Although bamboo fibers have been around for centuries, only in the early 2000s did we initiate processes to develop bamboo fiber that can be used in textiles and fashion.

Bamboo is often regarded as a greener alternative due to its wide-scale cultivation within a significantly short amount of time. When looked at as raw material, bamboo is one of the fastest-growing resources that can be easily replenished. However, bamboo encompasses a variety of textiles with different manufacturing processes - some environmentally friendly, others less so.

Although the most common bamboo fabric on the market today is bamboo viscose, bamboo lyocell is quickly becoming a new favorite of brands and designers alike.

What is Bamboo Lyocell?

Bamboo Lyocell is a man-made fiber derived from pure bamboo pulp. It is manufactured in a closed-loop process by dissolving the cellulose and regenerating it into a fiber.

Although made of natural materials, Bamboo Lyocell is a semi-synthetic fiber produced with chemicals. Its manufacturing method is quite similar to other man-made cellulosic fibers like viscose and modal.

Products such as bamboo lyocell sheets, clothing, and homeware see an increasing demand due to bamboo’s superior anti-bacterial and hypoallergenic qualities. Some bamboo lyocell fabrics also come with OEKO-TEX 100 certification which is a good indicator that the textile has been tested for harmful substances, right from the yarn to the finished product. It ensures no toxic chemicals come in contact with our skin, thereby making it fit for sleepwear, intimate wear, and kidswear.

Bamboo Forest

Is Bamboo Lyocell Eco-Friendly?

Bamboo Lyocell is generally considered a highly sustainable fabric.

When grown under the right conditions, bamboo requires no pesticides or fertilizers and uses less water than most cultivations. As it regenerates from its own roots, it doesn’t require replanting which saves hours of manual labor.

Even so, bamboo yield can be unsustainable. One way to ensure your bamboo is sourced ethically is by looking for an FSC certification. It ensures that the bamboo is not grown in conditions that require natural forests to be converted to plantations, is not harvested from ancient or endangered forests, and is legally sourced.

Being a third-generation process to create cellulosic fabric, the lyocell method ensures that the cellulose structure of bamboo is not chemically altered. In place of harmful chemicals such as carbon disulfide and sodium hydroxide, it uses amine oxide, an organic solvent that can dissolve the wood pulp. It reduces the use of toxic chemicals and allows bamboo to be processed in a closed-loop system whereby 99% of the solvent can be recycled and used over and over again. The process significantly reduces the environmental impact caused by the textile industry.

Due to the absence of toxic chemicals, the lyocell process also benefits the workers by preventing long-term exposure that can lead to grave health problems. The lyocell process retains the organic ingredients of the bamboo, thereby making it a biodegradable fabric with an 8-day decomposition rate.

In contrast, the bamboo viscose process uses toxic chemicals that endanger not only the workers but also the natural ecosystem. As the solvent and the water cannot be recycled, it is disposed of into the environment and can cause wide-scale pollution. When dumped into water bodies, concentrated organic materials such as sulfides, sulfates, and metals (zinc salts) can lead to an increase in the levels of chemical oxygen demand (COD), which in turn can lead to less oxygen available for marine life. The chemical stench emitted by the factories and the discharge of dangerous air pollutants can also lead to poor air quality.

Bamboo Lyocell Benefits

Why Bamboo Lyocell?

As bamboo lyocell is created without harsh chemicals, it retains the natural properties of bamboo. Being a versatile and superior fabric in many ways, bamboo lyocell has numerous benefits. It is...

Strong and lightweight, bamboo lyocell retains its shape and is resistant to wrinkles. With its soft feel, it offers maximum comfort for clothing and bedding.

Moisture absorbent
The porous fibers of the bamboo fabric have great moisture absorption and breathability, keeping you cool and making it a perfect choice for people with sweating problems.

Bamboo kun, the natural bacterial bio-agent present in bamboo fibers inhibits fungal growth, thereby reducing unpleasant odors.

The smooth bamboo fibers along with the wicking abilities of the lyocell process keep the skin dry, making it an ideal fabric for allergies and skin sensitivities.

Soft and smooth
Most bamboo weaves provide great comfort and feel pleasant to the skin. What's more, the silky texture of the fabric will bring luxury to your bed and wardrobe for only a fraction of the price.


With all the good things surrounding bamboo fabric, there are some inconveniences to keep in mind before jumping the wagon.

From a consumer's viewpoint, bamboo lyocell is slightly more expensive than most cotton options due to the technology used to process and the absence of large-scale production. Still, its cost is far lower compared to silk.

High maintenance
Bamboo lyocell requires more attention when it comes to washing and drying. With fragile fibers, the product can easily wrinkle or shrink if washed carelessly. Bamboo products need to be washed separately in cold water (30°C max) with a gentle cycle. Whenever possible, it is advised to line dry bamboo products to avoid wrinkles and preserve elasticity. If using a dryer, it is important to choose a low heat and low tumble cycle.

Bamboo Viscose vs Bamboo Lyocell

While bamboo lyocell and bamboo viscose share similar end-use, the vast difference between the manufacturing process and the overall environmental impact is what gives bamboo lyocell a winning edge over bamboo viscose. Here is what to consider when choosing between the two.

