Rayon Vs Viscose - A Detailed Comparison

The texture of your bedding is the first thing to welcome your body when you lie down. That initial sensation can set the mood, either making you feel totally relaxed and ready for a long, peaceful sleep or surround you with a vague feeling of discomfort that can escalate throughout the night. Selecting a suitable material for your sheets and pillowcases can make a huge difference, so it’s a great idea to get to know the materials that are most often used for bedding.

Rayon Vs Viscose

Cotton and viscose are two fabrics that are commonly used. Both materials can offer the softness you need to enjoy your sleep experience fully, but this softness will depend on the quality of the raw material used. Top-quality cotton bedding such as those made with 100% Egyptian cotton or Pima cotton are known to deliver supreme softness, while bamboo viscose sheets are also known to have superior qualities that can closely compete with that of the premium cotton bedding options. The main difference between the two fabrics lies in the way they are produced. Viscose was first created to mimic cotton, so there are certainly many similarities between the two fabrics, but there are also key characteristics that define each material and make it suitable for various applications.

Rayon Vs Viscose


Cotton is produced from the natural fibers of the cotton plant that are spun into threads without using chemicals. It is the most common fabric used in beddings such as pillowcases, sheets, and blankets, offering a comforting softness that can promote a comfortable sleep experience. Cotton is naturally hypoallergenic, so it’s an ideal choice if you want your sleeping surface to be free from common allergens or chemicals. Cotton beddings come in different price ranges that will be affected by the quality of the raw material used and where it was sourced, with top-quality Egyptian cotton fetching a steeper price compared to non-organic cotton that comes from local sources. This means you’ll have a wide array of options to choose from when it comes to high-quality cotton sheets and pillowcases that match your preferences and budget.

Rayon Vs Viscose


Soft and Comfortable

Cotton has been in use for thousands of years and is known for its comfortable softness that works superbly for beddings. Cotton sheets and pillowcases will move delicately against the skin for a relaxing sensation that can invite you to fully relax as you prepare for a peaceful night of sleep. High-quality cotton beddings come with a gentleness that will not irritate even sensitive skin, promoting hours of blissful sleep while being surrounded with only the most welcoming sensation.


Cotton beddings are naturally hypoallergenic and will not trigger irritations. These sheets and pillowcases will be the ideal choice for those who have allergies or asthma and are easily irritated when exposed to strong chemicals, such as those that can be present in other fabrics used for beddings. Cotton bedding will allow you to sleep comfortably night after night without being disturbed by allergy symptoms including sneezing, skin irritations, and watery eyes.


Cotton exhibits breathability, permitting air to flow freely through, and has a lightweight texture. Cotton sheets can feel wonderful on the body, especially during warm nights when heavy sheets and pillowcases can contribute to an uncomfortable feeling. They encourage maximum ventilation and will prevent a stuffy sensation, so you can continue to enjoy your sound sleep for the rest of the night without feeling overheated and sweaty.

Environment Friendly

Cotton fabric comes from the cotton plant, which is grown worldwide. The fibers are ready to be picked roughly every 3 to 4 months, depending on a variety of factors. This makes cotton beddings easily sustainable and renewable, especially compared to viscose that is sourced from trees that can take years to be fully grown before the wood pulp can be used to produce fabrics. In addition, cotton is manufactured without using chemicals that can harm the environment, unlike viscose that uses chemicals that may have the risk of leaking back into the surrounding area.

Strong and Durable

Cotton is a strong material that can keep up with the heavy and frequent use that beddings are subjected to on a regular basis. Cotton beddings can be relied upon to retain their appearance and functionality for a long time without quality degradation.

Easy Cleaning and Maintenance

Cotton sheets, pillowcases, and blankets can be cleaned in the washer and dryer, so there is no need to exert too much effort, unlike with viscose or rayon beddings that are too delicate to be machine washed. Cotton is known to actually become stronger when wet, so there should be no worries your sheets will be easily damaged when being washed!


Tends to Shrink

Cotton sheets and pillowcases may shrink when they are washed. Over time, the shrinkage may become too obvious, especially when the initial fit was already on the tight side. You may notice that the sheets do not cover the entire height of the mattress, or the pillowcases’ extra fabric becomes shorter.

Easily Wrinkles

Cotton can easily form wrinkles, so regular use will lead to a bed that looks a bit untidy or rough. However, creases can quickly be remedied with ironing. This won’t damage cotton material, unlike more delicate fabrics that are not suitable for ironing.

Can be Expensive

High-quality cotton beddings can have a higher price tag. However, the steep price also comes with remarkable features that you will be able to enjoy for an enhanced sleep experience.

Rayon Vs Viscose


Viscose is made from the cellulose fiber that is sourced from trees and combined with some plant fibers. The wood pulp that can come from bamboo and other tree sources is mixed with chemicals before being regenerated to form the man-made fiber. Viscose is sourced from natural materials, but it is considered a semi-synthetic fabric due to the use of chemicals during the manufacturing process. It was first developed to resemble the qualities of cotton and is generally a less expensive option for use in different applications, including for the production of high-quality beddings.

