Best Silk Pillowcases

Updated December 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

28 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
269 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best silk pillowcases

Last Updated December 2019

Because of their frequent and direct contact with your face and hair each night, pillowcases are arguably one of the most important aspects of any bedding set. If you’re looking for something with hypoallergenic properties, a luxurious look and feel, and additional health and beauty benefits, silk pillowcases are an excellent choice.

Silk pillowcases add an element of elegance to any bed. With their smooth, slippery surface and wide color range, even lower-end options look and feel luxurious. But aesthetics aren’t the only reason to consider silk pillowcases; they come with a number of health and beauty benefits as well.

Regular cotton pillowcases tug slightly at the skin and hair during the night. This can cause split ends, bed head, and wrinkles and creases in the skin. With a silk pillowcase, however, your hair and skin are free to slide smoothly across the pillow without tugging or pulling. Silk, by default, has a number of hypoallergenic properties as well, making it resistant to dust mites, mold, and other allergy triggers. If you’re interested in buying silk pillowcases for yourself or a friend, read on for more information.

It’s not just silkworms who produce silk. Other insects, such as spiders, bees, wasps, and mayflies are also capable of silk production. However, the silkworm is the most commonly used source in the production of commercial silk.

How silk is made

A silkworm feeds on mulberry leaves until it is full-grown and ready to pupate, or turn into a moth. At that time, the worm produces a natural fiber that it uses to build its cocoon. This natural fiber is the beginning stage of silk.

Silkworm cocoons are boiled down and separated into single threads of silk. Those strands are fed into a spinning reel and later woven together to make pillowcases, shirts, and other items. It takes roughly 1,000 silkworm cocoons to make a single silk shirt.

Considerations

Silk vs. satin

People often think silk and satin are interchangeable terms for the same material. However, they refer to completely different things. Silk refers to the actual material your pillowcase is made of, whereas satin refers to the type of weave with which your pillowcase is constructed. For example, a polyester pillowcase with a satin weave might be labeled as a satin pillowcase.

Types of silk

  • Mulberry silk: Mulberry silk is the most common type of silk and is highly regarded as the best type. Made from silkworms who feed on mulberry leaves, this type of silk is durable and soft. A pillowcase made of this material will have a sheen on both the outside and the inside.

  • Charmeuse silk: Much like satin, charmeuse refers to how the silk is woven and not the material itself. Charmeuse silk is shiny and smooth on the outside and dull on the inside.

Momme/weight

Instead of thread count, the quality of silk is determined by its weight, or momme. Momme refers to the weight of a piece of silk fabric that is 45 inches wide and 100 yards long. So if that section weighs 19 pounds, the weight of your pillowcase would be listed as 19mm. Silk pillowcases can range from below 12mm to about 20mm. For the best quality, aim for something in 16mm to 19mm range.

DID YOU KNOW?

It takes roughly 1,000 silkworm cocoons to make a single silk shirt.

Features

Skin and hair benefits

Unlike other materials, silk is smooth and slippery. This allows your skin and hair to slide across the material without it pulling and tugging at you while you sleep. What’s more, throughout the night, a cotton pillowcase will absorb your hair’s natural oils, leaving you with a dry, frizzy mess. Silk, on the other hand, will not absorb the oil from your hair or skin.

The natural hypoallergenic properties of silk are perfect for any skin type — even those with sensitive skin. Natural silk is cool to the touch, too, which can reduce nighttime sweat that leads to discomfort and breakouts.

Size

To avoid getting an ill-fitting pillowcase, make sure you pick the right size for your pillows. To take it a step further, look for an envelope-style pillowcase or one with a zipper. That way, you never have to worry about your silk pillowcase sliding off of your pillow during the night.

Below are the average size for pillows based on your bed size; you’ll want to look for a pillowcase with slightly larger dimensions. It’s never a bad idea to use a tape measure on your pillow if you’re unsure.

  • Single bed pillows: 20 x 26 inches

  • Double bed pillows: 20 x 28 inches

  • Queen bed pillows: 20 x 30 inches

  • King bed pillows: 20 x 36 inches

Silk pillowcase prices

Because of silk’s varying levels of quality, silk pillowcases come in a wide range of prices. You can expect to pay anywhere from $15 to $200 for a single pillowcase.

Inexpensive: While you won’t often find real silk in the price range of $15 to $25, there are a number of quality satin options to choose from that are often blended with polyester and share many of the same benefits.

Mid-range: Silk pillowcases that cost between $25 and $50 typically have a lower momme count, making them more delicate and harder to wash. However, you will still get many of the health and beauty benefits that come with silk pillowcases.

Expensive: In the range of $50 to $200, you’ll start to see pillowcases with a higher momme, meaning the silk is heavier, softer, and more durable than cheaper alternatives. If you’re serious about beauty sleep, something in this range is likely worth the investment.

EXPERT TIP

To prevent your silk pillowcase from sliding off the pillow while you sleep, opt for an envelope-style pillowcase or one with a zipper on the end.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Avoid going to bed with wet hair, as the water can leave stains on your pillowcase that are difficult or impossible to remove.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

Having your silk pillowcases professionally dry-cleaned is arguably the safest and best way to keep them clean. However, those dry-cleaning bills can add up quickly, and not all of us have the time. Luckily, you can safely wash these pillowcases at home as well. Whether you’re hand-washing (recommended) or tossing your pillowcase in the washing machine, be sure to follow these simple tips to avoid damaging your silk.

  • Read the specific washing directions on the tag. While many washing tips can be universally applied to silk, your pillowcases may come with more specific instructions.

  • Use cold or lukewarm water. Washing in hot water could lead to irreversible damage and shrinkage.

  • Use a gentle laundry detergent that doesn’t contain bleach or enzymes. These harsh ingredients could damage the silk.

  • Hang your silk pillowcases to dry. The heat from the dryer will dull your silk, causing it to lose the slippery effect that’s so beneficial to your skin and hair.

  • If using a washing machine, place your pillowcase in a mesh laundry bag. Use cold water and the gentlest cycle.

Other products we considered

There is no shortage of high-quality silk pillowcases to choose from. Once you’ve decided that the skin and hair benefits are reason enough to upgrade your pillowcase, all that’s left to consider is color, pattern, and design. We love the SLPBABY Silk Pillowcase because of the hidden zipper and wide array of interesting patterns available. If you have naturally thick or curly hair, then the Arenas Beauty Silk Pillowcase might be for you. The pillowcase comes in aesthetically pleasing packaging and includes a microfiber towel that’s gentle on curls and prevents frizz.

Thread count doesn’t truly determine the quality of your silk pillowcases. In fact, silk threads are so fine that almost every silk pillowcase, regardless of quality, will have a very high thread count.

FAQ

Q. Can I iron my silk pillowcase?

A. You may notice your silk pillowcase is a little wrinkled. In most cases, you can iron them, as long as you use the lowest possible heat setting. In fact, many irons have a specific silk setting.

Q. Is it possible for my silk pillowcase to be both mulberry silk and charmeuse silk?

A. Since mulberry refers to silk material made from mulberry-eating silkworms and charmeuse refers to the type of weave, it is definitely possible to have a pillowcase that is both.

Q. Do silk pillowcases make you sweat?

A. Natural silk is cool to the touch, and many people find it actually reduces sweat during sleep. However, be cautious. If you’re someone who regularly sweats at night, the sweat may stain the silk material.

The team that worked on this review
  • Amber
    Amber
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor

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