Bamboo is unlike cotton and other natural fabrics in many ways. But does it shrink?
In this article, we’ll take a comprehensive look at bamboo sheets and whether or not they shrink. I’ve also included some tips to reduce shrinkage and keep them looking and feeling great for years to come.
Do Bamboo Sheets Shrink?
Bamboo sheets will shrink between 4-6% the first time they are washed. Some manufacturers will pre-shrink their bamboo sheets for you, while others will accommodate for the shrinking with overage.
That’s why it’s essential to measure the thickness of your mattress before buying bamboo sheets. If you have a mattress thicker than 10 inches or use a mattress topper, you should look for sheets with deeper pockets and all-around elastic.
What Types of Bamboo Sheets Shrink?
There are two main types of bamboo fabrics used to make sheets these days; Bamboo Rayon and Bamboo Viscose. Both these fabrics are manufactured using similar methods, and both are susceptible to shrinkage.
Other fabrics, such as Bamboo Linen, are mechanically processed and have a much lower shrinking point.
Why Do Bamboo Sheets Shrink?
Bamboo sheets shrink because the fibers are tightly bound together during the manufacturing process. When these fibers are exposed to water and heat, they expand and contract, resulting in shrinkage. As a general rule-of-thumb, the tighter the fibers, the greater the shrinking will be.
Do Bamboo Sheets Shrink in the Dryer?
The heat from a dryer will cause the most significant amount of shrinkage to bamboo sheets. Even at the lowest heat setting, your dryer will still cause a small amount of shrinking.
Do Bamboo Sheets Shrink in the Wash?
Washing your bamboo sheets by hand or in a machine using Warm or Hot water will cause them to shrink, especially the first few washes. The shrinkage will decrease with each subsequent wash until they reach their permanent size.
Can You Unshrink Bamboo Sheets?
Once bamboo sheets have gone through the initial shrinking, you will not be able to “unshrink” them. However, this doesn’t mean you won’t be able to stretch them out a bit. Just be careful not to stretch them too much or they will begin to tear around the edges.
Tips to Reduce Shrinkage
Now that you know a little bit more about bamboo sheets and why they shrink, let’s look at some tips to reduce the amount of shrinking.
1. Only wash them in cold water.
Of all the bamboo products I’ve owned, the ones that shrank the least were the ones I only washed in cold water.
2. Wash by hand or on “delicate” setting.
Shrinking can occur when the fibers are agitated, so the gentler you wash your sheets, the less they’ll shrink. If you’re not washing them by hand, be sure to use the delicate setting on your washer.
3. Air dry your bamboo sheets.
The best way to avoid shrinkage is to air dry your bamboo sheets. Air drying takes a little longer, but it’s well worth it. And you don’t have to dry them outside; an indoor clothesline will do just fine.
4. Tumble dry on low heat.
If you must tumble dry your bamboo sheets, do it on low heat. Using the lowest heat setting will help minimize the amount of shrinkage.
5. Remove them from the dryer promptly.
Once your bamboo sheets are done in the dryer, be sure to remove them promptly. The longer they are subject to heat and agitation, the more they will shrink.
6. Store them properly.
If you’re not using your bamboo sheets, be sure to store them properly. Rolling them up tightly and using a sealed container or bag will help reduce the amount of shrinkage and be ready to use.
Bamboo sheets are a great eco-friendly alternative to cotton sheets, and they have many benefits, such as being anti-microbial and thermo-regulating. However, they do shrink! So it’s crucial to take this into account before buying them.
By following the tips in this article, you can minimize the amount of shrinking and enjoy your bamboo sheets for years to come.