So many people who sleep with silk sheets swear that they’ll never go back to normal cotton, polyester, or other types of sheets again. If you’ve never slept on silk sheets but you have been hearing all the hype, then you may be wondering if it is all really worth all of the fuss. And most people really say that they are—but it’s time for you to find out for yourself!
Because they are a bit of a financial investment, it is important to be educated about any silk sheet purchases you might be thinking of making. In this article we’ll take you through all of the questions you might ever have to ask about silk sheets, giving you the answers you want, and helping you to make an educated buying decision about your new silk sheets!
What Are Silk Bed Sheets?
Silk bed sheets are fitted and flat sheets (and usually including pillowcases also) that fit on a twin, full, queen, king, or even California king size bed. A twin silk sheet set will normally include one pillow case while the other sets will likely include two pillow cases. Pillow cases may be oxford style or have a zipper.
First let’s take a deeper look at what silk is:
- Silk is an incredibly smooth, natural fabric
- Silk is made from the threads spun from worms which are native to Asia
- Silk is naturally hypoallergenic
- Silk resists fungus, dust, mold, allergens and even bed bugs
- Silk is naturally effective for balancing temperature during sleep
- Silk is a great investment as one of the longest-lasting natural fabrics
- Silk is low-friction and healthy for the skin and hair
Silk bed sheets, then are simply sheets for your bed that are made out the durable, soft, and natural fabric that is produced by silk threads. Most silk bed sheets for the top will be flat with a small hem around all of the edges. Most fitted bed sheets made out of silk will have elastic edges all the way around the perimeter to keep the sheet firmly fitted onto the mattress.
How Are Silk Sheets Made?
Silk sheets are made from the threads that are spun by worms originating in Asia. Once the worms have produced their raw silk strands, the threads are then woven into yarn or fabrics. The fabric made from silk fibers is luxurious and soft, but also strong and durable. Some silk sheets are made with seams down the sides, but the best ones are seamless, allowing the person sleeping to not have to worry about rolling over onto an uncomfortable seam.
What Are Mulberry Silk Sheets?
Mulberry silk is the best quality of silk and the most popular type of silk used for bedding. Mulberry silk is produced by the Bombyx mori worm and derives its name from the fact that it eats the leaves of the mulberry tree. Having been bred in captivity for over 5,000 years, these silk worms care carefully bred with a strict diet to product high quality silk fibers. The silk that is produced from these worms is incredibly smooth and lush.
What Are Charmeuse Silk Sheets?
Charmeuse is another commonly recognized type of silk that may be slightly more affordable (but not as high of quality) as Mulberry silk. This type of silk is lightweight and has some natural elasticity that is built into it. The front of Charmeuse fabric has a satin sheen while the back has a duller finish, making it less attractive for a flat sheet which you probably want to have a sheen on both sides.
Are Silk Sheets Better Than Cotton?
Most people really do think that silk sheets are better than cotton. And it is not just because they are luxurious and make you feel like royalty when you are sleeping on them!
Don’t let the delicate appearance of silk fool you—it’s a very strong fiber. The strength of the material, especially high quality silk, means that bedding is less likely to snag, pull or tear when compared to other natural or synthetic fibers such as cotton or polyester.
This means your silk sheets are more durable and long-lasting, making them a great investment as also better for the environment because they won’t need to be replaced as often. Plus, they feel amazing on your skin and even have some incredible health benefits that you might not even be aware of.
Why Silk Sheets are Better
Some people wonder if silk sheets are better and, if they are, then what is it that makes them better? Some of the reasons that silk sheets are so good for you comes from the fact that the fabric is soft and durable. Silk allows the skin to remain moisturized and hydrated, instead of drying out the skin. The temperature regulation of silk as a natural fiber is one of the benefits that makes people love sleeping on silk sheets.
Silk sheets also keep allergy sufferers from having a reaction such as runny nose, sneezing, coughing, watery eyes or breathing issues. Silk sheets fight off dust mites that can get into your bedding. In addition, silk sheets have also been known to be healthy for the body because they put less pressure on problematic joints, offering a more comfortable night of rest for those with issues such as arthritis, fibromyalgia or other joint pain struggles.
Are Silk Sheets Hot?
People who have slept on silk-like sheets may be confused into thinking that silk sheets are hot. The difference is in the all-natural qualities of the fabric. The wicking qualities of silk fabric allows it to remove excess moisture from your body, keeping your temperature is balanced and comfortable.
Sheets that look and feel like silk but are made from synthetic, man-made materials will likely make a person hot while they are sleeping. That’s why it is important to be sure that the silk sheets you are buy are 100% silk. If they are marketed with words like “satin”, “silky”, “silk-like” or “synthetic silk”, then you’ll probably find that those sheets will make you hot at night. Those unnatural fabrics have a tendency to trap your body heat rather than allowing it to breathe.
