With so many mattress options available in the market, finding the right kind of mattress can be an arduous task. But even after finding the right mattress that could enhance the quality of your sleep and help you have a better lifestyle, the game is still not over yet!
Because matching the perfect mattress with the bed sheets is the next take in the checklist. But the most known bedsheets in the market are silk and satin. So if you are wondering what should be the next bed sheet that could increase your comfortable night sleep by tenfold, this guide is for you.
Considering between silk and satin is a tough job, and hence we compiled everything you should know in one place. Silk bed sheets are known for regulating temperature, combating allergies, and making you feel more comfortable, while satin sheets are better in terms of cost-effectiveness and keeping the body warm.
This is the overlook, however, there is much more to know about the benefits. Also, some of the unique FAQs are mentioned at the end of the article. So, without further ado, let’s get to the meat of the subject.
What are the differences between silk and satin?
Here is a quick ‘take away’ difference:
Silk is a natural fabric produced by silkworms. Whereas satin is a weave and not a fabric. Note: silk fabric can also be made using a satin weave. To speak more about satin, it is generally woven from a man-made fabric (polyester or nylon). Polyester is made from oil polymers and has the same chemical structure as plastic. And that’s where the difference comes into the picture because silk is produced or rather made by silkworms, which spin the fine threads to form their cocoon. By combining several filaments spun by the silkworm, the silk fabric is weaved together to get the end product.
What is silk?
Silk is made by gathering raw silk filament from insects, but the most familiar, as well as a popular one, is the mulberry silkworm produced by the mulberry silk moth – the main insect used in the commercial silk industry. It is a natural and an organic by-product and contains amino acids of various kinds, protected by a protein layer. The fibre has a hollow body that insulates well – which means the fabric can be worn for warmth in the winter but also can keep the body cool during the summer.
This is a huge advantage for the people who expect both warmth and cooling features from a fabric. You can learn more about ‘the formation/production of silk’ here.
Silk fabric gives off a luxurious feel and looks, because of being among the high-quality fabrics in the market. Silk fabric is often associated with the power, status of royalty and adds mystique to all these reputations. Also, since the production of silk is considered a hectic job, it often comes with a heavy price tag. Although there are silk fabrics available for a cheap price tag, it just means that the silk is blended with other synthetic (man-made) materials. But not all silk blends are cheap and are of low quality. Some silk blends can last as long as the same quality as pure silk.
The benefits of silk
Silk fibres have a hollow centre which makes them a better material for regulating body temperature (even better than the infamous cotton). When your body sweat due to heat, silk wicks away moisture from the body and thereby helps the body to cool naturally. And when the situation is opposite, meaning when the body is cold and not sweating, the silk fabric insulates and maintains the warm temperature.
This is why silk sheets or anything made of pure silk fabric is a great option for people who want to stay warm in the winter and cool during the summer. So, are you someone experiencing hot flashes or night sweats? Maybe silk fabrics might help you ease the situation because silk has the unique ability to wick away moisture without actually getting damp themselves.
So, you can completely enjoy a hot flash free night and a dry atmosphere as silk helps in keeping you cool by wicking away moisture and thereby helps your body to quickly bounce back to normal temperature. Silk has unique properties that many other natural fibres don’t have (including but not limited to cotton), hence is a preferable option for many.
Protects from allergies
Silk is produced from the fibres of insects and is composed of sericin and fibroin. Sericin is a glue-like substance that makes the silk floss from the cocoon and contributes to 25% of the overall cocoon’s weight. Most of the sericin is washed away during the production of the silk bedding but a percentage remains, which is the material that carries hypoallergenic functionalities and helps repel bacterias, dust mites, fungus and bed bugs.
And hence, silk naturally exuberates the quality of being hypoallergenic and is ideal for sensitive skin types including babies. It is also the best choice for skin conditions like acne, contact dermatitis and eczema which might flare up at the slightest irritation.
High quality and strong
Silk fibres are graded based on both numbers (1 to 6) and alphabets. Grade 6A is considered the most high-quality silk in the market. It has the largest and the strongest fibres of uniform colour. We suggest that you look for 100% pure mulberry silk as it is the best silk produced with top-notch quality and strength. Also, one needs to consider the silk weight.
Silk weights are measured in momme, which is equivalent to ‘thread count’ in cotton fabrics. The higher the momme of the silk, the more silk is utilised to make the fabric and hence denser the weave of the material. Higher momme silk count also means thicker silk fibre. We can roughly calculate that a pillowcase or sheet with a 19 momme count equates to a 600 thread count. And a 22 momme count equates to a 900 thread count. Try to keep this information in mind when buying a high-quality, durable silk material the next time.
What is satin?
Satin is a weave, unlike silk which is a fibre. Twill and herringbone are some other examples that are weave rather than being a fibre. The way the threads are laid over each other determines the name of the resulting textile. For stain, threads are laid or woven in such a way that renders one side of the fabric quite bold in sheen, and the other side winds up dull.
The type of satin weave is defined by how many times the yarn passes over itself (before they wrap under to form the stain weave). They are:
- 4-harness (4HS) – This is more pliable than a non-satin textile.
