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Best Pillowcases for Acne – Top Picks and Buying Guide

Written by Tuck Staff

Quick Overview

Many adults and teenagers experience the skin condition known as acne, which is characterized by unsightly blemishes on the face, neck, and other areas of the body.

Acne occurs when oil and dead skin enter hair follicles in the skin. Although family history and hormonal activity often play a significant role in acne symptoms, some develop blackheads, pimples, and other blemishes because their skin is exposed to bacteria on pillowcases and other bedding surfaces.

Pillowcases made from absorbent fabrics like cotton and polyester tend to trigger acne symptoms because they trap oil and bacteria from the face. Adults and children with acne are urged to seek out pillowcases made from less fabrics, such as silk, satin, linen, or rayon from bamboo. These less absorbent materials do not trap as much oil or bacteria, and may help mitigate the spread of acne blemishes.

In this guide, we’ll discuss important considerations for pillowcase shoppers with acne concerns. Below you’ll find our top five pillowcases for acne sold today. These picks are derived from a combination of verified customer and owner experiences and our own product research and analysis.

Best Pillowcases for Acne

Best Pillowcases for Acne – Reviewed

Editor's PickAlaska Bear Natural Silk Pillowcase

Editor's Pick – Alaska Bear Natural Silk Pillowcase


  • 100% mulberry silk
  • 7 sizes
  • 40+ color/pattern options
  • Prevents wrinkles and hair damage
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Editor's PickAlaska Bear Natural Silk Pillowcase

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Silk is considered one of the best pillowcase materials for people with acne. It is exceptionally soft, leading to less friction between the pillowcase and the sleeper’s body, which in turn can decrease skin irritation. Our Editor’s Pick is the Alaska Bear Natural Silk Pillowcase. Made from 100% mulberry silk, the pillow has an ultra-soft surface that causes little to no friction. It is also designed to reduce wrinkles and prevent hair from drying out.

The Natural Silk Pillow has a momme weight of 19, indicating a good balance of softness and resiliency. The surface is also hypoallergenic, which helps prevent dust mites and other contaminants from accumulating. Customers can choose from more than 40 colors and patterns, ensuring most can find an option to match their aesthetic tastes. In addition to standard, queen, and king sizes, Alaska Bear also offers toddler, body pillow, and European (square) sizing options.

The Alaska Bear Natural Silk Pillow is a high-value product, with most sizes widely available for $50 or less. Dry cleaning or washing by hand is recommended, as machine-washing can cause the silk fibers to deteriorate.

Runner-Up PickRavmix Mulberry Silk Pillowcase

Runner-Up Pick – Ravmix Mulberry Silk Pillowcase


  • 100% mulberry silk
  • 4 sizes
  • 24 color options
  • Exceptional softness and durability
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Runner-Up PickRavmix Mulberry Silk Pillowcase

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Our Runner-Up Pick, the Ravmix Mulberry Silk Pillowcase, is another pure-silk option that helps reduce friction and skin irritation for sleepers, which can alleviate acne-related blemishes. The smooth surface also minimizes wrinkles and prevents hair breakage. The pillowcase has a 600 thread count and a silk weight of 21 mommes, both of which indicate an optimal balance of softness and durability.

The case has a concealed zipper closure, which helps contain the pillow without lumping. Customers can choose from standard, queen, and king sizes for adults, as well as a smaller toddler size. Ravmix also offers 24 solid-color choices. The company backs each pillowcase with a three-month warranty that includes full refunds on all returns.

The Mulberry Silk Pillowcase is another high-value pick, with cases in all sizes available for $30 or less. Discounted two-packs are also available. For cleaning, Ravmix recommends hand-washing in cold water or dry cleaning.

Best ValueBedsure Satin Pillowcase

Best Value – Bedsure Satin Pillowcase


  • 100% polyester satin
  • 4 sizes
  • 15 color options
  • Machine washable
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Best ValueBedsure Satin Pillowcase

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Satin pillowcases can be a cost-effective alternative to silk covers. Satin – a synthetic fabric usually made from polyester – does not have silk’s natural breathability, but it is exceptionally soft and creates little to no friction against the sleeper’s face. Our Best Value pick, the Bedsure Satin Pillowcase, is very reasonably priced. A two-pack of these pillows in a standard, queen, or king size is widely available for less than $15.

Another advantage of satin is easy care. The Bedsure pillowcases can be washed and dried in conventional machines. Simply turn them inside out and wash in a mesh bag with mild detergent. Like silk, satin also sleeps very cool. Customers can choose from 15 solid-color options, ranging from neutral and earth tones to more vivid hues.

Bedsure offers a one-month sleep trial for the pillowcases. Additionally, Amazon Prime members who purchase this product on may qualify for discounted shipping rates.

