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If you care about the environment or if you have a delicate immune system that leaves you vulnerable to illnesses, buying a mattress is not as simple for you as it is for the rest of the population. This article will explain that a bamboo mattress might just solve your problems, because it is environment-friendly and can protect you from bacteria, dust mites, and overheating.
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Editor's Choice - Best for Customizing Size and Thickness
Customize Bed 10 Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress
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Best for Hypoallergenic Features
LUCID 10 Inch Full Hybrid Mattress
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Best for Those with Uncomfortable or Dirty Mattresses
LUCID 3 Inch Bamboo Charcoal Memory Foam Mattress Topper
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Best for Customizing Firmness
Snuggle-Pedic Twin Mattress Ultra-Luxury Memory Foam Hybrid
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What is a Bamboo Mattress?
A bamboo mattress is a mattress that has bamboo textiles or ash as part of its construction. It is not made of wood and is not hard, as many people may think.
While scientists from many countries have been fiddling around with the conversion of bamboo to textile, the first widespread commercial strategies were invented by researchers from the University of Beijing in 2001. There are two typical manufacturing strategies.
- Manufacturers split the hard woody part of the bamboo plant from the fibers, spin the fibers into yarns, and weave the yarns into fabric.(1) In so doing, they make a textile that is even softer than most other textiles.
- Manufacturers create bamboo charcoal. They first dry the bamboo, then reduce it to charcoal in a kiln at very high temperatures, and then embed this powder into the fibers of other textiles from which fabrics, or in this case foam mattresses, can be made.(1)
As you will see in our bamboo mattress reviews below, some bamboo mattress brands use a bamboo cover manufactured via the fabric route, while others infuse bamboo charcoal into their foam mattresses.
Why Use Bamboo in Mattresses?
Bamboo has plenty of advantages over other textiles, and many of these benefits make it the ideal construction material for mattresses.
- Bamboo has cooling and moisture-wicking characteristics. Since bamboo is naturally hollow, the fibers also have lots of tiny gaps. These gaps allow it to absorb and evaporate the moisture from your skin, much like the bamboo plant absorbs and evaporates the moisture in the air.(2) This means that you will sleep cooler and drier. In fact, one study that compared it with cotton found it to be better at Moisture absorption, drying, and cooling, characteristics for which cotton is usually valued.(3)
- Bamboo fabric has a very soft feel. When the fibers are separated from the plant through a chemical process, it feels like cashmere. When the fibers are mechanically stripped from the wood, it feels like ramie material.(2)
- Bamboo is extremely plentiful. It grows everywhere except in extremely cold climates like northern Europe and Antarctica. Moreover, it is fast-growing. While a forest takes 60 years to recover from deforestation, a bamboo plantation can be harvested sustainably in a three to five-year cycle.(1) Now that manufacturers have discovered cheaper methods to make the textiles, bamboo mattress prices have plummeted because the raw materials are so abundant.
- Bamboo is naturally organic and environment-friendly. It requires no pesticides and fertilizers and, because the roots remain in place after harvesting, it maintains good soil quality. It also requires very little water to grow and, when you're done with your mattress cover, bamboo is biodegradable, unlike many other artificial textiles that will still be hanging around the planet more than 1000 years from now.(2)
- Bamboo does not require pesticides because it contains a natural antifungal and antibacterial agent called bamboo kun. ;A few years ago when the China Industrial Testing Centre tested a bamboo fabric by trying to contaminated with bacteria, it managed to destroy 99.8 percent of them, confirmed in a peer-reviewed study.(4) This is great for young children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems who need cleaner sleep surfaces than the rest of us do.
- Charcoal is resistant to dust mites, those microscopic spiders that eat your skin cells, defecate inside your mattress, and are the culprits behind most bedtime allergies.(5)
How to Choose the Best Bamboo Mattress
We used specific criteria to pick the best bamboo mattresses, some of which are specific to bamboo mattresses, and others that apply to all mattresses.
- A bamboo cover. We like mattresses with bamboo covers, as such a cover is the first defense to keep bacteria away from the foam in the mattress. Those covers that can be unzipped and removed are the best, since they are washable. They also feel nice and soft by touch for a comfortable sleeping surface.
