Why is it that the most mundane things, such as bed sheets, are often times, the most difficult or challenging to decide on? This is the dilemma that I (and I am sure many others can attest to this) often go through whenever some bed linens need to get replaced.
It’s a task that I shudder undertaking but do it I must, lest I want to incur the wrath of my wife. But just when I think I already have things figured out when talking about specific fabrics that I would like to try, I get thrown a curveball: viscose vs. rayon.
When scouring through the store’s racks, it dawned upon me that these two always got into some sort of competition, baffling consumers as to how these can be so different in some aspects, and yet be identical in others. As viscose and rayon are quite popular in the fabric industry, it is crucial that you enlighten yourself with important information about these two: what is viscose? What is rayon? What are the differences between viscose and rayon?
These are just some of the questions that we will try to give you answers to in this nifty guide. Viscose and rayon are semi-synthetic fibers that comprise a large section of the bed sheet market today. Rayon and viscose are both taken from the manufactured fibers of regenerated cellulose. Through complex procedures and different grades, such fabrics can simulate the softness, texture, and feel of cotton, silk, linen, and wool.
Table of Contents
This takes time to get through. So have a guide to get to the info you want quick 🙂
- What is Viscose?
- What is Rayon?
- Breaking Down the Differences between Viscose and Rayon
- Viscose vs. Rayon – Which Is Better For You?
- Top Rated and Recommended Viscose Bed Sheets
- Top Rated and Recommended Rayon Bed Sheets
So without further ado, let us get right to it beginning with viscose. Read on!
What is Viscose?
Is viscose the same as rayon, or is there a viscose rayon as there is a bamboo rayon?
As a matter of fact, the two are very similar. Viscose is also a form of cellulose, called wood cellulose acetate. Just as bamboo cellulose can be utilized to produce rayon, so can viscose (wood) cellulose. One manifestation of viscose is a cellulose film, which is often called cellophane.
So, to give light to one huge difference between viscose and rayon fabric, rayon can be produced with the use of wood-derived cellulose (viscose) and it can also be fabricated using bamboo-derived cellulose.
Rayon is just one use of viscose. There are many other differences between rayon and viscose, which we will tackle more in detail later in this guide.
What is Rayon?
Rayon is a manufactured fiber that is made from regenerated cellulose. It was initially developed as an alternative to natural silk. The fiber can be utilized to make soft fabrics, such as those that are being used for sheets, pillow cases, mattress covers, and mattress encasements.
Bamboo is a popular source of cellulose for bedding. This is a popular raw material for rayon since it grows very fast. In fact, bamboo is the fastest growing grass species in the world with some species capable of growing up to 3 feet in a single day, although most grow at a much slower rate.
In order to generate rayon, bamboo fibers have to be treated with chemicals. Because of this, it cannot be described as a “natural fiber” but rather as “Rayon from bamboo.”
Development of Rayon
Rayon was first developed in the late 19th century as a substitute material to silk. Silk was prohibitively expensive back then and rayon was seen as a source of a silk-like fiber that mimicked the luxurious feel of genuine silk.
It appeared to be an acceptable alternative to silk had it not been for one major flaw: it was highly flammable. In the late 19th century, when fire safety was not what it is now, this was a very negative characteristic that resulted in it failing to attain the success expected of it. As a fabric, viscose rayon drapes really well and has breathability that is similar to cotton. It is a popular fiber in the bedding industry, and modern treatments enable it to meet the fireproof regulations of the 21st century.
So what is the difference between rayon and viscose? Let’s find out.
Breaking Down the Differences between Viscose and Rayon
Here are significant factors that define their overall quality: material, appearance, maintenance, and cost. We will break down viscose and rayon according to these characteristics.
Viscose is often derived from cotton but can also be taken from bamboo, sugarcane, and soy. As opposed to wood pulp, viscose is sourced from different plants.
The production, however, is fairly complicated. Viscose goes through a substantial process that involves a viscid solution or viscous liquid and the manufactured fiber of regenerated cellulose becomes the viscose fabric.
It has a particular durability standard that’s been utilized in producing memory foam, upholstery, carpets, industrial yarns, and cellophane. Apart from these products, viscose has also been commonly used in producing different kinds of clothing such as dresses, outerwear, jackets, coats, and a lot more.