Best Linen PillowcaseBrooklinen Linen Quilted Sham

Best Linen Pillowcase – Brooklinen Linen Quilted Sham


  • 100% linen exterior with polyester interior
  • 2 sizes
  • 3 color options
  • Prewashed and garment-dyed for added softness
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Best Linen PillowcaseBrooklinen Linen Quilted Sham

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Like silk, linen is a natural fiber that provides consistent temperature neutrality. The Brooklinen Linen Quilted Sham is our top pillowcase pick for this category. Linen – which comes from flax seeds – has a naturally coarse texture that can be softened using several techniques. Each Brooklinen sham is constructed with a linen surface and polyester backing for added cushioning. The linen is stonewashed and garment-dyed, giving it a plush feel that creates very little friction.

Long staple linen fibers are used to make the shams for exceptional durability. Each sham can be washed in a machine using cold water, then tumble dried, making them easier to care for than silk pillowcases. They also boast impeccable quilting, making them suitable for any aesthetic. Brooklinen offers three neutral shades, as well as standard and king sizes.

The Linen Quilted Shams are somewhat expensive, making them a good option for people with larger budgets. Brooklinen also offers a customer satisfaction guarantee that includes free exchanges and replacements.

Best Rayon from Bamboo PillowcaseLuxor Linens Bali Pillowcase

Best Rayon from Bamboo Pillowcase – Luxor Linens Bali Pillowcase


  • Rayon from bamboo
  • 2 sizes
  • 12 color and 6 monogram options
  • Infused with aloe vera for extra cooling
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Best Rayon from Bamboo PillowcaseLuxor Linens Bali Pillowcase

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Another popular alternative to silk is rayon from bamboo, a synthetic fabric that integrates the natural softness and cooling properties of the bamboo plant. Rayon from bamboo also retains some of its source plant’s antimicrobial properties, making it very suitable for people who experience acne breakouts. We’ve selected the Bali Pillowcase from Luxor Linens as our top pick for this category, due in part to its great value. Though it is priced at less than $20 in standard and king sizes, the pillowcase performs as well as many higher-cost competitors.

Rayon from bamboo fabric is naturally cool and breathable. Luxor Linens infuses the fabric with aloe vera, giving the pillowcase exceptional temperature neutrality. The cases can be washed and dried in machines for relatively easy care. In addition to 12 different colors, customers can also choose from six personalized monograms for a $5 fee.

Each order includes two pillowcases of the same size. Luxor Linens offers free delivery on all orders over $49, as well as a 30-night sleep trial with free shipping for all returns.

Buying Guide – How to Choose a Pillowcase for Acne

Millions of adults and children in the U.S. experience regular acne breakouts. The condition can be attributed to a number of causes, which vary by individual. However, most dermatologists agree that exposing one’s skin to oily or greasy surfaces can increase the risk of more intense breakouts. Pillowcases, which absorb natural oil from the sleeper’s skin, are one of the most notorious culprits.

However, some fabrics used to make pillowcases are better for acne than others. This guide compare different pillowcase materials to see which ones are most suitable for people with acne. We’ll also explore common causes and risk factors for acne symptoms and discuss additional strategies for sleepers who experience breakouts.

Please note: is not a medical website, and our advice about pillowcases for people with acne should never substitute for the advice of a licensed physician or medical professional. If you have questions about acne, please consult your doctor for more information.

Acne: Causes, Solutions, and Myths

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, roughly 50 million people in the U.S. experience acne symptoms every year. The condition is most prevalent among those between the ages of 12 and 24, though people commonly experience symptoms up to the age of 50.

The Mayo Clinic notes that acne breakouts occur when hair follicles in the skin become clogged with oil and dead skin. This commonly leads to acne breakouts on the face, neck, and shoulders – though symptoms may appear anywhere on the body. Signs of acne include the following:

  • Whiteheads: Small clogged pores with a closed surface.
  • Blackheads: Small clogged pores with an open surface.
  • Papules: Small, red raised bumps with no visible fluid.
  • Pimples: Red raised bumps filled with pus, also known as pustules.
  • Nodules: Large, painful lumps located beneath the outer skin layer that do not discharge pus.
  • Cystic lesions: Large, painful pustules beneath the outer skin layer.

