Last updated: September 5, 2021

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Silk sheets have always been considered a luxury item. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about them? Perhaps it is the image of Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffanys, with her mask, her jewelry, and her kitten. In recent years their popularity has skyrocketed, partly due to certain celebs raving about them and their benefits.

One of the best known is Kourtney Kardashian, who states that she only sleeps with silks, since this fabric does not absorb the natural oils of her skin and thus prevents fine lines from appearing. Is this true or is it just an advertising story? Next, we will unravel the secrets about silk sheets.




Key Facts

  • Silk sheets, in addition to being very pleasant to the touch, have hypo-allergenic and antibacterial properties, which makes them an ideal option for allergic or especially sensitive people.
  • You can use them both in summer and winter: they stay cool in the heat and they insulate you when it's cold, they are great all year around!
  • When you decide to buy some silk sheets, you should consider their weight, which we will explain later, and the type of silk with which they are made, among other criteria.

Ranking: The Best Silk Sheets

Silk sheets, unlike cotton or synthetic sheets, do not vary much from each other. Most of them have a similar texture and qualities. What is different is the "momme" weight - which we will talk about later - and the type of silk. In this section we have selected the best options with different qualities and prices.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Silk Sheets

Although silk is a fabric with an ancient history, today many people still do not know a lot about it. This is especially true in the case of silk sheets, so in this section we will talk about their advantages and disadvantages, the types that exist, and the care they need.

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We recommend washing your silk sheets with cold water.
(Source: Aleksander Davydov: 81112233/ 123rf.com)

Why silk sheets and not any other fabric?

Silk sheets look and feel soft and smooth, so it is not surprising that they are often associated with luxury - for that and for their price, of course. However, silk is also the toughest natural fiber that can be used to make bedding and silk sheets can be the most durable as long as they are well taken care of.

To give you an idea, until the time of World War II, parachutes were made of silk. Silk with long strands is even more durable and is achieved by unwinding the cocoons of silkworms with utmost care, so that the thread does not break. Its qualities, which we will see next, make it a great fabric.

What are the advantages of sleeping with silk sheets?

Since silk sheets have a much higher price than those of cotton or other materials, one may wonder if they really have any advantage over the others. We have already mentioned that, with good care, they can be more durable than sheets made of any other type of fabric, but their qualities do not end there:

  • Silk is a hypoallergenic natural fiber and repels both mites and bacteria. For this reason, they are highly recommended for people who are allergic or have skin disorders.
  • It does not produce friction with the skin or hair, and thus prevents the appearance of the typical sleep lines and does not break the hair. It also reduces tangles and is great if you often use hair tools such as a straightener.
  • It dyes very well, be they light or dark, they do not require harmful chemicals in the process and do not lose color with the washings.
  • Its satin glow, almost incandescent, cannot be compared to other synthetic fabrics that try to emulate it.
  • It is a material capable of regulating body temperature and perspiration. In summer it remains fresh, while it is also a good insulator in winter.
  • Taking care of it is not as complicated as it is usually believed, since they can be machine washed.

Do silk sheets have any disadvantages?

Although silk is an almost perfect material, it also has certain disadvantages that must be taken into account before purchasing sheets. We do not want you to be discouraged, but you should know the cons. In the market there are synthetic silk options that do not present these disadvantages and making one decision or another is up to you:

  • As you can guess, it's not a vegan material. Silkworms are necessary to produce silk, which die inside the cocoon when boiled. Vegans, as well as vegetarians who avoid fibers of animal origin, will prefer to avoid silk.
  • It is very expensive to manufacture - in order to obtain a kilo of silk, up to three thousand worm cocoons are necessary - which makes it one of the most expensive fabrics that exist.
  • Although it is true that taking care of them is not as difficult as many people believe, it is also true that it requires more attention and dedication than other materials.
  • It is a very resistant material, but it is not very elastic: if you stretch it, it will probably not recover its original shape.
  • It is sensitive to sunlight, so it is recommended not to expose it to direct light.

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To take care of your silk sheets remember that after washing them, lay them out so that the natural air does its job.
(Source: Dean Drobot: 49773912/ 123rf.com)

What types of silk sheets exist?

The main component that is used to make silk sheets is mulberry, but there are other types with different characteristics and qualities, such as elasticity or texture. Our advice is that, before deciding to buy silk bedding, you inform yourself about the different varieties that exist.

