Which is Better for Your Skin, a Silk Pillowcase or a Satin Pillowcase?

This article demystifies the satin vs. silk pillowcase debate and explains the many reasons why silk pillowcases are the better choice for your skin.

Silk and Satin Pillowcases: Two Popular Options for Skincare

Woman Applies Skin Care

If you’re into beauty and skincare, your social feeds are likely loaded with reels and ads touting the benefits of sleeping on satin or silk pillowcases. And while silk pillowcases are having a moment, they’re far from new; silk pillowcases have been a favorite of beauty insiders for decades, used for keeping hair and skin moisturized, taming frizzy hair, and preventing fine lines wrinkles. But even though “silk” and “satin” are often used interchangeably, silk and satin are not the same thing. Mulberry Park Silks can clear up the confusion and explain why silk is definitely the better choice for your skin.

The Difference Between Silk and Satin Fabric

Let’s start with simple definitions of both silk and satin.

Piece of Silk fabric

Silk is a natural, protein-based fabric woven from the fibers of the silkworm cocoon. Mulberry silk is the very highest quality silk, known for strength and softness; its weight is measured in “momme,” which is similar to thread count in cotton sheets. Genuine silk will always be labeled “pure silk” with the momme weight noted.

Satin is a type of weave that is smooth on one side and matte on the reverse. Satin fabric is man made from nylon, rayon, or another petroleum-based synthetic fiber.

Silk and satin fabric are both soft to the touch and reduce friction compared to cotton pillowcases, but that is where the similarities end.

Silk Pillowcases for Your Skin

The many benefits of sleeping on a silk pillowcase derive from the fact that silk fiber is completely natural, spun from the hygienic and protective silkworm cocoon. No other fabric on earth compares to silk in terms of luxury and purity:

Women with different Skin Tones
  1. Natural Material: Silk is a natural fiber made from protein. contains proteins and amino acids that are similar to those found in human skin and hair, making it the ideal environment to keep your skin healthy and well moisturized. 
  2. Feel: Silk feels soft and lustrous to the touch and is friction-free.
  3. Breathability: Natural silk is more breathable, which helps regulate temperature to keep you comfortable no matter the conditions.
  4. Moisture: Silk is wonderful at helping your skin (and hair) maintain natural moisture. Unfortunately, your regular cotton pillowcase absorbs moisture and can actually dry out your skin. A silk pillowcase is so much better for keeping your skin hydrated.
  5. Hypoallergenic: Real silk is naturally hypoallergenic, which makes it a wonderful choice for anyone with sensitive skin, allergies, or conditions like acne and eczema. Silk sheets and pillowcases help allergy-proof your bedroom.
  6. Anti-microbial: Silk resists mold and dust mite growth for a clean, pure environment.

At Mulberry Park Silks, our silk pillowcases are made from the highest-grade silk, 6A, and available in a range of momme weights and prices. We’ve taken the extra step of having our silk bedding STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® certified, independently tested as safe from harmful chemicals.

Lying on Silk Pillowcase

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Satin weave pillowcases also deliver some benefits for your skin due to their soft, smooth surface.

    1. Satin is a Weave, not a Material: Satin refers to the weave of the fabric, not the material itself. This makes the term “satin pillowcase” very confusing. 
    2. Synthetic fibers: While satin “can” technically be made from silk or a silk blend, it is most often made from synthetic, petroleum-based fibers like polyester or nylon (remember: pure silk will always be labeled and list a momme weight).
    3. Feel: Like silk, satin has a smooth surface that can reduce friction on the skin, potentially reducing wrinkles and sleep lines. Satin tends to feel a bit slippery to the touch.
    4. Less Absorbent: Even if it is made from synthetic fibers, satin may be less absorbent than cotton, which can help skincare products stay on your skin and not be absorbed by the pillowcase. Polyester satin is not, however, breathable like silk.
    5. Cost: Satin pillowcases, especially those made from synthetic materials, tend to be more affordable than 100% silk pillowcases.
Criteria Pure Silk Pillowcase Synthetic Satin Pillowcases
Material Natural pure mulberry silk of the highest grade (6A) protein-based material Petroleum-based synthetic material
Surface Soft, lustrous surface Soft, slippery surface
Breathability Silk fabric is breathable Synthetic fabric not breathable
Moisture Retention Helps skin retain moisture May not absorb moisture like cotton
Hypoallergenic Hypoallergenic n/a
Resists Mold, Bacteria, and Dust Mites Resists mold, bacteria, and dust mites n/a
Range of Momme Weights and Prices Various momme weights and prices Generally more affordable than silk due to low-quality fabric
Certification STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® n/a

A Mulberry Park Silks Pillowcase: The Best Choice for Your Skin

By every measure other than cost, a genuine silk pillowcase from Mulberry Park Silks is the very best choice for your skin. While both silk and satin provide a low-friction environment, our silk is pure, hypoallergenic, breathable, and antimicrobial. It’s an ideal environment to keep your skin smooth, clean, and well-moisturized.

Woman Lying on Silk

Dr.HariKiran Chekuri, a dermatologist and the medical head of ClinicSpots weighs in on silk, writing, “Look for 100% pure mulberry silk pillowcases that are made of long-fiber silk with a high momme count (a measure of silk weight and quality). The higher the momme count, the more durable and luxurious the silk.” He further cautions, “Avoid silk blends or synthetic silks that may contain chemicals or additives that can irritate or harm the skin. Also, avoid satin fabrics that are not made of silk but of polyester or nylon.”

Click here to learn how to tell the difference between silk and satin when shopping for a pillowcase. You can also l earn how to find your perfect momme weight silk pillowcase in this article.

Mulberry Park: Accessible and Affordable Luxury Silk

We founded Mulberry Park with one simple mission: to design the highest quality silk items in the market and offer them at an affordable price. And we've done just that, with a full range of silk products made from 100% pure mulberry long strand silk fabric. The silk fabric used for our silk sheets and silk pillowcases has also been OEKO-TEX® Certified (Standard 100) to be free of chemicals.

Visit us online or call us at (800) 860-1924 to learn more about our silk sheets, silk pillowcases, duvet covers and shams, and real silk accessories including sleep masks, travel pillows, and silk hair scrunchies.