We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.
You’ve probably heard all the hype around silk pillowcases being better for your skin and hair. Turns out that satin — silk’s just as slippery but slightly more affordable cousin — has beauty benefits, too.
Read on for the lowdown on these luxe-feeling pillowcases. We’ll tell you what they can do, how they work, and why they work. Plus, we’ll share an expert’s insight, and even possibly blow your mind a smidge.
A satin pillowcase is a pillowcase made out of satin — but you probably already guessed that.
Here’s what you might not know: Contrary to popular belief, satin is not a type of fabric. Boom! Mind blown, right?
Satin is a type of weave and can be made from a few different fibers. (Fibers are the threads that make up materials.) You can find satin weaves made from silk, rayon, polyester, and blends.
Satin pillowcases have become A Whole Thing because they’re supposed to be better for you than the cotton pillowcases that often come with sheet sets.
We reached out to board certified dermatologist Jessie Cheung, MD, to find out what a satin pillowcase can do for your hair.
According to Cheung, the benefits of satin pillowcases for your hair (and skin) are courtesy of the smooth, slippery surface, which decreases friction and tugging.
What do less friction and pulling mean for your hair?
Fabrics, like cotton, don’t let your hair move when you change positions during sleep and, ahem, other bedtime activities.
If your hair is fine, dry, or prone to tangling, the silkiness of a satin pillowcase means no more waking up and looking like a matted Yorkie.
Less chance of hair breakage
Fine-haired folks or those experiencing hair loss, listen up!
Less friction and tugging from a satin pillowcase can lead to fewer broken hairs, according to Cheung. Not having to brush through tangles will also help reduce breakage.
Your favorite style will last longer
Same reason as above: The slicker the surface, the less likely it is to muss things up. It can help preserve your blowout or salon style for a few days longer than a cotton pillowcase might.
Your hair will stay hydrated
Satin is less drying than cotton, making it easier to maintain your hair’s moisture, according to Cheung.
“Satin pillowcases can add to our beauty sleep,” says Cheung.
Cheung says the same benefits the slippery surface provides for your hair translate to your skin.
Let’s break these benefits down:
Fewer skin creases
The slippery surface results in fewer creases on our face, says Cheung. Those pillow lines usually diminish after you get up, but there’s research that, over time, skin stretching and pulling that happens overnight can contribute to permanent sleep wrinkles.
They may help retain your skin’s moisture
If you have dry skin, a satin pillowcase may help. As Cheung explains, satin isn’t as drying as cotton, so it makes it easier to maintain the skin’s hydration.
Satin pillowcases can help acne
Many people believe that sleeping on a smoother surface, like satin, can help if you have acne. The reasoning: Less friction from your pillowcase results in less irritation.
Silk and satin pillowcases are both touted as beauty must-haves that can work wonders on hair and skin. But what’s the diff?
For starters, satin pillowcases are typically much cheaper than silk. That’s because silk is a natural fiber made from the larvae of certain insects, and the extraction process is labor-intensive.
Being a natural fiber, silk is also hypoallergenic and cooler for sleeping on.
All that said, the beauty benefits, as far as friction, tugging, and moisture preservation, are similar for both materials. Plus, both materials feel like luxe, sexy lingerie for your face.
In the end, unless you have allergies, satin pillowcases should give you the same frizz-free hair and crease-free face when you get up.
The only drawback to satin pillowcases is that they might not be ideal for hot nights for some people.
While most people find satin cooling, especially when they first put their heads down, a few find them uncomfortable in the heat. This could come down to the material more than the satin weave, though.
Aside from that, it’s a matter of personal preference. Sleeping on a slippery surface isn’t everyone’s jam.
Ready to slip away into blissful, friction-free slumber? Shop one of these top-rated satin pillowcase picks:
A satin snooze can help you up your skin and hair game, not to mention make bedtime feel a little more glamourous.
By swapping your cotton or flannel pillowcases for a satin variety, you could cut down on hair frizz and breakage and keep your skin smooth and hydrated. Not too shabby for just a few bucks!
Adrienne Santos-Longhurst is a Canada-based freelance writer and author who has written extensively on all things health and lifestyle for more than a decade. When she’s not holed-up in her writing shed researching an article or off interviewing health professionals, she can be found frolicking around her beach town with husband and dogs in tow or splashing about the lake trying to master the stand-up paddle board