Trees and wood chips to fibre

TENCEL™ is a brand of sustainable cellulose fibre (or wood pulp material). The fibres are used in clothing, footwear, home linens, carpets, mattresses, pillows and more. Because of the way they are made, Tencel products are often more breathable, hygienic and comfortable than their synthetic counterparts.

How is it made?

Tencel is essentially derived from sustainable forests. Wood chips are processed and dissolved into pulp, spun into fibres and then converted to yarn and fabric. This material is used as a core component of many different products and because of its botanic origin, it can break down and revert back to nature.

Tencel logo

What are Lyocell and Modal fibres?

These are the two primary types of Tencel fibres.

Lyocell is strong and quite versatile, able to be combined with other materials such as cotton, wool and silk. Lyocell has moisture-wicking or absorbing properties, and is the more environmentally friendly version of the two options because of the way it is processed.

Modal fibres are made of beech wood and are highly flexible. This fabric is known for being especially soft against the skin, even after repeated cycles of washing and drying.

Natural material

Is it sustainable?

One of this material’s many benefits is its minimal impact on the environment. Because they originate from wood chips, these cellulose fibres are certified as compostable and biodegradable.

The modal fibres are listed under Ecolabel, meaning they are generated with minimal ecological impact. The production process of lyocell is more sustainable and cyclical, referred to as a closed loop:

  • Sources wood from responsibly grown trees
  • Recovers and reuses materials — 99.8% of solvents
  • Recycles processed water
  • Uses renewable energy sources for lowered CO2 emissions
How is Tencel made? Wood chips, pulp and fibre, yarn and fabric, products and biodegradable.

* applicable to fabrics made of 100% standard Tencel fibres

How does it feel?

These fabrics are made with long fibres, giving them a high-quality, luxurious feel. They are praised for their softness, strength, breathability and versatility. Lyocell or modal fibres are sometimes blended with other textiles to increase quality or add specific characteristics, such as moisture absorption or softness.

Cotton vs tencel

Modal is twice as soft as cotton, making it a popular choice for apparel and sleepwear. Similarly, because of its moisture-wicking quality (50% quicker than cotton), lyocell is used quite often in sheets, mattresses and pillows.

How does Tencel feel?

Sealy and Tencel

How is it used in mattresses?

We use Tencel in some of our Exquisite mattresses, specifically in the comfort layers. Select models include the material to help wick away moisture for improved breathability. Please contact our team if you would like assistance finding a Sealy product with this material.

How is it used in pillows?

Our pillows use Tencel in the covers to help absorb and disperse moisture, regulate temperature and provide a soft, cool sleep surface. Our Sealy mattress protectors are also made with this material for the same benefits.

Tencel FAQs

What is Tencel?

Tencel is a botanic fibre made from cellulose (wood), naturally soft and lustrous, with moisture wicking and superior breathability.

What is Lyocell?

Lyocell is a fibre made from plant cellulose (wood). Most commonly, it is made from eucalyptus trees, though bamboo, oak, and birch trees are also used, which makes it naturally biodegradable.

What does Tencel fabric feel like?

Tencel has the softness of cotton and the luxurious smoothness of silk. Tencel is a botanic fibre made from cellulose which is naturally soft and boosts moisture-wicking for superior breathability.

What are the properties of Tencel?

Tencel fibres have a range of properties: moisture wicking, gentle on the skin, long-lasting softness, breathable, colour retention and biodegradability.

What is Tencel blend?

A blend is a combination of Tencel with other fibres, textiles or fabrics. This is done to boost the properties of both kinds of fabrics. A common blend is lyocell or modal with cotton, especially in bed sheets.

Where is Tencel made?

Tencel’s headquarters are located in Lenzing, Austria. There are production facilities in Austria and internationally across the Americas, Europe and Asia.