B-Sensible Double Bed Size Fitted Sheet – Product Review

Review by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

B-Sensible offers a range of hypoallergenic breathable and waterproof sheets and pillowcases that enable one to sleep in undisturbed and protected comfort throughout the night. The range is eco-friendly and includes; 2in1 Fitted Sheet, Pillowcase and Duvet Protector.

B-Sensible has created a “new dawn” in bedding for everyone which acts like a “second skin”. The range offers unique, revolutionary bedding products to ensure that you stay dry and comfortable throughout the night thanks to the innovative fiber Tencel. Tencel is known as the “new age fiber” as it absorbs moisture naturally. The eco-friendly fiber is made from the wood found on the Eucalyptus tree, and has natural cooling mechanisms to control temperature and humidity.

The B-Sensible range of products are available in most sizes and are perfect for your individual needs as they offer very discrete, waterproof, breathable, hypo-allergenic, thermo regulating and eco-friendly bedding. Plus no additional under sheet or mattress protector is required so you have 2 sheets in 1! You can sleep soundly knowing that your mattress and pillows will remain stain free and fresh.

Despite the fact that during the period of the test before writing this review not even Spring had arrived (the season is running later due to snow), let alone summer with sticky heat, this is, probably, one of the best bedding I have experience so far.

The fabric, to all intents and purposes, as it is made of Eucalyptus wood, is a viscose material similar to rayon – in fact Tencel is a brand-name of Lycocell, a cellulose fabric – with an appearance of sateen and silk and, to a great degree also has the feel of those materials.

As far as sleeping on the sheet goes I must, without exaggeration, say that I have had some of the best sleeps ever and I am not drawn to such statements easily.

While the fabric is made from a natural product, namely the wood of the Eucalyptus tree, it is a man-made fiber in reality and the manufacture of it does require energy and water. However, then so does the production of even organic cotton. And cotton, in fact, is a crop that is very thirsty indeed and if not organic certified it has also had tons, literally, of chemicals applied on it.

The manufacturing process of Lycocell goes about as follows: Hardwood logs are chipped into squares about the size of postage stamps. The chips are digested chemically, to remove the lignin and to soften them enough to be mechanically milled to a wet pulp. This pulp may be bleached. Then it is dried into a continuous sheet and rolled onto spools. At this stage, it has the consistency of thick poster-board paper. The roll of cellulose weighs some 500 lb (227 kg). The waste liquor may be reworked to produce tall oil, used to make alkyd resins.

At the Lyocell mill, rolls of pulp are broken into one-inch squares and dissolved in N-methylmorpholine N-oxide, giving a solution called "dope." The filtered cellulose solution is then pumped through spinnerets, devices used with a variety of man-made fibers. The spinneret is pierced with small holes rather like a shower head; when the solution is forced through it, long strands of fiber come out. The fibers are then immersed in another solution of amine oxide, diluted this time, which sets the fiber strands. Then they are washed with de-mineralized water. The Lyocell fiber next passes to a drying area, where the water is evaporated from it. The strands then pass to a finishing area, where a lubricant, which may be a soap or silicone or other agent depending on the future use of the fiber, is applied. This step is basically a detangler, prior to carding and spinning into yarn.

The dried, finished fibers are at this stage in a form called tow, a large untwisted bundle of continuous lengths of filament. The bundles of tow are taken to a crimper, a machine that compresses the fiber, giving it texture and bulk. The crimped fiber is carded by mechanical carders, which perform an action like combing, to separate and order the strands. The carded strands are cut and baled for shipment to a fabric mill. The entire manufacturing process, from unrolling the raw cellulose to baling the fiber, takes about two hours. After this, the Lyocell may be processed in many ways. It may be spun with another fiber, such as cotton or wool. The resulting yarn can be woven or knitted like any other fabric, and may be given a variety of finishes, from soft and suede-like to silky.

The amine oxide used to dissolve the cellulose and set the fiber after spinning is recycled. 98% of the amine oxide is typically recovered. Since there is little waste product, this process is relatively eco-friendly. However, it uses a substantial amount of energy, and uses an organic solvent of petrochemical origin.

It is a shame, actually, that cellulose fabrics, which has always been made from wood and similar fibers, has been replaced ever since about the late 1980s/early 1990s by other, synthetic, materials which are a derivative of oil. Maybe it is time to get back to wood.

We also once had cellophane in use rather than polythene for wrapping and that too is a product made from wood, in a similar way to viscose fabric, and both are much better for the environment, while being man-made, than any synthetic material derived from (the byproducts of) oil and gas.

But, I digressed, so back to the B-Sensible bedding.

My rating for this is definitely, and this is not a rating given lightly, a full five out of five, as far as the material itself is concerned and the properties. On the eco-friendly scale, considering the high use of energy and chemicals in the production of Lycocell, of which Telcel is but one brand, we can just give a three, I should think.

© 2013