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Shopping for Silk Sheets- Types of Silk

silk sheets

Shopping for silk, some basic types of it should be known. The main two types are listed below.

There are two basic types of silk, wild silk and cultivated silk. Wild silk, as you might expect, comes from wild silkworms. The filament threads from them are not long continuous threads like those from cultivated silk so it is not as durable or as strong as cultivated. For sheets, durability is a big consideration. Although they cost more, sheets made from cultivated silk are recommended because the thread strands are much longer. Cultivated silk bedding is most often referred to as Mulberry Silk bedding because that is the only food cultivated silkworms eat. Mulberry silk is the most expensive. Tussah, Habutai, and wild silk can all be quite nice too and are a little less expensive.

Silk Breathes

Why you want to choose silk for your bedding? Just for comfort? I don’t think so, silk sheets have so many advantages especially its “breathes”.

A silk comforter typically contains over one hundred layers of silk which makes it incredibly breathable and comfortable. Silk will wick away moisture from the body, keesilk sheetsping a person cool and comfortable all night long. That means that not only will it keep a person cool in the summer, but it is the perfect bedding choice for anyone who suffers from night sweats or hot flashes.

That doesn’t mean a person’s silk comforter should be stored away for the winter in favor of another type of comforter. Silk is great in the winter too although feeling the weight of a silk linen may not lead you to believe that. But it is true. Sleeping under a silk bed is like sleeping under a light fluffy cloud, one that will keep you warm and snuggly even when it is cold outside. Silk has a natural draping ability that some people call the “hugging effect.” It gently caresses and hugs the body which helps hold in body heat when it is cold.

This means a quality silk comforter will keep a person feeling “just right” in terms of warmth. It helps them not ever feel too warm or too cold but always “just right.”

So you understand, it is not only soft and elegant as you thought, it is also do a good favor to your healthy, why not choose it?

Shopping for Silk Sheets- Satin versus Silk

silk duvet kingAnother matter you need to know for silk bedding shopping is about the sain silk. When looking at silk sheets you may be confused by sheets labeled “satin silk.” Satin does not refer to the actual fabric. Satin refers to the weave of the fabric. The silk filaments in satin silk are woven in a way that gives the fabric a smooth shiny surface. Satin silk woven from mulberry or cultivated silk threads is very luxurious and durable. It may make your pocketbook cry a little too because it’s also expensive. But high price, high quality which will lead to high enjoyment, so don’t you think it is still worth buying?

Shopping for Silk Sheets- Think About Your Mattress

silk sheetsSo many things need to be mentioned in the shopping for your perfect silk bedding. Silk linen and duvets are the main part of your silk bedding sheets, so don’t forget to take the size of your mattress into consideration when purchasing silk sheets. I’m not talking about whether your bed is twin-size, full, queen, king, or California king. I’m talking about how thick it is. If you have a pillow top mattress you need extra deep sheets. It would be very disappointing to receive the silk sheets you ordered only to find they don’t fit on your mattress.

I doubt that you will regret your purchase of silk bedding. Instead you will be very glad you did it.

Shopping for Silk Sheets-Where should you go?

Where to buy your silk bedding sets is an important consideration. Most of you would think about the deparment stores, but I do suggest that may not the best place!

Although department stores are the first place many people go to when buying the silk sheets, you may not want to buy your silk sheets at once because most department stores do not offer high quality silk sheets. silk bedding

As a general rule, the highest quality silk sheets are ones that are made to order for the buyer. Consider doing business with an online business such as that is both the manufacturer and the retailer. Not only are their prices competitive, they know their product very well and can answer all the questions you have, and even some you didn’t know to ask, before you purchase.

Silk sheets are a wonderful thing to own. Once you have one set, you will want to buy more. That are that wonderful.

Shopping for Silk Sheets- Weight and Thread Count

Are you ready for shopping your own silk sheets? Let’s go for it!

silk bedding

When looking at silk bed sheets such as silk pillowcases or quilts, thread count is important, but not as important as the “momme” (pronounced like the word “mummy”) weight. Silk is typically measured by momme weight because it is such a fine and light fabric. The higher the momme number on a set of silk sheets, the heavier the fabric. If you are looking at sheets with a momme weight of only 6-9, those sheets are not going be very durable or last long. Silk with a momme weight of 12-19 is good for sheets.

Don’t completely disregard thread count. Look for sheets that have a thread count of at least 400 which is also a necessity for high quality of silk sheets sets.

How to measure the silk?

As we go shopping for silk bedding, we always hear such a unit-momme. Maybe you are getting confused with it, and what is that?

Momme weight is a way of measuring things developed by the Japanese. Momme weight is a standard way of measuring the weight of natural silk as well as a common way to measure pearls. Momme is pronounced much like the word “mummy.” silk bedding

For silk bed sheets a momme weight of 12-19 is considered good quality with silk sheets in the range of 16-19 being very high quality. Anything lower than 12 will result in silk sheets that are not as durable as they should be which means they will be more prone with damage and tearing.

