Bamboo vs. Silk Pillowcase: 4 Reasons You Should Pick Bamboo


Frizzy hair, dry skin, and allergies. They’re all a bummer, right? Believe it or not, your choice of pillow could be an underlying contributor to all these conditions. If you’ve been sleeping on a cotton pillowcase, it’s time to upgrade.

Sofie Tidemand

Co-founder, HairLust

Sofie is co-founder of HairLust. She is a hair-nerd with capital H, and loves to share her hair care experience with others. She has a keen interest in learning and testing the latest trends in hair care, styling tips and natural ingredients. Read more.

Silk pillowcases and bamboo pillowcases are both hailed as beauty solutions, but which one is better? And what about satin pillowcases? Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of bamboo, satin, and silk pillowcases. Plus, we’ll tell you the best pillowcase material for hair overall.

Can My Pillowcase Really Improve My Skin & Hair?

Yes! Traditional pillowcases are made from cotton or cotton/polyester blends. While these linens are inexpensive, they also have a rough surface that creates friction on your hair and skin at night. This can leave you with frizzy hair and wrinkles in the morning.

Cotton is also very absorbent and pulls the moisture from your skin and hair while you sleep. If you’ve ever woken up with dry, brittle hair and parched skin, you know exactly what we’re talking about.

Bamboo, satin, and silk pillowcases, on the other hand, are made from much smoother materials. Your hair and skin glide over them, which reduces tension and pulling during the night. Bamboo, satin, and silk pillowcases are also less absorbent than cotton pillowcases, helping your hair and skin retain their natural levels of moisture.

Switching to a bamboo or silk pillowcase is such a simple way to make a big difference to your overall appearance, especially if you use the best pillowcase for hair (more on that later).

Is a Bamboo or Silk Pillowcase for Everyone?

Short answer: Yes! But let me explain who could stand to gain the most from upgrading their pillowcase:

People with Allergies

People with Allergies

Bamboo and silk pillowcases are hypoallergenic, which means that they’re unlikely to cause allergic reactions. They also prevent the growth of dust mites from forming on your pillows. Dust mites are a very common allergy, so that’s why bamboo and silk pillowcases are a great choice for allergy sufferers.

People with Dry Skin

People with Dry Skin

Since bamboo and silk pillowcases allow better moisture retention, they’re better than cotton pillowcases for people with dry skin.

People with Sensitive Skin

People with Sensitive Skin

Bamboo pillowcases and silk pillowcases have smooth surfaces that reduce friction on the skin overnight. Less friction means less inflammation, which is good news for anyone with sensitive skin.

People with Curly, Wavy, Damaged, or Textured Hair

People with Curly, Wavy, Damaged, or Textured Hair

If you have one of these hair types, you know the struggle against frizz is real. Swapping out your cotton pillowcase for a pillowcase made out of bamboo, silk, or satin could make a huge difference in the way your hair looks, not just in the morning, but throughout the day. And over time, using a smoother pillowcase can actually improve the long-term health of your hair!

What Are the Hair Benefits?

So how can bamboo pillowcases and silk pillowcases benefit your hair specifically?

Bamboo and silk pillowcases have a soft, smooth texture that’s ideal for reducing frizziness. Cotton pillowcases create too much friction on the hair, roughing up the cuticle and leaving you with a “bedhead” in the morning. Bamboo and silk pillowcases, on the other hand, are totally smooth which allows your hair to glide over the surface without friction. That lack of friction can help you extend a blowout and it’s good news for anyone whose hair tends toward frizzy.

Bamboo and silk pillowcases are also excellent for anyone with damaged, curly, or textured hair. These hair types tend to be on the drier side and cotton pillowcases only make the problem worse. Bamboo pillowcases and silk pillowcases do not absorb the moisture from your hair while you’re sleeping, so you wake up with more hydrated locks. And as you already know, hydration is key for having healthy, strong hair!

Hairlust customer review

Silk, Satin, or Bamboo: Which is the Best Pillowcase for Hair?

Let me go over the pros and cons of all three materials below first and then I'll give you my final recommendation.

sofie

It takes around 2,500 silkworms to produce just one pound of silk. Silk pillowcases are then woven from this thread.

Sofie Tidemand - COO HairLust

 

Bamboo Pillowcase

Bamboo pillowcases are made from the quick-growing bamboo plant. To make the fabric, the bamboo is first crushed into a pulp. Then the natural fibers are extracted from the pulp and spun into a yarn. Bamboo is considered a sustainable fabric because the bamboo plant, which is categorised as a grass, can grow up to 36 inches in just one day!

The Benefits of Bamboo Pillowcases:

  • Bamboo is incredibly soft and has often been compared to cashmere and silk in feel. That soft, smooth texture keeps hair from getting frizzy and tangled during the night.
  • Like silk, bamboo wicks away moisture and discourages the growth of dust mites.
  • Bamboo fabric is naturally cooling and breathable, so you can keep that “cool side of the pillow” feeling all night long. Goodbye greasy hair days!
  • Bamboo pillowcases are also incredibly durable, machine washable, and look brand new even when you wash them over and over again.
  • Bamboo is naturally antibacterial and antifungal, which is good news for acne sufferers. Plus, those qualities keep the pillowcases from acquiring odor over time.

The Cons of Bamboo Pillowcases:

  • While smooth and luxurious-feeling, bamboo pillowcases aren’t quite as smooth as silk pillowcases. However, many people actually find that to be a benefit since silk pillowcases are often so smooth that they slip around too much while you’re sleeping!

