Tencel a third-generation cellulose fiber has been on the rise lately and a lot of people are wondering what Tencel is, whether it’s better than cotton and what its benefits are.
To answer these questions, we have created a guide for the best Tencel sheets in the market.
In this guide, we share our top five picks, explain in detail what Tencel is, explore its benefits and compare it to its closest competitors; cotton and bamboo sheets. We also finish up by looking at how to take care of Tencel sheets.
Best Tencel Sheets 2019
#1 Sheets & Giggles Eucalyptus Lyocell Sheet Set
# 2 Malouf Tencel Sheet Set
#3 Rivet Cotton Tencel Bed Sheet Set
# 4 GhostBed Supima Cotton and Tencel Sheet Set
#5 Royal Hotel ABRIPEDIC Tencel Sheets
Sheets & Giggles Eucalyptus Lyocell Sheet Set
Sheets and Giggles Eucalyptus lyocell sheet is one of the softest sheet sets we tested. This sheet set stayed cool during the test and remained durable after many washes.
The Sheets & Giggles Eucalyptus Lyocell Sheets gets our best overall pick because all its features are above average.
- Sheets and Giggles are made from 100% eucalyptus tree lyocell fiber which makes them very soft.
- They are produced in an eco-friendly manner by sourcing their raw materials in sustainably managed plantations. They also have a zero-waste policy and recycle the products used in manufacturing.
- Their fitted sheets come with extra deep pockets which can cover up to 20 inches of mattress. The flat sheets are also 4″ longer for ease of fitting.
- S&G’s smooth sateen weave pattern has 400 thread count that is not only soft but also provides better breathability. Helping you sleep cooler.
- This Sheet set comes with 1 fitted, 1 flat sheet, and two hypoallergenic pillowcases.
- Sheets and Giggles have a generous return policy that doesn’t have time limits for returning the sheets.
Malouf Tencel Sheet Set
( For Sensitive Skin )
For Sensitive Skin
These were by far the lightest sheets in terms of weight that we tested. They are as well the softest.
The lightweight nature of the sheet takes away from their durability, but Malouf is a very reputable company with good warranties.
The Malouf Tencel Sheets are fitted sheet and have a universal fit. It can fit mattresses from 6 to 18 inches thick.
- Made from 100% Tencel Lyocell.
- Good for sensitive skin as it’s stunningly soft and lightweight.
- Use botanic material whose raw fiber is smoother than cotton, linen, and wool.
- Sleeps cool by absorbing 50% more moisture than cotton.
- Eco-friendly production with less water usage than cotton.
Rivet Cotton Tencel Bed Sheet Set
( Best Tencel Cotton Blend )
Best Tencel Cotton Blend
This is the best blend of Tencel sheet we tested. Not being 100% Tencel makes its price lower but it still feels almost as good as a Tencel sheet. Rivet Cotton Tencel sheets are made from 30% Tencel and 70% cotton. These blended sheets are silky smooth.
- Have a clean simple design.
- The 400 thread count cotton combined with the breathable Tencel helps you sleep cooler at night.
- They come with 1 fitted sheet, 1 flat sheet, and two standard pillowcases.
- They offer regular Amazon 30 day return policy.
GhostBed Supima Cotton and Tencel Sheet Set
( Best Luxury )
GhostBed Supima Cotton and Tencel Sheet Set have a very nice luxury feel. Though it is the most expensive, it felt the most durable and luxurious from all the other Tencel sheets because of the use of Premium Supima Cotton in its build.
- These sheets are made of 60% Supima Cotton and 40% Tencel, are silky smooth in nature, perfect for cooling.
- The Tencel in these sheets is 50% more absorbent than regular cotton helping hot sleepers sleep cool
- These sheets are anti-pill
- They are temperature regulating. They are very absorbent and extremely breathable for cooler night’s sleep.
- Ghost bed’s sheets are allergen and dust mite resistant
- Ghostbed’s Supima Cotton and Tencel Sheets feature extra-deep pockets with a tight elastic band that can fit up to 18″ mattresses.
- This sheet set comes with 1 fitted, 1 flat sheet, and two pillowcases.
Royal Hotel ABRIPEDIC Tencel Sheets
For being 100% Tencel, this sheet set has the best price for the quality, feel, and cooling that it offers. During the testing period we were pleasantly surprised by how good this Tencel sheets set felt despite its fairly inexpensive price tag.
