Fit, Color, and Pattern
Silk sheets do not shrink easily when taken care of properly. Silk sheet maintenance is covered in more detail below, but it’s important to know the three things to avoid in order for your silk sheets to stay the right size:
- Do not soak your sheets before washing. Doing so causes the individual fibers to change shape, losing some softness and leading to shrinkage.
- Use only cool water when washing your sheets.
- Hang to air-dry. Silk dries quickly, but if you live in a humid area it’s worth having a different sheet set to use while your sheets dry.
Most sheet sets come in a range of standard sizes, so fit yours to your bed size. The main concern when choosing a fitted sheet is the depth of the “pocket”, which affects the mattress height it will fit. All of our choices above have extra-deep pockets, but before you make your purchase it’s worth measuring your mattress to be sure.
Silk comes in a wide range of colors, as it takes dye well and complements it with a beautiful luster. Some people prefer dark colors (which are more opaque and not prone to yellowing), while others like the cool sophistication of a classic white or other pale shades. Lighter colors are also less likely to fade from sunlight, so choose whatever fits your room and your aesthetic.
Patterns are uncommon in silk sheets, though some options are available. It’s more common to find sheets with embroidery on the edges, or on the pillowcases only, though these tend to be more expensive than plain options.
Finding the Right Silk Sheets
Unlike sheets made from sources like cotton, silk sheets do not come in a wide variety of weaves. Instead, most silk sheets have a similar texture and similar qualities, with the differences primarily in silk type/quality and momme weight. Along with these, here are some further considerations in choosing the right silk sheets for you.
All silk sheets are temperature-regulating and tend to be comfortable for cold or hot sleepers. However, some people do find that silk can be unpleasantly cool when first climbing into bed. If this is the case for you, consider also purchasing a heated mattress pad to use with your set.
Pure Silk vs. Blended Silk
While pure silk sheets are more common, blended fabrics are also available. Usually primarily cotton with 25-30% silk, these sheets are usually less expensive and are closer to cotton sheets than silk. However, they are softer and tend to have a more flowing, less crisp texture.
Previously extremely pricey and difficult to find, organic silk is becoming accessible and more affordable as consumers begin demanding more environmentally-friendly bedding. You can still expect to pay a premium for high-quality organic silk, but by shopping around and waiting for sales it’s possible to find a set to fit your budget.
OEKO-TEX Standard 100 Certification
This global system offers to certification for products which undergo testing and are shown to be free of harmful chemicals. The absence of this certification does not mean your sheets are contaminated, only that their manufacturer did not pay for the certification process. Furthermore, silk is not prone to contamination in the same way as grown fibers like cotton, or processed fabrics like rayon. However, the OEKO-TEX Standard offers peace of mind and qualifying sheets do not necessarily cost more.
Silk Sheet Care and Maintenance
You can also prolong your sheet set’s life by avoiding jagged toe and fingernails, not eating in bed, and keeping to a regular washing schedule.
- Before using any product on your sheets, test on a small area to ensure it does not stain or bleed color.
- Treat stains immediately if possible.
- Silk sheets should not be pre-soaked, as this can damage the fibers. If your sheets are particularly dirty or stained, pre-treat using diluted white vinegar or a silk-friendly stain removal product.
- If possible, hand-wash your silk sheets for the first three or four washes. New silk sheets have stiffened fibers, and by hand-washing you allow them to soften (and become more durable) slowly enough to avoid any breakage.
- Continuing to hand-wash after this will keep them in good condition for longer, but silk can also be machine-washed on the delicate, gentle, or hand-wash cycle.
- Use only cool to lukewarm water and mild, silk-friendly detergents.
- Always hang your sheets to dry, as a dryer will shrink and damage your silk. Sunlight can fade color, so hang in a shady area with lots of airflow.
What Else Should You Consider When Purchasing Silk Sheets?
Silk sheets are often quite similar, differing mostly in color, weight, and silk type. So long as you choose a durable, high-quality sheet set, you can choose whichever sheets look and feel best to you. However, there are a few other concerns to keep in mind when shopping:
What Pieces are Included in a Set?
Most silk sheets come as a set rather than individual pieces, and all of our choices include at least a fitted sheet and pillowcases. However, some sets do not include a flat sheet, and it’s important to double-check that you’re purchasing all the pieces you need.
Shipping and Return Policy
Although shipping is usually less for silk sheets than bulky items like a duvet, the additional cost can still come as a surprise. Check the shipping price before making a decision, and consider buying a set with free shipping if you’re close to the top of your budget. Return policies are also worth considering, particularly if you’re unsure whether silk sheets are right for you.
Some manufacturers and stores offer warranties on their silk bedding. Though most are limited, they still offer some peace of mind given the cost of investing in silk. If you can’t find whether your choice of sheets comes with a warranty, look for the company’s help number or email to learn more.