Unlike viscose, the cellulose for producing rayon is typically derived from the wood pulp or the tree itself. It goes through a fundamental and thorough process to convert the insoluble cellulose to a solidified and purified compound.
Rayon features beneficial properties that have been the basis for producing different types of clothing and other materials. It is breathable, versatile, absorbent, and can be dyed easily.
Viscose is also called artificial silk because of its silk-like appearance. It has a smooth and soft texture that can give you a comfortable and cozy feeling. Similar to silk, it drapes beautifully and feels light to the touch. It also features breathability properties that leave the fabric cool without any hot spots.
Although portrayed as durable and strong, viscose also has drawbacks that consumers should be wary of. When it gets wet, the fibers may not be as strong as they should be. It can also wrinkle and shrink easily over time.
Rayon is identical to cotton especially when it comes to appearance and how it feels. With just a subtle touch, you can actually fell a soft and smooth texture just like how cotton does. Other kinds of rayon can also lend the same texture and feel such as wool, silk, and linen. It is versatile, easy to dye, and very absorbent.
If you’re looking for fabric for hot or humid days, rayon is one of your best options. With its breathability, it gives off a cool feeling without leaving a muggy feeling on your skin.
Just like any other kind of fabric, rayon also has its fair share of disadvantages. Although it is durable, it may also shrink and pill over time, especially when it is washed or gets wet. Too much exposure to heat may also damage the fabric.
As a fabric that features a silk-like appearance and texture, viscose is thought to be a delicate fabric that needs tender washing. It is strongly suggested that you hand wash or dry clean to prevent pilling and shrinking. Do not squeeze the water out. Just hang it flat and let it dry.
If you favor washing it in a washing machine, make sure to go for the delicate preset and use a gentle detergent. However, manufacturers always provide instructions on how you should take care of a specific viscose garment. If there’s any, just follow the recommended method to a t.
As the elements of viscose and rayon are alike, it is reasonable to think that rayon also belongs to the category of delicate fabrics. Like viscose, a rayon fabric or garment should be gently washed in cold water and mild detergent.
To help keep its form, it should not be severely squeezed to let the water out after washing. Hanging it dry or air dry is the recommended method.
Handwashing is strongly recommended as well. If you’re using a washing machine, don’t forget to use the gentle or low spin cycle. But if you’re washing particular clothing or garment, always refer to the detailed instructions from the manufacturer for the recommended procedure.
Viscose is one of the most affordable fabrics you can find anywhere in the market. Being a low-cost fabric, it’s been accessible for everyone to try and use.
However, there are available items, particularly clothes and garments that are combined with other kinds of fabric such as cotton, polyester, elastane, and many more, which might change the range of prices.
Rayon is also inexpensive. With a broad range of rayon styles and colors to choose from, there is a garment that will fulfill your preferences and style.
Identical to viscose, the price range may also fluctuate depending on the blend and type. There are clothes or sheets that are made of 100% rayon while other kinds are mixed with cotton, polyester, and other fabrics. Imported rayon fabrics may also come at a much steeper price.
Viscose vs. Rayon – Which Is Better For You?
When discussing the various properties of viscose and rayon in the bedding industry, it is crucial to understand that the two are very similar – in many cases even exactly the same! But there are aspects wherein one is better than the other. Let’s find out what those are.
To start, bamboo fiber is naturally hypoallergenic, which means that it is a fine material for those that are prone to allergies. It is a bedding material that is not likely to trigger allergic reactions.
Many people prefer bamboo rayon to viscose rayon. That is because of the hypoallergenic properties of bamboo rayon, and its thermal regulation ability. If you tend to get too hot when resting, rayon manufactured from bamboo cellulose will help you keep your cool. The fibers have the ability to wick away the heat and keep you cool, which is something that viscose fibers cannot do all too well.
Bamboo rayon is very absorbent to dyes and retains color well. Viscose rayon can also be dyed, although is not as receptive to dyes as bamboo rayon.