Silk Pillowcases

Silk is made from the cocoons of silkworms. Silkworms are actually the larvae of a certain type of moth. After the silkworms are laid, they are fed a steady diet of mulberry leaves until they drastically grow in size, then spin silk to create a cocoon. These cocoons are then boiled, killing the silkworms in the process. Afterwards, the silk is carefully unwound and spun into thread. It takes around 2,500 silkworms to produce just one pound of silk. Silk pillowcases are then woven from this thread.

The Benefits of Silk Pillowcases

  • Silk’s smooth texture keeps hair from getting frizzy overnight.
  • There is no doubt that silk feels luxurious! That’s why silk linens have long been coveted items, prized by kings and queens.
  • Silk pillowcases discourage dust mites from living in your pillows, which is great news for allergy sufferers.
  • Silk also discourages the growth of bacteria, which means that silk pillowcases are a good option for anyone prone to acne.

The Cons of Silk Pillowcases

  • Since silk is so difficult to harvest and produce, it’s quite expensive. While silk pillowcases definitely have some impressive benefits, you can get the same benefits with other materials (like bamboo) for a lower cost.
  • Silk pillowcases are also difficult to take care of. They need to be professionally cleaned to last for a long time. Since many experts recommend washing your bed linens weekly, the cost and inconvenience of cleaning silk pillowcases is a big con for most people.
  • Silk pillowcases also have a tight weave, which prevents good air flow and can cause the pillow to feel too warm.
  • The production of silk kills silkworms, so silk pillowcases are not an option for vegans or anyone who is concerned about animal welfare.

Satin Pillowcases

So what about satin? Satin is a soft, shiny fabric similar to silk. Unlike silk, however, satin is a manmade fabric produced from strands of polyester and rayon.

The Benefits of Satin Pillowcases:

  • Since satin is a synthetic rather than a natural fiber, it’s much less expensive.
  • Satin is very smooth, so it won’t create friction on your hair or skin.

The Cons of Satin Pillowcases:

  • Satin doesn’t have any of the antimicrobial or antifungal benefits of bamboo or silk.
  • Satin also isn’t hypoallergenic.

Which is better? Here's my conclusion

The benefits from silk and bamboo definitely outweigh those from satin. Silk has been the most popular option for pillowcases in the past but bamboo is rapidly growing in popularity at the moment. One of the reasons for this increased popularity in bamboo is the environmental aspect. Bamboo is much more environmental-friendly compared to silk. However, the availability of bamboo fabrics has been quite limited in Europe (whereas it has been all over Asia for many years). But now, bamboo is starting to get popular in underwear, t-shirts, pillowcases all over the world. Yet, bamboo pillowcases are still not easy to find on the market. Luckily, I'll give you my recommendation for the best bamboo pillowcase further down and a direct link to buy it.

Bamboo vs. Silk Pillowcase For Hair: Why Bamboo Is Better

Silk pillowcases and bamboo pillowcases are both excellent options when it comes to getting the most from your beauty sleep. However, bamboo pillowcases have a leg up on silk pillowcases and here’s why:

  1. Bamboo is a better value. Bamboo plants grow incredibly quickly, which keeps the cost for materials down. Silk, on the other hand, is more expensive to harvest since it comes from the silkworm. Bamboo feels soft and smooth like silk, but it’s much less expensive.
  2. Bamboo is easier to clean and care for. Since bamboo isn’t absorbent, it’s stain resistant and won’t become discolored over time. And if your bamboo pillowcase does get dirty, you can just throw it in the wash. Silk pillowcases, on the other hand, require professional cleaning in order to last for a long time.
  3. Bamboo is more durable. Even after repeated washings, bamboo pillowcases look as good as new. They’re also less likely to snag and unravel. Unfortunately, silk pillowcases are not as durable and can snag from something as small as a broken nail!
  4. Bamboo is more breathable than silk. With a bamboo pillowcase, you can keep that cool side of the pillow feeling all night long. Silk pillowcases have a tighter weave, which means they heat up more easily.

Bamboo pillowcases are cruelty-free, unlike silk pillowcases which kill countless silkworms in their production.

The Best Pillowcase for Hair:

Now it’s time to share my recommendation for the best pillowcase for hair and it goes to HairLust Pure Bamboo Pillowcase. This hypoallergenic and antibacterial pillowcase is made of 100% bamboo fiber. The bamboo pillowcase’s texture is smooth and sleek, which makes you feel like you’re sleeping on a cloud. And since it’s made from vegan materials, you can sleep easily, knowing you’re choosing a more environmentally friendly option. That’s why it’s my pick for the best pillowcase for hair!

3 More Ways to Use Bamboo in Hair Care:

If you want to treat your hair with bamboo, try these:

  1. Bamboo Towel Pillowcase - If you like to use overnight hair masks, you need this bamboo pillowcase. This soft and absorbent pillowcase protects your pillow from moisture while leaving you with soft and smooth hair in the morning.
  2. Bamboo Turban Hair Towel - Just as cotton pillowcases can snag your hair and leave it frizzy, so too can cotton towels. For frizz-free locks, try this hair towel made from a smooth bamboo-cotton fabric blend. It will also help your hair dry up to 10 times faster!
  3. Bamboo Hair brushes – These bamboo hair brushes are an eco-friendly alternative to traditional hair brushes. Since bamboo grows quickly and doesn’t require any harmful chemicals to grow, it’s more sustainable than other materials like wood or plastic. These bamboo brushes come in three styles to suit every hair type and style.

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