The Best Silk Pillowcases, Tested by HGTV Editors
Silk pillowcases come with a lot of touted benefits like hydrated skin and fewer face creases, but are they really worth the money and maintenance? We tested silk pillowcases with a variety of fabric weights and price tags to come up with our tried-and-true picks.
Our Top Silk Pillowcase Picks
Want to take your beauty sleep to another level? Add a luxurious silk pillowcase to your bedtime routine. Our editors tested a variety of silk pillowcases with different fabric weights, price tags and features to determine the best in four categories: Best Overall Pick, Best Budget Pick, Best Mid-Tier Pick and Best Luxury Pick. How did we test? We swapped out our everyday cotton pillowcases for these natural silk beauties and slept — a lot. Here's what you need to know:
A Quick Guide to Silk Pillowcases
Silk is a natural, non-synthetic fiber that has a smoother surface, providing less friction than common fabrics like cotton. It’s hypoallergenic, moisture-wicking and strong but can’t handle high heat (do not toss silk in the dryer). It’s also a natural insulator, meaning it’s cooling during the summer and warming in the winter. There are a few different types of silk — mulberry silk, wild silk, cultivated silk and peace silk — but natural mulberry silk is by far the most popular and what you'll likely find as you shop for a silk pillowcase.
Benefits of Silk Pillowcases
Silk pillowcases come with a lot of touted benefits, but not all have been proven. Because silk is a natural insulator, a silk pillowcase can keep you from sweating at night. Plus, the smoother surface may provide beauty benefits such as:
- The prevention of split ends, frizz and tangles;
- The reduction (or elimination) of sleep lines on the face;
- Hydrated skin (since the material absorbs less moisture than cotton);
- And the reduction of acne and wrinkles (but there’s not enough information to substantiate these particular claims). Note: If you're specifically looking for a silk pillowcase to keep acne at bay, dermatologists simply recommend washing your pillowcase more often.
Caring for Silk Pillowcases
Most silk pillowcases need to be hand-washed or, at the very least, put on a gentle cycle in the washing machine. Hand-washing, however, is by far the best process to ensure your silk pillowcase lasts for years. Turn the pillowcase inside-out, add to cool water with a delicate detergent, gently agitate with your hands, then let it soak for 20 to 30 minutes. Rinse with cool water until the soap is gone. Don’t wring out the water; simply press between your hands or the sink. If you need to machine-wash, that’s fine, but we recommend putting the pillowcase in a mesh wash bag, then using the delicate cycle with cold water on low spin. All silk pillowcases should be line-dried. Putting a silk pillowcase in the dryer, even on a low tumble, will reduce its lifespan. Either lay the pillowcase flat on a drying rack or hang to dry. If you want to avoid wrinkles, then remove it promptly from the washer. You can also use a steamer. There are even pH-neutral laundry detergents just for silk or similar delicates that are super gentle and will protect your pillowcase even more.
What to Look For in a Silk Pillowcase
Not all silk pillowcases are the same. You’ll want a silk pillowcase that has no synthetic fibers mixed in and claims to be 100-percent natural silk. You’ll also want to note the momme count, which is how you determine the quality of the silk (not thread count). Momme count is determined by weighing a large piece of silk. So, if the weight of the silk is 19 pounds, then the momme count is 19. Higher-quality silks are typically between 16 and 19, with the best-of-the-best being 22 and higher. You should also determine if the type of closure matters to you. Since the fabric is smooth and slick, you'll want either a zip closure or an envelope-style flap to keep it firmly in place on your pillow throughout the night.
BEST OVERALL PICK
There’s so much to love about Fishers Finery’s 100-percent mulberry silk pillowcase. It beats out every pillowcase on our list with a thickness of 30 momme, making it ultra-soft and ultra-durable. The brand offers three thickness choices — 19, 25 and 30 momme — but the less-than-$75 price tag for a 30 momme count is part of the reason it nabbed our “Best Overall” spot. (You’re getting 58-percent more silk than a 19-momme pillowcase — more bang for your buck!) Plus, there were noticeable hydrating and cooling benefits after the first night. Its unique side-entry design is slightly offset, so it can be used as either a pillowcase or a sham, while an oversized envelope flap reduces slipping throughout the night. Because this pillowcase is such a top seller, there are only two colors (silver and white) in a standard size available on Amazon right now. If you shop directly from Fishers Finery, you’ll find a larger selection of colors and sizes to choose from.
BEST BUDGET PICK
Constructed of 100-percent mulberry silk, you can’t beat the value of this Alaska Bear pillowcase. They provide all of the skin and hair benefits other silk pillowcases do but at a much lower cost. Plus, they come with a zipper closure — a zipper or envelope closure is a must for silk pillowcases to prevent slipping — and they're available in a wide variety of colors and patterns. These pillowcases should be hand-washed with a mild detergent and line dried to maintain their quality. The silk has a 19 momme count, the lowest on this list, so the fabric definitely feels a bit thinner and more delicate than others. With a lower momme count, the main con to this product is that it will lose some of its silkiness and become rougher over time and may have to be replaced more often than higher-end silk pillowcases. At the price though, you can buy an extra pillowcase or two to rotate between to reduce how frequently you wash, helping them last longer. If you’re new to silk pillowcases and aren’t ready to fork over $50+ for a single pillowcase, this Alaska Bear option is the perfect entry-level silk pillowcase.
BEST MID-TIER PICK
Known for internet-famous sheets, the direct-to-consumer bedding brand Brooklinen sells luxurious 100-percent mulberry sheets with a 22 momme count at a mid-range price point. Plus, the brand often runs promotions for 10-15 percent off. Available in six colors and patterns and standard and king sizes, this silk pillowcase features an envelope closure to prevent slipping. You can hand-wash or machine-wash on a cold, delicate cycle with a mild detergent, but these should always be line dried. Compared to less expensive options, the fabric of this pillowcase looks a little more lustrous and feels a little thicker and more durable. This pillowcase also comes with a 365-day warranty if you don’t love your purchase. Brooklinen’s silk pillowcase is a great pick for someone who wants more luxurious silk under $75.
BEST LUXURY PICK
From Chrissy Teigen to Kerry Washington, celebrities love Slip and for good reason. Slipsilk, Slip’s proprietary material, features the highest-grade (6A) long-fiber mulberry silk with a 22 momme count and non-toxic dyes. This specially-commissioned fabric ensures the ultimate combination of shine, thickness, softness and durability. The softness and thickness of the silk is exactly why it made our list. Compared to a standard cotton pillowcase, Slip makes anti-aging, anti-sleep crease and anti-bedhead claims that many buyers swear by. With a thickness of 22 momme, Slip is considered a high-quality brand with a matching price tag (you can expect to spend up to $110 on a single pillowcase, depending on its size). But with three sizes, 11 colors/patterns and two closure options available, it almost feels like a customizable experience that’s worth every penny. While most silk pillowcases come with a hand-wash only recommendation, this high-quality silk is deemed machine-washable. The brand even has its own gentle silk wash to ensure the longevity of your investment (because yes, it’s an investment). Like any other silk pillowcase, it will appear wrinkled after a solid night’s sleep, but you can always use a steamer to freshen it up. If you’re ready to dive head-first into the luxurious world of high-end silk pillowcases, a Slip Slipsilk is your best bet.
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