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Why you shouldn’t buy silk pillowcases plus comfy alternatives

Written by 12 March 2021

I don’t know about you but recently I’ve been bamboozled with silk pillowcase ads on Insta. I actually nearly bought one because of the “amazing effects they have on your hair and skin”. They’re promoted at leaving your hair tangle-free after sleeping and skin super-soft because silk doesn’t soak up all your lotions and potions you put on your face before bed.

HOWEVER. I looked into it. Silk is NOT cruelty-free. Here is a quote from PETA, part of which I’ve blanked out because I don’t want to display upsetting info:

Silk is the fibre that silkworms weave to make their cocoons – outer casings that protect them during the pupal stage. But most of the insects used by the silk industry don’t live past this stage, because they [REMOVED] inside their cocoons, which causes the cocoons to begin unravelling so that workers can obtain the silk threads. Some 6,600 silkworms are killed to make just 1 kilogram of silk.

Quote from PETA – I have blanked some out of the text

Read the PETA article here.

What are the alternatives?

I did some research and found LOADS of alternatives. I ended up buying 2x white 100% polyester pillow cases from eBay for… £5.15. Yep, I was skeptical; here I was willing to buy a silk pillowcase at £20 and now settling for 2 at £5.15? I was willing to admit defeat if they were crap and handing over a fiver didn’t seem so bad.

Here is the item on eBay – nearly 10K sold!
Chuffed with my cheapo pillow cases
A close-up – doesn’t look like a cheapo pillow case

Are 100% polyester pillowcases any good?

Yes! They’re absolutely brilliant. They’ve been washed multiple times now and no signs of coming apart/ threading or anything else.

My hair is always really tangly after sleeping so I decided to test it. I’m not sure if the tangles are made during sleep or the fact I don’t brush my hair in the day (apart from the morning, if its lucky).

My hair in the morning – shiny & tangle-free – very surprised but happy!

I brushed my hair before bed (something I never do – who does?) and left it loose. In the morning, I brushed it again with my tangle tweezer and there were NO TANGLES – absolutely none! My hair was so soft and shiny. I’ve since tested it again and gone to bed with waves; I’ve woken up and they look the pretty similar as the night before – only a few minutes were needed to style instead of 15. It’s saving me time getting ready in a morning which I’m very thankful for.

I can’t comment on my skin yet; I’ve not had any acne since using these new pillowcases but I’d need to test them for at least a month before commenting (I’m just about to hit ‘acne’ stage of the month ughhh) Updates to follow!

Environmental issues with polyester

Although polyester is cruelty-free, it’s not without issues. It isn’t recyclable which in this day and age, we should all be making the effort to buy more sustainable clothing.

Hopefully these pillows will last a long time but when they’re ready to be upgraded, I’ll repurpose them and make something out of them:

  • Dog bedding – my dogs live in luxury clearly!
  • Use to keep documents in – they’re bigger than A4 so pretty handy for bulky bundles of documents
  • Keep paintbrushes in
  • Keep kitchen cloths in – stitch in a toggle which you can then hang
  • Keep pegs in – stitch in a toggle which you can then hang

These are my ideas – a quick Google search and there’s so many more! See this helpful blog on 7 ways to reuse and recycle old pillows.

I found this interesting article if you want to read more about the specifics on polyester fibres. Most went over my head but I got the gist!

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