What to Know About Silk Bedding
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It’s common knowledge that a good night’s sleep is vitally important to our overall well-being. As consumers become more attuned to what they can do to improve their sleep habits, they’re increasingly turning towards luxury bedding.
High on the list is silk. The precious fabric, largely manufactured in the same way for millennia, is considered a premium material for bedding. It takes the work — and sacrifice — of 3,000 silkworms just to make one yard of silk. No wonder silk bedding is considered a luxury item!
Let’s take a look at the types and benefits of silk bedding, and whether it’s worth upgrading your sleep experience to silk.
What Is Silk Bedding?
The idea of sleeping on silk sheets has always had a luxurious ring to it, but silk bedding goes well beyond bed sheets. Silk is also used in mattress protectors, pillow protectors and silk-filled comforters and pillows. Instead of investing in sheet sets, some people choose to just use a silk pillowcase, which are popular as stand-alone silk bedding items.
Benefits of Silk Bedding
Much of the recent interest in silk has to do with its benefits — proven and unproven — as a sleep, health and beauty aid. Here are some of the more credible benefits of silk bedding:
- It regulates body temperature. In warm weather, silk draws heat and moisture from the body. In cold weather, warm air from the body is captured between the silk threads to form an insulating barrier.
- It’s good for allergies. Dust mites are a common allergen. But they apparently don’t like to cozy up to silk, so silk bedding can control their proliferation.
- It’s good for bad hair days. Cotton, the most common bed sheet material, absorbs oil and moisture, which can leave your hair dry. It also creates friction, which can leave hair frizzy. Silk does not absorb moisture, and its smooth surface is friction-free. The result? Fewer bad hair days.
- It may help prevent wrinkles. The jury is still out on this one. But in theory, silk won’t absorb moisture from your skin, and won’t cause creases the way cotton can. Both these qualities mean it might lead to better-looking skin, or at least fewer early morning sheet marks.
- It’s long-lasting. With proper bedding storage and when cared for per the manufacturer’s guidelines, silk bedding can last 10 years or more. Most of today’s silk bedding is machine washable.
Buying Silk Bedding
Silk comes in different qualities that mostly reflect how it’s cultivated and manufactured.
- Mulberry silk is made from silkworms that feed exclusively on Mulberry plant leaves. It’s the most expensive to produce — and purchase — and is noted for its durability and softness.
- Charmeuse silk, the most common type, is frequently used in clothing. It usually has a smooth side and a slightly rougher side.
- Ethical silk, sometimes called peace silk, is made without killing the silkworm. This results in shorter silk strands, which are woven together to make long silk threads.
When shopping for silk bedding, look for the momme, or fabric weight. Silk bedding is usually between 12 and 30 momme. The higher the momme, the better the quality.
Best Silk Bedding
- Best mattress and pillow protectors. SmartSilk’s silk-filled mattress pad and pillow protectors are the only silk products certified as asthma and allergy friendly by the Allergy Standards Limited (ASL) and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA).
- Best silk sheets. Silk sheet sets usually do not come cheap. If they do, they’re probably made of synthetic silk. For a four-piece queen-sized set, plan to spend $350 and up. At $409, Zimasilk’s 100 percent Mulberry silk sheet set, available in 11 colors, is about the middle of the road in cost.
- Best silk pillowcases. If you hesitate springing for a full set of sheets but want the beauty benefits of sleeping on silk, go for a pillowcase. A 22-momme pillowcase from Towels By Gus can be monogrammed. Brooklinen silk pillowcases are also highly rated.
- Best silk duvet cover. To convert an existing duvet into something smooth and silky, invest in a new duvet cover. We like these reversible, two-color silk duvet covers from LilySilk, which can also be monogrammed.
- Best silk comforter. For price and comfort, consider a silk comforter made of a cotton exterior filled with breathable spun silk filling. It provides winter warmth and summer cooling. These start at around $130 for a queen size, and go as high as your budget allows.