Women who are experiencing hot flashes, or other uncomfortable temperature issues related to menopause, may find that sleeping on silk sheets helps them to keep their body temperature more intact while they are sleeping. This can help with balancing the heat threshold and keep women comfortable during this difficult season of hormonal changes.
Are Silk Sheets Cool?
Some people who just touch silk sheets might think that they will feel cold when you sleep on them because they are cool to the touch at first. However, because silk sheets are made from natural fabric, they are temperature sensitive and automatically adjust to the body’s needs for cool or warmth.
When you first climb into a bed with silk sheets, it may feel cool. But it won’t take very long for your sheets to warm to your body’s temperature and keep you quite warm—even in the colder winter months. Some doctors suggest breathable, cool silk sheets for women who are struggling with hot flashes and maintaining their temperature during sleep.
Are Silk Sheets Breathable?
As mentioned above, silk sheets are very breathable as they are made of natural fibers that have moisture wicking properties. This means that heat and sweat will not be trapped next to your body but will be pulled away, allowing your skin to breathe and your temperature to be maintained in a healthy manner. Unlike synthetic materials that keep your body hot and uncomfortable, silk sheets breathe with you in a natural and comfortable way.
Are Silk Sheets Comfortable?
Slipping into a bed covered in silk sheets is soft, cozy, and super smooth. The only thing that some people may find uncomfortable is that it can happen that silk sheets can have a tendency to make covers slip off during the night. This is especially if you’re sleeping on silk sheets and wearing silk pajamas! However, most people find that sleeping on silk sheets is very comfortable and usually enjoy it more than sleeping on sheets made of cotton, polyester, or other fabrics.
Are Silk Sheets Too Slippery?
Some people do find that silk sheets are slippery, although that may go away after just a couple of washes. High quality silk sheets will be soft, but should not be so slippery that you slide off of the bed or that your covers won’t stay in place. Sheets that are made to look and feel like silk but are actually manufactured from synthetic materials will be much more slippery, will cause static reactions, and are heat trapping.
Are Silk Sheets Good for Your Skin?
Because silk is a natural substance, the fabric is actually very good for you. Not only is it smooth for your skin, it contains proteins that are built with 18 essential amino acids that can enhance your skin’s appearance while it regenerates overnight. As you sleep, your skin is being nourished which will make it less likely to produce fine lines and wrinkles as early.
One of the natural chemicals found in silk is albumen, which helps to speed up the metabolism of the skin to provide quicker access to development and repair. This means that your body’s healing processes are speeded and your skin looks healthier and younger.
People who have skin conditions such as eczema may find sleeping on silk sheets to be particularly beneficial. Some bedding materials may cause skin to overheat and cause itching. Or if you use skin cream on your eczema before going to sleep on cotton sheets, the cotton may absorb your medicated creams and your skin won’t get as much of it. Silk sheets will allow your skin to absorb all of the creams you put on it, without your skin losing precious moisture.
Silk Sheets for Hair
Silk sheets, and especially pillow cases, can provide amazing benefits for your hair health. As silk is soft and doesn’t snag, it will keep your hair healthy by not catching on the strands and producing split ends. Cotton sheets can create a certain amount of friction between the pillow case and your head, which may lead to damaged or frizzy hair.
People who use silk sheets for curly hair may also find that their hair is less frizzy and damaged when they sleep on silk sheets. As the silk’s wicking properties allow moisture, sweat, and grease to be pulled away from the body, it leaves your hair smooth and silky without knotting or producing static in your hair. Silk sheets may also assist with people who have discovered their hair is falling out, with the smoothness of the silk preventing friction and possibly even keeping baldness from occurring as quickly.
One other benefit of silk sheets to your hair is that you may not need to wash it as often. If you wake up and your hair has been nourished and not treated roughly during the night, then you’ll be able to go the next day without washing. And since washing is actually very bad for your hair, skipping a day by using a silk pillowcase is not only good for your hair but also good for the environment by saving water and soap pollution.
Can Silk Sheets Cause Acne?
When it comes to acne, silk sheets and pillowcases may actually be better for you than cotton or other fabrics. Silk is a natural fiber that does not clog the pores, meaning that your skin can breathe easily and the oils and grease won’t be trapped on your skin.
Some dermatologists even recommend that people who skin that is prone to pimples or acne breakouts may want to try sleeping on a silk pillowcase in order to keep acne at bay. It’s important to remember that laundering pillowcases very often will also help to keep acne at bay, so having two silk pillowcases may be useful to keep rotating them to have one clean at all times.
Are Silk Sheets Hypoallergenic?