Rayon Vs Viscose



Viscose beddings are breathable, making them ideal for use during the warmer seasons when thick and insulating beddings may become too uncomfortable to use. Viscose offers good ventilation so that the air can move through the material and keep you comfortable while you stay sound asleep throughout the night. The surfaces of the pillowcases and sheets will maintain a comfortable coolness to prevent an overheated feeling from interrupting a deep sleep.

Soft and Smooth Texture

Viscose beddings come with a smooth and soft texture that can enhance a pleasurable sleep experience. They glide effortlessly over the skin and are ideal for people who do not want the sheets and pillowcases snagging on their bodies as they move in bed. This texture also makes the bedding have a nice drape that will look great on the mattress and pillows.

Affordable Option

In general, viscose beddings come with lower prices compared to cotton options. This is especially true when compared to cotton beddings that use materials that are more difficult to source, such as Egyptian cotton. Viscose beddings offer almost the same feel and texture as cotton, but you won’t need to spend such a huge amount for enhanced comfort.


Exposure to Toxic Chemicals

Viscose is made from wood pulp that is processed using chemicals to be able to produce the man-made fibers. Exposure to these chemicals may trigger allergies or sensitivities in some people, such as those who have allergies, asthma, or are generally sensitive to strong chemicals. The harsh substances may even have negative effects on one’s overall health, especially with long-term exposure.

Loses Strength with Wetness and Heat

Viscose quickly becomes weak when it gets wet, so laundry times need to be gentle and painstaking processes. The material can also become damaged when exposed to heat, so the creases can be difficult to manage as using a hot iron is not recommended.

Difficult to Wash

Viscose beddings are not suitable for machine washing because the repeated agitation inside the machine will damage the material. Cleaning will need to be done either by dry cleaning or handwashing, which will take more effort and may incur higher costs.

Rayon Vs Viscose

Rayon Vs Viscose - Comparison

Rayon Viscose
Wood cellulose
Wood and plant cellulose
Very Good
Very Good
Very Good
Heat Retention
Very Good
Easily damaged when wet and exposed to heat
Loses strength when it gets wet
Feels like silk; comfortably cool; affordable
Remarkable softness; delivers more warmth; breathable
Easily damaged, especially when wet or exposed to heat
Does not drape well; shrinks and creases easily
Reason for Development
To imitate the qualities of silk
To imitate the qualities of cotton

Key Takeaways

  • Cotton and viscose are materials that produce comfortable beddings, with the main difference between the two materials being the presence of chemicals in the production of viscose.
  • Viscose was originally developed to mimic the qualities of cotton, so there are many similarities between the two materials’ characteristics.
  • Cotton is naturally hypoallergenic and is not exposed to chemicals. It comes from a sustainable and renewable source that does not harm the environment.
  • Viscose is a more affordable option compared to cotton and has almost the same soft and smooth texture. Beddings made with viscose are highly breathable, making them ideal choices for warmer seasons.
  • Cotton beddings are friendlier to the environment, but they can come with high prices. Viscose may come with a lower price range, but it contains chemicals that can hurt the environment and may trigger allergies or irritations.


Q: Does viscose feel the same as cotton?

A: Viscose feels close to the way cotton does. Viscose was originally developed to look and feel like cotton, so there are many similarities when it comes to the two materials’ structures.

Q: Which is more comfortable – cotton or viscose?

A: Viscose and cotton are both breathable materials, but viscose may feel more comfortable for some people because it has a more lightweight structure that will not stifle even when the temperature spikes.

Q: How can you wash viscose beddings?

A: These beddings are not suitable for machine washing because the tumbling action can damage the material. Viscose sheets and pillowcases are best cleaned with hand-washing or dry cleaning.

Q: Why is viscose considered semi-synthetic when it uses raw material from trees?

A: Viscose is semi-synthetic because it uses chemicals to turn the wood pulp into fabric.


Cotton and viscose share similar qualities that work marvelously for beddings. They also have unique features that highlight each fabric’s strengths and weaknesses. These distinctions can make the selection process between the two materials easier, so you can determine which one will work better with how you want to enjoy your bed setup. With the help of this article, we know you can make the perfect choice!


African Journals Online – https://www.ajol.info/index.php/jfecs/article/view/69727

BioMedCentral Journal of Cotton Research- https://jcottonres.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s42397-020-00060-6

The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology – https://www.jaci-inpractice.org/article/S2213-2198(17)30753-5/abstract

Research Gate – https://www.researchgate.net/publication/264090140_Thermal_Comfort_of_Bedsheets_Under _Real_Conditions_of_Use

North Carolina State University BioResources – https://bioresources.cnr.ncsu.edu/resources/cellulose-dissolving-pulp-manufacturing-processes-and-properties-a-mini-review/

US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1746424/

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