Silk Vs Satin pillowcases, which is best for hair?

Hollie Shirley / Hair & Skincare Editor

Which of these fabrics really will give you better hair and skin days?

A question that pops up often is which is better for your hair, silk, or satin pillowcases? Before we get into the nitty-gritty it’s important to remember that while silk is a natural fibre, satin is a fabric weave. There are plenty of reasons why you might want to choose one type of pillowcase over another. Now let’s take a closer look at what makes them so special. So when people ask this, they are usually comparing a silk pillowcase to a polyester satin counterpart.

What is silk?

Silk is a natural fiber produced from the cocoon of the mulberry worm. Silkworms produce two types of silk: the first type is called Bombyx mori, and the second is called Antheraea pernyi. Both types of silk are used for making clothing, but only A. pernyi produces the stronger silk.

The silkworm is a moth that lives in tropical regions. They eat leaves and buds of trees, including mulberries. When they pupate, they spin their cocoons around twigs and branches. After spinning the cocoon, the silkworm dies. The cocoon is then opened, and the silk is removed.

Read more about silk here: What is Silk? Origin, how it is Made, types & benefits

What is satin?

Satin is a synthetics fabric that is smooth and soft to touch. This type of fabric is often used for clothing and bedding.
Originally, satin was made using silk, but modern satin is generally made from polyester and rayon, both of which can be manufactured to form long filaments, and it`s easier to wash it using the washing machine.

So when people ask about silk vs satin pillowcases, they are usually comparing a silk pillowcase to a polyester satin counterpart. For the purpose of this article when we talk about satin, we are referring to polyester.

Read more on this here: The difference between silk and man-made fibres such as polyester

What is the difference between Silk and Satin Pillowcases?


Sleeping on a silk pillowcase will do wonders for your hair. Not only will it help to banish bedhead and tangles, it will help your hair to better absorb the natural oils produced on your scalp along the lengths. Any oils, creams and treatments will also be better absorbed. Silk is also a natural breathable fabric, so you will find it cooler on warmer nights. Satin, while also slippery to feel is not breathable, and although it will help reduce friction between the hair and tangles, you may not see benefits as quickly.

Do silk or satin pillowcases cause static?

As satin is usually made from polyester it can cause a bit of static in your hair (less so than cotton). Silk on the otherhand is anti-static.


Silk is a luxury naturally made animal protein fibre, whereas polyester is an industrially produced fibre made from petroleum. As such, silk offers significantly better affinity to the skin due to similar chemical composition. Skin is able to move without friction meaning you will wake up with fewer lines on your face from your pillow in the short term, and in the long term, it will help prevent against wrinkles. Silk is naturally hypoallergenic, which keeps your sleep surface clear of allergens, dust mites and mold aka skin irritants that can cause acne breakouts and aggravate eczema. Satin being man-made doesn’t have this benefit.


Satin and natural silk also have a very different feel against the skin. Satin is slippery with a clearly distinct texture which you can feel. Natural silk, in contrast, is softer in feel and the Charmeuse weave affords a more subtle reduction in friction. 100% silk will not have the slippery feel that satin has.



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For us, nothing compares to natural, 100% silk pillowcases. Although it is more expensive than satin, the benefits of sleeping on or in silk are not comparable with a man-made fibre. From a maintenance point of view, silk is a bit more difficult to wash due to it being more delicate and require more attention, but it only requires hand washing once per week, so it doesn’t take that much time or cost.

Best silk pillowcase for your hair 2022 – 19 Momme Silk Pillowcase


19 Momme Silk Pillowcase is made with the highest quality 100% 19 momme silk, which is proven to keep your skin looking radiant and glowing. Your skin will glide over the silk reducing friction, stretching, pressure and tugging at your skin, preventing sleep creases from forming.

Hopefully, we have shed some light on some of the misconceptions between mulberry silk pillowcases and polyester silk/satin pillowcases. Natural silk is not only more comfortable but so much better for your health and beauty. We don’t think you will ever want to go back to sleeping on a plain old pillowcase again.

Hollie Shirley
Hair & Skincare Editor

Hollie Shirley is SILKUP’s hair and skincare editor. She’s obsessed with all things hair care and results-driven skincare, that is kind to the environment and your wallet. She has a weakness for limited edition eyeshadows and is always testing out the newest and greatest deep conditioners. Hollie has a passion for hair and is studying Trichology, working towards becoming a Member of the Association of Registered Trichologists.