Is Bamboo Viscose Better Than Cotton – The 6 Differences

Last Updated on March 14, 2023

Bamboo and cotton are two of the most popular fabrics used in fashion. But which is better? Bamboo and cotton offer different qualities that make them each suited for different types of clothing.

Is Bamboo Viscose Better Than Cotton?

The answer to this question depends on your particular needs and preferences. Bamboo viscose is a highly breathable, lightweight material that is more absorbent than cotton. It’s also considered a more sustainable option than cotton since it grows faster and requires less water for cultivation.

On the other hand, cotton is very soft, comfortable, and more affordable than bamboo viscose. Ultimately, deciding which is better for your needs is up to you.

Is Bamboo Viscose the Same as Cotton?

No, bamboo viscose is not the same as cotton. Bamboo viscose is a fiber made from the cellulose of bamboo plants, and it has different properties than cotton. While Cotton fibers are soft and flexible, bamboo viscose combines softness and drape with incredible luster.

Additionally, bamboo viscose uses no chemicals in its manufacturing process, making it an environmentally friendly, gentle fabric on the skin.

Differences Between Bamboo Viscose and Cotton

The main difference between bamboo viscose and cotton is the fiber characteristics, although both are organic materials. Bamboo viscose has much finer fibers than even the highest-quality cotton, resulting in fabrics that feel exceptionally soft to the touch.

Bamboo fabrics absorb sweat and breathe more readily than their counterparts due to their superior air permeability. It is far better for regulating body temperature, helping you stay cool even on hot summer days.

The table below summarizes the key differences between bamboo viscose and cotton fabrics:

CharacteristicsBamboo ViscoseCotton
Fiber CharacteristicsFine fibers, resulting in soft fabricsCoarser fibers, more rigid structure
UsesLightweight clothing such as t-shirts, tanks, dresses, sleepwear, and leggingsHeavier-weight clothing such as button-up shirts and other everyday wear items
DurabilityMore tensile strength, lasts longer, holds shape better over timeDurable but not as strong as bamboo viscose
Environmental ImpactEnvironmentally friendly, fully biodegradableEnvironmentally friendly, but some types require chemical treatments during production
AbsorbencyFibers are absorbent, but slower to absorb moisture than cottonFibers are absorbent and absorb moisture quickly
Comfort LevelIncredibly soft texture, slightly stretchier than traditional cottonComfort primarily comes down to personal preference
SustainabilityBamboo starts as a natural resource, requires less water and resources upfront during cultivationTraditional cotton requires lots of water and resources upfront during cultivation
Differences Between Bamboo Viscose and Cotton
Image: Shutterstock, Canva

Here’s a look at the differences between bamboo viscose and cotton to decide whether bamboo is better.

1. Uses

Bamboo viscose is ideal for lightweight clothing such as t-shirts, tanks, dresses, sleepwear, and leggings because it’s soft and breathable, making it perfect for warmer weather. Cotton is an excellent choice for heavier-weight clothing such as button-up shirts and other everyday wear items due to its more rigid structure.

2. Durability

Both bamboo viscose and cotton fabrics have excellent durabilities that make them suitable for many purposes, such as bedding, shirting, clothing, and even furniture upholstery. However, the difference between the two fabrics becomes more evident when compared.

Bamboo viscose has more tensile strength than cotton, meaning it will last longer with-hold shape up better over time after multiple washes. That being said – depending on how much wear & tear it takes overtime.

There may be some slight degradation to both fabrics either way. So keeping an eye on it is recommended to ensure the longevity of your chosen fabric product/s over time!

3. Environmental Impact

Both bamboo and cotton are environmentally friendly options compared to synthetic fabrics such as polyester or nylon, which require significantly more energy to produce and create microfibers.

However, bamboo does have an edge here since it’s fully biodegradable. In contrast, some types of cotton require chemical treatments during production, which can negatively impact the environment if not correctly handled.

4. Absorbency

The fibers in both fabrics are absorbent. However, cottons shorter fibers mean they can absorb moisture quicker than bamboo viscose’s longer fibers. It makes cotton more suitable for sweat-wicking fabrics or towels due to its faster drying time.

5. Comfort Level

For comfort, nothing beats bamboo viscose due to its incredibly soft texture. This fabric also tends to be slightly stretchier than traditional cotton, which helps garments fit comfortably without tightness or bunching when worn throughout physical activities like exercise or sports games.

Overall comfort primarily comes down to personal preference, as some individuals prefer one fabric over another. So you may gravitate towards either material depending on your needs (e.g., leisure versus performance apparel).

6. Sustainability

When considering sustainability between bamboo viscose and cotton fabric, you must look at where each material comes from and its production process – because this matters too!

 For example, bamboo starts as a natural resource, which is then processed into yarn for creating different textiles (such as sheets or towels). In contrast, traditional cotton requires lots of water & resources upfront during cultivation before weaving into a material available for consumption (in terms of home use).


So which is better? Maybe neither – depending on what type of apparel you’re looking for – but their unique qualities make both essential materials staples in any wardrobe!

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