odor Fighting: Another bonus benefit of the absorbent and breathable material of bamboo socks is a big one that pretty much everyone can hands down agree on: odor. Excess moisture and trapped heat are culprits of causing foul odor because they are breeding sites for bacteria responsible for causing bad feet smells.
Since the bamboo socks tackle both those issues adequately, it means better smelling feet! All this isn’t to say that cotton socks aren’t absorbent or ventilated or that you will be doomed to have stinky feet for opting for cotton.
Cotton socks provide comfort and are fairly absorbent and breathable but bamboo socks go the extra stride — or shall we say ‘step’ since we are talking about feet — when it comes to keeping the feet dry and airing out.
5. Antibacterial: Let’s face it – no matter how much you clean your feet, feet just aren’t the cleanest parts of our bodies. We use them to transport us from place to place and along the way, it is inevitable that we will step on dirt, germs, and dust.
This is where bamboo socks’ antibacterial quality comes in handy. Bamboo socks are naturally antibacterial and antifungal. This is useful in aiding in preventing foot problems such as fungus which can be irritating and pesky problems to deal with both on the skin and toenails.
As mentioned before, accumulation of bacteria are responsible for creating foul odors; therefore, the antibacterial properties of the bamboo socks aid in repelling that. Cotton socks do not do as good of a job at repelling bacteria – they absorb it.
6. Durability: Are you guilty of running through socks quickly and find yourself time and time again back at the sock aisle at your local clothing store to purchase new pairs of socks? This may be because the material of your socks are not durable enough to survive and brace through daily wear.
The bamboo fibers are responsible for giving bamboo socks a long shelf life. Bamboo socks are not only great at resisting tears and holes but they are also fantastic at maintaining elasticity. We have all experienced it before where socks become less form-fitting to the foot as they once were as the elasticity weakens with time and between washes.
However, bamboo socks are able to hold onto the elasticity longer than cotton socks. And if you’re looking to save the vibrancy and coloration of your socks as well, bamboo socks hold their color for longer which means your socks can look fresh and newer for longer giving you that new sock feel for far past than just the first couple washes.
If you’re one that doesn’t particularly stress over the appearance of your socks or don’t mind sporting a couple tears, you may appreciate the monetary aspect. Less visits to the sock aisle means more money saved and that’s something everyone can appreciate.
7. Ecofriendly: Not only are bamboo socks fantastic for you, the wearer, but to their manufacturers as well. When it comes to printing bold, colorful designs with cotton socks, a lot of dye is required.
However, bamboo socks do not require as much dye to achieve the vibrant, vivacious colorations. Dyes can be both pricey and toxic to the environment so cutting down on them can both: save money and the environment, while enjoying a cool perk and bonus: boasting a cool design on your feet.
There may be wrong answers in other aspects of life such as mathematics, but when it comes to socks, there is no wrong answer.
You can go for a pair of bamboo socks or opt for a pair of cotton socks. Or you can even go for a different material altogether.
Each have qualities some of which you may consider more favorable over the latter. It’s all about what feels right to you.