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Silk Pillowcase vs Satin Pillowcase

Ever wondered what the difference is between a silk pillowcase and a satin pillowcase? If you’ve been searching online for silk pillowcases, you may have come across a cheaper alternative – satin. So what’s the reason behind these varying prices? In this post, we explore the differences between silk and satin pillowcases, so you can pick the right fabric for you for the perfect night’s sleep.

What is the difference between silk and satin?

Simply put, silk is a natural material that is produced by silkworms, whereas satin is a manmade fabric created using a specific type of weave. Most types of satin are made from polyester; however, you can also get what’s known as ‘silk satin’ – satin that is made from silk fibres. The majority of satin pillowcases – particularly the ones at lower price points – will be made from synthetic fabrics, as they are a lot cheaper to manufacture.

How can you tell silk from satin?

While silk and satin can look similar with a shiny finish, silk and satin have a number of tells that will allow you to identify them. The simplest way to tell silk from satin is to take a look at the product information. This will also allow you to identify the type of silk and the quality of the satin, giving you a better idea of whether or not the quality justifies the price.

Aside from the product information, try feeling the fabric and rubbing it between your fingers. Silk has a much softer, smoother feel, whereas satin is slightly rougher to the touch. Sometimes you’ll also be able to tell the difference just by looking. Satin can sometimes have a glossy sheen to it and, depending on the manufacturer, can also be dull on one side. Contrastingly, silk has a slight shimmer effect.

If you want to compare a silk or satin pillowcase, simply angle it to catch the light, check the reverse side of the fabric and run your hands over it. 

The Pros & Cons of Silk and Satin Pillowcases

If you’re deciding between a silk or satin pillowcase for your bedroom, you may be wondering what the pros and cons are of each type of material. You’ll likely already be aware of the first benefit of satin vs silk which is the price, but there’s so much more to silk and satin that is worth learning before you make your decision.

  • Cost - Due to cheaper materials and manufacturing costs, satin pillowcases are often significantly cheaper than their silk counterparts.
  • Care - Another benefit with satin is that it’s far easier to take care of – simply machine wash as you normally would cotton or jersey. In contrast, silk pillowcases require more specialist care when it comes to washing. 
  • Skin care - As a natural fibre, silk offers countless skin and beauty benefits. From a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles to leaving your hair feeling silky smooth, silk has been revered for its beautifying properties. Satin, on the other hand, cannot boast similar benefits.
  • Hypoallergenic - Silk is naturally hypoallergenic, which means it repels common household allergens like bacteria and dust mites. This makes it an ideal choice for allergy sufferers who struggle to get a full night’s rest.
  • Temperature regulating - While both silk and satin have natural cooling properties, silk can adapt to your body’s temperature to create the optimum sleeping environment. Satin is also significantly more likely to stain when in contact with sweat as it will absorb the moisture whereas silk will not.

Is satin or silk better for skin?

While both materials offer a cool and comfortable sleeping environment, silk is far better for the skin. Silk is smoother and has a rich amount of nutrients contained within its fibres. The amino acids found in silk fibres are essential and can help to boost lost collagen from the skin. The hydrating benefits of silk also help to keep the skin at just the right level of humidity, too. Silk also has fantastic insulation properties, helping to keep the temperature around the skin at the right level, allowing the skin to regenerate during the night. It is also suggested that silk pillowcases can help to reduce wrinkles as skin is less likely to crease while sleeping.

Is silk or satin better for hair?

While both materials are better for hair than regular cotton, silk is considered the better material of the two. This ranking is largely based on the compositional difference between silk and satin. While the natural fibres of silk contain silk protein and other reconstructive amino acids, satin doesn’t offer these same qualities. An artificial material made to reproduce the super soft feel of silk, satin does not contain the vital nutrients that can improve the feel and health of hair. To learn more about the miraculous properties of silk for the hair, take a look through our blog ‘What is silk protein and what benefits does it have for your hair?

For those who see hair care and health as a priority, there’s no doubt who the winner is in the question of silk vs satin. If hair is lower on your list of priorities in choosing a silk or satin pillowcase however, they do share some benefits that are worth noting. Both silk and satin are smoother materials than traditional cotton or polyester mixes, and the reduction of friction against the hair helps to reduce breakages and frizz. The same can be said for maintaining moisture, as both silk and satin help to retain your hair’s natural oils. These shared benefits make silk or satin pillowcases better for hair, especially if you have naturally wavy, curly or afro hair.

Do satin pillowcases work as well as silk?

Both satin and silk pillowcases offer a cool, comfortable sleep, and are great alternatives to regular cotton and jersey. If you’re looking for a pillowcase that will help care for your skin and hair, silk is the better choice, if your budget allows. If you’re looking for a quality, luxurious silk pillowcase, at Gingerlily we specialise in the most delicate, A Grade mulberry silk pillowcases and bed linen. Our range of expertly crafted silk pillowcases and bed linens provide a rejuvenating sleep experience.

The Gingerlily Beauty Box Mulberry Silk Pillowcase is one of our bestsellers and is the perfect product for a newcomer to silk. It’s recommended by leading dermatologists for its anti-ageing properties and helps to keep skin soft, supple and wrinkle-free. These pillowcases contain the same natural fibres found in our skin and hair, helping to reduce friction and moisture loss while keeping hair healthy, sleek and shiny.