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Should you use silk pillow cases?

To get that film star feeling nothing beats relaxing in luxury bedding. Silk has always been associated with elegance. 

Silk pillowcases are fast becoming a popular alternative to traditional cotton pillowcases. But why are they the latest must-have beauty tool?

Let’s take a look at what silk actually is and what you will gain by opting for silk.

What is silk?

Silk is a natural fibre that is woven into fabric. It is one of the world’s strongest naturally produced textiles. 

How is silk made?

Every cocoon that is unravelled produces a single length of silk thread. This can measure around a kilometre in length! When a silkworm caterpillar is ready for the next stage of its life cycle, it constructs a cocoon from saliva. It is this cocoon that is unravelled into a single thread that can be spun into silk fabric.

What is silk used for?

Silk has various uses including:

  • Clothing - think glamorous dresses, luxurious nightwear and posh lingerie.
  • Beauty - the cocoons contain anti-aging elements used in beauty treatments.
  • Home furnishings - for super-soft bedding, curtains and blankets.
  • Accessories - perfect for scarves, eye masks and gloves.
  • Parachutes - although modern parachutes use nylon.

How to care for silk

Silk is a delicate fabric and deserves special care. If you want it to last, make sure you follow the care guidelines. Dry cleaning is often recommended, but the harsh chemicals can damage the silk over time. It can be popped in the washing machine - delicate cycle only. Make sure you use a gentle detergent that cleans and protects the fabric. You can also hand wash your silk pillowcase but don’t put your silks in the dryer as the heat can ruin it.  

The benefits of silk

Did you know that silk actually has health benefits?

No more bed head

If you dream of luscious locks, lying on a silk pillowcase can help. The soft fibres and moisturising quality means less damage and tangle-free hair. Silk has anti-static properties, so you can say goodbye to that dreaded bed head frizz.

Softer skin

Silk is friction free which means it works wonders for your delicate skin. The unique softness of silk is naturally moisturising. In fact, sleeping on a silk pillowcase will rejuvenate your skin overnight. Simplest beauty routine ever, right?

Hypoallergenic

If you are sensitive to dust or mites, silk is the perfect choice. Silk has hypoallergenic properties and is resistant to bacteria. So it won’t irritate your sensitive skin while you sleep.If you have a skin condition like eczema or psoriasis, dermatologists recommend silk bedding. 

Temperature control

Extremes of temperature can make it difficult to sleep soundly. Silk fabric is naturally temperature regulating. Say goodbye to tossing and turning on a hot summer night. And no need to add extra blankets for warmth. Because of its unique properties, silk bedding can be used all year round. 

Reduces acne

Is it silk, or is it better quality sleep? The smooth surface of silk is much kinder to your acne-prone skin. The fabric is tightly woven which gives it moisturising properties. Your skin won’t lose as much moisture when next to silk.

No more dark circles

Fed up of waking up looking like a zombie? Getting a silk pillowcase can improve your sleep quality and means you wake up feeling rested, refreshed and you don’t need to plaster on the concealer before you leave the house.

Is silk vegan?

The short answer to this is ‘no’. Silk is a biodegradable fabric, meaning that it will decompose much quicker than man-made fibres. You can even throw it in the compost! But just because it is a natural fabric and good for the environment doesn’t mean that it is suitable for vegans. 


Silk fibres are processed from the cocoons of the mulberry silkworm. With conventional, mass-produced silk, the sad fact is the caterpillars won’t live to transform into butterflies. In order to collect the silk, the cocoons are often boiled or frozen which kills the caterpillars inside. This method means the silk can be extracted in one long continuous thread. As the silkworm caterpillars do not survive this process, the majority of vegans will avoid this mass-produced silk.

Is there an ethical alternative?

Are you vegan but still want all those lovely benefits of sleeping on a silk pillowcase? Don’t worry - there are ethical options out there!

Wild silk

As the name suggests, this method of producing silk does not use the cocoons of captive caterpillars. Instead, cocoons are harvested in the wild after the caterpillar has emerged. This labour intensive method means costs are higher, but it is a more ethical alternative. 

Ahimsa silk

The word ‘ahimsa’ means non-violence. Also called ‘peace silk’, this production method uses captive silkmoths, but the cocoons aren’t boiled to extract the silk. The cocoons may be carefully cut so that the developing moth can exit and naturally complete its life cycle.

Bamboo silk

This is silk derived from - you guessed it - bamboo. Like traditionally produced silk, bamboo produces a fabric that is hypoallergenic and antimicrobial. Another reason bamboo silk is so popular is that it is less expensive. 

Rayon fabric

Rayon is often referred to as artificial silk. It is semi-synthetic and much cheaper to produce. Although it isn’t as super-soft as silk, it is more breathable and an alternative for vegans who want the benefits of silk without the unethical production methods. 

Getting more zzz’s with silk

If you want to take your night time routine to the next level, opt for some aromatherapy. But don’t go sprinkling lavender essential oil all over your delicate pillowcase. Use a room diffuser or a personal diffuser instead. A few puffs of a RELAX gives you a chilled out feeling that will transport you to a place of peace in no time. 

With a silk pillowcase, you will get that five star hotel treatment. Not only does it make you feel famous, you will benefit from the soft, relaxing properties. Sleep time will become a luxury experience that guarantees you more snooze time.