To standard for measuring momme weight is by using a piece of fabric that is 100 yards long and 45 inches wide. If that piece of fabric weighs 19 pounds then the momme weight of that silk is 19.

The higher the momme weight the heavier the fabric which means a greater amount of silk was used in the weaving process.

The Ultimate Guide to Buying Silk Bedding

Guide to buying silk beddingDid you recently sleep on silk for the first time and decide it was the perfect fabric for you? Maybe you purchased silk sheets in the past and loved them, but can’t seem to find new ones that are as nice? Whether you are a first time buyer or a longtime fan of sleeping on silk this guide is for you!


  1. Why Should You Buy Silk Bedding Over Other Fabrics?
  2. Types of Silk and How They Compare for Quality.
  3. Summer vs. Winter Silk Bedding.
  4. Choosing a Silk Duvet.
  5. Choosing Your Bedding Colors.
  6. Buying Silk Bedding for Your Guest Bedroom.
  7. Caring for Your Silk Bedding.

Why Should You Buy Silk Bedding Over Other Fabrics?

This is a question we are frequently asked by new customers. They have heard that silks sheets are superior, perhaps from their mother or grandmother, and they are interested in giving silk a try. So why is silk considered the most luxurious fabric for bedding?

  1. Silk is incredibly smooth and feels great on skin.
  2. Silk is a naturally hypoallergenic fabric and resists dust, fungus, mold and many other allergens.
  3. Silk is great for all climates, from cold winter nights to broiling summers, you can sleep in silk and be incredibly comfortable (more on this below)
  4. Silk is the longest lasting natural fabric.
  5. Silk is great for your skin and hair, it helps you retain moisture and reduce damage caused by higher friction fabrics.

Choosing to buy silk is like choosing to buy Amish furniture – it lasts much, much longer than anything else you could purchase. When you get tired of purchasing new sheets each season, then it’s time to purchase silk. Silk outlasts every other natural fabric and has a lifespan on par with polyester. Unlike polyester, silk is wonderful feeling and good for you. That’s why it’s the best fabric.

However, be careful not to buy poor quality silk, as you’ll learn in the next section, the quality of silk sheets matters just as much as the thread count with cotton sheets.

Types of Silk and How They Compare for Quality.

When you begin shopping for silk you should first educate yourself on the varieties of silk available and the way in which silk is measured for quality. In general, it is helpful to know the following types of silk:

Charmeuse Silk is the most commonly recognized type of silk, it is used in everything from bedding to dresses to shirts. This type of silk is lightweight and has a natural elasticity, which makes it the ideal fabric for use in sheets, pillow cases and other kinds of bedding. The front of the fabric has a satin sheen to it while the back has a dull finish. Charmeuse is a cultivated silk, meaning that the silk worms which produce it are farmed for their silk.

mulberry silk mothMulberry Silk is the highest quality of silk and the most sought after for bedding. Most mulberry silk is actually charmeuse silk that was cultivated from a special type of silkworm which is fed a very strict diet. The Bombyx mori is the silkworm which produces mulberry silk and it prefers to eat the leaves of the mulberry tree. This particular type of silkworm has been bred in captivity for over 5,000 years! The careful breeding for quality and the strict diet of mulberry leaves are what make the end product, mulberry silk, the very finest silk available today.

Tussah Silk is actually silk made from wild silkworms which have not been bred. As the worms are not fed a strict diet or protected in the same way that cultivated silkworms are, this type of silk is not as soft or durable as cultivated silk. Most wild silk comes from India and not China.

Habotai Silk is another great silk that is commonly used for making sheets and bedding. Habotai is less expensive but also less durable than charmeuse. Often this type of silk is “washed” with sand to make it feel as soft as charmeuse. However this washing process also destroys the fibers in the silk, which means it doesn’t last as long.

Duppoini Silk is strong, lustrous but coarse and not ideal for sheets and most bedding. Sometimes it can be used in duvets, but because of its quality it does not work as well to maintain temperatures. The lower quality is due to the fact that this silk is made from irregular cocoons that are not of the same quality you would find in charmeuse silk.

Now that you know that mulberry silk is the very best silk you also need to learn a little about something called “Momme Weight”. Pronounced “mummy”, the momme weight is basically a measurement of the weight of the silk. This measurement was actually developed by the Japanese and is also used to measure things like pearls.

To calculate the momme weight you need to measure a piece of fabric that is 100 yards long and 45 inches wide. If this piece of fabric weighs 12 lbs then the momme weight of the fabric is 12. Obviously this isn’t something you can do for yourself while out shopping, so be sure to check labels for the manufacturer’s listing.

