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Best Pillowcase Fabric: Rest Your Head on Comfort

Updated January 7, 2020

Rank Products Highlights
#1

Pizuna 100% Cotton Pillowcases

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  • Fabric: Cotton
  • Thread Count: 400
  • Sizes Available: Queen, King
#2

NTBAY 100% Brushed Microfiber

Pillowcases

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  • Fabric: microfiber, 100% polyester
  • Thread Count: 204
  • Sizes Available: standard/queen
#3

SLPBABY Silk Pillowcase for Hair and Skin

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  • Fabric: 100% silk
  • Thread Count: n/a
  • Sizes Available: Standard, Queen, King
#4

Delanna Flannel Pillowcases

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  • Fabric: 100% cotton flannel
  • Thread Count: 400
  • Sizes Available: standard/queen
#5

Great Bay Home Jersey Knit Pillowcases

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  • Fabric: cotton/poly blend
  • Thread Count: n/a
  • Sizes Available: standard/queen, king

 

Choosing a mattress and pillow to meet your needs to get a good night’s sleep can be a trying process since we are all very unique in our shapes, sizes, and preferences. Once you have them all set up, it’s time to dress them out with sheets and comforters. This is often the fun part of bed shopping as you get to match your decor and style, and sleep on a comfortable fabric of your choice each and every night.

Not all sheets and cases are made the same, however, as most people quickly find out when referring to price tags. But what many people don’t understand is that a price tag is not always the best indicator of fabric quality. The best pillowcase fabric is one of a thread count and material that is acceptable to you for personal preference and comfort.

Why Use a Pillow Case?

Although many pillows come encompassed within a washable cover, you should consider providing your own pillowcase for added protection. Not all pillows are machine washable and dryable, especially those made with memory foam cores, and you want to ensure that you get as long a life as possible from your pillow investment.

A pillowcase encompasses your pillow and provides a barrier between your head and the material of the pillow itself. This does not mean that all moisture and skin oils are completely kept from your pillow surface (you may want a pillow protector for that), but it does mean that you are prolonging the pillow’s life.

Also, a pillowcase allows for a fresh surface for which to lay your head and face upon. With use there will be a build up of dead skin cells and body oils no matter how clean you are, and removing and washing a pillowcase is much more convenient that having to try and wash a pillow each and every laundry day.

Types of Pillowcases

Pillowcases come in various sizes to fit the size pillow you have. But they also come in various styles as well. Depending on the size of your pillow, and the material it is made from (i.e. a smooth, slippery fabric that slides versus a quilted cotton), you may want a more encompassing closure rather than an open end.

Housewife

Housewife pillowcases are a very popular style that are made to fit snugly over your pillow and are enclosed at the end with a button, zipper, or envelope flap. These are made to help keep your pillow from slipping out the end and provide a clean, fitted look to your pillow.

Bag Style

Bag style pillows are probably the most well known style as the case looks exactly as it sounds: like a bag you slide your pillow into. They do not close shut, but the ends extend past the pillow end to help keep the pillow enclosed and protected.

Oxford and Mock Oxford

Oxford and Mock Oxford cases provide a snug fit via and envelope style opening located in the back of the pillow. The case itself frames the pocket your pillow sits within with a 2 to 3 inch border. The Oxford has mitered corners, where the mock style lays flat without the mitering.

Fabric Thread Count Explained

Many people assume that the higher the thread count a fabric is, the higher quality. It is also assumed that it is softer and finer, and for the most part may be, but what all comes down to is what this term is actually defined as.

Thread count is how many threads both vertically and horizontally are woven together in one square inch. HIgh thread count materials typically have many very fine threads woven together, but here is the catch: measuring thread count is subjective, and often creatively done by the manufacturer and includes each fiber of each thread to make it sounds higher. Besides, 100% cotton is 100% cotton: that doesn’t change.

A higher thread count may sound enticing, but you may not be getting what you pay for. Plus, the more closely woven together threads are, the less they breathe. That’s right, airflow is restricted by thread counts higher than 300 to 400, with lower numbers providing the most breathable fabric- a detail important to bedding linens.To put things into perspective, cotton muslin is a 150 thread count, with a good quality sheet considered 180. Anything above 200 is a better quality feel against your skin.

Materials Used in Pillowcase Construction

There are many materials used in the construction of bedding. Cotton and cotton blends seem to be the most popular choices due to increased fabric breathability and comfort, but personal preference dictates that your options are varied in nature to ensure you lay your head upon the material of your choice each night. A few of the following are the most popular:

Polyester

Polyester is also a common fabric which is often mixed with cotton for absorbency. As a man made material it is very durable and lasts long. Plus it can provide good airflow as well.

Cotton/Cotton Jersey

By far the favorite material of beddings fabrics, cotton is a natural fiber that is both absorbent and breathable, and is a popular fabric to blend with other, less breathable materials.

Flannel

Flannel is typically a type of cotton weave that is more rough in appearance, but thicker and softer overall with a raw appearance. It is generally very warm and helps hold heat.

Winceyette

Winceyette is also a type of cotton weave that is double napped. Similar to flannel, it is lighter and cooler, and is very durable due to it being double sided so it can be reversed.

Silk

Silk is a natural material as well, and is a smooth, durable, and highly sought after choice. Silk is very insulating, so may not sleep as cool as other choices, but it blends well with cottons to create a more breathable surface.

Satin

Satin is smooth and soft, and very gentle on both your skin and hair. It does not bunch up easily and so does not create crease marks. It is a dense material, however, and may not breathe well.

