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Nothing says luxury like smooth silk. Reclining on a silk pillowcase is the perfect way to treat yourself and enjoy a restorative sleep. It’s an oh-so Instagrammable look, helping you play into that influencer vibe.
The truth is, there’s a reason behind all the hype about silk pillowcases. More than just a dreamy addition to your bedroom setup, they also enhance your sleep, hair, and skin. A silk pillowcase is an effortless way to elevate your beauty routine, all while you sleep.
Here, we’ll uncover the perks of a silk pillowcase. Plus, we’ll look at who they’re best suited to and how to choose the right one for you.
A silk pillowcase adds an instant touch of opulence to your bedroom. But it’s not just about looks. Upgrading your space might help you look forward to bedtime and encourage you to hit the hay early.
“If a silk pillowcase helps you keep comfy and relaxed, and you like the look of them, they can certainly help promote the comfort, relaxation, and positive associations with your bed that are necessary for a good night's sleep,” says Jeff Kahn, co-founder and CEO of Rise Science.
Jeff is the Co-founder and CEO of Rise Science, an energy and sleep tracking app. A Forbes 30 under 30, Jeff has also beean featured in Forbes, the New York Times, and the Harvard Business Review.
Keep it cool
Night sweats are the worst. A silk pillowcase may provide relief if you sleep hot or struggle to doze off on balmy summer evenings.
Silk can keep you cool at night thanks to its breathable natural fibers. “[Silk pillowcases] can feel cooler than other pillow materials, which might help if you sleep hot,” says Jeff. No more flipping over to the cool side of the pillow.
Retain hair moisture
Who doesn’t want lustrous locks? A silk pillowcase can keep hair hydrated and enviably shiny. “The natural oils from your scalp keep hair nourished and conditioned. Cotton fabrics will absorb these oils, causing hair to be dryer and more brittle,” says Dr. Gerdie Jean-Smith, CEO at Curl Science.
“Silk doesn’t absorb like cotton fabrics. Sleeping on a silk pillowcase is perfect for keeping hair moisturized by maintaining hair's natural oil balance,” she adds.
Dr Jean-Smith is CEO and curl coach at Curl Science. She is a board-certified family physician and geriatrician, as well as a licensed esthetician. She specializes in natural hair and anti-aging.
No more tangles
Fed up with bad hair days? A silk pillowcase is the go-to choice for tangle-free locks. “Silk is smooth, meaning there is less friction than other fibers. It doesn’t pull out hair or cause as many tangles as other materials. Sleeping on a silk pillowcase will make your hair less frizzy and stay detangled,” says Gerdie.
Nourish healthy hair
A silk pillowcase is a stellar choice if you have damaged or dyed hair. Minimal friction means fewer knots and tangles, which in turn can reduce breakage. “Tangled hair causes more breakage with combing and styling, so it’s important to keep strands as smooth and detangled as possible,” advises Gerdie. So a pillowcase can help you maintain a healthy head of hair.
Minimize fine lines
Ever got out of bed in a hurry only to realize your face is imprinted with pillow creases? “Silk pillowcases are less likely to cause so-called “sleep wrinkles” — those fine lines and creases from where your skin was smushed into the pillow overnight,” says Jeff. Silk fibers are smooth and taut, reducing the chance of friction and those embarrassing crease marks.
Keep wrinkles at bay
The trouble is, those fine lines can turn into full-blow wrinkles over time. That’s where a silk pillowcase can come to the rescue. “They may help prevent actual wrinkles because the smooth quality of the fabric produces less friction, which means it won’t tug at your skin as much as a fabric like cotton,” says Jeff. It’s a great way to level up your skincare routine without remembering a ten-step regime.
Soothe dry and irritated skin
Do you long to achieve that elusive healthy glow? “Silk pillowcases are moisture-wicking, which can help to keep your skin from becoming dry and irritated,” says Jeff. “Silk may be beneficial for sensitive skin,” he adds. Upgrading your pillowcase may help keep dry irritated patches at bay.
Say goodnight to breakouts
While it’s not proven, it's possible that switching your bed linen could combat spots. “[Silk pillowcases] may be able to reduce acne breakouts by absorbing excess oil and preventing friction on the skin, but this hasn't been studied and remains up for debate,” says Jeff. Sounds like it’s worth a try.
How to choose a silk pillowcase
If you’re in the market for a silk pillowcase, you’ll be spoilt for choice. But it can be bewildering - here are the key considerations to narrow down your search.
The first is thing to bear in mind is mulberry silk: “Look for a pillowcase made from 100% mulberry silk. This is the highest quality silk and is the most beneficial for your hair and skin,” says Jeff. Then, you should always buy the finest you can afford: Mulberry silk is rated from grade A-C, with A being the smoothest and highest quality. It doesn't pay off to buy cheap silk. That also means you're likely to avoid silk blends. Though silk blends may look the part, they’re unlikely to offer the same benefits as 100% silk.
You should also check the thread count. While a higher thread count isn't always a mark of quality, it generally indicates soft sheets. Then, bear in mind care labels. Many silk pillowcases require a delicate wash, and a few aren’t suitable for a dryer. Wash your pillowcase regularly to keep it clean and reap the full benefits. Finally, curate your colors. Silk pillowcases come in shades to suit every room. Opt for calming colors to create a relaxing environment.
Composition: 100% pure Slipsilk
Colors available: 8
Care: Machine washable
This is our inhouse sleep expert's favorite silk pillowcase after testing. Made from Slipsilk fabric using the highest grade long-fibre mulberry silk, it has the ultimate combination of shine, thickness, softness and durability. It even helped clear up our tester's skin.
Composition: 100% mulberry silk + 100% European flax
Mommes: Information not available
Colors available: 5
Care: Machine wash on a warm cycle
If you want silk but don't want to be stuck with a single material then this reversible linen and silk pillowcase is perfect. You can style one side for aesthetics but flip it over for comfort when you need it.
Composition: 100% pure mulberry silk
Colors available: 37
Care: Machine washable and tumble dryer friendly
Blissy's pillowcase comes in a huge 37 hues to add a pop of color to your bed. Made from organic mulberry silk, it looks good wash after wash. It was also the coolest pillowcase on test.
Silk pillowcase FAQs
Who does a silk pillowcase suit best?
A silk pillowcase is a serious upgrade for your beauty routine. These wonder products offer several perks for your hair and skin.
While everyone can benefit, silk pillowcases are ideal for people with specific beauty needs. 'They can be a good match for people with sensitive skin,' says Jeff. And it doesn’t stop there. 'Silk is particularly beneficial for sleepers with hair that is curly, natural, dry, fine, or prone to tangles,' he adds.
Are silk pillowcases good for hot sleepers?
Looking to stay fresh in warmer weather? “[Silk pillowcases] are beneficial for those who require a material that can provide coolness and manage moisture well,” says Jeff. Good news if you’re a hot sleeper.
But while a silk pillowcase is all well and good, it can't do much for you if you put it on top of an old or yellowed pillow. You should aim to replace your pillows round every three years for the maximum benefit.
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Louise Bond is a UK-based writer. She has a background in health and loves discovering new ways to nurture wellbeing. Louise has been published in The Guardian, Fit & Well, Breathe, Top Ten Reviews, and more. You can usually find her out in nature, whether on an invigorating hike or pottering in the garden.
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