One of the most incredible benefits of silk sheets is that even the most sensitive people are highly unlikely to be allergic to them. Silk sheets are considered to be hypoallergenic, meaning that they don’t cause people to have allergic reactions. This is mostly because the tight weave of the silk means that dust mites and other irritants are repelled by silk and can’t live there. Dust mites are a major cause of sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, coughing, breathing problems, and other allergic reactions. Silk sheets prevent these types of issues and allow sensitive people to sleep comfortably and happily.
Silk Sheets and Bed Bugs
Some studies have shown that bed bugs do not prefer silk. Mulberry silk is one type of silk that is used to make bed sheets, and this silk contains sericin. Sericin is a protein that has the power to repel not only dust mites but bed bugs and some other insects as well. Some people who travel a lot prefer to take their silk sheets with them because they feel it makes them less likely to have problems with bedbugs.
Can Silk Sheets Be Machine Washed?
Many people think that having silk sheets is a bad idea because there is a myth out there that they must be dry cleaned. But that just isn’t true. Silk is a natural fiber that is durable and strong and able to be machine washed if the silk is of high quality and handled properly. Some people worry that their silk sheets will shrink if they are machine washed.
While silk sheets do need to be washed on the gentle cycle in cold water, they certainly do not need to be dry cleaned or chemically processed in any way. Although they are probably not as easy to care for as cotton or polyester blend sheets, silk sheets can be laundered at home and will last for years if you take care of them properly.
Can You Bleach Silk Sheets?
You should never use any bleach or bleach-containing detergent on your silk sheets. You’ll absolutely ruin them because of the harsh chemicals. If you’re wondering how to whiten silk sheets that have gotten stained or yellowed, you may try to whiten them by soaking them in gentle detergent and hanging them to dry out the sun. The sun can sometimes act as a natural way to bleach without causing damage to the silk fibers.
Can Silk Sheets Go in the Dryer?
Some silk sheets can be tumble dried on low, depending on the manufacturer’s care instructions and whether or not your dryer has a cool or delicate setting. Some care labels for silk sheets instruct the owner to wash them on gentle cycle and then roll them up in a towel (without twisting or wringing) to get the main amounts of water out, then lay flat to dry.
Other types of silk sheets may retain their quality better if they are hung to dry and then ironed, as tumble drying them may cause them to wear more quickly and not hold up as well. Before making your purchase of silk sheets, it is wise to verify that the care label fits your needs. If you do not follow the care instructions, your sheets will not last nearly as long as you might expect them to otherwise.
How to Iron Silk Sheets
Many silk sheets require hanging dry or drying flat, which can sometimes leave the sheets terribly wrinkled and difficult to fit on the bed. Because of the wrinkles, many people like to iron their silk sheets before putting them onto the bed. Silk sheets can typically be ironed on a low heat setting and the iron should be kept moving the entire time that it is in use. Silk sheets do not need to be ironed on a setting that is as high as you might iron cotton sheets on. Keeping the iron moving while ironing will prevent burning of the soft silk fibers but should get the wrinkles out in order for the sheets to fit nicely on your bed.
Can You Tie Dye Silk Sheets?
Most natural fabrics can be tie dyed from lighter to darker colors to produce a marbled color effect. Before tie dying your silk sheets, be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions on the care label, as well as following the instructions on the package of the dye to make sure that the two will coincide. If the die requires you to use hot water, it is important to be sure that matches up with your silk sheets.
If you plan to sleep on tie dyed silk sheets, do remember that certain dyes may not be permanent and could rub off onto your pajamas, blankets, mattress, or even your skin. You may not want to risk tie dying your silk sheets as they are usually very expensive and the dying process could potentially cause them damage.
Can Babies Sleep on Silk Sheets?
Although silk sheets can be quite pricy and many people wouldn’t really think about using them for children, some people whose babies have allergies may consider the use of silk sheets for babies. Because silk naturally regulates body temperature and also offers soothing properties, it is a perfect option for a small crib sheet to keep baby happy and content. And since crib sheets are so small, laundering of silk sheets for babies may actually be easier than laundering full or queen size silk sheets made for adult sized beds.
Are Silk Sheets Expensive?
Answering the question about whether silk sheets are expensive is a difficult one. Many people have a bit of sticker shock when they first take a look at prices for silk sheets. However, when considering the purchase of a new set of silk sheets, it is certainly a much greater investment than simply running to your local discount department store and grabbing a cheap set of cotton/polyester blend sheets.
On the other hand, if you’re accustomed to purchasing high quality Egyptian cotton sheets with a superb thread count, then the price difference between those and silk sheet may not be as great as you might expect. The price range varies depending on quality, brand and other factors, of course, but you shouldn’t rule out getting silk sheets just because of the price. The benefits of silk sheets do have a tendency to make them worth the cost!