The type of silk also helps determine the momme weight of the silk. For instance habotai silk is usually only found with a momme weight of 5-15, while charmeuse silk can be anywhere from 12 to 30.

Ideally you want to look for a momme weight of greater than 14 for bedding. Here at ElleSilk all of our bedding is made with a momme weight of 22. You will almost never see bedding at a higher momme.

Summer vs. Winter Silk Bedding.

Silk throw blanketYou might not believe this, but silk is actually perfect for all seasons! Your silk pillowcases and sheets do not need to be switched out from summer to winter. If you get particularly hot or cold nights then we do recommend you purchase a different silk duvet for summer and winter. You can also try purchasing a silk blanket for winter, for a little extra warmth.

Why is silk so flexible? To start silk doesn’t bunch up, which means it provides you entire body even heat. So your feet are just as insulated as your upper body, and your own body can better regulate temperate.

Ever wake up in the middle of the night sweating buckets from the heat of your bedding? That’s because most synthetic fibers and other traditional bedding materials like down trap air. Over the course of the night your body heat slowly builds up until it becomes unbearable. Your sweat is also trapped inside the bedding and unable to evaporate, so you end up with disgusting wet sheets that are impossible to fall back to sleep in. This is especially problematic for women who are going through menopause, as their body cycles from hot to cool to hot again the typical cotton sheets can’t accommodate the changes in heat and they wake up continuously from discomfort.

The beautiful structure of silk at a microscopic level is what allows a small, but effective, amount of air to naturally help your body regulate its temperature. As you overheat your body perspires and silk’s breathable nature allows that moisture to escape thus cooling your body, this is known as a wicking effect. As you cool off less moisture is produced and silk helps your body retain the natural heat it produces. Not only that but silk gives an even amount of cooling throughout the night so your body doesn’t need to be constantly readjusting.

You could buy expensive synthetic bedding which also has the same effect, but why? You are only introducing more chemicals into your environment and silk is a completely natural fabric that provides the same wicking effect.

Choosing a Silk Duvet.

The first thing you must do when choosing a silk duvet is consider the season you’ll be using it for. As we mentioned above, having a different duvet for winter and summer is recommended. Thicker silk duvets are ideal for winter as they trap more of your body’s natural heat, while thinner ones are ideal for summer as they allow more air to cool your body.

When shopping for silk duvets you should look at the tog to identify how warm or cool the duvet is. The tog is a rating of how insulating a particular duvet or other kind of fabric is.

Summer weight silk duvetThe ideal summer duvet is usually between 2-4 tog and has no additional fabrics added to it. Making sure that this duvet is pure silk is very important if you want to stay cool all summer long. Take a look at our very own summer silk duvet for more information.
Fall spring silk duvet Some individuals also like to use a spring and fall duvet, these typically have a tog of around 8-11. If you live in more moderate climate you might also opt to use this kind of duvet for most of the year. A fall or spring duvet can also be helpful if you are looking to save money and only want to purchase a single duvet.
mulberry silk duvet for winterDuring winter you’ll want many layers of silk to keep you warm, we recommend at least 12 tog and our winter duvet has 13 tog. For especially cool climates you might want to consider a cotton covered silk duvet. For the most part, you will find that even our pure silk duvet is extremely warm throughout the winter.

Choosing Your Colors.

Finally! The fun part of shopping for silk bedding. Choosing a color combination that works for you and your decor is very important. Not only will the colors you choose enhance your mood but they can also help you fall asleep easier.

dark blue silk duvet coverLuxury silk bedding set

Blue – is a beautiful color but did you know that it’s been proven over and over again to have an impact on sleep? A study in 2013 show that individuals sleeping in a blue room had the most sleep. When you think of blue thoughts of peace and calm enter your mind. Blue is a naturally calming color and if you are not using blue in your room already then consider buying a blue duvet or a blue bedding set to really make an impact on your sleep.

If blue is the best color for your bedroom then what are the worst? You might automatically think red or yellow would have the opposite effect, but actually purple, brown and grey were ranked the worst! If possible avoid these colors for your wall paint, bedding and anything more than just accents.

If you are looking to enhance your love life then colors like gold, yellow and orange have been shown to increase libido. While in the same 2013 study it was found that red decor did not lead to increased romance in the bedroom.

Want a great night’s rest but not sure if blue is the color for you? Green and orange decor also have a positive effect. Mix and match these colors for a restful and rejuvenating night’s sleep!

Buying Silk Bedding for your Guest Bedroom

If you want to enhance the stay of your guests and impress them at the same time then silk bedding is definitely the way to go. Not only is it a real treat for those that have never slept in silk before, but with all of silk’s health and sleep benefits it will help cut down on crankiness from jet lag.

luxury silk bedding setThe perfect guest bedroom should look elegant, which is why we recommend purchasing one of our luxurious silk bedding sets. Our 8 piece sets include a duvet, flat sheet, oxford and housewife pillowcases and silk mattress covers. The incredible designs will enhance any room and make them appear incredibly elegant!

