What to know about silk bedding
Silk sheets have always been a luxurious choice for bedding, but in recent years their popularity has skyrocketed. More people are falling in love with silk’s hypoallergenic properties, ability to prevent bedhead, and kindness to their skin, along with its beauty and comfort.
Silk has been produced by silkworms domesticated in China since before recorded history. It is stronger and softer than cotton, as well as being surprisingly easy to care for. If you’ve only experienced synthetic silks or sateen cotton weaves, a silk sheet set will dispel myths such as silk snagging easily, shrinking, or being too cold.
Let’s take a look at the types and benefits of silk bedding, and whether it’s worth upgrading your sleep experience to silk.
What Is Silk Bedding?
The idea of sleeping on silk sheets has always had a luxurious ring to it, but silk bedding goes well beyond bed sheets. Silk is also used in mattress protectors, pillow protectors and silk-filled comforters and pillows. Instead of investing in sheet sets, some people choose to just use a silk pillowcase, which is popular as stand-alone silk bedding items.
Benefits of Silk Bedding
Silk Is A Natural Fabric
When you sleep, you’re breathing in the very molecules in the surrounding air. Synthetic materials constantly are off-gassing the chemicals which are used in the manufacturing process. Some bedding material like cotton is commonly treated to make it fire and wrinkle resistant.
Silk, being a natural fiber, reduces your exposure to dangerous chemicals and is naturally wrinkle-free and fire-resistant.
Because of the breathable nature of silk fibers, body heat and sweat gets wicked away and are vented naturally instead of getting trapped under sheets.
Silk wicks away the moisture at approximately twice the rate of cotton, reducing the humidity further and making those hot nights well, not so hot anymore!
Mites, mold and mildew love humidity and warmth. Lower the humidity of your sleeping environment and say goodbye to that nasty stuff.
Think about a silk duvet cover, which will maintain your body’s temperature and let you sleep during the hottest times of the year in unrivaled comfort.
Are allergies a problem for you? Sensitive to pollen, dust and mites? The most common cause of allergies in the bedroom is dust mites.
Those tiny microscopic creatures cause big trouble for people with a delicate respiratory system. They live in our bedding, feeding on the skin that we shed, and studies have shown that up to 2,500 mites can be found on a single gram of dust!
The enzymes released from dust mite droppings are the culprit. When you inhale the droppings of the mites, you trigger an allergic reaction.
Silk is naturally hypoallergenic! With the added bonus of not having to inhale the feces of the little troublemakers. Eew.
Great for Skin
The tightly-woven fibers of silk help keep the moisture closer to the skin, slowing down the signs of aging and the appearance of wrinkles.
There are studies that show that sleeping on silk can impair and prevent the formation of fine lines and wrinkles. The natural fiber speeds up the metabolism of skin cells, ensuring they replenish at a faster rate, leading to healthier skin. This probably coined the phrase “silky smooth skin”!
Great for Hair
The soft textures of silk allow the hair to slide over the fabric instead of knotting and breaking. No more pesky tangles in the morning! Silk also doesn’t hold static electricity and won’t cause a frizzy, wild look in the mornings. Hence hair that is “smooth as silk”!
Silk also preserves the hairstyle while you sleep. Wrapping a silk scarf around your head will slow the increase of oils in your hair, and whatever style you went to bed with will be held for a couple more days. More on this later!
Of course, the phrase “soft as silk” comes from somewhere! Its incredibly soft texture and feel allow your skin and hair to slide across your bedding with very little friction. This bodes well for sensitive or irritated skin from sunburns, eczema, or other conditions.
Made your mind up? Making the switch to silk? Read on to answer all the questions you might have and by the end of the day, you’ll be an expert on this luxe, beautiful fabric.
Buying Silk Bedding
Silk comes in different qualities that mostly reflect how it’s cultivated and manufactured.
- Mulberry silk is made from silkworms that feed exclusively on Mulberry plant leaves. It’s the most expensive to produce — and purchase — and is noted for its durability and softness.
- Charmeuse silk, the most common type, is frequently used in clothing. It usually has a smooth side and a slightly rougher side.
- Ethical silk, sometimes called peace silk, is made without killing the silkworm. This results in shorter silk strands, which are woven together to make long silk threads.
When shopping for silk bedding, look for the momme, or fabric weight. Silk bedding is usually between 12 and 30 momme. The higher the momme, the better the quality.
Best Silk Bedding
- Best silk sheets. Silk sheet sets usually do not come cheap. If they do, they’re probably made of synthetic silk. For a four-piece queen-sized set, plan to spend $350 and up. At $595, 22 Momme Silk Sheet Set | 4pcs, available in 8 colors, is about the middle of the road in cost.
