The 6 Best Silk Pillowcases, According to Our Testing
To find out which silk pillowcases are worth buying, we tested 21 best-selling options at home. We slept with each one in place of our usual pillowcases and evaluated them on softness, durability, fit, and more. We also took into consideration factors like the type of closure (zipper or envelope, for example) and size/color options.
After two months of testing, the Slip Pure Silk Pillowcase is our best overall pick thanks to its super soft finish, zippered closure, and wide range of color options.
Keep reading to learn more about the best silk pillowcases we tested.
Our Top Picks
- Best Overall Silk Pillowcase: Slip Pure Silk Pillowcase
- Best Budget Silk Pillowcase: Ravmix Mulberry Silk Pillowcase
- Best Splurge Silk Pillowcase: Hill House Home Sisi Silk Pillowcase
- Best Heavy Silk Pillowcase: Fishers Finery Mulberry Silk Pillowcase
- Best Patterned Silk Pillowcase: Brooklinen Mulberry Silk Pillowcase
- Best Silk Pillowcase Set: Blissy Silk Pillowcase Dream Set
Best Overall Silk Pillowcase: Slip Pure Silk Pillowcase
Best Budget Silk Pillowcase: Ravmix Mulberry Silk Pillowcase
Best Splurge Silk Pillowcase: Hill House Home Sisi Silk Pillowcase
Best Heavy Silk Pillowcase: Fishers Finery Mulberry Silk Pillowcase
Best Patterned Silk Pillowcase: Brooklinen Mulberry Silk Pillowcase
Best Silk Pillowcase Set: Blissy Silk Pillowcase Dream Set
Our top pick is the Slip Pure Silk Pillowcase because it really impressed our testers in terms of softness, quality, fit, and durability. We also love that it has a zippered closure to keep your pillow in place. For a more affordable option, we recommend Ravmix's Mulberry Silk Pillowcase, which is also extremely soft to the touch and comes in 22 different colors.
Our Testing Process
To come up with these recommendations, our at-home testers evaluated 21 silk pillowcases over the course of two months. First, they took note of any initial thoughts on how each pillowcase looked and felt right out of the package, evaluating things like fit (was there any excess fabric, or was it tough to get on?) and softness (did it feel smooth to the touch or scratchy and uncomfortable?). They also considered factors like closure type and size/color options.
After that, they slept with each pillowcase for a full night. Our testers recorded their feedback on what it felt like to sleep on it. In the morning, they noted whether the pillowcase shifted or stayed in place throughout the night and if they saw a visible difference in their hair or skin.
To test the durability of these silk pillowcases, we ran each one through a wash and dry cycle according to the brand's instructions. Then, we took note of any post-wash damage, like pilling, shrinkage, ripped seams, and changes in fabric softness. Finally, we considered performance and price when deciding the overall value of each silk pillowcase.
How to Shop for Silk Pillowcases
By far, the most common type of silk is mulberry silk, which comes from silkworms that feed on leaves from mulberry plants. It's usually what people are referring to when they talk about silk as a material. All of the silk pillowcases on our list are made with mulberry silk, but non-mulberry silks can come from other types of silkworms, spiders, and mussels.
"[Silk] is a wonderfully strong fiber, but sometimes has the reputation of being delicate or hard to care for," Brewer says. "More often than not this is actually due to the weave—satin can snag, showing pulls across its lustrous surface."
It's important to remember that satin refers to the weave, while mulberry silk is a type of fiber. There are some satin pillowcases (made with polyester) on the market that feel almost as soft and smooth as mulberry silk. Even though they can feel quite similar, satin pillowcases aren't the same as silk pillowcases. Brewer describes silk as "coveted" because it's one of the strongest natural fibers—and it's even stronger than cotton. "It is also a hypoallergenic fiber, and with proper care can resist odors well," she adds.
When shopping for silk pillowcases, you'll often see a term called "momme." The number essentially indicates the weight of the silk. "Momme is the measurement system combining grams per meter and thread counts to identify different qualities (grades) of silk fabric," says Brewer. Lower numbers mean the fabric is finer and lighter, while higher numbers mean the fabric contains more silk, so it's thicker and heavier.
You'll find a bunch of different closure types on pillowcases. Pillowcases with zipper closures performed the best in our tests (by far), because they prevent your pillow from accidentally sliding out while you're sleeping. Envelope or flap closures are the next best option because they still keep your pillow pretty secure. Pillowcases with open ends on one side often moved around a lot throughout the night, but that's something that might not bother some people.
