Pillow cases are what make the pillows so comfy and good-looking. People who skip on good pillow cases are in the wrong. It’s an important part of the bed and as such, it’s key that you understand the different types of fabrics used in pillow cases to make a better choice this time.
There’s no single best fabric for pillow cases. People’s priorities are always different. For example, some prize softness over everything else (cotton), whereas others like a decent feel that comes at an affordable price. You might also want a plush and luxurious feel (silk or linen). On the other hand, some prefer the inexpensiveness and wrinkle-free properties of polyester and microfiber. Choosing the right fabric for the pillow case is important for the hair and face.
Let’s have a look at all the options from the most desirable to the least, but note that it’s not a fact, for example, that cotton is more desirable than microfiber. All have their own set of qualities.
Cotton is by far the most sought-after material for pillow cases. It’s super-soft and comfortable. It’s also highly breathable and provides a luxe feel at a very affordable price point. Cotton pillow cases are easily the most used pillow covers.
Cotton can absorb moisture from your face. If you apply products right before bed then sleeping on a cotton pillow face down might not be the best idea. It can further irritate the skin in some cases.
Satin is another luxurious fabric. Smooth and soft to the skin, satin can improve hair as well as skin health. Satin is also known to help prevent wrinkles. You can achieve softer and smoother skin and hair with satin pillow cases.
Satin pillow cases are by far the most sought-after pillow cases for beauty reasons. Their smooth surfaces make your hair and face glide. Consequently, you end up with less frizz in your hair and fewer creases on the skin.
Silk is a natural fabric noted for its beauty benefits. It’s relatively more delicate than most others. You have to hand-wash silk pillow cases because of their fragility. Silk is typically sold by weight and it generally becomes much more expensive than others for the same quantity.
Silk is also 100% naturally hypoallergenic and used for asthma patients and those who suffer from skin allergies such as sensitive, dry, or itchy skin and eczema. Compared to cotton, which feels soft but tugs at the hair with its weave, 100% natural silk (and especially mulberry silk with a charmeuse weave) will prevent hair thinning.
Be sure to check out “Top 6 Silk Pillowcases For Skin and Hair You Should Consider“
Linen is a natural flax fabric. It’s a high-quality breathable and lightweight fabric. Linen makes for the perfect bedding choice in the summer months.
Linen is antibacterial, easy to wash, and durable. They are an ideal companion to peaceful sleep. 100% pure flax linen is very breathable and transfers much less moisture and oils from your skin to the pillow.
Microfiber is a part of the smooth team. Unlike most other fabrics that can tug your hair strands and split ends in their weave, microfiber and others (such as silk and satin) don’t do that. This prevents hair thinning and morning frizz. They are also great for the skin as the same smoothness also helps the facial skin to experience less drag on it.
Microfiber pillow cases are also exceptionally good at repelling pollutants and allergens unlike natural fabrics such as cotton – which instead traps them. Microfiber is the safest and the most comfortable choice for people with sensitive sinuses, dust allergies, or hay fever.
It’s a synthetic fiber that’s considered superior to many natural fabrics mostly because of its increased resilience.
Bamboo is typically mixed with other fibers such as rayon to make pillow cases. These are stylish, comfortable, luxurious, and soft. Bamboo pillow cases are made out of bamboo fabric which, in turn, is made from the fibers of the bamboo plant. The bamboo plant fibers are hollow and these cavities absorb moisture very quickly.
Bamboo pillow cases are one of the few pillow case types that are soft as well as static-free.
The main advantage of using bamboo pillow cases is to keep the head cool and dry.
The synthetic fiber polyester is usually heavy and causes the body to retain heat while you sleep. Not ideal pillow case material, polyester is water-resistant but can trap oil and grease – thereby making stain removal quite the chore.
Polyester pillow cases can also be irritating for people with sensitive skin.
On the plus side, polyester pillow cases are wear- and tear-resistant, wrinkle-resistant, budget-friendly, and machine-washable.
Percale pillow cases are made from 100% cotton and have a high thread count. Percale is very tightly woven to cover up the tugging drawbacks of cotton. It feels light and crisp. Generally reserved for warmer climates, it’s a decent material for pillow cases, though it’s mainly used in sheets.
Percale is also sometimes made of synthetic fibers such as polyester, rayon, and microfiber or natural fibers such as those from bamboo. Longer threads are what make percale higher quality. The thread count of percale is usually between 200-300.
The best percale cotton pillow case: Sleep Mantra’s 100% organic cotton pillow case in percale weave is cool and crisp.
Another synthetic fiber, nylon can be easily made to look like silk. Laundering nylon is fairly easy and it also dries fast. Nylon is plastic-based (made from crude oil through a chemically intensive process) and as such, it’s not an absorbent material. It can easily make your face sweat.
It’s not conventional to have nylon pillow cases for regular sleeping. As these are made of nylon fibers – the same material used for strong ropes, it’s not that suitable for sleeping on. However, it’s inexpensive and extremely easy to wash, so those are a couple of things going for it.
Wool isn’t used that much for pillow cases. It’s used plenty for pillows themselves. Wool is very soft. Woolen pillow cases are extremely soft but thicker. You will also find plenty of “faux wool” pillow cases on the market. A pure woolen pillow case is pretty rare to get your hands on. They are high maintenance and not durable at all. Faux wool and fur cases are sometimes used interchangeably with wool pillowcases, but these are all different things.
Wool is plush but better for decorative pillows and not standard sleeping pillows.
So, what is the best pillow case material for hair and skin?
You can assert which pillow case fabric to go for depending on these properties:
- Softness: Softer fabrics usually promote better sleep. If your hair and face get dragged on the pillow case then they can be damaged. Smoother and softer fabrics don’t let this happen.
- Breathability: Breathability ensures you can sleep comfortably. Pure cotton provides the best breathability.
- Maintenance: Some fabrics are high maintenance than others. For example, silk must be hand-washed.
- Hypoallergenic quality: Some fabrics are infused with elements like copper or essential oils which introduce antibacterial and antiaging qualities in the fabric along with making it less allergic. Some fabrics like silk are inherently hypoallergenic.
- Durability: Not all fabrics are durable. Some are very fragile whereas others like nylon and microfiber are extremely durable.
- Price: Each fabric has its own price. Usually, cheaper fabrics lack other qualities.
- Thread count: Higher thread count increases the smoothness of the fabric. It also increases the price.
You could go for a high thread count satin for exceptional smoothness or with 100% pure cotton if you prefer breathability. The choice is up to you!