5 Best Acne Pillowcases for Clearer Skin

acne pillowcases

123RF (Aleksandr Davydov)

If you haven’t tried out acne pillowcases, you may be ignoring a huge factor in your skincare. Acne treatments can only take you so far if you’re spending six to eight hours a night with your face pressed against a bacteria-covered pillow.

What Are the Best Acne Pillowcases?

Silvon anti-acne pillowcase Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Antimicrobial silver thread
  • Choice of colors and sizes
  • Machine wash and dry
Price: $40.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
White pillowcase with box Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Antibacterial and antifungal zinc
  • Egyptian cotton
  • Machine washable
Price: $69.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
White pillow with pillowcase Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Uses antimicrobial silver
  • Soft cotton fabric
  • Machine washable
Price: $24.54 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Two white bed pillows Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Affordable
  • Set of two pillowcases
  • Silk has antibacterial properties
Price: $25.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Copper pillowcase Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Antibacterial copper
  • Affordable
  • Machine wash and dryable
Price: $28.50 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Silvon Anti-Acne Pillowcase

    Pros:
    • Seven percent antimicrobial silver threads
    • Super-soft organic cotton
    • Comes in standard and king size
    • Choice of colors
    • Machine washable and dryable
    • 30-night trial
    Cons:
    • Pricier than others
    • Can't buy in pairs
    • Colors are limited

    Silvon was the first silver pillowcase I personally tried and the reason that I know these pillowcases really make a difference. 

    Silver has been used for hundreds of years as an antibacterial agent back to 1500 B.C.E. in China. The silver breaks through the cell walls of bacteria, prevents their normal functioning, and hampers DNA replication. 

    Despite the scientific basis, when I got a pair of these as a media sample (with no guarantee that I’d review them at all) I was skeptical but after about a week I started noticing that my skin was less red and my breakthrough zits were much smaller. A month into using the pillowcase, changing them about once a week, my skin was surprisingly happier than ever.

    One of the neatest things I discovered is that on those nights when I’m either too tired or sick to do my whole face care routine, there weren’t any consequences. Normally if I’d skip one night I’d be in for a small breakout but that hasn’t been the case since switching. 

    It’s not perfect and I still get some hormonal acne but I do find that it’s easier to control than before. 

    The pillowcase is made with seven percent silver thread and 93 percent Supima cotton grown in California. It feels just like a soft pillowcase with no hint that it contains silver. It doesn’t have as much slip as silk or satin but has more than your standard cheap cotton pillowcases which is nice for hair health. 

    I like that it comes in multiple colors to best match your bedroom decor including white, silver, sand, and sky.

  2. 2. Onyx Zinc Acne Pillowcase

    Pros:
    • Zinc is antibacterial and antifungal
    • Good for acne and dandruff
    • Machine washable
    • Neutral plain white color
    • They also have a silver version
    Cons:
    • Air dry only
    • Pricier than most
    • No color or size choices

    For those dealing with acne and dandruff or Eczema, a zinc-infused pillow which is both antibacterial and antifungal may be for you.

    Zinc has been used and studied for its antibacterial properties for years which makes it a good choice for creating an anti-acne pillowcase. Zinc is also antifungal which can be helpful for those who deal with dandruff (which often has a fungal cause) or other skin conditions. Plus it’s just nice to have a pillow that won’t go all fungal because that’s gross. 

    Like the silver pillow options, the Onyx Zinc Pillowcase is as soft as other Egyptian cotton pillowcases and you’d never know it was infused with zinc The product also says it’s supposed to help you sleep better but that doesn’t track for me. 

    Onyx offers a silver pillowcase as well. 

  3. 3. Fight Acne Pillowcase

    Pros:
    • Five percent antimicrobial silver
    • Soft cotton fabric
    • Cotton from renewable sources
    • Machine washable
    Cons:
    • Pattern isn't very attractive
    • Air dry only
    • Can't buy as a pair
    • No color choices

    It’s not just the best hand sanitizers that fight germs, this pillowcase prevents the growth and transfer of bacteria by being made of 95 percent cotton and five percent antimicrobial silver thread. Silver ions kill bacteria on contact so your pillow stays cleaner.

    Despite having metal threads, the Fight Acne Pillowcase is soft. You’d never be able to tell it had silver in it by touching it. The product also claims that silver is good for hypertension, arthritis, and aging, but I don’t buy that. There is good, actual science behind silver killing bacteria so buy this for acne, not for your arthritis. 

