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Is Modal As Breathable As Cotton? Main Differences.

Modal vs Cotton Breathability

When it comes to choosing between modal and cotton fabrics, there are pros and cons to both.

The main difference and simplest features between the two is breathability.

Modal is a synthetic fiber that has been used for years in clothing because of its durability and ability to keep you warm. It also provides a premium softness feel to the fabric.

However, modal is known to be less breathable material than cotton.

Cotton is a natural fiber that has been around since ancient times. It is often used in clothing because of its comfort and breathability.

However, cotton is known to be more absorbent than modal fibers.

So, which should you choose? Well, if you want a comfortable shirt that keeps you warm, then you should definitely consider using micro modal.

If you want a shirt that wicks away moisture and allows air to flow freely, then you should use cotton.

What is micro Modal fabric?

Micro Modal Fabric is made from polyester or nylon yarns spun into very fine filaments.

The result is an extremely lightweight but durable fabric with excellent draping qualities.

This type of fabric can be found on shirts, pants, jackets, socks, underwear, etc.

It’s important to note that this type of fabric does not have any stretch properties so it will shrink when washed.

Modal vs Cotton: Common Uses

There are many different uses for each type of suitable material.

Here’s what they can do for your wardrobe:

  • Cotton – Additional Softness & Comfort

Cotton is one of the most popular types of fiber on earth. This makes sense when you think about how much time we spend wearing clothes every day. 

Cotton is great at keeping us cool by absorbing sweat from our bodies. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s not effective as an insulator.

In fact, it actually helps prevent heat loss through evaporation.

This means that texture of cotton for manufacturing will help keep you warmer during colder weather conditions.

  • Modal – Durability & Warmth

While cotton battle may have some advantages over modal, it does lack in certain areas. One area where modal excels is in terms of strength.

Because it is made up of long strands of plastic, modal is strong enough to withstand everyday wear-and-tear without breaking down.

In addition, modal is able to retain warmth even after repeated washings.

So, if you’re looking for a durable piece of clothing that won’t let you freeze, then modal might just be the right choice for you.

Modal vs Cotton choice guide

If you want something with durability but still feel warm, then choose modal.

However, if you prefer comfort and ease of movement, then go with blended cotton.

Remember though, no matter which natural fabric you decide to buy, you must remember to take care of them properly.

Otherwise, you risk damaging your investment!

That said, here are some tips for caring for your new fabrics:

  • Wash Your Clothes Regularly

When washing your clothes, try using cold water and gentle detergents.

  • Use A Dryer Lint Filter

Dryers have lint filters built right into them. These filters collect dust particles before they reach the heating element.

So, when you’re done doing laundry, be sure to remove the filter and clean it regularly.

  • Keep It Clean And Tumble Dry Properly

To keep your clothing looking its best, always hang your garments inside the closet door.

Never place them directly onto shelves.

Instead, lay each item flat on hangers until needed.

This will prevent wrinkles from forming while keeping your clothes free from bacteria build up.

  • Store Them In Dark Places

Dark colors absorb more heat than lighter ones. So, make sure that all of your clothing has at least one dark color.

For example, black or navy blue work perfectly for winter jackets.

But, don’t limit yourself to darker shades. You could even add a pop of red or yellow to brighten things up.

  • Choose Fabrics That Are Appropriate For Their Use

There are many different types of fabrics out there.

Some are made specifically for outdoor use. Others are designed for indoor activities like cooking.

It’s important to know what type of activity you plan to do so you can find the appropriate standard material.

Consider how much sun exposure you’ll get during the day as well.

If you live somewhere where it gets hot outside, opt for popular materials that wick away moisture.

Modal vs Cotton Durability

Cotton is a natural fiber that has been used for centuries.

It’s soft material, breathable, versatile material, and comfortable. However, cotton is also known for its tendency to shrink and fade.

Modal is a synthetic fiber that was developed in the 1950s.

It’s durable, wrinkle resistant, and doesn’t shrink or fade. However, modal is also known for being stiff and uncomfortable.

One thing that people don’t realize about modal is that it isn’t always 100% polyester breathable.

In fact, sometimes it contains other durable material like nylon or rayon.

These additional components make modal stronger and more resistant to tearing.