- Best silk pillowcases. If you hesitate to spring for a full set of sheets but want the beauty benefits of sleeping on silk, go for a pillowcase. Our 25 Momme Oxford Envelope Silk Pillowcase is highly rated.
- Best silk duvet cover. To convert an existing duvet into something smooth and silky, invest in a new duvet cover. We like these reversible, 19 Momme Silk Duvet Cover for Comforter Duvet and 22 Momme Silk Duvet Cover for Comforter Duvet
- Best silk comforter. For price and comfort, consider a silk comforter made of a cotton exterior filled with breathable spun silk filling. It provides winter warmth and summer cooling. These start at around $179 for a twin size, and go as high as your budget allows.
How To Wash Silk Bed Sheets?
With proper care, silk can retain its luxurious feel and last for years. Considering that silk bed sheet sets are usually pricier than regular cotton or other materials, you’d really want to prolong the life of your precious silk sheets!
- Wash your new sheets before use, by hand and in cold water. If you’re feeling particularly nonchalant, a machine that washes in cold water on a delicate cycle will also work. Machine wash your silks in a “silk-only” separate load from the rest of your fabrics.
- Place all silk fabrics in mesh laundry bags and use a gentle detergent. Choosing a gentle detergent is imperative. Since silk is a natural fiber, washing it in detergents too acidic or too alkaline will harden those fibers. A neutral pH works best to help maintain the quality of those fibers.
- Air dry your sheets but keep them out of sunlight that might damage the fibers. When hanging your sheets, avoid contact with wood or any dyed material that might leech into and stain your sheets. Using a dryer on anything but a pure “air” cycle is not recommended for silk. Besides, silk dries incredibly fast and a full set of sheets can dry in 15 minutes.
- Avoid using bleach, fabric softener or any other harsh chemicals.
- Dry cleaning and ironing are also not necessary, but if you absolutely have to iron, use only the coolest setting and turn the sheets inside out.
- Store the sheets in breathable bags and away from direct sunlight and intense sources of heat.
How To Silk Wrap Hair For Bed?
As mentioned before, wrapping your hair (and head!) with a silk scarf before bed protects your hair and maintains the style that your hair went to bed with you in. Whether it is a silky smooth and straight look or curls, a simple routine before bed with a 100% pure silk headscarf will keep your ‘do for days to come.
The rough texture of cotton causes friction that weakens and tangles your hair while you toss in the night, resulting in breakage, that dreaded morning frizz and dryness. The smoothness of silk causes hair follicles and strands to glide protected throughout the night and maintain a healthy balance of natural oils.
The natural oils from your scalp are held in by the silk, preventing greasy hair as the fabric disperses the oils from the follicle to the tips instead of concentrating oils purely on your scalp.
This allows the oils from your scalp to act as a naturally nourishing, conditioning treatment throughout the night, and fewer greasy hair days means fewer washing days.
Intrigued? Wanna know how to wrap your hair? Lots of videos are online, check some out!
Are Silk Bed Sheets Comfortable?
Yes! As mentioned above, silk being temperature-regulating, breathable, and hypoallergenic fabric is well worth the extra dollar spent.
The weight and quality of silk are measured by something called the momme. Momme [mom-ee] is a Japanese word used as a unit of weight measurement for real silk.
A higher momme value indicates a higher quality fabric. Silk should have a minimum fabric weight of 15 momme.
Do Silk Pillowcases Cause Bed Head?
If investing in a full set of pricey sheets is not what you are looking for now, you can think about silk pillowcases.
As with the silk scarf hair wraps, silk pillowcases don’t cause as any friction as regular cotton ones, and your hair glides smoothly on them as you toss and turn at night. Friction disrupts the cuticle layer of hair which in turn, causes bed head and frizzy hair.
As mentioned above, silk also distributes the natural oils from your scalp and keeps your hair moisturized and happy throughout your sleep.
How To Keep Silk Sheets On The Bed?
They don’t call silk “silky smooth” for nothing. Silk slides, and it slides a lot! Keeping your silk bed sheets or your duvet cover on the bed throughout the night might prove a bit of a challenge to those that are new to this fabulous fabric.
When you first start to use silk sheets, you’re probably going to struggle with sheets sliding around everywhere, and whatever you do, they never seem to stay on. You’d probably be tempted to use a stapler!
We believe that everyone should enjoy more luxury in their sleep environment. Sleep better, feel better, and get more energy to tackle your day with bedding essentials that raise the bar on what it means to get a quality night’s rest.