Cotton vs Silk – Which is the Better Fabric?

Cotton and silk are two of the most popular fabrics in the world, commonly used for a wide range of clothes, bed sheets and accessories. But, which is the better fabric? They both have pros and cons, from the price tag to durability and health benefits, we examine a number of factors surrounding the two fabrics. Read more to find out the differences between cotton and silk fabrics, so you can choose the right fabric for you for the perfect night’s sleep. 

Sometimes you don’t have to choose between silk and cotton, as it is possible to have fabric made from both. Silk-cotton fabric is a single textile blend of the two fibres. The blend combines positive characteristics of each, resulting in a lightweight, silky and comfortable fabric with a soft-to-the-touch feel. The versatile properties of this luxe fabric makes it suitable for a whole host of garments and products, as it is a strong, yet delicate material.

Durability is an important factor to consider when choosing your fabric whether it be for a pillowcase, bed sheet or garment of clothing. You want your items to last and stand the test of time. 

Silk is a natural, strong fibre as it has great tensile strength, which allows it to withstand a great deal of pressure. Cotton is also a strong fibre but the strength is largely affected by moisture, as its wet strength is 20% (much higher than dry strength). 

Nonetheless, cotton can often be stronger than silk in some cases, as silk does require extra due care and specialist attention to ensure it retains its durable properties to make it last.

The association silk has with luxury has meant that silk has built up a consensus that it comes at a very high price. If you are among the majority that thinks this, you are almost right. 

Silk fabric is sold by its momme weight and silk of 19 momme or higher is considered the most luxurious due to its dense and opaque properties. A good quality silk often comes with a price tag to reflect this, however it should be seen as an investment as silk bed linen and bedding is designed to stand the test of time. 

While silk is sold by the weight of the material, cotton is priced by its thread count, and a thread count of around 600+ is considered a high quality material. 

In terms of the price of a high-end silk fabric and high-end cotton fabric, silk can be more expensive but can be viewed as a worthwhile investment due to its beauty and health benefits. High thread count cotton can also be considered a good investment as this will certainly last many years when cared for properly.

Silk sheets are becoming increasingly popular but at a slightly higher price tag than more common types of sheets. It’s normal to be curious to find out if paying more is truly worth it and so we’ve explored some of the added benefits of sleeping with silk, to help you decide whether silk sheets are the right choice for you. 

Sleeping on silk sheets can help to reduce wrinkles and work to prevent hair damage due to its naturally smooth properties. When cared for properly, silk bedding and bed linen can last for years and years and still maintain its luxury properties, so if these benefits are something you’re looking for from your bed sheets, silk sheets may be an option for you.

Silk sheets vs Egyptian cotton 

Silk sheets and Egyptian cotton truly are the top two contenders in the high-end bedding market, they are both a big step-up in terms of luxury from your regular cotton sheets. Both have a great set of benefits attached to them, but what are the differences?

The right temperature is essential for a perfect night’s sleep and your bed sheets heavily impact this. Silk is generally considered a great insulator, while still breathable, whereas heat easily escapes through an Egyptian cotton sheet. This makes a silk sheet great all year -round as it keeps in the warmth during the colder months and is naturally cooling to the skin during warmer seasons. 

Another important criteria to finding your perfect bed sheets is how they feel on your body and skin. Silk is naturally known for its smooth, luxurious feel, making it extremely comfortable to sleep on. Cotton is also quite light, breathable but slightly coarser than silk. 

This leads us on to our final point, aside from the obvious benefits that a great night’s sleep brings, sleeping in silk sheets has a few additional benefits to your bodily health. This comes from the fact that silk contains some vital amino acids which help to rejuvenate your hair and repair your skin. The smooth surface means you quite literally can “glide and turn” without snapping your hair or getting creases in your skin. 

In addition, the naturally hypoallergenic quality of silk, along with its ability to emit sweat rather than absorb it, ensures that no bacteria gets stuck, meaning the need to wash your bed linen becomes less frequent. Cotton however is not hypoallergenic by nature, which is a crucial element to consider if you suffer from allergies. But, cotton is generally cheaper and more accessible.

Check out our guide to silk for hair care to learn more about the benefits of silk sheets for your locks.

Conclusion

Overall, it’s clear why cotton and silk sheets are the most common choices of bedding on the market, but at a slightly higher price tag for silk sheets it’s important to understand which fabric truly is best for you to ensure you have the best night’s sleep. 

From examining factors such as temperature, cost and durability we can see that cotton bed sheets can sometimes be more durable than silk and have breathable qualities similar to silk when it comes to bed time temperature. Silk however, has additional health benefits which ensures you truly get your ‘beauty sleep’ and is hypoallergenic, at a slightly higher price tag. 

Ready to convert to silk? From silk pillowcases, cushions and sheets to silk bedding, bed sheets and throws, browse the full range of luxurious, 100% Mulberry silk bedding here at Gingerlily.

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