What You Should Know About Silk

woman sleeping on silk sheets

It seems like everywhere you look these days, you see celebrities from Victoria Beckham to Cindy Crawford touting the benefits of sleeping on silk pillowcases. So, what’s all the buzz about? Is sleeping on silk really as good as they claim? 

We love the luxurious feel of our percale bedding, but if we could offer a small addition to your linen lineup that could provide additional health and beauty benefits, we would all probably go for it. Well, that might just be possible. We know that our sheets are incomparably comfortable and beautiful, but you can take your sleep luxury to the next level by adding a silk pillowcase.

For centuries, silk has been considered an opulent, royal fabric, used in the finest garments and ornaments of the elite. There is a Chinese folktale of an empress sitting beneath a white mulberry tree when a cocoon dropped into her hot tea. As the cocoon slowly began to unfurl, the empress pulled the fiber, unwinding a mile of precious silk filament. She later wove this into the first silk fabric. Legend or not, we know that China developed the first silk fabric and steered its production for many years. As silk became more popular and available, it never lost its reputation.

Silk cocoon

Today we recognize that there is more to this lustrous fabric than just beauty though. There are also health and beauty benefits beyond just its appearance. 

Health and Beauty Benefits

Many fans tout the anti-aging benefits of silk pillowcases. Anti-aging benefits come from the fact that silk is smooth and slippery, reducing the friction that can pull at delicate skin. It reduces the stress of creasing on your face, and in the long term, it may actually deter wrinkles. There are additional claims to silk’s benefits, but science has yet to substantiate them. Those include a claim that silk contains a natural protein and amino acids that have been shown to counter the effects of aging and that silk also contains natural cellular albumen, which by speeding up your skin’s metabolism, can produce less wrinkling. 

Silk pillowcases can be beneficial to your hair. We all want to wake up without a tangled mess of hair to greet us. A silk pillowcase will certainly help with that. The smooth, shiny surface of a silk pillowcase reduces hair’s frizzing, tangling, and may even retain styling better. 

    Silk pillowcase

    Both skin and hair will be more hydrated. Because silk is so smooth, it’s less porous, and therefore, less able to absorb moisture from the skin and hair. Dry hair and scalp sufferers may also benefit from a silk pillowcase. 

    A silk pillowcase feels cool. Instead of absorbing moisture, silk’s naturally smooth quality will wick it away from your skin. And while silk is a definite contender for cool, comfortable sleep, for anyone going through menopause or prone to sweating, be aware that silk isn’t the only option. (Cotton bedding has actually been tested and remains at the top of the cool bedding list.)

    Silk is naturally hypoallergenic. Silk is resistant to dust mites, molds, fungus, and other allergens. This makes it the ideal choice for those of us who suffer from asthma or allergies. People who struggle with eczema also find silk to be soothing for their sensitive, itchy skin. Moreover, since hotel linens are often commercially cleaned and treated with harsh chemicals, many people choose to travel with their own silk pillowcases to avoid those unneeded sensitivities in their hotel rooms.--another reason so many celebrities endorse sleeping on silk!

      How to Choose a Silk Pillowcase

      If you’re looking to add a silk pillowcase to your bedding, there are several things to consider:


      The cost of purchasing silk pillowcases is all over the board, ranging from around $20 to over $100. Try to get the best value: a mix of the best quality pillowcase for the lowest reasonable price. If you’re sacrificing quality to get the lowest possible price, you may be losing out on some of the benefits that are behind your purchase in the first place.


      The highest quality silk is 100% mulberry. It will have a momme count, for example, 25 momme. What’s momme? Momme is a unit used to measure the quality or weight of silk. Like some thread counts, the higher the number, the better. Steer clear of silk mixed with satin or polyester if you want optimal benefits. 


      Like other bedding, there are different manufacturers that offer variations from the standard. In addition to traditional sizes (standard, queen), you can also choose cases that are cotton on one side and silk on the other. You may want to opt for a zippered case that will totally enclose the pillow if you have acute sensitivities or allergies, which is also recommended for traveling, or if you want something a bit more decorative, some companies also offer printed or colorful options in 100% silk pillowcases.


      Unlike your favorite silk dress that needs to be dry cleaned, silk pillowcases are generally made with a higher momme count, allowing them to be washed at home in cool water and line-dried. For safety, always pay attention to the manufacturer’s care label.

      So, silk or cotton? There’s no wrong choice! Find your perfect fit with Thomas Lee, and sleep well. 

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