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The best satin and silk pillowcases: how to protect your curls while you sleep, with advise from curl experts

We spoke to three leading curl experts who gave us their take on what to look out for and avoid when shopping for a satin or silk pillowcase.

the best satin and silk pillowcases

Silk and satin pillowcases have taken the beauty industry by storm with skin-saving, hair-loving benefits and indulgent feel. These products have found a special place in the heart of the curly-haired community and have become a foundational piece in any curl lover’s arsenal.

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From the touch of luxury that comes with 100% mulberry silk to the affordable yet high-quality result of satin blends, these super soft pillowcases can help decrease friction that can lead to frizz and breakage while also working to preserve curls and styles as you sleep.

If you’re in the market for a low-friction, style-preserving pillowcase, you’ll know you’re truly spoilt for choice with hundreds of tempting products promising to help your curls see another day. Well, we’re here to get to the bottom of why you should use a silk or satin pillowcase and exactly which ones make the cut. The Recommended spoke to three leading curl experts who gave us their take on what to look out for and avoid when shopping for these products, as well as calling out some of their tried and tested favourites.

Jump to the best satin and silk pillowcases:

Our pillowcase experts

Satin and silk pillowcase experts
Stephanie Nikolova, Claire Lendon, Vicky Bridge-Tonner

Stephanie Nikolova is the founder of Curly Hair London and has dedicated the last 11 years of her impressive 35-year hairdressing career to the care and maintenance of curly hair. A certified member of curly hair artistry and curl-by curl trained and certified by the creator of the Curly Girl Method, Lorraine Massey, Stephanie works with only natural, organic, curl-friendly products in a chemical-free salon.

Claire Lendon, also known as the curl consultant, is the founder and owner of Elevate Hair Studio in Exeter and has over 20 years of experience in the industry. Holding qualifications from Devacurl, Curly Hair Artistry, and author of Curly Girl: The Handbook, Lorraine Massey Claire’s skills are in high demand, with clients travelling from far and wide to experience the curl consultant’s magic.

Vicky Bridge-Tonner is dubbed the ‘queen of curls’, and is one of Manchester’s most sought-after stylists. Curly-world certified, Vicky has over 12 years of industry experience and works with clients to create bespoke, curl-by-curl cuts and styles to complement hair type and face shape. Vicky’s client book is always full, with long waitlists of hopefuls looking for an answer to their curly-haired dreams.

Why should you use a satin or silk pillowcase?

When asked about the benefits of using a satin or silk pillowcase, our experts have plenty to say. Vicky told us, “The benefit of using a silk or satin pillowcase on hair is all due to the structure and texture of the material. Silk and satin are smooth fabrics which reduce the tension on curls as your hair moves across a pillow. Your hair literally glides over the texture. By having a silk or satin pillowcase, your curls will feel less friction, reducing tension on the hair follicles, and this helps curls retain their shape. Silk or satin also allows you to retain more moisture. This all reduces frizz”.

Stephanie agreed with Vicky and commented on the benefit of silk or satin pillowcases for those with delicate hair textures, telling us how use can result in “less hair breakage for fine-haired people or those experiencing hair loss”. Claire also touched on the skin benefits of these products, touching on how they may “help reduce the signs of ageing”.

What should you look for when buying a satin or silk pillowcase?

In terms of what to look out for when purchasing these products, our experts agreed that both satin and silk fabrics reduce friction and benefit the hair. Vicky advised us to consider fabric choice telling us, “the main difference between silk and satin is that satin is manmade and vegan. The material is cheaper to make and will last longer, making it more economical. You can also machine wash satin”. Silk, on the other hand, “requires more care and is more expensive. It is the ultimate luxury, but you need to look at the density of the silk. The smoother the pillowcase is, the better for your curls”.

What should you avoid when looking for a satin or silk pillowcase?

Stephanie advised those with allergies to steer clear of satin as it “is made from common and cost-effective materials like polyester, is not naturally hypoallergenic, so may not be suitable for those with allergies or sensitive skin” whereas “silk fibres are coated with a protein known as sericin, this means silk fabric is naturally hypoallergenic”.

Claire pointed out that silk pillowcases are not vegan and may be unsuitable for some people. She also told us, “if you get hot at night, satin isn’t a great idea. It’s cool to touch but eventually gets warmer”.

Which is the best satin or silk pillowcase?

When asked for their recommendations, Claire told us, “Only Curls and Osocurly have their own pillowcases, and I have both, as a curly girl myself”. Claire also gave a top tip for the frequent traveller telling us, “you can get some pillowcases on elastic so you can pop it on top of your pillow each night if it’s not aesthetically pleasing with your decor or while travelling”.

Stephanie gave her vote to 100% silk products telling us, “For people who prefer luxurious bedding, silk would be my advice, choose 100% Mulberry silk as it is the highest quality of silk you can find, the fibres are longer and more uniform, so the fabric is smoother and more durable”. Stephanie suggested a “one side silk pillowcase which is price and quality efficient”.

The best satin and silk pillowcases:

Best pillowcase set: Bedsure Satin Pillowcases

Affordable results

best pillowcase set

Coming in a convenient pack of either two or four, these satin pillowcases are made from polyester and provide a low-friction haven for hair without punishing your bank balance.

