Rayon vs Viscose vs Lyocell Bamboo: What’s the difference?

We have heard or read such words as ‘rayon’, ‘viscose’ or ‘lyocell’ at least once in our life, but what do they mean? How are they different from each other?

If you already know, good for you! Now, have you ever heard of bamboo viscose, bamboo lyocell, or bamboo rayon? No? Let us guide you a little bit through the world of fabrics and yarns, their manufacturing and development. 

Let’s go!

What are Bamboo Viscose, Rayon and Lyocell?

Textile is a material made of thread or yarn that is typically used for clothing, bags, towels, bedsheets,  and many other household uses. It is manufactured from a variety of materials with cotton and silk as the most common.

  • First of all, we must acknowledge that bamboo rayon and bamboo lyocell are made from the cellulose from plants and undergo several chemical processes. At the same time, viscose is a type of rayon made from bamboo viscose.
  • Secondly, bamboo rayon is highly absorbent and easy to dye while bamboo viscose looks like silk and feels like cotton. Yet bamboo lyocell is both, soft and smooth and they are highly similar looking to the actual bamboo.
  • Both bam rayon and viscose from bamboo are manufactured in approximately the same process involving different chemicals, yet they differ in materials used(cellulose and viscose, accordingly). 
  • While bamboo rayon can be made with bamboo grass cellulose, viscose is made from bamboo pulp.
  • Bamboo rayon is less durable because it is made with a huge amount of caustic soda. 
  • Bamboo lyocell is the most eco-friendly out of the three fabrics because it uses less chemicals and water and produces less waste than bamboo rayon and bamboo viscose.
  • All three fabrics are hypoallergenic, silky-soft and bacteria resisting.

All three, bamboo rayon, bamboo viscose, and bamboo lyocell are perfect materials for households such as bedsheets, towels, mattresses, blankets, and many others.

Maintenance and care

bamboo rayon, bamboo viscose, bamboo lyocell - maintenance and care

If you are one lucky owner of the bamboo textile products, please read the below maintenance instructions carefully:

  • Wash the bamboo fabrics in cold to warm water (up to 40 C degrees), as the textile may shrink in the high temperatures. Plus it is good for the environment to wash them in the cold water.
  • Use the gentle wash cycle or even hand wash (if you have time) and use a good quality brand of soap powder or liquid without any bleach in it, as it tends to yellow the fiber with time.
  • We do not recommend using fabric softener and dryer sheets, as well.  Also, bamboo materials come out of the machine a bit stiff, which is normal, so nothing to worry about.
  • Wash on the gentle cycle in your washing machine, to avoid the shrinking of the material.
  • To achieve the best results, it is better to wash different types of items separately(bedding is separate from towels)
  • The best way to dry your bamboo clothes and household items is to line them up in the sun. Please note, in case either bamboo rayon sheets or your favorite T-shirts contain vegetable dye, it is better to dry them in indirect sunlight. Machine drying is fine as well, but for the low temperatures only.


Bamboo rayon, bamboo viscose, and bamboo lyocell are very similar, yet different from each other. Despite being produced by humans and machines, they are not considered as synthetic materials.

Deforestation – cutting trees – is a huge global problem because wood cellulose is harvested by chopping trees. Deforestation without effective reforestation affects everyone - wildlife, ecosystems, weather patterns, and the climate, creating horrible changes in flora and fauna and leading to global warming.

Even though bamboo is a highly renewable and sustainable material, the problem of fabric manufacturing lies deeper than that. There is a whole chain of processes while producing the textiles including weaving yarns into the fabric, dying, and manufacturing them. All of these processes usually require a huge amount of energy, water, and chemicals, thus making the whole production very harmful to nature.

1 thought on “Rayon vs Viscose vs Lyocell Bamboo: What’s the difference?”

  1. I live in very hot, humid weather (100 degrees). For clothing, how are the above three ranked in terms of coolest (body temperature) to wear? Thank you for any guidance! I’m interested in terms of ranking most comfortable to wear in very hot, humid weather.

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