- Bamboo charcoal infusion. We like mattresses that are infused with bamboo charcoal, because it goes deep into the mattress to keep it free of potentially harmful organisms. The one potential downside is that manufacturers typically don't tell us how much charcoal exactly the mattress contains. Obviously, if it contains too little, its antibacterial effects will be reduced.(1)
- Double protection. Because of the previous point, the ideal mattress is one with both a bamboo cover and bamboo charcoal infused foam for protection both around and inside the mattress, but quality mattresses of this kind are difficult to find. If this is important to you, one solution is to buy a charcoal-infused mattress and bamboo fabric separately from which you can make your own mattress cover.
- Firmness. Research shows that the vast majority of people prefer a mattress that is medium or medium-firm on the firmness scale. This is the firmness level that best prevents and reduces back and other pain upon rising and while lying in bed.(6)(7) But if you require a very soft mattress or one of these best extra-firm mattresses here, you can try the Snuggle-Pedic mattress on our list and customize it. The same holds if you have liked one of the best mattresses for heavy people here.
- Construction materials. At this stage, it seems as if foam is the only material that scientists have managed to fill with bamboo charcoal, as such latex mattresses seem not to be available. It also literally is not possible to inject bamboo charcoal into air or spring mattresses. Luckily, memory foam or hybrid innerspring-memory foam mattresses (such as the best hybrid mattresses here) are popular and supported by research as a good way to reduce contact pressure and to improve sleep quality.(8) Otherwise you can again buy a mattress of your own choice and cover it with a bamboo cover.
- Hypoallergenic features. Like latex, bamboo is naturally hypoallergenic, so these mattresses have an edge over ones that do not include bamboo. The only other thing to ensure is that the foam in the mattress is CertiPUR-US certified, which indicates that they contain no formaldehyde, harmful phthalates, and heavy metals like Mercury and lead. Those on our list are all so certified.
- Cooling features. Because of the tiny gaps throughout bamboo fabric, mattresses with bamboo covers automatically let through air and, if you sweat on them, they will absorb it and allow it to evaporate. Foam is, unfortunately, not the coolest sleeping surface, which is why our favorites below have gel infused into their foam to keep them cooler.
Detailed Bamboo Mattress Reviews
Editor's Choice - Best for Customizing Size and Thickness — Customize Bed 10 Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress
- Available in many sizes, including custom ones.
- A bamboo cover to keep the mattress clean.
- Luxury soft, perfect for side sleepers.
This is the ultimate versatile mattress that is available in twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king, and various cot sizes. Additionally, the company builds custom sizes on request. It also comes in thickness options of 10, eight, and six inches. As such, you can furnish your entire house, cabin, and RV.
While you would usually not think of using a hybrid foam mattress in the outdoors, it's bamboo cover can keep it dry and free of bacteria. Accordingly, the company's claim that you can use it outside is not outrageous. It works equally well indoors and even on the floor without getting disgustingly dirty.
Its innerspring support with the various foam and memory foam layers make for a firmness level on the soft side of medium. This means that it is great for side sleepers, especially for reducing the pressure on their shoulders and hips, but it is not ideal for stomach or heavy sleepers.
With 79 percent of Amazon shoppers giving it a rating of five stars, and with an average rating of 4.6 stars, it is clear that consumers love it.
- Bamboo charcoal infused Foam to prevent dust mites and bacteria.
- Medium firmness for side and back sleepers.
- Easy setup and long sleep trial.
The foam layers are infused with bamboo charcoal which provides the typical antibacterial and moisture wicking effects of bamboo, but additionally also combats dust mites, the single largest cause of allergies indoors. Research shows that charcoal can kill 100 percent of all dust mites.(5) This ensures that this mattress is perfect for allergy sufferers, for children, and for elderly people who might be more sensitive to the critters that strong, healthy bodies can resist.
Reviewers rate it firmness as medium, with the inner springs providing some bounds and edge support, the foam layers providing strong support for back sleepers, and the memory foam layers providing some good body contouring for side sleepers. Since studies rate a firmness level of medium to be the healthiest for most typical sleepers, this mattress seems to have gotten it right.(7)
It is shipped in a box, compressed and rolled for easy setup and includes a 100-night sleep trial during which you receive a full refund if you are unhappy.
