Eco-friendly, affordable bedsheets?

Does such a thing exist?

My bedsheets are so old I'm mending the mends these days. I decided it was finally time for new ones. I wanted affordable, natural fiber, environmentally friendly. It's been years since I bought any, and so was truly shocked at the price of good quality cotton these days. Eventually I resorted to Amazon, and found "Zen Bamboo Luxury Bedsheets" for $30, with a big blurb about how environmentally friendly the product is. So, I'm ashamed to admit, I ordered that several weeks ago.

It took longer than usual with Amazon, but the bedsheets finally got here today. And in the very tiniest print in a dark color on a dark label, underneath the big bright blurbs about how luxurious and environmentally friendly they are, you can just barely read "60% polyester and 40% bamboo rayon." What that really means is 60% petroleum by-products processed into fiber with massive amounts of toxic chemicals and 40% bamboo pulp processed into fiber with massive amounts of toxic chemicals.....

I checked the Amazon page again to see how I could have missed that when I ordered, and I swear what came up is a different page altogether--this one clearly says the sheets are "Rayon derived from Bamboo" and has them priced at $37.99, not the $30 I paid. There's no way I could have missed that "rayon" part the first time if it had been there.

Looks like Amazon is playing games--no surprise, I suppose. I did some checking, and found out Amazon and three other big companies lost a lawsuit and had to pay big fines in 2013 for marketing their bamboo rayon products as all-natural and eco-friendly.

So while I am deciding whether to send these sheets back, I am still hunting for natural fiber, environmentally friendly bedsheets at a price I can afford. Has anyone found anything like that recently?


  • Sharie
    Sharie Posts: 276 ✭✭✭

    Before I moved to SA, I used to wait until organic cotton sheets were on sale, usually on Boxing Day or at outlet type stores. In Europe, they would come around a couple times a year at ALDI or LIDL. Maybe you have those where you live? I should warn you that organic cotton may have just skyrocketed in price. The undies I used to buy are double the price now. Don't wait too long or you might not be able to get any. Supply chains are drying up all over.

    Someone was telling my daughter about how much they love their linen bedsheets. I asked her if she could get a link. I'll post back if she can get it. Linen is super durable and comfy.

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl Posts: 1,403 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Was looking through Good Housekeeping's site, saw this and remembered your post.

  • MaryRowe
    MaryRowe Posts: 736 ✭✭✭✭

    @Sharie I hadn't thought about linen, but a fine linen would make excellent bedsheets, and probably last longer than the best cotton. I checked some companies on the web though, and found the linen sheets were priced accordingly--in the US, looks like it's $130 and up for a set. The investment might be worth it in terms of comfort and durability, but in terms of budget, I guess I'll just have to keep hunting for sales on linen and organic cotton sheets for a while. In the U.S. the sales usually come up early in the first couple months of the year, or used to--it's been a while since I paid attention to that.

    @RustBeltCowgirl That is an excellent article, and really nails the issue. It ought to be widely circulated. I'm still kicking myself for being taken in by Amazon's marketing when I should have known better. I've been spinning and weaving as an avid hobbyist for about 30 years now, and should know fabric and fibers well enough to know there's no good way to get them out of bamboo.....

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,816 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MaryRowe I just bought a full sized set of 600 thread count, 100 percent cotton sheets for $13 at Wal Mart. I found them on the clearance shelf.

  • MaryRowe
    MaryRowe Posts: 736 ✭✭✭✭

    @shllnzl That is amazing! I will have to start checking WalMart too. I am hoping for organic cotton though--most commercial cotton raising is really terrible for people and the environment. But a deal like that on any cotton would surely be hard to pass up.

  • MaryRowe
    MaryRowe Posts: 736 ✭✭✭✭

    @RustBeltCowgirl Now that is a possibility....but when you calculate the needed yardage for the linen, alas, you are right back up there in the ready-made price range. The cotton in your second link is affordable though, and equals or beats most of the ready-made I've come across except for that remarkable clearance shelf deal at WalMart.