Even though silk is typically known for being difficult to care for, many brands advertise their silk products as "washable" nowadays. Most of the silk pillowcases on this list are machine washable on delicate cycles. Some are even safe to put in the dryer on very low heat, but it's generally recommended to let silk air dry. (More tips on how to wash silk pillowcases below.)
More Silk Pillowcases to Consider
Quince Mulberry Silk Pillowcase: This pillowcase from Quince is made with super soft silk that felt nice against our skin, but our testers thought that the sizing was way off. The queen/standard size pillowcase had a lot of excess fabric, and it was hard to fit a standard pillow through the zipper opening.
Night Clean Silk Pillowcase: This silk pillowcase wasn't nearly as soft as the others we tested, and it felt a bit "stiff" after being washed. But since it's made with untreated silk fibers, this pillowcase could be a good choice for anyone who prioritizes clean, all-natural materials.
Bedsure Satin Pillowcase Set: These Bedsure pillowcases aren't actually made with silk fibers, but our testers found that the satin finish of the polyester material was barely distinguishable from the real thing. It's not the same as a real silk pillowcase, but its soft and smooth feel makes it a good alternative for people who are on a tight budget.
Questions You Might Ask
Do silk pillowcases have anti-aging benefits?
The anti-aging benefits alone might be the reason you're interested in a silk pillowcase. They're often believed to be good for skin and hair for a variety of reasons. Using a silk pillowcase—because of its extremely smooth surface—can reduce the creases that often appear on your face after sleeping on your side. But according to Dr. Mack, sleeping on your back is the best way to avoid sleep creases.
"Silk is less porous and does not pull water from the skin in the way that a cotton or linen pillowcase will," she says. This means that silk won't steal as much moisture (or expensive serums) as other materials. "Moreover, it is a smoother, slicker surface [that reduces] friction of the skin and hair. These intrinsic properties help to minimize the appearance of etched-in lines on the face and frizzy hair in the morning."
But it's important to note that a silk pillowcase can't provide certain anti-aging benefits (like increased collagen production) in the way that retinoids and other skincare ingredients can, adds Dr. Mack.
What's the best way to wash a silk pillowcase?
Silk is extremely strong when it's dry, but it gets much weaker when it's wet. So to make sure that your silk pillowcase stays in good shape, it's important that you're extra gentle when washing your bedding.
"Since silk is a very sensitive fabric, it can only be machine washed if the cycle is truly delicate, using cold water, low agitation, and a shorter cycle (i.e. less time submerged in water)," says Boyd. "We've machine-washed many silk items here at The Laundress with great results, however, we always recommend using mesh bags to provide an extra layer of protection in the wash."
But to be extra safe, you can't go wrong with simply washing your delicate items by hand. Boyd recommends making sure you don't let silk soak for more than 30 minutes and avoid wringing the fabric.
"Once your wash cycle or hand soak is finished, always air dry silk pieces," says Boyd, who notes that the heat of a dryer can "burn the delicate silk fibers." But it's also worth noting that some brands say it's safe to put their silk pillowcases in the dryer, so always make sure you double-check the care instructions for your specific pillowcase. "To reduce drying time, roll up items in a clean, dry towel after washing and lightly press out excess water. Laying items flat or over a hanging rack to dry will help to avoid creasing."
How do you prevent stains on silk pillowcases?
One downside to silk pillowcases is that they can stain pretty easily from things like drool and body and skincare oils. According to Boyd, the secret to making sure these stains don't set is by pretreating them as soon as possible.
"For drool marks, try simply blotting with a damp cloth in the morning to prevent a stain from forming," she says. "For tougher marks, we recommend treating silks with gentle, efficacious stain-specific removers for best results."
Take Our Word for It
This article was written by Amina Lake Abdelrahman, a commerce editor for Real Simple with four years of experience writing about home products. To come up with this list, we tested 21 silk pillowcases at home for two months. We narrowed down the options by considering factors like fabric softness, durability, quality, and more. For expert insight, Amina interviewed Lindsey Boyd, co-founder of The Laundress; Lian Mack, M.D., board-certified dermatologist; and Laurie Anne Brewer, associate curator of costume and textiles at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum.