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Satin Sheets are Back and as Titillating As Ever

These silky linens plot their return to the chicest bedroom ensembles
Roxanne Robinson Jan 29, 2021
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If you hear the word satin sheets and immediately think of  a cheesy scene in a B-list movie with a hot-blooded Lothario seducing a damsel, dressed in centuries-ago corsetry surrounded by lots of dripping candles and billowing curtains, you are not alone. However, this isn’t the only image satin, or silk for that matter, sheets can elicit. Today’s softest and most sinuous sheets can be a part of any uber-chic bedroom.

The History of Satin Bed Sheets

From  the earliest days of bed linens, silk was considered a fine luxury. Bed sheets were initially put into common use around the 15th century. They generally were made from cotton, linen, and of course, silk. Obviously, as hygiene for most during the Renaissance was questionable at best, fine households discovered the ability to keep the mattress, blankets, and quilts clean and free from odor by using bed sheets that could be removed and laundered.

As the Middle Ages gave way to advances in looms, such as the treadle and drawloom, weaving the fine textiles became easier. Subsequently, the luxurious fabrics of the silk weavers of the Italian peninsula were exported across Europe and to the Ottoman Empire. But silk fibers, of course, were much harder to come by. Thus, silk sheets were typically only found in the homes of royals and the wealthier elite. Meanwhile, their linen and cotton counterparts were still mainly reserved for the upper-middle-class or emerging merchant or bourgeoisie class.

Silk Vs. Satin Sheets

While easy to confuse the two terms, accordingly, sheets can be silk satin, pure silk, or satin. Chiefly that is because silk is a fiber, and satin is the weave or finishing treatment applied to that fiber. Satin itself dates back to medieval China, originating in Quanzhou, which became Zaitun in ancient Arabic and later evolved into its present-day name. At that time, the fabric was made exclusively from silk.

But it’s important to realize that satin can be made from several materials to include polyester and nylon. Another point is that the weave itself can have many finishes, such as Duchesse, Charmeuse, and Baronet. These styles tend to be the popular finishes in modern satin bed sheets.

The Benefits of Satin Sheets

Silk sheets may be more than luxurious looking. They may be healthier  for your skin and hair, as well as factor into how well you sleep. For one, silk is known to help retain moisture in the skin and hair, preventing wrinkles and hair damage as you lay your head on them through the night. Thus sleeping encased in silk sheets (and pajamas too!) helps keep the skin hydrated. In this case, the more silk you can caress your body with the better! In fact, start your silk sheet journey by trying a pillowcase or sham in silk satin.

Even better news regarding sleep and silk is the beneficial thermoregulatory properties of cool silk. According to Sleep.org, the best temperature to sleep is at about 65 degrees Fahrenheit. The science behind this indicates that our body temperature needs to lower to achieve the best REM. For this reason, it's important to not overheat while sleeping. Better REM sleep has been proven to be associated with better health and satin sheets have been proven to help keep your bed cool and crisp, as opposed to the more stifling properties inherent to the grain of a heavier cotton or linen sheet.

Editor’s Picks for Best Satin Sheets and Accessories

1. Slip Pink Queen Envelope Pillowcase

Slip

Pink Queen Envelope Pillowcase
$89.00 BUY NOW

Pink Slip - Give wrinkles and bed head the boot with Slip’s pink silk pillowcase.


2. Slip Caramel Sleep Mask

Slip

Caramel Sleep Mask
$50.00 BUY NOW

Cover Silk - In a creamy caramel hue, this sleep mask keeps your sight underwraps at night.


3. Gingerlily London Ivory Silk Flat Sheet

Gingerlily London

Ivory Silk Flat Sheet
$465.00 BUY NOW

Silk Standard - This ivory silk flat sheet sets the bar in the category for best satin bed linens.


4. Manito Silk Silk Sheet Set

Manito Silk

Silk Sheet Set
$1,315.00 BUY NOW

Momme's Best - These 100 percent Mulberry silk sheets’ weight tops out at a 22, for next level silk sheet quality.


5. Manito Silk Quilted Euro Sham

Manito Silk

Silk Quilted Euro Sham
$215.00 BUY NOW

Quilt Case - These Euro shams can boast 100 percent silk floss batting, can yours?


6. Manito Silk Silk Duvet Covers

Manito Silk

Silk Duvet Covers
$1,045.00 BUY NOW

Golden Slumbers - Sleep peacefully and deeply with this highly breathable silk duvet cover.


7. Thxsilk Extreme 25 Momme | Silk Duvet Cover Set

Thxsilk

Extreme 25 Momme | Silk Duvet Cover Set
$849.00 BUY NOW

To The Max - In seven wonderful colors, these 25 momme-weight silk sets optimize your duvet search.


8. Thxsilk High End 19 Momme | Silk Fitted Sheet Set

Thxsilk

High End 19 Momme | Silk Fitted Sheet Set W Pillowcases
$219.99 BUY NOW

Nature’s Rainbow - With so many colors to choose from and accessible pricepoints, choosing just one color of these silk sheet sets will be tough!


Roxanne Robinson
Roxanne Robinson is an award-winning Paris-based American journalist covering luxury and fashion industries with over 25 years of experience. I spent over 18 years at WWD, covering sportswear, accessories and fine jewelry. My career witnessed the shift from print media to the digital age. I gained expert knowledge of the design world, wholesale and retail markets as well as the marketing that supports them. I met endless creatives and business people who create luxury from inception to POS with the consumer. My work has appeared in Forbes.com, BoF, The Hollywood Reporter, CRFashionbook.com, The Jewelry Journal as well in-house publications and websites at Bally, Pomellato, Au Depart and Editorialist.com among others.
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