The Best Silk and Silk Alternative Sheets, Tested by HGTV Editors

If you're looking to upgrade your bedding, shop our favorite luxurious silk sheets, from budget to splurge-worthy picks. Plus, get recommendations for the best silk alternative sheets like bamboo and eucalyptus.

Keep in mind: Price and stock could change after publish date, and we may make money from these affiliate links.
April 13, 2022

Our Top Picks for Silk Sheets:

Silk is the epitome of luxury when it comes to textiles, and the benefits of silk are extensive, including its temperature-regulating, hypoallergenic and anti-friction properties. Silk is a natural, non-synthetic fiber that has a smoother surface, providing less friction, than common fabrics like cotton. 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 or silk sheets. Silk pillowcases are especially popular in the beauty and sleep wellness arena thanks to their purported perks to skin and hair. If you love the buttery smooth feel of silk and want to reap the beauty and temperature-regulating benefits for your entire body while you sleep, a set of silk sheets might be right for you.

Read Our Full Review

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.

Silk vs. Satin Sheets

Not all silk sheets are the same. Don't be confused when you see satin sheets. Satin is a synthetic fiber and is not a natural material like silk. In fact, satin is just a term for a weave. Satin can be made with silk, but it can also be made from synthetic fibers such as polyester. This is what makes it considerably cheaper compared to 100-percent silk pillowcases. When shopping for silk, read fabric labels thoroughly to ensure you're getting pure silk and not "silky satin" or "silk-like" material.

While you won't get the same benefits of silk if you buy satin, satin may be a good option for someone who simply likes the look and feel of silk but wants a much more budget-friendly and easier-to-maintain alternative to silk. While silk is very expensive, it's also not considered vegan since it comes from worms. If you're looking for something nicer than satin but not nearly as expensive as silk, natural materials like bamboo and eucalyptus in sateen weaves are becoming more and more popular as "silk-like" or "vegan silk" bedding materials. Both bamboo and eucalyptus offer similar benefits to silk, like temperature-regulating and hypoallergenic properties, are easier to care for and aren't quite as "slippery" as silk, which was a common complaint among our testers.

Benefits of Silk Sheets

Silk pillowcases and sheets come with a lot of touted benefits but not all have been proven. Because silk is a natural insulator, silk sheets 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 Sheets

Most silk sheets can be washed on a gentle cycle in the washing machine with cold water or hand-washed, though washing an entire sheet set vs. a silk pillowcase or two, requires a lot more space. If you do have a bathtub or large enough space, however, hand-washing is by far the best process to ensure your silk sheets last for years. To hand-wash, 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 in the tub. For machine-washing, we recommend putting the pillowcases in a mesh wash bag and washing alone to avoid snags on zippers and other clothing. Use the delicate cycle with cold water on a low spin. All silk sheets should be line-dried, but preferably not in direct sunlight. Putting silk sheets in the dryer, even on a low tumble, will reduce their lifespan. If you want to avoid wrinkles, then remove them promptly from the washer. You can also use a steamer.

What to Look For in Silk Sheets

Beyond the fiber, 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 at least 19, with the best-of-the-best being 22 and higher. You should also determine if the type of closure for the pillows 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. If you're concerned about the silk sheets being too slippery — the biggest complaint about all of the silk and satin sheet sets our editors had while testing — you may want to opt for a sheet set that offers a 3-piece set with just two pillowcases and a fitted sheet (no top sheet). The top sheet is what we found to slide around the most, so skipping a top sheet and either forgoing one altogether or using a cotton, bamboo or eucalyptus top sheet instead, can alleviate that problem and also cut down on the cost significantly.

Downsides of Silk Sheets

Due to the extra care required to properly wash and care for delicate silk, silk sheets are not a good fit for smaller homes without space for line-drying or homes with pets that have claws that can easily scratch and damage the silk. Even our testers felt that the upkeep and luxurious, slick feel of silk made these sheets feel like "special occasion" sheets that we'd only want to use every now and then or possibly on a guest bed — we suggest opting for something like cotton, bamboo or linen for more everyday sheets. If you've never felt real silk before, starting out with a silk pillowcase is a good way to test-drive the material and see if you'd actually like silk sheets.

$429.99-$549.99

Made of 100-percent mulberry silk with a 22-momme count, this four-piece bedding set comes with two pillows, a 16-inch deep fitted sheet and a flat sheet, and sleeping on it feels like pure luxury. Available in five sizes, these sheets come in seven colors and are Oeko-Tex certified. This set kept our tester at the perfect temperature, not too hot or cold, all night. Our tester also liked how the pillowcases feature envelope closures that prevent them from sliding around. Hand-washing is recommended, but THXSILK says machine-washing on the gentlest cold cycle with silk detergent and then line-drying is okay, too — just know that the more you machine wash silk sheets, the faster they will wear out. Our tester washed on the gentle cycle on cold and hung the set up to dry overnight and didn't have any issues.