Linen

Linen is a natural product from the flax plant. It is considered a durable, quality fabric, and is soft and breathable. It too blends well with other choices.

How to Choose the Best Pillowcase Material for You

Although much of what may drive your fabric decision making choices are based in pure personal preference, you may want to consider a few other factors. Your complexion and hair are considerations you may want to consider, as are air flow factors.

Do you have any allergies?

If you have any allergies, you actually want a very breathable fabric as allergens do not like a dry place to reside within or upon. Instead they prefer moist, enclosed spaces. Some fabrics breathe better than others for air to flow freely through the pillow.

Do you sleep hot?

Hot sleepers need materials that support air flow as well. Materials that retain heat sinks can make your sleep feel that much more stuffy and uncomfortable.

Do you have sensitive skin or skin issues?

Any material you lay your head down upon night after night will begin to build up oils and dead skin cells, which is why a washable material is important to consider to keep your face free from added pore blocking buildup.

Do you have hair issues?

Curly or coarse hair often tangles easily through the night due to friction against your pillowcases. Smooth fabrics are excellent for your hair to allow it to slip over the the case, rather than get tangled.

Top 5 Rated Pillowcase Fabric Choices

Of the many pillowcase fabrics from which you can choose, the following are some of the best rated products by consumers based on quality and comfort.

#1. Pizuna 400 Thread Count 100% Cotton Pillowcases

SPECS

  • Fabric: Cotton
  • Thread Count: 400
  • Sizes Available: Queen, King

These 400 thread count pillowcases are 100% cotton and provide a tight enough weave for a smoother, more luxurious feel, but still open enough for good airflow. The cotton used is a long staple cotton fiber to ensure fewer loose fibers with use, and decreased pilling. These are a bag style pillowcase and have a 4 inch hem with a satin weave detail for both style and pillow protection. These are easy washable and dryable cases, and come in a variety of muted colors to match any decor.

Cotton is excellent for air flow and against the skin for problem complexions. They wash easy and provide a gentle, cooking comfort.

#2. NTBAY 100% Brushed Microfiber Pillowcases

SPECS

  • Fabric: microfiber, 100% polyester
  • Thread Count: 204
  • Sizes Available: standard/queen

Microfiber linens have gained in popularity through the years due to the extremely soft, velvety feel they provide. It is a 100% polyester material which has decent airflow, and is wrinkle and stain resistant. These are a bag style case, and have a 4 inch length hem to provide protection to your pillow. They also come in your choice bright, vibrant colors, or more muted tones. Sold as a 4 pack you can match your decor and provide a pop of interest.

For a soft, smooth surface this is a great choice. It has good breathability, but can sleep more warm than a comparable cotton case.

#3. SLPBABY Silk Pillowcase for Hair and Skin

SPECS

  • Fabric: 100% silk
  • Thread Count: n/a
  • Sizes Available: Standard, Queen, King

Silk is a naturally derived thread spun by the mulberry silkworm. These super fine threads are incredibly strong and durable, and woven tightly to produce quality, luxury smooth fabrics. The amino acids found in silk are considered an excellent choice for skin and hair health, and provide a wrinkle and friction free surface to lay your head down upon. Available in many different colors and patterns, you are sure to find something that matches your linens and decor. Plus, they have a hidden zipper to keep your pillow from slipping while you sleep upon it.

Those with coarse or fine hair appreciate the smooth surface of silk to keep from tangles. Silk is also easy on skin and help with overall complexion, and is temperature regulating, although can create heat sinks for hot sleepers.

#4. Delanna Flannel Pillowcases

SPECS

  • Fabric: 100% cotton flannel
  • Thread Count: 400
  • Sizes Available: standard/queen

Flannel is derived from 100% cotton and is a thicker, brushed cotton to provide a soft, warming surface. It is highly breathable, however, and is a popular choice for cooler climates as the brushed surface hold heat slightly better than a smooth weave without sacrificing air flow. MAchine washing actually increases this softness, and with a bag style opening, you can pop your pillow in and out with ease for laundry day. Available in multiple colors and patterns, they are a great addition to your decor.

If cozy is a name you use for your bed, this is a great fabric to consider. Cotton is breathable and easy on your skin, plus the brushed surface helps with warmth and satisfies personal preferences.

#5. Great Bay Home Extra Soft Heather Jersey Knit (T-Shirt) Pillowcases

SPECS

  • Fabric: cotton/poly blend
  • Thread Count: n/a
  • Sizes Available: standard/queen, king

Jersey is the name used to describe your favorite t-shirt material. This slightly stretchy, soft, fabric is highly breathable and comfortable against your skin, and when used as a pillowcase feels as if you are curled up with your favorite washed and worn shirt. Made from 90% cotton/10% polyester, this is another fabric that only improves with each wash (just be sure to wash separately to avoid rougher materials from working against it). This bag style case is easy to stuff your pillow into, and is available in a variety of colors.

If soft and comforting is high on your priority list, then these are a great pillowcase choice for you. You get all the benefit of cotton for breathability, and the soft stretchiness of a t-shirt.

Conclusion

Of course, the best pillowcase fabric is entirely up to your own personal needs and preferences, but as you can see cotton, and cotton blends are amongst the top rated from what we have highlighted above. The natural fibers of cotton are long lasting and durable, and provide amazing air flow for a cooler night’s sleep.

Cotton is also very washable, a feature you most definitely want in a such an intimate product to help keep your complexion clear and skin cared for through the night. If you have a favorite from the above suggestions, we’d love to hear about why it is your best pick below!