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Silk vs Satin Pillowcases: Pros and Cons for Skin, Hair, and Sleep

Everybody wants beautiful hair and perfect skin. And the pillowcase you use can make a huge difference in the elasticity and moisture in your skin, the health of your hair, and the quality of your sleep. Let's take a look at silk vs satin. 

What’s the Difference Between Satin and Silk Pillowcases?

When it comes to a silk or satin pillowcase, there are distinct differences. While they are both woven with smooth finishes, one has quite a few advantages over the other.

woman with silk pillowcase

A quality fiber

You’ll find the first difference in the price point. Silk is more expensive than satin, and for good reason. Silk is a natural fabric with fibers created by silkworms.

Silkworms spin cocoons to morph into butterflies. During this process, they need a fiber that is strong, but also flexible. It needs to protect the silkworm for the elements keeping it dry, so silk cannot be absorbent. It truly is a remarkable natural material. It has been a highly prized fabric for thousands of years--going back to ancient China--and is known for its durability.

Is satin silk?

Although it's possible for satin to also be silk (usually marketed as "silk satin"), most products marketed these days as "satin" only are made from synthetic materials like polyester or rayon. Satin actually refers to the weaving pattern of the fabric rather than the material it's made from.

However, for practical purposes, if you do not see the word "silk" next to a product that is marketed as "satin", you should assume that it is made from synthetic materials.

Synthetic satin has a much lower price point than pure silk. This is because synthetic fabrics are easily and cheaply made. But you'll find that the synthetic fibers of satin simply don't impart the same benefits as silk fibers.

Silk vs Satin Pillowcase: Silk Pros and Cons

woman with tie dye mulberry silk pillowcase

Silk is great for hair health

Silk is all-natural and hypoallergenic. It provides excellent benefits for skin and hair, like preventing breakage and calming skin irritation. A silk pillowcase has less friction compared to cotton, which helps makes your hair shiny and tames frizz. Silk helps keep your hair detangled throughout the night as well.

Skin benefits of silk

When it comes to beauty sleep, silk is great for all skin types including sensitive skin as it prevents clogged pores, breakouts, fine lines, and wrinkles.

Silk repels dust mites that thrive on more common materials which is a major win for your skin and scalp health--as these little suckers are fond of feeding off skin.

What is mulberry silk?

Mulberry silk is the most luxurious fabric in the silk family, composed of proteins from silkworm cocoons with special benefits. Ultra-soft and fine, mulberry silk is moisture-wicking and naturally regulates your body temperature for a deep, more fulfilling slumber.

Silk: the gist of it

Essentially, a silk pillowcase helps your skin, hair, and quality of sleep in major ways. It reduces friction and won't absorb oils that your hair and skin need to be healthy. It's an investment that's worth it when you think of how much the average person spends on beauty products each year.

Silk can be pricey and needs a little more care than satin pillowcases. But Blissy makes machine-washable 100% pure silk pillowcaseswhich are just about as easy to care for as other materials.

silkworm cocoons for silk fibers

Silk vs Satin Pillowcase: Satin Pros and Cons

What is satin?

Satin pillowcases are made of polyester, nylon, or rayon and are easier to manufacture, which makes them cheaper and more affordable. Satin pillowcases may be cheaper than real silk, but satin isn’t very durable--which means it may need replacing more often.

Satin may have some benefits for hair

Satin pillowcases may benefit your hair by reducing frizz since both silk and satin have less friction than a common cotton pillowcase. But depending on your hair type, a satin pillowcase may not cut it when managing hair.

Satin is can have negative effects for skin

Satin can actually be bad for the skin. In fact, polyester and other synthetic fibers do not allow the skin to breathe. That means the skin is easily irritated due to the heat and moisture because it does not regulate temperature.

People sleeping on satin usually sweat more, causing oil production that can produce and promote acne. Satin is also very rough to the touch and is usually dull on one side.

Satin has no benefits for skin. It is not naturally hypoallergenic like real silk. In fact, it can actually be disastrous for sensitive skin due to all the harsh chemicals involved in its manufacturing. This manufacturing process is also bad for the environment whereas the silk process is far more sustainable.

Satin vs Silk Pillowcase Verdict: Silk Wins

gray mulberry silk

Cotton pillowcases do the worst damage to the hair, but in the quest to determine the silk vs satin pillowcase debate, silk is still the better choice than satin.

Real silk contains proteins, while satin is synthetic and made with chemicals. Silk’s proteins provide natural protein fiber-produced nutrients that improve the look and feel of hair. With silk pillowcases, the likelihood of hair breakage and split ends is lessened, making it the go-to for women looking for a reprieve from materials that are hard on the hair.

Having the right pillowcase for your pillow makes a difference to hair, skin, and sleep quality. Understanding the benefits of silk pillowcases has made them the personal preference of many. Sleeping on fabrics that do not breathe can result in irregular sleep patterns, skin rashes, oil build-up, and more.

What To Look For in a Silk Pillowcase

woman with gray mulberry silk pillowcase

There are dozens of types of silk brands that offer silk pillowcases. But we recommend looking for a pillowcase that is made from grade 6A 100% pure mulberry silk and has a thickness of 22-momme.

 

Silk vs Satin Pillowcases: Pros and Cons for Skin, Hair, and Sleep

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