- Made from 100% Tencel derived from raw eucalyptus trees
- It is a comfortable silky-soft sheet set
- The sheets are highly absorbent and keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter
- They also help fight allergies
Tencel Sheets Buying Guide
What Is Tencel?
Tencel is the brand name for Lyocell and modal fibers manufactured by Lenzing company in Austria.
Tencel is regenerated from cellulose found in wood pulp in trees such as the Eucalyptus trees.
Though lyocell was developed in 1972, Tencel is just recently becoming popular because of the growing trend in making eco-conscious bedding decisions.
How is Tencel produced?
Tencel is produced by dissolving wood pulp containing cellulose in a chemical digester.
The resultant wet mixture is washed, bleached, then dried. The now derived cellulose is dissolved, filtered, and spun.
Lyocell uses a dry jet-wet spinning process in which the wet mixture is pushed through spinnerets (small holes like the ones found on a showerhead) producing strands of fiber.
The strands of fiber are dried and spun into yarn.
The chemical solvent used to digest the wood pulp is reused for each production making Tencel production environmentally friendly and sustainable.
Tencel and the environment
Tencel is one of the most environmentally friendly fabrics out there. The efficient production of Tencel ensures minimal waste.
99% of the chemicals used in producing Tencel are reused continuously.
Tencel also uses much less water and energy in its production than cotton and bamboo fabrics. All these practices have earned Tencel an eco-friendly brand recognition worldwide.
Tencel has also been awarded environmental certifications for using materials sourced sustainably.
European Award for the Environment from the EU.
Besides, Tencel is fully biodegradable and compostable. There are concerns, however, that the dyes found in fabrics are harmful to the environment.
So, you should probably recycle your Tencel sheets instead of throwing them away when they are old.
Tencel Sheets can come in any one of the three common weaving styles which are Sateen, Percale, and Twill.
Most Tencel sheets use Sateen weaving to produce the luxurious silky finish that set’s this fabric apart.
Percale weaving produces the strongest sheets, while twill weaving produces sheets that drape nicely.
Tencel fabrics can also be blended with cotton to maximize on the benefits of both fabrics.
Tencel Advantages and Why You Should Consider Tencel Sheets?
The use of naturally sourced materials, with the thoroughly efficient production method, results in the many benefits of Tencel.
Sheets made from Tencel are more absorbent, stronger and softer than cotton.
Tencel is 50% much more absorbent than cotton. By utilizing the Sateen weaving technique, sheets made from Tencel are silky smooth.
Besides, coming from a natural source makes Tencel a hypoallergenic fabric, it’s also one of the most environmentally friendly sheets.
In this guide, we discuss these and many more benefits of using Tencel sheets.
1- Cooling and Breathability
Tencel uses microfibers that feature high hydrophilic quality.
What this does is make Tencel a more absorbent fabric than any other in the market today.
Tencel is 50% more absorbent than Cotton. Tencel fibers attract and retain more liquid than cotton.
With this advanced moisture-wicking abilities, Tencel helps you stay cooler by keeping you dry.
This allows more breathability as sweat is wicked away from your body for a cooler night’s sleep.
2-Eco-Friendly, Renewable and Biodegradable
Tencel produced by Lenzing is touted as the most environmentally friendly material in the market today.
The cellulose used to make lyocell and modal fibers branded as Tencel is derived from the pulp of eucalyptus trees.
Lenzing can produce a ton of Tencel from half an acre of eucalyptus farm.
Besides, these trees are known to grow in places where the land is not suitable for farming.
The absence of pesticides or the need for irrigation in eucalyptus farming, all the more makes Tencel a sustainable material.
There is minimal waste and emissions associated with the production of Tencel as 99% of the chemical solvents used in manufacturing are reused.
Lenzing’s innovative Refibra technology is a closed-loop production system, where everything is recycled from the chemicals used, to unused fabrics in the textile industry.
This has won Tencel the European Award for the Environment from the EU.
Tencel is also 100% biodegradable and compostable, however, as mentioned before the use of harsh chemical dyes in end products makes this quality redundant.
3- Very Soft and Luxurious Feel
The use of wood pulp to produce Tencel gives it a soft luxurious finish.
Lenzing has made use of nanotechnology to produce microfibers that are more refined in feel.
During the production of Tencel, short fibers are reprocessed to ensure consistently long, smooth fibers.
This combined with the Sateen weaving pattern produces a silky soft fabric for the end-user.
