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Silk is a high quality natural fiber. Manufacturers use it to make a smooth, breathable fabric that drapes well. These qualities make silk fabric a desirable option for bed sheets.

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Silk comes from the cocoons of silkworms. Silkworms secrete single silk strands from their silk glands to spin their cocoon. Boiling or steaming the cocoon unravels the silk strands, which people can make into thread and fabric.

Although there are different types of silk, up to 90% of silk production in the world is from mulberry silk. Mulberry silk comes from the mulberry silkworm Bombyx mori.

Some research suggests that silk from silkworms may have antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties to protect the pupae inside the cocoon.

However, one 2014 article suggests that the antibacterial properties of silk may only be due to chemical residue in the cocoon. This study found that isolated silk fibers had no resistance to Escherichia coli bacteria.

That said, silk from genetically modified silkworms may have antimicrobial properties, according to another study.

A 2016 study stated that silk absorbs moisture from the air and requires additional treatment, such as adding silver nanoparticles, to protect it from microbes.

Some people regard the majority of silk production as unethical because the production process kills the pupae inside the cocoons. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), a well-known animal welfare charity, does not support silk production.

Certain properties of silk make it a sought-after material in comparison with others, such as cotton. These properties include:

  • strong yet lightweight
  • natural sheen
  • low heat conduction, which means that it stays cool in hot weather and warm in cool weather
  • low static cling
  • drapes well

According to the American Sleep Association, using high quality bed sheets may help improve sleep by providing comfort.

Silk is a breathable fabric that may help the body regulate temperature. Sleeping at a comfortable temperature helps people maintain a healthy sleep cycle, which is important for cognitive function and overall health.

Skin health

Some research has found that silk-like materials may also provide certain benefits for the skin.

One clinical trial examined the effects of pillowcase fabric on acne in 40 participants. They used either a cotton pillowcase or a silk-like pillowcase that contained antimicrobial technology.

The silk-like pillowcase resulted in a greater reduction of acne lesions than the cotton pillowcase after 12 weeks.

However, the silk-like pillowcase was made of nylon and polyester rather than actual silk, so it is unclear if silk bedding would provide similar benefits.

Using silk sheets may help with skin conditions such as contact dermatitis and atopic dermatitis. This is because it is a natural fiber. Many companies claim that their silk sheets are hypoallergenic.

A 2019 study found that wearing pure silk clothing reduced atopic dermatitis in 30 participants with the condition.

Also, one 2013 study suggested that silk-like materials may make better bedding and hospital gowns than cotton for people with pressure ulcers. The researchers suggested that silk-like materials may help by reducing friction and absorbing moisture.

People measure the weight and quality of silk using a unit of measurement called the momme. A higher momme value generally indicates higher quality.

The American Sleep Association recommends choosing a silk fabric weight of 15 momme or above.

People may want to choose silk that the manufacturers have made with minimal chemical additives. This may minimize the risk of allergic reactions or irritation not caused by a silk allergy.

People can also choose silk with light colors or natural dyes to reduce the risk of having a reaction to the chemicals in the fabric.

Researching online customer reviews from multiple sources can help people determine a brand’s reputation and a product’s quality.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried any of these products. All information presented here is purely research-based.

Best overall option
Mulberry Park Silks 22-Momme Silk Sheet Set

Mulberry Park Silks sells a range of 22-momme silk bedding. This set has the following features:

  • one fitted sheet, one flat sheet, and two pillowcases
  • 100% mulberry silk
  • charmeuse weave
  • OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified
  • fits up to 17-inch (in) (43-centimeter [cm]) mattress depth
  • four size options
  • seven color options
  • machine washable on cold only

Luxury option
Extreme 25-Momme Silk Bedding Sheet Set by THXSILK

This four-piece sheet set is made from 25-momme mulberry silk. Key features include:

  • one flat sheet, one fitted sheet, and two pillowcases
  • OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified, which ensures no harmful chemicals
  • available in four size options
  • fits mattress depth up to 16 in (41 cm)
  • seven color options
  • recommended hand wash but also machine washable on a low heat

If a person is looking for a lower cost version, THXSILK also provides 19- and 22-momme silk sheets.

Best color range
Elle Silk 4pcs Silk Sheet Set

Elle Silk may suit people looking for a wide range of color options. According to the product website, the 22-momme silk sheet sets have the following features:

  • one flat sheet, one fitted sheet, and two pillowcases
  • 100% mulberry silk
  • fits up to 16-in (41-cm) mattress depth
  • available in five size options
  • 26 color options

Elle Silk also provides a luxury range of sheets with 25-momme silk.

Lowest cost
LILYSILK 19-Momme 3pcs Fitted Sheet Set

LILYSILK provides a range of silk sheets and sheet sets. According to the product website, this 19-momme silk sheet set has the following features:

  • 100% mulberry silk
  • 400 thread count
  • five size options
  • a range of color options
  • OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified
  • machine washable on a low setting
  • seamless
  • satin weave
  • one fitted sheet and two pillowcases

Highest momme count
Orose 30-Momme 4pcs Silk Sheet Set Custom

Orose sells silk sheets individually or in sets. Its 30-momme silk sheet set may be a good option for those looking for a higher momme count.

Features include:

  • 100% mulberry silk
  • five size options
  • one flat sheet, one fitted sheet, and two pillowcases
  • 1,000 thread count
  • OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified
  • durable and suitable for frequent washing
  • lasts for up to 10 years of use
  • machine washable on a gentle setting
  • a range of color options

If a person has concerns about the ethics of silk or is looking for less expensive sheets with a similar feel to silk, there are many alternative options.

For example, people can try:

Some alternative products to consider include:

The following are some commonly asked questions about silk sheets.

What are the benefits of using silk sheets?

Silk sheets may benefit a range of skin conditions, such as acne and contact dermatitis. Silk is a smooth material, and it prevents friction or irritation to the skin.

Silk is also a lightweight material that can help with temperature regulation and keep people cool during sleep.

Are there risks to using silk sheets?

A person can have a silk allergy. These people would likely have an allergic reaction to using silk sheets.

People may want to test using silk sheets for a while to see how their skin reacts to the material.

Are silk sheets sustainable?

Silk is a natural fiber, and it is biodegradable. Some manufacturers treat their silk sheets with chemicals or produce them in resource-intensive factories. A person may wish to research brands to find out their environmental impact and ethical commitments.

Bamboo and cotton are alternative sustainable options that are suitable for vegans and other people who want to avoid animal products.

Silk sheets can offer a luxurious feel and may help provide breathable, temperature regulating bedding. Some people may find that silk helps with certain skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis.

Pure silk can be expensive and difficult to care for. Some silk sheets are hand wash only, while people can wash others in the washing machine.

People can also choose from a range of bamboo lyocell, cotton sateen, or synthetic satin sheets. These can provide a similar feel to pure silk.