Bamboo Napkins vs Cloth Napkins: A Clash of the Titans

Bamboo is such a diverse material. The same material can be used to make the softest tissue napkins and sturdy furniture! Bamboo has been growing in Asia for many millennia. It is believed to be one of the fastest-growing plants in the world and doesn't even require large amounts of water. This is the reason why it has become such a popular choice for creating eco-friendly substitutes for many daily-use items.

Although, when it comes to a green alternative to conventional tissue paper napkins, cloth napkins have also become quite popular. Unlike paper tissues, cloth napkins can be reused multiple times, thereby reducing their carbon footprint. But can these handy napkins match the performance of their bamboo counterparts? Let's find out!

Bamboo Tissue Napkins: Boon or Bane

Made from an easily accessible and renewable material, bamboo napkins are an environmentally sustainable product. These napkins can be added to a compost pile like regular tissue paper napkins and will naturally biodegrade. Bamboo is also a sturdy material that can be as soft and absorbent as any napkin if not more.

However, there are also some disadvantages to using bamboo tissue paper napkins. One issue is that they can be more expensive than standard paper towels. This is in part because, unlike paper tissues, napkins made of bamboo are a relatively new product. As the demand for bamboo tissues picks up, their price will inevitably come down owing to economies of scale. 

Ultimately, each individual should weigh all of these pros and cons before making a final decision about whether or not to switch from traditional paper towels to bamboo wipes in their household!

The Long-Established Rival: Tissue Paper Napkins

Bamboo and regular tissue paper napkins undergo similar manufacturing processes, but as you’d expect, bamboo paper products use bamboo instead of wood chips. This gives bamboo-based napkins a clear ecological advantage since bamboo requires fewer natural resources than trees.

While we are habitual of using paper napkins, bamboo alternatives can recreate the same experience when it comes to comfort. In fact, they can be made into some of the softest facial tissues out there! On the other hand, when it comes to soaking up liquids, bamboo napkins are perhaps even better than traditional paper napkins. This is because bamboo paper has a lot of tiny little air holes that make it so much more absorbent. 

Bamboo Tissue Napkins and Cloth Napkins: Which Is More Eco-Friendly? 

We're sure by now you've gathered that paper napkins made of bamboo are much better than standard tissue paper napkins. But how does the bamboo tissue hold up against a cloth napkin? Well, let's see the environmental impact of each side-by-side.

Cloth Napkins

Bamboo Napkins

If you use cotton napkins, then a lot of water will go into raising the cotton crop.

Bambo needs around one-third of the water used by a cotton plant.

Cloth napkins can also contain fossil-fuel-based polymers.

Napkins made from pure bamboo are bound to be biodegradable and compostable. 

Cloth napkins can be washed for repeated use. This makes them more sustainable than tissue paper napkins.

Most bamboo tissues available today are meant for one-time use only.

Growing commercial cotton depends on a lot of pesticide use or GM seeds.

This plant is quite resistant to pests and can also regenerate naturally. 

Sustainability: The Final Test

Both bamboo and cloth napkins are environmentally safer when compared to paper towels. Although, each has very different sustainability benefits.

Cloth napkins are better for the environment since they are long-lasting. While even paper napkins are biodegradable, their use in large volumes adds substantially to waste management problems. 

We have already discussed the benefits of a bamboo napkin over paper ones at length. However, when compared to cloth, eco-friendly napkins may have an equal net environmental benefit. Where bamboo wipes rule the ruse, however, is that these tissues are naturally antimicrobial and can be used for sanitary purposes. Cloth napkins can get really unhygienic at times and are not suitable for every occasion. 

A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Bamboo Tissue Napkins and Cloth Napkins

When it comes to choosing between bamboo tissues and cloth napkins, the cost is often a deciding factor. So, which is more cost-effective over time?

While paper napkins are cheap, they also need to be used in large quantities. This definitely adds to their overall cost. Cloth napkins, on the other hand, have a relatively higher price tag but can be used multiple times. Whereas bamboo has a price point lower than cloth napkins but can be higher than the cheapest tissue paper napkin.

On the whole, it really depends on your needs and preferences. If you're looking for a more sustainable and eco-friendly option, bamboo wipes are a great choice. If you're looking for a reusable option that will save you money in the long run, cloth napkins are a better choice.

So, what do you think? Ready to give Beco's bamboo tissue paper napkins a try? Shop now! 


Bamboo tissue napkin or cloth napkin: Which one passes the sustainability test?


The paper napkins made of bamboo are more sustainable than cloth napkins in several ways. Bamboo also doesn't require the use of fertilisers or pesticides, making it a more environmentally-friendly option than conventional cotton napkins. Bamboo tissues are also more biodegradable than their cloth counterparts, meaning that they'll break down more quickly and won't end up in landfills.


Do bamboo tissue napkins have a different texture than cloth napkins?

The biodegradable napkins made with bamboo can have a variety of textures and can in fact be softer than cloth napkins. Moreover, in a lot of cases, artificial or mixed fabric is used to make cloth napkins feel smoother.

Can bamboo tissue napkins be washed and reused?

Bamboo-containing napkins can be made into reusable and washable napkins. Bamboo has a hefty and absorbent structure, and good quality bamboo wipes can last many wash cycles. However, owing to nascent techniques, these are not as widely available or affordable

Which option is more cost-effective in the long run?

While paper napkins are cheap, they also need to be used in large quantities. Cloth napkins, on the other hand, have a relatively higher price tag but can be used multiple times. However, given bamboo's hardy nature, a reusable bamboo napkin is bound to last longer than an average cloth napkin. However, this material is not yet as widely explored and therefore a little more expensive than cloth. Buy napkins online from Beco today

Are cloth napkins more hygienic than bamboo tissue napkins?

No, cloth napkins are in fact less hygienic than bamboo ones. Cloth napkins can collect a lot of tough grease over time. Repeated washes can also imbibe moisture into the structure and the fibres and get loose. All these can cause microbial growth in cloth napkins. Meanwhile, bamboo is known to have natural antimicrobial properties and is therefore more hygienic.

Can bamboo tissue napkins be composted after use?

Yes, the paper napkins online from Beco can be composted after use. However, if you use the bamboo tissue to wipe oils and grease do not add them to your compost pile as this can hamper the decomposition process of the pile. In that case, dispose of the used bamboo tissue with other wet waste