Tencel is without a doubt softer than cotton, which makes it a good material for people with sensitive skin and generally more comfortable and soothing for everyone else.
4- Good for Allergies and Sensitive Skins
Lyocell the main ingredient in Tencel has a microscopic surface promoted by its Nano fibrils technology.
This makes Tencel softer than cotton and wool, whose rough fibers can cause skin irritations in sensitive skins.
Besides, Tencel is a hypoallergenic material, meaning it prevents the growth of bacteria that might lead to allergies.
The superior moisture-wicking abilities of the fabric prevent a film of water from developing between your skin and the sheets, which supports bacteria growth.
Tencel’s absorbent nature prevents the growth of bacteria, prevents odor formation and stays fresher than any other fabric.
This makes it a rather economical fabric because it needs fewer washes than its counterparts
Lyocell the main ingredient in Tencel has a high dry and wet tensile strength. In fact, it’s the only fiber with a higher wet strength than wet cotton.
This makes Tencel a very durable material that doesn’t break easily.
The fibrillated structure of Tencel when under abrasion helps it avoid excess wear and tear.
The durability of Tencel is still being tested but so far the fabric is quite strong and lasts longer than most common fabrics.
The Nano fibril structure of Tencel also lends it another benefit of being wrinkle resistant.
Tencel is known for being more resistant to wrinkles than cotton. This is the reason most travelers prefer this type of fabric over any other.
The elastic nature of the fabric helps it stay smooth longer, which eliminates the constant need to iron your sheets to keep them smooth.
How to Wash, Maintain and Care for Your Tencel Sheets?
Tencel is indeed washable. However, make sure you use cold water and a gentle detergent to wash these types of sheets.
Tencel will shrink about 3% on the first wash but will resist shrinking from then on.
Before washing Tencel fabrics, always read the care tag.
Blended Tencel will mostly indicate dry clean only, in this instance be careful not to soak these types of sheets in water because it could ruin them forever. Some sheets will combine different materials for a more refined look or functionality purposes.
Different materials have different shrinking abilities, that’s why it’s important to take proper care not to damage your sheets when washing them.
Some Tencel sheets are hand wash only and it’s important to use cold water and a gentle detergent.
Hot water can damage the fabric.Some Tencel sheets are machine washable but ensure the machine is set in a delicate setting to avoid damaging the sheets.
Drying Tencel Sheets
When it comes to drying your Tencel sheets, air drying or drip drying is the most recommended drying method against tumble trying which could destroy the fibers of the material.
If using the line drying method, you could toss the Tencel sheet with a damp towel inside the dryer to soften it.
If ironing is needed, set your iron to warm, high heat could damage the fabric. Tencel fabrics are also best ironed when damp. If you are ironing a dry sheet, spray it with water first.
Tencel VS Bamboo Sheets?
Tencel and Bamboo are very similar. They are both produced from cellulose fibers found in plants.
Tencel is produced from lyocell derived from eucalyptus trees.
While Bamboo is produced from rayon derived from bamboo trees. As such they are both very smooth, soft, and strong.
Bamboo and Tencel fabrics are also great options for your cooling needs. Both materials are very breathable and good at wicking moisture.
Tencel, however, is more absorbent because of its hydrophilic fibers.
Something that can be a drawback during colder seasons, since Tencel sheets tend to sleep cool all year long.
This absorbent nature also makes Tencel more susceptible to mildew.
Bamboo is cool and more absorbent than cotton. It helps keep you cool during hot weather and warm during cold weather.
Bamboo’s long fibers make it one of the strongest fabrics in the market today.
Bamboo maintains a higher consistency of long fibers as compared to its counterparts, something that aid’s in its durability.
Tencel is also a very strong fabric, stronger than cotton both wet and dry.
Bamboo is known to wrinkle more than Tencel. Tencel’s microfiber surface allows it to stay smoother longer.
Bamboo has a more matte finishing while Tencel has a lustrous silky finish. For this reason, Bamboo needs more ironing than Tencel does.
When it comes to pricing, both fabrics are more expensive than other common sheeting materials such as cotton.
This is due to their technology-intensive production. However, Tencel is not as readily available as Bamboo so it’s more expensive.
Tencel also has a more technologically advanced production system with strict oversights, which accounts for its higher price.
Tencel Production Method
The major difference, however, between Tencel and Bamboo is found in their manufacturing process.
Lyocell in Tencel is manufactured by dissolving wood pulp in a non-toxic chemical digester.
