The current generation of multilayer Si/Yb2Si2O7 environmental barrier coatings (EBCs) are temperature limited by the melting point of Si, 1414°C. To investigate higher temperature EBCs, the cyclic steam oxidation of EBCs comprised of a single layer of ytterbium disilicate (YbDS) was compared to multilayered Si/YbDS EBCs, both deposited on SiC substrates using atmospheric plasma spray. After 500 1‐h cycles at 1300°C in 90 vol%H2O‐10 vol%air with a gas velocity of 1.5 cm/s, both multilayer Si/YbDS and single layer YbDS grew thinner silica scales than bare SiC, with the single layer YbDS forming the thinnest scale. Both coatings remained fully adherent and showed no signs of delamination. Silica scales formed on the single layer coating were significantly more homogeneous and possessed a markedly lower degree of cracking compared to the multilayered EBC. The single layer EBC also was exposed at 1425°C in steam with a gas velocity of 14 cm/s in an alumina reaction tube. The EBC reduced specimen mass loss compared to bare SiC but formed an extensive 2nd phase aluminosilicate reaction product. A similar reaction product was observed to form on some regions of the bare SiC specimen and appeared to partially inhibit silica volatilization. The 1425°C steam exposures were repeated with a SiC reaction tube and no 2nd phase reaction product was observed to form on the single layer EBC or bare SiC.