When it comes to upgrading your bedding, we tend to think of the big things first: comforters, sheets and mattress toppers come to mind. But don't sleep (pun intended!) on pillowcases! Small as they may seem, they're an essential item to have in the bedroom. Not only can they be used to protect your bed from stains and germs, but they can also provide an easy way to personalize your space. With the right one, you can even improve your skin and hair. We’ve put together a list of the best pillowcases, including several we've tested personally, to help you find the right one for your needs.
11 of the Best Pillowcases for a Blissful Night's Rest
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Which is Better: A Silk or Satin Pillowcase?
First thing's first: satin, silk or some other fabric? Silk is a natural fabric that's produced from fibroin and seracin (proteins produced by the larvae of silkworms). Satin, on the other hand, is a weave that's derived from filament fibers, such as polyester, nylon or silk itself. Silk can also help regulate temperature better than satin, though some people do find that satin has a smoother feel. Overall, however, satin and silk actually have a lot in common. Both are great for frizz reduction and skin, as they don't rob either of moisture, like cotton does, and can prevent tangles and wrinkles with their lack of friction. Both also tend to be soft and smooth to the touch.
Other fabrics may also be desirable sleep companions, though. While cotton absorbs moisture, it's cool and easy to wash, while flannel will keep you nice and toasty come the cooler months. Nylon, meanwhile, dries fast, though its non-absorbent properties may actually cause you to sweat.
How Often Should You Change Your Pillowcase?
Considering that a 2005 University of Manchester study that found four to 16 different types of fungi living on a sample selection of pillows (that's not to mention the microscopic dust mites that feed on that fungi), it's probably a good idea to change your pillowcase fairly often—experts estimate that once per week should suffice.
How to Wash a Silk Pillowcase
Most silk pillowcases can be added to your washing machine, but hand-washing is preferred. Either way, there are a few important instructions to follow. You'll want to start by ensuring the pillowcase is turned inside out. It is important to add the pillowcase to a mesh bag before adding it to the washing machine. It should also be washed in a warm—not hot—soak or in a cool cycle with a very mild laundry detergent that has a low pH level: anything alkaline or containing bleach will cause the silk to become harder.
Can Pillowcases Go in the Dryer?
Whether or not your pillowcase can go in the dryer depends on the type you have. Generally, it is a better idea to let them air dry. This helps to prevent complications, wear and damage to the fabric. Many cotton and polyester pillowcases can, however, be added to a tumble dryer (though you'll want to check your pillowcase's label to be doubly sure).
If you rest your head on silk or satin, it's best to avoid using the dryer, which can cause damage to these fabrics even on the lowest setting. Instead, it's best to hang them out to dry.
The Best Pillowcases at a Glance
- Best Overall Pillowcase: Blissy Mulberry Silk Pillowcase
- Best Microfiber Pillowcase: Amazon Basics Easy Care Pillowcase
- Best Antimicrobial Pillowcase: Iluminage Skin Rejuvenating Pillowcase
- Best Satin Pillowcase: Bedsure Satin Pillowcase
- Best Microfiber Pillowcase: DreamHome Pillowcase
- Best Pillowcase with Zipper: Alaska Bear Silk Pillowcase and Scrunchie
- Best Silk Pillowcase: Slip Silk Pillowcase
- Best Cotton Pillowcase: California Design Den Pillowcase
- Best Pillowcase for Hair: Brooklinen Mulberry Silk Pillowcase
- Best Hybrid Pillowcase: Lunya Washable Silk Pillowcase
- Best Affordable Pillowcase: EXQ Home Body Pillow Cover
1. Blissy Mulberry Silk Pillowcase
Best overall pillowcase
WHAT WE LIKE: The question is, what don't we like? Not only did the Blissy mulbery silk pillowcase rank the highest of all eight of the silk pillowcases we put to the test, but it taught us a little something about our beauty routine, too—like the fact that getting good tresses without heat is possible when your pillowcase isn't causing mass amounts of friction or robbing your locks of moisture. Or that we should've been sleeping on hypoallergenic, sleep-inducing 100 percent Mulberry silk surface ages ago.
