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Bamboo vs Silk Pillowcases | What’s the Difference?

In Home Products, Personal Care by Jamie

The right pillowcase can make or break your sleep. No one is going to get a good night’s rest laying their head on a pillowcase that’s scratchy or full of irritating lint. Finding something soft, comfortable, and easy to keep clean is the key to getting a perfectly restful night.

Bamboo and silk pillowcases have exploded in popularity recently, and that’s no big surprise. They both feel soft, smooth, and can be great options for people with allergies. The biggest difference between these two lies in their materials. Bamboo pulp is used for one, and silk obtained from silk worms is used for the other.

Are you curious about what makes bamboo and silk pillowcases different? Want to know which material makes for a better pillowcase? Read on to learn everything you need to know about these two materials and why blank is best for pillowcases.

What’s the Difference Between Bamboo and Silk Pillowcases?

Bamboo and silk pillowcases have a few things in common. They’re both soft, smooth, and less likely to cause an allergic reaction than more common materials. However, there are plenty of differences between these two.

Bamboo pillowcases are often made of crushed-up and chemically treated bamboo trunk flesh and leaves. The resulting pillowcase is soft, wicks away heat, and is typically hypoallergenic.

Silk pillowcases are sometimes made from a combination of silk and satin, but you can find 100% silk pillowcases out there. These pillowcases are also soft, wick away heat, and are also hypoallergenic.

With so many similar benefits, it seems the difference really is just the materials they’re made from. There are a couple of other differences too, which I will get into further in my guide.

Pros and Cons of Bamboo Pillowcases

Breathable Bamboo Pillowcases Standard Size Set of 2-Pack for Hot Sleepers and Night Sweats- Softness and Cooling Pillow Cases-Envelope Closure (Gery -20 x 26 Inches)

Bamboo pillowcases are made from fibers that have been pulled from crushed bamboo leaves and trunk flesh. The bamboo pulp is typically chemically treated in order to extract the fibers.

There are plenty of benefits to using bamboo pillowcases, but as with everything in life, there are a few downsides as well. We’re going to break it down for you so you know exactly what to expect.

Pros

  • Bamboo is sustainable. Bamboo grows very quickly, so it’s considered a sustainable resource. This is one of the most environmentally friendly options available for pillowcases, so if you’re looking for a way to reduce your impact on the environment, going with bamboo pillowcases is a good way to enhance sustainability in your home.
  • Bamboo is durable. Pillowcases made from bamboo are very easy to clean and keep in good condition. They’re stain-resistant and don’t discolor over time. These pillowcases are also very sturdy and less likely to snag and unravel over time. Even after multiple washes, your pillowcase will still look brand new!
  • Bamboo is hypoallergenic. One of the reasons bamboo makes for a great pillowcase is because it’s naturally hypoallergenic and antimicrobial, which means it naturally resists bacterial growth.
  • It’s better for your hair. Bamboo fibers are naturally anti-cling and anti-static, which means you won’t wake up with a serious case of bedhead. This is an especially great choice for someone with very frizzy or curly hair that typically frays overnight.
  • It keeps you cool. Bamboo pillowcases will naturally wick away heat and moisture, so you’ll stay cool all night long, even in the hottest part of the summer!

Cons

  • It might wrinkle or shrink. Bamboo pillowcases need to be cared for a certain way. If you throw them in the dryer, then it’s possible they’ll come out very wrinkled or even shrunk. However, if you hang them up and let them air dry, then you won’t have to worry about this.
  • It can be expensive. Bamboo pillowcases are going to cost a little more than the ones most people buy. It’s an expense that many people consider being worth it, but it’s still something to keep in mind.

Pros and Cons of Silk Pillowcases ZIMASILK 100% Mulberry Silk Pillowcase for Hair and Skin Health,Soft and Smooth,Both Sides Premium Grade 6A Silk,600 Thread Count,with Hidden Zipper,1pc (Queen 20''x30'',Taupe)

Silk pillowcases are made using the cocoon of silk worms. This cocoon (and sometimes the caterpillar) are boiled, steamed, or baked in order to begin processing the silk. There is a different type of silkworm where only the cocoon is processed, but groups such as PETA argue about whether this is good enough to be considered cruelty free.