- 5-harness (5HS) – This is of mid-level pliability.
- 8-harness (8HS) – This is the most pliable.
Satin is made using the combinations of other types of fabrics like nylon, rayon, silk (known as silk satin), and even polyester. One of the popular satin-type is charmeuse, which is a man-made luxury fabric (polyester). Satin is far more affordable when compared to silk. Satin is mainly known for its wrinkle-resistant feature as it doesn’t wrinkle as quickly as other materials.
Benefits of Satin?
Easy to clean
Since satin is made from different kinds of fabrics, like a combination of wool, silk, polyester and rayon, satin is very subtle and each kind of combination material requires a special kind of attention. But stains are considered easy to clean (just make sure to read the care instructions on the product tag or label), much easier than cleaning the stains on the mattress itself. So, depending on the type of the material, it is either dry cleaned or hand washed. And many satin materials can be machine washed using a gentle cycle type of wash. Also, once again the kind of washing detergent and the water temperature is highly dependent on the kind of material.
For example, silk satin requires a different kind of detergent and water temperature than polymer satin. Hand washing a satin is the most preferred way because it is more fabric-friendly and also, will ensure that the satin remains shiny for a long time. For a complete guide on washing satin: Refer to aanyalinen.com
Easy to find
Dating back to medieval China, satin was exclusively manufactured with silk. The china port city of Quanzhou (called Zaitun in medieval Arabic) is the place the satin weave originated. Then the fabric and the weaving techniques were passed along and then was widely produced across the middle east. The first western country to produce satin was Italy in the twelfth century, and then it became popular across Europe in the fourteenth century. With many benefits like the shiny front, beautiful drape, durability and wrinkle-resistance, satin is more manufactured and produced in the marketplace, and hence is easily available. From dresses to upholstery, fashion accessories and even footwear, satin is used for almost all interior decorating to fashion and is preferred by many people.
Satin is an affordable alternative to pure silk, yet they exuberate the same exotic opulence of the silk material. They also add a touch of style and elegance to your home and bedroom. You can feel relaxed falling back into the smooth and shiny satin without actually taking a lot of money from your wallet. The look and the feel of this special fabric are fantastic and will add the aroma of luxuries into your private space. So, you can rest assured that the satin is no longer for the rich or the famous people. This is because the satin fibres are cheaper and easier to produce. And as we said earlier, they are also much easier to care for because of the latest production techniques and blending of a combination of fibres which makes them more durable.
So, here’s the unanswered question:
What’re the best sheets: Silk or satin?
Honestly, the answer depends on the comfortability and the preference of an individual. While silk is a natural, animal-derived fibre, satin is a man-made weave. Both silk and stain arrive with their benefits and disadvantages. Some even prefer sleeping on a mattress without bed sheets.
While silk is more temperature regulating, hypoallergenic, strong and durable, satin falls under the categories of cost-effectiveness, easy to buy and easy to maintain. So, whatever you are looking into, just give a glance at the benefits of each type of material and proceed with the perfect match according to your preferences and checklist.
Also, discussing the disadvantages of silk and satin, silk is more on the expensive list and is extremely hard to care for, while the cons of satin are that it can feel slippery and cause overheating issues. Keeping all these in mind, it is better to proceed with the type of material that best suits your needs and requirements.
But, as far as our opinion is concerned, silk is far better material as it is a natural fibre and comes with many benefits, just that it is expensive makes it a bad option for people who might be under the budget, but still, there are myriad of options available in the market, and one can choose the silk blends that are just as good as silk.
Is satin the same as silk?
Of course, no. Satin is a synthetic material, and silk is a natural fibre. The front face of the satin weave looks extremely similar to the sheen of the silk and also feels supple, it can confuse the viewer at glance. Silk is more superior to satin, and if a manufacturer tries to convince otherwise, he might be taking advantage of the situation. This is the reason why satin is less expensive than silk (as silk needs more hard work and patience to manufacture). Read the guide above for a detailed description of both the materials.
How long do silk sheets last?
Pure silk is durable and can last longer than fabrics that are made of other materials. A fibre of silk that is the same diameter as the fibre of the steel is said to be stronger than that of the steel! One silk thread is 4 to 8 silk filaments twisted together. The silk filaments bond together with themselves, and this tendency will make them less likely to be pulled apart even after years and years of use. So, investing in good quality silk is an investment into a better bedsheet that lasts longer.
How to wash silk sheets at home?
Of course, sleeping on the purest kind of silk sheets is a blessing and it’s the same as sleeping on a cloud. But, how do we take care, maintain and wash silk sheets at home? Here are some recommendations and tips:
- It is recommended that strong detergents should never be used for washing silk sheets at home. Please make sure to use mild detergents and never bleach and Clorox, which might do more harm than good.
- Please read the production description label which will specify the way you need to wash your specific type of silk. Follow the exact steps mentioned, and you will be good to go.
- Also, do not wash your silk sheets with hot water. Since silk sheets are natural protein fibres derived from insects, hot water can break down the fibres of the silk and destruct the product.
- And the last tip is to never use the dryer for your silk sheets.