Are eucalyptus sheets worth it?
If you're reading this, you're wondering if eucalyptus sheets are worth the price. Or maybe you're wondering if they live up to the hype. Or perhaps if it's worth staying in a loveless marriage just to sleep on them.
Let's start with the mainstream fabrics you know and think you love, or as we refer to them: Big Polyester and Big Cotton.
Why are polyester sheets so cheap?
The old expression, "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is," applies here. Polyester is ubiquitous and cheap. In fact, it's ubiquitous BECAUSE it's cheap.
Sure, you'll save money by opting for polyester sheets over, say, eucalyptus sheets, but that savings comes at an enormous cost to the environment and to the quality of your sleep.
Polyester is made from fossil fuels. The extraction process can harm all manner of living things, including us, and releases toxins and carbon dioxide into the environment.
But the damage doesn't end there. According to a groundbreaking study, washing polyester clothing and bedding releases trillions of microplastics into the environment. In fact, just wearing polyester clothing can shed microplastics.
What about end of life? Because polyester is made from plastic, it doesn't biodegrade. In fact, it may take hundreds of years before your polyester Garfield sweatshirt biodegrades. Sure, we can all agree Mondays suck, but is that the kind of legacy you want to leave behind?
What about cotton?
Cotton is the most widely used fabric in the world. This is mainly because it's been around for thousands of years, so it has a huge head start and therefore a much bigger marketshare than eucalyptus.
Long staple cotton like Egyptian and Pima are the jewel of the cotton crown, but with those you're largely paying for shady marketing tactics and thread count (which is a huge scam).
Just like with polyester, the main problem comes down to the environmental cost. We've covered this ad nauseam in blog posts, emails, and social posts, but let's just say cotton uses lots of water, lots of pesticides, and lots of land...because that's the truth.
Organic cotton is better, but then again, maybe not.
We could have chosen a number of different fabrics as our hero fabric, but after exploring all of our options (including the above), we went with eucalyptus lyocell.
Eucalyptus is objectively softer
Thanks to a luxurious sateen weave and smooth, round fibers, eucalyptus lyocell is literally softer than other fabrics.
Eucalyptus is temperature-balancing
Whether you sleep inside an active volcano or in a yurt on Pluto, eucalyptus keeps you in the ideal temperature zone all night.
Eucalyptus is cleaner
Loathe laundry day? Same, same. Eucalyptus is hypoallergenic, moisture-wicking, and static-free, which helps it stay cleaner for longer.
Eucalyptus is more sustainable
This is a big one, so please forgive the horrific run-on sentence.
*takes deep breath*
Eucalyptus trees can can be grown on non-arable land (land not suitable for growing crops), they don't require any soil- and water-poisoning pesticides or insecticides, they definitely don't use neonicotinoids, the chemical that's killing all of our precious honeybees (ahem, cotton,), our eucalyptus lyocell process uses 96% less water than cotton and 30% less energy and it sheds no microplastics because it's 100% plant-based and 100% biodegradable, you're very welcome, earth.
Why is eucalyptus more expensive than cotton or polyester?
Such a good question.
Eucalyptus is made from raw materials which are more expensive to grow and cultivate. (Polyester is cheap because it's man made (sorry, person-made). And while cotton is also made from raw materials, it is cheaper in part because there's so much of it. Worldwide, cotton crops take up an area about the size of Germany.)
The equipment needed to produce Eucalyptus Lyocell is significantly more expensive than the equipment needed to produce cotton. And processing eucalyptus into a fabric costs more because it's a closed-loop system that is almost completely (99.6%) recycled and reused. Believe it or not, it's easier and cheaper to use a wasteful production process, but that's not our bag, baby.
Lastly, there are fewer facilities that can produce Eucalyptus Lyocell compared to polyester and cotton. Because those industries have more infrastructure, they are able to be more competitive when it comes to cost and pricing.
So, is eucalyptus worth it?
We obviously think so. We put all of our eggs in the eucalyptus basket for a reason (for the record, eucalyptus baskets aren't worth it - too soft and shapeless.)
Eucalyptus is fairly new to the textile world. While it doesn't have the name recognition of polyester or the (undeserved) reputation of cotton, we think it's poised to take over the world. Eucalyptus is the rare sustainable fabric that's also superior to conventional fabrics. Sure, it costs a little more, but isn't better sleep and a better planet worth it?
Still not convinced? Read some reviews from people who made the switch to eucalyptus.
Still not convinced? Read our Learn Some Sheet page for a deeper dive into the benefits of eucalyptus.
STILL not convinced? Okay.