If you really want to make your guest’s stay special then purchase a silk eye mask for them to take home with them. These eye masks are ideal for helping your guests get to sleep and are an affordable thank you gift for their stay.

Beyond purchasing a silk bedding set you should also purchase a silk blanket or throw for them. These blankets are warm, soft and perfect for the guest who is fickle about how much or how little coverage they want at night.

Caring for Your Silk Bedding

Now that you’ve been sleeping in silk you’re probably wondering – how often do I need to clean my sheets? Can I wash them? Do they need to be dry cleaned?

The wonderful thing about high quality silk is that it naturally repels dirt, dust, oils and other grime that your bedding will accumulate. Silk bedding can thus be washed less often than traditional cotton or synthetic fibers.

Most silk can be machine washed and air dried, although you should always see the specific instructions for that product. In general we recommend the following:

Basic rules for washing silk:

  • Never use bleach or any bleaching agents! These damage the fibers and shorten the lifespan of your silk.
  • Never machine dry! High heat and the tumbling motion can damage the fibers as well.
  • DO machine or hand wash your silk with cold water.
  • DO air dry your silk.
  • DO lightly iron your silk on the cool setting on the inside of the fabric.

Some items like silk blankets, duvets and pillows require special care. Please see our full care guide for more information on each product.

Bargain silk, wary choice

Silk is considered as an expensive cost fabric. So some of the venders sometimes promotes a “bargain price” to attract the consumers. However I think you should avoid purchasing silk sheets.WHY?

silk bedding

In the world of silk bedding you truly do get what you pay for. If you spend $150 dollars (or the equivalent) on a bargain set of silk sheets for your king size bed, you will be getting a bargain set of silk sheets that is made from a lower quality silk and that likely also contains other non silk fibers in the weave. The bargain sheets will not hold up well over time and will be destined for the scrap heap in a short amount of time. It reminds me of a saying my Mom had which went like this, “If it looks like a bargain, feels like a bargain, and smells like a bargain, be very wary because it is probably no bargain at all.”

There are typically only a few occasions where high quality silk bedding sheets will be reduced in price to the point of a being a real bargain. If a color or style is being discontinued manufacturers will discount the silk linen. There may also be periodic sales or special pricing if silk sheets, a silk comforter, and a silk duvet cover are all purchased at the same time.
Do not just fell in love with the price and forget the quality, buying inferior silk bedding indicates you will spend more a year later.

How to choose quality silk bed linen

  1. Finding quality can be a daunting taks. There is a vast amount of silk bed linen on the market today ranging hugely in both quality and price. Knowing what to look for can be a daunting task. Here are a few tips that if followed will ensure you buy a quality silk bedding product that will last for many years.
  2. Insist on 100% mulberry silk. There are many varieties of silk on the market. When purchasing silk bedding insist on 100% mulberry silk. Only 100% mulberry silk consists of a continuous strand of silk. Wild silk, commonly known as Habotai silk is often passed off as mulberry silk but is never of the same quality as mulberry silk. Habotai or China Silk as it is sometimes called is often made up of broken strands of silk and non-silk fibres and is more suited for silk scarves and items requiring shorter fibres. Habotai silk does not have the same durability as 100% mulberry silk. Only 100% mulberry silk can offer the consistency and durability required in quality silk bed linen.
  3. A thread count of 400 or more. When considering making a purchase of silk linen, always check the thread count. The higher the thread count, the tighter the silk is woven. An ideal thread count for silk linen is above 400. Anything lover than 400 will not be as durable and not last as fine silk linen should.
  4. Momme weight explained. You may have heard of momme when purchasing silk items. Momme is the gauge used to determine the physical weight of silk. The basic measurement for momme is weighing a piece of silk that is 100 yards long and 45 inches wide. If the total weight comes to sixteen pounds then the silk will be graded as 16 momme. If the silk is heavier then a higher momme grade will be given and visa versa. Silk with a lower momme number will have physically less silk in the item than one with a higher number. Your silk bedding should have a high momme number, at the very least above 12. Traditionally silk with a momme of fewer than 12 has been reserved for light silk clothing, while a momme of 12-19 is used for silk bedding. A momme of 22 would be durable enough for a tailored suit. Silk bedding with a momme of 19 will be more durable and easier to care for than a say a momme of 14.
  5. Beware of a false economy. Silk sheets and bedding sets are often offered at hugely discounted prices. Although at the time of purchase the price may seem a bargain, be sure the bedding meets the above criteria. If not, the bedding will not last like 100% mulberry silk bedding. When properly cared for 100% mulberry silk bedding with a momme weight of 19 and a thread count of 400 will far outlast cotton bedding and prove to be a sound investment.