The 5 Best Things About Silk Bedsheet
Silk sheets offer a uniquely soft and smooth texture that can help relaxation and truly offer comfort in bed. As one of the top choices for best luxury sheets, silk sheets can also upgrade the look of a bedroom with their gorgeously shiny appearance.
In addition to the way they look and feel, silk sheets can deliver additional benefits during sleep. Silk is a naturally hypoallergenic material made from silkworms’ cocoons. It is also highly durable and helps regulate body temperatures to keep users cool while asleep. With so many options, finding the best silk sheets is not a simple task.
Keep reading to discover the 5 best things about silk bedsheets to consider when shopping for silk sheets.
Benefits of Silk Bedding
Much of the recent interest in silk has to do with its benefits — proven and unproven — as sleep, health and beauty aid. Here are some of the more credible benefits of silk bedding:
It regulates body temperature. In warm weather, silk draws heat and moisture from the body. In cold weather, warm air from the body is captured between the silk threads to form an insulating barrier.
It’s good for allergies. Dust mites are a common allergen. But they apparently don’t like to cozy up to silk, so silk bedding can control their proliferation.
It’s good for bad hair days. Cotton, the most common bed sheet material, absorbs oil and moisture, which can leave your hair dry. It also creates friction, which can leave hair frizzy. Silk does not absorb moisture, and its smooth surface is friction-free. The result? Fewer bad hair days.
It may help prevent wrinkles. The jury is still out on this one. But in theory, silk won’t absorb moisture from your skin, and won’t cause creases the way cotton can. Both these qualities mean it might lead to better-looking skin, or at least fewer early morning sheet marks.
It’s long-lasting. With proper bedding storage and when cared for per the manufacturer’s guidelines, silk bedding can last 10 years or more. Most of today’s silk bedding is machine washable.
What Types of Silk are Used to Make Sheets?
There are a few types of silk available, and the type of silk used to make bedding can affect its price, performance, and feel. Becoming familiar with the different types of silk can help you find the best set. We’ll break down common types here.
Mulberry: The most common type of silk used for bedding, Mulberry silk has a consistent and uniform appearance and higher price-point due to the highly controlled breeding environment. Bombyx mori silkworms are fed a diet of mulberry leaves. Once the cocoon is formed, it is boiled and carefully unraveled in one continuous thread.
Tussah: Tussah silk is a form of wild silk. The silkworms primarily eat juniper and oak leaves before forming a cocoon. The moth emerges and breaks the continuous fiber of the cocoon. As a result, Tussah silk fibers are shorter and not as smooth.
Eri: Another form of wild silk, Eri silkworms mostly feed on the castor plant. Like other wild silks, the cocoon is harvested after the moths emerge, resulting in shorter fibers that are not as soft.
Muga: Muga silk is a wild variety of silk with a coarse feel due to the open-ended cocoon.
Dupion: Dupion silk is especially strong, as it is formed from double cocoons. It is durable and wrinkle-resistant, but the irregularity of the cocoons may result in an inconsistent appearance.
Habotai: Habotai is a plain weave pattern used with lightweight silk fabric. This type of silk is commonly used to line garments, especially kimonos.
Charmeuse: Charmeuse is the most common weave pattern for silk bedding. It has a shiny, lustrous side and a matte side.
Momme is the unit of measurement used to communicate the weight of silk sheets. Measured in pounds, the momme refers to the weight of a silk fabric that is 45 inches wide and 100 yards long. Momme can range from 6 to 30.
When purchasing silk sheets, a weight between about 19 and 25 momme is typically recommended. Sheets with a momme in this range will be durable enough to resist tearing while still offering enough breathability to keep bodies cool as they sleep. The higher the momme, the thicker the sheets and the less breathable they will be.
Momme is not the same as thread count, but it is similar. Thread count refers to how many threads or strands of fabric are found in a square inch of fabric. So, like thread count, momme can help users understand how light or heavy a sheet will be.
Silk sheets may feature different weave patterns as well. The two main weaves used for silk sheets include charmeuse weave and habotai weave.
Charmeuse weave is the most common weave used when manufacturing silk sheets. Heavy and tight, a charmeuse weave is woven in a special way that creates a shiny top with a duller underside. Charmeuse weaves typically have a momme between 12 and 30.
Habotai weave generally has a weight between 12 and 16 momme, making it a lighter weight weave, which means it generally won’t last as long as a charmeuse weave. As a plain weave, the surface of sheets with a habotai weave is also not as smooth as the surface of sheets with a charmeuse weave.
Finally, consider how easy it will be to clean and care for a new set of silk sheets. Silk sheets are often a bit of an investment, so pay close attention to the manufacturer’s recommendations for caring for the sheets. Many manufacturers recommend hand-washing with cold water and air-drying to make sure the silk fibers are protected. However, some manufacturers will allow machine washing on a gentle cycle with cold water.
While silk sheets may appear wrinkled after they’re washed, it is generally not a good idea to iron them. Too much ironing can damage the silk. After a few days, the silk threads will relax on their own and release most of the wrinkles naturally. Still, there may be a desire to iron silk pillowcases, since they are usually visible when a bed is made. Turn them inside out, use a light steam setting, and place a cloth between the iron and the pillowcase to help protect the silk from possible damage.
You can see that the top picks for the best silk sheets are selected from a range of high-quality sheet sets to deliver a soft, smooth, breathable, and pleasurable night’s sleep.