At first glance, silk pillowcases may appear to be just another of the myriad of ways a fool and his (or her) money are soon parted, as the old proverb goes. But, first appearances aren’t always what they seem.
In the case of silk pillowcases, this could not ring truer. Unlike the plethora of too-good-to-be-true beauty products out there, a pure silk pillowcase is no snake oil. The benefits of a silk pillowcase are legit, and the relatively expensive price of a 100% silk pillowcase pays for itself with life-changing improvements to your skin and hair.
Before we get into the multitude of reasons why a pure silk pillowcase is worth it, it’s useful to gain an understanding of what silk pillowcases are and why they’re so highly touted by famous divas like Kourtney Kardashian, who refuse to sleep on anything other than a mulberry silk pillowcase.
So, first, let’s answer a few questions you might be wondering about mulberry silk and the value silk pillowcases bring to the table:
What Is A Pure Silk Pillowcase?
A 100% silk pillowcase, as you may have guessed, is a pillowcase made entirely of silk. The most common pillowcases are made out of cotton – a cheap fabric that lacks the beauty benefits silk possesses. There are several different types of silk that can be used to make a pure silk pillowcase, such as charmeuse silk, tussah silk, and muga silk, but mulberry silk is the absolute best material a pillowcase can be made out of.
In addition to different types of silk, pure silk pillowcases come in different fabric weights (momme.) A higher momme indicates a heavier weight, and the best silk pillowcase for hair and skin has a momme of at least 22.
Why Mulberry Silk?
Mulberry silk is spun from silkworms that eat only mulberry leaves and are kept in a highly-regulated environment to ensure that the strong, fine silk threads naturally woven by mulberry silkworms when forming their cocoons are uniform and organic. Because of the silkworms’ strict diet and carefully-monitored living conditions, the quality of silk produced by mulberry silkworms cannot be rivaled by any other silk variant. A pure mulberry silk pillowcase reigns supreme over any other silk pillowcase for skin and hair.
What Are The Advantages Of A Silk Vs. Satin Pillowcase?
Satin is often described as a less-expensive alternative to silk. Silk and satin pillowcases have some similarities, such as their chic style and ability to help conquer bedhead. However, while silk is organic, satin is synthetic. Whereas mulberry silk is a type of animal protein fiber made from all-natural silk filaments, satin is actually a weave that contains polyester – a fiber industrially-produced from petroleum. Herein lies the key difference between a silk vs. satin pillowcase.
Whilst a mulberry silk pillowcase is super fine, high-quality, and hypoallergenic, satin pillowcases are not. Because the material is inorganic and lesser quality than mulberry silk, satin lacks the naturally allergen-free, non-absorbent, mold-resistant properties that silk has.
A pure silk pillowcase boasts an array of beauty benefits that a satin pillowcase cannot provide. Additionally, satin has a more slippery feel, while silk has a more subtle, lavishly soft feeling to the touch.
Now that we’re on the same page about what a mulberry silk pillowcase is and why mulberry silk stands out from other fabrics commonly used in pillowcases, here are some facts that will leave you longing to sleep on silk:
1. A Mulberry Silk Pillowcase Can Do Wonders For Your Hair
If you frequently wake up to a mess of tangles, don’t resign yourself to a fate of eternal bedhead just yet. First, try switching out your cotton pillowcase with a mulberry silk pillowcase.
The silk spun by mulberry silkworms is extremely tightly-woven, far above any level of fiber fineness that cotton could ever reach. This gives pillowcases made out of mulberry silk a sleek surface, unparalleled by any other fabric used in pillowcases.
Among other benefits, the smooth surface of a mulberry silk pillowcase reduces friction between your hair and the pillowcase, preventing the bird’s nest of frizzy knots you’re used to coping with in the mornings.
Even better than that, a mulberry silk pillowcase can improve the health of your hair by dramatically reducing the amount of breakage and split ends. The way that cotton is made causes it to roughly tug at your individual hair strands as you sleep, breaking your hair off and resulting in damage. If you’ve ever been shocked by waking up and seeing clumps of stringy hair all over your pillowcase, then you know what we’re talking about.
On the contrary, silk is so tightly-woven that instead of pulling at your hair as you sleep, it allows for your locks to easily glide over the surface with no damage to your tresses whatsoever.
Don’t just take our word for it either. Renowned celebrity hair stylist Andre Walker swears by silk pillowcases,
"Standard cotton cases are known to cause breakage and split ends. Silk pillowcases help to maintain your style, in addition to keeping your curls and coils from frizzing and straightening out.”
2. A Pure Silk Pillowcase Is A Miracle-Worker For Skin
Another way that a 100% silk pillowcase proves itself to be superior to one made of cotton is through the many benefits of a silk pillowcase for skin.
