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All the Best Pillowcases (That We’ve Written About on the Strategist)

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

We don’t joke around when it comes to bedding. Around the clock, our writers and editors are uncovering “spine-unfurling” mattresses, Top Chef–judge–approved sheets, and pet-friendly duvet covers. But of all the essential components, the right pillowcase may be the most functional. For example, dermatologist Michele Green says a cotton cover is best if you’re acne-prone, as it will absorb moisture, reducing sebum buildup and minimizing breakouts. Meanwhile, if you’re a side sleeper, silk is one way to wake up with smoother hair and without marks on your cheek, says Julia Tzu, founder and medical director of Wall Street Dermatology.

Below, we’ve sourced recommendations from sleep experts, interior designers, and aestheticians to find the best pillowcases, and included some we’ve tested ourselves. And to make comparison shopping easier, the prices we’ve listed will fit a standard-size pillow except where noted.

Best silk pillowcase

As our top-rated silk pillowcase, the Zimasilk made best-seller history last year. Made from 6A mulberry silk (the highest grade available) with a standard momme of 19 (which refers to how soft the silk feels), we were first introduced to it by Strategist beauty writer Rio Viera-Newton, who says it’s a dupe for a pricier Parachute cover. Aside from its affordable price, this cover is made from a thick material that can withstand multiple rounds of washing, says Viera-Newton, who credits it with reducing her eczema and minimizing bedhead. It also has a sturdy zipper to keep your pillow secure inside and is available in many colors, such as white, soft pink, cobalt blue, and two prints.

Best hybrid silk pillowcase

If you want options, this pillowcase has a momme of 19 on one side and plain white cotton on the other. It comes recommended by Strategist contributor Natalya Lobanova, who describes it as very durable with “a noticeably lustrous sheen on the silk part that doesn’t fade quickly.” After months of regular machine washes, Lobanova says her set is still smooth with no signs of fraying at the seams. And because they’re hypoallergenic, the covers are “more gentle on the skin and can prevent inflammation and skin reactions,” aesthetician Candida Lawson says.

Best luxury silk pillowcase

Slip has a loyal following, from Kourtney Kardashian, who sleeps on one of the brand’s pillowcases every night, to dermatologist Dennis Gross. It’s our favorite luxury choice; each cover is made of 6A mulberry silk and has a momme of 22, meaning it’s extra heavy and soft. Hairstylist Larry Sims — who counts Gabrielle Union and Janet Jackson among his clients — recommends this to minimize frizz, breakage, and split ends, while Lawson says she’s a “true believer” that it helps her blowouts last longer. To keep it extra smooth and ensure it holds up, hand-washing is suggested, Strategist writer Tembe Denton-Hurst says. NB: The price listed is for a queen pillow, as Slip doesn’t make a standard size.

Best linen pillowcase

These pillowcases are made from the same linen as our best sheet set, which several Strategist staffers favor for its breathable, soft-to-the-touch material and wallet-friendly price tag. Senior editor Jen Trolio ditched all her other bedding for the brand’s linen and says the texture is ultracomfortable and durable enough to withstand year-round washes. Sweaty sleepers might also prefer this option, says Sleep Sherpa founder Ben Trapskin, who notes that choosing a lighter hue, such as white or bone, can help reflect more heat away from your head.

Best (less expensive) linen pillowcase

From $40 for 2

For $30 less than the set above, you can get these pillowcases made by the direct-to-consumer brand Quince, whose linen is backed by Strategist writer Dominique Pariso. Pariso has slept on both Quince’s and Parachute’s linen but says the former is super-lightweight with a slightly more textured weave. She says she sleeps hot — “like window-open-in-the-middle-of-January hot” — but the material has kept her cool and cozy even when the heat is cranked up. Like the set above, these covers are pre-washed, made of 100 percent European flax, and are OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified, meaning they’re free of harmful chemicals.

Best cotton-percale pillowcase

If you prefer a crisper feel — and an even more reasonable price — consider this percale set from West Elm. Made of 200-thread-count organic cotton, these pillowcases are included in the sheet bundle favored by skin-care executive Rebecca Zhou, who purchased three sets during her last move. “The texture means our bed always looks made, but not overly perfect,” she says. And given that the fabric is Global Organic Textile Standard certified (the leading standard for textiles made of organic fibers), Courtney McLeod, founder and principal designer of New York–based Right Meets Left Interior Design, says they “are excellent quality for the price.”

