Forget What You’ve Heard—The Best Silk Sheets Are Machine Washable and Anything But Tacky
Here’s our short list.
Published Jul 14, 2022 11:00 PM
Reading up on Domino’s shopping guides is like having your own personal product concierge. We do the tedious part—deep-dive research, hands-on testing, and tapping experts for advice—so all you have to do is hit “add to cart.” That’s why we call them Simply the Best.
Take whatever image you have of sleazy ‘70s silk sheets—maybe there’s a waterbed in that visual, too—and forget it. These days, silk sheets can be an elegant bedding option. You just have to know where to shop.
Silk sheets aren’t cheap, but they are buttery soft and all-season, too, since they’re naturally thermoregulating, keeping you cool in the summer (so long, night sweats) and warm in the winter.
If you’re worried about silk sheets not jibing with your design-forward bedroom decor, don’t. Each of these options is sold à la carte in terms of pieces, so you don’t have to buy a full set of a duvet, fitted sheet, flat sheet, and pillowcases. Start with a fitted sheet and mix and match with other fabrics before committing to all silk, all the time.
Read on for the best silk sheets that’ll have you melting into bed.
- Best washable: Lunya Washable Silk Sheets
- Best cotton-silk blend: Donna Karan Cotton & Silk Fitted Sheet
- Best high-end: Gingerlily Silk Sheets
- Best colors: Lily Silk 19 Momme Seamless Silk Sheets
Best Washable: Lunya Washable Silk Sheets
Sizes: Queen and king | Care: Machine-wash cold, tumble dry low | Color options: White | Set: Sold as separates
What we like:
- Machine washable, with no tedious instructions
- A special stitching technique creates unparalleled softness
- Made with sustainable dye and wash practices
- The matching duvet, flat sheet, and pillowcases are sold separately
- Limited sizing and colors
Why we chose it: Finally, a silk sheet you don’t have to worry about washing.
Lunya is beloved for its washable silk in all forms—its pajamas and robes are perpetually on our wish list—and its silk sheets are just as luxurious. We can’t decide what we love more: the unparalleled softness or the laid-back care needs. While some silk sheets come with finicky care instructions, not so for the Lunya ones. Throw them in your washer, then rest easy knowing your machine isn’t ruining them. It won’t. Just use cold water and a low heat setting.
Thank their supreme softness on a design technique that uses minimal twists per stitch, which provides maximum silkiness. Like all silk sheets, they’re thermoregulating, adapting to your ever-changing body temperature throughout the night and throughout the seasons. They wick away heat, so you won’t wake up with sweaty bedhead ever again. If you’re a believer in neutral bedding only, or simply suffering from decision fatigue, these white silk sheets are the best option for you.
Best Cotton-Silk Blend: Donna Karan Cotton & Silk Fitted Sheet
Sizes: Queen, king, and California king | Care: Machine-wash, tumble dry | Color options: An array of 5 neutrals | Set: Sold as separates
What we like:
- Combines the best attributes of cotton and silk into 1 sheet
- Ultra-easy to care for
- Available in 5 elegant colors
- Only 10 percent silk
- The coordinating set pieces are sold separately
Why we chose it: A lot of cotton, a little bit of silk, and all the soft, breathable benefits of both.
There’s a reason Donna Karan calls these her “indulgence” sheets. They feel high-end, like you’re, say, indulging in the most luxurious silk bedding, but without the shocking price tag. Made from 90 percent cotton and 10 percent silk, these sheets offer you the best of both worlds: the top-tier breathability of cotton with the glossy feel of silk. If you’re curious about silk sheets but aren’t quite ready to dive in headfirst, dip your toe in with these. They’ll give you an introduction without the monetary commitment.
Since these are made mostly with cotton, they spare you the need to be precious on laundry day. Simply machine-wash and dry.
Best High-End: Gingerlily Silk Sheets
Sizes: Queen and king | Care: Machine-wash cold, tumble dry low, and cool iron | Color options: Ivory | Set: Sold as separates
What we like:
- The ultimate luxurious silk sheets
- Made with strong yet supremely soft long-strand mulberry silk
- Can be mixed and matched with Gingerlily’s other bedding, which is available in more colors
- The most expensive option on this list
- Shipping can be a little steep
- Air-dry only
Why we chose it: For the best of the best, invest in these Gingerlily sheets—they will last you a lifetime.
London-based Gingerlily is serious about silk. The company has committed its entire bedding collection to the luxurious fabric. After launching a silk-filled duvet, the first of its kind, it branched out to create all kinds of silk bedding, including this exclusive ivory-colored silk sheet. It’s pricey, there’s no denying that, and shipping costs to the U.S. are considerable, too. But it’s unmatched in softness, is naturally hypoallergenic, and temperature regulates so you can stay sweat-free on summer’s steamiest nights.
Each of the available colors—like teal, vintage pink, and ivory—would be an elegant option you won’t tire of anytime soon. To add more energy to your bedroom design, mix and match this sheet with duvet covers and pillowcases in other colors and patterns, whether from Gingerlily or elsewhere. Here’s betting you’ll have extra-sound sleep on these sheets.