  4. 4. Hisen Home Silk Pillowcases (Set of 2)

    Pros:
    • Affordable
    • Silk has antibacterial properties
    • Prevents hair breakage
    • Set of two pillowcases
    • Choice of colors and sizes
    Cons:
    • Not as antimicrobial as metal infused pillows
    • Not vegan
    • Not everyone loves zipper closure

    When it comes to protecting your hair from breakage, a silk pillow is the way to go–but silk has also been shown to have antibacterial properties making it a double threat for beauty sleep.

    This Hisen Home Silk Pillowcase is made from Mulberry Silk, a particular grade of silk made from domesticated silkworms that are fed exclusively mulberry leaves. Interestingly enough, silk itself isn’t antimicrobial but the process of separating and the silk fibers leaves a residue that is antibacterial. 

    All that means in practice is that your silk pillowcase will help prevent bacterial growth which is just what we’re looking for.

    For those with hair that tends to tangle or break, like me, the slipperiness of silk is lovely for keeping your hair from going out of control overnight.

    I like that you can get these pillowcases in sets of two, in three different sizes, and five different colors.

  5. 5. AlfredX Copper-Infused Pillowcase

    Pros:
    • Antibacterial copper
    • Machine wash and dryable
    • Choice of colors
    • More affordable than some
    • Satin finish is good for hair
    Cons:
    • Fabric materials unlisted
    • I don't buy the anti-aging angle
    • No choice of sizes

    Copper, like silver and zinc, has antibacterial properties to prevent acne and this copper pillowcase also uses a satiny finish to help prevent hair breakage.

    The AlfredX Copper Pillowcase uses copper oxide fibers which release copper ions that kill bacteria and prevent them from colonizing your pillow and spreading to your face. It’s machine washable and dryable and the copper ions are good for around 100 washes which, if you wash it once a week, is around two years. For the price, that’s not bad at all. 

    The pillowcase also makes some pretty drastic claims about its anti-aging properties but I wouldn’t put much stock in those. Buy this to fight acne and for preventing hair breakage, not because they say it will reduce signs of aging. 

    I like that you have a choice of colors (gold or blue) but it would be nice if they released some more neutral colors. 

What causes acne?

The quick answer is it's complicated. There is a wide range of factors involved but the bottom line is some combination of oil production, dirt, and bacteria creating clogged pores. 

Hair follicles have an annoying tendency to become blocked up with natural skin oils and head skin cells. To harmful bacteria, this combination is a perfect habitat to feed and grow. Yuck. When the bacteria really take hold, inflammation and white blood cells (pus) kick into gear and now you've got a zit. 

Can my pillowcase give me acne?

Yeah, it can, I'm sorry to say. We're always told to avoid touching our faces to reduce the risk of acne because our hands tend to be dirty, but then we go home and lay on the same sheet of fabric night after night.

Each night, your pillowcase soaks up natural oils from your face and hair as well as makeup residue, lotions, hair products, and dirt. 

That's not a big deal for the first night--but every night after that, you're rubbing your face on a pillow caked with the build-up of the previous days' oils and dirt. 

After a while, the pillowcase becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. Some studies have shown that an unwashed pillowcase contains more bacteria than a toilet seat or pet food bowls. Not to mention the dust mite and fungi issues that affect other areas of health besides your skin.

Pro tip: Avoid using dryer sheets when you can as it leaves a residue on your fabrics that can rub off on your face and clog pores. 

How often should I wash my pillowcase?

If dirty pillowcases are to blame, then the cheapest solution is to just change the pillowcase more often, right?

Well, sort of. How often do you feel like doing laundry? Because some experts say you should wash your pillowcase every two days to prevent acne triggering bacteria. I don't know about you, but I don't have time for that. 

Instead, you need a pillowcase that is resistant to bacteria.

How do pillowcases for acne work?

These pillowcases are designed with materials that prevent bacteria from growing on them. Your pillowcase stays cleaner longer. 

To do this, they may use a variety of naturally anti-bacterial materials like copper, silver, or silk. 

Silver or copper pillowcases may sound uncomfortable but they're as soft as cotton. You'd never guess they contained any metals at all.

Fun fact: While silk is thought to be anti-bacterial, it's actually the residue of the agents used to separate the silk threads when spinning the silk that is anti-bacterial. Either way, it works. 

Silk pillowcases for acne are also great for protecting your hair from breaking.

Nothing is a cure-all.

Even with an anti-bacterial pillowcase, your best chance at avoiding acne is to change it at least weekly. While you may be sleeping on less bacterial, the fabric will still soak up oils and skin and haircare products which can clog pores. 

Do you actually use one?

I do. I sleep on a silver or silver plus silk pillowcase each night. Honestly, I didn't expect much from these types of pillowcases but now I don't want to use anything else. It's drastically cut down on any breakthrough zits from my normal acne routine.

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