Several factors can contribute to acne breakouts. Hair follicles are attached to sebaceous glands, which excrete oil. As a result, an overabundance of oil in the skin increases the risk of clogged follicles. Exposing the skin to bacteria can also harm follicles and cause acne symptoms.
Additionally, most experts agree the following factors can indicate a higher risk for acne:

  • Hormonal changes that affect oil production in the sebaceous glands. These changes commonly occur during puberty. Pregnant women and those who take oral birth control pills may also experience hormonal changes.
  • Although more research is needed, some studies have linked certain foods with acne breakouts. These include skim milk, chocolate, and foods rich in carbohydrates such as bread and potato chips.
  • Many people develop breakouts after using oil-rich makeup and cosmetics. Dermatologists recommend using oil-free makeup and washing it off daily to help avoid acne symptoms.
  • Stress can trigger acne breakouts or worsen existing symptoms.
  • Those with a family history of acne are more likely to experience symptoms themselves, some studies have found. However, there is no gene mutation associated with acne breakouts.

The Mayo Clinic also points to two common misconceptions about risk factors for acne:

  • The consumption of greasy foods was long believed to aggravate acne symptoms. However, there is no evidence that greasy foods clog hair follicles or impact sebaceous gland oil production.
  • Although exposure to high quantities of grease or oil can lead to clogged follicles, dirty skin does not directly cause acne symptoms. However, excessive wiping or scrubbing can irritate the skin and exacerbate breakouts.

A wide range of topical and oral medications for acne are available, with or without a prescription. Dermatologists may also recommend chemical peels, steroid injections, and other treatments.

Although purchasing a new pillowcase may not alleviate acne symptoms for everyone, sleeping on a material that causes minimal friction and absorbs less oil can reduce breakouts to some degree. Read on to learn more about different pillow fabrics.

Common Pillowcase Fabrics and Materials

Before we discuss specific fabrics and materials, let’s look at some characteristics in pillowcase materials that can affect acne symptoms:

  • Friction: Fabrics that create excess friction can irritate the skin, which may lead to clogged follicles and acne breakouts.
  • Absorbency:: Absorbency refers to how much liquid a fabric can retain. Pillow materials that are highly absorbent retain more body oil from sleepers, resulting in less hygienic surfaces that can trigger breakouts.
  • Hypoallergenic properties: Hypoallergenic fabrics repel dust mites, dirt, and bacteria. The presence of these contaminants can make a pillowcase surface unhygienic and leave sleepers vulnerable to acne. Some plant-based fibers – such as cotton, silk, and linen – are naturally hypoallergenic. Synthetics like polyester and rayon from bamboo can be treated with additives to make them hypoallergenic, as well.
  • Antimicrobial properties: Microbes are bacteria and other microorganisms that, when accumulated, can lead to acne breakouts and adverse health effects for humans. Some fabrics used in pillowcases are treated with antimicrobial agents that stave off harmful microorganisms. These materials mostly include synthetic textiles such as polyester and rayon from bamboo.
  • Cleaning and care: Pillowcase owners are encouraged to launder their cases once or twice per week in order to maintain optimal surface hygiene. However, some fabrics should be hand-washed or dry cleaned, rather than washed or dried in machines. These extra care treatments can be time-consuming and/or expensive for owners.

Pillowcases can be made from dozens of different materials. The table below illustrates some key characteristics about the most common pillowcase fabrics.

Pillowcase Care and Maintenance Tips

Regardless of a pillowcase’s material composition, sleepers with acne can keep their cases hygienic and relatively oil-free by following these care and maintenance steps:

  • Launder the pillowcases once to twice per week. Defer to the pillowcase’s care tag for specific instructions. The best practice for synthetic fabrics is to wash in cold or warm water, then tumble dry on a low setting. If the pillowcase is made from natural fibers that are prone to damage from machine washing, consider hand-washing in warm water. This will be somewhat time-consuming, but ultimately much less expensive than weekly dry cleaning.
  • Flip the pillowcase throughout the week. This will help maintain optimal hygiene on both sides
  • For machine washing, consider placing the pillowcases in a mesh bag. This will prevent the cases from snagging on other garments or parts of the machine, which can compromise their shape and surface feel.
  • Use odor-free detergent because detergents with perfumes and aromatic dyes can irritate sensitive skin. Fabric softener slips may also produce some irritation.
  • However the pillowcase is washed, make sure it is completely dry before re-covering the pillow. Moisture can damage pillow materials and lead to mold infestation.
  • Always store unused pillowcases in cool, dry spaces where they won’t be exposed to excessive moisture or humidity.

Sleepers can also maintain pillowcase hygiene by removing all makeup and hair products before bed. Back-sleeping may also be effective at reducing acne breakouts on the face, since side- and stomach-sleepers place their faces directly on the pillowcase. Lastly, those who are unable to launder their pillowcases on a weekly basis may want to consider investing in multiple pillowcase sets. This allows them to swap out cases throughout the week and launder them less frequently.

For more information about pillowcase materials and acne issues for sleepers, please visit the following guides on

Additional Resources

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