    I've even been toying with the idea of growing my own--but it took me three years to grow enough cotton to make a pair of kitchen towels, and I've never even tried the long process of getting linen out of flax, so bedsheets are a bit of a reach....

    Anyway, both those sites are great sources for fabric for a whole range of projects, and I didn't know about either one of them, so thanks for posting!

  • Tave
    Tave Posts: 952 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I just checked on Etsy and liked the selection they have. I had never thought of linen instead of cotton. It's still pricey.

  • MaryRowe
    MaryRowe Posts: 736 ✭✭✭✭

    @RustBeltCowgirl Now that hemp/cotton blend is enticing---in terms of price somewhere between the ouch! of cotton and the OMG!! of linen, and in terms of durability somewhere between them as well. And a good hemp/cotton blend can be really smooth and soft......Will have to give that one some thought.

  • Sharie
    Sharie Posts: 276 ✭✭✭

    I just found a thread about linen and one of our forum members said she's still using her great aunt's linen sheets! If, or when SHTF for real, we might not be able to purchase things like sheets for quite some time. Maybe putting an ad out on Craigslist or whatever sites people use to sell things these days would be worthwhile. I'll bet there's lots of people who have inherited old sheets that would love to make a few bucks. When my aunt died there were stacks of great linen sheets and about 40 tablecloths but it was in another country and I had my 2 suitcases packed to overflowing so couldn't bring them. Massive regrets now!

  • Tave
    Tave Posts: 952 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I was looking for cloth napkins to keep from buying so many paper napkins, and my sister told me she had all of my grandmother's cotton napkins and tablecloths from the early 1900s. She gave them all to me. It took a couple of trips to get them here. They are so beautiful and useful.

  • annbeck62
    annbeck62 Posts: 994 ✭✭✭✭

    @RustBeltCowgirl thank you for posting the article about bamboo not being bamboo. In the past I have bought bamboo towels and clothing items. Now I feel totally ripped off :( But thanks to your post I'm not smarter and won't make that mistake again.

  • maimover
    maimover Posts: 359 ✭✭✭

    @MaryRowe I’ve gotten a couple of organic cotton sets from target, reasonably priced. Picked up an organic, quite hot pink color on clearance for $10 or $11 in queen sz. They have nice deep pockets and are holding up very well.

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Posts: 1,411 admin

    @Mary Rowe I buy cotton satin. The linen is 100% cotton. I do not know what they make with the fabric, but it is really pleasant, quite cool in hot summer, smooth. Nice feeling. But I do not know whether they are produced ecologically and without exploiting people... Nowadays one does not know...

  • MaryRowe
    MaryRowe Posts: 736 ✭✭✭✭

    @RustBeltCowgirl Thanks a million for that link! I guess I had heard about that site somewhere, but had completely forgotten about it. Those particular sheets are probably just the usual industrial cotton, since the page doesn't say otherwise. But I was looking around on the site, and--

    -newsflash for anyone else hunting bedsheets just now----They have a 4th of July sale going on at the moment, which includes several different sets of certified organic cotton bedsheets in the $30 to $50 range.

    I'm still looking around the site, but I think this will solve my bedsheet problem!

  • annflancan
    annflancan Posts: 84 ✭✭✭

    if you do not go through the effort of sending them back then the problems just persists.

    Thank you for taking the time to alert the public of this deceptive product.

  • MissPatricia
    MissPatricia Posts: 318 ✭✭✭

    I buy cotton sheets at Sam's that are quite nice and inexpensive. Organic? That is more difficult to find. Thanks for the warning about bamboo and Amazon. Per the advice above, that is the best option, but one that I don't relish.

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭

    I don't buy sheets very often either. Last time I bought some was at Ikea and they were 100% cotton. Mind you, not organic but still better (although not by much) than plastic.