Concerns About Fabric Made from Bamboo
Bamboo-derived products and fabrics are often touted as sustainable. The bamboo plant doesn’t require as much water to grow as the cotton plant does, nor does it require fertilizer or pesticides. As a result, growing bamboo uses fewer resources and creates less pollution than growing cotton.
Although growing bamboo can be considered sustainable, bamboo fabrics have received criticism from environmentalists for other reasons. Bamboo often undergoes a chemical process while being made into fabric. During this process, other chemicals are released. If they are not properly disposed of, they can potentially harm workers or even end up in groundwater.
Bamboo Product Labeling Laws
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ruled that companies labeling their bamboo-derived rayon products “100% bamboo fiber,” “pure bamboo,” etc. were misleading customers to give an impression that the products were more eco-friendly than they are.
The FTC emphasized that rayon is a human-made product derived from bamboo via chemical process, not a natural fiber or bamboo itself.
The FTC also stressed that the antibacterial properties of the bamboo plant do not carry over into rayon, and ordered companies to stop claiming that bamboo-derived rayon is antibacterial. Further research has suggested that bamboo-derived fabrics might have antimicrobial properties and odor-reducing qualities, however.
Bamboo Mattress Pad Care and Maintenance
Most bamboo mattress pads are machine washable and dryable. Customers should follow the washing instructions that come with their particular mattress pad, however. When in use, a mattress pad should always be covered by a fitted sheet for added protection. A mattress pad is not a substitute for a sheet.
Note that the construction of mattress toppers is often very different than that of mattress pads. Many mattress toppers, particularly those that contain memory foam, are not machine washable or dryable. Always follow the washing instructions that come with your product. Improperly washing a product can invalidate the warranty.