2. Amazon Basics Easy Care Pillowcases
Best microfiber pillowcase
WHAT WE LIKE: These pillowcases are made of a soft and velvety microfiber that's durable, yet won't cause tangles. They're super easy to care for, too, since you can throw them right in the wash. They come two to a set, and with all of the color options available, you can bet you'll find a set to match your bedroom vibes.
3. Iluminage Skin Rejuvenating Pillowcase
Best antimicrobial pillowcase
WHAT WE LIKE: This case is made with high-tech fabric that's infused with copper oxide—a metal oxide that's thought to boost essential skin proteins collagen and elastin to keep wrinkles and fine lines at bay. Copper oxide has also been proven to have antimicrobial properties, so even if this headrest doesn't live up to its manufacturer's claims that it will reduce signs of aging while you sleep in as little as four weeks, you can rest more soundly knowing that your pillow will be less dirty. And that, friends, is worth its weight in gold—er, make that copper.
4. Bedsure Satin Pillowcase
Best satin pillowcase
WHAT WE LIKE: This set of two satin pillowcases is made of 100% polyester, which means it will wick away moisture if you're a sweaty sleeper. It has a silky-smooth texture to prevent friction against your skin and hair tangles. It also boasts an envelope closure that prevents the pillow from escaping during a sweet dream.
5. Dreamhome Pillowcase
Best wrinkle-free pillowcase
WHAT WE LIKE: These microfiber pillowcases are super soft and wrinkle-free. They’re double-brushed on both sides for a luxe, suede-like feel, and the polyester fabric is easy to clean when they’re not in use. The standard set is on the smaller side, so go for the King if your pillow runs large.
6. Alaska Bear Silk Pillowcase And Scrunchie Set
Best pillowcase with zipper
WHAT WE LIKE: With its 100 percent Mulberry silk fabric and more than 30 different color options, this pillowcase offers a lot for its less than $25 price tag. Glowing skin? Check. More moisturized hair? Double check. A hidden zipper to prevent slippage? Yup, this pillowcase has that, too. It needs to be hand-washed, but we're OK with doing a little extra work for the value—they even comes with a matching hair scrunchie!
7. Slip Silk Pillowcase
Best silk pillowcase
WHAT WE LIKE: This long fiber Mulberry silk number doesn’t absorb oils like cotton cases do, allowing your skin and hair to retain its natural moisture. The lack of friction its smooth surface provides also helps to prevent wrinkles and bedhead. In our tests, its high-quality material proved incredibly smooth for those with curly hair in particular.
8. California Design Den Pillowcase
Best cotton pillowcase
WHAT WE LIKE: These pillowcases are made of breathable, natural cotton for a comfortable, rejuvenating sleep. The craftsmanship of 400 threads-per-inch is also right in line with the recommended 200 to 600 thread count recommended by The Sleep Foundation for the best shut-eye. Matching sheets are also available.
9. Brooklinen Mulberry Silk Pillowcase
Best pillowcase for hair
WHAT WE LIKE: If you're looking for a fancy splurge, you've met your match in the Brooklinen Mulberry silk pillowcase. Sure, it offers up all the usual properties you'd expect from Mulberry leaf-fed silkworm linen, such as a more hydrated 'do, fewer crease wrinkles and a smooth, cooling feel, but this one in particular also blew us away with its gorgeous color options and designer sheen.
10. Exq Satin Pillowcase
Best affordable pillowcase
WHAT WE LIKE: This satin pillowcase has an envelope closure design that makes it easy to toss in the washing machine without worrying about breaking the zipper. It's got the satin sheen and smooth texture we love in silk pillowcases, too, albeit without the designer pillowcase prices.
11. Lunya Washable Silk Pillowcase
Best hybrid pillowcase
WHAT WE LIKE: Can't decide which pillowcase material is best for you? Check out this super cool option from Lunya. It has a super unique hybrid design—it's 100 percent cotton on one side to stay secure against your pillow and allow for breathability but 100 percent silk on the other. That means you'll get all the hydrating, crease-free benefits silk has to offer with none of the slippage. Did we mention this pick is also machine washable?