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What Are the Disadvantages of Silk Pillowcases?

Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for looking and feeling your best, but how you sleep makes a difference as well. You already understand the importance of a supportive mattress and a quality pillow, but how much thought to you put to the pillowcase you rest your head on every night?

If you want to get a good night’s sleep AND enjoy some serious skin and hair benefits, you may be considering a silk pillowcase. Silk pillowcases are touted to help reduce wrinkles and tame split ends and frizz. They may even help regulate body temperature and support healthy skin.

But do silk pillowcases really hold up to the hype? Here’s what you need to know about the pros and cons of silk pillowcases and two alternative materials you should try.

Disadvantages of Silk Pillowcases

The best reason to buy a specific pillowcase is because it feels good and helps you get a good night’s sleep. That being said, there’s no harm in shopping for additional benefits. Silk pillowcases are less likely to absorb moisture from your hair and skin – they are also less likely to exacerbate frizz and split ends. Some hot sleepers find that silk pillowcases don’t make them sweat as much as other materials.

But all things have their downsides and silk pillowcases are no exception.

Here are some of the potential disadvantages of silk pillowcases:

  • They’re expensive. Silk is a high-quality material but that also makes it expensive. You could easily spend as much on a single silk pillowcase as you might on an entire set of bed sheets.
  • Silk is tricky to care for. Most bedding can be thrown in the washing machine with other textiles or even your everyday clothes, but not silk. Silk needs to be washed on its own in cold water on the gentle cycle.
  • Quality varies significantly. When it comes to most materials, you get what you pay for, but especially with silk. Cheap silk is particularly prone to snags and tears but even quality silk requires careful handling.
  • Silk fades in the sun. Because silk is a natural, protein-based fiber it has a unique texture and luster to it. That being said, it is prone to fading in direct sunlight.
  • It can be slippery. The smooth texture of silk may provide certain benefits for the hair and skin, but it does make the material fairly slippery. It might not be the ideal choice for all sleepers.

We’re not here to convince you that silk pillowcases are bad. In fact, they’re a great choice if you struggle with split ends or frizzy hair, but they’re not the best option in all cases. Read on to learn about two alternative materials you may want to consider.

Alternatives to Silk Pillowcases

Silk is a premium bedding material, but it isn’t always the best choice. If you’re concerned about price, care, and cleaning, you might want to consider something like cotton or microfiber instead.

Like silk, cotton is a natural material, and it comes in a variety of different weights, textures, and levels of quality. You can find cotton pillowcases in every color under the sun and at any price range. A cotton vs silk pillowcase generally holds up well and is more durable for cleaning, though it may take longer to dry. Just keep in mind that the higher the thread count, the more comfortable and durable it will be.

Microfiber is made up of finely woven polyester fibers. It’s a synthetic material that holds color well and has some natural stain- and water-repellant ability. Microfiber pillowcases tend not to fade as quickly, and they are very budget-friendly. They also hold up well to most washing methods. Again, the higher the thread count the more durable the pillowcase will be and the softer the material will feel.

If you’re curious to give these materials a try, here are our top two recommendations:

  1. Snuggle-Pedic Cotton Pillowcase

Cool, comfortable, and convenient to clean, these cotton pillowcases are a great pick. Made from super-soft organic cotton, these pillowcases come in five different sizes to suit the whole family. Stretchable knit cotton won’t hold you back from the conforming comfort of a quality pillow and the pillowcases come oversized to allow for natural shrinkage in the wash.

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  1. HC Collection Microfiber Pillowcase

If you love the feeling of a fluffy hotel pillow, this microfiber pillowcase from HC Collection will make your dreams come true. Sold in a two-pack of Queen or King sizes, these pillowcases come in a generous array of colors including classic white and cream. Made from 100% microfiber for premium softness, these microfiber pillowcases are fade-resistant, machine-washable, and they’ll keep you cool all night.

Silk pillowcases are touted for their hair and skin benefits, but those benefits come at a price. In addition to being costly, silk pillowcases are tricky to care for and they tend to fade more quickly than other materials. After considering these silk pillowcase pros and cons, if you’re looking for a convenient, economical alternative, consider cotton or microfiber – especially one of the two pillowcases we’ve reviewed above.

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Disadvantages of Silk Pillowcases FAQs

How much is a silk pillowcase?

Silk pillowcases tend to be more expensive than cotton or microfiber, but you’ll still find a range of prices available. Generally speaking, silk pillowcases cost between $15 and $30, though you can certainly find premium options like organic silk.

How do you clean a silk pillowcase?

Use caution when cleaning silk pillowcases to avoid tearing or otherwise damaging the fragile material. It’s best to wash silk pillowcases in cold water on the delicate cycle. Use gentle detergent (ideally formulated for silk) that doesn’t contain bleach or enzymes that could potentially damage the silk.

Where can you buy a silk pillowcase?

You can generally find silk pillowcases in any store that sells bedding and other home goods. If you prefer to shop online, major retailers like Amazon carry a wide selection of silk pillowcases or you can shop individual retailers or online bedding companies.

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