Top Rated and Recommended Viscose Bed Sheets
1) Resort Viscose from Bamboo Sheets by Cariloha
- Proprietary sateen finish provides soft, smooth feel
- 3° cooler than cotton sheets for year-round comfort
- Viscose from bamboo saves more trees
Cariloha offers a wide range of bamboo sheets that you can buy. They offer two different lines of sheets that give you options when it comes to price, thread count, and weave. The two lines that they offer are the “classic” bamboo sheets and the more higher-end “resort” bamboo sheets.
Their bamboo sheets are made from 100% percent viscose from bamboo. These sheets are 100% organically farmed and are eco-friendly and the ideal choice of sheet for Mother Earth’s warriors. The natural characteristics of bamboo render the sheets hypoallergenic and odor resistant. They give you a clean and welcoming feel with thermal regulating breathability that surpasses all expectations on comfort.
Sheets start at a two hundred and thirty thread count in the “Classic” style. These sheets have a twill weave. The other option offered by Cariloha is their “Resort” line of sheets. These are four hundred thread count sheets that are silky smooth and comfortable with a sateen weave.
2) Classic Bamboo Sheets by Cariloha
- Irresistibly soft, luxurious viscose
- Naturally breathable and moisture-wicking
- Repels odors and allergens
The Classic set is priced at just a shade under $200, which is already such a bargain for the comfort and style that you will experience with this. Two hundred and thirty thread count sheets are some of the smoothest and enticing sheets you can buy at this price range.
They also give you the choice of a wide range of colors. You can choose between Sage, Sandy Shore, Bahama Blue, Ivory, and white. These vibrant colors work great with any color scheme and fit large pillow top mattresses up to eighteen inches in depth. This is a great choice to make if your budget is under the aforementioned price. Best of all is that this comes with a lifetime satisfaction guarantee.
3) Linenwalas 100% Rayon Viscose Bamboo Luxury Hotel Bed Sheet Set
- Includes gorgeous fabric storage bag
- Best washed in cold water
- 300 thread count
This bed sheet from Bamboo sheets is akin to treating yourself to a 5-Star hotel. This is a really nice sheet set that features all of the usual benefits of viscose from bamboo, but at a somewhat more reasonable price compared to some other brands.
As you know, viscose from bamboo is one of the softest fabrics available in the market today and just like silk sheets, it hugs your body. The Bamboo plant from which the fabric is derived is sustainable, antimicrobial, and requires fewer pesticides, making it them the greenest sheets you can purchase.
Top Rated and Recommended Rayon Bed Sheets
1) eLuxurySupply Ultra Soft 100% Rayon from Bamboo Sheet Set
- Highest-quality 300 thread count
- Super soft twill weave
Rayon from Bamboo Sheets is most definitely soft and comfortable and will make going to bed an experience you look forward to each and every day. Softer than silk, cotton, and cashmere, what else could you ask for?
Rayon from Bamboo is one of the softest fabrics that you can find in the market today. These sheets naturally hug the body, providing you with more comfortable sleep. Bamboo is sustainable, needs fewer pesticides and is naturally irrigated which makes these sheets derived from the bamboo plant the greenest sheets you can pick up today.
2) Malouf 100% Rayon from Bamboo Sheet Set
- Supremely soft and silky
- Hypoallergenic and naturally odor-resistant
- Smooth fabric ideal for sensitive skin
These sheets feature deep pockets that allow the fitted sheet to fit mattresses with depths from 16”-20”. These are hypoallergenic as well! This Viscose from Bamboo Sheet Set by Malouf can provide you with a perfect sleep.
High-quality natural material is safe for those that have sensitive skin. The material is so safe that even babies can use this. It is soft to the touch and breathable, helping regulate body temperature throughout the night.
3) Hotel Sheets Direct Bamboo Bed Sheets
- Super soft and light
- Made of 100% Rayon
- Hypoallergenic and thermo-regulating
The Hotel Sheets Direct bamboo bed sheet set is made of 100% rayon and truly deserves a spot on this list. It features softness and gives you a light feeling that can help you experience supreme comfort while you rest. As it is derived from bamboo, it also guarantees quality that you can use for many years to come.
During the hot season or humid days, these bamboo rayon bed sheets can keep you cool without giving you that icky feeling. Its hypoallergenic properties will also help people with allergies and sensitive skin. This bedding set promises incredible softness and cooling properties that will definitely give you a premium sleeping experience.