These satin pillowcases work to keep curls and purse strings intact, promising reduced breakage and a luxurious feel. Machine washable on a cold setting, these pillowcases are a durable, cost-effective option and come in various colourways, providing a seamless addition to your bedroom décor.

Best mulberry silk pillowcase: ZIMASILK 100% Mulberry Silk Pillowcase

Timeless quality

best mulberry silk pillowcase

Recommended by Stephanie, 100% mulberry silk pillowcases are of the highest quality and, due to their long, uniform fibres, are smoother and therefore kinder to strands and curly styles.

Silk has long been considered the apex of luxury fabric, and this pillowcase leans into this image of indulgence. Available in various styles and colourways, these 100% silk pillowcases are enriched with 18 amino acids that work to create an organic and natural protective defence for the hair and skin while increasing serotonin and collagen production.

Best satin pillowcase: Kitsch Satin Pillowcase

Affordable quality 

best satin pillowcase

Calling themselves “softer than silk”, the Kitsch Satin Pillowcases come at a reasonable price point and offer a vegan alternative to silk products without compromising on quality results.

These pillowcases are made from 100% polyester satin to offer a smooth spot to rest your head. As well as promising to reduce frizz and hair breakage, these satin pillowcases claim to hydrate the skin and combat signs of ageing.

Best one-sided silk pillowcase: Jasmine Silk One-Sided Pillowcase

Accessible luxury

jasmine silk one sided silk pillowcase

A quality, cost-effective option, this one-sided silk pillowcase provides the benefits of 100% silk products while the cotton underside reduces cost and allows for versatile décor.

Stephanie suggested a one-sided pillowcase for those that want the luxurious quality of silk without splashing the cash. The Jasmine Silk One-sided Pillowcases are made from Charmeuse Silk and300 thread count, breathable cotton for a cooling, comfortable night’s sleep.

Best affordable pillowcase: Silk Life Satin Pillowcase

Durable value

Best affordable pillowcase

This polyester satin pillowcase is made with a hidden zip design for added comfort and a more accurate fit. Available in various sizes and colours, this product is stain and fade resistant for long-lasting use.

Offering the skin and hair-loving benefits of a low-friction pillowcase at an affordable price, the Silk Like Satin Pillowcase prioritises comfort and durability. Machine-washable and iron-safe, these pillowcases allow for easy maintenance and lasting quality.

Best premium pillowcase: Slip Silk Pillowcase

Trusted luxury

best premium silk pillowcase

Made from 100% mulberry slip silk, the Slip Silk Pillowcases combine softness and durability with thickness and shine for quality products made to last.

Made with the highest grade, long fibre mulberry silk, this premium silk pillowcase is available with either a hidden zipper or traditional envelope closure for versatile use. After third party testing, Slip Pillowcases were shown to reduce friction by up to 43% compared to cotton pillowcases*. These luxury products promise to make bedheads a thing of the past and reduce pressure on creased skin.

*of between 220-360 thread count

Best hypoallergenic pillowcase: Ethlomoer 100% Silk Pillowcase

Gentle indulgence

best hypoallergenic pillowcase

These silk pillowcases are handmade from 100% long strand 19 momme silk, hypoallergenic and dust, mould and mite resistant for quality comfort and sleep.

Crafted to be temperature regulating, these silk pillowcases are warm in the winter and cool in the summer, allowing for comfortable sleep while supporting healthy skin and strong, smooth hair. Machine-washable on a delicate setting, these pillowcases are easy to maintain and promise long-lasting quality.

Best travel pillowcase: Deluxe Satin Fitted Pillowcase

Adaptable comfort

best travel pillowcase

Claire recommended elasticated pillow coverings for on-the-go hair and skin protection. These pillow coverings are made with durable elastic and smooth satin fabric, combining comfort with convenience.

An innovative addition to any travel haircare routine, these satin pillow coverings can be placed over any standard pillow and easily removed for added convenience. This satin pillow covering promises to prevent hair breakage and aid shine and manageability while keeping the skin hydrated and wrinkles at bay.

Best reversible pillowcase: Osocurly Reversible Satin Pillowcase

Versatile style

Best reversible pillowcase

Our expert Claire gave a shout out to her tried and tested favourite Osocurly pillowcases. These satin pillowcases’ elasticated designs come in various colours and are easily removable.

This durable, long-lasting satin pillowcase easily slips over any pillow for all-night protection and comfort. The elasticated design fits snugly to avoid loose fabric, and the super-soft material promises to keep hair moisturised and frizz-free.

Best anti-frizz pillowcase: Only Curls Silk Pillowcase

For hydration and bounce

only curls silk pillowcase

A favourite of our expert Claire, this super-soft silk pillowcase works to keep the hair and skin hydrated.

Cotton pillowcases can absorb moisture from the hair, leaving strands parched and frizzy by morning. The Only Curls silk pillowcase works to preserve moisture levels, keeping the hair and skin hydrated and making morning maintenance pain-free.

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Want to read more expert-recommended hair care essential round-ups? Check out our hair care page for a full list of recommendations, including our guide to the best shampoos, the best hair curlers and the best hair dryers, as recommended by our hair care experts.