Are Silk Sheets Worth It? Here's Why You Should Switch, According To Sleep Experts

This silky soft bedding can regulate body temperature, fight off allergens and can even be better for your skin.
Sleep cooler and breathe easier with these sustainable sateen silk alternative sheets made from bamboo.
Sleep cooler and breathe easier with these sustainable sateen silk alternative sheets made from bamboo.

There are a number of external factors that influence our quality of sleep, such as ambient sounds, blue light from electronics and disruptive sleep partners. Temperature also plays a large role in our ability to not only fall asleep, but to stay asleep.

According to Christina Graham, a Noom coach with experience in sleep education, a drop in body temperature is necessary for us to move into the deeper stages of sleep.

Our body temperature begins to drop about two hours before bedtime, coinciding with the release of the sleep hormone melatonin,” she said. “Our core temperature drops throughout the night and then slowly rises towards the morning as we wake.”

Graham said that because of this, higher core temperature spikes, caused by the environment or otherwise, can lead to restless sleep patterns and a delayed approach to both slow-wave and REM sleep.

If you find yourself feeling too hot to fall asleep or waking up frequently throughout the night, Graham said you may want to consider whether your bedding is making a negative impact on your body temperature. If so, silk sheets might be a good option.

Silk sheets are thought to be ideal for promoting sleep since silk fibers are breathable and have low conductivity, which allows our bodies to regulate the core temperature in warm and cool environments. Silk is also known to wick moisture away from the body, which can keep us cool and dry,” she said.

And if you’re allergy prone, they’re good for that, too. Dr. Jyoti Matta, director of the Center for Sleep Disorders at Jersey City Medical Center, explained that silk is a hypoallergenic material that doesn’t trap dust, potentially promoting improved breathing.

That being said, Jonathon Reckles, a fabric-cleaning service expert with CD One Price Dry Cleaners, pointed out that silk sheets are often an investment and may be more difficult to care for compared to cotton or linen bedding.

The fabric in silk pillowcases is weak and easily damaged when wet, so either use the delicate cycle in the washing machine or hand wash without squeezing or wringing,” Reckles said. “If washing alone, warm water can be used. We recommend up to 120 degrees, and we also recommend an air-dry or at least low temperature drying in a dryer.”

When shopping for silk sheets, Graham said it’s important not to confuse silk with satin, a cheaper alternative which, although it may feel cool to the touch like silk, is composed of a man-made fiber weave which can trap heat, making it harder to drop your body temperature.

The American Sleep Association recommends searching for a 100% Mulberry silk sheet with a 15 momme or above rating. The higher the momme, the stronger and more durable the weave,” Graham said.

Also, because chemicals may be added to silk fibers in the dying process or promote antimicrobial properties, Graham suggested that you may want to look for the Oek-Tex standard certification, since Oek-Tex is an independent service that verifies healthy environmental standards in textiles.

As warmer weather is fast approaching, hot and sweaty sleep may be on the rise. To sleep cooler and more comfortably, shop this list of Oek-Tex certified silk bedding, 100% Mulberry silk sheets with assorted momme ratings and even cooling natural silk alternatives that are less expensive and lower maintenance.

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A set of machine washable 100% Mulberry silk sheets
Made from 100% 19 momme Mulberry silk, this sheet is Oeko-Tex certified and comes with two pillow shams, a flat sheet and a fitted sheet. It has a deep pocket design to fit securely over mattresses and the durable and incredibly soft weave can occasionally tolerate machine washing in lukewarm water on the delicate cycle. It's available in 10 colors and four mattress sizes.
An affordable three-piece set of 19 momme silk sheets
Recommended by The Sleep Foundation as the best value silk sheet option, SilkSilky's three-piece 100% Mulberry silk sheet set includes two envelope-closure pillowcases and one fitted sheet. These non-wrinkle sheets are available in over 20 sizes, including European mattress sizing, and come in three colors.
Oeko-Tex certified eucalyptus sheets that require low maintenance care
These silky hypoallergenic and antibacterial silk alternative sheets are made using 100% premium lyocell fibers from eucalyptus, which effectively mimic the temperature-regulating quality of silk sheets. This sustainably processed material is three times more breathable than cotton and has moisture-wicking abilities to help keep the body cool while also being great for sensitive or acne-prone skin. These sheets by Eucalypso are available in five sizes and seven colors including rust, spring green and light gray.
A natural and cooling vegan silk bed sheet set
For a vegan silk sheet alternative not made from silk worms, The Sleep Foundation recommended the naturally cooling properties of PlushBeds' luxury sheets made with Tencel, a silky soft and sustainably sourced fabric that mimics the same breathable and temperature-regulating qualities of silk. The sateen weave of these sheets is highly absorbent, making them a good option for sweaty sleepers. They're also anti-bacterial and anti-allergenic, easy to wash and wrinkle resistant.
A set of ultra luxurious charmeuse Mulberry silk sheets with high momme
This four-piece sheet set is made with a high quality grade Mulberry silk and has a momme of 22, meaning the sheets are highly durable and machine washable. These charmeuse Mulberry silk sheets have been Oeko-Tex certified and are made with skin-safe dyes that won't run or fade. The set is available in seven colors and four sizes, each including a deep-pocket fitted sheet, two double-sided pillowcases and one flat sheet.
A 100% organic Mulberry silk duvet cover
This high-grade 100% organic Mulberry silk duvet cover has a momme of 19 and a 600 thread count for a soft feel, breathable performance and high tensile strength. It's available in 10 colors such as space gray, taupe and black and comes in two duvet sizes.
A cooling and sustainable CleanBamboo sateen sheet set
Ettitude's signature sateen sheets are sustainably crafted using cleanly sourced bamboo lyocell which is cooling, soft and breathable, just like silk. The similar weave structure is also hypoallergenic and can be machine washed just like cotton or flannel sheets. The four-piece set comes with two pillowcases, a flat sheet and a fitted sheet with pockets that stretch to fit most mattress heights. The set is available in six sizes and 12 colors such as moss, sage and sky blue and is also Oeko-Tex certified.
100% silky bamboo sheets that are Oeko-Tex certified
These affordable Oeko-Tex certified silky sheets made from sustainably sourced natural bamboo fiber are cool, breathable and easy to care for. They feature a higher thread count than most cotton sheets and are available in six colors and options.
A skin-friendly Mulberry silk pillowcase in a fun pattern
If you want to take your time investing in a complete silk bedding set, starting off with a pillowcase can be a good option. This 100% Mulberry silk envelope-closure pillowcase from Brooklinen comes in a variety of patterns and colors, and due to the anti-friction nature of silk, it can protect hair and skin from damage. It's also machine washable when using cold water and pH-neutral laundry detergent.

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