As such, it is perfect for outdoor activities like camping or hiking.

On top of all these benefits, modal is very affordable compared to other types of textiles.

Modal vs Cotton: Which is more expensive?

The cost of modal versus cotton depends entirely upon the quality of the product.

For example, high end brands tend to charge higher prices for their products.

You’ll pay anywhere between $20-$100 per yard for good quality modal.

By comparison, you could get a similar amount of cotton for under $10.

Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. For instance, some companies offer discounts for bulk purchases.

Also, some retailers sell both modal and blend of cotton together.

So, you need to check out the details before making any decisions.

Modal vs Cotton Drying Times

When drying your laundry, consider using an air dryer instead of a conventional drier.

Air dryers have two chambers separated by a mesh screen. The first chamber holds damp items.

Then, when they’re ready, they pass through the second chamber which warms the fabric. This speeds up the process.

However, if you want to save time, then just put your wet clothes into the regular drier with the lint filter turned off.

Once everything is completely dry, remove the lint filter and turn it back on.

Modal vs Cotton Sheets

Another benefit of modal over cotton sheets is that they won’t pill.

This means that they won’t stick to each other odor after washing them.

Another benefit also of using modal sheets is that they keep you cooler at night.

This is because they trap heat from escaping while allowing cool air to circulate around you.

They work best when combined with a mattress pad.

A lot of bedding stores carry them now. So, you should be able to find one easily.

They will still be able to breathe though, because they aren’t treated with chemicals.

However, cotton sheets may not feel quite as nice against your skin. They might be scratchy.

And, since they contain less elasticity than modal, they won’t stretch as far either.

To avoid this problem, try buying extra-large sized sheets from reputable manufacturers.

Is Modal cooler than cotton?

Yes! While most people think that modal is warmer than cotton, this isn’t always true.

In fact, some studies have shown that modal can actually be colder than cotton cloth when worn next to your skin.

This makes sense considering how much heat is lost through conduction from one raw material to another.

This means that while wearing a modal t-shirt may not make you as hot as wearing a cotton blend tee will, it could still cause you to overheat faster than you would with a cotton alternative top.

Does modal shrink in the dryer?

No. In fact, many types of modal shirts don’t even need ironing at all. This is due to their unique properties.

Unlike other tough fibers like synthetic polyester or nylon, modal doesn’t stretch out after being washed. So, no matter what type of washing machine and tons of water you use, your modal clothes won’t lose shape.

Also, unlike cotton fabric, modal does not contain any sizing agents so they do not shrink up during drying.

As long as you wash them properly, you shouldn’t ever worry about shrinking issues.

What is the coolest fabric for hot weather?

While we love our cotton garments top, sometimes you just need something extra special.

If you live somewhere where temperatures get really high, you might find yourself looking for an alternative fabric.

One great option is rayon. Rayon is made by spinning cellulose into thread.

Then, these threads are woven together to create a lightweight fabric.

Rayon is extremely durable but it also dries quickly.

Because of this, it’s perfect for summer days. However, it tends to wrinkle easily.

Another good choice is spandex. Spandex was originally developed in the 1950s to help athletes perform better on the field.

Today, it’s found in everything from yoga pants to workout gear.

Spandex is incredibly elastic and very light weight. But, it can become stiff and uncomfortable after repeated wearings.

Finally, bamboo is becoming increasingly popular among those who enjoy active lifestyles.

Bamboo is natural material anti-bacterial, hypoallergic, environmentally-friendly textile practices and highly resistant to mold. Plus, it absorbs sweat well without feeling heavy against the body odor.

Bamboo is also eco friendly type of material. The production process uses only amounts of water and sunlight.

And, there aren’t any harmful chemicals involved either.


Both fibers are used in clothing because they offer different benefits.

For example, modal is often used in jackets and coats because it is lightweight and durable. On the other hand, cotton is often used in shirts and pants because it is soft and comfortable. 

Kirsten Carter

Kirsten Carter

Kirsten Carter is a freelance content writer who specialises in writing about travel, technology and health. When she's not traveling between her home of Tanzania and England, she writes for her blog Rightminded Travelling and features on a variety of different travel and technology sites.View Author posts

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