Before we get into the technical stuff, let's discuss why silk fabric makes for the best linen. Of course, it's a matter of personal taste at the end of the day but generally, these are the features that people love about silk. And just so that you have a point of comparison, we'll be mentioning cotton bedding when it's applicable. So, let's see what silk bed sheets have to offer and why you should sleep in silk sheets!
There's a reason why we have phrases such as “silky smooth” and “soft as silk“. After all, pure silk is one of the softest natural fibres money can buy! And this is largely due to how the individual fibres are shaped. While with lower-end cotton you can see grooves and lumps, silk fibres are almost completely flat. This is because lower-end cotton sheets are boll fibres, meaning that they can be irregular and have fibres sticking out. Silk on the other hand is typically comprised of a single smooth filament.
This means that there's less friction and it doesn't snag. Plus, once you get into the higher thread counts (here called momme), the softness only goes up. And having a soft sheet or a silk pillowcase can be beneficial in many ways. For one, it's simply more comfortable. And two, as we'll discuss later on, it can be a game-changer for people with sensitive skin.
Another major selling point for silk pillowcases and sheets alike is how they regulate your body temperature. With some people sleeping with a fan on all night and others worrying about how they're going to sleep during the winter, temperature regulation is a very important feature of most bedding products.
And silk shines in this category. According to many experts in the field, silk helps in both cases and that's why you should sleep in silk sheets. During the summer, it helps keep you cool and during the winter, it keeps you warm. Meanwhile, something like cotton, depending on the thread count and quality, doesn't always receive the same praise. This is because, unlike silk fibre, cotton can absorb heat without dispersing it, meaning that some might find it too hot. Although this is more debatable when it comes to Egyptian cotton and similar high-quality cotton fabrics. However, we're sure that we can all agree that if you have the best mattress in the UK, you don't want your sheets to make it feel like an oven!
Another very important selling point for silk is its moisture-wicking property. This just means that, unlike lower-end cotton that absorbs excess moisture, silk wicks it away from your skin. This is important because of a few key reasons.
First off, there's little point to a breathable fabric if it traps moisture. After all, you'll still wake up covered in sweat. On the other hand, if you wake up with dry skin and zero sweat, you're bound to feel refreshed. This is something we'll come back to later on.
Secondly, it's just not as comfortable or as practical. Nobody likes the feeling of a damp cloth and having your bedding dry off more quickly also makes the washing process a lot faster. For this reason, the fact that a silk thread wicks away moisture is rather important.
When it comes to silk pillowcases and duvet covers alike, the fact that they're naturally hypoallergenic is a very big plus. After all, for allergy sufferers, nothing beats a night of sleep with 0 rashes and 0 sneezes. So, having linen that can fight off those pesky dust mites and allow you a good night's sleep is very important.
However, we'd also like to point out that having hypoallergenic linen is actually quite common. Cotton and plenty of other fabrics also subdue allergies. So, if this is the main thing you're looking for in a pillowcase, cotton pillowcases are just as enticing.
Did you know that spider silk is the most durable fabric in the world? And while you won't see it being utilised in bedding products, it still showcases just how durable silk can be. So, even if you opt for the more popular pure Mulberry silk, you're still getting an extremely durable fabric that's bound to stay in tip-top conditions for quite a while.
And this is rather important, as it means that you can get one silk bedding set and sleep in comfort for many nights to come! After all, even if a synthetic sheet is cheaper upfront if you have to change it every few months, the price can quickly add up.
Lastly, probably the biggest selling point for some and reason why you should sleep in silk sheets – how silk aids in beauty sleep. Although we've mentioned it at the very end, you'll likely hear it immediately when talking about silk bedding. And this is because it combines almost everything we've mentioned so far!
For one, having good temperature regulation helps with things such as hot flashes and generally helps you wake up feeling refreshed. Secondly, since silk doesn't absorb liquids it actually helps your body maintain proper moisture. And we don't mean in terms of sweat but rather oils that your body needs in order to stay in tip-top shape.
This is why silk pillowcases are often highly sought after by those with delicate facial skin. And since your skin isn't dried up, it also helps with sleep creases and wrinkles! Plus, since it's also hypoallergenic, you don't have to worry about skin rashes caused by dust mites or something similar.