Best Colors: Lily Silk 19 Momme Seamless Silk Sheets
Sizes: Twin, full, queen, king, and California king | Care: Dry cleaning recommended, or hand-wash/machine-wash in cold water and hang to dry | Color options: 11, from rich neutrals to soft pastels | Set: Sold as separates
What we like:
- Available in a wide selection of colors
- As far as silk sheets are concerned, these come at a digestible price point
- Includes the option to monogram
- The only option on this list that recommends dry cleaning
- Flat sheets, duvets, and pillowcases are sold à la carte
Why we chose it: While most silk sheets stick to the neutrals, Lily Silk’s are available in rosy pink, buttery yellow, and several other colors. (And yes, neutrals too.)
Options, options, options. Variety is the spice of life, but it’s hard to come by in the world of silk bedding. While most silk bedsheets are only sold in queen and king sizes, not so with these seamless sheets. They’re available in a full size run, from twin to California king, and 11 color choices, too. Name a neutral—navy, taupe, white, black—and you’ll get it, or go bold with one of the vivid color options like teal or lavender.
While Lily Silk recommends professional dry cleaning for these sheets, gentle machine washing and air drying will also do the trick. The 16-inch pocket is deep enough for most mattresses, though if you’re a pillow-top devotee, get out your tape measure to ensure these will fit. Each piece of the bedding set, like the duvet and pillowcases, is sold separately, so whether you’re a fervent fan of top sheets or somehow kick it to the bottom of the bed every night, you choose what to include (or not include) from your set.
How We Chose These Products
Shopping for bedding doesn’t have to be serious business, but when you’re throwing down hundreds of dollars on silk sheets, there are some criteria that must be met before clicking “add to cart.” Don’t worry; we did the research for you. First, we turned to beloved brands we trust who have a long history of selling silk products. We shopped for a range of price points, too, as much as the generally expensive silk sheets would allow, and with the exception of one cotton-blend option, each had to be made from 100 percent real silk—no polyester knockoffs allowed. The results? We found a variety of silk sheets to fit your mattress, bedroom decor, budget, and lifestyle.
Our Shopping Checklist
Other than the Donna Karen sheets, which are a cotton-silk blend, all of our selects are made with mulberry silk. Scroll on to read what mulberry silk is and what its benefits are, or simply trust us: It’s the best silk option for bedding. If you’re buying 100 percent silk sheets, buy 100 percent mulberry silk sheets.
Care and Maintenance
If you’ve ever donated shrunken clothes to a niece, you know that not all washing machines are precious with fragile fabrics. All of our picks are machine washable, though some with more tedious care than others. Don’t trust your sweater-shrinking, sock-eating washing machine? Opt to hand-wash or dry-clean your silk sheets instead.
Silk is notoriously breathable—that’s one of its many benefits. While cotton tops the list of most breathable fabrics, silk isn’t far behind. These lightweight silk sheets are expert at temperature regulating, keeping you cool during sweltering summer nights and cozy warm in the winter.
Each of our picks needed to be strong and durable, or as strong and durable as a delicate fabric like silk allows. Take proper care of these sheets and they’ll help you drift off to sleep for years to come.
Q: What exactly is mulberry silk?
Mulberry silk is made using the cocoon secretions of domesticated silkworms that feed on—you guessed it—mulberry trees. Alternatively, regular or wild silk is created from the cocoon secretions of wild silkworms that have matured into moths.
The long strands of mulberry silk can reach up to 3,000 feet in length (from a single cocoon!), and because the strands are so thin, several filaments are twisted together, resulting in the strongest form of any silk. Mulberry is also buttery soft, lightweight, hypoallergenic, antibacterial, moisture wicking, and scentless. Need we go on?
Q: What types of silk are used to make sheets?
Silk sheets are typically made using mulberry silk. That’s due to the organized growing cycle of domesticated silkworms, which make it easier for manufacturers to harvest. “Domesticated grown silk is required to be labeled as 100 percent mulberry silk,” says Parima Ijaz, founder of luxury bedding company Pure Parima. “You will rarely, if ever, come across wild or organic silk products on the market.”
Q: What is the typical price range for silk sheets?
Silk sheets will set you back quite a few more pennies than other types of sheets, and for good reason. “The extravagant prices reflect the delicate nature of silk and the lengthy hand-harvesting required to weave silk pillowcases and sheets,” says Ijaz.
A single silk fitted sheet often costs between $100 and $500, while three-piece sheet sets can range anywhere from $500 to $1,000. Prices may vary depending on the momme, which is the unit of weight measurement used for silk, similar to how thread count is used to measure cotton weight.
Q: How long do silk sheets last?
With proper care (more on that, below), silk sheets should last for many years to come. Just be gentle. “Because silk is such a delicate fabric, it has a higher chance of becoming stained or ripped throughout the years of using and washing them,” says Ijaz.
Q: How do I wash silk sheets?
Silk sheets are delicate and should be washed just as delicately, otherwise you risk damaging them. Always refer to the specific care instructions to determine whether you can machine-wash or if they need to be dry-cleaned.
In general, if machine washing, use a delicate cycle with cold water and a gentle detergent. Nix the use of softeners, which are unnecessary (hello, it’s silk!) and will leave an unpleasant residue. Avoid putting silk sheets in the dryer, if possible, but if you lack the space to air-dry, tumble dry on low. The same principle goes for ironing: The less heat, the better, so use a low setting.
The Last Word
Silk sheets are the ultimate luxury, bedding-wise. They’ll set you back a pretty penny, but their softness is unmatched, and since these options are made with machine washable, ultra-durable silk, they aren’t daunting to own. Sweet, silky dreams.
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