In order to keep your skin glowing and healthy, especially as you age, your skin must retain plenty of moisture. That’s why drinking lots of water and moisturizing daily is so important. However, your cotton pillowcase is not on your side when it comes to keeping your skin hydrated.
Cotton fabric is made to absorb, and while that’s great for textiles like towels, it’s not so ideal for a pillowcase you sleep on every night. A cotton pillowcase will suck in the natural moisture in your skin (and any facial creams or products you apply to your skin during your before-bed regime) while you sleep, stealing away the life of both your skin and beauty products. On the other hand, silk is much less absorbent and will not deprive your skin of much-needed moisture while you sleep or zap out your overnight face potions.
Silk’s non-absorbance also means that skin oil, sweat, moisture, and beauty serums will not build up inside your pure silk pillowcase night after night like what happens with cotton pillowcases (gross, we know!) This can prevent both acne breakouts and skin inflammation caused by bacteria growth. A Wake Forest University clinical study has given credibility to this silk pillowcase benefit.
As Dermatologist Yoram Harth put it,
“Silk pillowcases absorb less of the moisture and dirt and thus may be a better choice for people with acne. This is especially true for people who sleep on their sides or stomach.”
You may have read in silk pillowcase reviews that a mulberry silk pillowcase has anti-aging properties. There are several reasons for this. Among them is the fact that silk fibers are an animal protein, which contains amino acids that are easily bonded with the keratin in your skin, aiding skin regeneration effortlessly while you sleep.
Another way a mulberry silk pillowcase helps give you a more youthful, beautiful complexion is by warding off wrinkles caused by facial creases that press into your skin overtime. We’re talking about those unsightly “sleep creases” on your face that you might frequently wake up with. Although these fade within a few hours upon waking, they do permanent damage over the years. The smoothness of the material prevents silk pillowcases from crimping up at night, preventing face creases.
Dermatologist Neal Schultz testified to this, “We get 'crush wrinkles' from sleeping on our side/face, so we may get less of those when sleeping on silk.”
3. A 100% Silk Pillowcase Stays Cool All Night Long
One of the cooler (literally) benefits of a silk pillowcase comes from silk’s natural temperature regulation. Silk, unlike cotton and other common pillowcase fabrics, does not conduct heat. So, a mulberry silk pillowcase will never get too hot at night. This means no more waking up drenched in sweat, heat-induced insomnia, or desperate searches for the cool side of the pillow in the middle of the night.
It shouldn’t be surprising to hear that science has proven you sleep better when you’re cool at night (and bundled up in cozy blankets!) Switching from a heat-conducting cotton pillowcase to a cool, breathable pure silk pillowcase will dramatically improve your sleep quality so that you can wake up rejuvenated and ready to take on the world every day!
4. Silk Pillowcases Are Chemical-Free & Allergen-Resistant
Whether you have allergies or simply want to live more organically in today’s man-made chemical-ridden world, a 100% silk pillowcase is the way to go.
Most materials that pillowcases are made out of, like cotton and satin, are synthetically-produced from pesticide-containing crops or industrial-made chemicals, which can cause skin irritation. Conversely, silk is 100% natural, spun from silkworms and completely free of such chemicals.
Not only that, but silk is naturally allergen-resistant. The tight-woven silk threads that make up a mulberry silk pillowcase repels allergens such as bed mites, mold, fungus, dust, and even pollen. In addition, a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology shows that a pure silk pillowcase can help treat eczema.
5. Nothing Beats The Luxury Of Sleeping On Silk (And They’re Easy To Care For, Too!)
A good mulberry silk pillowcase is the most envy-inducing, upmarket pillowcase in existence, boasting a host of proven beauty benefits as well as a second-to-none luxurious feel. Spend one night sleeping on a pure silk pillowcase, and you will be forever in love!
Because it is an intensive, time-consuming process to make a pure silk pillowcase from mulberry silkworm cocoons, as opposed to mass-producing synthetic satin or cotton pillowcases, silk pillowcases are much more valuable and rare. A 100% silk pillowcase is a true premium product that will make you feel like royalty if you decide to purchase one.
That said, unlike other expensive, high-end products, silk pillowcases are not difficult to take care of. If you’re wondering how to wash a silk pillowcase, it’s simple. As we’ve previously noted, silk pillowcases do not absorb dirt, oils, or moisture like cotton ones do, so they stay cleaner longer.
When it’s time to wash your mulberry silk pillowcase, either pop it into a protective mesh laundry bag and run it through your washing machine on a delicate setting using gentle detergent or hand wash with cold water. Keep in mind that silk fibers are weaker when wet, so do not wash too roughly! Allow your silk pillowcase to air dry, and do not put it in the dryer.
If you’re pining for a mulberry silk pillowcase after reading this article, you should check out our 22 momme 100% pure mulberry silk pillowcases over at Tafts.com. While most mulberry silk pillowcases will cost you up to $90, ours start at $26 – a steal for the value you’re getting in benefits and luxury!