$429.99-$549.99 | Amazon $409.99 - $549.99 | THXSILK
$629.99 - $899.99

If you're looking for something even more luxurious, spring for these 25-momme count silk sheets from THXSILK. This set comes with all of the same features and the same care instructions as our best overall pick, just with a higher momme count (and price tag), which means the material is a little thicker and higher quality. Our tester liked that this set felt lightweight and buttery smooth (like the smoothest, silkiest material she's ever felt), but still sturdy and high-quality enough to hold up over time. While this set feels lightweight and cool to the touch, our tester noticed she didn't sleep as cool under them over time compared to her go-to crisp cotton percale sheets. And while this set is certainly a splurge, using coupon browser plug-ins like Honey or Rakuten may allow you to save quite a bit. (We were able to find a coupon when purchasing, and saved over $100!)

$629.99 - $899.99 | Amazon $608.99 - $899.99 | THXSILK
$364 - $540

While "budget-friendly" may seem like a misnomer since we're talking about luxurious silk, a high-quality four-piece set under $500 is actually quite affordable when it comes to real silk, which can cost closer to $1,000 or more, the higher the momme count you go. With a whopping 11 colors and five sizes to choose from, this four-piece 100-percent mulberry silk sheet set with a 19 momme count is a great budget silk buy. Unlike satin sheets our tester had previously tried, she found these LilySilk sheets to keep her very cool and comfortable all night. If you tend to sleep hot but want to try silk, choosing a lower momme count like 19 is a good option. The care instructions are the same as the other silk sheets — hand-washing is recommended, but for convenience, machine-washing on the delicate cycle on cold or lukewarm water with a gentle silk detergent and line-drying is perfectly fine. Our tester machine-washed them and didn't have any issues.

$364 - $540 | LilySilk $364 - $540 | Amazon
$305 - $655

If you don't need a top sheet, opting for a three-piece sheet set can save you hundreds of dollars! Regardless of momme count or brand, our testers all found that the top sheet slipped around quite a bit, would often fall on the floor or simply wouldn't stay in place, especially with two people in the bed. To save money and avoid fussing with a slippery top sheet, a three-piece silk sheet set offers a great value. We love LilySilk's many color options, and by skipping the top sheet, you can opt for a momme count upgrade from 19 to 22, though LilySilk offers several three-piece set options in momme counts from 19-25.

Buy It
$25.99 - $39.49

If you're simply going for a glam aesthetic in a bedroom or have pets or kids that warrant materials that are not nearly as precious (or expensive) as real silk, consider satin. Available in 18 colors and five sizes, this four-piece satin set is made of 100-percent polyester and is incredibly inexpensive, with even the king set costing less than $50. While you won't get the temperature-regulating benefits of silk by opting for satin — our tester found that this set trapped heat quite a bit and may only work for people who sleep cold — you will get a smoother silk-like feel and a lower-maintenance product that you can machine-wash and dry.

Buy It
$169 - $259

These silky sateen sheets earned high praise from our tester for both the color/pattern options and heavenly breathability. Made from 100-percent organic bamboo, ettitude uses a closed-loop system to create its bamboo fabric using 500-times less water and 50 percent less carbon dioxide than cotton. The sheets also meet the OEKO-TEX standard, meaning they contain no harmful substances. Our tester didn't have issues with fit due to the deep corner pockets and noticed hardly any wrinkles. She also instantly noticed how cool these sheets felt just from touching them and was pleasantly surprised not to wake up hot in the middle of the night while sleeping under them. While these sheets are pricier than cotton, we believe that the luxe feel, sustainability features and size/color options make ettitude's sateen sheets a worthy buy, especially compared to the cost of real silk.

Buy It
REVIEW

The Best Bamboo Sheets, Tested by HGTV Editors

From high-end to budget-friendly, these are our editors' top picks for the best bamboo sheets.

$145 - $205

After a year of ownership, our editor still claims Eucalypso as the best eucalyptus sheets she's tried. Similar to bamboo, eucalyptus boasts natural cooling, moisture-wicking and antimicrobial properties. It was this set's smooth, silky, lightweight feeling, though, that totally won over our editor. To top it all off, Eucalypso sheets meet OEKO-TEX standards and are made with 100-percent TENCEL Lyocell fibers in a completely sustainable closed-loop system. Like silk sheets, line-drying is recommended for these eucalyptus sheets. Read more about why we love these sheets in our review of eucalyptus sheets.

Buy It

5 Silk Sleep Essentials Worth the Investment

From scrunchies that prevent hair breakage to pillowcases that keep your skin hydrated to silk pajamas you can toss in the wash, these buys will take your sleep game to the next level.

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