CriteriaBamboo ViscoseBamboo Lyocell
OriginBamboo pulpBamboo pulp
ProductionToxic - chemically-intensive viscose processEco-friendly - closed-loop lyocell process
ChemicalsSodium hydroxide, carbon disulfideAmine oxide
Found inClothing, bedsheets, household textilesBedsheets, duvets, undergarments, sleepwear
Natural propertiesAntibacterial, hypoallergenic and thermo-regulatingAntibacterial, hypoallergenic, thermo-regulating
MaintenanceCold wash with a gentle cycle. Line dry whenever possible.Cold wash with a gentle cycle. Line dry whenever possible.
Environmental ImpactWater used in the process turns toxic, and cannot be recycled. High demand for water. Dangerous air pollutants and chemical odor reduce air quality.99% of water and solvent used in the process can be recycled
Worker's Health & SafetySkin and eye irritation, neural disorders, reproductive and respiratory problems, cancerSafe for workers as it uses an organic solvent in a closed-loop
CertificationsFSC, OEKO-TEX®FSC, OEKO-TEX®

Bamboo Lyocell Brands

Even though few brands are using it at the moment, bamboo lyocell has infiltrated different segments of the textile industry, from fashion and apparel to bedding and homeware. Let’s take a look at some great brands that have committed to sustainability by using bamboo lyocell in their products.


From: Sweden
Offers: Bed Sheets and Contemporary Clothing
Certified: OEKO-TEX® 100

With a strong belief in all kinds of good movements at its heart, Movesgood consciously creates pieces that are ethical, sustainable, and beautiful. Strong advocates of slow fashion, they create season-based contemporary designs with natural materials. With their Lean Production Model at the core of every collection, they prevent overproduction by meeting the demand with quick adoption through feedback.


From: Singapore
Offers: Bed Sheets, Duvet Covers
Certified: Organic, OEKO-TEX® 100

If you're looking to update your bedsheets, look no further than HyggeB. With luxurious bedding and soft sheets, HyggeB basks in the feeling of happiness and contentment. With their commitment to top-quality materials and delicate craftsmanship, HyggeB promises quality sleep with their 100% organic bamboo lyocell sheets and duvet covers.


From: Australia
Offers: Bed Sheets
Certified: Organic, FSC

A must-have for all eco-friendly sleepers! Ettitude creates bamboo lyocell sheets, sleepwear, and towels exclusively with 100% certified organic bamboo that is sourced from FSC certified forests. Not only is Ettitude a women-owned company but also works with certified WRAP manufacturers who pay a living wage to all their employees.


From: Canggu, Bali, Indonesia
Offers: Bed Sheets
Certified: Organic, FSC

Heveya believes in searching for ways to sleep better. With fully certified organic latex mattresses and 100% organic bamboo lyocell sheets that comply with FSC and WRAP certifications, Heveya products are designed with sustainability in mind.


From: California
Offers: Bed Sheets
Certified: OEKO-TEX® 100

Aeptom aims at providing sustainability at a fair price. Aeptom’s mission is to pursue a sustainable and upscale lifestyle that is not a burden on your pockets. Simple designs paired with exceptional quality, Aeptom’s products are made of 100% bamboo lyocell with OEKO-TEX 100 certification.


From: Australia
Offers: Underwear
Certified: OEKO-TEX® 100

Born from a passion for sustainable basics, Boody supports the everyday lifestyle with organic and sustainable fabrics. Emphasizing quality and simplicity, Boody aims to build an environmentally conscious community that can manifest a positive impact around the globe. With organically grown bamboo and various certifications, Boody’s everyday basics are created with one goal in mind - to make you feel good.


From: Australia
Offers: Underwear, Loungewear
Certified: OEKO-TEX® 100

Derived from the Indian word that means ‘green’, Hara was founded as a solution to the problems of the environment - a clothing label that combines design and sustainability. With natural dyes and bamboo lyocell, Hara began its journey to help the Earth regain its power.


From: Colorado, USA
Offers: ONNOcell™ Bamboo T-Shirts

Focused on making good t-shirts since 2006, Onno’s organic t-shirts fit just right - neither too tight nor too oversized. After two years of experimentation with bamboo lyocell, the brand developed ONNOcell, a blend of organic bamboo lyocell and organic cotton that is made to move with the body.

Little Lads & Lasses

From: Singapore
Offers: Kidswear
Certified: OEKO-TEX® 100

Little Lads & Lasses brings the gentle touch of sustainability to kidswear. Aimed at creating a better world for the little ones, they create clothes for newborns with organic bamboo lyocell. With eco-friendly materials and education, they empower newborn parents to create a better tomorrow for the newer generations.

An Ending Note

When switching to bamboo, make sure to be on the lookout for tags that mention 100% Bamboo Lyocell, Organic, OEKO-TEX 100, and FSC Certified. If cultivated under the right conditions, bamboo is a highly sustainable crop in itself. While manufacturing costs play an important factor when it comes to developing bamboo fabric, it has a high potential across various industries. Due to its superior natural properties, products such as bamboo lyocell sheets, sleepwear, and intimate wear have seen a rise in the textile market. With better absorption, stronger antibacterial properties, and softer touch, bamboo lyocell is definitely a go-to choice for intimate wear, bedding, and household textiles.

Lyocell Products