Unlike the Customize Bed mattress described above, this mattress is aimed purely at home use, with thickness versions of 10 and 12 inches and sizes that range from twin to king.
Best for Those with Uncomfortable or Dirty Mattresses — LUCID 3 Inch Bamboo Charcoal Memory Foam Mattress Topper
- Infused with bamboo charcoal to combat dust mites and bacteria.
- The cleanest mattress topper if you can't afford a new mattress.
- Available in several thickness options.
Like the LUCID 10 Inch Mattress described above, the memory foam in this mattress topper is infused with bamboo charcoal, which is capable of killing dust mites and bacteria. It is, consequently, hypoallergenic and provides a clean sleeping surface for people who are vulnerable to allergies and illness.
If your old mattress has become a bit bumpy, saggy, worn-out, or dirty, a mattress topper is the ideal solution, as it gives you a new supportive surface on which to sleep for an affordable price. But since most mattress toppers cannot combat dust mites and bacteria, toppers that are placed on old mattresses tend to become dirty very quickly. Since the bamboo charcoal in this topper's memory foam provides resistance to these organisms, you can use it with confidence for an extended period to cover your existing mattress.
It comes in two, three, and four-inch models, with the thicker version providing the most protection against the defects of your current mattress and allowing for the most body contouring that is so comfortable especially for side sleepers.
At $99, it may not last as long as a mattress does, but it has a three-year warranty and it can buy you enough time until you can save enough money to be able to afford a good new mattress.
Best for Customizing Firmness — Snuggle-Pedic Twin Mattress Ultra-Luxury Memory Foam Hybrid
- A bamboo cover to keep the mattress dry and clean.
- Removable layers to customize firmness.
- A firm feel for stomach, back, and heavier side sleepers.
This mattress follows the same strategy as the Customize Bed mattress described above, using a bamboo cover instead of bamboo infusion to keep the mattress dry and free from the type of organisms that can cause allergies or illness. You will also feel that the cover is beautifully soft for a comfortable sleep environment. You can unzip and remove it if you want to wash it.
If you feel that the mattress is too firm or too soft, you can call the company' customer center. They will lead you through a detailed description of your problem and will then instruct you either to remove layers from inside the mattress, or to insert layers that they will send you. In this way, you can build a mattress that is genuinely customized for your weight and preferences.
Product reviewers state that you don't sink into the mattress, but rather lie on top of it because it is relatively firm. Accordingly, very light-weight side sleepers may not receive enough sinkage for their shoulders, but it otherwise works for back, stomach, and heavier side sleepers.
It comes with a four-month sleep trial with free customizations, for which the company covers the shipping both ways. This makes it a good deal for sleepers who do not know exactly what they want and for Internet shoppers who are nervous about buying without trying.
How Do I Know that My Mattress Contains Real Bamboo?
Good question, especially since one of the chemical extraction techniques of bamboo fibers basically yields rayon.
Luckily, the US Federal Trade Commission prohibits manufacturers from labeling rayon or any other fabric as bamboo, so if you see a bamboo label, that is exactly what it is.(9)
If the label says something like "rayon made from bamboo", then it contains potentially harmful chemicals and it is not pure bamboo.
Why are Most of the Best Bamboo Mattresses from China?
Because it is in China where researchers first perfected the manufacturing of bamboo textiles.
The bamboo mattress brands on our list are Chinese, but they are made in the USA and their customer service personnel are also here.
Is a Bamboo Mattress More Expensive Than Others?
Not anymore. Bamboo mattresses are becoming increasingly cheap to make because bamboo is abundant in nature and because the manufacturing techniques are becoming better understood and widely implemented.
The bamboo mattress prices for those on our list are actually quite low because the mattresses are otherwise fairly straightforward foam or hybrid models.
Where are Bamboo Mattresses Best Used?