As you can see, silk is top of the class in this department. It also helps that silk also looks good! There are few people who can deny the elegance of satin sheets, as they can ever appear like they're glowing due to how light breaks over the smooth surface. So, you get to look beautiful with zero sleep wrinkles and even the bedding is beautiful! So, that's why you should sleep in silk sheets.
Now that we've sung the praises for silk, you might be wondering whether this is the perfect fabric. After all, everything we've said so far definitely makes it seem that way. However, while silk sheets definitely have lots of positives, we can't say that they don't have any downsides! So, here's what you need to know.
The most obvious downside of silk sheets is that they're far from affordable for some people. And while it might sound like silk is expensive just because people want it, there's an actual reason. Namely, silk can be very difficult to produce.
After all, unlike cotton, bamboo, or eucalyptus, silk doesn't come from plants but rather from insects! To be more specific, it typically comes from silkworms and it can take up to 5.5 thousand silkworms to create just 1 kg of silk. Needless to say, it's not an easy process or a quick one.
As a result, silk products can be very expensive and very rare. Even the more popular Mulberry silk isn't always regularly available. And if you want something like lotus silk, you'll quickly learn that it's incredibly rare.
While silk is undoubtedly very durable in terms of raw strength, it's ironically also very fragile. This is because stains can be very difficult to get out, prolonged exposure to the sun can make it fade, and you always have to be careful when it comes to machine washing or tumble drying.
Of course, most natural fabrics are in the same boat. However, if you want to compare them to synthetic materials, they're definitely a lot more fragile.
Although this is by no means a demerit for silk bedding, it's still worth pointing out. Namely, silk isn't the only high-quality natural material on the market. Although we've mentioned it in a negative context a few times thus far, higher-end cotton bedding is still amazing.
And these days you can also find bamboo and eucalyptus bedding that offers some of the same benefits. Whether they're as good as silk is for you to decide. But the main point is that you can get a luxurious night of sleep even if you don't strictly stick to silk.
Lastly, let's talk about how you can judge whether you're getting the highest-quality silk on the market. Of course, some of these tips will be subjective but these are some general things you should keep in mind. Plus, knowing some of the terminology will help you properly gauge whether a silk product is as good as the advertisement claims it is.
First off, we'd like to discuss momme as it's an important characteristic that can seem confusing at first. The simplest definition is that momme is to silk what thread count is to cotton. And if you want to know the specifics, it's defined as the weight of silk in pounds for a 45 inches x 100 yards sheet.
However, it functions just like thread count. In other words, the higher the number, the better the feeling. This is because a higher momme means there are more silk fibres that are also thinner and thus more malleable to the touch.
And typically, momme can go from 3 to 40, with the 12 to 30 range being the most common for bed sheets and pillowcases. Momme is also abbreviated with mm.
Another potential point of confusion is the different silk types. You usually only hear of satin and sometimes of Mulberry silk. However, there are plenty of different subgroups, depending on the weave, texture, and source of the silk. For example:
The first four mostly denote the weave of the silk while the latter four are treated as separate kinds of silk. But more often than not, you'll be getting Mulberry silk in a Charmeuse weave. It's the most popular for a reason and people generally don't tend to have any gripes with it.
Lastly, if you're an environmentally-conscious person or want to be 100% certain that no dangerous chemicals were used while producing the silk, look for the appropriate certifications. The most reliable in terms of safety is the OEKO-Tex certification.
When it comes to environmentally-conscious certifications, it's a bit more tricky. It's worth noting that silk is generally pretty green in terms of production since it relies on a natural process and is made from a natural protein. However, vegans and animal-rights activists might take issue still as the bugs are typically killed in the process.
You can look for silk that's labelled as Peace or Ahimsa silk as it's considered the most non-violent way of collecting silk. That being said, there's a lot of terminology involved when it comes to silk production, so we suggest reading this article in order to get a good grasp of what is what.
Overall, silk sheets can be the ultimate form of bedding luxury! They're incredibly soft, help your skin stay youthful, and can stick around for quite a while. So, as long as you don't mind the price tag, stick to our tips and you'll be sure to find the perfect silk sheets for you!
But if that doesn't work for you, there are other options out there. If you're curious about any other sheets and how they stack up to the rest, just stick with The Sleep Advisors and find out all you need to know! And if you know of any more reasons why you should sleep in silk sheets, leave them in the comments below.