Silk vs. Satin Pillowcases: Which Is Better for Your Hair? - Turbie Twist

Silk vs. Satin Pillowcases: Which Is Better for Your Hair?

Should you go for silk or satin pillowcases? Understand the differences between the two so you can choose the best pillowcases for your hair.

satin pillowcases


"Your hair is amazing!" "I'm so jealous, I love naturally curly hair!"

You've heard all this and more from your straight-haired friends. You roll your eyes and think, if only they knew the amount of effort and time you have to put into your hair.

They can just roll out of bed, pull a comb through their hair, and at least look presentable. But you, you'd look like Mia Thermopolis from¬†The Princess Diaries¬†‚ÄĒ¬†before her grandmother gets ahold of her.

But can silk or satin pillowcases change that? Perhaps you've heard the chatter that smooth fabric on your pillowcase can help preserve your hairstyle and keep your hair healthy.

Is it true? Can the secret to beautiful hair be as simple as sleeping? If it is, which type of fabric is better, silk or satin? Let's find out.

Silk vs Satin

Before we get into which is better, we should probably define what these fabrics are. If you are like most people, you have no idea. All you know is that both fabrics are smooth and silky to the touch and they definitely seem like they would be nice to sleep on.

What Is Silk?

Silk is a natural fiber produced by larvae for building cocoons.

The silkworm excretes the sticky liquid protein and pushes it out through its mouth. To make its cocoon, the worm will perform about 300,000 figure 8s and produce about 1 kilometer of filament.

Unfortunately, hatching destroys the thread. Thus, the thread has to be unraveled before the caterpillar comes out as a moth. Heat in the form of either boiling water, steam or hot air is applied to soften the binding agent and unwind the cocoon.

Unfortunately, the heat also kills the caterpillar. To produce one pound of raw silk, about 2500 caterpillars sacrifice their lives.

What Is Satin? 

Though many people don't realize it, satin is a weave rather than an actual fiber of its own. The fabric is made by weaving over x number of threads and under one.

For example, 4/1 satin weave is made by passing over four threads and under one. This pattern is what creates a soft, shiny side and a dull, matte side to the fabric.

Satin can be made from several different raw fibers. These include nylon, rayon, polyester, wool, and silk. Bet you didn't know that a fabric could be both silk and satin!

Satin Pillowcase

Benefits of Silk and Satin Pillowcases

Both types of pillowcases offer similar benefits. 

Cotton pillowcases generate too much friction, which can cause your hair to get all tangled and even break more easily. The silky-smooth fabric of either silk or satin pillowcases allows your hair to slide across the surface more easily. This also helps cut down on the frizz for those of you with curly locks.

For the same reason that cotton is great for keeping you dry when it's hot out, it's a terrible material for a pillowcase. Cotton absorbs moisture, something that is not good for either your hair or your skin. 

Neither silk nor satin is a good moisture-wicking fabric. This means they won't suck moisture away from your hair and skin. Dehydrated hair looks lifeless and flat. Dehydrated skin looks old and papery. Neither is desirable.

As a natural fiber, silk offers a couple more benefits. It is hypoallergenic, which is good for allergy sufferers. This factor also means that it helps keep mold, dust mites, and other skin irritants away, which is great for those who struggle with acne. 

Additionally, a silk pillowcase can make you feel like royalty. After all, there's nothing that screams luxury more than sleeping on silk!

The Main Difference Between Silk and Satin

So both fabrics offer some great beauty benefits. How do you decide which one to choose?

For most people, the deciding factor is the price. 

Silk is a natural fiber, and extracting it is a labor-intensive process. Not to mention a whole lot of caterpillars literally give their lives to produce this luxury fabric. 

This gives silk a luxury price tag. You can literally pay several hundred dollars for a top of the line silk pillowcase. 

On the other hand, you can buy a quality satin pillowcase made from polyester and enjoy many of the same benefits for less than $20. 

But polyester sounds so scratchy! We promise that it isn't when it is woven using the satin weave. In fact, many people can't tell the difference just by touching it.

Remember, the raw material isn't as important as the weave. The weave is what gives satin the soft, luxurious feel that we know and love.


Bacteria and dirt will build up more slowly on silk or satin than on cotton, but you still need to wash it frequently. You don't want to be applying a fresh layer of skin irritants every time you go to sleep!

For this reason, read the label carefully before deciding between silk or satin pillowcases. Some have to be dry-cleaned only, some must be washed by hand, and others can go into the washing machine.

To keep things convenient, you'll want to choose a pillowcase that you can throw in the wash. Just remember not to wash it with clothing that has zippers or anything else that could snag the material.  

The Secret to Beauty Sleep Is Out!

Who knew that by simply sleeping on silk or satin pillowcases you could turn your nightly slumber into a crucial part of your beauty routine? What better technique could there be? 

You don't have to spend so many precious morning minutes laboriously styling your hair. Handle it the night before and simply freshen it up in the morning. It couldn't be easier!

Ready to try it out? Check out this great combo. Get a Turbie Towel uniquely designed to dry your hair without damaging it along with a satin pillowcase for only $14.99!