Best Egyptian-cotton pillowcase

“High-quality, genuine Egyptian-cotton sheets feel extremely luxurious on the skin and, in my opinion, aid in better sleep,” says interior designer Elizabeth Strianese, who owns Matouk’s Luca Satin Stitch sheet set, which includes these 500-thread-count pillowcases. They have “a very small flange around the pillow sham, so there isn’t this big sloppy thing flapping all over your bed,” Strianese says. These are also OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified, and while the fabric comes from Italy, the covers are made in the U.S. Many high-end hotels also use the brand’s long-staple cotton, which refers to the fibers that make the yarn strong and smooth.

Best sateen pillowcase

As a material, sateen has a silkier (and more substantial) feel than percale, Strategist writer Lauren Ro says, which is one reason to opt for this 480-thread-count pillowcase bundle. Brooklinen’s Luxe Core sheet set, which includes these covers, is recommended by interior designer Molly Schoneveld and Michelin-starred chef Missy Robbins for its softness, crisp appearance, and temperate feel. Schoneveld says the texture is buttery and looks good as new after many washes, while Robbins promises that the cotton is lightweight and cooling. “I want to be super-cozy, but I don’t want to sweat to death — these have that balance,” Robbins says.

Best (less expensive) sateen pillowcase

Target’s in-house line Threshold offers a more affordable set of sateen pillowcases, and the 100 percent cotton material comes recommended by New York deputy editor Alexis Swerdloff. She has a few sheet sets for her 4-year-old son’s twin bed and says they soften after a few washes, which she can attest to after falling asleep with him. The covers come in various colors and patterns, including light blue, cream, and these blue-dotted ones, all three of which Swerdloff owns, along with their accompanying flat and fitted sheets. According to the brand, the 400-thread-count fabric is wrinkle-, pill-, and shrink-resistant, making it extra easy to care for.

Best bamboo pillowcase

From $49 for 2

In our review of the best bed sheets, Ro says naturally derived fibers like bamboo, known for being light, crisp, and breathable, is a good option for warmer sleepers. This holds true for Strategist contributor Jolie de Feis, a self-described “very sweaty person and an even sweatier sleeper,” who recommends the bamboo lyocell from Ettitude. “They feel like a cross between cotton and silk, somehow crispy cool and soft at the same time,” she writes. As someone who used to sleep on a towel to avoid changing the sheets multiple times per week, de Feis says she’s impressed every morning when she wakes up sweat free. While this bamboo cover set is pricier than other options on this list, de Feis likes them so much that she’s replaced all her bedding with Ettitude, including her duvet cover.

Best (less expensive) bamboo pillowcase

Decorilla designer Devin Shaffer is a fan of the bamboo-rayon sheets from Oasis Fine Linens — he’s gone through two sets in five years — which includes these pillowcases. Shaffer, who has pets, says bamboo has the added benefit of being naturally resistant to odors and bacteria. Although the brand does not list an exact thread count, Shaffer notes bamboo linens can feel as soft as other materials whose thread counts reach up to 2,000. And because bamboo is cooling, its “excellent moisture-wicking and insulating properties help regulate body temperature,” Shaffer says.

Best jersey pillowcase

From $38 for 2

Coyuchi makes some of our favorite bath towels and robes, along with these pillowcases, which can be found in our expert-recommended jersey sheet set. Havenly lead designer Heather Goerzen praises the “luxuriously soft and stretchy” fabric, which gives “your bed scene a lived-in and loved-well appeal,” she says. The material’s construction is also high quality, thanks to the GOTS- and Made Safe–certified (or nontoxic) organic cotton, which gives them an airier feel, Goerzen says. Nancy Davilman of ND Interiors also recommends the brand’s jersey because it’s breathable, allowing you to “keep your temperature very balanced.”

Best cashmere pillowcase

From $79 for 2

Pariso says the cashmere-blend bedding from Brooklinen, which she’s owned for two years, is her “new favorite — of all time” and is “good for people who want their bedding to be extremely cozy.” The fabric is 95 percent cotton and 5 percent Himalayan cashmere, and while Pariso admits that “5 percent doesn’t sound like a lot, they are so, so soft.” She says the feel is similar to jersey but more like a softer, lighter flannel, which means they’re ideal for colder weather without being too warm. But even in the summer, Pariso, who calls herself a sweaty sleeper, hasn’t had a problem with overheating.

Best acne-fighting pillowcase

For those with acne-prone skin, many experts stress the importance of cleaning your pillowcase often to prevent blemishes. Lawson recommends changing the cover at least once a week and washing the actual pillow every three months. That’s a lot of laundry, but this Déjà pillowcase lengthens the time between washes with eight fold-over layers you peel back for a fresh cover each time you sleep. “A clean surface each night won’t expose your skin to dirt, oil, and bacteria buildup, which can make acne worse,” dermatologist Michele Green says. NB: The price listed is for a queen pillow, as Déjà doesn’t make a standard size.

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All the Best Pillowcases We’ve Written About