Aside from just the ethical concerns, let’s get into some of the pros and cons of using a silk pillowcase:

Pros

  • It’s better for your skin and hair. Silk doesn’t absorb moisture, which means it won’t dry out your face! It also won’t be drawing oils out of your hair and that will help prevent your hair from breaking or frizzing.
  • Silk keeps you cool. Silk naturally wicks away heat and moisture, so you won’t wake up in a pool of sweat. You’ll be able to sleep comfortably even on extremely hot nights with a silk pillowcase.
  • It’s very soft. One of the reasons people love silk so much is because of how velvety smooth and soft it is! You won’t find many materials as comfortable as silk.
  • Silk is hypoallergenic. Silk is naturally hypoallergenic, so it’s a great choice for people with allergies or sensitive skin.
  • It creates far less friction than cotton and other alternatives. Many people toss and turn throughout the night and wake up with their hair frizzing and fraying all over the place. That’s usually the result of your hair rubbing against the fibers of your pillowcase. Silk creates far less friction than most fabrics, which makes it a helpful material for people who struggle with frizzy hair.

Cons

  • Expect a higher price. Considering the extensive process required to create silk pillowcases, it makes sense that their price is higher than other materials. Still, it’s something to keep in mind the next time you go pillowcase shopping.
  • There’s an ethical concern. The way silk is obtained has been spoken out against by PETA and other cruelty-free groups. Depending how you feel about that situation, this could be a large concern.
  • Silk requires more care. You’ll want to air dry your silk pillowcases to prevent damaging them. Exposure to high heat, like in your dryer, can cause silk pillowcases to fall apart, wrinkle, or shrink.
  • Silk fades in the sun. This might not be an issue for you, but if you have a bed situated right next to a window that receives a lot of sunlight, then you might see your pillowcase fade over time.

Which Is The More Affordable Option?

Bamboo and silk pillowcases are going to run you about the same price. You can find some bamboo pillowcases for less than $15 on Amazon, and most are priced between $10-30 dollars. Silk pillowcases seem to run in the same price range, although the better quality ones tend to be closer to the $30 range.

See the latest price of some bamboo pillowcases here on Amazon

See the latest price of some silk pillow cases here on Amazon

You’re more likely to find good quality bamboo pillowcases at a lower price than high-quality silk pillowcases, which makes bamboo the more affordable option.

Which Is More Environmentally Friendly?

Bamboo is a sustainable resource because the trees grow back very quickly. While ½ of the world’s bamboo trees are considered endangered, the type of bamboo used for making fabric is able to grow back at a rate quicker than we can utilize it.

Silk, on the other hand, is made from a process that groups like PETA don’t consider cruelty-free. If you’re looking for the more environmentally friendly option, then you’ll want to go with bamboo.

Which Is More Environmentally Friendly

Which Material Lasts Longer?

While both materials are relatively durable, bamboo will last much longer. The fibers are sturdier and less prone to damage than silk. Unlike silk, bamboo won’t fade in the sun and isn’t easily stained. If you want a pillowcase that’s going to last you for years, then bamboo is definitely the way to go.

Is Bamboo or Silk Better For Your Skin and Hair?

Bamboo and silk have a lot in common when it comes to the benefits to your skin and hair. Both materials are hypoallergenic, soft, and don’t absorb moisture. However, bamboo is also antimicrobial, which means it resists bacterial growth. This means your pillowcase will stay cleaner for longer, and there’s less chance of germs sticking to your pillowcase. This makes bamboo once again the better option.

The Verdict – Which Is Better?

While many people rave about the benefits of using silk pillowcases because they’re soft, hypoallergenic, and don’t absorb moisture, they aren’t the better option. Bamboo offers all the same benefits, plus it’s more environmentally friendly and durable. If you’re looking for a luxurious feeling pillow case that’s sustainable and great for your skin, then you can’t go wrong with one made of bamboo!

About the Author

Jamie

Jamie is the Founder of My Home Dwelling. He is a homeowner and enjoys sharing his homeowner tips with others. He has real estate experience working as a new home construction Realtor. Jamie has worked on numerous residential construction sites helping with interior and exterior renovations. He loves refinishing furniture, DIY home projects, and sharing his knowledge online.