Satin vs Silk Pillowcase - Isn’t it the same?

The difference between Satin and Silk

Satin and Silk are often used simultaneously but are in fact not the same. The differences between Satin and Silk are probably not well known to everyone. So let us dig a little deeper to get to the bottom of all Satin vs Silk myths. Satin is the way a fabric is woven. A Satin fabric therefore can be made of many fabrics, such as cotton, polyester - or Silk. Whereas Silk is the fabric itself. Silk is a 100% natural protein, that is gained from cocoons of silkworms. A Silk Satin is the most shiny and soft weave that can be obtained from Silk. The Satin weave makes Silk ultra durable and at the same time hardy and dense. Common weave alternatives to Satin would be Twill, Chiffon or Crėpe de Chine.

Satin vs Silk Pillowcase 

It can be quite confusing, since there are many 'Satin Pillowcases' out there, that are most likely made of Polyester when 'Silk' is not mentioned in the products description. Polyester is an industrial made product that requires less intense labour and is therefore less costly than natural Silk. Satin is often called 'vegan Silk' or 'silky Satin', but means no other than polyester. 

Silk or Satin Pillowcase? What to buy? We often hear: 'I don’t like the feeling of Silk bedding on my skin' and when we ask further get to know that Satin instead of Silk bedding is meant. When you were a nineties kid you probably remember that ultra shiny bedding - but that again, was most likely not to be Silk but a 100% polyester Satin bedding.

Silk is called the queen of fabrics due to its many benefits given by nature. The fabric has the ability to balance temperature and moisture - which helps create an ideal sleep environment at night. Silk is ultra durable and long lasting. Genuine Silk is naturally anti-microbial, anti-fungal and a great aid for those with allergies. Dirt and dust won’t build up in a Satin Silk due to its high density. Read on in our Benefits of Silk article. So the question of what to get, a Silk or Satin pillowcase is easily answered with: both!

A Silk or Satin Pillowcase for Hair

The best choice to maximise the benefits of both would be a Satin Silk Pillowcase in order to unify the benefits. A shiny Satin weave and the soft Silk in combination gives us all our hair and skin benefit from at night: less friction and therefore less resistance on an ultra-soft surface. Silk won’t draw moisture away and won’t soak off precious skin- and haircare over night. All the mentioned benefits of Silk are only found in natural Silk. The more natural and less industrial the Silk process is kept, the more of its benefits are obtained. The environmental impact is another topic to be considered. Read on in our article about organic Peace Silk.

Satin vs Silk: Which is smoother?

We now know that the ultimate smoothness is obtained once both are combined: a Silk fabric in a Satin weave. A Satin Pillowcase made from synthetic fibres may be smooth, shiny and cause less friction, but won’t have any other super power of genuine Silk. Do not be tricked by the surface and shine. It is worth to examine whether or not to get a Silk or Satin pillowcase for many reasons: sleep climate and hygiene, moisture - and temperature balance, environmental impact, longevity to name a few.

How to tell: Satin vs Silk?

If you read through the whole article, you probably already know what the difference between Satin and Silk is. So let us see how to distinguish a genuine Silk from a synthetic Satin fabric.

Silk has a quite multi-coloured sheen. Just think of mother or pearl rather than a vinyl like mono-toned solid shine. If Satin shines too much, it might either be polyester, a polyester blend or the Silk is soaked in layers of Silicone finishes. In either way - too much shine is an indicator for synthetic fabrics. 

Another way to tell the difference is to rub the fabric between your fingers. Real Silk will become warm, whereas fake one won’t change temperature. The bulletproof way is to burn a thread of the fabric in question. Real Silk will slowly burn once exposed to the flame, stops burning once the flame is removed and smells like burnt hair. Fake Silk will melt, smell like plastic and even continue to melt once the flame is removed. Another factor is the price. The production of Silk is multiple times higher compared to the price of production of polyester. If a Satin pillowcase is too cheap, it might not be the real deal. Quality has its price, but a Silk pillowcase is worth it since it is longer lasting and will pay out in the long run when you will sleep and look better.