Silk Sheets

Silk Sheets

July 11, 2021

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Why do you consider silk to be better than other materials?

Silk is a textile with some interesting properties.  It is considered hydrophobic compared to other textiles in that  it repels and prevents absorption of droplets.  It has good breathability and can be cleaned easily.  Silk has been studied if, when treated with antimicrobials, can reduce inflammation in the skin including acne. Studies looking at how much bacteria colonizes silk compared to cotton for coliform bacteria (from the colon) have  been unclear in that although some show bacteria are less likely to colonize silk compared to cotton, it is not certain if this is a property of the silk itself or other aspects to its production. What does this mean when it comes to your skin? Seeking silk sheets may be of benefit with acne prone or eczema prone skin.  The other category of patients that can consider this material would be those with a tendency towards sweat acne or folliculitis.


What other bedding fabrics pair nicely with silk?

Percale is another type of textile weave that affects the way the fabric feels.  Most Percale tends to still be cotton, most are 100% cotton allthough there are some that are cotton blends.  The weave reminds me of an Oxford shirt- criss cross weave that gives the textile a crisp look and feel.  Percale usually has a matte like finish since it does not take on the shine of sateen or other cotton weaves.  Due to the construction, the fabric is lightweight and very breathable.  Warmer climates and months and/or humid environments may be ideal for these. These sheets are also durable through multiple washes.
Incidentally, I have many patients that sleep with a humidifier on for eczema and other skin conditions.  I tend to find that percale is a good option here too because some patients will feel like their sheets feel damp if they choose a different weave or blend.

Related : Read More as Dr Ilyas discusses Bed Sheets with NBC News!

Where do you recommend people shop for silk sheets?

The quality of silk sheets is generally based on the silk weight called momme.  The packages may have this stated with a number-momme or abbreviated mm.  Above a 19-momme is thought to be reasonable in terms of quality and cost point.  Silk sheets are most often found in department stores.  It can be confusing to shop for truly silk sheets - especially if shopping on line.  Truly silk sheets will have the “momme” listed on the package.  Silk is a fiber.  Often when searching for silk sheets, sites will retrieve satin and sateen sheets in the search results.  Satin is a weave that can include silk fibers but can also have other blends.  Sateen has that classic luxurious look and feel while still being made of primarily cotton.  The difference with sateen is in how the cotton is prepared as well as the weave. The cotton tends be mercerized which is a finishing treatment that improves the strength of the cotton fibers. The weave is still a criss cross weave however instead of taking on the checkerboard look of Percale, Sateen can have multiple, often three or four, yarns cross over for each one that crosses under.  The weave it tight. This leaves more yarns exposed to be felt as softer and smoother.  This also leave more yarn exposed to give it a sheen and silky look. Sateen is tightly woven giving it warmth for cooler climates. 

Silk is also graded by quality as A, B or C.  There can also be a number attached to the letter classification.  A is the highest grade in terms of quality.  If there is a number associated, the higher the number the better the quality as well.  
If you want to shop for truly silk sheets, department stores are the most likely to carry options that are less misleading.


How should you wash and care for silk sheets?

Silk sheets are machine washable at cooler temperatures.  

Why do silk sheets elevate a bedroom?

The sheen and feel of silk textiles places silk unmistakably in the luxury category.  

Do you have a favorite brand? 

Bliss and LillySilk tends to be common silk brands to consider.



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