Silk vs Cotton: Understanding the Key Differences for Skin and Moisture Management

Here at Mulberry Park Silks, we often get asked how silk is different from cotton. We love these questions because we never tire of touting the benefits of silk. Of course, silk sheets and pillowcases feel absolutely amazing. Sleeping on silk also known to reduce sleep wrinkles, minimize bed head, and regulate body temperature. But there's quite a bit more to the story of silk and how it outperforms cotton.

Silk vs. Cotton the key deferences

How Are Silk and Cotton Different?

Cotton is a popular fabric for bed linens of all types. However, when compared to silk, there are some essential differences that give silk a distinct advantage. Silk fabric is gentle on hair and skin, which gently glide across pillowcases and sheets. In contrast, cotton can pull and tug on delicate hair and skin, which contributes to bed head and sleep wrinkles. Silk is a protein-based fiber and is naturally moisturizing; plant-based cotton is absorbent and can dry out hair and skin. Silk is moisture-wicking and temperature-regulating; when cotton gets wet, it stays that way. Silk is also naturally hypoallergenic, non-irritating, and resistant to mold and mites. Finally, nothing on earth compares to the luxurious feeling of sleeping on silk sheets.

Silk is a Protein-Based Fiber

Silk's unique properties come from the structure of its fibers. Silk fibers are coated with a layer of a protein known as fibroin, which is a natural moisturizer; in fact, fibroin is often used to make hair and skin products. Additionally, fibroin is anti-microbial and anti-fungal. Silk fibers also have a hollow center which helps in the regulation of body temperature during cool and warm conditions.

Silk is Better for Hair than Cotton

Silk is a protein-based, natural moisturizer that acts as a conditioner for hair. Cotton, however, is known for being absorbent. In fact, cotton pillowcases can act as a reverse conditioner, especially on coarse, curly, or wiry hair. Think about all the time, effort, and money you spend to nourish and condition your hair, only to have it undone overnight by your cotton pillowcase. Along with acting as a natural moisturizer, silk is practically free of friction; this means hair gently glides across a silk surface. Cotton pillowcases can snag tender tresses, and leave you with tangles and bed-head. Silk is also a better choice for anyone experiencing hair loss; it won't dry out or damage fragile regrowth.

Silk is Gentler on Skin than Cotton

As we noted above, cotton is by nature very drying. It can undo the good work of even the priciest facial moisturizer. In contrast, silk is protein-based and can help your skin retain its natural moisture. Silk also reduces friction on delicate facial skin, which can minimize the occurrence of sleep creases and wrinkles. At the same time, silk is hypoallergenic and non-irritating, which means it's gentle on sensitive and even acne-prone skin.

Silk Regulates Body Temperature Better than Cotton

Their hollow center makes silk fibers far better at regulating body temperature than cotton. When you sweat, silk wicks away moisture and keeps you cool; when you're not, it insulates and maintains warmth. This is why silk sheets are great for staying warm in the winter and cool in the summer. When cotton sheets get damp, they absorb moisture and lose their ability to insulate.

This makes silk a wonderful option for anyone experiencing hot flashes or night sweats. Sweating in cotton sheets can be particularly uncomfortable, and leave you feeling chilled in the aftermath. Mary, the founder of Mulberry Park Silks, explains sheds light on the process, saying, "It has to do with silk's unique ability to wick away moisture without getting damp. When cotton sheets get damp, they can no longer absorb the sweat your body produces…and you get hot much faster."

Cotton shuts down the natural cooling process of your body. Silk, on the other hand, keeps you cool and -- by wicking away moisture -- dry. This helps your body to return more quickly to normal temperature. Mary adds, "Silk does things no other natural fiber can do. It really is remarkable and unique in these properties.

Silk Feels Great While Being Safe, Natural and Hypoallergenic

We say it all the time: nothing else feels like sleeping on silk, It's the very definition of indulgence and luxury. At the same time, silk is naturally non-irritating; resistant to mold and mites; and hypoallergenic. Also, as a protein-based fiber, silk does not burn in the same way as cotton; it gives out far less smoke and can even be self-extinguishing.

Mulberry Park Silks are Certified as Environmentally Friendly

OEKO-TEX® Certified (Standard 100) logo

Mulberry Park Silks uses only environmentally friendly dyes, and all products are The Oeko-Tex® certified to be free of chemicals. The Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 was developed by European textile institutes committed to finding a way to reduce our environmental footprint. The Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 is a global testing and accreditation program that successfully sets the standards for the screening of harmful substances in consumer textiles. Textiles can only be certified if all components meet the requirements submitted. All Mulberry Park Silks products are Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 certified and have been tested and guaranteed to be free of all harmful substances, including toxins and irritants. This ensures that the silk products that you bring into your home are safe, natural and healthy.

The Differences between Silk and Cotton








Moisturizing, gentle

Drying, tugs, and tangles


Moisturizing, non-irritating

Drying, pulls, promotes sleep wrinkles

Body Temperature

Wicks moisture, insulates, warm in cool temperatures, cool in warm temperatures

Absorbs moisture and leaves you chilled




Resistant to mold/mites



Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified


Depends on the Brand

Mulberry Park: Accessible and Affordable Luxury Silk

We founded Mulberry Park with one simple mission: to design the highest quality silk items in the market and offer them at an affordable price. And we've done just that, with a full range of silk products made from 100% pure mulberry long strand silk fabric. The silk fabric used for our silk sheets and silk pillowcases has also been OEKO-TEX® Certified (Standard 100) to be free of chemicals.

Visit us online or call us at (800) 860-1924 to learn more about our silk sheets, silk pillowcases, duvet covers and shams, and real silk accessories including sleep masks, travel pillows, and silk hair scrunchies.