The chemical used in the production of Tencel is N-methyl morpholine N-oxide, or NMMO is not harmful to the environment.
Besides Lenzing, the manufacturer behind Tencel uses a green production method, where at least 99% of the NMMO chemical is reused in the production of Lyocell.
This means little to no residue leaks back into the earth.
Bamboo production method
Bamboo, on the other hand, uses two production methods, mechanical and chemical methods.
The mechanical method involves the crushing of bamboo into a mash and adding natural enzymes to digest the mash and produce pulp.
This is the greener method of producing Bamboo, but it’s time-consuming and doesn’t produce as high quality a product as the alternative method.
The chemical method of producing bamboo involves adding caustic soda (sodium hydroxide) to Bamboo to aid in its digestion.
Sodium hydroxide is a corrosive material that is harmful to the environment.
For this reason, Tencel is the greener option between the two fabrics.
Cool with thermoregulation abilities
Expensive but not as much as Tencel
More wrinkle resistant
Less wrinkle resistance
More environmentally friendly production
Sustainable raw material but less environmentally friendly production
Tencel VS Egyptian Cotton Sheets?
Cotton has been with us for close to 8000 years and is a staple in every household.
But with the invention of Microfibers in the 21st century, Tencel threatens to dethrone cotton.
But is this possible? A comparison of both materials can answer this question.
When it comes to feel, both Tencel and Cotton are very soft materials.
However, Tencel’s microfiber gives off a much smoother finish.
Thus Tencel tends to be softer than cotton even the luxurious Egyptian cotton.
Cotton, however, is a unique fabric and tends to get better with time from regular use and wash.
Both Tencel and Cotton are durable materials.
Egyptian cotton is made from thin long cotton fibers that are of a higher quality than ordinary cotton.
These cotton fibers are lint-free and can last up to fifty years. This makes Egyptian cotton rather durable.
Tencel is long-lasting as well, the use of microfibers prevents Tencel from quick wear and tear.
Tencel is also made of consistently long fibers that don’t break easily.
Both materials are easy to maintain, but Tencel is a delicate fabric and so care is needed while handling it.
Cotton is also known to be a very wrinkly fabric; its crisp matte finishing is prone to creasing.
Tencel on the other hand wrinkles less.
It’s lustrous finish and its absorbent nature helps the fabric remain relatively smooth for a long time.
Tencel’s hydrophilic nature makes it cooler than cotton.
Tencel is 50% more absorbent than cotton, a quality that helps you sleep cooler at night.
Cotton also sleeps cool because of its breathability, but can’t absorb as much liquid and tends to feel damp when saturated.
Though Egyptian cotton is the world’s most premium cotton, it’s still not as expensive as Tencel is.
Availability and the manufacturing process used in the production of these sheets determine their price.
Unfortunately, Tencel is not as readily available as cotton and also has a rather costly production, making it more expensive than Egyptian cotton sheets.
When it comes to eco-friendliness, Tencel wins hands down.
Tencel is produced under eco-conscious conditions. Its closed-loop system ensures 99% of the chemicals used are reused.
Apart from that, Tencel uses much less water and space in its farming and production than cotton.
One of the biggest concerns about cotton production is the large quantity of water needed to process this fabric.
Cotton is also grown using pesticides and chemicals that can be harmful to the environment.
That’s why you should go with Tencel if you are looking to go green.
Expensive but not as much as Tencel
More wrinkle resistant
Cotton is wrinkly
More environmentally friendly production
Not environmentally friendly
Tencel is a silky soft, highly absorbent fabric that is quickly taking over the textile industry.
In this guide, we have selected the best Tencel sheets for different categories with our overall best-being Sheets and Giggles’ Lyocell sheets for their above-average features.
The guide looked into what Tencel is, how it’s produced, it’s environmental impact and benefits.
One of the reasons Tencel is trending is because of its environmentally friendly farming and manufacturing process.
Its innovative Refibra technology which features a closed-loop system ensures that nothing goes to waste from the manufacturing process.
To answer the common question arising between Tencel and Cotton, this guide also compares and contrasts Tencel with some of its closest competitors Bamboo and Cotton.
While the results are not cast in stone, it’s pretty obvious that Tencel is a far superior fabric than regular cotton and to some extent Bamboo rayon.
With all that, we hope you now have a better understanding of Tencel and will be able to select the best bedding sheet for your needs. Sleep tight!!