How Expensive Are Silk Sheets?
Just like with many purchasing decisions, the cost of silk sheets will very much depend on the quality and brand of the silk sheets you choose to buy. For instance, any silk sheet that is less than 19 momme is likely not very durable and will not last. So although it might be cheaper, it also would probably not be worth purchasing because the silk simply will not hold up.
When you purchase quality silk sheets, you may end up paying around $300-$400 or more, depending on the size and quality you choose to go with. Honestly, a set of 800 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets is likely to run you a similar price and not give you nearly as much satisfaction and luxury when you’re sleeping on them!
What’s the Best Silk Sheets?
The best silk sheets will be made from Mulberry Silk and will come in at 22 momme. Mulberry silk is the highest quality, pure and natural form of silk. Usually, 22 momme is the best weight for silk sheets that will retain their shape and durability while still being soft and smooth, and without coming in so heavy that it feels like you are sleeping underneath a set of heavy drapes.
Silk sheets that are less than 19 momme in weight will be too light weight to hold up for sleeping. (Silk that is made to be 19 momme or less would be more effective when used for clothing or other items, instead of sheets.) Of course, the best silk sheets will likely cost a bit more than you might spend on a good set of cotton sheets, but the durability and health benefits will more than outweigh the price if you can see it as an investment.
What Thread Count Are Silk Sheets?
Silk sheets do not use a thread count because they are too fine to be measured that way. Instead, the density and quality of silk sheets is measured by momme (pronounced ‘mummy’). In this situation, the standard is measured by the weight of the silk per 100 yards of fabric.
For instance, 19 momme sheets (typically the lowest standard for bedding) would be made of silk that weighs 19 pounds per every 100 yards of fabric. Higher momme numbers (for instance 22 momme) would mean a higher quality, denser, and thicker silk sheet. Any kind of silk with a very high number, such as 25 momme, will probably be too heavy to sleep under. For bedding, 19-22 momme range is probably the best.
Although silk sheets are not actually measured by thread count, some comparisons can be made to help consumers make educated purchasing decisions. Where a good quality Egyptian cotton sheet would come in around 600 or more, that would compare to 19 momme silk.
How to Choose Silk Sheets
Choosing which silk sheets to purchase can feel a bit overwhelming if you aren’t quite sure how to go about it. When making a purchase of silk sheets, you’ll want to consider factors such as:
- Quality of the type of silk (typically mulberry or charmeuse)
- 100% silk with no synthetic fibers
- Laundering and care instructions
- Weight of silk (momme between 19 and 22)
- Colors that match your décor and will last for years to come
- Accessories to match (duvet covers, box spring covers, etc.)
- Size of sheets (twin, full, queen, king, California king)
- Type of pillowcases (oxford, housewife, zippered)
- Manufacturer’s return policy and/or warranty
Where to Buy Silk Sheets
Buying silk sheets online is really one of the best ways to go about keeping your cost down. Because the best types of silk may be sourced from outside the United States, getting your silk sheets through an online source that will deliver them right to your door is a really great way to comparison shop and also save you the trouble of going out to the store.
Amazon offers a great variety of silk sheet options of different styles and from many companies so that it’s easy to make a decision. Plus, you get the benefit of product reviews from actual customers that are helpful in making your choice. Amazon also stands behind its return policy, making your purchase more secure than it might be otherwise.
You may also be able to buy silk sheets in a local shop that sources them, if you want to get them right away. But you are not likely to have nearly as good of a selection locally as you might find online. Plus, you may end up paying more than you need to if you shop locally, simply because the overhead of shops is higher than shopping on the internet.
How to Keep Silk Sheets on the Bed
Once you’re purchased your silk sheets, you may be wondering if they can be prevented from slipping off. Some people find that their silk sheets are comfortable but may be a bit slippery and tend to slide off of the fitted mattress now and then. Tips on how to keep silk sheets from sliding include:
- Make sure that you purchase the correct size sheets for your mattress
- Elastic corners work well for fitted sheets
- Place a rougher fitted sheet on under the silk sheet to act as a grip and keep sheet from slipping
- Use slips on the corners of your flat sheets to keep them in place at the bottom of the mattress
- Some people may like to attach non-slip rug corners to the top of the mattress near the foot of the bed to keep the sheets in place.
Are Silk Sheets Worth It?
So after all of these questions and answers, one of the most important questions people ask is whether or not silk sheets are worth it. According to hundreds of silk sheet independent reviewers and users of silk sheets, the answer is almost always emphatically yes! Almost everyone who buys silk sheets loves the way that they feel, their ability to balance out temperature during sleep, and the fact that they keep allergies at bay. Although silk sheets are a bit of a financial investment when compared with cotton or polyester sheets, they are considered by most people to be absolutely worth it!