They are perfect for any room and bed in your house, but those with removable bamboo covers have the extra advantage of being safely usable in areas that are not perfectly clean, such as a campsite, a daybed on your patio, or a sleep-out on the grass in your back garden when it's hot. The cover will protect the mattress from collecting live organisms like bacteria, and if the cover gets dirty, simply remove and wash it.
Where Can I Buy a Bamboo Mattress?
Either from the manufacturer's own website, from Amazon, or from any retailer where you see them advertised. Wherever you decide to buy, remember to ask whether perks like sleep trials and warranties apply. They do apply when you buy our favorites from the links above.
Between cooling and moisture-wicking features, antibacterial properties, and the freedom from harmful chemicals, a bamboo mattress is a pretty good idea. That's why our favorite bamboo mattress brand is the Customize Bed 10 Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress. It has all these features while being extremely customizable and even usable outdoors.
If you have ever slept on a mattress that included bamboo and you think our bamboo mattress reviews omitted something that you think is important, let us know in the comments below.
- Lopamudra Nayak and Siba Prasad Mishra (2016). Prospect of bamboo as a renewable textile fiber, historical overview, labeling, controversies and regulation. Fashion and Textiles. Retrieved from: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s40691-015-0054-5
- NC State University Wilson College of Textiles (2009). SUSTAINABLE TEXTILES: THE ROLE OF BAMBOO AND A COMPARISON OF BAMBOO TEXTILE PROPERTIES-PART 1. Retrieved from: https://ojs.cnr.ncsu.edu/index.php/JTATM/article/view/651/458
- CHEN Zhi-hua (2010). Moisture absorption and liberation and wicking property of bamboo/cotton fabric. Retrieved from: https://en.cnki.com.cn/Article_en/CJFDTotal-TJFZ201002007.htm
- A. Gericke et al. (2011). A Comparative Study of Regenerated Bamboo, Cotton and Viscose Rayon Fabrics, Part 2. Retrieved from: https://www.ajol.info/index.php/jfecs/article/view/69727
- Hae-Seon Nam et al. (October 24, 2012). Effect of Activated Charcoal Fibers on the Survival of the House Dust Mite, Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus: A Pilot Study. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3671713/
- Ahmed Radwan et al. (December 2015). Effect of Different Mattress Designs on Promoting Sleep Quality, Pain Reduction, and Spinal Alignment in Adults With or Without Back Pain; Systematic Review of Controlled Trials. Sleep Health. Retrieved from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2352721815001400
- Sean O. Hogan et al. (2011). Choosing a Mattress: Using Actigraphy and Diary Reports to Identify a Mattress That Provides Best Sleep. Retrieved from: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2015071
- Lorenzo Tonetti et al. (March 30, 2011). Relationship Between Mattress Technological Features and Sleep Quality: An Actigraphic Study of Healthy Participants. Biological Rhythm Research. Retrieved from: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09291016.2010.528633
- Steffen Dagmar et al. (2013). Bamboo: A holistic approach to a renewable fibre for textile design. Retrieved from: https://d1wqtxts1xzle7.cloudfront.net/31418541/EAD2013_Steffen_et_al.pdf?1371642355=&response-content-disposition=inline%3B+filename%3DBamboo_A_Holistic_Approach_to_a_Renewabl.pdf&Expires=1626449843&Signature=BasN4cY1EMpMc0H8OTiQBUgwX0x8KziIDvKWseI4Uw9R6vV~wsJUkrD4VrLvBlt-hAzjOzeNh0U5qD5JzHY6CTGFepB6q6egPkm3ja7QDoZGrJd7vOIj0zBKo6mpZVZ3ahONowUmm2BzkU1YNV9YkOr~IOk-Gg1TK8UdlW6z4EWGtb1wiIyKJoR8~yzep6ho8M-EwP9UYq0DXm34rGIumwVaD7dDCAQ79z5zxwC-qu4Sr6WTfE9ZaDUMMJAKA3Wom-KLZjfk-a6ewZUnVNn24i6QOxNviAakDuwsHK2GOHytfrLcTqtpAfgchwfcU1DFfe2L2QKTv9c1jvMnmRX5uw__&Key-Pair-Id=APKAJLOHF5GGSLRBV4ZA
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