  • Mulberry: It is the highest quality silk and is produced by silkworms that feed exclusively on mulberry leaves.
  • Charmeuse: This is the most popular type of silk. It is light and has a greater elasticity than other varieties. The upper part of the fabric has a satin sheen, while the back has a matte finish.
  • Habotai or poné: Habotai silk is not as expensive, but it is also less resistant than other varieties. It is common to wash it with sand to soften it, which deteriorates the silk fibers.
  • Tussah: It is the silk that worms make that have not been subjected to a strict diet. Therefore, this variety is not as soft or durable as other specially cultivated varieties.
  • Dupioni: Made with buds not suitable for other silk varieties. It is a strong tissue, but rougher. It is not usually used to make sheets, but duvet covers or decorative pillows.
  • Synthetic silk: It is often called satin - later we will talk about the difference between silk and satin - and it is made of synthetic fibers, such as polyester. They are easy to care for and can have a texture very similar to that of natural silk, but their qualities are not the same.
Did you know that in ancient Rome it was forbidden for men to use silk because it was believed that this fabric was exclusively feminine?

How are silk sheets properly cared for?

As we have mentioned, silk sheets can last a long time in perfect condition, but it is necessary to take care of them properly. Make sure to cut your nails well - without sharp edges - before getting into bed and don't eat on the sheets. To wash them you should follow the following steps:

  • Never use bleach or any bleaching products, as they could damage the fibers and shorten the life expectancy of the sheets.
  • Do not dry them in the dryer: heat and sharp turns may also affect the fabric.
  • You can wash your sheets both by hand and by machine, but always with cold water.
  • After washing, lay them down and let the natural air do its job.
  • Silk sheets can be ironed, but always at a low temperature and on the back side of the fabric.

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You can iron silk sheets, but at a low temperature so as not to damage the fabric.
(Source: Katarzyna Białasiewicz: 35447247/ 123rf.com)

Are silk and satin sheets the same?

No, although many people confuse them, silk sheets are not the same as satin sheets. In fact, silk and satin are two different materials: the first is a raw material and the second uses a technique of weaving the threads. Both do have their soft touch and their brightness in common.

Although traditionally satin was made with silk threads, they are currently made of synthetic materials, such as acetate, nylon, rayon or polyester. Although their appearance may be very similar to that of silk sheets, their qualities are not the same as their price: synthetic satin, or synthetic silk, is much cheaper.

Shopping Criteria

Silk sheets, as we have already mentioned, often resemble each other and vary depending on the color, the weight of the fabric or the type of silk used. However, this has its nuances and there are certain things that you should consider when investing money in silk sheets:

Momme Weight

Unlike with other fabrics, whose quality is measured by its number of threads, silk density is measured in mommes. A momme corresponds to the weight in pounds of a piece of silk 100 yards long - about 91 meters - and 45 inches wide - about 114 centimeters. Yes, it sounds complicated, but it is the traditional way of measuring silk.

Silks from 12 to 16 mommes are used to make handkerchiefs and other accessories. The upper measures, between 16 and 19 mommes, are the most suitable for bedding. Silks of more than 19 mommes are used to make items that require even more resistance to friction and durability, such as quilts, for example.

Silk Sheets

One of the benefits of silk is that it is a natural hypoallergenic fiber and repels both mites and bacteria.
(Source: Wavebreak Media Ltd: 83604669/ 123rf.com)

Silk Variety

In previous sections we have already talked about the different types of silk and their properties. In short, there are two types of silk: cultivated silk and wild silk. Cultivated silk is smoother, softer and more uniform, both in texture and color. Wild silk, on the other hand, can have a rougher look and feel, and is also cheaper.

Keep in mind that the durability of the sheets also depends on the variety of silk, as well as the size of the strands used in its creation. The type of silk most used to make sheets and bedding in general is mulberry silk, but you can decide on other types if you are looking for a less satin texture or do not want to spend too much money.

Did you know that the Chinese found a way to manipulate the cocoon filaments of worms? It was a very well kept secret by the Chinese culture until 3000 BC, when it arrived in Korea.

Available Colors

Silk sheets come in all the colors you can imagine, so you will have no problem matching them with the rest of your room or with other bedding accessories. Of course, there are manufacturers that offer ranges of colors with more variety than others, so you will have to inform yourself before if you intend to buy colorful sheets.

Remember that not all colors make us feel the same way. A 2013 study showed that those people who slept surrounded by blue had a more restful sleep. However, those who had decorated their bedroom in purple, brown, or gray tones were sleeping much worse. Who knew?

Natural or Synthetic Silk

The truth is that natural silk sheets are not for all budgets, but for that there are materials that emulate silk. Of course, the features will not be the same as those of natural silk sheets, but they are also a good option for those who wish to live a "silky" experience in bed without spending too much.

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Remember not to use bleach or any bleaching products on silk sheets.
(Source: Hxdbzxy: 24905353/ 123rf.com)

Summary

Humans have been using silk for thousands of years for many products, from clothing to bedding. Although many people still believe that silk sheets are only available to kings, queens, and Hollywood stars, in recent years they are becoming very popular for their many advantages.

We hope this article has helped you to discover the advantages of sheets made with this unique material. Remember that they are especially suitable for people with allergy problems or skin hypersensitivity, both for their hypoallergenic and antibacterial properties and for their soft touch.

(Source of featured image: Katarzyna Białasiewicz: 87277640/ 123rf.com)

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