March 11, 2024


If you’re suffering endless bad hair days or dry and rough skin, and noticing that you’re wrinkling at an alarming rate, you’ve probably tried a myriad night creams, masks, serums and more.

But wait… The culprit could be right there, hiding in plain sight. Your cotton pillowcase could be pulling the moisture out of your hair and skin. If it’s a cheap or blended fabric you’ve just compounded your problems with allergies and irritation.

The solution is to get yourself a good quality silk pillowcase and settle down to a good night’s sleep.

Pillowcases and Sleep

Strange as it may seem, something as insignificant as a pillowcase can determine the amount and nature of sleep you get. You have probably been flooded with ads and news about how the right kind of mattress and pillow can give you the rest and relaxation you need.

But one of the best kept secrets in the bedding and bed-linen industry, and something the experts rarely talk about is the humble pillowcase. You may have a whole bunch of comfy, colorful cushions and pillows decorating your bed, embellished with embroidery, beads, lace or cutwork. From a design point of view it probably looks fantastic, but when you get down to basics, it’s important to get the facts right.

Cleanliness: Top priority when it comes to pillowcases is hygiene. Dead skin flakes, moisture, saliva, old make-up, skincare products and oil are a great breeding ground for fungus, allergens, bacteria and microorganisms. They can cause a variety of problems such as asthma or acne. Your pores can get clogged leading to blackheads and breakouts.

Skin Texture: Cotton and linen absorb moisture, and they do a great job of it, extracting all the hydration from your skin. It’s not just your skin that becomes dry as a result of cotton pillowcases, your hair gets frizzy and rough due to lack of moisture. Over time, you will notice wrinkles and chapped skin on your face and unless you know why this is happening, you’re just going to continue spending dollars on skin treatments and products.

Temperature: Fabrics such as cotton tend to become soggy with sweat on hot nights, whereas silk or satin keep a cooler temperature throughout the night and day.

Sensitive Skin: If you suffer from skin sensitivity or conditions such as allergy, it’s important to rest your face on a fabric that is smooth and soft. Cotton can be a little harsh and rough on sensitive skin. 

Are Silk Pillowcases the Right Option?

We spend nearly a third of our lives sleeping, and getting a good night’s rest is important for your physical and mental wellness. Lack of sleep can leave you irritable, lethargic, and anxious. You could suffer memory and concentration problems, and in the long run, it takes a toll on your heart and blood circulation. Weight gain, depression and decline in decision making powers are some of the long term effects of sleep deprivation.

Regular habits are one of the key elements in healthy sleep routines. It’s also important to maintain a clean, fresh and soothing environment in your sleeping area. Here, your pillowcase plays a leading role.

The wrong kind of pillowcase can cause a host of issues:

Sleep Creases: If sleep means a little more to you than merely crashing out, oblivious to the world for 7 hours, take a good look at your pillowcase. If you’ve woken up after a deep sleep on a cotton pillowcase, a look in the mirror can give you a fright – sleep creases! These can last for hours, and aren’t very easy to hide with make-up.

Experts feel that while sleep creases may disappear in a few hours, repeated creasing leads to premature wrinkling, and that’s not going to disappear soon. Silk is a smoother, lighter fabric that doesn’t cause creases and wrinkles.

Skin rejuvenation: Skin cells regenerate extensively during the sleep cycle, and that’s why you wake up after a full night’s sleep with a glowing complexion and relaxed face muscles. However, it also means that there’s a lot of dead skin shedding that takes place over a sleep cycle. These can attract dust mites and bacteria. Silk tends to be less prone to collect them as it is less porous.

Irritation: The skin on your face is much more delicate and sensitive compared to the rest of your body. If you already have skin conditions such as acne or eczema, they can get aggravated by the wrong kind of fabric. While most people are fussy about the fabric their nightwear is made from, they tend to ignore the material their bed linen is made from. Rougher fabrics such as cotton can cause itching and irritation. Silk is known to be hypoallergenic so it doesn’t attract dust-mites or allergens.

Hygiene: Silk doesn’t absorb moisture as easily as other fabrics. Ensure that your pillowcase is made of pure silk and not a synthetic blend. This will help to keep it clean and free of disease or allergy causing organisms. If you sweat a lot, opt for silk, but don’t forget to wash your pillowcase out regularly.

Hair health: With a silk pillowcase under your head, your hair will certainly thank you by looking more glossy, fuller, and shining with health. You will find much less breakage, tangles, frizz and split ends. This is because silk reduces the friction between your hair and the fabric as you move around in your sleep. The moisture in your hair stays right there where it belongs, leading to stronger, silkier hair. Silk is a great option if you have treated or colored hair, a naturally curly mop or Rapunzel like locks. This is because silk has a smoother and more slippery texture.

Deluxe look and feel: Apart from the practical aspect, if you love that classy, luxurious feel, silk sheets and pillowcases are the perfect choice. They can instantly transform your bedroom into a lavish and opulent looking space.

How To Choose The Right Silk Pillowcase

Keeping all the great benefits of silk pillowcases in mind, the next logical step is to purchase the right one. There are any number of faux silk products out there in the market, and you could pay big money for them without knowing that they aren’t pure silk.

Ensure that you choose 100% mulberry silk. You will find at great selection at restanddigest.com.au/products/mulberry-silk-pillowcase. Mulberry has different grades based on the quality and texture. Opt for the best quality A grade. This has strong strands, and is the longest lasting.

Check that you’re getting pure silk and not a blend. Today, there are plenty of products that are polyester or rayon blends. These would obviously not offer the same advantages as good silk.

Get more information on care of your silk pillowcase. It needs to be washed regularly just like other fabrics. You may have to use a less harsh detergent, and the delicate wash cycle for your silk pillowcases. Silk must always be naturally air-dried away from strong sunlight. It is quick drying but needs to be ironed to get the smoothness back. Make sure you set the iron on silk setting, otherwise you could burn a hole in your expensive pillowcase.

A Word of Caution

One of the concerns that people have about choosing silk is that it is expensive. There’s no doubt that pure silk is a high end product. But watch out for cheaper options where manufacturers use chemicals for a luxurious look and feel. These could pose a fire hazard.

Silk can fade rapidly if exposed to harsh sunlight and detergents.

Some people may have an ethical problem using pure silk as it is a product that’s created by killing live silkworm cocoons. The alternative is ethical silk that’s made after the moth emerges from the cocoon, leaving behind broken strands that can be woven into silk.